National-Database-of-Arms-Licenses-system2
Current Affair Analysis

17th July 2018 Current Affairs Analysis -IASToppers

National Database of Arms Licenses system; Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA); Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention); Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015; What is petcoke? Why should the furnace oil and pet coke be banned? Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration; Location of Peru; Location of Colombia; BrahMos Missile; Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP) microscope; 'Paudhagiri' Campaign; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
July 18, 2018

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • Ministry of WCD directs state govts to ensure registration of child care institutions
  • India to have national database for gun holders

Government Schemes & Policies

  • President approves Bill against witch hunting in Assam

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • Petroleum Ministry favours ban on petcoke import

Bilateral & International Relations

  • U.N. agrees first-ever global compact for migration
  • Peru declares 60-day state of emergency on its border with Colombia

Defence & Security Issues

  • India’s supersonic cruise missile BrahMos test fired

Science & Technology

  • IIT-Madras unveils word’s first remotely operable LEAP microscope

Key Facts for Prelims

  • ‘Paudhagiri’ Campaign

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Polity & Governance

Ministry of WCD directs state govts to ensure registration of child care institutions

Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has directed state governments to ensure that all the child care institutions should be registered and linked to Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) within the next one month.

illegal adoptions registration of child care institutions

Background:

  • Instructions were issued by taking cognizance of the recent cases of illegal adoptions carried out by Missionaries of Charity in Jharkhand.
  • The mandatory registration of CCIs and linking to Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has been provided in Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 which came into force more than two years ago but some orphanages had challenged the validity of this clause.
  • Now, WCD has instructed the states to get child care homes run by Missionaries of Charity all over the country inspected immediately.

About Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA):

CARA is statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development established under Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.

iastoppers Central Adoption Resource Authority

  • It is a nodal body for adoption of Indian children.
  • It is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.
  • CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies.
  • It deals with inter-country adoptions according to Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993 ratified by India in 2003.
  • CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003.

What is the Hague Convention?

The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) is an international agreement to safeguard intercountry adoptions.

  • It protects children and their families against the risks of illegal, irregular, premature or ill-prepared adoptions abroad.
  • To do this, the Hague Convention puts (a) safeguards in place to make sure that all intercountry adoptions are in the best interests of the child and respects their human rights, (b) a system in place of cooperation among countries to guarantee that these safeguards are respected, and to prevent the abduction of, sale of, or traffic in children.
  • For Hague adoptions, the authorities in both countries must agree to go ahead with the adoption. For non-Hague adoptions, requirements may vary from one country to another.
  • The Hague Convention does not allow private adoptions in the child’s home country.
  • Adoption is a handled by the provinces and territories, and they all have and follow laws implementing the Hague Convention.
[Ref: PIB, The Hindu]

 

India to have national database for gun holders

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is planning to create National Database of Arms Licenses system from April 2019.

National-Database-of-Arms-Licenses-system

  • The decision was taken by exercising powers under Section 44 of Arms Act, 1959 (54 of 1959) by amending the Arms Rules, 2016. These rules will be called the Arms (Second Amendment) Rules, 2018.

Objectives behind setting up of this system:

  • The move is aimed at keeping tab on authorised private gun holders, many of whom are often found involved in crimes and celebratory firing leading to loss of lives.
  • It will also eliminate possibilities of issuing arms licence to persons whose antecedents are not bona.

National-Database-of-Arms-Licenses-system-info

About the National Database of Arms Licenses system:

  • It will include names of all arms licence holders, new or old and they will be issued a unique identification number (UIN).
  • Under the new rules, every licensing and renewing authority will enter data in National Database of Arms Licences system from April 1, 2019, which will generate UIN.
  • Any arms licence without UIN will be considered invalid. Besides, any existing licensee holding multiple licences will make application for grant of single licence in respect of all firearms held by him under his UIN to the concerned licensing authority.
  • In case of licence for restricted category of arms or ammunition, licensing authority concerned will issue new licence under the existing UIN of the licencee.
  • Separate licence books will be generated in case of each licence, separately for restricted and permissible categories of arms and ammunition with an overall ceiling of three firearms under single UIN.

