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5th November Current Affairs

Contents

  1. CCEA approves Luhri hydropower project
  2. Interpol: Cybercrime-related communication
  3. SC lays down guidelines for matrimonial cases
  4. U.S. formally exits Paris climate deal
  5. India talks to GCC about return of Indian workers
  6. Centre launches ‘Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge’

CCEA APPROVES LUHRI HYDROPOWER PROJECT

Focus: GS-I Geography, GS-II Polity and Governance

Why in news?

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved funding for the 210-megawatt (MW) Luhri hydropower project on the Sutlej river in Himachal Pradesh.

Details

  • The CCEA, chaired by Prime Minister approved the investment for the project that is located in Shimla and Kullu districts, a government statement said.
  • The project will be implemented by the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited on the “build-own-operate-maintain” model and would be supported by the Central and State governments.
  • The clean energy produced by the project will lead to a reduction of 6.1 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
  • The construction will lead to jobs for around 2,000 people and free electricity worth ₹1,140 crore for Himachal during the 40-year life cycle of the project.
  • The project-affected families will be provided with 100 units of free electricity per month for 10 years.

Sutlej / Satluj River

  • The Sutlej River is the longest of the five rivers that flow through the historic crossroads region of Punjab in northern India and Pakistan.
  • It is the easternmost tributary of the Indus River.
  • The waters of the Sutlej are allocated to India under the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan, and are mostly diverted to irrigation canals in India.
  • It has several major hydroelectric points, including the 1,325 MW Bhakra Dam, the 1,000 MW Karcham Wangtoo Hydroelectric Plant, and the 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri Dam.
  • The drainage basin is mainly in India’s Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana states.
  • The source of the Sutlej is west of the catchment area of Lake Rakshastal in Tibet, as springs in an ephemeral stream.

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA)

  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has a mandate to review economic trends on a continuous basis, as also the problems and prospects, with a view to evolving a consistent and integrated economic policy framework for the country. It also directs and coordinates all policies and activities in the economic field including foreign investment that require policy decisions at the highest level.
  • Matters regarding fixation of prices of agricultural products as well as reviewing progress of activities related to rural development including those concerning small and marginal farmers are in CCEA’s competence. Price controls of industrial raw materials and products, industrial licensing policies, reviewing performance of Public Sector Undertakings, are also within the purview of CCEA.
  • The CCEA also lays down priorities for public sector investment.
  • CCEA facilitates finalization of factual reports on the accomplishments of the Ministries, Agencies and Public Sector Undertakings involved in implementation of prioritized schemes or projects for evaluation by the Prime Minister.
  • The CCEA is not a constitutional body.
  • The composition of the committee varies from time to time.

-Source: The Hindu


INTERPOL: CYBERCRIME-RELATED COMMUNICATION

Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

The Interpol has created two secure and flexible services to facilitate cybercrime related communication among law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to ensure more effective and coordinated action based on timely intelligence.

Introduction / Why is this service required?

  • Highly complex cyberthreats such as malware, Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) and ransomware bring new challenges to law enforcement — including large volumes of data, cross-border investigations, and new areas of technical knowledge.
  • Given the constant evolution of the cybercrime landscape, police agencies needed to share information and knowledge with their counterparts around the world to develop a timely, intelligence-based response. Therefore, the services need to be created.

Existing Services for Cybercrime related communication

Cybercrime Knowledge Exchange (CKE)

  • One of the existing services for Cybercrime management – Cybercrime Knowledge Exchange workspace handles general, non-police information and is open to all relevant users.
  • The Cybercrime Knowledge Exchange (CKE) workspace is open to law enforcement, governments, international organisations and cybersecurity industry experts to exchange non-police operational information on cybercrime.
  • This unique workspace is a dynamic communication channel that enables users around the world to discuss the latest cybercrime trends, prevention strategies, detection technologies and investigation techniques with authorized colleagues globally.

