Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- RISAT – 2BR1
- Disha Bill
- Data Protection Law
- Heavy Metals contaminating Indian Rivers
- Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
- The International Financial Services Centres Authority Bill, 2019
- Code on Social Security
- Accessible India Campaign
- Nehru – Liaqat Pact
- Facts for Prelims : Bouganville, Papikonda National Park, IBM GRAF
1 . RISAT-2 BR1
Context:- ISRO’s rocket PSLV-C48 launched advanced radar imaging satellite RISAT 2 BR1 and nine other customer satellites from Japan, Italy, Israel and the U.S. into their intended orbits.India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) marked its ‘Golden Jubilee’.
- RISAT-2BR1 is an Indian radar reconnaissance satellite imaging earth observation satellite. It’s part of India’s RISAT programme and the fourth satellite in the series.
- It will be used for agriculture, forestry, disaster management support and national security.
- The mission duration is planned to be 5 years.
2 . Disha Bill
Context :- The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet cleared the A.P. Disha Bill, 2019 (A.P. CriMinal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2019) paving the way for awarding the death penalty for the oﬀ ences of rape and gangrape and expediting the verdict in trials of such cases to 21 days.
About the bill
- The A.P. Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2019, envisages the completion of investigation and trial in 7 and 14 working days respectively, where there is adequate conclusive evidence, and reducing the total judgement time to 21 days from the existing four months.
- The Cabinet also gave its nod for introduction of the A.P. Special Court for Speciﬁed Oﬀences against Women and Children Bill, 2019, for dealing with oﬀences against women and children, including rape and gangrape, acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism, sexual harassment and cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Oﬀ ences (POCSO) Act.
The main features of Andhra Pradesh Disha Act and Andhra Pradesh Special Courts for Specified Offences against Women and Children’s Act, 2019, that have been passed by the Legislative Assembly on Friday are:
- Setting up of exclusive special sessions courts in every district to expedite trial in cases dealing with specified offences under Sections 326A, 326B, 354, 354A, 354B, 354C, 354D, 354E, 354F, 354G, 376, 376A,376B, 376C, 376D, 376DA, 376 DB, 376E and 509 of the Indian Penal Code and offences prescribed under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
- The State Government shall nominate a Sessions or Additional Sessions Judge or a member of Andhra Pradesh Judicial Service and also appoint a special public prosecutor, preferably a woman public prosecutor, to conduct cases.
- The AP Disha Act- Criminal Law (Andhra Pradesh Amendment) Act, 2019 has affected amendments to Indian Penal Code (1860) and added new sections, 354E — to deal with cases relating to harassment of woman, which includes abuse on social media platforms and making romantic overtures repeatedly to women. Section 354F deals with crimes relating to sexual assault on children, 354G-aggravated sexual assault on children by those in uniformed service, public servants etc. All these offences are cognizable and non-bailable. Those convicted under section 354G ( aggravated sexual assault on children) can face up to life imprisonment.
- The Act has also provisions to amend, sections 376, 376D and 376DA, dealing with punishments in cases relating to rape and murder of a woman, awarding capital punishment to those convicted in such offences.
- The Act has provisions to amend Section 39 of Code of Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.) and Section 173, to complete investigation and file a charge sheet within seven working days from the date of filing the FIR. The Act has also amended section 309 of Cr.P.C to ensure that trial in such cases would be completed within 14 working days from the date of filing the charge sheet.
- The section 374 of Cr.P.C has also been amended the period for disposal of appeals against sentences passed under sections 376, 376A, 376B, 376AB, 376D, 376 DA, 376 DB, 376E from the existing six months to three months.
3. Data Protection Bill
Context: The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to provide for protection of personal data of individuals, and establishes a Data Protection Authority for the same.
Applicability:The Bill governs the processing of personal data by:
- (i) government,
- (ii) companies incorporated in India, and
- (iii) foreign companies dealing with personal data of individuals in India.
- Personal data is data which pertains to characteristics, traits or attributes of identity, which can be used to identify an individual.
- The Bill categorises certain personal data as sensitive personal data. This includes financial data, biometric data, caste, religious or political beliefs, or any other category of data specified by the government, in consultation with the Authority and the concerned sectoral regulator.
