January 20th, 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. GS 1 Related B. GS 2 Related POLITY AND GOVERNANCE 1. Centre for tougher law against sexual harassment at work 2. Governor seeks answer from Kerala govt. on CAA appeal INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 1. Libya summit seeks end to fighting C. GS 3 Related ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY 1. 146 endangered Irrawaddy dolphins sighted in Chilika INTERNAL SECURITY 1. Submarine-launched ballistic missile tested 2. U.K. Navy chief seeks cooperation ECONOMY 1. PF benefits should extend to contractual employees: SC D. GS 4 Related E. Editorials ECONOMY 1. Why ‘Make in India’ has failed SOCIAL ISSUES 1. For Brus, a permanent home POLITY AND GOVERNANCE 1. A net verdict that falls short of expectations F. Tidbits 1. Drone census: over 2,500 disclosures so far 2. Centre to start campaign to demystify Budget G. Prelims Facts 1. Only 35% penalty recovered for not sharing information under RTI in Haryana 2. Lone, rare migratory eagle sighted in Andhra Pradesh 3. MANI app H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
A. GS 1 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
B. GS 2 Related
Recommendations to strengthen laws against sexual harassment at workplace.
- The Women and Child Development Ministry had steered the Sexual Harassment of Women and Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act in 2013. This act is applicable to government offices, the private sector, NGOs and even the unorganized sector.
- This act was largely based on the Vishaka Guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in 1997.
- The act made the employer responsible to prevent or deter acts of sexual harassment at the workplace. The Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) would be constituted to enquire into complaints regarding sexual harassment at the workplace.
- The Act required the employer to provide requisite assistance to a woman if she chooses to file a complaint under the IPC against the perpetrator, after the conclusion of the enquiry.
- The 2013 Act had entrusted the powers of a civil court to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) without specifying if the members need to have a legal background. This was a major lacuna given that the ICC formed an important grievance redressal mechanism under the framework of the act.
- The 2013 act only imposed a fine of ₹50,000 on employers for non-compliance with respect to the constitution of the ICC. This proved to be insufficient in ensuring that the employers constituted the ICC in a time-bound manner.
- As per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the number of sexual harassment incidents at “work or office premises” registered under Section 509 IPC (words, gesture or act to insult the modesty of a woman) were 479 and 401 in the years 2017 and 2018 respectively.
- The total number of sexual harassment incidents in 2018 including that in public places, shelter homes and others was 20,962. The number of cases continued to be high questioning the effectiveness of the 2013 act.
The Group of Ministers:
- The Group of Ministers (GoM) was constituted in October 2018 in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement, which witnessed many women sharing their ordeal of sexual harassment on social media.
- The GoM was constituted to strengthen the legal framework to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace.
- The GoM was reconstituted in July 2019 under the Home Minister. The other members of the GoM include the Finance Minister, Human Resource Development Minister and Women and Child Development Minister.
- The GoM has finalised its recommendations. It will be now put up for comments from the public.
- Acknowledging the fact that the laws need to change with time, the sexual harassment of women at the workplace needs to be strengthened with suitable amendments.
- The major recommendation includes the addition of new provisions to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which would strengthen the existing laws on sexual harassment at the workplace.
- The proposed amendments would be largely based on the Vishaka Guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in 1997.
- The amendments would form a part of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) project to reboot the IPC. Several retired judges, legal luminaries and State governments are being consulted by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) as a consultative measure before the overhauling of the IPC.
Kerala Governor’s letter the Chief Secretary.
- The Kerala government has challenged the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, in the Supreme Court by invoking Article 131.
- The Governor of Kerala had expressed displeasure for not being informed about the Kerala government’s decision of filing an appeal in the SC, though he was the constitutional head of state.
- Kerala governor has written a letter to the Chief Secretary expressing his concerns.
