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Current Affairs 02 July 2024

  1. US Congress Passes Resolve Tibet Act
  2. UNODC Releases World Drug Report 2024
  3. Implementation of the New Criminal Law Regime
  4. International Seabed Authority Celebrates 30th Anniversary
  5. Santhal Tribal Community
  6. Snowblind Malware


Recently, the US Congress passed the Promoting a Resolution to Tibet-China Dispute Act, also known as the Resolve Tibet Act. This legislation aims to promote a peaceful resolution to the Tibet-China dispute.

  • It adheres to international law and the United Nations (UN) Charter, advocating for peaceful dialogue without preconditions.


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the Resolve Tibet Act 2024?
  2. How is India’s Relation with Tibet?
  3. The China-Tibet Issue: Historical Overview
  4. Tibet and the Dalai Lama’s Impact on India-China Relations
  5. What is the Global Stand on China-Tibet Issue?

What is the Resolve Tibet Act 2024?

  • Legislation:
    • Passed by the United States Congress in June 2024.
    • Third significant act by the US on Tibet, following the Tibetan Policy Act (2002) and the Tibetan Policy & Support Act (2020).
  • Objectives:
    • Strengthen the US position on Tibet and pressure China into resuming negotiations with the Dalai Lama.
    • Enhance US support for Tibet and empower US State Department officials to counter Chinese disinformation on Tibet.
    • Push for negotiations “without preconditions” between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama or his representatives.
    • Emphasize the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination and human rights.
    • Recognize and address the distinct historical, cultural, religious, and linguistic identity of the Tibetan people.
    • Empower the international community to stand up for justice and peace in Tibet.
Key Differences from Previous Acts:
  • Unlike the 2002 act, which recognized China’s claim over Tibet, the Resolve Tibet Act challenges this claim directly.
  • Encourages dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his democratically elected representatives without preconditions.
  • Aims to “resolve differences” between the parties, going further than the Tibetan Policy & Support Act of 2020.

How is India’s Relation with Tibet?

  • Historical Context:
    • The Younghusband Mission (1903-1904): British expedition to Tibet led by Colonel Younghusband aimed to establish a British presence and counter Russian influence, resulting in the Lhasa Convention of 1904.
    • Anglo-Russian Convention (1907): Settled colonial disputes between Britain and Russia, stipulating that neither would negotiate with Tibet except through Chinese mediation.
  • Cultural and Religious Ties:
    • Despite the Sino-Russian treaty, India maintained close ties with Tibet through the influence of Buddhism.
    • The spread of Buddhism from India to Tibet and the presence of influential Buddhist monasteries fostered strong cultural and religious connections.
  • Border Disputes:
    • The Sino-Indian border dispute, particularly in the Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh regions, remains a major point of contention between India and China.
    • The status of Tibet and its historical relationship with India are central to this dispute, with both countries claiming sovereignty over the disputed territories.
  • India’s Stand on Tibet:
    • Since 2003, India has recognized the Tibet Autonomous Region as part of the People’s Republic of China, following the signing of the Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation between India and China.
    • In 1959, India granted asylum to the Dalai Lama after a failed uprising.

The China-Tibet Issue: Historical Overview

Tibet’s Quest for Independence:
  • Tibet is a vast region in Asia, covering about 2.4 million square kilometers, roughly a quarter of China’s territory.
  • It serves as the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people and other ethnic groups.
  • Tibet is renowned for its high elevation, with an average of 4,900 meters, including Mount Everest, Earth’s highest peak.
  • Tibet declared de facto independence under the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, in 1913, a move not recognized by China.
Chinese Occupation and the Seventeen Point Agreement:
  • From 1912 until the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Tibet was not governed by any Chinese authority, and the Dalai Lama’s government administered the region.
  • In 1951, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) entered Tibet, leading to a forced treaty known as the “Seventeen Point Agreement.” This agreement claims to guarantee Tibetan autonomy and religious freedom but permits the establishment of Chinese offices in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital.
  • The treaty is widely regarded as invalid by Tibetans and third-party observers, often termed a “cultural genocide.”
1959 Tibetan Uprising:
  • Escalating tensions between Tibet and China reached a climax in 1959 when the Dalai Lama and his supporters sought asylum in India.
Aftermath of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising:
  • Since 1959, China has increasingly tightened its control over Tibet, resulting in a lack of freedom of speech, religion, and press.
  • Tibetans have faced forced abortion, sterilization, and an influx of low-income Han Chinese residents, which threatens Tibetan culture.
  • Although China has improved infrastructure in Tibet, such as Lhasa, it has also encouraged a demographic shift by relocating Han Chinese citizens to the region.

