CAO The Hindu NOTES – 2nd June, 2018 (Daily News Paper Current Affairs Analysis)

📰THE HINDU NEWSPAPER DAILY  Hindu Current Affairs Analysis

Date:- 2nd June 2018


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Citizenship Bill may have to wait for House nod (GS 2 Gov)                 

  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, is unlikely to be tabled in the monsoon session of Parliament.
  • The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) that is examining the legislation intends to have wider consultations over the bill.

Details: The committee representative said that the Bill needed further intensive discussions and the JPC would seek the advice of legal and constitutional experts.

The Bill proposes citizenship to six persecuted minorities — Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists — from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India before 2014.

There has been strong resistance to the Bill in Assam as it seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh. Several political and civil groups have said the Bill would pave the way for giving citizenship to illegal Hindu immigrants from Bangladesh, in violation of the Assam Accord, 1985.

The JPC that visited Assam on May 7 faced protests as indigenous groups see the Bill as a move to legitimize Hindus who have migrated from Bangladesh after 1971. As per the orders of the Supreme Court, the next draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is to be published on June 30, and this has also created hurdles to the passage of the Bill.

A total of 3.29 crore people applied for inclusion in the NRC. In the first list, around 1.9  crore  names  were  included.

The JPC would wait for the NRC process to be completed. The NRC is being updated to weed out illegal migrants who came to the State after the 1971 war when Bangladesh liberated itself from Pakistan.

The cut-off date for NRC is midnight March 24, 1971 and all those who migrated to Assam from Bangladesh before this period would get Indian citizenship as per the Assam Accord.

In Gujarat and Rajasthan there is huge support for the Bill.

Figures show that 12,100 Hindu immigrants from Pakistan were granted long-term visas since 2012. LTVs are precursors to citizenship based on the report given by the State governments.

Through an executive order in 2015, the Home Ministry relaxed the provisions for persecuted religious minorities from the three neighboring countries in respect of their entry and stay in India without proper documents or after the expiry of relevant documents.

Since 2015, around 150 Bangladeshi Hindus were also granted LTVs.

There has been no exact numbers of such minority refugees from these countries but officials put the figure at around two lakh Hindu and Sikh refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan living in India. There are 400 Pakistani Hindu refugee settlements in cities like Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Jaipur. Hindu refugees from Bangladesh mostly live in West Bengal and North East States.

About the Assam Accord: The Assam Accord (1985) was a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement in New Delhi on 15 August 1985. The accord brought an end to the Assam Agitation and paved the way for the leaders of the agitation to form a political party and form a government in the state of Assam soon after.

Some of the key demands were – All those foreigners who had entered Assam between 1951 and 1961 were to be given full citizenship, including the right to vote. Those who had done so after 1971 were to be deported; the entrants between 1961 and 1971 were to be denied voting rights for ten years but would enjoy all other rights of citizenship.

A parallel package for the economic development of Assam, including a second oil refinery, a paper mill and an institute of technology, was also worked out. The central government also promised to provide ‘legislative and administrative safeguards to protect the cultural, social, and linguistic identity and heritage’ of the Assamese people. Though the accord brought an end to the agitation, some of the key clauses are yet to be implemented, which has kept some of the issues festering.

Cruelty against elephants at Amber Fort (GS 3 Env)

  • A magistrate’s court in Amber has directed the police to investigate into cruelty against elephants used as a tourist attraction and for giving joy rides to the visitors to the historic Amber Fort.

Details: Nearly 103 elephants regularly carry tourists up and down a deep slope at the fort built by the erstwhile Kachwaha Rajput rulers. The court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate has asked the police to register a first information report against the accused involved in animal abuse and cruelty, if a complaint made to it was found valid, and submit a report before it.

The report filed with the court said that nearly 103 elephants at the Amber Fort were being ill-treated and forced to carry load more than the prescribed limits and were suffering from several health problems. They are housed in “Haathi Gaon”, a concrete housing structure situated four km away. The way the elephants were being treated amounted to an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

The Animal Welfare Board of India has conducted multiple investigations in the past, disclosing the conditions under which these elephants are tortured. They suffer from the blows of ‘ankush’ or bull-hook, which is prohibited, and from beating, kicking and insufficient diet and inadequate medical care.

The report also said that Most of the 103 elephants have open wounds, scars, are chained when not working and display stereotypical behavior caused by lack of natural mental stimulation.

The foreign tourists who frequent the elephant rides at the fort are often unaware of the cruelty behind them. None of the elephants qualifies all the criteria set for registration with the AWBI under the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001.

About Animal Welfare Board of India: The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), headquartered in Haryana state, is a statutory advisory body advising the Government of India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Concerned about the abuse of animals in research, in the Board’s early history, it recommended that the government create the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA).

Another early concern of the Board was the cruelty involved when animals were used in entertainment. In 1964, the Board published the booklet, “Circuses – Amusement for the Uncivilized”. In 2001, the government passed the Performing Animals Rules, which were amended in 2005. In 2012, the Board reported that the Rules were being implemented in an effective way.

India Singapore relations (GS 2 IR)

  • India and Singapore on Friday agreed to deepen their economic and defense ties as they signed eight agreements, one on logistics cooperation between their Navies.
  • Indian PM is on an official visit to Singapore as part of a 3 nation tour.

Details: The two countries signed an implementation agreement between their Navies on mutual coordination, logistics and services support for visits of naval ships, submarines and naval aircraft — including ship-borne aviation assets. Appreciating India’s leading role in the Indian Ocean region, both sides agreed to New Delhi’s proposal for continuous and institutionalized naval engagements in their shared maritime space, including establishing maritime exercises with like-minded regional or ASEAN partners.

The parties were also able to conclude successfully the second review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), but it was also agreed that this was not just the target and goal but only a means to an end. Officials will soon begin discussions on upgrading and reforming this agreement.

The parties exchanged views on the regional and global challenges, and reiterated their principled position on maritime security and expressed commitment to a “rules-based” Order.

The two leaders also agreed on the need to maintain an open, stable and fair international trade regime. They also reiterated their strong commitment to combat terrorism.

Mr. Modi welcomed the progress towards realization of the ASEAN community and expressed full support for ASEAN’s unity, centrality and leadership in the evolving regional architecture. Mr. Lee said India and Singapore were collaborating on technology, smart cities and skills development.

He reaffirmed Singapore’s continuing support for India as a permanent member in a reformed United Nations Security Council.

Centre to refund GST on rations used for langar, similar meals (GS 3 Eco)

  • The Centre on Friday announced a scheme to reimburse its share of GST on raw material used to prepare meals in community kitchens run by religious organizations, such as langar.
  • The scheme, called Seva Bhoj Yojana, has an outlay of Rs 325 crore for financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20, according to a statement by the Ministry of Culture.

Details: The scheme envisages reimbursement of the Centre’s share of CGST and IGST on purchase of raw items such as ghee, edible oil, atta/Maida/rava/flour, rice, pulses, sugar and jaggery, which go into preparation of Prasad or langar offered free of cost by religious institutions. “The objective of the scheme is to lessen the financial burden of such charitable or religious institutions that provide food free of cost without any discrimination to public/ devotees.

The scheme applies to only those charitable or religious institutions — temple, gurdwara, mosque, church, dharmik ashram, dargah, math and monasteries — that have been in existence for at least five years, and who serve free food to at least 5,000 people a month.

Under the new scheme, the Ministry of Culture will register the eligible charitable religious institutions for a time period ending with the tenure of the Finance Commission, and subsequently, registration may be renewed, subject to performance evaluation of the institutions. The details of registered institutions will be available on an online portal.


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