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13 December Current Affairs

Bougainville gains independence from Papua New Guinea

In News:

On December 11, 2019, the South Pacific Archipelago of Bougainville voted to become independent of Papua New Guinea. Around 98% of 1,81,067 voters voted to get independent from Papua New Guinea.

Bougainville:

It is the largest island of the Solomon Islands Archipelago. The island has the world’s largest copper deposits.

The most widely spoken language in the country is Halia.

The country is yet to prove its recognition in the United Nations.

In India, Godman Nithyananda is said to have built a new country called “Kailassa” near Ecuador.

Kailassa is also yet to prove its recognition in United Nations.

Godman Nithyananda:

Recently Godman Nithyananda is said to have created a new country called “Kailassa” near Ecuador in South America.

The country is said to have separate flag, national animal, passport entry, visa, separate currency, etc.

However, it is essential to obtain international diplomatic recognition to become a new country.

Diplomatic Recognition:

By international law, a country should recognize the other for the later to become an independent country.

The recognition can be proved by the new country through United Nation Resolution.

If majority of the countries vote in favour of membership of the country, then the country enters world map and begins to exist legally.

‘There are 195 countries in the world today that are recognized by the United Nations.

Apart from Diplomatic recognition, the countries of North America and South America assent on Montevideo Convention.

Montevideo Convention:

The Montevideo Convention is a treaty that was signed in 1933. The convention defines rights and duties of statehood.

It lists the criteria for a country to become independent and declare its sovereignty.

The most important factor of the convention is that it prohibited the use of military force to gain sovereignity.

ISRO PSLV-C48/RISAT-2BR1 Mission

In News:

ISRO’s workhorse PSLV crossed several milestones By placing the country’s fourth radar imaging earth observation satellite and nine other foreign satellites in their orbits.

It was PSLV’s 50th flight and 48th successful flight since its first successful launch on October 15, 1994.

About the mission:

Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, the rocket injected 628kg RISAT-2BR1 into a 576km orbit which is low earth orbit.

In the next five minutes, the rocket placed nine foreign satellites in their orbits. These satellites are from Japan, Italy, the US and Israel.

RISAT-2BR1 is a radar imaging earth observation satellite carrying an X-band synthetic aperture radar, a desi version of Israel’s TecSAR satellite, with radial rib reflector 3.6 metre mesh antenna.

The imaging resolution is at 0.35m, much better than its predecessor RISAT-2B which can capture images at a 0.5X0.3m resolution.

The satellite has various applications, including forestry, agriculture and disaster management support. It is believed that RISAT-2BR1 along with Cartosat-3, a remote sensing satellite which was launched on November 27, 2019, will also be used for military reconnaissance.

Background:

With this successful mission, the Indian Space Research Organisation has launched a total of 319 foreign satellites from 33 countries since the first launch in 1999 when PSLV-C2 carried satellites from Germany and South Korea.

PSLV initially had an 850kg capability which was later enhanced to 1.9 tonne.

“The versatile vehicle has so far carried 52.7tonne payload in which 17% mass were customer satellites.”

“It has launched satellites into low earth orbit, polar orbit and GTO (geosynchronous transfer orbit) and has sent satellite to Moon and Mars.

PSLV’s first launch – PSLV-D1- was on September 20, 1993 carrying IRS-1E. The mission was a failure. Since the rocket’s first successful launch on October 15, 1994 when PSLV-D2 placed IRS-P2 remote sensing satellite in orbit, the launch vehicle has had a track record of 48 successful missions, including PSLV-C48th successful mission.

World Anti-Doping Agency imposes 4-year ban on Russia

In News:

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has slapped Russia with a four-year ban from international sports events, over longstanding doping scandal.

The ban includes next summer’s Tokyo Olympics (which opens 24 July 2020) and 2022 Beijing Winter Games. However, Russia’s anti-doping agency can appeal decision to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 21 days.

Highlights: WADA Ruling

The sanctions are harshest punishment yet for Russian state authorities who were accused of tampering with a Moscow laboratory database. WADA investigators and International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed that evidence showed Russian authorities corrupted data from Moscow lab that was long sealed by security forces. As a result, hundreds of potential doping cases were deleted and evidence falsely planted to shift blame onto whistleblowers.

The WADA ruling means that Russia’s flag, name and anthem will not appear at Tokyo Games, and the country also could be stripped of hosting world championships in Olympic sports. Although Russia’s athletes will still be able to compete in major events only if they can show that they are not implicated in positive doping tests or if their data was not manipulated.

For soccer’s 2022 World Cup, as per WADA ruling, the Russian team will play under its name in qualifying program in Europe. But, if it qualifies to play in Qatar, the team name must be changed to something neutral that likely would not include the word ‘Russia.’