Cybercrime Collaborative Platform-Operation

  • The Cybercrime Collaborative Platform-Operation assists in the law enforcement operations, with access restricted to the operational stakeholders only.
  • Said to be the first of its kind, the Cybercrime Collaborative Platform-Operation is a centralised information database for coordination of global law enforcement operations against cybercrime.
  • According to the Interpol, the platform would enable the member countries to see the bigger picture of cyberthreats and trends and, therefore, better focus their resources and avoid duplication of effort.

Interpol

  • The International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO), commonly known as INTERPOL, is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control.
  • Headquartered in Lyon, it has seven regional bureaus worldwide and a National Central Bureau in all 194 member states, making it the world’s largest police organization.
  • INTERPOL provides investigative support, expertise, and training to law enforcement worldwide, focusing on three major areas of transnational crime: terrorism, cybercrime, and organized crime.
  • Its broad mandate covers virtually every kind of crime, including crimes against humanity, child pornography, drug trafficking and production, political corruption, copyright infringement, and white-collar crime.
  • The agency also facilitates co-operation among national law enforcement institutions through criminal databases and communications networks.
  • Contrary to popular belief, INTERPOL is itself not a law enforcement agency.
  • INTERPOL is mostly funded by annual contributions by member police forces in 181 countries.
  • It is governed by a General Assembly, composed of all member countries, which elects the Executive Committee and the President.
  • Pursuant to its charter, INTERPOL seeks to remain politically neutral in fulfilling its mandate, as it is barred from interventions or activities of a political, military, religious, or racial nature or involving itself in disputes over such matters.
  • The agency operates in four languages: Arabic, English, French, and Spanish.
  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the nodal agency in the INTERPOL for India.

-Source: The Hindu


SC LAYS DOWN GUIDELINES FOR MATRIMONIAL CASES

Focus: GS-II Polity and Governance

Why in news?

  • In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court said women deserted by husbands were left in dire straits, often reduced to destitution, for lack of means to sustain themselves and their children while hearing the applications filed by women seeking maintenance from their estranged husbands.
  • The court said despite a plethora of maintenance laws, women were left empty-handed for years, struggling to make ends meet after a bad marriage.

Views of the Supreme Court

  • The view that maintenance ought to be granted from the date when the application was made is based on the rationale that the primary object of maintenance laws is to protect a deserted wife and dependent children from destitution and vagrancy.
  • If maintenance is not paid from the date of application, the party seeking maintenance would be deprived of sustenance, owing to the time taken for disposal of the application, which often runs into several years.
  • Usually maintenance cases have to be settled in 60 days, but they take years in reality owing to legal loopholes.
  • The plea of the husband that he does not possess any source of income ipso facto does not absolve him of his moral duty to maintain his wife, if he is able-bodied and has educational qualifications.

Education expenses

The expenses of the children, including their education, basic needs and other vocational activities, should be factored in by courts while calculating the alimony.

Permanent Alimony

  • The court opined it would not be equitable to order a husband to pay his wife permanent alimony for the rest of her life, considering the fact that in contemporary society marriages do not last for a reasonable length of time.
  • Anyway, the court said, the duration of a marriage should be accounted for while determining the permanent alimony.

-Source: The Hindu


U.S. FORMALLY EXITS PARIS CLIMATE DEAL

Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

  • The US formally exited the Paris Climate Agreement amid election uncertainty.
  • The US exited the pact after a mandatory year-long waiting period ended.

Significance

  • The US is the only country to withdraw from the global pact
  • It can still attend negotiations and give opinions, but is relegated to observer status.
  • The US is the second leading producer of all carbon dioxide emissions globally, behind China.

Why did the Trump Administration seek to exit the Paris Deal?

  • Trump administration criticized the agreement as economically detrimental and claimed it could cost the country 2.5 million jobs by 2025.
  • Trump also said it gave other major emitters, like China and India, a free pass.