Obligations of data fiduciary
- A data fiduciary is an entity or individual who decides the means and purpose of processing personal data. Such processing will be subject to certain purpose, collection and storage limitations. For instance, personal data can be processed only for specific, clear and lawful purpose.
- Additionally, all data fiduciaries must undertake certain transparency and accountability measures such as:
- Implementing security safeguards (such as data encryption and preventing misuse of data), and
- Instituting grievance redressal mechanisms to address complaints of individuals. They must also institute mechanisms for age verification and parental consent when processing sensitive personal data of children.
Rights of the individual
The Bill sets out certain rights of the individual (or data principal). These include the right to:
- Obtain confirmation from the fiduciary on whether their personal data has been processed,
- Seek correction of inaccurate, incomplete, or out-of-date personal data,
- Have personal data transferred to any other data fiduciary in certain circumstances, and
- Restrict continuing disclosure of their personal data by a fiduciary, if it is no longer necessary or consent is withdrawn.
Grounds for processing personal data
The Bill allows processing of data by fiduciaries only if consent is provided by the individual. However, in certain circumstances, personal data can be processed without consent. These include:
- If required by the State for providing benefits to the individual,
- Legal proceedings,
- To respond to a medical emergency.
Social media intermediaries
- The Bill defines these to include intermediaries which enable online interaction between users and allow for sharing of information.
- All such intermediaries which have users above a notified threshold, and whose actions can impact electoral democracy or public order, have certain obligations, which include providing a voluntary user verification mechanism for users in India.
Data Protection Authority
The Bill sets up a Data Protection Authority which may:
- Take steps to protect interests of individuals,
- Prevent misuse of personal data, and
- Ensure compliance with the Bill. It will consist of a chairperson and six members, with at least 10 years’ expertise in the field of data protection and information technology.
Orders of the Authority can be appealed to an Appellate Tribunal. Appeals from the Tribunal will go to the Supreme Court.
Transfer of data outside India
- Sensitive personal data may be transferred outside India for processing if explicitly consented to by the individual, and subject to certain additional conditions.
- However, such sensitive personal data should continue to be stored in India. Certain personal data notified as critical personal data by the government can only be processed in India.
The central government can exempt any of its agencies from the provisions of the Act:
- In interest of security of state, public order, sovereignty and integrity of India and friendly relations with foreign states, and
- For preventing incitement to commission of any cognisable offence (i.e. arrest without warrant) relating to the above matters.
Processing of personal data is also exempted from provisions of the Bill for certain other purposes such as:
- prevention, investigation, or prosecution of any offence, or
- personal, domestic, or
- journalistic purposes.
However, such processing must be for a specific, clear and lawful purpose, with certain security safeguards.
Offences under the bill
- Processing or transferring personal data in violation of the Bill, punishable with a fine of Rs 15 crore or 4% of the annual turnover of the fiduciary, whichever is higher, and
- Failure to conduct a data audit, punishable with a fine of five crore rupees or 2% of the annual turnover of the fiduciary, whichever is higher. Re-identification and processing of de-identified personal data without consent is punishable with imprisonment of up to three years, or fine, or both.
Sharing of non-personal data with government
The central government may direct data fiduciaries to provide it with any:
- Non-personal data and
- Anonymised personal data (where it is not possible to identify data principal) for better targeting of services.
Amendments to other laws
- The Bill amends the Information Technology Act, 2000 to delete the provisions related to compensation payable by companies for failure to protect personal data.
4 . Heavy Metals contaminating Indian Rivers
Context : Samples taken from two-thirds of the water quality stations spanning India’s major rivers showed contamination by one or more heavy metals, exceeding safe limits set by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
About the Report
- The findings are part of a report, which is the third edition of an exercise conducted by the Central Water Commission (CWC) from May 2014 to April 2018.
- Samples from only one-third of water quality stations were safe. The rest, or 287 (65%) of the 442 sampled, were polluted by heavy metals. Samples from 101 stations had contamination by two metals, six stations saw contamination by three metals.
- Samples were collected in three different seasons: pre-monsoon (June 2012), monsoon (September 2011, October 2012 and August 2013) and post-monsoon (February 2012 and March 2013).
About the Contamination
- The presence of metals in drinking water is to some extent unavoidable and certain metals, in trace amounts, required for good health. However when present above safe limits, they are associated with a range of disorders.
