TABLE OF CONTENTS
A.GS1 Related B.GS2 Related POLITY AND GOVERNANCE 1. Two panels set up to revamp ‘British-era’ IPC INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 1. India, Maldives to take defence ties forward 2. Rohingya agree to move to Bay of Bengal island C.GS3 Related ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY 1. NTCA red flags M.P. government move 2. Anthrax scare at Assam’s Pobitora sanctuary after death of 2 buffaloes SECURITY 1. 3 PoK terror camps destroyed: Army chief D.GS4 Related E. Editorials INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 1. After Mamallapuram, the reality of asymmetry 2. A time-tested way to trade away conflict 3. It’s a deal POLITY AND GOVERNANCE 1. A case for abjuring custodial interrogation F. Tidbits 1. Cyber police stations in T.N. soon 2. Liver transplant registry off to a good start G. Prelims Fact H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
A. GS1 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
B. GS2 Related
Two committees comprising legal luminaries have been constituted by the Home Ministry to amend various sections of the IPC.
What is the Indian Penal Code?
- The Indian Penal Code(IPC) is the official criminal code of India.
- It is a comprehensive code intended to cover all substantive aspects of criminal law.
- The code was drafted in 1860 on the recommendations of the first law commission of India established in 1834 under the Charter Act of 1833 under the Chairmanship of Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay.
- It came into force in British India during the early British Raj period in 1862. However, it did not apply automatically in the Princely states, which had their own courts and legal systems until the 1940s.
- The Code has since been amended several times and is now supplemented by other criminal provisions.
- After the partition of the British Indian Empire, the Indian Penal Code was inherited by its successor states, the Dominion of India.
What is the need for amendment?
- It is believed that rebooting the code introduced by the British in 1860 is necessary as it is primarily based on the spirit of “master and servant”.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay, in the five years he had on the Governor General’s Council, changed the face of India forever. He gave the IPC (Indian Penal Code).
- The Independence movement knew the IPC well. The nationalist leaders suffered day in and day out from it. It was repressive. But when they came to power, they did nothing to remove the IPC or even amend its worst features.
- The British have reformed their laws and their penal system. But India continues to follow this rusty 19th-century law.
- The Criminal justice system based on century-old outdated laws has led to harassment of people by the government agencies and also put pressure on the judiciary.
- There is uneven punishment for crimes of grievous nature. In some cases, the punishment is not commensurate with the gravity of the crime.
- The Penal legal system that was established by the British Rule in India has still not undergone any substantial changes even after 70 years of independence while the entire Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.) was amended in 1973. The biggest example could be Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that defines sedition and provides for its punishment.
Also Read: Malimath Committee Recommendations
Diplomatic sources have said that, with the recent improvement in relations, India and Maldives will take forward several pending measures to promote defence cooperation.
- India had gifted the Maldives two ALHs in 2013 and each was operated by the Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy. However, a controversy broke out in 2018 after the previous Maldives government refused to extend the visas of Indian military personnel and asked India to take back the helicopters.
- Maldives is currently looking to transform its military in a big way, and the cooperation would be beneficial to the island nation.
- Measures to promote defence cooperation include:
- The lease of a Dornier aircraft is being finalised.
- Bringing the Maldives under India’s coastal radar chain network: Two of the stations are already functional and the third is in an advanced stage. Mauritius, Seychelles and Sri Lanka have already been part of the network.
- A broad-based humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) exercise.
- Terrorism is a major threat to the Maldives, and maritime security is the top-most concern. At the Goa Maritime Conclave, hosted recently by the Navy for Indian Ocean littoral states, the major focus was on information-sharing. India offered to share real-time movement of maritime traffic.
Why is Maldives important to India?
- Maldives is strategically located in the Indian Ocean, the archipelago comprises of 1,200 coral islands.
- It lies next to key shipping lanes that ensure uninterrupted energy supplies to countries like China, Japan and India.
- Since China started to send naval ships to the Indian Ocean roughly 10 years ago — and right up to the Gulf of Aden in the name of antipiracy operations — Maldives’ significance has steadily grown and now it’s at the heart of international geopolitics.
- As the pre-eminent South Asian power and a ‘net security provider’ in the Indian Ocean region, India needs to cooperate with the Maldives in security and defence sectors.
- India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links. India was among the first to recognise Maldives after its independence in 1965 and later established its mission at Malé in 1972.