Tibet and the Dalai Lama’s Impact on India-China Relations

Historical Neighbors:
  • Tibet historically shared its boundaries with India, and the Line of Actual Control (LAC) stretches for 3,500 kilometers in the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
  • The 1914 Simla Convention, which delineated boundaries, was signed by Tibetan representatives alongside Chinese officials and British India.
  • However, China’s full annexation of Tibet in 1950 led to a repudiation of the Simla Convention and the McMahon Line, which separated the two countries.
Recognition of Tibet:
  • In 1954, India signed an agreement recognizing Tibet as a “Tibet region of China,” reflecting the changing dynamics of the region.
  • The presence of the Dalai Lama in India remains a persistent issue in India-China relations, as China views him as a separatist figure.
Tibet’s Geopolitical Significance:
  • The Tibetan plateau holds strategic importance in terms of water resources and geopolitical considerations, further complicating India-China-Tibet relations.

What is the Global Stand on China-Tibet Issue?

  • China’s Claim:
    • China asserts that Tibet has been part of its territory since the 13th century and implements policies aimed at developing the region.
    • China considers Tibet an autonomous region with significant rights and accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking independence.
  • Concerns Over Dalai Lama’s Successor:
    • China is apprehensive about the future selection of the Dalai Lama, fearing that a successor chosen by the Tibetan community might challenge its authority in Tibet.
  • Support from Western Countries:
    • Some Western nations, such as the US and Canada, have expressed support for Tibetan autonomy and human rights.
  • Central Tibetan Administration (CTA):
    • The CTA, the Tibetan government-in-exile led by the Dalai Lama, is not recognized by the international community, including India.
  • Neutral Stance by Many Countries:
    • Numerous countries, especially those with strong ties to China, maintain a neutral stance and prioritize diplomatic and economic cooperation with China.
  • Cautious Approach by Neighbouring Countries:
    • Neighboring countries like Nepal and Bhutan adopt a cautious approach to avoid escalating tensions with China.
  • Concerns by International Organizations:
    • International organizations, including the United Nations (UN), have raised concerns about human rights abuses in Tibet, highlighting restrictions on religious freedom and cultural suppression.

-Source: The Hindu


The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) recently released its World Drug Report 2024. This report highlights escalating concerns in the international drug landscape, drawing global attention to the issue.


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are the Highlights of the Report?
  2. Who are the Major Drug-Producing Regions in the World?
  3. What are the Factors Contributing to Drug Abuse in India?
  4. What are the Various Challenges for India in Drug Trafficking?

What are the Highlights of the Report?

  • Global Drug Usage:
    • In 2022, the number of drug users worldwide reached 292 million, showing a 20% increase over the past decade.
  • Popular Drugs:
    • Cannabis is the most popular drug, with 228 million users, followed by opioids, amphetamines, cocaine, and ecstasy.
  • New Synthetic Opioids:
    • The report highlights nitazenes, a new class of synthetic opioids more potent than fentanyl, linked to an increase in overdose deaths, especially in high-income countries.
  • Treatment Gap:
    • Out of 64 million people suffering from drug use disorders, only one in 11 receive treatment.
    • Significant gender gap in treatment access, with only one in 18 women receiving treatment compared to one in seven men.
  • Indian States with Highest FIRs:
    • Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Punjab have the highest number of FIRs registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act) in the past three years.

Who are the Major Drug-Producing Regions in the World?

  • The Golden Crescent:
    • Comprises Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, a major hub for opium production and distribution.
    • Affects Indian states like Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.
  • The Golden Triangle:
    • Located at the intersection of Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand, notorious for heroin production (Myanmar produces 80% of global heroin).
    • Trafficking routes pass through Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, and India.

What are the Factors Contributing to Drug Abuse in India?

  • Economic and Social Factors:
    • Individuals in lower-income groups use cheap, readily available drugs to temporarily escape harsh realities like poverty, unemployment, and poor living conditions.
    • A slum rehabilitation program in Chennai reported that 70% of adult drug users cited poverty-related stress as a key factor.
  • Youth and Social Influence:
    • Teenagers experiment with drugs at parties to fit in or appear cool, influenced by celebrities and social media portraying drug use as fashionable.
  • Organized Crime:
    • Organized crime syndicates exploit legal system loopholes, such as weak border controls, to smuggle drugs.
    • In 2023, a cybercrime unit uncovered a network using Instagram to advertise pharma parties in Goa, reaching over 100,000 potential attendees.
    • The Border Security Force reported a 35% increase in drug seizures along the India-Pakistan border in 2023.

What are the Various Challenges for India in Drug Trafficking?