- Long-term exposure to the above-mentioned heavy metals may result in slowly progressing physical, muscular, and neurological degenerative processes that mimic Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis.
Details of the Report
- Iron emerged as the most common contaminant with 156 of the sampled sites registering levels of the metal above safe limits. None of the sites registered arsenic levels above the safe limit.
- The other major contaminants found in the samples were lead, nickel, chromium, cadmium and copper.
- The study spanned 67 rivers in 20 river basins. Lead, cadmium, nickel, chromium and copper contamination were more common in non-monsoon periods while iron, lead, chromium and copper exceeded ‘tolerance limits’ in monsoon periods most of the time.
- “Arsenic and zinc are the two toxic metals whose concentration was always obtained within the limits throughout the study period
- Arsenic contamination is a major environmental issue that affects groundwater. However, the CWC exercise was restricted to surface water.
- Not all the rivers are equally sampled. Several rivers have only been sampled at a single site whereas others such as the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Godavari are sampled at multiple sites.
- Marked variation was found in contamination levels depending on the season. For instance, iron contamination was persistent through most of the Ganga during monsoon but dipped significantly during the non-monsoon periods.
Sources & Reasons
- The main sources of heavy metal pollution are mining, milling, plating and surface finishing industries that discharge a variety of toxic metals into the environment.
- Over the last few decades, the concentration of these heavy metals in river water and sediments has increased rapidly,” the report noted, while recommending more intensive monitoring.
- The reasons for contamination, according to the authors of the report, were “population growth and rise in agricultural and industrial activities”.
5 . Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019
Context : The Union Cabinet approved the proposal to make amendments in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016, through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019. This also includes a provision to ring-fence successful resolution applicants from criminal proceedings with regard to offences committed by previous promoters of a company.
About the Amendments
- “The amendments aim to remove certain difficulties being faced during insolvency resolution process to realise the objects of the code and to further ease doing of business,” the government said in a release.
- The amendments aim to remove bottlenecks, streamline the corporate insolvency resolution process, and protect the last mile funding in order to boost investment in financially distressed sectors.
- The amended Act would also ensure that the substratum of the business of a corporate debtor is not lost. It can continue as a going concern by clarifying that the licences, permits, concessions, clearances etc. cannot be terminated or suspended or not renewed during the moratorium period.
6 . Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
Context : The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in a report on the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), has highlighted the risk of diversion of domestic LPG cylinders for commercial use, as 1.98 lakh beneﬁciaries had an average annual consumption of more than 12 cylinders.
- As per the report this level of consumption of more than 12 cylinders seemed improbable in view of the BPL (below poverty line) status of such beneficiaries.
- “Similarly, 13.96 lakh beneficiaries consumed 3 to 41 refills in a month. Further, IOCL [Indian Oil Corporation Limited] and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) in 3.44 lakh instances issued 2 to 20 refills in a day to a PMUY beneficiary having single-bottle cylinder connection,” it said.
- As per the CAG Audit out of 3.78 crore LPG connections, 1.60 crore (42%) connections were issued only on the basis of beneﬁciary Aadhaar which remained a deterrent in de-duplication.
- Laxity in identiﬁcation of beneﬁciaries was noticed as 9,897 connections were issued against Abridged Household List Temporary Identiﬁcation Numbers (AHL TINs), where names of all family members and the beneﬁciary were blank in the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC)2011 list.
- Data analysis also revealed that 8.59 lakh connections were released to beneﬁciaries who were minor as per the SECC 2011 data, which was in violation of PMUY guidelines and LPG Control Order, 2000. Lack of input validation check in the IOCL software allowed issue of 0.80 lakh connections to beneﬁciaries aged below 18.
- Connections were also given to “unintended” persons.
- As per the audit there are delay of more than 365 days in the installation of 4.35 lakh connections against the stipulated time period of seven days.
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to safeguard the health of women & children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel – LPG, so that they don’t have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens or wander in unsafe areas collecting firewood.
- Under the scheme, 5 Cr LPG connections will be provided to BPL families with a support of Rs.1600 per connection in the next 3 years.
- Ensuring women’s empowerment, especially in rural India, the connections will be issued in the name of women of the households.
