Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- Global Education Monitoring Report
- Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023
- Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Amendment Bill, 2023
- Parliamentary Privileges
- Circular Economy
- Cinematograph Bill
- Stapled Visa
- Facts for Prelims
1 . Global Education Monitoring Report
Context: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has warned against an uncritical rush toward embrace of digital products in educational settings.
About Global Education Monitoring Report
- The Global Education Monitoring Report, published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), assesses global progress toward the Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG 4) and its ten targets
- It is a singular, comprehensive, analytical and authoritative reference for the global follow-up and review of education.
- With 15 reports produced since 2002, report has acquired extensive experience in monitoring and policy analysis and a global reputation for excellence, covering themes ranging from inequality, gender and teaching and learning to conflict, literacy and early childhood care and education.
- 2023 Global Education Monitoring Report is titled as “Technology in education: a tool on whose terms?”,
Key Findings of Global Education Monitoring Report, 2023
- Global Education Monitoring Report, 2023 has endorsed banning smartphones in schools in situations where “technology integration does not improve learning or if it worsens student well-being”.
- It highlighted that “mere proximity to a mobile device was found to distract students and to have a negative impact on learning in 14 countries, yet less than one in four have banned smartphone use in schools”.
- It also cited research studies to point out that “banning mobile phones from schools improves academic performance, especially for low-performing students”. Detailing the rationale for restricting smartphone usage for children, the report cited a study of young people between the ages of two and 17 which “showed that higher screen time was associated with poorer well-being; less curiosity, self-control and emotional stability; higher anxiety; and depression diagnoses.
- The report also flagged the higher costs of delivering basic education where there is a dependence on the setting up of digital infrastructure, and how this could worsen the problem of unequal access in low-income countries.
- Another major concern around the indiscriminate use of digital technology in education was children’s privacy. Urging governments to “putting learners first” when it came to decisions on the use of digital technology, the report urged policymakers to ensure child data protection laws and accountability mechanisms tailored to children.
2 . Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023
Context: Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai tabled a Bill in the Lok Sabha to nominate two members from the “Kashmiri Migrants” community, who “migrated” when militancy was at its peak in the 1989-90, as members of the Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. One of the members will be a woman.
- Bill seeks to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which reorganised the state of Jammu and Kashmir into separate Union Territories, namely Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. It also abolished the J&K Legislative Council and revoked the special autonomous status previously granted to the region under Article 370 of the Constitution.
Key Provisions of the bill
- Number of seats in the Legislative Assembly: The Second Schedule of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 provides for the number of seats in legislative assemblies. The 2019 Act amended the Second Schedule of the 1950 Act to specify the total number of seats in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly to be 83. It reserved six seats for Scheduled Castes. No seats were reserved for Scheduled Tribes. The Bill increases the total number of seats to 90. It also reserves seven seats for Scheduled Castes and nine seats for Scheduled Tribes.
- Nomination of Kashmiri migrants: The Bill adds that the Lieutenant Governor may nominate up to two members from the Kashmiri migrant community to the Legislative Assembly. One of the nominated members must be a woman. Migrants are defined as persons who migrated from the Kashmir Valley or any other part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir after November 1, 1989, and are registered with the Relief Commissioner. Migrants also include individuals who have not been registered due to: (i) being in government service in any moving office, (ii) having left for work, or (iii) possessing immovable property at the place from where they migrated but are unable to reside there due to disturbed conditions.
- Nomination of displaced persons: The Bill adds that the Lieutenant Governor may nominate to the Legislative Assembly one member representing displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Displaced persons refer to individuals who left or were displaced from their place of residence in Pakistani-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and continue to reside outside such place. Such displacement should have taken place in 1947-48, 1965, or 1971 due to civil disturbances or fear of such disturbances. These include successors-in-interest of such persons.
What are the concerns about the bill?
- Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019 has already been challenged in the court.
- Political parties in J&K earlier criticised the bill, saying the authority to nominate the members for the reserved seats should rest solely with an elected government.
3 . Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023
Context: India has taken the first step to generate digital birth certificates, which will be all-encompassing documents that can be used for admission to educational institutions, applications for driving licences, government jobs, passports or Aadhaar, voter enrolment, and registration of marriage, among others
How are births and deaths currently registered?
