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Current Affairs 18 December 2019 for UPSC Exam


  1. Gujrat Model to check Maternal Mortality Rate
  2. 2+2 Dialogue and Quad grouping
  3. All about CAB: Detailed


Why in news?

Recent advisory issued by the Union Health Ministry to States to adopt the Gujarat model of “non-­interventional approach during the final stages of labour” as the best obstetric practice to deal with the high incidence of maternal mortality rate.

What is it?

Obstetricians say the advisory runs contrary to WHO recommendations and the best of proven international advisories and this can undo all their efforts to reduce PPH and prevent mothers bleeding to death.

  • Kerala managed to bring down the PPH (post-partum haemorrhage) numbers drastically when in 2013 it developed and implemented the Quality Standards in Obstetric Care.
  • One of the key principles adopted is the WHO-recommended strategy of “active management of third stage of labour” (AMTSL).
  • The third stage is the time between the delivery of the baby and the expulsion of the placenta and its duration could be approximately six to 30 minutes.
  • The volume of blood loss during this time depends on how long it takes the placenta to separate from the uterine wall and how effectively the uterine muscle contracts in the immediate post-partum period. This can be quite tricky.
  • So in 2012, the WHO reaffirmed AMTSL, with the use of uterotonics (drugs to contract uterus and reduce bleeding) as the best critical measure.


The new advisory, however, advocates the physiological management or the “hands-off” approach during the third stage of labour.

It says to delay the clamping and cutting of umbilical cord till placenta separates naturally and is expelled from the uterus. And that the uterotonic oxytocin be administered only after the placenta is expelled.

The WHO-recommended protocol of delaying cord clamping by one to three minutes after birth is enough to achieve the aim of allowing the foetus more blood from placenta

Extra Coverage:

What is MMR?

Image result for maternal mortality rate

MMR in India:

Image result for maternal mortality rate in india 2019


Why in news?

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh sit

down for the second “2+2” combined ministerial meeting with their U.S. counterparts, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper.

On the defence front, the two sides are expected to sign the Industrial Security Annex (ISA) and review steps being taken to operationalise the foundational agreement Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement. COMCASA, BESA basic exchange and cooperation agreement, DTTA defence technology and trade initiative.

What is the 2+2 Dialogue?

  • The new dialogue format will replace earlier India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.
  • It is similar to India’s 2+2 dialogue with Japan, Australia and South Korea format between foreign and defence secretaries of the two countries.
  • The 2+2 Dialogue between the US and India aims to enhance strategic coordination between both countries and maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Quad grouping

  • The Quadrilateral security dialogue or Quad was first mooted by the Japanese Prime Minister in 2007.
  • In November 2017, India, the US, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending “Quad” Coalition to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence (especially China).
  • India has been hesitant about the Quad, in part because it does not want to isolate China and because it has had a history of staying clear of security alliances.
  • Members of the Quad, barring Australia, are currently engaged in the annual Malabar exercises – military exercises that started between India and the U.S. in 1994 and became trilateral (with Japan) in 2015.
  • India has not permitted Australia to participate in these exercises, concerned about what message it would send to China, which is wary of the exercise.



In India, citizenship is regulated by the Citizenship Act, 1955. The Act specifies that citizenship may be acquired in India through five methods – by birth in India, by descent, through registration, by naturalisation (extended residence in India), and by incorporation of territory into India.

  • However, illegal migrants cannot become Indian citizens. Under the Act, an illegal migrant is a foreigner who:
  • enters the country without valid travel documents like a passport and visa, or enters with valid documents, but stays beyond the permitted time period.
  • Illegal migrants may be put in jail or deported under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920.
  • In 2015 and 2016, the government exempted specified groups of illegal migrants from provisions of the 1946 and 1920 Acts. They were Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who reached India on or before December 31, 2014.
  • This meant that these particular categories of illegal migrants would not be deported or jailed for being in India without valid documents.
Citizenship Amendment Bill seeks to amend the Citi- 
zenship Act 1955 in order to make illegal migrants 
Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians 
from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan —eligible 
for citizenship after six years of stay in India instead of 
12 even if they don't possess proper document. 
Under the Citizenship Act, the applicant must have 
resided in India during the last 12 months, and for 1 1 
of the last 14 years to get citizenship. The Bill relaxes 
this 11-year requirement to five years for persons 
belonging to the 6 religions and 3 countries. It also 
makes those who entered India till 2014 eligible. 
The Bill has come under severe criticism with critics saying that the Bill violates Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, 
V/hich stipulates "constitutional. legislative and administrative safeguards" for the preserving the culture and 
identity of Assamese people. Critics have also said that the extensive exercise of updating the National Register 
of Citizens (NRC) will become null and void due to this exercise.