Background:

  • Under Section 3 of Arms Act, it is essential to obtain arms possession licence issued by competent licensing authority, by any person for acquisition, possession or carrying any firearms or ammunition.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Government Schemes & Policies

President approves Bill against witch hunting in Assam

President Ram Nath Kovind has Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015 passed by State Assembly in August 2015.

witch-hunting-assam

  • The law aims to reign in rising incidents of witch hunting cases across the state.
  • It was prepared in lines with spirit of universal declaration of human rights, crimes in witch hunting cases cause gross violation of basic human rights.

Highlights of the Bill:

  • The law aims to eliminate superstition from society by making such offences under it as non-bailable, non-compoundable and cognizable.
  • It prohibits any person from calling, identifying or defaming any other person as witch by words, signs, conducts or indications. State Government has already notified the Act.
  • The Bill also contains provisions about various measures that the administration and police need to initiate along with NGOs and civil society to educate people about witch hunting.

Punishment:

  • It prescribes stringent punishment, if anybody found guilty. It imposes up to 7 years of jail and fine up to 5 lakh rupees. This provision will come as per Section 302 (punishment for murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) if someone is killed after being branded a witch.
  • It also proposes sentence of 3 years imprisonment if anybody blames a person for natural disasters in a particular locality such as floods, droughts, illness or any death.
  • According to the bill, the fine realised as punishment for an offence shall be paid to the victim or his/her next of kin as compensation by following the procedures.

Special courts:

  • Cases and offences registered under this law will undergo trail in Special courts which will be set up in consultation with the high court.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

Petroleum Ministry favours ban on petcoke import

The Petroleum Ministry told the Supreme Court that it is in favour of a ban on the import of petroleum coke, a solid non-volatile carbon residue left after the distillation and cracking of petroleum.

pet-coke-and-furnace-oil-iastoppers

  • However, the environment ministry is yet to take the final call and will consult with all stakeholders before arriving upon a decision.

What’s the issue?

  • In December 2017, the apex Court had refused to lift the ban on the use of pet coke and furnace oil in many industrial units in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana keeping in view the increasing level of pollution.
  • It had also refused to give any relief to industrial units like the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) and Hindalco.

What is petcoke?

Petroleum coke is the bottom-of-the-barrel leftover from refining Canadian tar sands crude and other heavy oils.

  • It is cheaper and burns hotter than coal.
  • But it also contains more planet-warming carbon and far more heart- and lung-damaging sulphur.

Environmental concerns:

  • The petcoke burned in factories and plants is contributing to dangerously filthy air in India, which already has many of the world’s most polluted cities.
  • It contains 17 times more sulfur than the limit set for coal, and a staggering 1,380 times more than for diesel.

Why should the furnace oil and pet coke be banned?

  • Automobile fuel — petrol and diesel — has 50 parts per million (PPM) of the highly dangerous sulphur. Comparatively, furnace oil has 15,000- 23,000 ppm sulphur and petcoke 69,000-74,000 ppm sulphur.
  • They emit sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide, which form particulate matter, tiny particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs.
  • Although the DPCC had declared them as “unacceptable fuel” way back in 1996, but they are not banned outside Delhi borders and are being increasingly used by industries in the NCR, aggravating the pollution problem.
  • Furnace oil being the last grade produced by refineries is extremely polluting and pet coke is even more polluting.

Key facts:

  • Pet coke and furnace oil has been already banned in Delhi since 1996 as they have been blamed for releasing deadly sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NO) fumes into air and polluting air.
[Ref: The Hindu, Economic Times]

 

Bilateral & International Relations

U.N. agrees first-ever global compact for migration

United Nations for first time has finalized Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration to better manage international migration, address its challenges, strengthen migrant rights and contribute to sustainable development.

global-compact-for-migration-ias-2018

  • The agreement will be formally adopted by world leaders in Morocco in December 2018.

Key facts:

US-pulls-out-of-UN's-Global-Compact-on-Migration-iastoppers2

  • The compact is the first intergovernmental agreement to cover wide-ranging dimensions of international migration in holistic and comprehensive manner, agreed upon by all the UN member states minus the United States.
  • It is not legally binding.
  • It sets out 23 objectives to deal issues ranging from factors that compel people to move, legal channels for migration, combating trafficking and smuggling, harnessing the economic benefits of migration and return of the migrants.
  • The GCM is meant to be consistent with Target 10.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – in which Member States committed to cooperate internationally to facilitate orderly, safe and responsible migration.