- The Governor points out that the Chief Minister was duty-bound under the rules of business of the government to refer specified category of cases that concerned Centre-State relations or involved the Supreme Court to the Governor. This had to be done before the administration’s intended action.
The Government’s stand:
- The government’s counter has been that since the State was not in conflict with the Centre, there was no imperative on the government to inform the Governor.
- The Kerala government has denied that it had intentionally infringed on the privilege or rights of the Governor office, even though the Kerala Law Minister has stated that the government was legally obliged to answer the Governor’s questions and allay his “apprehensions”.
- The Law ministers also put forward the argument that the top court had not turned down the State’s prayer on the ground that the lawsuit required the Governor’s consent.
United Nations-led talks in Berlin.
- The Libyan Crisis refers to the ongoing conflicts in Libya, beginning with the Arab Springprotests of 2011, which led to a civil war, foreign military intervention, and the ousting and death of Muammar Gaddafi.
- The civil war’s aftermathand proliferation of armed groups led to violence and instability across the country, which erupted into renewed civil war in 2014.
- The ongoing crisis in Libya has so far resulted in tens of thousands of casualties since the onset of violence in early 2011 and also affected the output of Libya’s economically crucial oil industry.
- Presently the major conflict is between Mr Fayez al-Sarraj Tripoli-based, UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and Khalifa Haftar, the Commander of the Libyan National Army. The Libyan National Army, under Haftar’s leadership, has replaced nine elected municipal councils by military administrators.
- The Presidents of Russia, Turkey and France joined other global chiefs at the talks hosted by German Chancellor and held under the auspices of the UN.
- World leaders present at the summit made a fresh push for peace in Libya, in a desperate bid to stop the conflict-affected nation from turning into a breeding ground for extremist forces.
Curbing foreign interferences:
- The summit’s main goal was to convince foreign powers wielding influence in the region to stop interfering in the war in the form of supplying weapons, troops or financing. This was making the situation on ground more complex given that Libya had become a stage for the struggle of regional and world powers. Libya was facing the devastating impact of foreign influence on the conflict.
- Mr Sarraj’s GNA is backed by Turkey and Qatar while Mr Haftar has the support of Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
- UN hopes that all parties will sign up to a plan to refrain from interference, and commit to a truce.
- The summit was aimed to help restart dialogue between the warring factions.
- Notably, leaders of both warring factions, Khalifa Haftar and Fayez al-Sarraj were also present in the summit. This was the first such gathering since 2018.
C. GS 3 Related
- The Irrawaddy dolphin is a euryhaline (able to tolerate a wide range of salinity) species of oceanic dolphinfound in discontinuous subpopulations near sea coasts and in estuaries and rivers in parts of the Bay of Bengal and Southeast Asia. It is an aquatic mammal.
- Although sometimes referred to as the Irrawaddy river dolphin, it is not a true river dolphin, but an oceanic dolphinthat lives in brackish water near coasts, river mouths and in estuaries.
- It has established subpopulations in freshwater rivers, including the Mahakam River, the Mekong, the Ganges and the Irrawaddy Riverfrom which it takes its name.
- Its range extends from the Bay of Bengalto New Guinea and the Philippines although they do not appear to venture offshore.
- In India, it is mostly present in the brackish-water Chilka Lake. Their Presence has also been recorded from Sunderbans National Park.
- Irrawaddy dolphins are more susceptible to human conflict than most other dolphins who live farther out in the ocean.
- The Irrawaddy dolphin’s proximity to developing communities makes the effort for conservation difficult. Entanglement in fishnets and degradation of habitats are the main threats to Irrawaddy dolphins.
- Some Irrawaddy dolphin sub-populations are classified by the IUCN as critically endangered. Irrawaddy dolphins in general, however, are listed as an endangered species in the IUCN list, which applies throughout their whole range.
- Conservation efforts are being made at international and national levels to alleviate the threats faced by the Irrawaddy Dolphins.
