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Weekly Current Affairs (15th to 21st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC PDF Download

All India Conference of Director Generals of Police

Weekly Current Affairs (15th to 21st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context: Recently, the Prime Minister of India participated in the 58th All India Conference of Director Generals/Inspector Generals of Police, held in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The three-day event, conducted in a hybrid mode, brought together Director Generals of Police (DGPs), Inspector Generals of Police (IGPs), and Chiefs of Central Police Organizations.

  • The conference covered a diverse range of topics related to policing and internal security, including discussions on Cyber Crime, Technology in Policing, Counter Terrorism challenges, Left Wing Extremism, and Prison Reforms. A key focus was also placed on deliberations about the implementation of new Criminal Laws.

Key Highlights from the PM's Address:

Paradigm Shift in Criminal Justice:

  • The Prime Minister underscored the transformative impact of new criminal laws, emphasizing the need for a justice system that prioritizes citizen dignity, rights, and justice over punitive measures. He advocated for data-driven approaches to law enforcement.

Empowerment of Women:

  • The PM highlighted the importance of educating women and girls about their rights under the new laws, urging the police to ensure their safety and create an environment where they can work fearlessly.

Positive Image of Police:

  • He emphasized the significance of improving the public perception of the police force and suggested the use of social media platforms at the grassroots level to share positive information and messages. Additionally, he proposed utilizing social media for disaster alerts and relief efforts.

Citizen-Police Connect:

  • The PM recommended organizing sports events as a way to strengthen the bond between citizens and the police. He also encouraged government officials to stay in border villages to establish better connections with the local population.

Transformation of Police Force:

  • He urged the Indian police to undergo a transformation, evolving into a modern, world-class force aligned with India's growing global profile. The goal is to contribute to the vision of a developed India by the year 2047.

Issues Associated with Police Forces:

Custodial Deaths:

  • Custodial deaths pertain to fatalities occurring while an individual is under the custody of the police or other law enforcement agencies. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), while these deaths showed a decline from 146 in 2017-18 to 100 in 2020-21 over three consecutive years, they witnessed a significant increase to 175 in 2021-22.

Excessive Use of Force:

  • Reported instances of police using excessive force have resulted in injuries and fatalities. Insufficient training and oversight contribute to the improper use of force in some cases. The expectation is for police officers, as public servants, to interact with citizens in a lawful manner.

Corruption:

  • Corruption within the police force, encompassing bribery and other forms of misconduct, erodes public trust. Both high-ranking and lower-ranking police officials have been exposed engaging in corrupt practices, such as accepting bribes, with instances like those related to the enforcement of prohibition laws.

Trust Issues:

  • A substantial trust deficit exists between the police and the community, impacting cooperation and information sharing. Cases of police misconduct, especially those that gain high-profile attention, fuel public skepticism and mistrust.

Extrajudicial Killings by Police:

  • Instances of extrajudicial killings by the police, often termed as 'encounters,' raise concerns. Indian law lacks explicit provisions legalizing encounter killings. While Supreme Court judgments have restricted the use of such tactics, the reported number of people killed in encounters increased from 82 in 2020-2021 to 151 in 2021-2022.

What are the Recommendations for Police Reforms?

Police Complaint Authority:

  • In the case Prakash Singh v/s Union of India, 2006, the Supreme Court directed to establish the Police Complaint Authority in all the states of India.
  • The Police Complaint Authority is authorized to investigate matters relating to any kind of misconduct by police of, above, below the rank of Superintendent of Police.
  • SC also directed separation of investigation and law and order functions to better improve policing, setting up of State Security Commissions (SSC) that would have members from civil society and forming a National Security Commission.

National Police Commission Recommendations:

  • The National Police Commission (1977-1981) in India made recommendations for police reforms, emphasizing the need for functional autonomy and accountability.

Shri Ribero Committee:

  • Shri Ribero committee was constituted in 1998, on the directions of the Supreme Court, to review action taken on police reforms, and to suggest ways ot implementing recommendations of the Commission.
  • The Rebeiro Committee endorsed major recommendations of National Police Commission (1978-82) with certain modifications.

Malimath Committee on Reforms in the Criminal Justice System:

  • The Malimath Committee on Reforms in the Criminal Justice System set up in 2000, headed by V.S. Malimath made 158 recommendations including that of setting up a central law enforcement agency.