- The mandatory documentation of births and deaths is governed by the RBD Act passed in 1969 and State Rules framed using the Model Rules, 1999. The Act was implemented “to promote uniformity and comparability in the registration of Births and Deaths across the country,”
- Births, stillbirths and deaths are to be registered within 21 days of occurrence; violating the provisions is a punishable offence, incurring a fine of ₹5.
- The Act requires States and Union Territories to maintain individual databases on the Civil Registration System (CRS). CRS comes under the operational control of the Registrar General of India (RGI).
- 17 States and UTs use the portal to register births and deaths. Others — including Gujarat, Punjab, New Delhi, and Jammu & Kashmir — either maintain separate portals or update the portal partially. Some States have digitised and integrated their data with individual State Resident Data Hubs (a storehouse of Aadhaar details, demographic data and photographs.)
About the key provisions of the act
- Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023, aims to create a user-friendly registration process and modernise national and state-level databases on births and deaths.
- Database of births and deaths- The Bill proposes to make it obligatory for States to register births and deaths on the Centre’s Civil Registration System (CRS) portal, and to share the data with the Registrar General of India which functions under the Union Home Ministry.
- Aadhaar details of parents and informants required: The new rules will apply to all those born after the Bill is passed by Parliament and becomes an Act of law. It proposes to “collect Aadhaar numbers of parents and informant, if available, in case of birth registration”. Presently, either parent can voluntarily provide their Aadhaar number for a newborn’s birth certificate generated through the CRS.
- Connecting database: The Bill states that the national database may be made available to other authorities preparing or maintaining other databases. Such databases include: (i) population register, (ii) electoral rolls, (iii) ration card, and (iv) any other national databases as notified. The use of the national database must be approved by the central government. Similarly, the state database may be made available to authorities dealing with other state databases, subject to. state government’s approval.
- Use of birth certificate: The Bill requires the use of birth and death certificates to prove the date and place of birth for persons born on or after this Bill comes into effect. The information will be used for purposes including: (i) admission to an educational institution, (ii) preparation of voter list, (iii) appointment to a government post, and (iv) any other purpose determined by the central government.
- Electronic certificates: The Act provides that any person may: (i) cause a search to be made by the Registrar for any entry in a register of births and deaths, and (ii) obtain an extract from the register related to any birth or death. This is subject to the rules made by the state government. The Bill amends this to provide for obtaining births and deaths certificates (electronically or otherwise) instead of extracts.
- Mandatory death certificate: The Act provides that state governments may require the Registrar to obtain a certificate regarding the cause of death from prescribed persons. The Bill amends this to provide that for deaths occurring in medical institutions, such institutions must provide a certificate regarding the cause of death to the Registrar. A copy of the certificate will be provided to the nearest relative. If the death occurs at any other place, the medical practitioner who attended to the person shall issue the certificate. The certificate will be issued to the specified persons who must provide this information to the Registrar.
- Providing registration details: Under the Act, after registering a birth or death, the Registrar must provide extracts of the prescribed information to the person who registered it, for free. The Bill amends this to provide that the Registrar must provide the certificate to such person within seven days.
- Appeal process: Any person aggrieved by any action or order of the Registrar or District Registrar may appeal to the District Registrar or Chief Registrar, respectively. Such an appeal must be made within 30 days from receipt of such action or order. The District Registrar or Chief Registrar must give their decision within 90 days from the date of appeal.
Why does India want to change the registration process?
- A dynamic ‘super database’ is being viewed as a Gordian knot to solve for administrative and policy hiccups. The U.N. Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) has highlighted that streamlining birth and death registration processes contributes “to higher registration rates and increased coverage.”
- The United Nations called a functional CRS “the best source of information on vital events for administrative, demographic, and epidemiological purposes.” But a 2021 report on CRS found the database was only sporadically updated. A study published in PLOS One, studying Bihar’s use of CRS, found registration challenges due to a lack of investment, poor delivery of services at the registration centres, limited computer and internet services. People narrated accounts of taking off time to stand in long queues at offices, without access to shade or water. “Inadequate knowledge [about procedures and benefits] and attitude of community members” influenced registration levels. Registering deaths presents a unique challenge due to a lack of monetary incentives and cultural norms, more so for women and infants. A study examining NFHS-5 data found “the likelihood of death registration was significantly lower for females than males”; one reason was that women’s deaths don’t accrue property benefits. Poor compliance creates a data gap, allowing for misguided policies and pushing of people into blind spots.