- Identification of the BPL families will be done through Socio Economic Caste Census Data.
- The scheme will also provide a great boost to the ‘Make in India’ campaign as all the manufacturers of cylinders, gas stoves, regulators, and gas hose are domestic.
- PMUY is likely to result in an additional employment and provide business opportunities to the Indian Industry.
7 . The International Financial Services Centres Authority Bill, 2019
Context : The International Financial Services Centres Authority Bill, 2019 was passed in Rajya sabha.
About the Bill
- The Bill provides for the establishment of an authority to develop and regulate the financial services market in the International Financial Services Centres set up in Special Economic Zones in India.
Key features of the Bill include
Coverage: The Bill will apply to all International Financial Services Centres (IFSC) set up under the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005
Constitution of the International Financial Services Centres Authority:
- The Bill provides for the establishment of the International Financial Services Centres Authority. The Authority will consist of nine members, appointed by the central government.
- These posts will have a term of three years, subject to reappointment. Members of the Authority will include:
- The Chairperson,
- Four members to be nominated from the Reserve Bank of India, the Securities Exchange Board of India, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority,
- Two members from amongst officials of the Ministry of Finance, and
- Two members to be appointed on the recommendation of a Selection Committee.
Functions of the Authority
- Regulating financial products, financial services, and financial institutions in an IFSC which have been approved by any regulator (such as the RBI or SEBI), before the enactment of the Bill,
- Regulating any other financial products, services, or institutions in an IFSC, which may be notified by the central government, and
- Recommending to the central government, any other financial services, products, or institutions which may be permitted in an IFSC.
- Further,all powers relating to regulation of financial products, services, and institutions in IFSCs, which were previously exercised by the respective regulators will be exercised by the Authority.
- All processes and procedures to be followed by the Authority in respect of such regulation (such as, procedures for investigation of offences) will be identical to the provisions for these processes under the respective laws of the regulators.
Performance Review Committee
Under the Bill, the Authority will constitute a Performance Review Committee to review the functioning of the Authority. The Committee will consist of at least two members of the Authority.
The Committee will review whether:
- The Authority has complied with the provisions of the applicable laws while exercising powers or performing functions,
- The regulations made by the Authority to promote transparency and best practices of governance, and
- The Authority is managing risks to its functioning in a reasonable manner.
Transaction in foreign currency: As per the Bill, all transactions of financial services in IFSCs will be in such foreign currency as specified by the Authority, in consultation with the central government.
International Financial Services Centres Authority Fund:The Bill sets up the International Financial Services Centres Authority Fund. The following amounts will be credited to the Fund:
- All grants, fees and charges received by the Authority, and
- All sums received by the Authority from various sources, as decided by the central government.
8 . Code on Social Security 2019
Context : The Code on Social Security, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha
About the Bill
- Code replaces nine laws related to social security, including the Employees’ Provident Fund Act, 1952, the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, and the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008. Social security refers to measures to ensure access to health care and provision of income security to workers.
Key Features of the Code
- Social security schemes: Under the Code, the central government may notify various social security schemes for the benefit of workers. These include an Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) Scheme, an Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), and an Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) Scheme. These may provide for a provident fund, a pension fund, and an insurance scheme, respectively. The government may also notify: (i) an Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme to provide sickness, maternity, and other benefits, (ii) gratuity to workers on completing five years of employment (or lesser than five years in certain cases such as death), (iii) maternity benefits to women employees, (iv) cess for welfare of building and construction workers, and (v) compensation to employees and their dependants in the case of occupational injury or disease.
- In addition, the central or state government may notify specific schemes for gig workers, platform workers, and unorganised workers to provide various benefits, such as life and disability cover. Gig workers refer to workers outside of the traditional employer-employee relationship (e.g., freelancers). Platform workers are workers who access other organisations or individuals using online platforms and earn money by providing them with specific services. Unorganised workers include home-based and self-employed workers.
- Coverage and registration: The Code specifies different applicability thresholds for the schemes. For example, the EPF Scheme will apply to establishments with 20 or more employees. The ESI Scheme will apply to certain establishments with 10 or more employees, and to all establishments which carry out hazardous or life-threatening work notified by the central government. These thresholds may be amended by the central government. All eligible establishments are required to register under the Code, unless they are already registered under any other labour law.
