22 Apr 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
POLITY
1. Union Cabinet approves death for rape of girls under 12 years
2. Cabinet approves Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018
3. Telangana announces 2% quota for sportspersons in govt jobs
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)
C. GS3 Related
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Antarctic expedition
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
F. Prelims Fact
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Union Cabinet approves death for rape of girls under 12 years

 

  • The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance provides for stringent punishment of a jail term of minimum 20 years or life imprisonment or death for rape of a girl under 12 years.

Amendments

  • Amendments would be made to the Indian Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Indian Evidence Act.
  • Changes in Investigation Mechanism

    • To improve the capacity of the judicial system, the government plans to set up new fast track courts, special forensic labs exclusively for rape cases, forensic kits for rape cases at all police stations and hospitals and dedicated manpower for investigation of such cases.
    • This will be done within three months on a “mission mode”.

    Stats

    • National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) put a question mark on the effectiveness of death as a deterrence for child rape.
    • In 2016, of the 64,138 child rape cases that came up before the courts under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act read with IPC Section 376, 1,869 cases — or less than three per cent — ended in convictions.

    Why the act is not good?

    • Moreover, of the total cases of rape of women and children before the police that year, in over 94 per cent of the cases (34,650 out of 36,657 cases), the offender was known to the victim — he was either a close family member, a neighbour, or an acquaintance.
    • Given this reality, experts point to the need for more debate before any amendment of the criminal law is carried out to award death penalty for cases of child rape
    • Far from reporting the crime, death penalty is going to deter the victim from reporting sexual assault when the offender is from the family or is known to them. This will lead to the crime being suppressed and the victim being left completely helpless.
    • Despite the POCSO Act providing for trials to be completed within a year, at the end of 2016, 89 per cent of the cases were pending trial.
    • In its ‘Death Penalty India Report 2016’, the National Law University (Delhi) has cited how the US Supreme Court ruled that it would be unconstitutional to extend the death penalty to non-homicide offences like rape, including rape of a minor.

    Concerns in the ordinance

    • sexual assaults against boys have been left unaddressed
    • sentencing on the basis of age is not right because rape is rape.

    Justice Verma Committee Recommendation

    • The Justice Verma Committee, which was constituted in the aftermath of December 2012 gangrape in Delhi to recommend legal reforms to curb sexual assault crimes, in its report said introduction of death penalty for rape may not have a deterrent effect and recommended enhanced sentence of jail for the remainder of life.

2. Cabinet approves Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018

 

Context

  • The Union Cabinet approved a proposal to promulgate Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018 that provides for confiscating properties and assets of economic offenders like loan defaulters who flee the country

Procedure

  • According to the ordinance, a director or deputy director (appointed under the PMLA, 2002) may file an application before a special court (designated under the 2002 Act) to declare a person as a fugitive economic offender.
  • The application will contain the reasons to believe that an individual is a fugitive economic offender.
  • The application will have information about his whereabouts, a list of properties believed to be proceeds of a crime for which confiscation is sought, a list of benami properties or foreign properties for which confiscation is sought, and a list of persons having an interest in these properties.
  • Upon receiving the application, the special court will issue a notice to the individual, requiring him to appear at a specified place within six weeks. If the person appears at the specified place, the special court will terminate its proceedings under the provisions of the Bill.
  • Any property belonging to the fugitive economic offender may provisionally be attached without the prior permission of the special court, provided that an application is filed before the court within 30 days.
  • Appeals against the orders of the special court will lie before the High Court.

3. Telangana announces 2% quota for sportspersons in govt jobs

 

  • Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced a 2% reservation for sportspersons in government employment in the State.
  • This announcement was made moments after KCR met a team of 18 members who have recently participated in the Commonwealth Games 2018.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)

 

  • It is a United States federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia
  • The CAATSA includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with the Russian defence and intelligence sectors.

Agenda of USA

  • CAATSA is aimed at every country that has military and energy connections with Russia.
  • S. claims it is a strategic motive but commercial objectives cannot be denied. With these the US also wants countries to knock the doors of USA rather than Russia.

India’s View

  • Both at the Foreign Secretary level and in the U.S., India has conveyed that the sanctions cannot impinge its relations with Russia, especially military acquisitions
  • A senior MOD source pointed out that if U.S. seeks to unsettle India-Russia ties it wouldn’t mean the U.S. will gain out of it through arms deals. “Today we have multiple options, from France to Israel. It would be better for the U.S. not to try and scuttle our strongest military ties”

U.S. Position

  • At least two senior U.S. defence officials have conveyed to India in no uncertain terms that India would not be immune to the proposed sanctions under CAATSA.
  • According to Section 231 of CAATSA, any country or entity that carries out “transactions with the intelligence or defence sectors” of the Russian government would face sanctions from the U.S.
  • A top US admiral has warned Congress against imposing any sanctions on countries like India and Indonesia for purchasing defence equipment from Russia, saying any such move would pose a concern for America’s defence ties in the Indo-Pacific and increase its partners’ dependence on Moscow.