Despite the fears that it is prone to flooding, it is said that thousands of Rohingya living in Bangladesh refugee camps have agreed to move to Bhashan Char island in the Bay of Bengal.
- Some 7,40,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar in August 2017 in the face of a military crackdown, joining 2,00,000 refugees already in makeshift tent settlements at Cox’s Bazar, a town on the southeast coast of Bangladesh.
- Dhaka has long wanted to move 1,00,000 refugees to the muddy silt islet, saying it would take pressure off the overcrowded border camps where almost a million Rohingya live.
- Bangladesh has been planning since last year to relocate Rohingya to the desolate flood-prone site, which is an hour by boat from the mainland.
- Rights groups have warned the island, which emerged from the sea only about two decades ago, might not be able to withstand violent storms during the annual monsoon season.
- Bangladesh’s Refugee Commissioner, Mahbub Alam said that safety facilities have been built on the island, including a nine-feet high embankment along its perimeter to keep out tidal surges during cyclones, and a warehouse to store months-worth of rations
- In the past half a century, powerful cyclones have killed hundreds of thousands of people in the Meghna river estuary where the island is located.
Who are Rohingyas?
- The Rohingya are an ethnic group, largely comprising Muslims, who predominantly live in the Western Myanmar province of Rakhine.
- They speak a dialect of Bengali, as opposed to the commonly spoken Burmese language.
- Myanmar state, which was ruled by the military junta until 2011, has been accused of ethnic cleansing in Rakhine by the United Nations.
- It deported thousands of Rohingya to Bangladesh in the seventies.
- There were an estimated 1 million Rohingya living in Myanmar before the 2016–17 crisis. By December 2017, an estimated 625,000 refugees from Rakhine, Myanmar, had crossed the border into Bangladesh since August 2017
- According to the United Nations, over 7,45,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state into Bangladesh following serious human rights abuses.
C. GS3 Related
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has red-flagged the Madhya Pradesh government’s move to increase tourism activities inside the State’s tiger reserves in violation of the existing guidelines and asked it to take corrective steps.
- Large scale irregularities have been found in carrying out tourism activities inside the tiger reserves in the state.
- The state government has increased the tourism carrying capacity of the reserves by allowing in more numbers of vehicles carrying visitors.
- It is believed that it was being done without making necessary changes in tiger conservation and eco-tourism plans.
- According to a latest report by the Environment Ministry, India has 2,967 tigers.
- Of them, 526 are in Madhya Pradesh alone – the highest in the country.
- There are six tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh — Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Panna, Satpura, Sanjay-Dubri and Pench.
National Tiger Conservation Authority:
- A programme for protection called, Project Tiger was started in 1973, by the Government of India in co-operation with the World Wide Fund for Nature.
- The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) was established in December 2005 following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force, constituted by the Prime Minister of India for reorganised management of Project Tiger and the many Tiger Reserves in India.
Veterinarians have confirmed anthrax as the cause of death of two Asiatic water buffaloes in central Assam’s Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary.
Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary:
- Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Assam.
- It is located about 30 km east of Guwahati.
- Pobitora was declared a reserved forest in 1971 and a wildlife sanctuary in 1987.
- The Sanctuary is mainly famous for its great Indian one-horned rhinoceros. Besides rhinoceros, the other animals are leopard, wild boar, Barking deer, wild buffalo.
- Anthrax is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis.
- It an infectious disease that primarily afflicts herbivores particularly cattle, sheep and horses. It can be transferred from animals to humans.
- Anthrax spores can persist in soil for many years.
- Anthrax is characterised by blisters around swellings on the skin, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.
- The Assam forest department has initiated urgent measures to check the outbreak of anthrax. It is suspected that the floods may have brought the infection to the sanctuary.
- Among the vulnerable animals are the rhinos, whose population in the sanctuary in 2018 was estimated to be 102.
- IUCN Red List classifies Indian One-horned Rhino as Vulnerable.
Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat has announced that the Army has taken retaliatory action against four terror camps along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir. It has destroyed at least three of those terror camps.
India shares 3323 km long and complicated boundary with Pakistan. The boundaries are categorised as: International Border (IB), which stretches for approximately 2,400 km from Gujarat to the north banks of Chenab in Akhnoor in Jammu, Line of Control (LoC) and actual ground position line (AGPL) in in the North (Siachin Glacier).
