Global Counter-Terrorism Approach
Context:The UN Security Council recently conducted a special briefing on the ‘Global Counterterrorism Approach,’ which was convened by India.
- The Indian External Affairs Minister’s list of four obstacles to enhanced counterterrorism cooperation mentioned at the UN Security Council need consideration. According to him, the obstacles are as follows:
- State assistance for terror finance; opaque and agenda-driven multilateral organisations; double standards and politicisation of counter-terrorism based on where terror groups belong; and The “new frontier” (the use of emerging technologies such as drones and virtual currency by terrorists).
Issues leading to terrorism as pointed out by India:
- In their rush to leave Afghanistan in 2021, the UN Security Council’s permanent members, the United States and the United Kingdom, dealt the most severe blow to the sanctions system by conducting discussions with the Taliban.
- It has facilitated their rise to prominence in Kabul while absolving their managers in Pakistan.
- China, a P-5 country, continues to obstruct the designation of Pakistan-based terrorists, including five designated this year by the LeT and the JeM.
- Instead of uniting to support India’s 1996 proposal for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism to establish global counter-terrorism policies, the P-5 nations are irreversibly divided over Russia’s conflict in Ukraine.
- In recent days, the globe has seen a rush of meetings and conferences on the global topic of counter-terrorism.
- Meetings of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, the No Money for Terror Conference, and an Interpol Conference in which terrorism was heavily discussed.
- There is little sign that the discussions recognised that ideology entwined with religious fanaticism had become an even more formidable menace than before.
- Many of the previous issues are still present. However, a decrease in severe terrorist attacks does not imply a decrease in terrorism.
- Incidents like as the Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) and Mangaluru (Karnataka) assaults may look trivial, but they are indicative of escalating radicalism.
- It also suggests that a sizable base is being constructed in the southern area.
- Counter-terrorism professionals must maintain constant and vigilant surveillance to keep track of not just these actions, but also the types of relationships that are being made (under the radar) by global terrorist organisations whose existence is not as well announced as that of al-Qaeda and the IS.
- What international leaders most need is not to label certain terrorists as good and others as terrible depending on national preferences.
- The next stage is to revitalise the dormant proposal for the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) and finalise the list of goods required to combat terrorism internationally.
- This was initially proposed by India in the 1990s.
- Once the CCIT is approved by the UN, the fight on terror will take on new significance.
- There is also a definite need for counter-terrorism authorities throughout the world to work together more closely, exchanging intelligence and techniques.
- World has to take account of the evolving patterns of terror such as ‘aided terrorism’ and ‘remote control terrorism’.
- The hazards of Internet-enabled terrorism are posed by violence devised and steered by controllers hundreds of kilometres distant.
- Counter-terrorism professionals will once again need to broaden their skills to accommodate multi-domain operations and engage in terror ‘gaming,’ both of which have become increasingly important in today’s world.
Source: The Hindu
India, China 17th round of Corps Commander Talks
Context:India and China recently held the 17th round of Corps Commander-level discussions.
- The conversations took place on the Chinese side of the border at the Chushul-Moldo crossing point.
- During the meetings both parties agreed to continue dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and work out a “mutually acceptable settlement of the outstanding issues at the earliest”.
- In a “open and constructive way,” the two parties exchanged perspectives on the settlement of the key problems along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the western sector.
- The negotiations occurred 10 days after soldiers from the two militaries battled in the Yangtse district of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector, resulting in casualties on both sides.
- The two parties have undertaken 16 rounds of negotiations since the deadlock began in May 2020.
- Both sides disengaged from patrols in the Gogra-Hot Springs area from Pangong Tso in February 2021. This is in addition to the withdrawal from Galwan in 2020 following the deadly clashes there.
Areas of dispute between India & China:
- There are flaws in India’s border with China, both to the east and to the west.
- Here, India shares a 2152-kilometer border with China, and there are territorial disputes over the Aksai Chin area of Jammu and Kashmir, with both nations claiming ownership.
- The most recent conflict has centred on the northern bank of Pangong Tso Lake, Demchok, and the Galwan Valley.
- Here, India and China share a 625-kilometer-long border, with a few minor disagreements over Tibet.
- Here, India and China share a 1,140-kilometer-long border known as the McMahon Line.
- The main point of contention here is the Tawang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh, Chumbi Valley (Dokalam Tri-Junction), which India shares with Bhutan.
- China had never recognised the border accords signed by the British in northeastern Kashmir.
- Given the importance of the Xinjiang-Tibet region in China’s internal narrative, China has long been engaged in areas around Ladakh.
- With its eyes set on an ageing Dalai Lama and the problem of his succession, China may wish to focus on Tawang and the rest of Arunachal Pradesh.