The Recycling of Ships Bill 2019

In News:

Parliament passed “The Recycling of Ships Bill 2019’’ for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships in India.

About:

The existing Shipbreaking Code (revised),2013 and the provisions of the Hong Kong Convention, 2009 are dovetailed in this Bill.

With the enactment of this bill, India will set global standards for safe and sound environmentally-friendly recycling of Ships, as well as ensure adequate safety of the yard workers.

Now, ships to be recycled in India will need to obtain a ‘Ready for Recycling Certificate’ in accordance with the Hong Kong Convention.

The Key Benefits of the bill are as follows:

India is a leader in the global ship recycling industry with a share of over 30 per cent of the global market. The bill will harbinger significant increased number of global ships entering into Indian Shipyards for Recycling.

Recycling of Ships will boost business & employment opportunities and strengthen India’s position in the recycling industry.

It will raise the brand value of our Ships Recycling Yards located at Alang in Gujarat, Mumbai Port, Kolkata Port & Azhikkal in Kerela.

Around 10% of country’s Secondary steel needs, as an outcome of Recycling of Ships, will be met in an eco-friendly manner.

Ships Recycling facilities will become compliant to International standards and Ships will be recycled only in such authorised facilities.

Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019

In News:

The Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019.

About:

The bill amends The Citizenship Act, 1955 which regulates who may acquire Indian citizenship and on what grounds.

The Bill seeks to grant Indian Citizenship to persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have migrated to India after facing persecution on grounds of religion in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

The Bill make applicants belonging to the said communities from the aforesaid countries eligible for citizenship by naturalisation if they can establish their residency in India for 5 years instead of the existing 11 years.

The provisions of the amendments to the Act would not apply to tribal area of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and the area covered under ‘The Inner Line’ notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. Manipur would be brought under the ILP regime.

The Bill seeks to amend section 7D of the act to empower the Central Government to cancel registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder in case of violation of any provisions of the Citizenship Act or any other law for the time being in force.

Concerns:

The bill makes illegal migrants eligible for citizenship on the basis of religion – a move that may violate Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees right to equality.

The Bill classifies migrants based on their country of origin to include only Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. it is not clear why migrants from these countries are differentiated from migrants from other neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

There has been a strong resistance to the Bill in North east esp. Assam who fear it would pave the way for granting citizenship mostly to illegal Hindu migrants from Bangladesh, who came after March 1971, in violation of the 1985 Assam Accord.

Manipur Under ILP

In News:

Union Home Minister Amit Shah told the Lok Sabha that Manipur would be brought under the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system, thereby exempting it from the provisions of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

About:

As per the Bill, the amendments to the Citizenship Act, 1955, will not apply to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland that are protected by the ILP system.

The addition of Manipur to the list of ILP-protected States means that the Bill will only be applicable in some parts of Tripura and Assam.

Citizens of other States require the ILP to visit the protected areas as per the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. ‘Outsiders’ can visit ‘ILP’ areas for limited period with special permission but are barred from buying immovable property.

This means that the illegal migrants from the six minority communities who will become Indian citizens as per the proposed amendment will not be able to take up jobs, open businesses or settle down in these areas and will require a permit to enter the States.

Measures Taken By The Government To Prevent Crime Against Women

In News:

Union Minister for Home Affairs informed Lok Sabha about the several measures taken by the Government to prevent crime against women.

About:

The Criminal Law (Amendment), Act 2013 was enacted for effective deterrence against sexual offences.

Further, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 was enacted to prescribe even more stringent penal provisions including death penalty for rape of a girl below the age of 12 years. The Act also inter-alia mandates completion of investigation and trials within 2 months each.

Emergency Response Support System provides a pan-India, single, internationally recognized number (112) based system for all emergencies, with computer aided dispatch of field resources to the location of distress.

Using technology to aid smart policing and safety management, Safe City Projects have been sanctioned in first Phase in 8 cities (Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai).

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has launched a cyber-crime portal in 2018 for citizens to report obscene content.

MHA has launched the ‘National Database on Sexual Offenders’ (NDSO) in 2018 to facilitate investigation and tracking of sexual offenders across the country by law enforcement agencies.

MHA in February 2019 launched an online analytic tool for police called ‘Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences’ to monitor and track time-bound investigation in sexual assault cases in accordance with the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2018.

One Stop Centre (OSC) scheme is being implemented across the country since 1st April 2015 to provide integrated services such as medical aid, police assistance, legal counselling, psycho-social counselling and temporary shelter to women affected by violence under one roof.

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