- Updated, timely and accurate database paints a clear picture of a population’s needs, estimates trends, identifies the target group for public welfare policies and influences long-term healthcare uses.
What are the benefits from the online registartion of Birth and death certificates?
- A centralised register “would help in updating other databases resulting in efficient and transparent delivery of public services and social benefits.”
- Digital registration and electronic delivery of certificate of births and deaths for the benefit of public at large.
- The database will also be used to update the National Population Register (NPR), ration cards, and property registration records.
4 . Parliamentary privileges
Context: Congress president and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said that he was “insulted” when his microphone was turned off while he was speaking during the session. He called it a breach of his parliamentary privilege.
Parliamentary privileges – Concept
- Parliamentary privilege is the total of specific rights enjoyed by each House collectively and by members of each House individually, which outweigh those owned by other groups or persons and without which they could not execute their tasks.
- Some privileges are based purely on Parliamentary law and custom, while others are governed by statute.
Parliamentary Privileges – Constitutional Provisions
- Article 105 and Article 194 grant privileges or advantages to the members of the parliament so that they can perform their duties or can function properly without any hindrances.
Types of Privileges
- These “rights” can be divided into two categories: those extended to Members individually, and those extended to the House collectively. Each category can be further divided.
- The rights and immunities accorded to Members individually are generally categorized under the following headings:
- freedom of speech;
- freedom from arrest in civil actions;
- exemption from jury duty;
- exemption from being subpoenaed to attend court as a witness; and
- freedom from obstruction, interference, intimidation and molestation.
- The rights and powers of the House as a collectivity may be categorized as follows:
- the exclusive right to regulate its own internal affairs (including its debates, proceedings and facilities);
- the power to discipline; that is, the right to punish persons guilty of breaches of privilege or contempt, and the power to expel Members guilty of disgraceful conduct;
- the right to provide for its proper constitution, including the authority to maintain the attendance and service of its members;
- the right to inquiries and to call witnesses and demand papers;
- the right to administer oaths to witnesses appearing before it; and
- the right to publish papers without recourse to the courts relating to the content.
Details of the Privileges
- Freedom of speech and publication under parliamentary authority
- This is defined under Article 105(1) and clause (2).
- It gives the members of parliament freedom of speech and provides under Article 105(2) that no member of parliament will be liable in any proceedings before any Court for anything said or any vote given by him in the Parliament or any committee thereof.
- Also, no person will be held liable for any publication of any report, paper, votes or proceedings if the publication is made by the parliament or any authority under it.
- The same provisions are stated under Article 194, in that members of the legislature of a state are referred to instead of members of parliament.
- Article 105 is an absolute privilege given to the members of the parliament, but this privilege can be used in the premises of the parliament and not outside the parliament.
- Freedom from being arrested
- In civil cases, member of parliament cannot be arrested 40 days before and 40 days after the session of the house. If in any case a member of Parliament is arrested within this period, the person concerned should be released in order to attend the session freely. This privilege is already incorporated under Section 135A of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908.
- In criminal matters, Members of Parliament are not on a different footing than a common citizen. It means that a Member of Parliament does not enjoy any immunity from being arrested in a criminal case, during the session or otherwise.
- Right to exclude strangers from its proceedings and hold secret sessions
- The object of including this right was to exclude any chances of daunting or threatening any of the members. The strangers may attempt to interrupt the sessions.
- Right to prohibit the publication of its reporters and proceedings
- The right has been granted to remove or delete any part of the proceedings that took place in the house.
- Right to regulate internal proceedings
- The House has the right to regulate its own internal proceedings and also has the right to call for the session of the Legislative assembly.
- But it does not have any authority in interrupting the proceedings by directing the speaker of the assembly.
- Right to punish members or outsiders for contempt
- This right has been given to every house of Parliament. If any of its members or maybe non-members commit contempt or breach any of the privileges given to him/her, the houses may punish the person.