Background:

  • Currently, over 250 million migrants worldwide account for 3% of the world’s entire population, but contribute 10% of the global gross domestic production (GDP). Migrants remittance is huge contributor to their home countries’ development.

Evolution of Global Compact for Migration:

Global-Compact-for-Migration-iastoppers

  • In adopting the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, the 193 UN Member States recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation at the global level.
  • Annex II of the New York Declaration set in motion a process of intergovernmental consultations and negotiations culminating in the planned adoption of the global compact for migration at an intergovernmental conference on international migration in 2018.
  • The process to develop this global compact for migration was started in April 2017. It was to reach international consensus at the UN in 2018.
[Ref: The Hindu, Times of India, IOM]

 

Peru declares 60-day state of emergency on its border with Colombia

Peru has declared a 60-day state of emergency on its border with Colombia in order to guarantee security in a region rife with drug trafficking.

Peru-declares-60-day-state-of-emergency-on-its-border-with-Colombia
President of Peru

Key facts:

  • The decision was taken as there are security problems created by Colombian citizens crossing the border and there was a need to re-establish the state’s presence.
  • The region in which the state of emergency has been declared is the Amazon basin province of Putumayo, separated from Colombia by the river of the same name, a tributary of the Amazon.

Location of Peru:

peru-map

  • Peru is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean.
  • Peru is an extremely biodiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.

peru-MMAP-md

Location of Colombia:

Colombia-map

  • Colombia is a sovereign state largely situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America.
  • It shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and Peru.
  • It shares its maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
  • Colombian territory also encompasses Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines.
[Ref: AIR]

 

Defence & Security Issues

India’s supersonic cruise missile BrahMos test fired

BrahMos, the supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired recently.

BrahMos-supersonic

  • The test-firing conducted from a Mobile Autonomous Launcher was part of service life extension programme for Indian Army under extreme weather condition.

Key features of BrahMos Missile:

brahmos missile

  • BrahMos Missile is the first supersonic cruise missile system known to be in service, developed as part of a joint venture between India and Russia.
  • The missile derives its name from the names of two rivers, namely the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
  • The missile is capable of carrying a conventional as well as nuclear warhead of 300 kilograms.
  • The BrahMos is a multi-stage missile having a solid propellant in the first stage and the ramjet liquid propellant in the second stage.
  • It can be launched from land, sea, sub-seas and air.
  • It operates on ‘Fire and Forget Principle’ by adopting varieties of flights on its way to the target.
  • It approaches the enemy target with a top speed of Mach 2.8, which is about three times faster than the US subsonic Tomahawk Cruise Missile System.
  • The missile has been developed by the BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited.
  • It is a joint venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • While the navy and army versions of the missile were inducted in 2005 and 2007 respectively, the air version is still in the testing stage.
[Ref: The Hindu, Times of India]

 

Science & Technology

IIT-Madras unveils word’s first remotely operable LEAP microscope

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras has commissioned remotely operable Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP) microscope.

LEAP-microscope-ias

  • It is claimed to be world’s first remotely operable LEAP microscope, as it can be remotely operated through special terminal by researchers divided geographically.

About LEAP microscope:

  • LEAP is high-performance microscope that can provide a precise atom-by-atom view of materials.
  • It provides atomic-scale insights into metallic, which will influence wide spectrum of industries ranging from steel to automobiles and energy to transportation sector.
  • It will also give major thrust to research in nanotechnology, among other fields

Developed by:

  • The remotely operable LEAP microscope has been developed in a collaborative exercise involving eight top research institutions in country, spearheaded by IIT-M.
  • Other partner institutions are IITs of Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Ropar, International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) and Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS).

Potential applications of LEAP microscope:

  • LEAP microscope allows the user to extract atoms from materials sequentially and are detected using a Time of Flight Mass spectrometer.
  • This facility will be able to provide atomic-scale insights into metallic materials thereby impacting a wide spectrum of industries ranging from steel to automobiles and energy to transportation sector.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

‘Paudhagiri’ Campaign

'Paudhagiri'-Campaign-ias

  • Haryana government has launched the ‘Paudhagiri’ campaign, aimed at increasing the green cover in the state.
  • Under this campaign, 22 lakh students from class 6 to 12 of all government and private schools in Haryana will plant a sapling each during three months of monsoon — July, August and September.
  • Haryana CM launched the ‘Paudhagiri’ campaign by planting a ‘maulsari’ sapling.

 

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