10th April, 2018-IAS Current Affairs
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(GS3: Various security agencies and their mandate)
Issue: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that CRPF is truly the strongest pillar of the country’s internal security apparatus. He was addressing the gathering after decorating CRPF officers and men with Gallantry Medals on the occasion of Valour Day
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the premier central police force of the Union of India for internal security. Originally constituted as the Crown Representative Police in 1939, it is one of the oldest Central para military forces (now termed as Central Armed Police Force). CRPF was raised as a sequel to the political unrest and the agitations in the then princely States of India following the Madras Resolution of the All-India Congress Committee in 1936 and the ever-growing desire of the Crown Representative to help the vast majority of the native States to preserve law and order as a part of the imperial policy.
After Independence, the force was renamed as Central Reserve Police Force by an Act of Parliament on December 28, 1949. This Act constituted CRPF as an armed force of the Union. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the then Home Minister, visualised a multi-dimensional role for it in tune with the changing needs of a newly independent nation.
Role of CRPF
Broad gamut of duties performed by the CRPF is:
1. Crowd control
2. Riot control
3. Counter Militancy / Insurgency operations.
4. Dealing with Left Wing Extremism
5. Overall co-ordination of large scale security arrangement specially with regard to elections in disturbed areas.
6. Protection of VIPs and vital installations.
7. Checking environmental de-gradation and protection of local Flora and Fauna
8. Fighting aggression during War time
9. Participating in UN Peace Keeping Mission
10. Rescue and Relief operations at the time of Natural Calamities.
Besides Law and Order and counter insurgency duties, the role of CRPF in the General Elections, held repeatedly during the past few years, has been very significant and vital. This is especially true for the trouble torn States of J&K, Bihar and States of North-East. During the Parliamentary elections & State Assembly Election, the CRPF played a major role in the security arrangements.
One of the vital roles of the CRPF, which is not very evident, is guarding vital Central Govt. installations such as Airport, Powerhouses, Bridges, Doordarshan Kendras, All India Radio Stations, residence of Governors and Chief Ministers, Nationalized Banks and other Government establishments in insurgency affected States. The CRPF is ensuring the safety of the Democratic Institutions, and preventing the take-over of civil society by the militants, in these highly disturbed areas. This contribution of the CRPF, though not very visible, is nonetheless very vital.
‘3R forum for Asia-Pacific’
(GS2: Global groupings)
Issue: The Eighth regional 3R Forum will help entire Asia Pacific Region to explore and address the ways to utilize waste as a resource said Sh. V K Jindal, Mission Director (Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban) and Joint Secretary in Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. India is hosting the event at an opportune time when the country has embarked on the ambitious mission of Swachh Bharat. The Eighth regional 3R forum commenced today with a pre-inauguration ceremony which welcomed the delegates from around the world and the country.
About 3R forum
In 2009, the Regional 3R Forum in Asia was established at Japan’s proposal as a platform for broad cooperation on promotion of the 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle – in Asia. Members include central governments, international agencies, aid agencies, private sector entities, research bodies, NGOs and other relevant parties. Forum members have held high-level discussions on policies, provided support for the implementation of 3R projects in member countries, shared useful information, and are building networks for the further promotion of 3R initiatives. Japan hosted the inaugural Regional 3R Forum in Tokyo in 2009, and has cosponsored subsequent Forums together with the governments of host countries and the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD). After the fourth forum, the name was changed to Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific.
The Fourth Regional 3R Forum – held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, in March 2013 – adopted the Ha Noi 3R Declaration ‐ Sustainable 3R Goals for Asia and the Pacific for 2013‐2023 . It is a legally non-binding and voluntary document which aims to provide a basic framework for Asia-Pacific countries to develop measures and programs to promote 3Rs including a set of 3R indicators for monitoring specific progress. Japan will continue its efforts to expand cooperation with the governments of other countries, international agencies, and other bodies with the aim of building a sound material-cycle society worldwide.
About Swach Bharat Abhiyaan-Urban
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) (or Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) or Clean India Mission in English) is a campaign in India that aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, smaller towns, and rural areas. The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing accountable mechanisms of monitoring toilet use. Run by the Government of India, the mission aims to achieve an Open-Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 90 million toilets in rural India at a projected cost of ₹1.96 lakh crore (US$30 billion).The mission will also contribute to India reaching Sustainable Development Goal Number 6 (SDG 6).
The campaign was officially launched on 2 October 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is India’s largest cleanliness drive to date with 3 million government employees, school students, and college students from all parts of India participating in 4,041 statutory cities, towns and associated rural areas.
The mission contains two sub-missions: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (“Gramin” or rural), which operates under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Urban), which operates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
‘Union Public Service Commission’
(GS2: Constitutional Bodies)
Issue: Smt. M. Sathiyavathy took the oath of office and secrecy as Member, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) here today. The oath was administered by Shri Vinay Mittal, Chairman, UPSC.
he Union Public Service Commission is India’s central recruiting agency. It is responsible for appointments to and examinations for All India services and group A & group B of Central services. While Department of Personnel and Training is the central personnel agency in India.