- The houses have the right to punish any person for any contempt made against the houses in the present or in the past.
- In K. Anandan Nambiar case, the Supreme Court held that a Member of Parliament can claim no special status higher than that of an ordinary citizen, and is as much liable to be arrested, detained or questioned, even during the Session.
- In State of Kerala Vs. K. Ajith and Others, SC observed, that privileges and immunities are not gateways to claim exemptions from the general law of the land as the criminal law governs the action of every citizen.
5 . Financial Action Task Force
Context: The Supreme Court, in a special hearing, extended Enforcement Directorate (ED) Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra’s tenure till September 15, 2023 to serve “public and national interest”.
What is FATF Mutual Evaluations?
- FATF mutual evaluations are in-depth country reports analysing the implementation and effectiveness of measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
- Mutual evaluations are peer reviews, where members from different countries assess another country.
- A mutual evaluation report provides an in-depth description and analysis of a country’s system for preventing criminal abuse of the financial system as well as focused recommendations to the country to further strengthen its system.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) assessment of India
- According to the FATF, the possible onsite assessment of India is due in November 2023, whereas the findings may be discussed at its June 2024 plenary. The mutual evaluation of India was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Earlier In its 2010 review, the FATF had highlighted two shortcomings in the Indian legal framework. While the confiscation of assets was based on convictions, which was subsequently addressed by amending Section 8(5) of the PMLA, money laundering was not a standalone offence — it was dependent on scheduled/predicated offences under other penal laws.
What are the Scope of the Mutual Evaluations?
- The scope of mutual evaluations involves two aspects:
- Technical compliance, for assessment of whether the necessary legal framework and other associated measures are in force and whether the supporting institutional framework is in place; and
- Effectiveness, to determine if the systems are working towards achieving the defined set of outcomes
- Technical Compliance- On the legal front, India has one of the most stringent anti-money laundering/terrorist financing laws in the world.
- Example- Fugitive Economic Offenders Act and the Black Money Act
- On the aspect of “effectiveness”, apart from the instances of attachment/seizure/freezing of assets, conviction rate in the money laundering/terror financing cases would be crucial to demonstrate effective implementation.
About Financial Action Task Force?
- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering and to maintain certain interest.
- In 2001, its mandate was expanded to include terrorism financing.
- The objectives of FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
- FATF is a “policy-making body” that works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.
- FATF monitors progress in implementing its Recommendations through “peer reviews” (“mutual evaluations”) of member countries.
- Since 2000, FATF has maintained the FATF blacklist and the FATF grey list.
- The blacklist has led financial institutions to shift resources and services away from the listed. This in turn has motivated domestic economic and political actors in the listed countries to pressure their governments to introduce regulations that are compliant with the FATF
What is the FATF black list?
- The FATF black list is shorthand for “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” (NCCTs).
- It has been issued since 2000 and lists countries that have been openly hostile and non-cooperative in the fight against money laundering and terror funding.
- Although the list did initially include offshore financial centres, the set of recommendations were soon amended to make tax havens compliant with all of the FATF’s criteria.
- As of now, the FATF black list comprises Iran and North Korea.
How is the FATF grey list different from the black list?
- The grey list includes countries that are deemed to be lax in combating terror financing and money laundering. Pakistan was on this list previously between 2012 and 2015.
- But inaction over terror attacks on Indian targets by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed has prompted Pakistan’s return to the grey list.
- India was not part of the group that moved the resolution to greylist Pakistan last year in Paris. The movers were the US, UK, France, and Germany; China did not oppose.
- While the black list represents countries which are hostile to external regulation of its economy, the grey list includes countries which continue to shield certain banned groups from greater institutional scrutiny and regulation.
- Currently there are 23 Countries in the list including UAE and Pakistan.
What are the restrictions placed on listed nations?
- In addition to the negative picture painted of a country’s national institutions, laxity in dealing with groups banned by multilateral organisations reflects the government’s covert engagement with such entities.
- The most adverse impact will be on the economy, especially for countries reliant on foreign aid and development loans.