Model Police Act:

  • In accordance with the Model Police Act, 2006, each state must establish an authority made up of retired High Court judges, civil society members, retired police officers, and public administrators from another state.
  • It focused on the functional autonomy of the police agency, encouraged professionalism and made accountability paramount for both performance and conduct.

Question for Weekly Current Affairs (15th to 21st January 2024) Part - 2
Try yourself:
What is the main objective of the All India Conference of Director Generals of Police?
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Shifts in Foreign Portfolio Investments In India

Weekly Current Affairs (15th to 21st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context: Foreign portfolio investments (FPIs) directed towards India have undergone a noteworthy reshuffling in the regional hierarchy.

  • This transformation is credited to diverse factors, encompassing regulatory alterations, geopolitical occurrences, and strategic alliances.

Noteworthy Shifts in the FPI Scenario

Luxembourg's Ascendancy:

  • Luxembourg has emerged as the third-largest region for FPIs in India, surpassing Mauritius, witnessing a 30% growth in Assets Under Custody (AUC) to ₹4.85 lakh crore.
  • Globally, its equity assets now stand second only to the United States.
  • The surge is linked to fortified India-Europe ties, leading to three financial agreements.
  • Luxembourg hosts over 1,400 FPI accounts out of 3,000 in Europe (excluding the UK).
  • Collaborations, notably with GIFT City, have further enhanced the financial relations between India and Luxembourg.

France's Noteworthy Gains:

  • France has secured a position among the top ten FPIs, experiencing a remarkable 74% growth in AUC, reaching ₹1.88 lakh crore.
  • This ascent is propelled by favorable tax provisions under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and France.

Other Players in the Altered Landscape:

  • Ireland and Norway have each moved up one position, now ranking 5th and 7th among FPI jurisdictions.
  • Ireland's appeal lies in its tax efficiencies and global reach, providing regulated funds with an exemption from Irish tax on income and gains.
  • Despite a 19% year-on-year growth in AUC, Canada descended one place in the rankings. The impact of diplomatic tensions between India and Canada on investments remains uncertain.

What is Foreign Portfolio Investment?

About:

  • FPI refers to investments made by foreign individuals, corporations, and institutions in the financial assets of India, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
  • These investments are mainly for the purpose of short-term gains and portfolio diversification, unlike Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which involves long-term ownership of assets.

Benefits:

  • Capital Inflow: FPI results in the inflow of foreign capital into the Indian financial markets, which contributes to increased liquidity and capital availability.
  • Boost to Stock Market: Increased FPI can positively impact the stock market, leading to higher valuations and increased investor confidence.
  • Technology Transfer: FPI often involves investments in technology-oriented sectors, leading to induced technology transfer and advancements in various industries.
  • Global Integration: FPI promotes global integration of financial markets, allowing Indian markets to align with global trends and attract foreign investors.

Risk:

  • Market Volatility and Capital Flight: FPI flows can be volatile, driven by global economic and geopolitical factors.
    • Sudden inflows or outflows can lead to market instability and currency fluctuations, harming both domestic investors and the economy.
  • Transparency and Identification of Beneficial Owners: Identifying the ultimate beneficiaries of complex FPI structures can be challenging for regulators, raising concerns about potential misuse of funds and tax evasion.
  • Assets Under Custody: AUC refers to the total value of financial assets that a custodian manages for their clients. It can also refer to the closing market value of all equities held by FPIs.
  • Pecking Order: The pecking order in the context of FPIs refers to the ranking or hierarchy of regions or countries from which foreign investors channel their investments into a target country, in this case, India.

Govt Jobs for Acquitted Individuals in Criminal Cases

Weekly Current Affairs (15th to 21st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has instructed the Central government to reassess the selection of an individual from Haryana for the position of a constable in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). This directive follows his exoneration in a 2019 case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, 2012.

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had rescinded the person's appointment, citing moral turpitude as the grounds for cancellation.

Definition of Moral Turpitude:

  • The term "moral turpitude," as articulated by the Supreme Court in the case of P. Mohanasundaram vs. the President, 2013, lacks a specific definition. It encompasses actions contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals, implying a corrupt and wicked character or disposition of the individual accused of such behavior.