- Concerns had been raised with respect to repeated inputs about infiltration by terrorists from across the border ever since the abrogation of special provisions (for Jammu and Kashmir).
- The Army said Pakistan had resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation, targeting civilians, in which two soldiers and a civilian had been killed.
- Rawat said there had been a series of infiltration attempts from the Gurez, Tangdhar, Uri, and Macchil sectors and in areas south of Pir Panjal recently.
- Defence sources said that four launch pads had been targeted by the Army. And that it was a direct assault at the same time using heavy artillery.
- Pakistan has accused India of unprovoked ceasefire violation targeting civilians.
After the current action by the Indian Army, Pakistan could try and avenge it. Pakistan must pay heed to the advice of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and not provide any support to terrorists or cause disruption and violence across the LoC. It is in the best interest of both the neighbours to resolve all the issues amicably.
D. GS4 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
Mamallapuram hosted the second informal summit between India and China. The informal summits are gaining increasing importance in India-China bilateral relations, marking a “new era” in bilateral relations. However, the informal summits are more of a holding operation aimed at keeping the bilateral relations intact in the face of serious differences between the two neighbours. It was the Doklam stand-off which was defused by Wuhan summit (2018); at Mamallapuram, “differences” over Jammu and Kashmir and over Indian military exercises in Arunachal Pradesh were prevented from becoming “disputes”. There is a marked difference between India and China’s bargaining power at the high tables of diplomacy and India needs to address this to be able to emerge a truly global power in a possible China dominated global order.
Attempts prior to informal summits:
- The Vajpayee-Hu Jintao summit in 2003: The Special Representative mechanism was set up to seek a political settlement to the boundary issue. China acknowledged Sikkim as part of the Indian Union.
- The Manmohan Singh-Wen Jiabao summit in 2005: India and China were able to conclude the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the India-China Boundary Question. This summit had significant outcomes with both sides accommodative of each other’s aspirations.
There was a positive push to the bilateral relations given China’s acceptance of Sikkim being a part of India and also accommodative of India’s bid to UNSC.
There has been a considerable change in the global order since the early 2000s and this has had a profound impact on India- China relations.
- Around the early 2000’s it was anticipated that India would continue to narrow the gap in GDP terms with China given its faster rate of growth. India was projected to be the next global power and China recognised India’s convening power and leadership role among developing countries, whether on global trade, public health or climate change. Growing Indo-US relations and the Indo-Us nuclear deal was not in the interest of China and China itself wanted to have a good relationship in the neighbourhood to avoid providing America a role in its immediate neighbourhood.
- In the present times, India’s $3-trillion economy looks modest against China’s $14-trillion. India’s economy has been slowing and is now barely keeping up with China’s 6% growth rate. China already has considerable access to India’s market and more so in important sectors like mobile and smartphone market and digital space. India’s trade deficit with China which stands at $53 Billion is a matter of concern.
- China’s strategy towards India may be characterised as “neutralisation”; that is to inhibit India from pursuing policies inimical to Chinese interests even while accepting no constraint on its own policies which undermine India’s interests or are insensitive to India’s security concerns as is evident in Chinas engagement with Pakistan and its statements on Kashmir while it conveniently opposes India’s association with USA or Japan as being ill-intended to limit China’s growth. The power asymmetry between India and China has been a contributing factor to this attitude.
Way Forward for India:
- Focus on sustained and accelerated economic growth to generate enough resources to shrink the power gap with China in order to enjoy credibility as a countervailing power.
- Seeking Closer partnerships with other major powers that share India’s concerns to balance the growing Chinese global influence. Initiatives like Quad and JAI should be given more focus and energy. Expanding ‘Malabar’ exercise to include Australia would help balance China in the Indian Ocean region which is vital to India’s interest. India must try to retain its current edge in the Indian Ocean. However, India needs to engage in careful and nuanced balancing keeping her own interests paramount.
- Safeguarding India’s immediate neighbourhood must be India’s primary foreign policy focus. There is a need for higher political and economic engagement to ensure a friendly neighbourhood. India cannot emerge a global power without first emerging as a south Asian power and good relations with the immediate neighbourhood is a necessary condition for this to avoid China a footing.
- Leverage India’s market size to bargain with China for trade concessions.
The Informal summits were not expected to address or resolve any of the outstanding issues. But they conveyed the message that the leaders were keen to maintain high level and cordial engagement and dialogue, and project to the world that they are mature enough to manage differences. The practice of informal summits may be continued since they signify a positive development but India needs to take those extra measures to truly stand equal in a possibly China dominated global order in the foreseeable future.