- Apart from loans solicited from international lenders like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the Asian Development Bank (ADB), figuring on the FATF’s “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” list could see the migration of foreign capital and privately-owned foreign companies from those countries.
- Loans for infrastructure development could also be jeopardized if lenders are not confident of the security of their investments, and also a potential misappropriation of sanctioned funds for terrorism-related activities. Foreign banks with footprints spanning the globe, such as Citibank or Standard Chartered, could pull out, affecting the financial services sector in the country.
6 . Circular economy
Context: Embracing a circular economy model enables transition from the linear “take-make-waste” paradigm and embrace a more sustainable and regenerative approach, said Union Minister Bhupender Yadav at the launch of Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Industry Coalition (RECEIC) on the sidelines of the 4th G-20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) and Environment and Climate Ministers’ meeting in Chennai.
- The linear economy, sometimes referred to as the take-make-waste economy, is a system where resources are extracted to make products that eventually end up as waste and are thrown away.
- Products and materials are generally not used to their full potential in a linear economy and, as the name suggests, always move in one direction – from raw material to waste.
- It is a polluting system that degrades natural systems and is the driver of global challenges, including climate change and biodiversity loss.
About Circular Economy
- A circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.
- A circular economy entails markets that give incentives to reusing products, rather than scrapping them and then extracting new resources.
- In such an economy, all forms of waste, such as clothes, scrap metal and obsolete electronics, are returned to the economy or used more efficiently.
- This can provide a way to not only protect the environment, but use natural resources more wisely, develop new sectors, create jobs and develop new capabilities.
What are the benefits of circular economy?
- To protect the environment- Reusing and recycling products would slow down the use of natural resources, reduce landscape and habitat disruption and help to limit biodiversity loss. Another benefit from the circular economy is a reduction in total annual greenhouse gas emissions.
- Reduce raw material dependence- The world’s population is growing and with it the demand for raw materials. However, the supply of crucial raw materials is limited. Recycling raw materials mitigates the risks associated with supply, such as price volatility, availability and import dependency.
- Create jobs and save consumers money- Moving towards a more circular economy could increase competitiveness, stimulate innovation, boost economic growth and create jobs. Redesigning materials and products for circular use would also boost innovation across different sectors of the economy. Consumers will be provided with more durable and innovative products that will increase the quality of life and save them money in the long term.
Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Industry Coalition (RECEIC)
- The G20 countries are set to launch the Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Industry Coalition (RECEIC). The announcement is scheduled to be made on the sidelines of the 4th environment and climate sustainability working group meeting and ministerial talks taking place in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- The RECEIC, conceived during India’s G20 Presidency, is an industry-led initiative with a global focus on promoting resource efficiency and circular economy practices.
- Designed as an autonomous body, the coalition is projected to continue operations beyond India’s G20 tenure, thereby facilitating a sustainable environmental impact.
- The coalition includes “39 founding members from 11 different nations.” The RECEIC is designed to be a platform for knowledge and best practice exchange, fostering sustainable practices among its participating industries. Its core principles revolve around partnership for impact, technology cooperation, and finance for scalability.
7 . Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023
Context: The Rajya Sabha passed the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023 that introduces stringent anti-piracy provisions, expanding the scope of the law from censorship to also cover copyright.
- According to officials, the Cinematograph Act, 1952 needed to be amended due to several reasons — to harmonise the law with various executive orders, Supreme Court judgements, and other legislations; to improve the procedure for licensing films for public exhibition by the CBFC; and to expand the scope of categorisations for certification.
- Lastly and importantly, there was a huge demand from the film industry to address the issue of unauthorised recording and exhibition of films and curb the menace of piracy, which is causing them huge losses.
Key Provisions of the bill
- Additional certificate categories: The Bill adds certain additional certificate categories based on age. Under the Act, film may be certified for exhibition: (i) without restriction (‘U’), (ii) without restriction, but subject to guidance of parents or guardians for children below 12 years of age (‘UA’), (iii) only to adults (‘A’), or (iv) only to members of any profession or class of persons (‘S’). The Bill substitutes the UA category with the following three categories to also indicate age-appropriateness: (i) UA 7+, (ii) UA 13+, or (iii) UA 16+. The age endorsement within the UA category by the Board will inform guidance of parents or guardians, and will not be enforceable by any other persons other than parents or guardians.
