GS Paper II
Context: The most recent incidence of IPS officer being subjected to human rights violations in Ambasamudram emphasises the necessity for compassionate policing in India. The history of police violence across the world, especially in the US, shows that the policing system has to be changed. Police excesses need to be reined in because of the pressure to provide results, corruption, and a lack of ethical training.
History of Policing Excesses:
- Police Excesses in the U.S.: Several nations’ histories of law enforcement are marred by instances of excessive force, and the U.S. is one of these nations that has seen far too many cases of police abuse.
- Examples of police violence include the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020 and the Rodney King incident in Los Angeles in 1991.
Factors Contributing to Police Excesses in India:
- Public employee corruption: Corruption is rife in India and is a significant contributor to police abuses. Criminals may easily evade the law thanks to bribery and corruption, while police personnel can use force and pressure to extort money and other rewards.
- Police personnel frequently face intense pressure to deliver results and demonstrate that they are making progress in solving crimes. Due to this strain, police personnel may become overly aggressive in their pursuit of criminal activity and use unlawful means, such as torture, to get information and swiftly resolve cases.
- Insufficient training on ethics and human rights is provided to police officers in India. Due to their lack of training, cops are more likely to use violence and misuse their authority since they are not aware of the repercussions of their choices.
- Political interference: Politicians and other influential figures may sway police investigations or use their position to shield criminals. Police personnel may find it more challenging to carry out their duties properly and impartially as a result of this interference, which has the potential to undermine the rule of law.
- Bad working conditions: In India, police personnel are put in lengthy shifts in hazardous situations. This may result in tension and exhaustion, which may increase the likelihood of police excesses.
- Lack of accountability: Police personnel who engage in misconduct frequently face no repercussions. Officers who are found guilty of violating human rights are frequently moved to another area rather than disciplined or fired from the police. Other officers are given the impression that they may get away with using violence and abusing their authority due to this lack of accountability.
Role of Technology and Ethics in Policing:
- To effectively police an area, both technology and ethics are required: While technology can speed up the investigation of crimes and increase police effectiveness, it takes ethics and a dedication to human rights to guarantee that police personnel uphold the law and all people’ rights.
- Technology by itself is insufficient: The use of contemporary instruments and methods to solve crimes has been taught to many policemen in India, which has seen a substantial improvement in policing as a result of technology. But, relying just on technology is insufficient; policing must also give ethics first priority.
- At all ranks of the police force, ethical training needs to be given top priority: It is simpler for many police officers in India to use violence and misuse their authority because they have not received adequate training in ethics and human rights. All ranks of the police force, from the top officers to those on the front lines, must place a strong priority on ethical training.
- Police chiefs are important figures: Young recruits must be taught the importance of abiding by the law and acting in a civilised manner by police officials like DGPs and IGPs.
What is mean by humane policing?
- A form of law enforcement known as “humane policing” is one that prioritises protecting people’s human rights and dignity.
- Police officers are given a lot of power and authority, and humane policing acknowledges that they have a responsibility to use that power responsibly.
- It places a high priority on developing relationships of trust and good will between law enforcement organisations and the communities they serve.
- Humane police work It aims to prevent the overuse of force, pointless aggressiveness, or intimidation in policing operations.
- It acknowledges the significance of openness and accountability in law enforcement.
- It also acknowledges the significance of providing police personnel with training and instruction in areas like cultural sensitivity, mental health awareness, and conflict resolution.
It is regrettable but also true that a large portion of the political establishment holds the belief that peace and order cannot be upheld without using physical action against lawbreakers. It’s necessary to alter this view. India need human police force. Also, the authorities must move quickly to punish the guilty parties in order to make it clear that unlawful physical abuse of criminal suspects will not be condoned.
Source: The Hindu
Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023
GS Paper III
Context: The Lok Sabha was presented with the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill 2023.
What is Aquaculture?
- The practise of growing, producing, and harvesting fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants is known as aquaculture.
- It is essentially farming in water.
- It has been discovered that the salty water near the shore is suited for aquaculture, which mostly produces prawns.
- This land will remain idle and uncultivated if aquaculture is not practised on it since it is not ideal for agricultural production.
- Over 12 lakh hectares of the nation’s coastline are suitable for aquaculture, but only 14% have been used thus far.
Key highlights of the amendment:
- Decriminalization of some offences: The Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act’s offences are intended to be decriminalised under the bill.