- Protection from international trade is provided by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In 2004, CITES transferred the Irrawaddy dolphin from Appendix IIto Appendix I, which forbids all commercial trade in species that are threatened with extinction.
- The Irrawaddy dolphin is listed on both Appendix I and Appendix II of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
- The dolphin census was simultaneously taken up in Chilika and off Odisha coast.
- Odisha Forest Department officials, wildlife experts and researchers have sighted 146 Irrawaddy dolphins in Chilika Lake.
- Chilika Lake has the highest single lagoon population of the Irrawaddy dolphin in the world.
- The counting of dolphins was done using hydrophones. A hydrophone is a microphone designed to be used underwater for recording or listening to underwater sound. Most hydrophones are based on a piezoelectric transducer that generates an electric potential when subjected to a pressure change, such as a sound wave.
- The good numbers recorded signify the importance of freeing the lake from encroachments by prawn farming gherries.
- Post the eviction of encroachments, Dolphins were colonizing new areas.
Successful test of the submarine-launched ballistic missile.
- India successfully test-fired the 3,500-km range submarine-launched ballistic missile, K-4.
- The test was carried out by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from a submerged pontoon off the Visakhapatnam coast. A pontoon simulates the situation of a launch from a submarine.
- The missile ejecting from a submerged platform to the surface [sea] possess several technical challenges. There are very few countries which have managed to achieve this.
- This technological breakthrough marks an important step towards achieving indigenization of defence technology.
Edge over other missiles of the same class:
- The Circular Error Probability (CEP) of the K-4 is much more sophisticated than most countries which possess similar missiles. The CEP determines the accuracy of a missile. The lower the CEP, the more accurate the missile would be in targeting.
- INS Arihant, the first and only operational SSBN, is armed with K-15 Sagarika missiles with a range of 750 km. The K-4 has an enhanced range.
- The K-4 missiles will be the mainstay of the Arihant class of indigenous ballistic missile nuclear submarines and will give India the stand-off capability to launch nuclear weapons submerged in Indian waters.
- Standoff weapons are missiles or bombs which may be launched at a distance sufficient to allow attacking personnel to evade defensive fire from the target area. Typically, they are used against land- and sea-based targets in an offensive operation.
Second strike capability:
- The nuclear triadis a three-pronged military force structure that consists of land-launched nuclear missiles, nuclear-missile-armed submarines and strategic aircraft with nuclear bombs and missiles.
- India completed its nuclear triad with the commissioning of INS Arihant in August 2016, which was India’s first submarine built indigenously.
- The K-4 being nuclear-capable, it will also enhance the second strike capability of India.
- In nuclear strategy, a second-strike capability is a country’s assured ability to respond to a nuclear attack with powerful nuclear retaliation against the attacker.
- SSBN is the US Navy hull classification symbol for a nuclear-powered, ballistic missile-carrying submarine. The SS denotes “submarine” or “submersible”, the B denotes “ballistic missile,” and the N denotes “nuclear powered.”
U.K. Navy Chief’s views on collaboration between the U.K. and India in defence technology development.
- The U.K. Navy chief was in India to attend the Raisina Dialogue, jointly organized by the External Affairs Ministry and the Observer Research Foundation.
- The Royal Navy of U.K. is going through a significant recapitalization for the first time in about 70 years. The growth in tonnage terms is expected to be 30% between 2015 and 2025.
- The Royal Navy has made rapid progress in terms of aircraft carriers. While five years ago the U.K. had no aircraft carriers, currently it has two which marks significant progress given the long cycle time for the production of these
- There has been considerable progress made by the U.K. in electric propulsion technology. There has been growing clarity for most Navies in the world seeking to modernize, that electric propulsion technology marks a significant development and needs to be adopted.
- The U.K. Navy chief observing that both India and the U.K. are working on aircraft carriers, submarines, fifth-generation fighter aircraft and integrated electric propulsion has called for greater collaboration between the two countries. Given the common interests, the collaboration would be easier and strategically sensible.
