19, September 2017

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust wins “Rajbhasha Kirti Award” for 11th consecutive time

  • Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) was awarded the “Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar” for the year 2016-17 in the category of ‘B’ region for autonomous bodies and boards, for its excellent implementation of the Official Language.
  • The award (second prize) was presented at an elegant ceremony at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on the occasion of Hindi Divas celebration on September 14, 2017. This is the 11th consecutive year that Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust has won this award.

1.Union Home Minister operationalises the New Intelligence Set-up of SSB

Source: PIB

Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh operationalised the New Intelligence Set-up of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). This marked the culmination of a long pending aspiration of the Force following approval of the Union Home Minister.

  • SSB has been mandated with the responsibility of guarding the Indo- Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders where there are no restrictions on the movement of people on either side. The border population on both sides have strong regional, cultural and economic ties.

Key points:

  • SSB has been declared as the Lead Intelligence Agency (LIA) for both the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders.
  • Thus, it was felt that a well-knit intelligence network of the highest capabilities that can function and deliver would be the prime requirement of comprehensive Border Management.
  • This was quite essential as the operations of SSB have to be Intelligence based so as to prevent criminals and smugglers from taking advantage of the friendly borders with Nepal and Bhutan.
  • MHA has accordingly sanctioned 650 posts in various ranks from Battalion to Frontier Headquarters.
  • This makes the task much more challenging and demands highest alertness to check illegal activities like smuggling of arms, Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN), drugs and human-trafficking.

WARB

  • On the occasion, the Union Home Minister launched the Welfare and Rehabilitation Board (WARB) Mobile App for CAPF personnel. The App is available on Google Play store and is user friendly.
  • It contains various useful features to facilitate retired CAPFs and Assam Rifles personnel to get their genuine grievances redressed, seek skill development training through National Skill Development Corporation under “Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, re-employment and other relevant and important information.
  • This mobile App shall also help retired personnel to have better co-ordination with WARB and its field formation at states/UTs and district level.

‘Sanrakshan’ scheme

  • SSB Wives’ Welfare Association “SANDIKSHA” has taken up the task to help out wards of such martyrs under the ‘Sanrakshan’ scheme. “SANDIKSHA” is providing financial help to children of martyrs who are still studying in school, colleges and universities to continue their studies.

2.’Illegal’ Rohingya refugees pose security threat, Centre tells SC

Source: The Hindu

The fundamental right to reside and settle in any part of the country is available to citizens only, the Centre says in its affidavit

  • The Centre told the Supreme Court that Rohingyas posed as a serious threat to national security with links to terror outfits, including the Islamic State.

What Centre says in affidavit?

  • The Centre’s affidavit, filed in the apex court registry, said unless the government took action now, illegal immigrants like Rohingyas would eat into the welfare meant for India’s citizens.
  • The government said the decision to deport them (Rohingyas) fell within the exclusive domain of the government. The court should refrain from hearing them.
  • In its affidavit, the government accused the Rohingyas of taking advantage of the porous borders in the east with organised smuggling of people, human trafficking, mobilisation of hawala. Many of them have managed to acquire fake Indian identity cards like PAN card and voter cards, the government claimed.
  • The Centre said an organised influx of Rohingyas illegally enter India via Benapole-Haridaspur (West Bengal), Hilli (West Bengal) and Sonamora (Tripura), Kolkata and Guwahati. Appearing for Maitur Rahman, a native of of Assam, advocate Somiran Sharma intervened to argue in court that alowing the Rohingyas to stay may kindle ethnic tensions in the northeastern State.
  • Many of the Rohingyas figure in the suspected sinister designs of ISI/ISIS and other extremists groups who want to achieve their ulterior motives in India including that of flaring up communal and sectarian violence in sensitive areas of the country.
  • “Radicalised” Rohingyas may wreak violence on Indian Buddhists, the government warned.
  • But mostly, the government feared that the “illegal immigrants” would exhaust the exhaust national resources of India and deprive citizens “of their legitimate share in the employment sector, subsidised housing, medical and educational facilities”.
  • The fundamental rights of Indian citizens would, therefore, be seriously violated… India, as a sovereign nation, has the first and the foremost constitutional duty and obligation towards its citizens.

Background:

  • The government said India is not a signatory to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951 and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1967, and hence, is not obliged to follow its provisions.
  • The government quoted the 1955 Hans Muller case judgment by a Supreme Court Constitution Bench, which held that The Foreigners Act (of 1946) vests the Central Government with an “absolute and unfettered discretion” to expel foreigners.

3.U.S. stages bombing drills with South Korea

Source: The Hindu

The U.S. military staged bombing drills with South Korea over the Korean peninsula and Russia and China began naval exercises ahead of a UN General Assembly where North Korea’s nuclear threat is likely to loom large.