Key Features

  • Citizenship on the basis of religion: The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955, and for the first time, will grant citizenship on the basis of religion to non-Muslim communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.
  • Non – Muslim Communities Included: Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian. This implies that migrants, who identify themselves with any group or community other than those mentioned here, from the above mentioned countries won’t be eligible for citizenship.
  • Exceptions: The provisions on citizenship for illegal migrants will not apply to two categories – states protected by the ‘Inner Line’, and areas covered under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP): This is a special permit that citizens from other parts of India require to enter a state protected by the ILP regime. Without an ILP granted by the state government, an Indian from another state cannot visit a state that is under the ILP regime.
  • Sixth Schedule: The Sixth Schedule relates to special provisions in administration of certain Northeastern states (Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura). It provides special powers for Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in these states.
  • Citizenship by Naturalization
  • Under The Citizenship Act, 1955, one of the requirements for citizenship by naturalisation is that the applicant must have resided in India during the last 12 months, as well as for 11 of the previous 14 years.
  • The amendment relaxes the second requirement from 11 years to 5 years as a specific condition for applicants belonging to the specified six religions, and the above mentioned three countries.
  • Additional Ground for Cancelling Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Registration i.e. violation of any law notified by the central government.
  • However, the Bill does not provide any guidance on the nature of laws which the central government may notify. The Supreme Court has noted that this guidance is necessary to set limits on the authority’s powers and to avoid any arbitrariness in exercise of powers.

Arguments Against the Bill

  • The fundamental criticism of the Bill has been that it specifically targets Muslims. Critics argue that it is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution (which guarantees the right to equality) and the principle of secularism.
  • India has several other refugees that include Tamils from Sri Lanka and Hindu Rohingya from Myanmar. They are not covered under the Act.
  • Despite exemption granted to some regions in the Northeastern states, the prospect of citizenship for massive numbers of illegal Bangladeshi migrants has triggered deep anxieties in the states.
  • It will be difficult for the government to differentiate between illegal migrants and those persecuted.

Arguments in Favour

  • The government has clarified that Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh are Islamic republics where Muslims are in majority hence they cannot be treated as persecuted minorities. It has assured that the government will examine the application from any other community on a case to case basis.
  • This Bill will come as a big boon to all those people who have been the victims of Partition and the subsequent conversion of the three countries into theocratic Islamic republics.
  • Citing partition between India and Pakistan on religious lines in 1947, the government has argued that millions of citizens of undivided India belonging to various faiths were staying in Pakistan and Bangladesh from 1947.
  • The constitutions of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh provide for a specific state religion. As a result, many persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities have faced persecution on grounds of religion in those countries.
  • Many such persons have fled to India to seek shelter and continued to stay in India even if their travel documents have expired or they have incomplete or no documents.
  • After Independence, not once but twice, India conceded that the minorities in its neighbourhood is its responsibility. First, immediately after Partition and again during the Indira-Mujib Pact in 1972 when India had agreed to absorb over 1.2 million refugees. It is a historical fact that on both occasions, it was only the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians who had come over to Indian side.

Extra Coverage

Who are Illegal migrants?

An illegal migrant is defined under Foreigners’ Act, 1946 and is a foreigner who: (i) enters the country without valid travel documents, like a passport and visa, or (ii) enters with valid documents, but stays beyond the permitted time period.

Illegal migrants may be imprisoned or deported under the Foreigners’ Act, 1946, and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 as these Acts empower the central government to regulate the entry, exit, and residence of foreigners within India.

Changes through the Bill: The amendment seeks to remove people belonging to the six minority religious groups in neighbouring countries from consideration as illegal migrants.

However, to get the benefits of citizenship under the citizenship Act, these groups would also be required to be exempted from the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 by the central government.

February 2024