- Over 50,000 soldiers and heavy equipment are stationed on both sides near the LAC.
- China has also conducted major infrastructure, habitat, and support structure building in the previous two years to keep its forces close to the LAC, changing the ground situation.
- Roads, helipads, and airfields are being built all the way up to the passes.
Steps taken by India:
- India has been working to improve its border infrastructure.
- The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) completed over 100 border projects, the majority of which were close to the Chinese border.
- India is accelerating development on the Nimu-Padam-Darcha axis, which would allow troops to go to Ladakh from other regions of the nation.
- India is also beefing up monitoring throughout the whole 3488-kilometer border and constructing new airstrips and landing zones.
- By the end of 2020, India had outmanoeuvred China to take the hitherto uninhabited heights of the Kailash Range on the lake’s south side.
- The challenges in Jammu and Kashmir have become trilateral, especially since the India-China stalemate at the Ladakh-Aladakh border in eastern Ladakh.
- As a result, only a trilateral debate can produce answers that are acceptable to all parties involved.
- India has frequently said that the relationship cannot return to normal as long as the stalemate persists, and has regularly asked for the restoration of the status quo and the restoration of the LAC.
Source: The Hindu
One Nation, One Ration Card
Context:Recently, the Union Government declared that the ambitious One Nation-One Ration Card system implemented across the country has provided significant help to the needy.
- The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana was established to: alleviate the sufferings endured by the poor as a result of economic dislocation caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, and to reduce the impact on food security.
- More widespread: The plan has now been implemented in all 36 States/UTs, benefiting around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries, or almost 100 percent of the country’s NFSA population.
- Since the commencement of the ONORC initiative in August 2019, more than 93 crore portability transactions have been logged, with over 177 LMT food grains given.
- During the year 2022, 39 crore portability transactions were completed in 11 months, resulting in the distribution of more than 80 LMT food grains, including NFSA and PMGKAY inter-state and intra-state portability transactions.
- The Central Government has provided free food grains to the poor worth Rs 3.90 lakh crore through the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY). In March 2020, the distribution of additional free-of-cost foodgrains (Rice/Wheat) to about 80 Crore National Food Security Act (NFSA), Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), and Priority Households (PHH) beneficiaries at the scale of 5 Kg per person per month under (PM-GKAY).
- PMGKAY’s 7th Phase (October-December 2022) is now underway throughout the states/UTs.
- Various programmes, including as the One Nation-One Ration Card, fortified rice distribution, targeted public distribution, and other Center plans, are being expanded to all recipients.
- The government began implementing nutrition by giving fortified rice under all government initiatives in order to boost the nutritional content and scope of rice.
- The first phase of ICDS, PM Poshan implementation in the states/UTs began in fiscal year 2021-22. 17.51 lakh metric tonnes of fortified rice have been supplied through ICDS and PM Poshan.
About One Nation One Ration Card:
- Ministry: The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution implemented it in 2019.
- Aim: To provide hassle-free distribution of subsidised food grains to all migratory beneficiaries wherever in the country through National Food Security Act nation-wide mobility (NFSA).
- To enable all National Food Security Act migrant recipients to obtain foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of their choice anywhere in the country by utilising their existing/new ration card with biometric verification.
- BPL card holders in the complainant state will be issued a card with a 10-digit number that will be connected to the AADHAR database.
- Beneficiaries can get their foodgrains from any FPS in the nation that has an electronic point of sale (ePoS).
- Objective: To enable all NFSA beneficiaries to become AtmaNirbhar for their food security wherever in the country by allowing them to effortlessly pickup their entitled subsidised foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop of their choosing using the portability of their current ration cards.
‘MERA RATION’ mobile application:
- Another layer of the ONORC plan is the ‘MERA RATION’ mobile application, which has been put out to maximise the ONORC plan’s benefits.
- The smartphone app, which is accessible in 13 languages, provides a wealth of essential real-time information to recipients.
- The ONORC plan has made a substantial contribution to guaranteeing subsidised food grains to NFSA (National Food Security Act) recipients, particularly migrants.
- According to the 2011 census, 45 crore domestic migrants made up 37% of the population.
- It will aid in the reduction of dual ration card holders.
- It will be consistent with the concept of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.
- The centralised FRP shop data might be utilised to develop intra- and inter-state migration regulations.
- Over 40,000 tonnes of food grains, including wheat and rice, have perished in the previous six years, according to a response to an RTI. Those who have been displaced owing to migration can take use of ONORC.
- Various news stories have revealed widespread corruption and exploitation of migrants seeking BPL cards in various states. It will decrease.
- ONORC would provide underprivileged individuals with the option of choosing between corrupt and well-functioning FRP stores.