Concerning Case Overview:

  • The constable, appointed on compassionate grounds in 2022, faced the rescission of his appointment after disclosing his acquittal in a 2018 criminal case under Section 4 of the POCSO Act, 2012, involving penetrative sexual assault. Additionally, he was charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, encompassing offenses related to causing harm by poison, kidnapping, and criminal intimidation, among others. 
  • Despite being acquitted of all charges by a Kaithal Court (Haryana) in 2019, his appointment was revoked in adherence to a policy issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs for appointments in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), which deems individuals with registered criminal cases, under trial, or under inquiry as unsuitable for appointment, especially if they faced serious charges or moral turpitude in a criminal case, even if later acquitted due to the benefit of doubt or witness intimidation.

Court Mandates for Appointing Individuals with Criminal Cases in Public Jobs:

  • In the case of Avtar Singh vs. Union of India, 2016, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court addressed the appointment of a candidate involved in a criminal case. The ruling emphasized that information provided to the employer about a candidate’s conviction, acquittal, arrest, or the pendency of a criminal case must be accurate and without suppression or false information. 
  • For convictions in non-trivial cases, the employer has the authority to annul the candidate’s candidature or terminate their services. If an acquittal occurs in a case involving moral turpitude or a serious offense on technical grounds, and it's not a clear acquittal or based on reasonable doubt, the employer can assess all relevant information regarding the individual's background and make a suitable decision regarding their continuation.
  • The Supreme Court, in the Satish Chandra Yadav vs. Union of India case in 2023, underscored that "acquittal in a criminal case would not automatically entitle a candidate for appointment to the post." It emphasized that the employer retains the discretion to consider the candidate's antecedents and examine their suitability for the position.

What is the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012?

About:

  • The POCSO Act came into effect on 14th November 2012 which was enacted in consequence to India’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992.
  • The aim of this special law is to address offences of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, which were either not specifically defined or adequately penalised.
  • The Act defines a child as any person below the age of 18 years. The Act provides punishment as per the gravity of the offence.
  • The Act was further reviewed and amended in 2019 to Introduce more stringent punishment including the death penalty for Committing sexual crimes on children, with a view to deter the perpetrators & prevent such crimes against children.
  • The Government of India has also notified the POCSO Rules, 2020.

Features:

Gender-Neutral Nature:

  • The Act recognises that both girls and boys can be victims of sexual abuse and that such abuse is a crime regardless of the gender of the victim.
  • This is in line with the principle that all children have the right to protection from sexual abuse and exploitation and that laws should not discriminate based on gender.

Ease in Reporting Cases:

  • There is sufficient general awareness now to report cases of sexual exploitation of children not only by individuals but also by institutions as non-reporting has been made a specific offence under the POCSO Act. This has made it comparatively difficult to hide offences against children.

What is the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBPF)?

  • Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBPF) is a Central Armed Police Force functioning under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
  • The ITBP was raised on 24th October 1962 during the India-China War and is a border guarding police force specialising in high-altitude operations.
  • Presently, ITBP is deployed on border guarding duties from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh covering 3488 km of the Indo-China Border.
  • The Force is also deployed for Anti-Naxal Operations and other internal security duties.

Question for Weekly Current Affairs (15th to 21st January 2024) Part - 2
Try yourself:
Which country has emerged as the third-largest region for Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPIs) in India, surpassing Mauritius?
View Solution


Implications of No Snowfall In Kashmir

Weekly Current Affairs (15th to 21st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context: The absence of snowfall in Kashmir during the winter season is not only impacting the region's tourism industry, especially in popular destinations like Gulmarg, but it also holds significant implications for various aspects of the local environment and economy.

Factors Behind the Lack of Snowfall in Kashmir:

Climate and Weather Patterns:

  • Throughout the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh regions, there has been a notable absence of rains or snowfall this winter, marked by an 80% rainfall deficit in December 2023 and a 100% deficit (no rain) in January 2024 so far.
  • Winter precipitation, crucial for the local climate, primarily takes the form of snowfall in these regions.

Decrease in Western Disturbance:

  • The observed decline in overall snowfall is linked to a reduction in Western Disturbance events and a gradual temperature increase, potentially influenced by climate change.
  • Western Disturbances serve as the primary source of winter precipitation in the Himalayan region.
  • The diminishing trend in the number of Western Disturbance events contributes to reduced overall precipitation during winter.
  • Western Disturbances are expansive eastward-moving rain-bearing wind systems originating beyond Afghanistan and Iran, gathering moisture from regions as distant as the Mediterranean Sea and even the Atlantic Ocean.