- Contributions: The EPF, EPS, EDLI, and ESI Schemes will be financed through a combination of contributions from the employer and employee. For example, in the case of the EPF Scheme, the employer and employee will each make matching contributions of 10% of wages, or such other rate as notified by the government. All contributions towards payment of gratuity, maternity benefit, cess for building workers, and employee compensation will be borne by the employer. Schemes for gig workers, platform workers, and unorganised workers may be financed through a combination of contributions from the employer, employee, and the appropriate government.
- Social security organisations: The Code provides for the establishment of several bodies to administer the social security schemes. These include: (i) a Central Board of Trustees, headed by the Central Provident Fund Commissioner, to administer the EPF, EPS and EDLI Schemes, (ii) an Employees State Insurance Corporation, headed by a Chairperson appointed by the central government, to administer the ESI Scheme, (iii) national and state-level Social Security Boards, headed by the central and state Ministers for Labour and Employment, respectively, to administer schemes for unorganised workers, and (iv) state-level Building Workers’ Welfare Boards, headed by a Chairperson nominated by the state government, to administer schemes for building workers.
- Inspections and appeals: The appropriate government may appoint Inspector-cum-facilitators to inspect establishments covered by the Code, and advise employers and employees on compliance with the Code. Administrative authorities may be appointed under the various schemes to hear appeals under the Code. For instance, the appropriate government may notify an appellate authority to hear appeals against the order of the Inspector-cum-facilitator for non-payment of maternity benefits. The Code also specifies judicial bodies which may hear appeals from the orders of the administrative authorities. For example, industrial tribunals (constituted under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947) will hear disputes under the EPF Scheme.
- Offences and penalties: The Code specifies penalties for various offences, such as: (i) the failure by an employer to pay contributions under the Code after deducting the employee’s share, punishable with imprisonment between one and three years, and fine of one lakh rupees, and (ii) falsification of reports, punishable with imprisonment of up to six months.
9 . Accessible India Campaign
Context :-Government of India extended the deadline for Accessible India Campaign to March 2020.
About the News
- Due to slow progress, revised deadlines have been extended to March 2020.” The decision was taken by the Central Advisory Board chaired by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot.
- Under the Rights of PwD Act, 2016, all existing and new public buildings have to follow the accessibility standards notified on June 15, 2017. The existing buildings were given five years to comply.
- The main objective of the campaign is to make public spaces friendly for persons with disabilities.The campaign is also called Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan.
- The scheme was launched by Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- The initiative is in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to which India signed in 2007.
- The scheme was also launched under Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995. Under the act, the scheme comes under the jurisdiction of sections 44, 45 and 46 that provides equal opportunities and protection of rights in transport sector to those who are physically challenged.
Targets of the campaign
- The campaign aims at making at least 50% of government owned buildings as disabled-friendly. It was aimed at doing in three phases.
- In phase 1, the campaign focused on making international airports disabled-friendly by 2016.
- In phase 2, it aimed at making 25% of public transport vehicles disabled-friendly by 2017.
- In phase 3, it aimed at making 50% of government buildings disabled-friendly.
Context : The Haryana Police Department has adopted a unique barcoding software. The software is used to ensure that 1000s of digital forensic reports are stored safe and secure. It offers a foolproof security to the samples collected from the crime scene.
About the Software
- The Software features two stages of bar coding to maintain the secrecy of the samples.
- The samples and reports are sent through biometrically authorized chain. The cases are allocated to the biotechnology experts through automated case allocation. Therefore, the experts will not know about the details of the case or the names associated with case.
- Similarly, the police department or the other officials associated with the case will not know about the details of the professional performing the examination.
How is it useful?
- The software is android based and has been prepared in an application format. Therefore, usage becomes simple. It can be well integrated with the judicial system and doing so will help reduce time lags. Above all, the system helps in reducing malpractices greatly.
11 . National Financial Reporting Authority
The National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) was constituted on 01st October,2018 by the Government of India under Sub Section (1) of section 132 of the Companies Act, 2013.
Functions and Duties As per Sub Section (2) of Section 132 of the Companies Act, 2013, the duties of the NFRA are to:
- Recommend accounting and auditing policies and standards to be adopted by companies for approval by the Central Government;
- Monitor and enforce compliance with accounting standards and auditing standards;Oversee the quality of service of the professions associated with ensuring compliance with such standards and suggest measures for improvement in the quality of service;
- Perform such other functions and duties as may be necessary or incidental to the aforesaid functions and duties.
