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DAILY HINDU CURRENT AFFAIRS 30TH DECEMBER 2019

Q.1 Tripuri session of the Congress was headed by

  1. Subhash Chandra Bose
  2. Rajendra Prasad
  3. Pattabhi Sitaramiyaah
  4. Jawahar Lal Nehru

 

Q.2 Consider the following statements about Indian Factory Act 1891

  1. Factory act of 1891 raised the minimum age for children to work in a factory to 14 years.
  2. Factory Act of 1891 provided for weekly holiday for all the workers

Which of the above statement is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the Above

Q.3 Who among the following was known as the Liberator of the Indian Press?

  1. John Adams
  2. Lord Rippon
  3. Lord Metcalfe
  4. Lord Irwin

 

NATIONAL REGISTER OF CITIZENS

NEWS: Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has clarified that while there is a “possibility” that the National Register for Citizens (NRC) “may take place”, it will only be through a due legal process, with rules for it being defined “through adequate consultation”.

Referring to the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, especially in Uttar Pradesh where 19 people have died so far, Mr. Prasad said, “Hidden elements have joined hands to escalate the violence around the protests. In Uttar Pradesh, that is what happened, and the Internet had to be shut down for that reason.”

The Minister said that the CAA was perfectly legal and constitutional, and berated the Congress for not repealing the 2003-04 amendment to the Citizenship Act, which enjoins the government to prepare an NRC.

What is National Register of Citizens (NRC)?

  • National Register of Citizens, 1951 is a register prepared after the conduct of the Census of 1951 in respect of each village, showing the houses or holdings in a serial order and indicating against each house or holding the number and names of persons staying therein.
  • The NRC was published only once in 1951.

 

DADA SAHEB PHALKE AWARD

NEWS: For 2019 Dada Saheb Phalke Award has been given to Amitabh Bachan.

  • It is the country’s highest film honour conferred for “Outstanding contribution for the growth and development of Indian cinema”.
  • Dadasaheb Phalke Award was introduced by the government in 1969 and it was awarded for the first time to Devika Rani, “the first lady of Indian cinema”.

Dadasaheb Phalke

  • Dadasaheb Phalke directed India’s first feature film Raja Harischandra (1913).
  • He was an Indian producer, director, and screenwriter.
  • He is known as “Father of Indian Cinema”.
  • The government of India instituted Dadasaheb Phalke Award in his honour for a lifetime contribution to Indian cinema.

 

FIRST ELEPHANT COLONY OF MADHYA PRADESH

Last November, elephants in herds, 38 of them, wandered into the forests of Bandhavgarh looking for food and water, like each year. A year on, they have stayed back in Madhya Pradesh for the first time over seasons and even bred two new calves, choosing not to return to the withering forests of north Chhattisgarh.

The herd has found plenty of space, food and water within the core area of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, and that’s why it may have stayed back, believes Reserve Deputy Director Sidharth Gupta.

The ‘Tiger State’ of Madhya Pradesh, which in the 2019 census recorded the most number of estimated tigers at 526, thus securing the title, presently has no know-how of dealing with elephants.

Besides Bandhavgarh, two male elephants have strayed their way from Odisha into the forests of Narsingpur.

 

RED SAND BOA

NEWS: A red sand boa snake, worth around ₹1.25 crore, was rescued from five persons, who were trying to sell it in Narsinghgarh town in district of Madhya Pradesh on Sunday, an official said.

According to police, the rare non-poisonous snakes are used for making certain medicines, cosmetics and in black magic, and are in huge demand in the international market.

They are also believed to bring good luck and wealth.

CONSERVATION STATUS OF RED SAND BOA

IUCN: Near Threatened

Red Sand Boa is a protected species under Schedule II of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, of India

 

POSHAN ABHIYAAN

NEWS: The State governments and the Union Territories utilised a mere 30% of the funds released under the Poshan Abhiyaan, or the National Nutrition Mission, since it was launched in 2017.

Barring Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar, none of the governments used even half of the sum granted in the past three years, according to an analysis of the data shared in Parliament.