- Adjusting operational processes: It aims to facilitate commercial transactions and improve the authority’s operational processes.
- The Bill also aspires to encourage more modern methods of environment-friendly coastal aquaculture, including cage culture, seaweed culture, marine ornamental fish culture, and pearl oyster culture.
- Opportunities for work: These more recent techniques for coastal aquaculture might lead to more job options.
- Antibiotics and pharmaceutically active compounds that are dangerous to human health should not be used in coastal aquaculture, according to a clause in the bill that also addresses this issue.
About the Coastal Aquaculture Act:
- In order to establish a body to control operations in this sector, this Act was passed in 2005.
- The Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA) is set up by a legislative act for the purpose of regulating and registering coastal aquaculture operations in India.
- According to the CAA Act of 2005, the Central Government must take action to control coastal aquaculture and make sure it doesn’t impair the coastal environment.
- The government’s regulations are designed to encourage appropriate coastal aquaculture activities that safeguard the way of life for diverse coastal populations.
- The Coastal Aquaculture Authority will be established in accordance with the CAA Act of 2005 to control activities associated with coastal aquaculture.
- Guidelines must be established by the central government in order to control coastal aquaculture operations and ensure ethical behaviour.
- The rules are designed to safeguard coastal communities’ way of life and stop any damage from occurring to the environment.
- To guarantee that coastal aquaculture farms follow the rules, the Act also requires their registration.
- The CAA is a powerful force in India when it comes to enforcing laws and registering coastal aquaculture enterprises.
- The Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, passed in 2005, has a substantial impact on encouraging ethical coastal aquaculture operations and safeguarding coastal people’ way of life.
- The legislation makes sure that coastal aquaculture operations are governed and registered, which helps protect the ecosystem along the shore.
Source: The Hindu
Open-Source Seeds Movement
GS Paper III
Context: The idea of open-source software is discussed, along with how it compares to open-source seeds.
To safeguard users’ rights and stop code theft, Richard Stallman founded the General Public License (GPL) and led the Free Software Movement.
For generations, farmers have innovated and shared seeds without being subject to intellectual property rights (IPR) claims.
Plant Breeders’ Rights:
- Plant breeders’ rights (PBR) gives breeders and creators of new varieties exclusive rights.
- The rights of farmers were restricted under this system.
- With relation to plant types, the TRIPS agreement established a global IPR framework.
- Concerns about the ability to innovate were raised by the concentration of the seed industry.
Forms of IPR Protection in Agriculture:
- PBR and patents are currently the two types of IPR protection available in agriculture.
- Combined, they limit the ability to create new types and the rights of farmers.
- Many issues were brought forward by the usage of genetically modified seeds and IP claims, including State interference with Bt cotton seeds in India.
- There is a greater demand for alternatives as a result of the decrease of public sector breeding and the dominance of the private sector in the seed industry.
What are Open Source Seeds?
- A solution for seeds was motivated by the success of open-source software.
- A Canadian plant breeder by the name of T.E. Michaels proposed a strategy for seeds in 1999 that was based on the ideas of open-source software.
- Jack Kloppenburg established Wisconsin’s Open Source Seeds Initiative (OSSI) in 2012.
- In Europe, Agrecol started a new project, and similar initiatives have since spread to other parts of the world.
Open Source Seeds Initiatives in India:
- The Apna Beej Network’s Hyderabad-based Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA), which established the idea, created an agreement with the person receiving the seed or genetic material in India.
- Similar to Agrecol, the CSA’s Open Source Seeds Program also relies on contracts.
- Open-source models are used by a small but rising number of seed companies, and the crop types and seeds made accessible under them.
- India has yet to try it out and broadly accept it.
Potential Applications of Open-Source Seeds:
- Farmers leading participatory plant breeding projects can benefit from the use of open-source ideas.
- Open-source principles can help with testing, improvisation, and acceptance. Conventional variants sometimes lack uniformity and aren’t of high quality.
- Farmer-led systems for seed distribution and conservation can incorporate open-source principles.
- The government and other interested parties may think about using this strategy to promote traditional types more broadly.
Source: Indian Express
International Water Action Conference
GS Paper II
Context: Several nations, multilateral organisations, industries, and non-governmental organisations made over 670 pledges to address water security challenges during the World Water Action Conference sponsored by the UN in March 2023. The obstacles involved in providing universal, safe, cheap, and equitable access to water in accordance with SDG 6 have ramifications that need to be considered.