- It will diminish the influence of social identities like as caste, class, and gender, as well as power dynamics, in women and other disadvantaged groups accessing the PDS.
- India ranks 94th out of 107 nations in the 2020 Global Hunger Index.
- With inexpensive food grain accessible to migrants, there is a likelihood that they may spend more money on fruits and vegetables.
- Because the ONORC is tied to AADHAR, those living in distant locations, particularly scheduled tribes, may be excluded.
- According to the ‘2019 state of AADHAR study,’ 95% of people in the nation have AADHAR.
- Because AADHAR is not available, the remaining 5% may go hungry.
- For the proper operation of ONORC, internet penetration in India remains low.
- Fingerprint changes have also been recorded, both due to heredity and to regular wear and tear, particularly in the case of labourers.
- Each state is allotted a quota for purchasing food grains from FCI.
- Constant movement has the potential to disrupt that buying trend.
- Food grain may be wasted in emigration areas.
- While areas where immigration is prevalent may confront a PDS food shortage.
- Families Separated: Many migrants leave their husbands and parents behind. As a result, it will be necessary to issue cards in sections.
- There is also a scarcity of thorough data on migrants and their families.
- There may be difficulties about competition for state-run social sector initiatives as a result of the Common Ration Card, which is now used to access such programmes.
- Development of an ONORC-specific e-platform based on artificial intelligence: It might be used to forecast and give cards to migrants.
- Data on railways: As stated in the Economic Survey, preliminary statistics on migration may be obtained from the IRCTC.
- The Unorganized Sector Social Security Act of 2008 states: It includes measures for unorganised informal sector employees to be documented at welfare boards.
- BharatNet gets a boost.
- Greater Internet penetration should be encouraged.
- Continuous monitoring and empowering of Village Panchayats, at least in the beginning.
- By proposing names, social auditing can assist to eliminate inclusion errors and reduce exclusion errors.
Source: Indian Express
Hurdles in Judicial Infrastructure Upgrade
Context:With each new Chief Justice, India’s judicial infrastructure comes back into focus. Justice S.H. Kapadia was the first to propose a methodical strategy in 2010 to analyse the state of current facilities and identify district judiciary’s future needs.
Judiciary’s attempt to enhance judicial infrastructure:
- Justice T.S. Thakur has openly lamented the bad working conditions of magistrates.
- Then, Justice Ranjan Gogoi effectively expedited the appointment of district judiciary vacancies.
- The development of a national judicial infrastructure authority was proposed by Justice N.V. Ramana, but it was rejected.
- And now we have Justice D.Y. Chandrachud addressing the topic of district judiciary strengthening.
Attempt of Government of India in upgrading Judicial infrastructure:
- By providing monies, the Centre has attempted to build infrastructure at the district level in a systematic manner.
- Since 1993-94, the Union government has attempted to address the issue of improving judicial infrastructure through a centrally sponsored scheme (CSS).
- The Centre has been earmarking cash with contributions from different state governments in the ratio of 60:40 (90:10 for North-eastern states and union territories) through the plan, as well as monitoring the progress of begun projects.
- Despite the Ministry of Law and Justice’s initiative, there has been little change in the physical condition of our district courts, causing successive Chief Justices to bemoan the situation.
Reasons for non-progress in judicial Infrastructure:
- The majority of the money given under the system go unused since states do not contribute their fair part, resulting in a gap in yearly financial allocation. Consider this: a total of Rs 981.98 crore has been sanctioned for 2019-20. In the end, just Rs 84.9 crore was spent, leaving 91.36% of the cash unutilized. In 2020-21, Rajasthan came out on top by utilising Rs 41.28 crore of the sanctioned Rs 594.36 crore, while significant funding expired owing to non-utilisation.
- The plan is not owned by a single person. The lack of a single coordinating agency limits its successful implementation. In its current form, the CSS envisions distinct state- and central-level monitoring bodies.
- The judiciary as an institution is not represented in the central committee. As a result, the ultimate beneficiary of the plan is excluded from the entire process.
- There are also consequences for failing to plan for the future. At the moment, the central system has no plans to meet future demands. As a result, there is little debate on the projected burden of district courts in the next 10-20 years.
- The lack of a single agency makes it impossible to achieve both short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals, such as building courtrooms for existing judicial strength rather than sanctioned strength, record rooms, computer service rooms, and so on, suffer in the lack of a central body that can track progress on planned initiatives and drive parties into action.
- A unified permanent entity, as recommended by Justice Ramana, would ensure that when states submit action plans for upgrading/establishing judicial infrastructure, they also deposit their portion of funding with the authority.
- While the actual work will be done in collaboration with the states, it will ensure that one agency is in charge of setting goals and fulfilling them.
