Aadhaar and mobile phones to make air travel

An attempt to minimise paperwork for air travel, the government is looking to roll out a digital system for airport entry and boarding flights using a flier’s Aadhaar number and mobile phone. The proposal came in the name DIGI YATRA

Proposed digi yatra

  • The civil aviation ministry is looking to make “boarding pass and security check-in” digital.
  • The ministry is working on the initiative to ensure the whole air travel experience is completely digital.
  • Under the initiative, there will be no need for any paper and the traveller will be securely identified through Aadhaar number, passport or other documents.
  • The government also decided to have a no-fly list in the wake of instances of unruly behaviour by air passengers.
  • If passengers behave in an unruly or disruptive manner and endanger the safety in an aeroplane, then he will not able to fly and are appropriately dealt with.

Source : Live Mint

GS II : Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

India to seal pact with Eurasian Economic Union

India is set to formalise a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union for deepening trade relations with the five former Soviet republics.

Key Fact

  • The joint statement on the FTA is likely to be issued during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at St. Petersburg.
  • The Joint Feasibility Study Group had been accepted by both sides and the formal negotiations would begin by July.
  • The FTA is expected to open up with a trade potential of $37 to 62 billion.
  • Trade between India and the five Eurasian countries stands at about $11 billion.
  • Eurasian market could open up new export opportunities in medical tourism, IT and IT-enabled services, besides traditional sectors like spices, marine products, coir and rubber.

Eurasian Economic Union

  • Comprises of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.eurasian nation union
  • It came into force on 1 January 2015.
  • Eurasian Economic Union has an integrated single market of 183 million people and a gross domestic product of over 4 trillion U.S. dollars (PPP).
  • Provisions for a single currency and greater integration are envisioned in future.
  • The EAEU introduces the free movement of goods, capital, services and people and provides for common policies in macroeconomic sphere, transport, industry and agriculture, energy, foreign trade and investment, customs, technical regulation, competition and antitrust regulation.

Source : The Hindu

GS II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Test and Treat Policy for HIV

Health Ministry launched the Test and Treat policy for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) patients.

Key Facts

  • New policy, anyone who is tested and found positive will get the necessary treatment free of cost.
  • If anyone found positive will be provided with ART (Anti- Retroviral Therapy) irrespective of his CD count.
  • Scheme will be a centrally sponsored scheme and all men, women, adolescents and children who have been diagnosed positively can benefit under this new policy.
  • Also announced that India will soon develop a National Strategic Plan for HIV for next seven years and these seven years will be crucial for ending AIDS.
  • The 90:90:90 strategy that the Ministry has adopted will help to identify 90% of those infected, place 90% of these on treatment and ensure 90% have their virus under control.
  • This strategy will offer an opportunity to for ending AIDS by 2030 as a part of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).
  • India have nearly 1600 ART and Link ART sites where treatment is provided across the country and recently we crossed the 1 million people on ART.
  • India is the second country in world to have such large numbers on free lifelong treatment.

Source : Pib

GS II : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

Money laundering : Proposal for making a criminal offence

Union government is considering a proposal to make money laundering a separate criminal offence. It will be investigated by the Enforcement Directorate, irrespective of a probe by other agencies.

How it help ?

  • This will facilitate quick action against those indulging in money laundering.
  • Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money has also been of the view that money laundering investigations by the Enforcement Directorate should be allowed without any dependence on registration of cases by other police agencies.

Current Practice

  • Money laundering cases depends on that of the probe and prosecutions in predicate offences pursued by primary agencies.
  • Registration of cases by other police agencies under the legal provisions listed in the schedule of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) is needed.

Investigation in other countries

  • Money laundering in itself has been defined as a criminal offence in several countries.
  • There are separate legislation for dealing with funds generated through activities like drug trafficking or terror financing.
  • The United States has very stringent laws to check money laundering.
  • In United Kingdom police have to prove predicate offence through circumstantial evidence, linking it to the funds generated and laundered.

  • U.K. agencies are not required to wait for the outcome of investigations into the predicate offence.

Need for nation

Certain restrictions on money laundering investigations on several occasions cause impediments in taking the cases to their logical conclusion. It will allow investigation agency without any dependence on registration of cases by other police agencies.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Money-laundering and its prevention

 

India, Cyprus sign 4 agreements

India and Cyprus signed four agreements, including on air services and merchant shipping.

Key Facts

  • The two sides signed an executive programme on culture, education and scientific cooperation for the years 2017 to 2020.
  • Both sides signed a work plan under a programme of cooperation in agriculture for the period 2017-2018.
  • Another agreement was signed on cooperation in the area of merchant shipping.
  • A fourth agreement was signed to boost air services between the two countries.
  • Cyprus, the eighth largest foreign investor in India, has cumulative foreign direct investment of about $9 billion.
  • The investment in the areas of financial leasing, stock exchange, auto manufacture, manufacturing industries, real estate, cargo handling, construction, shipping and logistics.

Source : The Hindu

GS II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

Bhutan backs out of motor vehicle pact

India’s plan for a sub-regional motor vehicle agreement faced a setback as the Bhutan government. It asked the other members of the ‘BBIN’ grouping to continue to operationalise it without Bhutan.

Key Facts

  • Bhutan government announced that it is not ready to go ahead with the process at present.
  • Bhutan decided to give its consent for the entry into force of the agreement among the 3 member-states without any obligation to Bhutan.
  • The agreement will enter into force for Bhutan after its ratification process is completed.