The five best performers were Mizoram (65.12%), Lakshadweep (61.08%), Bihar (55.17%), Himachal Pradesh (53.29%) and Meghalaya (48.37%). The worst five performers were Punjab (0.45%), Karnataka (0.74%), Kerala (8.75%), Jharkhand (13.94%) and Assam (23.01%).

The CNNS, released by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in October, showed that 35% of children under the age of 5 are stunted and in this age group, 17% are wasted (low weight for height) and 33% underweight (low weight for age).

ABOUT POSHAN ABHIYAAN

The Poshan Abhiyaan, the Centre’s flagship programme, is aimed at improving nutritional outcomes among pregnant women, lactating mothers and children by reducing the level of stunting, underweight, anaemia and low birth weight by 2022.

It is meant to benefit more than 10 crore people and was launched after a Cabinet decision on December 1, 2017, with a total budget of ₹9,046.17 crore for three years, 50% of which is through budgetary support, which is further divided into 60:40 between the Centre and the States, 90:10 for the north-eastern region and the Himalayan States and 100% for the Union Territories without legislature.

The remaining 50% is from the World Bank or other multilateral development banks. As a result, the Centre’s total share will be ₹2,849.54 crore.

 

CENTRAL RESERVE POLICE FORCE

NEWS:

Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said the government would take care of the families of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel while they take care of the borders, adding that electronic health cards for their kin and at least 100 days off a year for the forces would be implemented by August-September 2020.

Speaking at the foundation laying ceremony of the CRPF’s new headquarters in Delhi, Mr. Shah said the force had played a vital role in rooting out terrorism from Punjab and Tripura and in restoring peace in the States.

The Narendra Modi government has also decided to enhance housing satisfaction for jawans and officials of the central armed police forces, and steps will be taken in the upcoming Budget to allocate funds for this subject, said Mr. Shah.

The new headquarters of the force would be built at a cost of ₹280 crore by the Central Public Works Department.

The building will have a control and command system with modern training modules for the 3.5 lakh-strong CRPF force.

ABOUT CRPF

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the largest of India’s Central Armed Police Forces.

It functions under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) of the Government of India.

The CRPF’s primary role lies in assisting the State/Union Territories in police operations to maintain law and order and counter insurgency.

It came into existence as the Crown Representative’s Police on 27 July 1939.

After Indian Independence, it became the Central Reserve Police Force on enactment of the CRPF Act on 28 December 1949.

 

FIRST EDITORIAL: GENERAL CROSSING THE LINE

If a diplomat should think twice before saying nothing, an army general should not think of saying anything at all.

The Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, should have known better than to offer his views on political controversies and agitations of the day.

If the task of a leader is to lead by example, and in the ‘right direction’, as he himself put it, then Gen. Rawat, who heads nearly fifteen lakh men in uniform, sent out all the wrong signals.

Editorial highlights that this cannot be considered as slip of tongue as it has occurred many times in the recent past.

Last year, Gen. Rawat felt compelled to point out, at yet another seminar, that the All India United Democratic Front (AIDUF) — led by Badrudin Ajmal — had grown much faster than the BJP in Assam.

On matters such as education in Kashmir too, the General’s unsolicited views have stirred controversies.

These statements by the General reflects the failure of the political class to keep the Army confined to duties that they are meant to carry out.

If what Gen. Rawat said was deplorable, what V.K. Singh, the Minister of State for Road Transport, spoke in his support was most unfortunate. Especially since he himself was the Army Chief not so long ago. It is likely to encourage soldiers in the making and those in uniform to move in wrong directions.

CONCLUSION

Allowing chiefs of the three services to make political statements undermines the civil leadership in the long run. It is to be hoped the government makes the lines clear to them so that such incidents do not recur.

 

SECOND EDITORIAL: GOOD GOVERNANCE INDEX

Good Governance Index (GGI), is a welcome exercise to incentivise States to competitively deliver on public services to the citizens.

The findings of the GGI’s inaugural edition are significant in many respects. Although Tamil Nadu has always had the reputation of being a better-run State, it is only now that it is ranked first in any study of this kind.

What is more significant about the GGI is that the dubiously-labelled “BIMARU” States are seeking to catch up with others in development.

