DECEMBER 4 and 5

1) Amritsar draft declaration at the Heart of Asia conference will include stringent language against “cross-border terrorism”, and “sanctuaries for terror groups”.

  • Amritsar declaration:
    • that had discussed ending sanctuaries and funding for terror and named Al Qaeda and IS (Islamic State), adding groups like Pakistan-based LeT and JeM that target India, the Haqqani network that attacks Afghanistan, and groups like Jundullah, ETIM and IMU that operate in China, Central Asia, and Iran. But it also named the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Jamaat Ul Ahrar, that claim responsibility for terror attacks in Pakistan. (remember these names to write a good mains answers)

2) Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY):

  • the world’s biggest conditional cash-transfer scheme, aimed to promote institutional delivery instead of delivering babies at home
  • to improve India’s infant and maternal mortality rates
  • Under JSY, pregnant women choosing to deliver at the hospital and the health worker who motivated her to take the decision get cash incentives — Rs.1,400 for the woman and Rs.600 for the Accredited Social Health Activist in rural areas and Rs.1,000 and Rs.200 respectively in urban areas
  • Programme success:
    • Acc to ‘Health and Morbidity in India: 2004-2014’ Report, the maternal health programme led to a 22 per cent increase in women delivering in government hospitals between 2004 and 2014.
    • The researchers have found a causal link between JSY and increase in hospitalisation, even for non-childbirth related ailments, resulting in a 2 per cent increase in overall hospitalisation of women in India. 
  • Concerns:
    • The quality of care with increasing number of caesarean sections and hospital-acquired infections
    • Hospitals performing unnecessary procedures. Patients are now seen as ATMs that hospitals can milk

3) An ancient camping site used by pre-historic man around 8500 BCE, has been found at an altitude of about 4,200 metres near Saser La in the Nubra Valley, Ladakh by Archaeological Survey of India 

  • Saser La is a pass which leads to the Karakoram Pass.
  • About camping site:
    • A camping site is a place where hunter-gatherers stayed temporarily before they moved on to another place
    • It is for a seasonal settlement, not a permanent settlement
    • It was the earliest camping site in Ladakh
  • Why no more number of findings in Ladakh region?
    • Rough terrain, high altitudes and extreme weather made it difficult for any explorer to undertake archaeological expeditions in the region.

4) Centre doesn’t have to raise dispute with foreign govt. over private claim

  • Issue: The woman’s husband had died in 1979. In 2003, the woman made a representation to the Indian government for the release of the amounts lying deposited in Shanghai Post Office. Her claim was forwarded to the Indian Embassy in China. The Shanghai Post Office in October 2003 informed the woman that her claim stood abandoned, as the same was not registered within the assigned time after the issuance of the said policy of the Chinese government.
  • High Court ruling:
    • Merely because the Indian government, on a representation being made, has forwarded the claim of the petitioner to the Embassy of India in China would not create an obligation on the part of the Indian government to take further steps in the matter. The Indian government cannot raise a dispute with a foreign government qua(in the capacity of) the private claim of its citizens.”
  • Petitioner claim:
    • the Indian government was under obligation to help emigrants under the Emigration Act, 1983.
    • It was also contended by her that “it is an established principle of international law that any property, particularly belonging to aliens, cannot be confiscated without just compensation…”

5) India’s deal with the U.S. for 145 M777 ultra-light howitzers (ULH) finally breaks a long-running jinx for the Army, which has failed to induct any new artillery gun in the three decades since the Bofors scandal erupted in the late-1980s. Deals for several other types of artillery guns are in various stages of procurement. Of the 145 guns, 25 will be imported and the remaining 120 assembled in India as a part of ‘Make in India‘ initiative.

  • The Bofors scandal relates to illegal kickbacks paid in a US$1.4 billion deal between the Swedish arms manufacturer Bofors with the government of India for the sale of 410 field howitzer guns, and a supply contract almost twice that amount.

The Army is close to inducting the Dhanush guns manufactured by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). Dhanush is an upgraded version of the Swedish Bofors guns.

The Army’s Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan (FARP) of 1999 envisages inducting nearly 3,000 guns of various types to equip the 220 artillery regiments.

6) India’s decision to develop ports has resulted in a fusion of Sagarmala and the Maritime Silk Road

  • Sagarmala project aims at holistic port infrastructure development along the 7,500-km-long coastline through modernisation, mechanisation and computerisation. Under this port-led development framework government hopes to increase its cargo traffic three-fold in next 5 years.

7)The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will have a new interim chief, Rakesh Asthana

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

is the foremost investigative police agency in India, an elite force which plays a role in public life and ensuring the health of the national economy. It is under the jurisdiction of the Government of India.The CBI was established in 1941 as the Special Police Establishment, tasked with domestic security and renamed later.


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