Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - June 9, 2018

Multilateral treaties & Conventions

The Hague treaty - India not ready to sign

What’s the NEWS

  • The government is not yet ready to sign the Hague treaty on inter-country abduction of children by parents fleeing a bad marriage
  • There has been immense pressure from the U.S. on the government to sign the treaty though the government has long held the view that the decision could lead to harassment of women escaping marital discord or domestic violence.

Enlighten about the Hague Convention

  • The Hague Convention is a multi-national treaty that seeks to protect children wrongfully removed by one of the parents from the custody of the other parent.
  • In cases of transnational marital discords involving child custody, the Hague treaty requires contracting states to send back the runway parent and child to the child’s ‘habitual residence’
  • Subsequent Law Commission of India reports of 1980, 2009, and 2016 have ruled in favour of India signing the multilateral treaty, citing the ‘best interest of child’ principle.

Enlighten about Justice Bindal panel report

  • In 2016, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had said that India will not ratify the treaty in the interest of women fleeing bad marriages, but later set up the Justice Bindal panel for a detailed report.
  • A committee constituted by the Centre to examine legal issues involved in international parental abduction submitted its report in April, opposing a central provision of the Hague Convention.
  • The Justice Bindal panel has noted that in several situations it may not be in the “best interest of the child” to be sent back to the foreign country.
  • These, according to the commission, include instances where the child is susceptible to physical or psychological harm.
  • The Hague treaty requires countries to have a central authority to resolve disputes between parents — when one parent goes off to her country of origin along with the child, never to return again.
  • The committee report has recommended for such an authority but one that will operate on terms and conditions set by India.
  • The panel has not recommended that India should be part of the Hague treaty.
  • The panel has suggested setting up the ‘Inter Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority’ for dealing with cases where children are wrongfully retained by a parent.
  • It has also drafted the Protection of Children (Inter-Country Removal and Retention) Bill, 2018, where it states that such an authority would be headed by a Supreme Court judge or a High Court Chief Justice or judge.
  • It also recommended setting up of a Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority to act as a nodal body to decide on the custody of the child as well as a model law to deal with such disputes.

Defence

DAC approves procurement of radars, air cushion vehicles

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved procurement of high powered radars for the Indian Air Force and air cushion vehicles for the Army and the Coast Guard together worth over ₹5,500 crore.
  • These proposals were approved in line with Government’s goal of indigenisation and self-reliance in field of Defence Procurements.
  • DAC is Defence Ministry’s highest decision-making body on capital procurement of Indian Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force).

High power Radars -

  • The 12 high power radars will be procured indigenously under the ‘Buy (Indian) IDDM’ category.
  • The radars will provide long range medium and high altitude radar cover with the capability to detect and track high speed targets following parabolic trajectories.
  • Technologically superior, the radars will have the capability to scan 360 degrees without mechanical rotation of Antenna and will operate on 24x7 basis with minimal maintenance requirement

Air cushion vehicles (ACVs)

  • Air cushion vehicles (ACVs) to be procured from an Indian shipyard will enable travel at very high speeds over shallow water, sand banks, mud flats and swamps which are non-navigable by boats and small crafts due to draught restrictions or uncharted depths.

Women Empowerment

UN India business forum NITI Aayog form consortium to help women entrepreneurs

Highlights –

  • aimed at reducing gender disparity in start-ups
  • expediting market linkages

Enlighten about the EVENT

  • The UN India Business Forum and the Women Entrepreneurial Platform of NITI Aayog formed a consortium to reduce gender disparities in start-up investments by providing mentorship and networking opportunities and accelerating financial and market linkages for women entrepreneurs.
  • UN India-NITI Aayog Investor Consortium for Women Entrepreneurs will bring together key ecosystem stakeholders, including venture capitalists and impact investors, international donor and funding agencies, private sector partners and state governments, according to a joint statement.
  • The consortium aims to strengthen women’s entrepreneurship by creating an enabling ecosystem for investments.
  • Women entrepreneurs will be identified through key partners, including WEP, UN Women, and UNDP.
  • The consortium secretariat will then connect entrepreneurs with relevant members.

Pre. Factuals

Uranium contamination in Rajasthan groundwater

  • According to a study by researchers at the Duke University in North Carolina, United States, and the Central Groundwater Board of India.
  • Many parts of Rajasthan may have high uranium levels in their groundwater
  • The main source of uranium contamination was “natural,” but human factors such as groundwater table decline and nitrate pollution could be worsening the problem.
  • Nearly a third of all water wells we tested in one State, Rajasthan, contained uranium levels that exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) safe drinking water standards
  • The WHO has set a provisional safe drinking water standard of 30 micrograms of uranium per litre, a level that is consistent with the U.S. EPA standards.
  • Despite this, uranium is not yet included in the list of contaminants monitored under the Bureau of Indian Standards’ Drinking Water Specifications.

Sources – PIB, The Hindu, Indian express