Of the nine sectors, Rajasthan, a “BIMARU” State, has finished within the top 10 in five sectors, Madhya Pradesh in four and Uttar Pradesh in three.

In agriculture and allied sectors, almost all the “BIMARU” States are within the top 10 category and in human resources development, U.P. and Bihar figure. In the composite ranking, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are ranked fourth and ninth, respectively.

The key message is that these northern States can catch up with others in due course of time, if the political leadership shows the will to overcome historical obstacles and stays focused on development.

PROBLEMS

Some indicators — farmers’ income, prevalence of micro irrigation or water conservation systems and inflow of industrial investment — have been left out.

The indicator, “ease of doing business”, has been given disproportionate weight in the sector of commerce and industries, to the virtual exclusion of growth rate of major and micro, small and medium enterprises.

CONCLUSION

Notwithstanding these shortcomings, what is noteworthy is that the Centre has made an attempt to address the problem of the absence of a credible and uniform index for an objective evaluation of the States and Union Territories.

 

ISSUE: STATE SPONSORED HATE IN UTTAR PRADESH

Author highlights that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has declared war on the minority communities of his State, inciting and encouraging his police forces to unleash upon them an unlawful and brutal reign of terror.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s Uttar Pradesh is the police force itself becoming the riotous lynch mob.

The accounts of the families were chillingly similar. Homes of relatively wealthy families were typically selected for the police carnage; probably led there by police informers. Hordes of policepersons would descend on the house, sometimes 40 or even 60 in number. Some included civilians, others did not. They banged and broke down doors. They beat with their batons old people, women, even children, if they tried to block their way, pleading for mercy. They shouted the most vulgar slurs. A frequent taunt was: Here, take the Azadi you ask for.

A senior police official in Meerut is caught on camera asking Muslims to go to Pakistan, and questioning their loyalty to India.

The violence by the police against the rioters is entirely disproportionate, without following the prescribed protocol of warning, and gradual escalation of violence. Instead, videos show police shooting above the waist, often in hot pursuit through narrow lanes where there are no protests or crowds.

Most of those who bear the brunt of the attacks are very poor working-class men, whose families insist had nothing to do even with peaceful protests.

Through all of this, there is call for revenge, from the highest political levels, followed by even more brutal police raids and assaults. Muslim people have received notices to pay high damages for alleged destruction of public property (which includes even police batons broken while beating people) — without any judicial finding, as required by law, to prove their responsibility for destroying the properties.

What U.P. is witnessing is the utter debasement of high public office. Senior civil servants, of the police and magistracy, have most shamefully abdicated their constitutional duties in service to a war of hate launched by the Chief Minister.

As the rest of the country is heady with protests against laws and policies which divide people based on their religious identity, the Muslim people of Uttar Pradesh are today wounded — this time almost beyond healing.

 

ISSUE: HUMANE AND AUTONOMOUS POLICE

WHY IN NEWS?

These are tumultuous times for the Indian police, especially the Delhi police, in their bid to maintain law and order.

After losing the debate inside Parliament, certain elements have regrettably chosen to take some contentious issues out to the streets.

MODERN POLICE HAS TO RESPOND QUICKLY

Gone are the days when life was more orderly and civilised, and the police just received orders from above to be executed as faithfully as they could/can and not necessarily at the speed of lightning. The vicissitudes of politics over the decades have deprived the guardians of law the luxury of resting on the statute book and responding to a developing situation.

They will now have to be proactive and react — and react within split seconds to an incendiary situation arising from contentious political situations. While doing so they are bound to overstep the contours of law.

UNIVERSITIES CANNOT BE SAFEHOUSE FOR RIOTERS

It is fallacy to argue that the police cannot enter campuses unless they are invited to do so by heads of institutions. Nothing can be a greater incentive to violence. I am happy that the Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University has been honest enough to admit that he permitted the police to enter his campus to prevent an already ugly situation from becoming worse.

There is no law that prohibits such police entry on their own, and any attempt to frame such a law will be preposterous to the core. The police are obligated under law to intervene wherever and whenever they apprehend danger to lives.

HOW MUCH FORCE POLICE CAN USE?