C. GS3 Related

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Antarctic expedition

 Context

  • In February 2018, 30 Indian scientists on an expedition to one of India’s base stations in Antarctica had to be evacuated after their ship collided with an iceberg.
  • India’s scientific expeditions to Antarctica since 1981 have had their share of misadventures, this is the “first time”, that m.v. Ivan Papanin, a 28-year-old ice-breaker owned by Murmansk Shipping and frequently commissioned by India, suffered from a breach of this kind.

Details

  • The hired Russian ship, m.v. Ivan Papanin, was on its way to Maitri, India’s inland research base, from Bharati, another India station.
  • The impact punctured a three – foot hole into the hull and led to water seeping in.
  • There wasn’t an oil spill or else, even though we are using a Russian ship, India would have been guilty of polluting Antarctica and violating the Antarctica treaty

India’s Missions

  • The Indian Antarctic Program is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional program under the control of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences. It was initiated in 1981 with the first Indian expedition to Antarctica.
  • The program gained global acceptance with India’s signing of the Antarctic Treatyand subsequent construction of the Dakshin Gangotri Antarctic research base in 1983, superseded by the Maitri base from 1990.
  • The newest base commissioned in 2015 is Bharati, constructed out of 134 shipping containers.
    • Under the program, atmospheric, biological, earth, chemical, and medical sciences are studied by India, which has carried out 30 scientific expeditions to the Antarctic as of 14 October 2010.
    • Located beside Larsmann Hill at 69°S, 76°E, Bharati is proposed for oceanographic research and will collect evidence of continental breakup to reveal the 120-million-year-old ancient history of the Indian subcontinent. 

F. Prelims Fact

Commonwealth Cyber Declaration

  • It is the world’s largest and most geographically diverse inter-governmental commitment on cyber security cooperation.
  • The declaration sets out for the first time a common vision for ensuring the internet remains free and open across the Commonwealth.
  • It will commit members to raising national levels of cyber security and increased cooperation to counter those who seek to undermine values, security and integrity of elections.

Significance

  • This will help Commonwealth countries strengthen their cyber security capabilities and help to tackle criminal groups and hostile state actors who pose a global threat to security
  • The new funding will support Commonwealth partners as they prevent and respond to cyber security risks affecting governments, businesses and citizens.
  • The agreement will help foster international stability in cyberspace and build more resilient digital economies. Ultimately, it will contribute to stronger economic growth and sustainable development across the Commonwealth

 

Earth Day

  • The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970,
  • Earth Day Network’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide to build environmental democracy.
  • This year’s Earth Day is dedicated to providing the information and inspiration needed to eventually end plastic pollution
  • Earth Day Network will mobilize its global network of non-governmental organizations and grassroots groups, as well as local elected officials, faith leaders, artists, athletes, students and teachers “to build a world of educated consumers, voters and activists of all ages who understand the environmental, climate and health consequences of using plastic,”

 

Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC)

  • It is yearlong expedition in arctic. The project with a total budget exceeding 60 Million € has been designed by an international consortium of leading polar research institutions, under the umbrella of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)
  • The expedition will gather data observing the ocean, ice and atmosphere, helping to better understand the physical, chemical and biological properties of the Arctic environment and how it is changing.
  • The results of MOSAiC will contribute to enhance understanding of the regional and global consequences of Arctic climate change and sea-ice loss and improve weather and climate predictions. As such it will support safer maritime and offshore operations, contribute to an improved scientific basis for future fishery and traffic along northern sea routes, increase coastal-community resilience, and support science-informed decision-making and policy development.
 

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1.Consider the following Statements in reference to MOSAiC
  1. It will help study Arctic region
  2. It will help address issue of Climate Change
  3. It was initiated by EU in Partnership with NASA and ISRO

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 3 and 1
  4. All of the above

See

Answer
 
Question 2. With respect to removal of Judges in SC consider the following statements
  1. Rajya Sabha chairman has the discretion to accept or reject the motion for removal of CJI
  2. An inquiry committee should be constituted after the recommendation of President only.

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer
 
Question 3. With reference earth day 
  1. It is globally coordinated by Earth Day Network
  2. The event is held annually encouraging individuals, communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm

Which of the above statements are incorrect?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer

 

 
Question 4.Which of the states have not come with a bill to punish child rape by
 awarding death penalty
  1. Rajasthan
  2. Madhya Pradesh
  3. Karnataka
  4. Haryana

See

Answer
 
Question 5.CAATSA by USA is sanction on which of these countries?
  1. Iran
  2. Pakistan
  3. Russia
  4. North Korea
  5. Syria

Select the correct code

  1. Only 1 ,3 and 5
  2. Only 2, 4 and 5
  3. Only 1, 3 and 4
  4. Only 2, 3, 4 and 5

See

Answer
 

H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

 
 General Studies II
  1. Death penalty to child rapists was a knee jerk reaction by the Government. Critically examine.

  2. The move by few MP’s for removal of CJI was more Political in Nature rather than serving the Purpose of Judicial Scrutiny. Discuss the possible implications.

 

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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