The agency’s charter is granted by Part XIV of the Constitution of India, titled as Services Under the Union and the States. The commission is mandated by the Constitution for appointments to the services of the Union and All India Services. It is also required to be consulted by the Government in matters relating to the appointment, transfer, promotion and disciplinary matters. The commission reports directly to the President and can advise the Government through him. Although, such advice is not binding on the Government. Being a constitutional authority, UPSC is amongst the few institutions which function with both autonomy and freedom, along with the country’s higher judiciary and lately the Election Commission.
Established on 1 October 1926 as Public Service Commission, it was later reconstituted as Federal Public Service Commission by the Government of India Act, 1935; only to be renamed as today’s Union Public Service Commission after the independence.
As per Art. 316, the Chairman and other members of Union Public Service Commission shall be appointed by the President. In case the office of the Chairman becomes vacant his duties shall be performed by one of the other members of the Commission as the President may appoint for the purpose.
Also, nearly half of the members of the Commission shall be persons who at the dates of their respective appointments have held office for at least ten years either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State. A member of a Union Public Service Commission shall hold office for a term of six years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier. Under Art 318, the President is empowered to determine number of members of the Commission and their conditions of service. Further, he can make provision with respect to the number of members of the staff of the Commission and their conditions of service too. Also, conditions of service cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
As per Art 319, a person who holds office as Chairman shall, on the expiration of his term of office, be ineligible for re-appointment to that office. But, a member other than the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission shall be eligible for appointment as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission, or as the Chairman of a State Public Service Commission, but not for any other employment either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State. Also, the Chairman of a State Public Service Commission shall be eligible for appointment as the Chairman or any other member of the Union Public Service Commission.
Removal and suspension
As per Art. 317, the Chairman or any other member of a Public Service Commission shall only be removed from his office by order of the President on the ground of “misbehaviour” after the Supreme Court, on reference being made to it by the President, has, on inquiry reported that the Chairman or such other member ought to be removed. The President may suspend the Chairman or other member of the Commission until report of the Supreme Court is received.
The President may also remove the Chairman or any other member of the commission if he/she:
*is adjudged an insolvent; or
*engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or
*is, in the opinion of the President, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.
As per Art. 320, it shall be the duty of the Union Public Service Commissions to conduct examinations for appointments to the services of the Union. It shall also assist two or more States, if requested so, in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment for any services.
The Union Public Service Commission shall be consulted:
#on all matters relating to
*methods of recruitment to civil services and for civil posts
*making appointments to civil services and posts
*making promotions and transfers from one service to another
*the suitability of candidates for such appointments, promotions or transfers
#on all disciplinary matters against a civil servant serving in a civil capacity, including memorials or petitions relating to such matters.
#on any claim by or in respect of a person who is serving or has served in a civil capacity, that any costs incurred by him in defending legal proceedings instituted against him in respect of acts done or purporting to be done in the execution of his duty should be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
#On any claim for the award of a pension in respect of injuries sustained by a person while serving in a civil capacity, and any question as to the amount of such award.
It shall be the duty of a Union Public Service Commission to advise on any matter referred to them; provided that the President has not made any regulations specifying the matters in which it shall not be necessary for Union Public Service Commission to be consulted.
‘Central Vigilance Commission’
(GS2: Statutory bodies)
Issue: The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) saw a dramatic drop in the total number of complaints received by it in 2017, keeping in line with the drop in actions by various government departments in cracking down on corruption. The 23,609 complaints received in 2017 by the CVC was less than half of almost 50,000 complaints received in 2016, and the lowest in the previous five years.
Reasons for low complaint
1. Officials said some of this can be explained by the improved system for weeding out duplication of complaints and a few other streamlining exercises undertaken in recent years.
2. However, others, including whistle blowers and civil servants, said a deeper study was required to assess if the public was losing its trust in anti-corruption bodies because of their perceived inefficiency, quality of investigations and possible manipulations at various levels.
Some suggestion to improve CVC functioning are
1. The government should notify the original Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2011
2. Appoint a Lokpal, and initiate other steps for strengthening anti-corruption mechanisms.
3. Improve the quality of investigations
The Central Vigilance Commission was set up by the Government in February,1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam, to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance. CVC is conceived to be the apex vigilance institution, free of control from any executive authority, monitoring all vigilance activity under the Central Government and advising various authorities in Central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.
Consequent upon promulgation of an Ordinance by the President, the Central Vigilance Commission has been made a multi member Commission with “statutory status” with effect from 25th August, 1998.