The amount of force used in rioting situations can vary significantly, and will be related mainly to the strength of the mob, its composition, its mood and the kind of weapons it has at its command. Use of stones has become the most favourite, because of ease of availability and potency. To say that the police or any security agency should not overreact to this kind of barbarity is grossly unfair. Ultimately, it is the decision of the police commander in the field.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO IMPROVE POLICING IN INDIA?

In the wake of violence across the country, the police leadership would do well to concentrate MOB CONTROL aspect of policing, even if it means according a lower priority to other areas of routine.

In a democracy such as ours we certainly need a civilised and humane police. This should not, however, dilute the need to have a potent force that will not hesitate to use the resources at its command in order to re-emphasise the dictum that democracy can flourish only when violence is checked and not allowed to hold sway.

There is a crucial need for senior police officers to devote time to improving the quality of policing in the field, instead of frittering away their energies in concentrating on “politician management”.

 

OP-ED PAGE

ISSUE: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO IMPROVE INDIA’S GROWTH?

China and India, the two most populous countries in the world, both embarked on new journeys around the same time. More than 70 years later, China has progressed much faster. India, other the other hand, is yet to reach the development indicators that China attained back in the early 1990s.

CURRENT SITUATION OF INDIA

India ranks very low in international comparisons of human development (education and health), even below its poorer subcontinental neighbours.

It is the most water-stressed large economy in the world; its cities are the most polluted.

India’s economic growth is not generating enough jobs for its burgeoning population of youth: the employment elasticity of India’s growth (numbers of jobs created with growth) is amongst the worst in the world.

Bold actions without an understanding of the whole system can cause great harm. The bold move to demonetise the currency notes in 2016 was an egregious example.

Unemployment of persons with vocational education has gone up between 2011-12 and 2017-18, from 18.5% to 33%. India now has a larger number of frustrated youth.

WHAT INDIA CAN DO?

First, they need to make their policies people-centric rather than growth-centric.

The Communist Party of China demands that local officials address the needs of citizens’ effectively, as does Singapore’s government. The Chinese government derives its legitimacy from citizens’ satisfaction with their well-being, not from a vote in an election, Singapore Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam once said.

In the case of India, its constitutional structure enables its States to adopt different models of development. Thus, there is a ‘Kerala model’, a ‘Gujarat model’, and now a ‘common man’s model’ implemented by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi.

India needs to go for bottom-up approach for equitable and sustainable growth .

Government should be focused on citizens’ well-being, rather than focusing on making it easy for global capital to do business in their countries.

India’s industrial and entrepreneurial ecosystem’s growth must be accompanied by an improvement in environment. Policies must be managed with a whole systems view. While ‘Ease of doing Business’ gauges health from a business perspective, ‘ease of living’ should become the measure of the health of the whole system.

 

ORGANIZTION OF ISLAMIC COOPERATION

NEWS:

Pakistan will hold a ministerial meeting of the 57-member Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Jammu and Kashmir in April 2020, said official media in Islamabad. The development, according to diplomats, is linked to a broader Saudi-Pakistan deal.

The announcement came days after recently-appointed Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud visited Islamabad and met with the Pakistani leadership, including Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on December 26.

On Dec 19, Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammad had convened the “Kuala Lumpur” summit, with the leaders of Turkey, Iran and Qatar, calling for reforms in the Muslim world.

Pakistan PM Imran Khan, who had agreed to attend the summit, pulled out at the last minute, after the Saudi Crown Prince reportedly advised him to.

ABOUT ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC COOPERATION

OIC is an international organisation founded in 1969 consisting of 57 member states.

World’s second-largest intergovernmental organisation after the UN and is committed to protecting the interests of the Muslim world

Organisation states that it is the collective voice of the Muslims world and works to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony.

HQ: Jeddah Saudi Arabia.

India is not member of OIC.

India became the ‘Guest of Honour’ at the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Abu Dhabi in March.

 

CHIEF OF THE DEFENSE STAFF

NEWS: The government has issued a gazette modifying the Service Rules of the Army, Navy and Air Force to enable the appointment of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) and fixing the upper age limit at 65.

The Centre amended the Army Rules 1954, Naval (Discipline and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations, 1965, Naval Ceremonial, Conditions of Service and Miscellaneous Regulations, 1963 and Air Force Regulations, 1964.