Paris Agreement

  • The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, signed in 2016.
  • The agreement’s language was negotiated by representatives of 196 state parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Le Bourget, near Paris, France, and adopted by consensus in 2015.
  • As of February 2020, all 196 members of the UNFCCC have signed the agreement and 189 have become party to it.
  • Of the seven countries which are not party to the law, the only significant emitters are Iran and Turkey.

More about the Paris Agreement

  • The Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C (3.6 °F) above pre-industrial levels; and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 °C (2.7 °F), recognizing that this would substantially reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.
  • This should be done by reducing emissions as soon as possible, in order to “achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases” in the second half of the 21st century.
  • It also aims to increase the ability of parties to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, and make “finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.”
  • Under the Paris Agreement, each country must determine, plan, and regularly report on the contribution that it undertakes to mitigate global warming.
  • No mechanism forces a country to set a specific emissions target by a specific date, but each target should go beyond previously set targets.

Aims

The aim of the agreement is to decrease global warming described in its Article 2, “enhancing the implementation” of the UNFCCC through:

  1. Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;
  2. Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production;
  3. Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

-Source: The Hindu


INDIA TALKS TO GCC ABOUT RETURN OF INDIAN WORKERS

Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

  • India urged the Gulf countries to facilitate the return of Indian workers and professionals who are now eager to resume their work following the easing of coronavirus-related restrictions.
  • The issue figured at a virtual meeting Indian External Affairs Minister held with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a leading regional organisation comprising almost all Arab countries.

Gulf Cooperation Council

  • Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was established by an agreement concluded in 1981 among Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE in view of their special relations, geographic proximity, similar political systems based on Islamic beliefs, joint destiny and common objectives.
  • The structure of the GCC consists of the Supreme Council (the highest authority), the Ministerial Council and the Secretariat General. The Secretariat is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • It is a political, economic, social, and regional organisation according to its charter.

Indian Relations with the GCC

  • The governments of the GCC members are India-friendly and Indian-friendly.
  • The Prime MInister of India has received the ‘Order of Zayed’, the highest civilian order of the UAE and the ‘King Hamad Order of the Renaissance’, the third-highest civilian order of Bahrain.
  • In the recent past, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have not adopted hostile posture to India’s domestic developments such as removing the special status for Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370.
  • The GCC states are among India’s key suppliers of energy, and annual remittances from Indians in these countries are worth an estimated USD 4.8 billion.
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia are India’s third and fourth-largest trading partners respectively and the total bilateral trade of the GCC countries with India for the year 2018-19 stood at USD 121.34 billion.
  • UAE also features in the top 10 sources of FDI inflows into India.
  • Both India and the GCC are members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
  • Apart from the participation of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, and others in India’s mega multilateral Milan Exercise, India also has bilateral exercises with most of them.
  • India and Oman hold annual bilateral exercises across all three wings of the armed forces (Army Exercise ‘Al Najah’, Air Force Exercise ‘Eastern Bridge’, Naval Exercise ‘Naseem al Bahr’). Further, Oman has provided the Indian Navy access to the Port of Duqm SEZ which is one of Indian Ocean’s largest deep-sea ports.
  • India has a bilateral naval (In-UAE BILAT) as well as an air force exercise (Desert Eagle-II) with the UAE.

-Source: Indian Express


CENTRE LAUNCHES ‘NURTURING NEIGHBORHOODS CHALLENGE’

Focus: GS-II Social Justice

Why in news?

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry launched a challenge for cities to develop and implement initiatives to improve the quality of life of young children, caregivers and families.

‘Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge’

  • HUA Minister aunched the ‘Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge’ which will be open for the 100 Smart Cities, cities with population of more than 5 lakh and State/Union Territory capitals.
  • The three-year challenge will help cities to “re-imagine parks and open spaces; improve access to early childhood facilities; adapt public spaces with early childhood-oriented amenities; and create accessible, safe, walkable streets for young children and families”.
  • Families are challenged by inadequate public transport, as well as food, healthcare and childcare deserts.
  • Thoughtful urban planning and design can play a major role in addressing such challenges and in giving children a good start in life.

-Source: The Hindu

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