- Though the U.K. has had a long presence in the Indian Ocean, the renewed focus on the Indo-Pacific comes as the country prepares to leave the European Union.
- K. in its need to show that the BREXIT was not an isolationist action is keen to increase its engagement with other countries outside the EU.
- Since India and the U.K. share similar values, responsibilities and ambitions the collaboration would not only help the development of defence technology but will also boost the India-U.K. bilateral ties.
Supreme Court Judgment
- A petition was filed by M/s Pawan Hans Limited.
- The company had implemented the PF Trust Regulations only with respect to the regular employees, even though the term “employee” had been defined to include “any person” employed “directly or indirectly” under the PF Trust Regulations.
- The contractual employees have been seeking parity with the regular employees, who are covered under the Pawan Hans Employees Provident Fund Trust Regulations.
- The company had filed the petition against its employees’ union, which sought uniformity in the service conditions among employees.
- The Supreme Court has held in the judgment that the benefits of the provident fund should also be extended to contractual employees.
- The SC has held that such employees who draw wages or salaries directly or indirectly from a company are entitled to provident fund benefits under the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Act.
- The judgment would have a significant bearing on a large number of contractual employees in other companies as well.
- Though it would be beneficial to the contractual employees, it would add to the financial burden of the company.
D. GS 4 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
The article offers a critique of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
‘Make in India’ Initiative:
- This initiative set an ambitious goal of making India a global manufacturing hub.
- Under the initiative, targets were identified. The three major objectives set in the initiative:
- Increase the manufacturing sector’s growth rate to 12-14% per annum in order to increase the sector’s share in the economy.
- Create 100 million additional manufacturing jobs in the economy by 2022
- Ensure that the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP is increased to 25% by 2022 (revised to 2025) from the current 16%.
- Policies were outlined to facilitate the achievement of the above targets. The policy approach was to
- Create a conducive environment for investments measures like increasing the ease of doing business in India, easing regulation and improving the macro-economic conditions.
- Develop modern and efficient infrastructure by increasing government investment in infrastructure development and also facilitating private participation and foreign capital.
- Open up new sectors for foreign capital by deregulating FDI in many sectors.
- The ‘Make in India’ initiative was announced by the Indian government in September 2014.
- It aims to encourage manufacturing in India and galvanise the economy with dedicated investments in manufacturing and services.
- Post the launch, investment commitments worth crores were announced.
- In 2015, India emerged as the top destination for foreign direct investment, surpassing the U.S. and China.
- In line with the national programme, the States too launched their own initiatives.
- However, as the economy in general, and the manufacturing sector in particular, are not performing well currently, there is a need to evaluate the effectiveness of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Evaluation of the initiative:
- The initiative envisaged major policy changes to usher growth in three key variables of the manufacturing sector
- Industrial output
- Employment growth
- The examination of the above variables will help us gauge the success of the Make in India policy.
- The 2014-2019 period has witnessed a slow growth of investment in the economy.
- This trend is more severe in the case of capital investments in the manufacturing sector. The Economic Survey of 2018-19 notes that gross fixed capital formation of the private sector, a measure of aggregate investment, declined to 28.6% of GDP in 2017-18 from 31.3% in 2013-14.
- As against the public sector’s share in capital investments remaining more or less the same during this period, the private sector’s share has notably declined from 24.2% to 21.5%. This in spite of the fact that the private corporate sector’s savings increased.
- Thus India is faced with a peculiar scenario where the private sector’s savings have increased, but investments have decreased, despite policy measures to provide a good investment climate.
- The monthly index of industrial production pertaining to manufacturing has registered double-digit growth rates only on two occasions during the period of April 2012 to November 2019.
- For the majority of the months, it was 3% or below and even negative for some months.
- There has not been much growth in the industrial output.