The Water Action Conference and its objective:
- The Water Action Conference, which took place in March 2023, was the first UN meeting on freshwater in over 50 years.
- Goal 6 is to advance the water agenda. Reviewing the Water Action Decade 2018–2028, which aims to advance the water agenda and realise SDG 6—sustainable management of water and sanitation for all—was the goal of the meeting.
Themes of the conference:
- The SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework is supported by five conference themes:
- Access to “WASH” (World Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene), including the Human Rights to Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation, is essential for good health.
- Water for Sustainable Development: Appreciating water, the connection between water, energy, and food, and sustainable urban and economic growth.
- Source to sea, biodiversity, climate, resilience, and catastrophe risk reduction all benefit from water for the environment, climate, and resilience.
- Water for Cooperation: Water throughout the 2030 Agenda, cross-sectoral collaboration, and transboundary and international water cooperation.
- Increasing the execution of the Decade for Action’s goals, particularly through the UN Secretary-Action General’s Plan, is the goal of the Water Action Decade.
What is Water Action Decade (2018–2028)?
- In order to assist concentrate more attention on water over the next ten years, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the resolution International Decade (2018-2028) for Action Water for Sustainable Development in December 2016.
- In order to accomplish the 2030 Agenda, in particular Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), which envisions the sustainable management of water and sanitation for everyone, it seeks to promote the water agenda by energising current programmes and initiatives and motivating water action.
- The effort is focused on encouraging collaborations that are action-oriented to enhance water resource management, water usage efficiency, and access to clean drinking water and sanitary services. The Decade intends to establish a forum for exchanging information and expertise, encouraging innovation, and increasing capacity for long-term water management.
The International Water Action Agenda and commitments made:
- International Water Action Agenda: The meeting led to the creation of the worldwide Water Action Agenda, to which over 670 promises to address concerns of water security were made by governments, multilateral organisations, companies, and non-governmental organisations.
- Approximately 164 states and 75 multilateral organisations signed pledges, although they are voluntarily undertaken and have no legal effect.
Implications of commitments made:
- Examining the Water Action Agenda’s pledges is necessary to see if they will result in SDG 6’s goal of universal, safe, affordable, and equitable access to water.
- It will need $114 billion annually in capital to reach this goal by 2030.
- By 2030, it is anticipated that the annual operating and maintenance expenditures for basic water and sanitation services (WASH) would increase from around $4 billion to more than $30 billion.
Challenges associated with achieving SDG 6:
- Funding: New water infrastructure is prioritised over water maintenance services due to funding from regional, national, and international sources, which affects water users’ access to services.
- Investment: To make the necessary investment, it is necessary to value water, which calls for reliable water measurement and accounting.
- There are significant gaps in our understanding of the quantity, flow, and quality of water in lakes, rivers, soils, and aquifers. The data on water use is quite incomplete.
India’s commitments and challenges:
- India made two significant commitments at the conference:
- An investment of $240 billion in the water sector and
- Efforts to restore groundwater levels.
- Yet, climate change-related intermittent rainfall in India boosted groundwater extraction from 58% to 63% between 2004 and 2017, significantly undermining the capacity for recharging.
- State groundwater boards are given authority under the updated Groundwater Law 2017 to make legislation, manage water allocation, and handle other pertinent matters.
- The State boards lack knowledge, are underfunded, and are unable to give sociopolitical conflicts over groundwater resources top priority.
Around 670 promises to solve water security challenges were made as a consequence of the international Water Action Conference. Although these agreements are voluntarily made and not legally enforceable, they are intended to spur widespread political will to solve the numerous water-related issues.
Source: Indian Express
Finland Joining NATO
GS Paper II
Context: Finland’s admission to NATO is a major defeat for Russia and President Vladimir Putin because Helsinki has long remained neutral in Moscow’s battle with the West. The change has ramifications for the international administration of the Arctic area and has quadrupled Finland’s border with Russia.
Induction of Finland into NATO:
- A important event with geopolitical ramifications for Russia and the Arctic area is Finland’s recent admission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
- In the protracted battle between Russia and the West, Finland has always maintained its neutrality.