Impact of Climate Change and El Nino:

  • Climate change is identified as a contributing factor to the diminishing snowfall in Kashmir, supported by various studies.
  • The temperature rise is more pronounced in higher elevation areas than in the plains, further affecting snowfall.
  • The ongoing El Nino event in the eastern Pacific Ocean is proposed as an additional element influencing global atmospheric circulation, contributing to the deficit precipitation in the region.
  • In the past decade, specific years, including 2022, 2018, and 2015, have witnessed relatively dry winters in Jammu and Kashmir, with minimal snowfall.

What are the Implications of No Snowfall in Kashmir?

Short and Long Term Impact:

  • Short-term effects include an increase in forest fires, agricultural drought, and a drop in crop production.
  • Long-term consequences include a reduction in hydroelectricity generation, an increase in glacier melting, and adverse effects on drinking water supply due to less recharge of groundwater.

Vital for Winter Crops:

  • The winter snow, crucial for moisture in the soil, is vital for winter crops, particularly horticulture. The yields of apples and Saffron, significant contributors to the local economy, are adversely affected in the absence of sufficient snowfall.

Impact on Tourism:

  • Gulmarg, a key winter tourism spot in Kashmir, is witnessing a sharp decline in tourist visits this season due to insufficient snow. Despite substantial tourist numbers in 2023, officials project at least a 60% reduction in footfall.
  • The scarcity of snow is adversely affecting ski resorts and related businesses, impacting the local economy.

Finalising Implementation Strategy of NQM

Weekly Current Affairs (15th to 21st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context: The inaugural session of the Mission Governing Board (MGB) for the National Quantum Mission (NQM) recently took place, focusing on the implementation strategy, timelines, and the establishment of the Mission Coordination Cell (MCC).

  • The MCC, to be located in an institution selected by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) based on merit and existing infrastructure, will operate under the overall supervision and guidance of the Mission Technology Research Council (MTRC).

Overview of the National Quantum Mission (NQM):

About:

  • Spanning from 2023 to 2031, the mission's goal is to initiate, foster, and expand scientific and industrial research and development in Quantum Technology (QT), establishing a dynamic and innovative ecosystem.
  • Managed by the DST under the Ministry of Science & Technology, India will become the seventh country to launch a dedicated quantum mission, joining the ranks of the US, Austria, Finland, France, Canada, and China.

Key Features of NQM:

  • It aims to develop intermediate-scale quantum computers featuring 50-100 physical qubits within 5 years and 50-1000 physical qubits within 8 years.
  • Qubits, akin to bits in traditional computing, are the fundamental units for quantum computers' information processing.
  • The mission will facilitate the creation of highly sensitive magnetometers for precision timing (atomic clocks), communications, and navigation.
  • Support will be provided for designing and synthesizing quantum materials, including superconductors, novel semiconductor structures, and topological materials for quantum device fabrication.

Advancements in Quantum Communications:

  • Secure quantum communications via satellites between ground stations within a 2000 km range in India.
  • Secure quantum communications with other nations over long distances.
  • Inter-city quantum key distribution spanning 2000 km.
  • Establishment of a multi-node Quantum network featuring quantum memories.

Formation of Four Thematic Hubs (T-Hubs) in leading academic and National R&D institutes, focusing on the following Quantum Technology domains:

  • Quantum Computation
  • Quantum Communication
  • Quantum Sensing & Metrology
  • Quantum Materials & Devices

What are the Advantages of Quantum Technology?

  • Increased Computing Power: Quantum computers are much faster than the computers we today have. They also have the capability to solve complex problems that are currently beyond our reach.
  • Improved Security: Because they rely on principles of quantum mechanics, quantum encryption techniques are much more secure than traditional encryption methods.
  • Faster Communication: Quantum communication networks can transmit information faster and more securely than traditional networks, with the potential for completely unhackable communication.
  • Enhanced AI: Quantum machine learning algorithms can potentially enable more efficient and accurate training of Artificial Intelligence models.
  • Better Sensing and Measurement: Quantum sensors can detect extremely small changes in the environment, making them useful in areas such as medical diagnostics, environmental monitoring, and geological exploration.

What are the Disadvantages of Quantum Technology?