- Justice is the foundation of a healthy society and a just nation. India cannot progress to economic development until its judiciary is improved. Upgrading judicial infrastructure should be a top priority for both the judiciary and the government.
Source: Indian Express
CLIMATE CHANGE NEGOTIATIONS
Context:To reduce the potential of “greenwashing,” the Reserve Bank’s Deputy Governor has asked for a taxonomy on green financing.
What is Greenwashing?
- Greenwashing is the practise of fooling the general public into believing that businesses, governments, or municipal officials are doing more for the environment than they actually are.
- This may entail making a product or policy appear more environmentally friendly or less harmful than it is.
- Jay Westerveld, an environmentalist, created the word in 1986.
- The phenomena emerged when customers and authorities searched for more environmentally friendly, recyclable, and long-lasting ‘green’ items.
- By 2015, 66% of buyers were prepared to pay more for an ecologically sustainable product.
How is it done?
- The phrases ‘net-zero,’ ‘net-zero aligned,’ ‘eco-friendly,’ ‘green,’ and ‘ecological’ are used interchangeably.
- Such abuses are common since there is no enforcement mechanism.
Why does greenwashing occur?
- Greenwashing is done largely for a firm to market itself as a ‘environmentally friendly’ organisation or to maximise profits.
- It is accomplished by offering a product that addresses the underlying desire for environmentally friendly items.
- In other cases, it is done with the bigger notion as a foundation to reduce some operational logistics and provide consumer requirements.
What does it have to do with the financial sector?
- Millennials and impact investors concerned with ‘ethical investing’ are increasingly interested in sustainable investing.
- Regulators, shareholders, consumers, and other stakeholders are expected to scrutinise a company’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) credentials more closely.
- Financial institutions are expected to support the transition to renewable energy while discouraging investments in traditional energy sources such as coal, oil, and gas.
Policy moves in India:
- If the financial industry is to effectively respond to the need for goods that aim to bring about beneficial improvements in the economy, ‘greenwashing’ must be avoided.
- The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) established an advisory group in May of this year to investigate all ESG-related issues.
- The expert group advises that financial institutions cease all lending, underwriting, and investments in enterprises seeking to enhance or grow their coal-related infrastructure immediately.
- In the case of oil and gas, it proposes that all investments involving the development of new oil and gas fields, the expansion of current reserves, and future production be halted.
- Companies should instead encourage more investment in renewable energy and institutions that are committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
- Companies must aim to reduce emissions across their whole value chain rather than focusing on just one portion of the chain.
- They must not, under any circumstances, invest in the extraction of fossil fuels or engage in deforestation or other ecologically damaging activities.
- In addition to this, enterprises cannot compensate for this expenditure by means of inexpensive financing, that “frequently lack integrity”.
- Furthermore, both state and non-state actors must ensure a “fair transition” that does not jeopardise livelihoods.
- The group also suggests a shift from voluntary reporting (of net emissions) to regulated standards.
Source: Indian Express
Facts For Prelims
The Sahitya Akademy’s Executive Board, led by President Chandrashekhar Kambar, authorised the prizes, which were proposed by prominent jury members.
- There were seven poetry prizes, six novel awards, two short story awards, three theatre awards, two literary criticism awards, and one each for autobiographical essays, collection of articles, and literary history.
- Among those chosen were Tamil novelist Rajendran, Telugu writer Madhuranthakam Narendra, and Sanskrit poet Janardan Prasad Pandey ‘Mani’.
- Udaya Nath Jha received the Bhasha Samman for his significant contribution to the field of classical and mediaeval literature in the eastern region.
- Manoj Kumar Goswami received the prize in Assamese for his collection of short tales Bhool Satya; Anuradha Roy received the award in English for her novel All the Lives we Never Lived; and Gulam Mohammad Shaikh received the award in Gujarati for Gher Jatan, a collection of autobiographical essays.
- The Sahitya Akademi Award is a literary honour in India bestowed annually by the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters, on the authors of the most outstanding books of literary merit published in any of the 22 languages listed in the Indian constitution’s 8th Schedule, as well as English and Rajasthani.
UNSC resolution 2593
India joins other countries in condemning the Taliban’s prohibition on women attending colleges.
What exactly is Resolution 2593?
- Following the fall of Kabul and the subsequent Taliban control of Afghanistan, the United Nations Security Council issued Resolution 2593 on August 30, 2021.
- The Security Council urges that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack other countries, or to house and train terrorists.
- Vagir is the fifth Scorpene class submarine built in-house (under Project-75 by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. with assistance from France) and has since been handed to the navy.
- Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj, Vela, and Vagsheer are the other five submarines (under construction)
- It was designed to perform a variety of duties like as anti-surface, anti-submarine, intelligence gathering, mine-laying, and so on.