Daily Current Affairs : 13/3/2019

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. National Register of Citizen
  2. Cool Spots
  3. Starry Dwarf Frog
  4. Reko Diq Mine

1 . National Register of Citizen

Context : The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday assured the Supreme Court that names have not been deleted from the Assam electoral roll on the basis of their exclusion from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), which was published in July last year.

What is NRC, 1951?

  • 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.
  • These registers covered each and every person enumerated during the Census of 1951 and were kept in the offices of Deputy Commissioners and Sub Divisional Officers according to instructions issued by the Government of India in 1951. Later these registers were transferred to the Police in the early 1960s.

Why is the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being updated in Assam?

  • National Register of Citizens (NRC) updation basically means the process of enlisting the names of those persons (or their descendants) whose names appear in any of the Electoral Rolls up to 1971, 1951 NRC or any of the admissible documents stipulated.
  • The demands to update the NRC of 1951 were first raised by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Assam Gana Parishad more than three decades ago. The organisations had submitted a memorandum to the Centre on January 18, 1980, two months after launching the anti-illegal foreigners Assam Movement.
  • On November 17, 1999, at an official-level tripartite meeting to review the implementation of the Assam Accord, a decision was taken that the NRC would be updated and the Centre sanctioned Rs 20 lakh for the purpose and released Rs 5 lakh of it to start the exercise. Later, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led government took the final decision to update NRC on May 5, 2005. Thereafter, the government created a directorate for updating the NRC and the process of computerisation of the voters’ list up to 1971 and the NRC of 1951 began.

How will it impact the illegal immigrants – The Assam accord?

  • The Assam accord was signed between the leaders of AASU-AAGSP and the Government of India in 1985 marking an end to a six-year-long agitation.
  • The parties agreed that all foreigners who had entered Assam between 1951 and 1961 would be given full citizenship. However, those who entered the state after 1971 will be deported.

Current Issue

  • Filed a PIL in SC alleging that several categories of persons were deprived of voting rights ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
  • One category included persons whose names figured in the draft NRC but not in the voter list.
  • In Second category, persons whose names were deleted from the voter list appeared in the draft NRC published on July 30, 2018. The petition claimed these people had voted in the last Lok Sabha election in 2014.
  • The plea also submitted that there were people whose names were not included in the complete draft NRC, but they subsequently filed claims for inclusion. They had voted in the earlier Lok Sabha election and were waiting for inclusion of their names.
  • The third category of people were those declared foreigners by the foreigners’ tribunal as well as by the Guwahati High Court; the court order was stayed by the Supreme Court.
  • The petition said the fourth category comprised those already declared foreigners by the tribunal; this was set aside by the Supreme Court. However, their names had been deleted from the voters list pursuant to the order of the tribunal.
  • In the fifth category were those whose names had not been included in the draft NRC, but their family members were included; these had filed a claim for the inclusion of their names.

2 . Cool Spots

About Cool Spots

  • Cool Spots are the world’s last refuges where high numbers of threatened species still persist.
  • Cool-spots could be the result of protection or because of intact habitat that has not been cleared yet

3 . Starry Dwarf Frog

Context : The discovery of the starry dwarf frog, a nocturnal amphibian that lives under leaf litter on a mountaintop in Kerala’s Wayanad, has been published on March 13 inPeerJ , an international multidisciplinary journal.

About the Frog

  • The new species is named as the starry dwarf frog Astrobatrachus kurichiyana (genus Astrobatrachus after its starry spots and kurichiyana in honour of the Kurichiya tribal community who live in the area).
  • It is not only a new species but different enough to be assigned to a new ‘subfamily’.
  • Genetic analysis reveal that the species is at least 60 million years old.
  • According to the authors, the presence of Astrobatrachus and other ancient lineages in the southern Western Ghats highlights the mountain range’s role as a historical refugium and as an important centre of diversification.
  • Though additional surveys would be necessary, the starry dwarf frog is currently known only from Wayanad’s Kurichiyarmala peak, outside legally protected areas.

4 . Reko Diq Mine

Context : Pak. Army eyes key role in developing giant copper & gold mine

About Reko Diq Mine

  • The Reko Diq mine is located near Reko Diq town in Chagai District, Baluchistan, Pakistan.
  • It is a large copper mine located in the west of Pakistan in Balochistan. Reko Diq represents one of the largest copper reserve in Pakistan and in the world having estimated reserves of 5.9 billion tonnes of ore grading 0.41% copper.
  • The mine also has gold reserves amounting to 41.5 million oz
  • The Reko Diq area is part of the Tethyan Magmatic Arc, extending through central and southeast Europe ( Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece) Turkey, Iran and Pakistan through the Himalayan region into Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
  • Reko Diq area is one of many eroded remnant volcanic centers in the Chagai volcanic chain of mountains which runs in an east–west line across Balochistan between the Quetta to Taftan railway and the border with Afghanistan. TCC has identified a large, low-grade copper-gold resource at Reko Diq.

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