Newspaper notes for UPSC 02-06-18

Hello friends, this is a short briefing of the important points for prelims and mains, this is not a substitute for newspaper reading , just a collection of important points.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016

In news:  Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) that is examining the The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, intends to have wider consultations.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016

  • Highlights of the Bill:  The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.
  •  Under the Act, one of the requirements for citizenship by naturalisation is that the applicant must have resided in India during the last 12 months, and for 11 of the previous 14 years.  The Bill relaxes this 11 year requirement to six years for persons belonging to the same six religions and three countries.
  • The Bill provides that the registration of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders may be cancelled if they violate any law.

Issues with the bill : 

  •  The Bill makes illegal migrants eligible for citizenship on the basis of religion. This may violate Article 14 of the Constitution which guarantees right to equality.
  •  The Bill allows cancellation of OCI registration for violation of any law. This is a wide ground that may cover a range of violations, including minor offences (eg. parking in a no parking zone).  Via PRS
  • As per the orders of the Supreme Court, the next draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is to be published on June 30 2018, and this has also created hurdles to the passage of the Bill.

Issue in Assam: 

  • Assam has witnessed protests over an amendment to the Centre’s Citizenship Act 1955 that proposes to make minority (non-Muslim) immigrants from three neighbouring countries eligible for Indian citizenship.
  • Opposition to the bill : Brahmaputra valley The opponents stress Assam cannot accommodate any more immigrants and feel the Bill goes against the 1985 Assam Accord signed between the Rajiv Gandhi government and leaders of the Assam movement spearheaded by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) against illegal Bangladeshi immigrants — irrespective of religion. Under the Accord, any person who came into Assam after midnight of March 24, 1971, would be identified as a foreigner.
  • Those pressing for the Bill: express concern about “Partition victims” who have been displaced and persecuted.

What is JPC 

A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) is an ad-hoc body. It is set up for a specific object and duration. Joint committees are set up by a motion passed in one house of Parliament and agreed to by the other. The details regarding membership and subjects are also decided by Parliament. A JPC of 30 members of which 20 were from the Lok Sabha and 10 were from the Rajya Sabha.

Read about JPC in detail from Laxmikanth Indian Polity.

Cauvery Water Management Authority

  • The Cauvery Water Management Authority is notified by the Center , it will determine the total residual storage in the specified reservoirs on June 1 every year.
  • The share of each State will be determined on the basis of the flows together with the available carry-over storage in the reservoirs.
  • If the Authority finds that any Government of the party States, namely Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Union territory of Puducherry do not cooperate in implementing the decision or direction of the Tribunal, it can seek the help of the Central Government for implementation of the Award of the Tribunal as modified by the Supreme Court vide Order of 16th February, 2018

Growth Signals: 

  • Official data showing the GDP expanding at the fastest pace in seven quarters in the three months ended March 31, at 7.7% is a good sign for economy.
  • The Hindu 

What is the ‘Purchasing Managers’ Index

  • The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is an indicator of the economic health of the manufacturing sector by Nikkei India
  • The PMI is based on five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment.
  • A PMI of more than 50 represents expansion of the manufacturing sector when compared to the previous month. A PMI reading under 50 represents a contraction, and a reading at 50 indicates no change.

Singapore a strategic partner

  • India and Singapore on Friday agreed to deepen their economic and defence ties as they signed eight agreements, one on logistics cooperation between their Navies, after wide-ranging talks between Indian Prime Minister  and his counterpart.
  • The two countries signed an implementation agreement between their Navies on mutual coordination, logistics and services support for visits of naval ships, submarines and naval aircraft — including ship-borne aviation assets.
  • They also successfully concluded the second review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).
  • They agreed on the need to maintain an open, stable and fair international trade regime. And also reiterated their strong commitment to combat terrorism.
  • India and Singapore were collaborating on technology, smart cities and skills development.  Singapore also continue to support India as a permanent member in a reformed United Nations Security Council.

India and Indonesia

  • During his first visit to Jakarta this week, Prime Minister announced the elevation of bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and outlined a shared maritime vision for the Indo-Pacific.
  • Delhi’s Look East Policy and the ASEAN’s embrace of India brought the two nations together, the relationship remained way below potential.
  • Over the last couple of years, they have pushed hard to impart a new momentum to the partnership.
  • The comprehensive strategic partnership will be built around
    • annual summit meetings between the leaders,
    • sustained high level bureaucratic exchanges,
    • substantive defence cooperation including on arms production, stronger counter-terror collaboration,
    • deeper economic integration and more expansive people-to-people relations.
  • The joint maritime vision for the Indo-Pacific is founded on the long delayed recognition that the two nations share a vast oceanic neighbourhood.

comprehensive strategic partnership meaning in international diplomacy is fairly clear:

  • It defines a bilateral relationship more important than others, but stops short of an actual alliance.
  • The term “strategic” further implies a future convergence of interests in areas that are vital: security, defence and investment.

Comprehensive EU-Asia strategy

  • Europe and Asia’s  economies and cultures are interconnected; and security is connected.
  • They face the same challenges, confront similar threats, and share an interest in preserving peace in our regions and international cooperation on a global scale.
  • The foreign ministers of the European Union’s 28 member states decided to enhance security engagement in Asia and with Asia.
  • Work on security has become the biggest area of growth in terms of EU expanding cooperation with Asian partners.
  • The most pressing matter for EU-Asia security cooperation at this time is de-nuclearisation. It shares an interest to save the Iran nuclear deal and to support de-nuclearisation talks in the Korean peninsula.
  • EU will expand its cooperation with Asian partners into areas such as capacity building, training programmes — including on UN peacekeeping — and joint exercises.

Prelims Keywords :

  1. Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)
  2. Purchasing Managers’ Index
  3. GDP and GVA

Mains Keywords : 

  1. permanent member in United Nations Security Council.


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