09th October 2018, Current Affairs and News Analysis for UPSC Civil Service Examination, SSC CGL and State Civil Service Examinations.Read Current Affairs for UPSC SSC and State PCS Exam 2018 2019 - Everyday.

Current Affairs 09 October 2018

National

Ganga Task Force

In News: Uttar Pradesh government organises the Kumbh Mela, it will have a special unit to help: a volunteer force of ex-servicemen. The Ganga Task Force (GTF), specially trained by the Ministry of Defence will help with crowd management, spread awareness on keeping the river clean and stop people and industry from polluting the river.

  • The Ganga Task Force is a unit of the Territorial Army deployed in the services of the Ganga.
  • It consists of 3 companies of over 100 men each to be stationed at Kanpur, Allahabad and Varanasi, with the Battalion headquarters at Allahabad.
  • It is formed with the approval of Ministry of Defence and trained by the Defence ministry.
  • They will be in force till December 2020.
  • Mandates of the force -
  • The Ganga Task Force is a unit of the Territorial Army deployed in the services of the Ganga.
  • It consists of 3 companies of over 100 men each to be stationed at Kanpur, Allahabad and Varanasi, with the Battalion headquarters at Allahabad.
  • It is formed with the approval of Ministry of Defence and trained by the Defence ministry.
  • They will be in force till December 2020.
  • Mandates of the force -

    They have also been trained by the Central Pollution Control Board to measure the health of the river.

National/Schemes

Odisha launches 'Nirman Kusuma' scheme to assist children of construction workers

The Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik launched 'Nirman Kusuma' programme to provide financial assistance to the children of the construction workers for their technical education in the state.

  • Aim of the programme 'Nirman Kusuma' is to help fulfil the dreams of the construction workers' children.
  • The scheme would provide financial assistance to the children of construction workers for their education in Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and polytechnics.

International Affairs

Iran Parliament passes counter-terror finance Bill

Iran’s parliament on Sunday approved a bill to counter terrorist financing that was strongly opposed by conservatives but seen as vital to salvaging the nuclear deal with European and Asian partners.

What is in this bill

  • The Bill aims to bring Iran’s laws in line with international standards and allow it to join the UN Terrorism Financing Convention.
  • It is one of the four Bills put forward by the government in recent months in a bid to meet demands by the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which has given Iran until later this month to tighten its laws against money laundering and terror financing.
  • The issue has become particularly pressing since the United States walked out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran earlier this year and began reimposing sanctions.
  • The other parties to the deal — Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia — have sought to salvage the agreement and maintain trade with Iran, but have demanded that it accede to the FATF.

Why is this bill controversial?

  • Joining the UN convention has been controversial because hardliners say it will limit Iran’s ability to support armed groups in the region, such as its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah.
  • Economists say greater transparency could cause problems for powerful behind-the-scenes networks, including the Revolutionary Guards military organisation, which is deeply embedded in Iran’s opaque economy. 
  • The opponents of the bill believe that it would not solve the country’s financial problems, and would help its enemies.
  • Iran is alone with North Korea on the blacklist of the FATF, although the Paris-based organisation has suspended counter-measures since June 2017 while Iran works on reforms. 

Economy

WEF launches 'Future of Work in India' report

Recently the World Economic Forum by Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in collaboration with the 'Future of Work in India' 's report. According to this report, there is uncertainty of work in India but there are plenty of opportunities in India.

About

  • This report highlights the impact of variable technology on employment generation, workplace, job trends and relations and nature of work in India.
  • In addition, this report found that companies in India are optimistic about the future and are open to the possibilities presented by new technologies and digitization, which encourage innovation and adopt new technology and accelerate growth and progress. Be there
  • It has been found in the report that the highest growth companies in India prefer to recruit men. Thus, this increase in employment based on technology gives benefits to men more than women who have a big reason to worry about India's campaign towards gender equality and women's empowerment.

Important Points

  • Companies expect creation of jobs: Unlike the widespread concern that machines and technology are displacing human workers, companies have been continuously recruiting additional workers for the last five years and they expect this trend to continue. If carefully managed, these technological barriers in India can actually create enough beneficial employment opportunities for the working population.
  • Companies recognize the capability of Object Interlace (IoT) and Big Data: Companies have informed that many aspects of IOT are present in their companies or they are planning to present its aspects in the next five years. Similarly, the tendency of using Big Data has increased.
  • Companies are providing employment, but not women: Inclusion of women in Indian labor market is compulsory in both social and economic ways. According to the IMF estimates, if there was equal partnership between men and women in India's work, then India's richness would account for 27%.