- Employment, especially industrial employment, has not been able to keep pace with the rate of new entrants into the labour market. Unemployment rates have increased.
- The government’s delay in releasing employment-related data as well as its attempts to revise existing data collection mechanisms have added to the fears of rising unemployment.
The Make in India policy has some major shortcomings:
- The scheme relied too much on foreign capital for investments and global markets for markets. This is against the previous policies which had conceived manufacturing for Indian needs.
- This created an inbuilt uncertainty in the scheme, as domestic production had to be planned according to the demand and supply conditions elsewhere.
- Add to this the uncertainties of the global economy and ever-rising trade protectionism, the initiative was ill-timed.
- The initiative set out too ambitious growth rates for the manufacturing sector to achieve.
- An annual growth rate of 12-14% is well beyond the capacity of the industrial sector. Such a quantum jump is perhaps an enormous overestimation of the implementation capacity of the government.
Too broad objectives:
- The initiative brought in far too many sectors into its fold leading to a loss of policy focus.
- There was no effort made to include those sectors in which the Indian economy had some comparative advantages.
- During the formulation of the policy, policymakers neglected the implications of implementation deficit in their decisions.
- A large number of policy announcements without having the preparedness to implement them is ‘policy casualness’. ‘Make in India’ has been plagued by a large number of under-prepared initiatives leading to a large number of stalled projects in India.
- The policy initiative comes across only as a policy window dressing for increasing manufacturing activity.
Lack of results:
- Though there has been a quantum jump in the ‘ease of doing business’ ranking of India, there has been no proportionate increase in investments.
- Given that big-ticket projects such as ‘Make in India’ have long gestation periods and lag effects, assessments of such initiatives in the short term can be premature.
- Given that the Indian economy was riddled with macroeconomic problems and structural issues, requiring some time to sort these out, evaluating the progress made by the Make in India policy in the short term is not right.
- The assessment period is also witnessing the global slowdown and trade wars. The effects of these factors on India’s economy cannot be discounted.
- There is the urgent need to recognize the lacunae in the policy initiative and correct them to ensure the effectiveness of the well-intended but ill-implemented initiative.
The signing of the quadripartite agreement in New Delhi to solve the Issue of the Brus.
The Brus and their displacement:
- The Brus also referred to as the Reangs, are spread across Tripura, Mizoram and southern Assam.
- Clashes in 1995 with the majority Mizos in Mizoram led to the demand for the removal of the Brus, from Mizoram’s electoral rolls. The arguments put forward was that the Brus were perceived to be non-indigenous in Mizoram.
- There was an armed movement by a Bru outfit, which killed a Mizo forest official in October 1997. The retaliatory ethnic violence by the Mizos saw more than 40,000 Brus fleeing to adjoining Tripura where they took shelter in six relief camps.
- The Centre and the two-State governments of Mizoram and Tripura made several attempts to resettle the Brus in Mizoram starting from November 2010. Protests by Mizo NGOs, primarily the Young Mizo Association, stalled the process.
- The Brus began demanding relief on a par with the relief given to Kashmiri Pandits and Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.
- The Centre spent close to ₹500 crores for relief and rehabilitation.
- A final rehabilitation package of ₹435 crores was arrived at in July 2018. The package entailed one-time assistance of ₹4 lakh as a fixed deposit within a month of repatriation, monthly cash assistance of ₹5,000 through DBT, free rations for two years, and ₹1.5 lakh in three instalments as house-building assistance.
- The package also included Eklavya residential schools, permanent residential and ST certificates besides funds to the Mizoram government for improving security in Bru resettlement areas.
- Most of the refugees stayed back, demanding resettlement in close-knit clusters and an autonomous council for Brus in Mizoram.
- The Centre, State governments of Tripura and Mizoram, and representatives of Bru organisations signed the agreement in the presence of Union Home Minister.
- The agreement allows some 35,000 Bru tribal people, who were displaced from Mizoram and are living in Tripura as refugees since 1997, to settle permanently in Tripura.