Refer the below links:
In the backdrop of tense Indo-Pak relations and the attempts for revival of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir post the abrogation of Article 370, there is a need for cordial relationship between the two neighbours. Cross border trade and more so the cross LOC trade does appear to be a viable remedy to this.
- Post the Shimla agreement of 1972 and subsequent recognition of the LoC there had been gradual easing of restrictions for movement across the LoC starting with the first cross-LoC bus in 2005 between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad.
- In 2008, the two governments decided to further exploit the potential of existing transport routes by establishing cross LoC trade. Two routes were selected to begin with, Uri-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot, for a list of 21 mutually agreed tradeable items. This marked the beginning of cross-LoC trade.
Importance of Trade relations:
- Cross LoC trade though accounted for a minuscule amount of India’s total trade it was substantial for the region’s battered economy hounded by years of extremism. It did generate local employment and revenue.
- More Importantly cross LoC trade aimed at converting social interconnectedness based on emotional interconnectedness of the people living on either side into commercial interdependence of the two hoping for the virtuous cycle between trade, trust and people-to-people connect.
- Cross-LoC trade did manage to connect the two divided sides of Jammu and Kashmir, thereby creating a constituency of peace in an otherwise tense region. It opened a new chapter of building bridges between the two neighbours. It helped as a confidence-building measure (CBM).
- It came as a humanitarian reform reuniting divided families and friends.
- Till April 2019, when cross-LoC trade was suspended by India, both bus links and trade had survived for more than a decade despite intermittent suspensions and ceasefire violations.
- India suspended the trade across the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan after probe agencies found the route was being “misused” by elements from the neighbouring country to smuggle illegal weapons, drugs and fake currency.
- A stricter regulatory and enforcement mechanism to be worked out to ensure that cross LoC trade is not used for anti-India activities. National Security and sovereignty should be of paramount importance. Once it is taken care of the issue of reopening the trade routes should be looked into. There is a need to revive this trade in a stronger and more organised manner.
- Digitization of systems and procedures at the trade facilitation centres at Uri and Poonch is another important step to help take LoC trade to the next level as digitization of procedures and lower human intervention have become the two major pillars that drive trade across borders.
- Need for a strengthened and more transparent cross-LoC trade mechanism to be ensured as a part of the economic package between the two countries.
Cross-LoC trade in its new avatar could continue to prove the value of a peace-through-trade policy, and one that has stood the test of time globally. Trade must be seen as a ray of hope to establishing peace.
3. It’s a deal
The issues regarding Brexit have been covered in the following articles.
In the recent P. Chidambaram v. Directorate of Enforcement (2019), the Supreme Court declined granting anticipatory bail during the investigation stage reasoning that such a move would hamper the investigative agency’s ability to gather evidence and ensure effective investigation and hence sent the accused to judicial custody for interrogation. With similar instance being observed in other high profile cases as well there have been questions raised on whether custodial interrogation violates the right against self-incrimination and the right to silence granted under article 20(3) of the Indian constitution.
Constitutional provisions and laws:
- Article 20(3) of the Indian Constitution declares that no person accused of an offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
- Section 161(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code implements the constitutional right against self-incrimination. It states that a “person shall be bound to answer truly all questions relating to such case put to him by such officer, other than questions the answers to which would have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or to a penalty or forfeiture.” Our right to silence thus flows from the right against self-incrimination. It is the basis for the ‘rule against involuntary confessions’ in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
- Nandini Satpathy v. P.L. Dani judgment (1978), the Judges held that Article 20(3) acts as a guarantee of dignity and integrity of the person. The Court observed the need to guard against converting an adversary system into an inquisitorial scheme. It upheld the right of the accused to one’s right of silence. The court was of the view that custodial interrogations are inherently coercive and hence the need to safeguard against coerced crimination.
- Selvi v. Karnataka (2010) case, the then Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan in his judgement spoke about the need for the right against self-incrimination. It was stated that it served two objectives — firstly, that of ensuring reliability of the statements made by an accused, and secondly, ensuring that such statements are made voluntarily. It spoke about the possibility of coerced testifications from accused which might impede the integrity of the trial and the subsequent verdict. It recognized the importance of personal autonomy in aspects such as the choice between remaining silent and speaking especially in circumstances where the person faces exposure to criminal charges or penalties.