The service chiefs have a tenure of three years or 62 years of age whichever is earlier and it remains unchanged.

Last week, in anticipation of the announcement of the CDS, the Defence Ministry cancelled the handing over ceremony of the Baton of the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), to this week.

The Union Cabinet had last week approved the creation of the post who will be a four-star General and will function as the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister and also as the Permanent Chairman of the COSC.

ABOUT CDS
CDS will be the single-point military adviser to the government as suggested by the Kargil Review Committee in 1999.

CDS will head the department of military affairs with salary equivalent to Service Chiefs.

The broad mandate of theCDS includes bringing about jointness in “operations, logistics, transport, training,support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three Services,within three years of the first CDS assuming office.”

“He will act as the Principal Military Adviser to Defence Minister on all triServices matters. However, the three Chiefs will continue to advise the Minister on matters exclusively concerning their respective Services.

Interestingly, the sources said the CDS would also evaluate plans “for ‘Out ofArea Contingencies’, as well other contingencies such as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).”

The government also recently informed Parliament that the CDS would come in the ambit of ‘Right to Information Act’, in accordance with the provisions of theRTI Act, 2005.

 

CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT

NEWS:

The CAA is perfectly legal and Constitutional.

Under Article 246 of the Constitution, Parliament has got the exclusive power to make laws with respect to any matters listed in the list one in the Seventh Schedule, in that, item 17 is to do with citizenship and naturalisation of aliens. Therefore, only Parliament has got sovereign powers to legislate on citizenship.

Article 14, says equality before law and equal protection before law, but the Supreme Court has got more than 20 judgments where they say that if there is a reasonable classification of groups who form a class by themselves then that legislation will be valid. Here a persecuted, victimised group based on faith of six communities from the three countries Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, which are declared Islamic countries, form that reasonable classification.

Therefore, this CAA does not relate to any Indian, even Muslims. Neither does it create any citizenship to them nor takes it away.

WHAT DOES THE ACT CONTAINS?

The ACT seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 by seeking to grant citizenship to undocumented non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India on or before December 31, 2014.

The ACT says the six non-Muslim communities “shall not be treated as illegal migrant” for violating provisions under Passport Act, 1920 or the Foreigners Act, 1946 that pertains to foreigners entering and staying in India illegally.

The ACT shall not apply to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as included in the sixth schedule of the Constitution and States of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland protected by the Inner Line Permit (ILP).

ACT has reduce the time period required for naturalization from 11 years to 5 years for members of these communities.

CYCLONE SARAI

NEWS: Tropical Cyclone Sarai was moving slowly away from Fiji on Sunday, leaving two people dead and more than 2,500 needing emergency shelter.

ABOUT TROPICAL CYCLONES

Tropical Cyclones are violent storms that originate over the oceans and move over to coastal areas bringing about large scale destruction caused by violent winds, very heavy rainfall and storm surges.

Tropical Cyclones are also defined as INTENSE LOW PRESSURE AREAS confined to area low lying between 30 degree North and 30 degree South latitude in the atmosphere around which high velocity winds blow.

Conditions favourable for tropical cyclone are:

  1. Large sea surface with temperature higher than 27 degree Celsius.
  2. Presence of Coriolis force.
  3. Small variations in vertical wind speed
  4. A pre existing low pressure area or low level cyclonic circulation.
  5. Upper divergence above the sea level system.

Tropical Cyclones are known by different names. They are known by different names:

  1. Cyclones in Indian Ocean
  2. Hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean
  3. Typhoons in the Western Pacific and South China Sea
  4. Willy Willies in Western Australia

SOMALIA

NEWS:A Turkish military plane on Sunday evacuated 16 gravely wounded victims of a devastating bombing that killed 79 people and overwhelmed local health services, in the latest attack on a city dogged by insecurity.

ABOUT SOMALIA

Somalia is a sovereign country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Guardafui Channel and Somali Sea to the east, and Kenya to the southwest.

The country claims a border with Djibouti through the disputed territory of Somaliland.

Somalia has the longest coastline on Africa‘s mainland, and its terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains and highlands.

CAPITAL: MOGADISHU

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