- Notably, the demand to rehabilitate the Brus in Tripura was first raised by the scion of the Tripura royal family. The acceptance by the Tripura government is also a significant gesture.
- The decision was taken from a humanitarian point of view of the Brus, who were apprehensive about returning back to Mizoram.
- The solution being sought could set a bad precedent, encouraging ethnocentric states to eject minorities.
- This goes against the rights of the Brus of Mizoram. They were illegally forced out of their homes during the ethnic violence and should ideally be re-settled back in Mizoram. The solution seems to legitimize the ejection of minority communities by ethnocentric states.
- There is bound to be some domestic differences within Tripura. The conflicts between the Brus and the local Bengali non-tribal people have started taking place in Tripura.
- The displaced Brus who returned to Mizoram have already begun demanding a package equivalent to the one those who stayed behind in the Tripura relief camps.
For more information on this issue: Click Here
This issue has been dealt with in the following article:
- India’s first drone census has seen over 2,500 Ownership Acknowledgment Numbers (OANs) being issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA).
- The exercise will give the government a picture of who owns what kind of drone in which part of the country and will help in making policy decisions.
- The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had issued the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), Section 3 – Air Transport Series regulating the use of drones and providing for the process for obtaining Unique Identification Number, Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) and other operational requirements. But there are drones that do not comply with the CAR
- The Finance Ministry has started a social media campaign titled the ‘#ArthShastri’ campaign. This would explain economic terms through animated videos to help the common man and students understand the Budget exercise in a simple way.
- This will help demystify the Budget for the common man and is seen as the first step in ensuring people’s participation in the budget-making process.
G. Prelims Facts
- Out of the total ₹3.50 crore penalty imposed on officials for not sharing information under the RTI act, only 35% has been recovered since the setting up of the Haryana State Information Commission in 2006.
- This raises serious concerns and doubts about the efficacy of the Right to Information Act in Haryana. There have been concerns over the gradual weakening of the RTI Act with the officials neither shared the information sought under RTI nor paid the penalty.
- The officials are penalized with a maximum penalty of ₹25,000 for intentionally not sharing the information.
- A lone endangered steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) has been sighted near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, during the ‘Asian Waterbird Census’.
- The ‘Asian Waterbird Census’ is a citizen science programme.
- Steppe eagle is believed to be the second-largest migratory eagle species to India. In winter, steppe eagle breeds in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia.
3. MANI app
- RBI has launched the MANI (Mobile Aided Note Identifier) app to enable the visually impaired person to identify the denomination of a currency note. It will empower the visually impaired.
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
Q1. Which of the following statements are correct with respect to The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013?
- The constitution of an Internal Complaints Committee is a statutory requirement under the act for all establishments.
- The Internal Complaints Committee is always headed by a female member.
- The Internal Complaints Committee consists of only internally selected members.
- 1 and 2
- 2 and 3
- 2 only
- 1 only
Q2. The term euryhaline implies
- Can tolerate only low salinity environments
- Needs high salinity environments
- Can tolerate a wide range of salinity
- Salinity observed at high depths of the oceans
Q3. The successfully tested K-4 is
- Submarine-launched ballistic missile
- Supersonic cruise missile
- Air to air beyond visual range missile
- Anti-tank missile
Q4. The recently released MANI app has been developed by
- Ministry of Social justice and Empowerment
- Ministry of Finance
- National Payments council of India
- Reserve Bank of India
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
- Despite the ‘Make in India’ initiative being a well-intended policy, it suffers from major shortcomings. Comment. Evaluate the effectiveness of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. (15 marks, 250 words)
- In the backdrop of the signing of the quadripartite agreement in New Delhi to solve the Issue of the Brus, discuss both the significance and also the associated concerns with the agreement. (10 marks, 150 words)
January 20th, 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here
Read previous CNA.