- Separate certificate for television/other media: Films with an ‘A’ or ‘S’ certificate will require a separate certificate for exhibition on television, or any other media prescribed by the central government. The Board may direct the applicant to carry appropriate deletions or modifications for the separate certificate.
- Unauthorised recording and exhibition to be punishable: The Bill prohibits carrying out or abetting: (i) the unauthorised recording and (ii) unauthorised exhibition of films. Attempting an unauthorised recording will also be an offence. An unauthorised recording means making or transmitting an infringing copy of a film at a licensed place for film exhibition without the owner’s authorisation. An unauthorised exhibition means the public exhibition of an infringing copy of the film for profit: (i) at a location not licensed to exhibit films or (ii) in a manner that infringes upon the copyright law.
- Certain exemptions under the Copyright Act, 1957 will also apply to the above offences. The 1957 Act allows limited use of copyrighted content without owner’s authorisation in specified cases such as: (i) private or personal use, (ii) reporting of current affairs, or (iii) review or critique of that work.
- The above offences will be punishable with: (i) imprisonment between three months and three years, and (ii) a fine between three lakh rupees and 5% of the audited gross production cost.
- Certificates to be perpetually valid: Under the Act, the certificate issued by the Board is valid for 10 years. The Bill provides that the certificates will be perpetually valid.
- Revisional powers of the central government: The Act empowers the central government to examine and make orders in relation to films that have been certified or are pending certification. The Board is required to dispose matters in conformance to the order. The Bill removes this power of the central government.
8 . Stapled Visa
Context: Terming China’s decision to revive the practice of “stapled visas” for Indian sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh as “unacceptable”, India lodged a strong protest and said that it would respond suitably, after Beijing refused to give normal visas to three ‘Wushu’ martial arts athletes.
What is Stapled Visa?
- A ‘stapled visa’ is a visa that is attached to a separate piece of paper instead of being stamped directly in the passport. The Chinese government began issuing ‘stapled visas’ to Indian citizens from Arunachal Pradesh in 2009.
- The Chinese government says that it issues ‘stapled visas’ to Indian citizens from Arunachal Pradesh because it does not recognise India’s claim over the state. The Indian government says that the ‘stapled visa’ issue is a political tool that China uses to assert its claim over Arunachal Pradesh.
- The ‘stapled visa’ issue is a sensitive one for both India and China. The Indian government has expressed its displeasure at China’s decision to issue ‘stapled visas’ to Indian citizens from Arunachal Pradesh. The Chinese government has said that it will continue to issue ‘stapled visas’ to Indian citizens from Arunachal Pradesh until India recognizes China’s claim over the state.
- The ‘stapled visa’ issue is a reminder of the ongoing dispute between India and China over Arunachal Pradesh. The dispute has the potential to escalate into a conflict between the two countries.
- Is this for the first time that China has issued ‘stapled visas’ to Indian citizens from Arunachal Pradesh?
- In the past, sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh have had to miss international events in China due to the “stapled visa” issue.
- In 2011, an official of the Indian Weightlifting Federation hailing from Arunachal Pradesh and a weightlifter from the same state were to travel to China to take part in a grand prix event in China but they missed out after they were issued “stapled visas.”
- The same year, five karate players from Arunachal Pradesh who were to travel to China for a championship met with the same fate, as did two young archers who were to take part in the Youth World Archery Championship.
Why China issues Stapled Visa?
- Passports, visas, and other kinds of immigration controls reiterate the idea of a nation-state and its sovereignty which is inalienable and inviolable. A passport is the certificate of its holder’s identity and citizenship. Since nation-states reserve the right to control and regulate who enters or leaves their borders, a passport and visa entitle their holders to travel freely and under legal protection across international borders.
- China disputes India’s unequivocal and internationally accepted sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh. It challenges the legal status of the McMahon Line, the boundary between Tibet and British India that was agreed at the Convention Between Great Britain, China, and Tibet at the Simla Convention of 1914.
- It is this disagreement that lies at the heart of Chinese claims over the position of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and its repeated transgressions into Indian territory. China claims some 90,000 sq km of Arunachal Pradesh as its territory.