India maintain employment rate

Economic growth is important but it is not enough condition for employment generation. According to an estimate, India has to create more than 84 lakh jobs annually to maintain the current employment rate. It is a reasonable time to provide equal opportunity for women, youth and other marginalized communities who were unable to participate in the economy in the same way.

Polity/Governance

Too easily offended: the Konark temple case

News: Recently, a privilege motion was moved against a Defence Analyst, named Abhijit Iyer-Mitra in the Odisha Assembly, demanding action against him for allegedly hurting religious sentiments after he tweeted a video commentary from the Konark temple.

The Supreme Court’s observations, while denying bail to defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, to the effect that he incited religious feelings in a video posted on social media, were out of place in what was a bail hearing.

Such endorsement by the Court, which observed that Mr. Iyer-Mitra would be “safer in jail”, in response to his counsel’s plea that he feared for his life, was less than appropriate. Sending someone to the “safety” of a prison is no answer to questions raised by a prosecution under stringent laws that involve restrictions on free speech on grounds of maintaining public order and tranquillity.

Section 135A of IPC

  • The purpose of the Section 153 A is to punish persons who indulge in wanton vilification or attacks upon the religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc of any particular group or class or upon the founders and prophets of a religion.
  • The jurisdiction of this Section is widened so as to make promotion of disharmony, enmity or feelings of hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities punishable. Offence on moral turpitude is also covered in this section.
  • The offence is a cognizable offence and the punishment for the same may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
  • However, the punishment of the offence committed in a place of worship is
    enhanced up to five years and fine.

Section 153A of IPC

  1. The act of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste, community or any other group. 
  2. Acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different groups or castes or communities, if the acts disturb public tranquility. 
  3. Acts causing fear or alarm or a feeling of insecurity among members of any religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community by use of criminal force or violence against them. 

Final Analysis

  • It is important to note that sending someone to the “safety” of a prison is no answer to questions raised by a prosecution under stringent laws that involve restrictions on free speech on grounds of maintaining public order and tranquillity.
  • In the video post against the backdrop of the Konark temple, Mr. Iyer-Mitra had made some comments which were clearly satirical in nature.
  • In the wake of this, although it is entirely possible that his remarks offended some people, it is incorrect to assume his intent was to sow discord or create religious enmity.
  • The State police of Odisha charged him with outraging or wounding religious feelings. Further, quite surprisingly, the police alleged that his remarks were directed against the “Odiya people”.
  • Experts believe that Mr. Iyer-Mitra’s arrest in New Delhi by a police team from Odisha for his comments and some other tweets is another instance of the rampant misuse of two sections of the Indian Penal Code, which are 153A and 295A on the charges of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.  

Remark

  • This entire episode raises the flag of a larger concern.
  • This concern revolves around the fact that provisions which ought to be invoked only under serious circumstances, an example of which being: a grave threat to public order and tranquillity, for instance, or, in the case of Section 295A, when a purported insult to religion has been done with malicious and deliberate intent, are being misused in a routine manner.
  • When the onus is on the prosecution to show there was criminal intent either to provoke disharmony or deliberately offend religious sensibilities, it is simply wrong to invoke these sections for everything that someone finds objectionable.
  • It is important to note that irreverence or even bad taste is not a crime.
  • In conclusion, it is important to note that in a mature democracy, the casual resort to criminal prosecution for perceived insults to either a religion or a class of society ought to be actively discouraged.
  • As a matter of fact, the case must serve as yet another prompt to begin the process of reading down Sections 153A and 295A.

Security

Indian Air Force observes 86th Air Force Day

The Indian Air Force (IAF) on October 8, 2018 celebrated 86th Air Force Day with an aim to pay rich tribute to the untiring efforts and supreme sacrifice made by veterans, who laid a strong foundation for the service.

  • The Air Force Day was officially celebrated for the first time on October 8, 1932 as an auxiliary air force of Indian Empire.
  • The day was observed to increase the awareness about the importance of Indian Air Force in any organisation of the national security.
  • The Indian Air Force has been involved in various operations and wars such as World War II, Sino-Indian War, Operation Cactus, Operation Vijay, Kargil War, Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, Congo Crisis, Operation Poomalai and Operation Pawan.

Source: The Hindu, IE, Jagran