- Its accession to NATO is considered as a big setback for Russia and President Vladimir Putin, who has justified aggression against Ukraine by pointing to NATO’s growth closer to Russia’s frontiers.
What is the North Atlantic Treaty?
- The North Atlantic Treaty, often known as the Washington Treaty, says that the parties to the pact work to advance peace and prosperity in the region of the North Atlantic.
- According to the treaty, the signatories proclaim their belief in the goals and tenets of the UN Charter as well as their wish to coexist in peace with all people and countries.
- Finlandization, which describes a small country’s political deference to its larger neighbour, first entered the international diplomatic language as a result of Finland’s Cold War neutrality.
- Russia’s regional policy: For the past ten years, several of Finland’s minor European neighbours have suffered as a result of Russia’s aggressive regional policies.
- Invasion of Ukraine: Because the invasion of Ukraine has proven their darkest suspicions, they are asking the US and NATO for protection.
- Russia has unsurprisingly promised to take actions in response to Finland joining NATO.
- The addition of Finland in NATO is an infringement on our security and on Russia’s national interests, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.
- Moscow will keep an eye out for any NATO military presence in Finland.
Why does Russia fume over NATO?
- Russia considers NATO’s enlargement into Eastern Europe to be a danger to its security and regional sway. Moscow views the alliance’s decision to include former Soviet countries and Warsaw Pact participants as members as a direct threat to its geopolitical objectives.
- Russia has also voiced worry over NATO military drills in the area, which it views as provocative and a display of might. Moscow has also attacked NATO’s choice to post personnel and equipment in Eastern Europe.
- NATO’s missile defence system has drawn special criticism from Russia, which views it as a danger to its own nuclear deterrence capabilities. Russia claims that the system threatens to destabilise global strategic stability and is intended to eliminate its strategic weapons.
- Moscow has charged NATO with meddling in the internal affairs of Georgia and Ukraine, two former Soviet countries vying for stronger relations with the West. NATO’s backing for these nations is seen by Russia as an effort to surround and confine it.
Implications for India and the Arctic region:
- Real punch to the Western alliance in the Nordic region: Finland has maintained a modest but effective military that is resilient and well-trained, and its membership in NATO gives the Western alliance in the Nordic area genuine punch.
- The high north has gained commercial appeal and is a hotly disputed geopolitical region as the Arctic ice cap melts as a result of global warming.
- India is a member of the Arctic Council as an observer, which works to encourage broad collaboration in the arctic north.
- China growing its profile in the Arctic: As Finland and Sweden transition from being neutral friends to Western allies and China grows its profile in the Arctic in collaboration with Russia, the militarization of the high north seems inevitable.
- Global governance: This might make managing the Arctic region globally more difficult.
A key event in the ongoing war between Russia and the West is Finland’s admission to NATO. The action has consequences for the Arctic, which is receiving attention from all around the world as a result of the melting of the Arctic ice cap. India must constantly follow developments in the area as a stakeholder and get ready for potential geopolitical repercussions.
Source: Indian Express
Facts for Prelims
- A sub-tribe of the broader Mishmi group, the Idu Mishmi population is predominantly based in Arunachal Pradesh’s Mishmi Hills, which border Tibet.
- The tribe has close links to the local flora and animals, especially tigers, which in their mythology are referred to as their “older brothers.”
- Although using traditional hunting techniques, the tribe has a belief system based on myths and taboos that forbids them from killing many animals, including tigers.
- Anthropologists and scholars claim that as a result of this belief system, a distinctive model of animal conservation has been developed.
Dhawan II Engine:
- For use as the top stage of their upgraded Vikram II rocket, Skyroot Aerospace developed the Dhawan II engine, a cryogenic engine.
- The engine just underwent a 200-second test fire and produced remarkable performance results.
- Very cold liquid propellants are used in cryogenic engines to provide more thrust and increase a rocket’s ability to carry more cargo.
- Green propellants and cutting-edge technology like 3D printing were used in the engine’s development.
- In their quest to become the first private launcher from South Asia, Skyroot Aerospace may consider its successful testing to be a major victory.
- The upgraded version of Vikram-2 will employ the Dhawan II engine as the upper stage.
- The payload carrying capability of a rocket is increased when a cryogenic upper stage is used in place of a solid fuel stage.
- By the end of the year, the upgraded Vikram II rocket should be ready for takeoff, making Skyroot the region’s first private launcher.