  • The flurry of military drills came after Pyongyang fired another mid-range ballistic missile over Japan and the reclusive North conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in defiance of United Nations sanctions and other international pressure.

China-Russian naval exercises

  • A pair of U.S. B-1B bombers and four F-35 jets flew from Guam and Japan and joined four South Korean F-15K fighters in the latest drill, South Korea’s Defence Ministry.
  • Those drills were being conducted between Peter the Great Bay, near Vladivostok, and the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, to the north of Japan.
  • The drills are the second part of China-Russian naval exercises this year, the first part of which was staged in the Baltic in July. Xinhua did not directly link the drills to current tension over North Korea. China and Russia have repeatedly called for a peaceful solution and talks to resolve the issue.

US resolution:

  • The UN Security Council unanimously passed a U.S.-drafted resolution a week ago mandating tougher new sanctions against Pyongyang that included banning textile imports and capping crude and petrol supply.

4.India, Japan, U.S. present common front

Source: The Hindu

At a trilateral meeting in New York, Foreign Ministers of India, Japan and the U.S. endorsed one another’s position on key strategic issues in Asia.

  • While India stood with the U.S. and Japan on the question of North Korea’s nuclear posture, it received support from the two on its position on the China-led One Belt, One Road project, a press release indicated.

Key facts:

  • The Ministers emphasised the need for ensuring freedom of navigation, respect for international law and peaceful resolution of disputes… On DPRK (North Korea), the EAM (External Affairs Minister) deplored DPRK’s recent actions and stated that its proliferation linkages must be explored and those involved be held accountable.

India, Japan, US voice concerns over OBOR

  • Close on the heels of the Indo-Japan summit, which saw the two countries calling for a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific, India and Japan along with the US again sought to address concerns over China’s OBOR saying that connectivity initiatives must not undermine sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • The security situation in South China Sea too was discussed in the meeting with the two ministers emphasising that the need for ensuring freedom of navigation, respect for international law and peaceful resolution of disputes.
  • “On connectivity initiatives, the importance of basing them on universally recognised international norms, prudent financing and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity was underlined,” said the MEA statement, adding that the three ministers directed their senior officials to explore practical steps to enhance cooperation.

Way ahead:

  • The trilateral follows the India-Japan summit which was dedicated to efforts by the two countries to address the security situation in the Indo-Pacific and to align Japan’s free and open Indo-Pacific strategy with India’s Act East.
  • The India-Japan joint statement pledged to enhance maritime security cooperation, improve connectivity in the wider Indo-Pacific region, strengthen cooperation with ASEAN and to promote discussions between strategists and experts of the two countries

One Belt On Road summit in China: All you need to know

  • Inspired by the Silk Road, the medieval trade routes between Europe and Asia, the OBOR project will be a vast network of land and maritime routes across dozens of countries. It will impact 4.4 billion people. China is said to be spending $1 trillion on it.
  • It is not one project but six major routes which will include several railways line, roads, ports and other infrastructure.
  • China claims these economic corridors will not only build infrastructure in countries. Who will benefit? The participating countries will benefit in terms of infrastructure and trade. OBOR can be an easy and fast way for many small countries to acquire important infrastructure projects which they cannot afford otherwise.
  • The policy is significant for China since it aims to boost domestic growth in the country. Experts have noted OBOR is also a part of China’s strategy for economic diplomacy. OBOR may well provide China an opportunity to continue its economic development, as trade routes under this program will give China access to new markets. Permanent Chinese presence in dozens of countries will give China an edge over its rivals in trading with these small countries.
  • China has tried to assuage India’s feelings by asserting that the commercial corridor will not have any impact on its stand that the Kashmir issue should be settled by India and Pakistan through dialogue.
  • Why does India object? A key part of OBOR is China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a 3,000 km project connecting Pakistan’s deep-water port Gwadar and China’s Xinjiang.
  • It passes through Gilgit-Baltistan region which lies in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. The Chinese presence in a disputed region which India claims as part of its own territory raises sovereignty concerns for India.

5.Bankruptcy law, GST may increase FDI

Source: The Hindu

Reform measures such as the foreign direct investment reforms, GST and a simplified bankruptcy code are likely to increase FDI in India, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Key facts:

  • In India, the government has raised ceilings for authorised FDI in a number of sectors
  • FDI has already increased substantially, albeit from a low base. Combined with reforms such as the introduction of a goods and services tax, which lowers the cost and complexity of doing business, and a simplified and clarified bankruptcy code, FDI is likely to rise further.
  • It, however, the report added that the benefits of these measures to attract higher levels of FDI and the steps taken to improve business conditions are likely to really have an impact when the global economy improves.



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