- It calls the area “Zangnan” in the Chinese language and makes repeated references to “South Tibet”. Chinese maps show Arunachal Pradesh as part of China, and sometimes parenthetically refer to it as “so-called Arunachal Pradesh”.
- China makes periodic efforts to underline this unilateral claim to Indian territory, and to undermine the sovereignty of India over parts of Indian territory. As part of these efforts, it issues lists of Chinese names for places in Arunachal Pradesh — it has issued three such lists in 2017, 2021, and in April this year — and takes steps such as issuing stapled visas.
9 . Facts for Prelims
- Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus. The infection can be acute (short and severe) or chronic (long term).
- Hepatitis B can cause a chronic infection and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis and liver cancer.
- It can spread through contact with infected body fluids like blood, saliva, vaginal fluids and semen. It can also be passed from a mother to her baby.
- Prevention- Hepatitis B can be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine. The vaccine is usually given soon after birth with boosters a few weeks later. It offers nearly 100% protection against the virus.
- Transmission- In highly endemic areas, hepatitis B is most commonly spread from mother to child at birth (perinatal transmission) or through horizontal transmission (exposure to infected blood), especially from an infected child to an uninfected child during the first 5 years of life. The development of chronic infection is common in infants infected from their mothers or before the age of 5 years.
- Hepatitis B is also spread by needlestick injury, tattooing, piercing and exposure to infected blood and body fluids, such as saliva and menstrual, vaginal and seminal fluids. Transmission of the virus may also occur through the reuse of contaminated needles and syringes or sharp objects either in health care settings, in the community or among persons who inject drugs. Sexual transmission is more prevalent in unvaccinated persons with multiple sexual partners.
Unique disability ID
- Unique ID for Persons with Disabilities” project is being implemented with a view of creating a National Database for PwDs, and to issue a Unique Disability Identity Card to each person with disabilities.
- The project will not only encourage transparency, efficiency and ease of delivering the government benefits to the person with disabilities, but also ensure uniformity. The project will also help in stream-lining the tracking of physical and financial progress of beneficiary at all levels of hierarchy of implementation – from village level, block level, District level, State level and National level.
- The UDID project initiated by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities aims at building a holistic end-to-end integrated system for Issuance of Universal ID & Disability Certificates for Person with Disabilities with their identification and disability details. It includes –
- Online availability of data of Person with Disabilities across country through a centralized web application
- Online filing and submission of registration application form for disability certificate/ Universal ID card; Offline applications may also be accepted and subsequently digitized by agencies
- Quick Assessment process for calculating the percentage of disability by the hospitals/ Medical Board
- Non-duplication of PwDs data
- Online renewal and update of information by Person with Disabilities/ on their behalf
- MIS reporting framework
- Effective management including interoperability of the benefits / schemes launched by the Government for Person with Disability (PwD)
- To take care of additional disabilities in future.
- The Kingdom of Tonga is a Polynesian country that lies to the south of Samoa, southeast of Fiji and north east of New Zealand. The Tongan archipelago is comprised of 176 islands, 36 of which are inhabited by a population of approximately 106,000. The islands are divided into four main groups – Tongatapu, Ha’apai and Vava’u and the Niuas. The capital Nuku’alofa is located on the main island of Tongatapu.
- A former British protectorate, Tonga became fully independent in 1970, although it was never formally colonised.
- Tonga has no strategic or mineral resources, and relies on agriculture, fishing and the money sent home by Tongans living abroad, many of them in New Zealand.
- Characterised by tropical beaches, rainforest, and active volcanoes, it has a developing tourist industry – its main source of hard currency.
- Sarvam is envisaged as a universal database, cross-linked with all government subsidy schemes, Aadhaar and bank accounts for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) on one platform for better tracking of benefits availed at a family level.
- The Cabinet Secretariat and the Department of Electronics & Information Technology have collaborated on the project,
- From an outcome perspective, the government would like to know that if a family avails five subsidies, whether it’s sufficient or its income level has increased
- Platform will help increase savings under DBT, under which cash is transferred to the bank accounts of beneficiaries, and further plug leakages.