  • Expensive: The technology requires specialized equipment and materials which make it more expensive than the traditional technologies.
  • Limited Applications: Currently, quantum technology is only useful for specific applications such as cryptography, quantum computing, and quantum communication.
  • Sensitivity to Environment: Quantum technology is highly sensitive to environmental interference, such as temperature changes, magnetic fields, and vibrations.
    • Qubits are easily disrupted by their surroundings which can cause them to lose their quantum properties and make mistakes in calculations.
  • Limited Control: It is difficult to control and manipulate quantum systems. Quantum-powered AI could create unintended consequences.
    • Quantum-powered AI systems could potentially arrive at conclusions that are unexpected or difficult to explain as they operate on principles that are fundamentally different from classical computing.

What is the Path Forward?

  • Strengthen Investment: The realization of the full potential of quantum technology demands substantial investment in research and development, infrastructure, and human resources. India has initiated this process with the launch of the National Quantum Mission, allocating a budget of Rs. 6000 crores. However, additional public and private funding is imperative to support the growth of quantum start-ups, service providers, and academic institutions. A notable improvement in private sector R&D funding is crucial, especially considering the current gap compared to developed countries.
  • Establish a Regulatory Framework: The deployment of quantum technology brings forth ethical, legal, and social challenges that must be addressed proactively before widespread adoption. For instance, quantum sensing could raise privacy concerns, while quantum weapons might pose threats of mass destruction. Therefore, the establishment of a regulatory framework for quantum technology is essential, striking a balance between innovation and security.
  • Promote Quantum Education: The successful integration of quantum technology requires a pool of skilled and trained professionals well-versed in its principles and methods. It is crucial to promote quantum education and awareness among students and researchers across diverse disciplines. This can be achieved through the introduction of quantum courses in schools and colleges, the organization of workshops and seminars, and the creation of online platforms and resources.
  • Facilitate Collaboration Among Stakeholders: A comprehensive understanding of quantum technology necessitates effective collaboration and cooperation among various stakeholders, including government agencies, industry players, and institutions. This collaborative approach can stimulate knowledge sharing, foster innovation, and standardize different domains and applications of quantum technology. Additionally, it positions India to actively participate in global initiatives and networks dedicated to advancing quantum technology.

Question for Weekly Current Affairs (15th to 21st January 2024) Part - 2
Try yourself:
What is one of the implications of no snowfall in Kashmir?
View Solution


The document Weekly Current Affairs (15th to 21st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly.
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FAQs on Weekly Current Affairs (15th to 21st January 2024) Part - 2 - Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

1. What is the purpose of the All India Conference of Director Generals of Police?
Ans. The All India Conference of Director Generals of Police is a forum where top police officials from all over India come together to discuss and coordinate on various law enforcement and security-related issues. The purpose of this conference is to exchange knowledge, share best practices, and develop strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the police force in the country.
2. What are the implications of no snowfall in Kashmir?
Ans. The implications of no snowfall in Kashmir can be significant. Kashmir heavily relies on snowfall for various aspects such as agriculture, tourism, and hydroelectric power generation. If there is no snowfall, it can lead to water scarcity, lower agricultural productivity, reduced tourism, and a decrease in hydroelectric power generation. This can have a negative impact on the economy and livelihoods of people in the region.
3. How are Foreign Portfolio Investments shifting in India?
Ans. Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPI) in India refer to investments made by foreign individuals and institutions in the Indian financial markets, such as stocks, bonds, and other securities. The shift in FPI depends on various factors such as global economic conditions, market sentiments, and government policies. It can change in terms of the sectors and industries attracting investments, the amount of investments, and the countries from which the investments are coming. Factors like political stability, economic growth, and regulatory environment also influence the shift in FPI in India.
4. Are acquitted individuals in criminal cases eligible for government jobs?
Ans. Yes, acquitted individuals in criminal cases are generally eligible for government jobs in India. The principle of "innocent until proven guilty" is followed, and being acquitted means that the person has been declared not guilty by the court. However, there may be certain exceptions and restrictions depending on the nature of the crime and the specific requirements of the government job. Background checks, character verification, and other criteria may be considered during the selection process.
5. What is the implementation strategy of NQM Weekly?
Ans. The implementation strategy of NQM Weekly (assuming it refers to a specific publication or program) would involve various steps to ensure its successful execution. This may include content planning, resource allocation, distribution channels, marketing and promotion, quality control, and feedback mechanisms. The implementation strategy would aim to deliver timely and accurate information, engage the target audience, and meet the objectives of NQM Weekly, which could be informing, educating, or entertaining readers/viewers.
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