Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - June 25, 2018

Social Justice & Empowerment

National Seminar on Conservation of Particularly Vulnerable Tribes of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Organising Ministry

  • National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) is organizing a National Seminar on “Conservation of of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: The Way Forward”
  • PVTGs of A&N - Sentinelese, Great Andamanies, Onge, Jarawa, Shompen.
  • This Seminar is being organized in collaboration with Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) and Directors of 18 Tribal Research Institutes in different States have also been invited to deliberate on critical issues of tribal groups who are at the verge of extinction.

Enlighten about the primitive tribal groups

  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands are home to the most primitive tribal groups: Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa, Sentinelese, Nicobarese and Shompens.
  • Some of these tribal groups are on the verge of extinction.
  • It is important to understand the challenges they face and to preserve them.
  • With these objectives in view, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), a Constitutional body set up under Article 338(A) of the Constitution to protect the interests of Scheduled Tribes, is organizing for the first time a two-day Seminar.
  • The 2015 Policy on Shompen of Great Nicobar Islands will also be discussed in the Seminar
  • The deliberations will take stock of the impact of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation 1956 as amended in 2005 and 2012 along with 2004 Policy on Jarawa Tribes of Andaman and Nicobar.

Enlighten about Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) (earlier: Primitive tribal group)

  • It is a government of India classification created with the purpose of enabling improvement in the conditions of certain communities with particularly low development indices.
  • The Dhebar Commission (1960-1961) stated that within Scheduled Tribes there existed an inequality in the rate of development.
  • During the fourth Five Year Plan a sub-category was created within Scheduled Tribes to identify groups that considered to be at a lower level of development.
  • This was created based on the Dhebar Commission report and other studies.
  • This sub-category was named "Primitive tribal group".
  • The features of such a group include a pre-agricultural system of existence, that is practice of hunting and gathering, zero or negative population growth, extremely low level of literacy in comparison with other tribal groups.
  • Groups that satisfied any one of the criterion were considered as PTG.
  • These communities were identified on the basis of recommendations made by the respective state governments.

Economy

India Infrastructure Expo 2018 at the NCPA, Mumbai 3rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at NCPA, Mumbai

Enlighten about the context

  • The Union Minister of Railways,Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs, Shri Piyush Goyal inagurated the India Infrastructure Expo 2018

Organising Ministry

  • It is being organised by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) on the sidelines of the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at NCPA, Mumbai from 25th to 26th June 2018.

India and AIIB

  • India is the 2nd largest shareholder of the AIIB and is the largest recipient of concessionaire finance for various infrastructure projects with nearly 25% of the total funds committed to projects in India, both in the government sector and the private sector
  • There are 86 countries which are members of AIIB who are participating.

National

National Register of Citizens (NRC) Final Draft of NRC to be published soon

What’s the NEWS

  • The deadline (30 JUNE) for the final draft of the Supreme Court-monitored National Register of Citizens (NRC)
  • The first draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC), 1951 was published on December 31, 2017
  • Less than 30% residents of three districts of Bengali-dominated Barak Valley featured in the first list of NRC.
  • The second list is expected on June 30. The process may get delayed due to floods in Assam

Enlighten about the statics and data of NRC

  • The committee estimates about 70 lakh of Assam’s three crore people are “likely” to be dropped off the NRC list in phases.
  • At least 25 lakh of those expected to be dropped are Bengali Hindus, while the rest are Bengali Muslims.
  • Although it is called a ‘national’ register, it is carried out solely in Assam, under the amended sub-rules of 4A of Citizenship Rules, 2003.

What’s the future timeline

  • The proposed date for publication final NRC is set to 31 December 2018.
  • The first Draft was published on 31 December 2017 and it covered 1.90 crore persons out of 3.29 crore applicants
  • The complete revised draft NRC will be published by 30 June 2018
  • After that claims and objections will be received and disposed off to publish final NRC.

Enlighten about NRC

  • It will contain names of genuine Indian citizens and will help government to check illegal immigration in India.
  • It was prepared in 1951 as non-statutory process by recording particulars of all persons enumerated during 1951 Census.
  • NRC is being updated as per provisions of Citizenship Act, 1955 and Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
  • It will include persons whose names appear in any of electoral rolls upto midnight of 24 March, 1971 or NRC, 1951 and their descendants.
  • The Assam Accord signed between Central Government, State Government, All India Students’ Union (AASU) and All Assam Gan Sangram Parishad (AAGSP) in August 1985
  • Through this accord the date of 24th March, 1971 was decided as cut-off date for identification and deportation of illegal migrants from East Pakistan (Bangladesh).
  • To execute this the Citizenship Act, 1955 was amended by Parliament for inserting section 6A as special provisions for Assam.

Agreement for updating NRC in 2005

  • In tripartite meeting of Central Government, State Government and AASU chaired by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in May, 2005, it was agreed to update NRC, 1951.
  • An agreement was the approved by the Central Government in consultation with Assam Government. In pursuance of Supreme Court’s direction, the exercise of NRC update had commenced in December 2013 and was to be completed over 3 years period.
  • The Supreme court is continuously monitoring progress of NRC update and has given various directions from time to time but the actual implementation of NRC is done by Statutory Authorities i.e. Local Registrars and District Magistrates appointed by State Government.

