Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- India – Qatar Relationship
- Geneva Convention on war crimes
- Facts for Prelims- Dark Patterns, Eject Halo
1 . India – Qatar Relationship
Context: The death sentence given to eight former personnel of the Indian Navy by a court in Qatar presents the biggest challenge yet to New Delhi’s historically friendly ties with Doha.
- Diplomatic relations between India and Qatar were established in 1973.
- During a visit made by Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in March 2015, five MoUs entailing co-operation in several fields were signed.
- An agreement on prisoner repatriation was made. According to this agreement, citizens of India or Qatar who are convicted and sentenced for a crime can be extradited to their native country to spend the remaining years of their prison sentence.
- Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani made diplomatic visits to India in April 1999, May 2005 and April 2012.
- In 2016 Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Doha on a two-day visit which was focused on giving a new push to the economic ties, particularly in the hydrocarbon sector.
- During the visit he shared a meal with Indian workers living in Qatar and also addressed the NRIs at a gala event.
- Defence cooperation is an important pillar of our bilateral agenda. India offers training slots in its defence institutions to a number of partner countries, including Qatar.
- India regularly participates in the biennial Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX) in Qatar.
- Indian Naval and Coast Guard ships regularly visit Qatar as part of our bilateral cooperation and interaction. India-Qatar Defence Cooperation Agreement, signed during the PM’s visit to Qatar in November 2008, and further extended for a period of five years in November 2018
- Za’ir-Al-Bahr (Roar of the Sea) is a joint exercise between the Qatari Emiri Navy and the Indian Navy.
- India’s total imports from Qatar in FY2022-23 were valued at $16.81 billion, of which LNG imports alone were worth $8.32 billion, or 49.5%, an analysis of official trade data shows.
- India’s other major imports from Qatar are also fossil fuel-linked commodities and products, such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), plastics, and other petrochemicals.
- On the other hand, India’s exports to Qatar were valued at just $1.97 billion in FY2022-23. The major exports include cereals, copper articles, iron and steel articles, vegetables, fruits, spices, and processed food products.
- Indian expats are the largest in numbers and make up around 25% of the Qatar population and approx population of Indians in Qatar as of 2023 is around 7.5 Lakh.
Challenges in the relationship
- An Indian Navy personnel has been sentenced to death in a trial shrouded in secrecy, causing shock within the Indian expatriate community.
- Qatar strongly criticized the remarks made by an Indian ruling party spokesperson about the Prophet, with the strongest condemnation among West Asian nations.
- Qatar, due to its significant financial resources, has provided support to the Taliban and is a major supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.
- The Qatar-funded Al-Jazeera channel has frequently conducted forceful campaigns against India, such as its coverage of the revocation of Article 370 in 2019.
2 . Geneva Convention on war crimes
Context: The United Nations said it was concerned that war crimes were being committed on both sides in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
About the Convention
- The Geneva Conventions are a set of international agreements that provide legal protections for those affected by war and prohibit specific behaviors during armed conflicts.
- These Conventions define war crimes as grave breaches of their provisions, encompassing acts that go against fundamental humanitarian principles. Examples of war crimes include deliberately causing suffering or humiliation to individuals or groups, killing prisoners of war, subjecting people to torture, mistreating civilians, and committing cruel or inhumane acts during warfare.
- In accordance with international humanitarian law, war crimes represent significant violations of the established rules and customs of warfare. They can result in individual criminal responsibility and are considered some of the most severe offenses under international law.
- The primary sources of international humanitarian law consist of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, in addition to customary international law.
War Crimes included under it
- Attacks on civilians or civilian objects: Deliberate attacks on civilians or civilian objects, such as homes, schools, and hospitals, are considered war crimes.
- Torture and inhumane treatment: The intentional infliction of severe physical or mental suffering on prisoners of war, civilians, or other protected persons is a war crime.
- Taking hostages: Taking and holding hostages is considered a war crime, as it violates the principles of humanity and the protection of civilians.
- Using prohibited weapons :The use of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons is prohibited and considered a war crime under international law.
- Forced displacement: Forcing civilians to leave their homes or territories is considered a war crime and violates their right to freedom of movement.
- Sexual violence: Rape, sexual slavery, and other forms of sexual violence are considered war crimes and violate the principles of humanity.
- Enforced disappearances: The kidnapping and detention of individuals without due process, followed by their disappearance, is considered a war crime.
Four Geneva Conventions
- The Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field: This convention covers the protection of sick and wounded soldiers on the battlefield, including the establishment of medical units and the protection of medical personnel.
- The Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea: This convention covers the protection of sick, wounded, and shipwrecked military personnel at sea.
- The Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War:
This convention covers the treatment of prisoners of war, including the protection of their lives, dignity, and humane treatment, as well as their rights to correspondence, food, and medical care.
- The Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War:
This convention covers the protection of civilians in times of war, including the protection of their lives, dignity, and humane treatment, as well as their rights to food, medical care, and protection from violence.
- Expansion of the definition of civilians: The Additional Protocols expand the definition of civilians to include those not directly participating in hostilities and provide additional protections for this group.
- Prohibition of indiscriminate attacks: The Protocols prohibit indiscriminate attacks that cause excessive harm to civilians or civilian objects and require that military targets be distinguished from civilian objects.
- Protection of the environment: The Protocols prohibit attacks on the natural environment, which can have long-lasting consequences for civilians and the environment.
- Clarification of the rules on the use of weapons: The Protocols provide additional clarity on the rules governing the use of weapons, including the prohibition of certain weapons and the requirement that weapons be used in a manner that minimizes harm to civilians.
- Expansion of the protection of prisoners of war: The Protocols expand the protections afforded to prisoners of war and provide additional protections for individuals who are captured or detained during an armed conflict.
3 . Facts for Prelims
- Harry Brignull, a user experience researcher in the U.K., introduced the phrase ‘dark pattern’ in 2010 to characterise deceptive strategies used to trick clients.
- A dark pattern refers to a design or user interface technique that is intentionally crafted to manipulate or deceive users into making certain choices or taking specific actions that may not be in their best interest.
- It is a deceptive practice employed to influence user behaviour in a way that benefits the company implementing it.
- Some of the common practices are — creating a sense of urgency or scarcity while online shopping; confirm shaming wherein a consumer is criticised for not conforming to a particular belief; the forced action of signing up for a service to access content; advertising one product or service but delivering another, often of lower quality, known as the bait and switch technique; hidden costs where the bill is revised or costs are added when the consumer is almost certain to purchase the product; disguised advertisements of a particular product by way of depicting it as news.
- According to ISRO, during the descent of the Chandrayaan-3 Lander Module (Vikram lander) towards the Moon’s South Pole in 2023, it created what is known as an “ejecta halo” of lunar material.
- The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) and ISRO have estimated that approximately 2.06 tonnes of lunar surface material, known as epiregolith, were ejected during the landing process. This material was dispersed over an area of 108.4 square meters around the landing site, resulting in the formation of an “ejecta halo.”
- An “ejecta halo” is characterized as an irregular, bright patch surrounding the lander, created by the scattering of lunar epiregolith during the landing event.