Why Bhutan withdraws ?

  • Decision to step out of the BBIN process comes on the back of severe domestic opposition to the motor vehicles agreement,
  • Primarily on fears of vehicular pollution and environmental degradation if trucks from neighbouring countries are given access to Bhutan,
  • Bhutan is a country that prides itself on its “carbon neutrality” and preserving the environment.

About BBIN

  • The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) initiative is a sub regional architecture of countries in South Asia.
  • BBIN agreement aims to promote safe, environmentally sound and economical efficient road transport in the sub-region of BBIN.
  • The agreement will permit the member states to ply their vehicles in each other’s territory for transportation of cargo and passengers, including third country transport and personal vehicles.
  • It also seeks to help each member country to create an institutional mechanism for regional integration.
  • BBIN agreement will benefit member nations for mutual cross border movement of passenger and goods for overall economic development of the region.

Source : The Hindu

GS II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Women force for Jammu and Kashmir

Background

Young girls, teens have become the new face of protests in Kashmir, adding a new dimension to the violence and brutal retaliation government forces. The students were protesting against the assault of students of Government Degree College Pulwama by security forces and manhandling of students during Valley-wide protests. Student protests have become a new challenge for the administration in Kashmir where the law and order situation has gone downhill after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani last summer.

Women Force against protest

  • To counter women stone throwers, the Centre plans to raise an all women India Reserve Battalion (IRB) in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Centre has also given directions to the State government to not use Special Police Officers at the houses of politicians and other government officials and to use them in active policing instead.
  • The decisions were taken at a meeting to review various developmental and infrastructure projects in the State.
  • The cost of raising each battalion is around ₹61 crore, and 75% of the expenditure will be borne by the Centre.
  • IRB personnel are normally deployed in their respective States but they can be sent elsewhere if required.

Developmental package

  • ₹80,000 crore development package announced by Prime Minister in 2015, around ₹19,500 crore has already been released for various projects.
  • The package has been sanctioned for 63 projects concerning 15 central ministries.
  • Centre also asked the J&K government to build as many football fields and sports facilities as possible in rural Kashmir to engage the youth.
  • IRBs are being raised to provide jobs to the local youths with 60% of the vacancies to be filled with candidates from the border districts.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism

 

India & Cyprus sign Work Plan for 2017–18 in the Agriculture Sector

India and Cyprus here today signed Work Plan for 2017–18 to implement an already singed MOU for cooperation in the agriculture sector.

Key Facts

  • As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the two countries have decided to work in joint research projects, conduct training/exchange programmes for scientists and experts working in specific agri-fields.
  • It also covers exchange of germplasms and technology, promotion of private sector participation and joint workshops and conferences etc.
  • The MoU will accelerate agricultural production to meet the rising demand for food, but also to increase the income of those dependent on agriculture.
  • The initiatives taken as a part of government’s policy to target doubling farmers income by 2022.

Extra information about Cyprus

Cyprus

Republic of Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece.

Source : Pib

GS II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

 

Judicial performance index mooted

Need for index

Creation of a judicial performance index that could help High Courts and their chief justices keep track of the performance and processes at district courts and subordinate levels for reducing delay.

About the Index

  • Proposed the introduction of a judicial performance index to reduce delays and the outsourcing of non-core functions of the police to private agencies or other government departments.
  • Also  NITI Ayog mooted changes in criminal justice and procedural laws, a repeal of all irrelevant legislation by March 2019 and reforms in land ownership laws — which account for 67% of litigants in civil suits.
  • The index should be ‘the first step’ in judicial system reforms that Aayog its draft three-year action plan.
  • The performance index for courts will entail fixing of non-mandatory time frames for different types of cases to benchmark when a case has been delayed.
  • The index can also include certain progress on process steps already approved by High Courts and such an annual evaluation should give judges in High Courts a sense of where they are failing and what they need to fix.

Quality of policing

  • To improve the quality of policing, create a task force to identify non-core functions that can be outsourced to private agents or government departments in order to reduce the workload of the police.
  • United Nations norms of 222 per lakh population not yet reached.
  • India’s police to population ratio should reach to 222 per lakh, over the next seven years from the current level of 137.
  • Red-flagging the adverse implications of crimes against women beyond the obvious horror for affected individuals.
  • Aayog has proposed to push for greater hiring of women in the police force, with a target of 30% of all new recruits.

Source : The Hindu 

GS II ; Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government

 

 

Intellectual property rights awareness campaign in schools

National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy, which was approved by the Union Cabinet on 12th May 2016 is a significant move forward to encourage creativity and stimulate innovation in the country.
Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM)in collaboration with the International Trademark Association (INTA) kicked off the IPR Awareness campaign for schools across the country in New Delhi at Kendriya Vidyalaya.

About policy

  • Focus areas is children in schools, as it is essential to nurture creativity and the ability to innovate from a young age.
  • A streamlined system is being worked out to conduct over 3500 awareness programmes in schools, universities and the industry across the country including Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 cities as well as rural areas along with translating the content to various regional languages for a wider reach.
  • Programme was an hour long interactive session with a presentation delivered by the INTA Working Group which included various games and activities to keep the kids engaged.
  • Along with the presentation, posters on different IPs were put up and mementos including a brochure on IP designed for kids was given to all students in attendance of the session.

Source : Pib

GS III :  Issues relating to intellectual property rights.