Defence

Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT)

  • India and Bangladesh have agreed to institute a Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) as an annual feature between the two navies.
  • The first edition will be inaugurated by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba during his visit there from June 24 to 29.
  • The commencement of CORPAT is major step towards enhanced operational interaction between both navies.
  • Naval cooperation between India and Bangladesh has been traditionally strong, encompassing a wide span which includes operational interactions through port calls, passage exercises along with capacity building, capability enhancement and training initiatives
  • The Navy regularly conducts CORPATs with Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand. It also conducts EEZ surveillance of Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles on their request.

Banking

Big Data system to aid banks assess credit risks The system is expected to help lenders tackle the issue of rising NPAs

Implementing agencies

  • The ministry sponsored project includes as partners the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Bangalore-based IT firm Processware System and two cooperative banks.

Enlighten about the context

  • The government is testing a new system that will assist banks in assessing credit risk and the probability of fraud using big data analysis.
  • The system is expected to help lenders, particularly rural and cooperative banks, tackle the issue of rising non performing assets (NPAs).
  • A credit rating model has been developed “that can assist the rural and cooperative banks to quantify risks under the big data context
  • Currently, rural and cooperative banks depend on judgement of the bank manager, resulting in high NPA

How the system will work

  • the project is aimed at helping banks quantify risks associated with retail loans such as gold loans, personal loans and vehicle loans.
  • Under the project, a statistical and machine learning algorithmic model has been developed to predict the probability of default with an aim to reduce NPAs.
  • A web-enabled software is also being tested, which when implemented will assist the banks to easily adopt the models for credit rating, non-performing assets and fraud. Validation of the models has been done using data from

Focus

Enlighten about Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 Seeks to amend the Citizenship Act 1955

WHAT

  • It has been made clear that the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, will not be tabled in Parliament in the monsoon session
  • The Joint Parliamentary Committee examining it will be holding wider consultations.
  • The Bill was introduced in July 2016, and referred to a parliamentary committee.

WHAT’S CONTROVERSIAL

  • The Bill’s objective is to remove the tag of ‘illegal migrants’ from members of minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Christians and Parsis — from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who have entered the country without legal documentation or whose documents have expired.
  • The idea is to make them eligible to apply for Indian citizenship.
  • If the Bill is passed, these individuals will be eligible for citizenship by naturalisation.

CITIZENSHIP BY NATURALISATION

  • Present law states that the citizenship by naturalisation requires applicants to have stayed in the country for 11 years of the previous 14 years, and throughout the last 12 months.
  • The proposed amendment reduces the residency requirement to six years, besides the last 12 months.
  • The amendment will not cover Muslims, who form the majority in these three countries.

In the state of Assam

  • Opposition to the Bill is strong in Assam, where there is fear that non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh will become Indian citizens.
  • There is also an apprehension that this would be in conflict with the ongoing exercise to update the National Register of Citizens in Assam, for which the cut-off date is March 24, 1971.
  • About 28% people in Assam are Bengali-speakers, a majority of them in Barak Valley where having the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 passed by Parliament before publication of the final NRC draft matters most. “If enacted after NRC, the Bill will have no meaning
  • The Bill is not acceptable because it will endanger the existence of the indigenous people, already burdened with waves of immigrants.
  • It is against the secularism that the Constitution upholds and violates the provision of the 1985 Assam Accord that prescribes March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for illegal migrants

Muslims not included

  • The Bill is also seen as discriminatory in some quarters as it does not cover Muslim sects fleeing persecution from dominant sections in these countries.

Government’s point of view

  • The aim is to help persons of Indian origin, including those from these minority communities in the three countries, who are unable to produce proof of their Indian origin while applying for citizenship by registration.
  • As naturalisation is their only means of acquiring citizenship, the government wants to reduce the residency requirement from 12 to seven years.
  • The long waiting period in the present law would deny them “opportunities and advantages” that accrue to citizens, even though they are likely to stay in India permanently.
  • Another feature of the proposed amendment is that it enables cancellation of the registration of any Overseas Citizen of India cardholder for violation of Indian law.

Bilateral Relations

Oil Refinery in Mongolia Mongolia launches construction of first oil refinery with India aid

  • Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Oil Refinery at 'Stantsiin Hooloi' in Altanshiree Soum, Mongolia
  • Mongolia launched construction of its first oil refinery, a long-awaited project that is funded by India and designed to end the country’s dependence on Russian fuel.
  • The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by Mongolian Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa and Indian home minister Rajnath Singh.

India – Mangolia

  • Mongolia, a large landlocked country wedged between giants China and Russia, has a population of just 3 million.
  • Almost half its people live as nomadic stock herders
  • it was India which first established Diplomatic relations with Mongolia after it came out of Communist Bloc.
  • Home Minister is on a 3-day visit to Mongolia to further strengthen India’s relations with Mongolia and security cooperation.
  • Mongolia is seen as an important strategic partner of India and New Delhi wants to realise the huge potential of bilateral relations with Mongolia.

Pre Factoids

Mohanpura Irrigation Project – Rajgarh distt.(M.P)

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi dedicated the Mohanpura Project to the Nation.
  • This project will facilitate irrigation of agricultural land in Rajgarh district.
  • Rajgarh district is among the Aspirational Districts identified by the Government

Sources – PIB, Livemint, the hindu