  • Geopolitical and Security Challenges:
    • The India-Myanmar border, characterized by rough terrain and dense forests, presents security challenges.
    • Illicit drug flows through India threaten both national security and public health.
  • Socioeconomic Issues:
    • Poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy in the North Eastern regions contribute to local involvement in drug-related criminal activities.
    • Some local tribes and residents may participate out of economic necessity or misplaced sympathy.
  • Proximity to Major Drug-Producing Regions:
    • The Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle regions collectively meet about 90% of the world’s drug demand.
    • India’s proximity to these areas increases its exposure to drug trafficking.
  • Technological Challenges:
    • Recent incidents in Punjab have revealed the use of drones for cross-border drug and weapon smuggling.
  • Emerging Cocaine Market:
    • India has become a popular destination for cocaine, controlled by South American cartels.
    • These cartels have established complex networks involving Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in countries like Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and various European nations, as well as local drug dealers and gangsters in India.

-Source: Down To Earth


Three new criminal laws – Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) – came into effect across the country on July 1. They brought widespread changes in India’s criminal justice system and ended colonial-era laws – the Indian Penal Code (1860), Code of Criminal Procedure (1973) and the Indian Evidence Act (1872).


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Detailed Analysis of the Three New Criminal Codes: Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA)
  2. Pros and Cons of the New Legislation
  3. Government’s Steps for Enforcing the New Codes

Detailed Analysis of the Three New Criminal Codes: Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA)

Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS)
  • Introduction of Fresh Offences:
    • Clause 69:
      • Punishes sexual intercourse obtained through “deceitful means” with up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine.
      • Includes false promises of employment, promotion, inducement, or marriage after concealing identity.
      • Critics suggest this could criminalise consensual relationships and support the “love jihad” narrative.
    • Clause 103:
      • Identifies murder on the basis of race, caste, or community as a distinct offence.
      • Addresses lynching with legal recognition following a 2018 Supreme Court directive.
    • Organised Crime and Terrorism:
      • Section 111(1) is largely inspired by the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
      • Includes kidnapping, robbery, vehicle theft, extortion, land grabbing, contract killing, economic crimes, cyber-crimes, etc.
    • Clause 304(1):
      • Defines snatching as a new and distinct offence from theft.
    • Community Service as Punishment:
      • Introduced for minor theft, defamation, and suicide attempts to hinder a public official.
      • Not explicitly defined, left to the judge’s discretion.
Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS)
  • Increase in Police Custody Duration:
    • Extends detention from 15 days to up to 90 days.
  • Focus on Victim Rights:
    • Requires victims to be heard before the withdrawal of cases with punishments of seven years or more.
  • In Absentia Trials:
    • Permits trials and convictions without the accused present.
    • Criticised for potentially inadequate efforts to locate the accused.
  • Abolition of Statutory Bail:
    • Removes automatic bail provisions if an accused faces multiple charges.
Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA)
  • Redefined “Document”:
    • Includes electronic and digital records as primary evidence.
    • Grants digital records the same legal status as physical documents.
  • Broadened Scope of Secondary Evidence:
    • Adds oral admissions, written submissions, etc.
  • Changes in Confessional Admissions:
    • Deems confessions by accused individuals irrelevant in criminal proceedings.

Pros and Cons of the New Legislation

  • Minor Wife Sexual Intercourse:
    • Classified as rape.
  • Recognition of Mob-Lynching:
    • Legislative acknowledgment of such hate crimes.
  • Exclusion of Section 377:
    • Omits the controversial clause criminalising “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.”
  • Promotion of Video-Trials:
    • Aims to expedite justice delivery through video-conferencing and defined trial timelines.
  • Consultation and Passage Issues:
    • The consultation process during the pandemic and rapid passage through Parliament have raised concerns.
  • Overhaul of Existing Laws:
    • Legal experts believe the new laws do not thoroughly reform existing ones.
  • Broadened Sedition Definition:
    • The new laws introduce a wider definition of sedition.
  • Gender-Specific Rape Laws:
    • No provisions for male victims of sexual assault.

Government’s Steps for Enforcing the New Codes

Training and Education:

  • Bar Council of India requires new laws to be included in university courses from the 2024-25 academic year.

Awareness and Public Information:

  • Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) coordinates a public awareness campaign with the Inter-Ministerial Group.

Technological Improvements:

  • NCRB made 23 enhancements to the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) for tech compatibility.
  • NIC developed applications like eSakshya, NyayShruti, and eSummon for crime scene videography, judicial hearings, and court summons delivery.

Building Capacity:

  • BPR&D created 13 training modules for police, prisons, prosecutors, judicial officers, forensic experts, and central police organisations.