- Sub Rule (1) of Rule 4 of the NFRA Rules, 2018 , provides that the Authority shall protect the public interest and the interests of investors, creditors and others associated with the companies or bodies corporate governed under Rule 3 by establishing high quality standards of accounting and auditing and exercising effective oversight of accounting functions performed by the companies and bodies corporate and auditing functions performed by auditors.
Companies and Bodies Corporate Governed by the Authority
As per rule 3 of the NFRA rules,2018,The Authority shall have power to monitor and enforce compliance with accounting standards and auditing standards, oversee the quality of service under sub-section (2) of section 132 or undertake investigation under sub-section (4) of such section of the auditors of the following class of companies and bodies corporate, namely:-
- Companies whose securities are listed on any stock exchange in India or outside India;
- Unlisted public companies having paid-up capital of not less than rupees five hundred crores or having annual turnover of not less than rupees one thousand crores or having, in aggregate, outstanding loans, debentures and deposits of not less than rupees five hundred crores as on the 31st March of immediately preceding financial year;
- Insurance companies, banking companies, companies engaged in the generation or supply of electricity, companies governed by any special Act for the time being in force or bodies corporate incorporated by an Act in accordance with clauses (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f) of sub-section (4) of section 1 of the Act;
- Any body corporate or company or person, or any class of bodies corporate or companies or persons, on a reference made to the Authority by the Central Government in public interest; and
- A body corporate incorporated or registered outside India, which is a subsidiary or associate company of any company or body corporate incorporated or registered in India as referred to in clauses (a) to (d), if the income or networth of such subsidiary or associate company exceeds twenty per cent. of the consolidated income or consolidated networth of such company or the body corporate, as the case may be, referred to in clauses (a) to (d).
12 . Nehru-Liaqat Pact
About the Pact
- Liaquat Ali Khan was the prime minister of Pakistan when he and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru signed an agreement in Delhi in 1950. The Delhi Pact is more commonly called the Nehru-Liaquat pact.
- The agreement was signed in the backdrop of large-scale migration of people belonging to minority communities between the two countries in the wake of attacks by the majority communities in their respective territories.
- The immediate concern was the exodus of Hindus from East Pakistan (which later sought Independence as Bangladesh) and Muslims from West Bengal.
- India and Pakistan already had strained their relation with Pakistan’s intrusion in Jammu and Kashmir. The economic ties had been severed between India and Pakistan by December 1949. The exodus of minorities Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists in Pakistan, and Muslims in India led to serious refugee crisis.
Nehru and Liaquat opened channel of communication and reached an agreement in April 1950. Under the Nehru-Liaquat pact
- refugees were allowed to return unmolested to dispose of their property
- abducted women and looted property were to be returned
- forced conversions were unrecognized
- minority rights were confirmed
As a result minority commissions were established in the two countries to implement these terms of Nehru-Liaquat pact. This measure led to restoration of confidence, at least in parts.
However, whether Nehru-Liaquat pact achieved its stated objectives has remained debatable. The exodus of Hindus from then East Pakistan continued to West Bengal in India for months after the Nehru-Liaquat pact was signed.
13 . Facts for Prelims
- Bougainville voted for independence from Papua New Guinea
Papikonda National Park
- Papikonda National Park is located in the Papi Hills in East Godavari and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh
- International technology company IBM plans to make a high resolution weather forecast model that will also rely on user-generated data to improve the accuracy of forecasts available in India.
- IBM GRAF, as the forecast system is called, can generate forecasts at a resolution of 3 kilometres.
- This is a significantly higher resolution than the 12-kilometre models used by the India Meteorological Department to generate forecasts.
- These weather forecast techniques rely on dynamic modelling and collect a trove of atmospheric and ocean data, crunch it in supercomputers and generate forecasts over desired time-frames — three days, weekly or fortnightly.
- From the trial tests forecasts are 30% more accurate than those generated by 12-km resolution models
Lotus in Indian Passports
- Lotus is printed on new passports, as a part of the enhanced security features to identify fake passports