- There have been global judicial precedents too. The 1966 U.S. Supreme Court judgment in Miranda v. Arizona case is a locus classicus on the right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which is identical in form and substance to India’s Article 20(3). The Miranda case lays down strong safeguards for the right against self-incrimination including the now world-famous “Miranda warning”. In the United States, the Miranda warning is a type of notification customarily given by police to criminal suspects in police custody (or in a custodial interrogation) advising them of their right to silence; that is, their right to refuse to answer questions or provide information to law enforcement or other officials. The purpose of such notification is to preserve the admissibility of their statements made during custodial interrogation in later criminal proceedings.
- Keeping in view the Supreme Court’s observation Nandini Satpathy v. P.L. Dani (1978) case that custodial testifications are inherently coercive in nature and as coercion and voluntariness cannot coexist, it follows that custodial interrogation in Indian prisons necessarily violates the right against self-incrimination and is therefore unconstitutional and illegal.
- There is a need to abjure custodial interrogation. It will encourage the police to reject self-incrimination as a tool of investigation and improve their ability to find evidence through modern, scientific and humane means. Above all, it will reduce the scope for arbitrary power and strengthen liberty.
- Tamil Nadu will have 40 cyber crime police stations and six cyber labs to tackle the increasing number of cybercrimes.
- The dedicated cyber stations and labs will be equipped with tools to retrieve data, including deleted ones, from mobile phones, SIM cards, laptops and hard disks, software for hacking and surveillance of computer systems.
- Apart from handling cyber-crime cases, the new cyber-infrastructure will aid the police to collect digital evidence necessary for regular crime cases as well.
What is the issue?
- According to a report by Chennai-based K7 Computing, Indian netizens face regular cyber-attacks with almost one in three users in the country encountering them in the first quarter of the current fiscal 2019–20.
- The study also detected that the South Indian metros, including Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, have witnessed more cyber-attacks than Tier 1 cities in other parts of the country.
- According to the report, amongst Tier 1 cities, Chennai recorded the highest percentile of cyber attacks with 48% in the first quarter.
- India’s first voluntary liver transplant registry was started on August 15, 2019.
- Initiated by the Liver Transplantation Society of India, in a span of a little over two months, it has received data of 74 transplants carried out by 11 hospitals across six States.
- Hospitals from Delhi NCR, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have voluntarily reported their transplants to the registry.
- The registry aims to collate national data of the procedures and their outcomes.
What are the issues?
- In the U.S. and the U.K., it is mandatory to report all transplants and the outcomes. But that’s not happening here which is why there is a lack of Indian data.
- Nearly 2,000 liver transplants are carried out in India annually, highest in the world, yet there is no India-specific data.
- This leaves doctors to take help from the evolved U.S. and the U.K. registries.
G. Prelims Facts
Nothing here for today!!!
H. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
Q1. Consider the following statements with respect appointment of Chief Justice of India:
- The procedure for appointment of the CJI is laid out in Article 124 of the Constitution of India.
- The recommendations for the appointment of CJI, made to the government by the incumbent CJI or the collegium can be sent back for reconsideration.
Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Q2. Consider the following statements:
- United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world.
- UNHRC was founded as a substitute to UN Commission on Human Rights.
- The members of UNHRC are selected by the UN General Assembly on a staggered basis, each year for a five-year term.
Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?
a. 1 only
b. 1 and 2 only
c. 1 and 3 only
d. 1, 2 and 3
Q3. Consider the following statements with respect to Imaging Infrared Spectrometer (IIRS):
- It measures light from the lunar surface in narrow spectral channels (bands).
- One of its objectives is also to carry out a detailed study of the lunar exosphere.
Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. 1 and 2 only
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Q4. Consider the following statements:
- First generation biofuels are produced from non-food crops.
- Second generation biofuels are produced from sugar, starch, vegetable oil.
- Third generation biofuels are produced from micro-organisms like algae.
Which of the given statement/s is/are incorrect?
a. 1 and 2 only
b. 1 and 3 only
c. 2 and 3 only
d. 3 only
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
- In order to challenge the hegemony of China, safeguarding its immediate neighbourhood must be India’s primary foreign policy focus. Discuss. (15 Marks, 250 Words)
- What are the issues with the present Indian Penal Code(IPC)? Is there a need to reboot the code? Critically comment. (15 Marks, 250 Words)
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