-Source: Indian Express


The International Seabed Authority (ISA), an agency under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. International Seabed Authority (ISA)
  2. India and the ISA

International Seabed Authority (ISA)

  • Overview:
    • The ISA is an independent global organization formed under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 1994 Agreement for implementing Part XI of UNCLOS.
  • Headquarters:
    • Located in Kingston, Jamaica.
  • Membership:
    • Comprises 168 Member States, including India, along with the European Union.
  • Jurisdiction:
    • Oversees approximately 54% of the world’s ocean areas.
  • Core Responsibilities:
    • Regulation:
      • Supervises all exploration and exploitation activities related to deep-sea minerals.
    • Environmental Protection:
      • Ensures the safeguarding of the marine environment from adverse impacts of deep-seabed activities.
    • Scientific Research:
      • Promotes marine scientific studies and research.

India and the ISA

  • Recent Developments:
    • On 18th January 2024, India submitted applications for exploration in the international seabed area of the Indian Ocean, targeting:
      • Polymetallic sulphides in the Indian Ocean Ridge (Carlsberg Ridge).
      • Cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts on the Afanasy-Nikitin Seamount in the Central Indian Ocean.
  • Current Contracts:
    • India holds two existing contracts for exploration in the Indian Ocean:
      • Polymetallic nodules and sulphides in the Central Indian Ocean Basin and Ridge.

-Source: The Hindu


The Prime Minister recently paid tribute to the sacrifices and bravery of the Santhal tribal community.


GS I: History

About Santhal Tribal Community:

  • Demographics:
    • Santhals are the third largest scheduled tribe in India, following Gonds and Bhils.
    • Predominantly found in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Orissa in eastern India.
  • Language:
    • They speak Santhali, a Kherwari dialect from the Munda (Austroasiatic) language family.
    • Santhali, written in the Ol-Chiki script, is listed as a scheduled language in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • History and Settlement:
    • Initially nomadic, the Santhals settled on the Chotanagpur plateau.
    • By the late 18th century, they concentrated in the Santhal Parganas of Jharkhand (previously part of Bihar) and later moved to Odisha and West Bengal.
  • Religion:
    • Santhals are nature worshippers, often seen paying respects at Jaher (sacred groves) within their villages.
  • Traditional Dress:
    • Men typically wear dhoti and gamuchha.
    • Women wear short-check sarees, usually blue and green, and often adorn themselves with tattoos.
  • Marriage Customs:
    • Santhal society accepts various forms of marriage, including elopement, widow remarriage, levirate, forced (rare), and compensatory marriage for impregnation.
    • Divorce is not taboo, and either partner can initiate it.
  • Occupations:
    • Primarily agriculturists, they rely on farming and forest resources.
    • Seasonal forest collection is a significant source of supplementary income.
  • Cultural Practices:
    • Dance (enej) and music (sereng) are essential aspects of Santhal culture.
    • Their homes, known as Olah, feature a unique three-color pattern: black soil at the bottom, white in the middle, and red at the top.
  • Historical Significance:
    • The Santhal Rebellion (1855-56) was a notable uprising against British rule, marking India’s first significant peasant revolt.
    • The rebellion, led by Sido and Kanhu, was driven by the grievances arising from the Permanent Land Settlement of 1793, impacting regions of Bihar.

-Source: Times of India


A new banking malware called ‘Snowblind’ is targeting Android users to steal banking credentials.


GS III: Security Challenges

About Snowblind Malware:

  • Nature of Malware:
    • Snowblind is a new type of Android malware designed to exploit a built-in Android security feature to bypass anti-tamper mechanisms and steal banking credentials.
  • Exploitation of Security Features:
    • It leverages an Android security feature to bypass tamper protection in applications handling sensitive data.
  • Repacking Apps:
    • The malware repacks applications, making it impossible to detect accessibility features used to extract sensitive information like login credentials, and gain remote access to the app.
  • Seccomp Feature:
    • Snowblind exploits a feature called ‘seccomp’ (secure computing), which is part of the underlying Linux kernel and the Android operating system, used to check applications for tampering.
Infection Process:
  • Injection of Code:
    • The malware injects a piece of code that loads before seccomp initializes anti-tampering measures. This allows the malware to bypass security mechanisms and use accessibility services to view the victim’s screen remotely.
  • Disabling Security Features:
    • Snowblind can disable biometric and two-factor authentication, common security features in banking apps to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Source of Infection:
    • Like typical Android malware, Snowblind infects users who download and install apps from untrusted sources.
Geographic Impact:
  • While the exact number of affected devices is unknown, Snowblind is reported to be most active in Southeast Asia.

-Source: Indian Express

July 2024