The Commission shall consist of:
*A Central Vigilance Commissioner – Chairperson;
*Not more than two Vigilance Commissioners – Members;
Roles & Functions
*Exercise superintendence over the functioning of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) insofar as it relates to the investigation of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; or an offence under the Cr.PC for certain categories of public servants – section 8(1)(a);
*Give directions to the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) for superintendence insofar as it relates to the investigation of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 – section 8(1)(b);
*To inquire or cause an inquiry or investigation to be made on a reference by the Central Government – section 8(1)(c);
*To inquire or cause an inquiry or investigation to be made into any complaint received against any official belonging to such category of officials specified in sub-section 2 of Section 8 of the CVC Act, 2003 – section 8(1)(d);
*Review the progress of investigations conducted by the DSPE into offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 or an offence under the Cr.PC – section (8)(1)(e);
*Review the progress of the applications pending with the competent authorities for sanction of prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 – section 8(1)(f);
*Tender advice to the Central Government and its organizations on such matters as may be referred to it by them – section 8(1) (g);
*Exercise superintendence over the vigilance administrations of the various Central Government Ministries, Departments and Organizations of the Central Government – section 8(1)(h);
*Shall have all the powers of a Civil court while conducting any inquiry – section 11;
*Respond to Central Government on mandatory consultation with the Commission before making any rules or regulations governing the vigilance or disciplinary matters relating to the persons appointed to the public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or to members of the All India Services – section 19.
*The Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) is the Chairperson and the Vigilance Commissioners (Members) of the Committee, on whose recommendations, the Central Government appoints the Director of Enforcement – section 25.
*The Committee concerned with the appointment of the Director of Enforcement is also empowered to recommend, after consultation with the Director of Enforcement appointment of officers to the posts of the level of Deputy Director and above in the Directorate of Enforcement – section 25;
*The Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) is also the Chairperson and the Vigilance Commissioners (Members) of the Committee empowered to recommend after consultation with Director (CBI), appointment of officers to the post of the level of SP and above except Director and also recommend the extension or curtailment of tenure of such officers in the DSPE (CBI) – Section 26 and Section 4C of DSPE Act, 1946.
‘World’s First micro-factory’
(GS3: Conservation of Environment)
Issue: An Indian-origin scientist in Australia has launched the world’s first micro-factory that can transform the components from electronic waste items such as smartphones and laptops into valuable materials for re-use.
Significance of this invention
The e-waste micro-factory has the potential to reduce the rapidly growing problem of vast amounts of electronic waste causing environmental harm and going into landfill. It can also turn many types of consumer waste such as glass, plastic and timber into commercial materials and products
For instance, from e-waste, computer circuit boards can be transformed into valuable metal alloys such as copper and tin while glass and plastic from e-devices can be converted into micro-materials used in industrial grade ceramics and plastic filaments for 3D printing.
(GS2: Global groupings)
Issue: Among the largest economies in the G-20 group, China, the US and India have been hit the hardest by protectionist measures in 2017, according to data from the Global Trade Alerts (GTA) database. Among emerging economies, China faced the greatest number of protectionist interventions in the past year (403), followed by India (236). Recent developments—including US tariff actions against India—suggest that India could be hit hard by the growing tide of protectionism in the coming months as well.
Effect of protectionism on India
The magnitude of loss in export earnings for India might be relatively smaller than in the case of China because of India’s lower share in global exports. Nonetheless, the rising tide of protectionism threatens India’s trade surplus in the services sector and will hit export earnings of Indian firms.
The data shows that protectionism has been on the rise ever since the global financial crash of 2008 shook the world, and disrupted trade and financial flows. The ongoing skirmish between the US and China over tariffs only marks a new phase in the global lurch towards protectionism. Protectionism appears to have been more enthusiastically adopted by advanced countries, which have struggled to grow their economies in the wake of the global financial crisis.
While import tariffs have been governments’ most preferred tool to restrict movement of goods, qualitative restrictions have been used to dissuade services. For instance, the US has tightened H-1B visa norms, making it more difficult for other countries to export services supplied through the temporary movement of persons.
The G20 (or G-20 or Group of Twenty) is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union, (plus Spain as a permanent guest member). Founded in 1999, the G20 aims to discuss policy pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability. It seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organization. The G20 heads of government or heads of state have periodically conferred at summits since their initial meeting in 2008, and the group also hosts separate meetings of finance ministers and foreign ministers due to the expansion of its agenda in recent years.
Membership of the G20 consists of 19 individual countries plus the European Union (EU). The EU is represented by the European Commission and by the European Central Bank. Collectively, the G20 economies account for around 85% of the gross world product (GWP), 80% of world trade (or, if excluding EU intra-trade, 75%), two-thirds of the world population, and approximately half of the world land area.
With the G20 growing in stature after its inaugural leaders’ summit in 2008, its leaders announced on 25 September 2009 that the group would replace the G8 as the main economic council of wealthy nations. Since its inception, the G20’s membership policies have been criticized by numerous intellectuals, and its summits have been a focus for major protests by left-wing groups and anarchists.
The heads of the G20 nations met semi-annually at G20 summits between 2009 and 2010. Since the November 2011 Cannes summit, all G20 summits have been held annually.
What is protectionism?
Protectionism refers to government actions and policies that restrict or restrain international trade, often with the intent of protecting local businesses and jobs from foreign competition.