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EDITORIAL DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS(1st April)

Internal Security(GS 3) 

AFSPA & North East (Indian Express Explained, 1st April 2022)

Context

  • The Centre on Thursday significantly reduced the footprint of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 in the Northeast.
  • Withdrawing it ENTIRELY from 23 districts in Assam.
  • PARTIALLY from 7 districts in Nagaland, 6 districts in Manipur, and 1 district in Assam.
  • Once the decision is notified in the gazette, AFSPA remains in force in parts of these three states as well as in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

Why is This Significant?

  • It will also help the Centre calm the anger over the Mon killings in Nagaland.
  • AFSPA, which has been called draconian, gives sweeping powers to the armed forces. 
  • For example, it allows them to open fire, even causing death, against any person in contravention to the law or carrying arms and ammunition.
  • AFSPA can be imposed by the Centre or the Governor of a state, on the state or parts of it, after these areas are declared “disturbed’’ under Section 3.
  • The Northeast has lived under the shadow of AFSPA for nearly 60 years, creating a feeling of alienation from the rest of the country.
  • The move is expected to help demilitarize the region.

Why Has AFSPA been Withdrawn now?

  • Over the last two decades, various parts of the Northeast have seen a reduction in insurgencies, some of them up to 60 years old.
  • In Nagaland, all major groups — the NSCN(I-M) and Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) — are at advanced stages of concluding agreements with the government.
  • In Manipur, insurgency as well as heavy militarization have been on the decline since 2012, when the Supreme Court started hearing a PIL on extra-judicial killings.
  • In Nagaland, the killing of 14 villagers in Mon (December 2021), is seen as having had a telling impact on reviving the demand to repeal AFSPA.

Why Was AFSPA Imposed at the First Place?

  • Naga nationalist movement kicked off in the   1950s with the setting up of the Naga National Council — the predecessor of the NSCN.
  • As an armed movement took root in Nagaland, AFSPA was passed in Parliament, and subsequently imposed on the entire state.
  • In Manipur, too, it was imposed in 1958 in the three Naga-dominated districts of Senapati, Tamenglong and Ukhrul, where the NNC was active. 
  • It was imposed in the 1960s in the Kuki-Zomi dominated Manipur district of Churachandpur.
  • As secessionist and nationalist movements started sprouting in other Northeastern states, AFSPA started being extended and imposed.

 

What has made AFSPA unpopular among the people?

  • In Nagaland, 60 years of living under the AFSPA regime has had psychological consequences, trauma and alienation of the people
  • Various incidents of violence have been recorded in the Northeastern states, as AFSPA gives sweeping powers to security forces. 
  • In a writ petition filed in the Supreme Court in 2012, the families of victims of extra-judicial killings alleged 1,528 fake encounters had taken place in the state from May 1979 to May 2012
  • The Supreme Court set up a commission to scrutinize six of these cases, and the commission found all six to be fake encounters


 

 

Attempts made to repeal AFSPA 

  • In 2000, the activist Irom Sharmila began a hunger strike that would continue for 16 years against AFSPA in Manipur.
  • Former Supreme Court Justice Jeevan Reddy, submitted its report in 2005 recommending the repeal of AFSPA, calling it “highly undesirable”.
  • Second Administrative Reforms Commission, headed by Veeerapa Moily, endorsed these recommendations. 
  • Former home secretary G K Pillai too supported the repeal of AFSPA.

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Impact of Government Policies (GS 2)

Increased Risk of State Surveillance (Hindustan Times, 1st April 2022)

Criminal Attack on Privacy (The Hindu, 1st April 2022)

Objectives of The Bill

  • The Bill aims to replace the Identification of Prisoners Act 1920 that has been in need of amendment for several decades.
  • Supreme Court of India in a judgment titled State of U.P. vs Ram Babu Misra had nearly simultaneously suggested the need to amend the statute
  • However, the devil is in the details, with three expansions in the power of state surveillancethat merit further scrutiny.
  • Definition of measurements is not restricted to taking measurements, but also their “analysis
  • The second area of the expansion of surveillance concerns from whom such “measurements” can be gathered.
  • The third area of concern is the database of the “measurements” which are gathered.

Concerns

  • The Bill expands the definition of “measurements” from finger impressions and footprint impressions in the 1920 law to include photographs, iris and retina scans.
  • The definition of “physical and biological samples” is not provided, and can arguably extend to the collection of DNA samples.
  • There is further lack of clarity on what the government intends to collect through the “analysis” of such physical and biological samples.
  • This potentially authorises the use of techniques such as facial recognition and emotional recognition technology that analyse facial features. 
  • These tools have significant privacy and discrimination concerns in their use for law enforcement.

Threat To Privacy

  • The Present Bill broadens the scope of State power to allow the police to take measurements of persons convicted, arrested, or preventively detained under any offence (including traffic violations)
  • The result will be the creation of a massive database comprising sensitive personal data of all arrested, detained, or convicted persons. 
  • Bill authorises the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to centralize the storage, preservation, and destruction of all records at the national level. 
  • This further concentrates and centralizes power, without adequate safeguards, and raises security concerns and risks of unauthorised leakage of data.
  • Lastly, the most controversial is the retention of all measurement data digitally for 75 years from the date of collection, without any in-built checks to protect the confidentiality of such data


 

 

Effects of Globalization on Indian Society (GS 1)

Is the Globalization we know Dead? (Business Line, 1st April 2022)

Globalization Under Attack

  • The global financial crisis in 2008 gave it a big blow and global trade as a percentage of GDP has not recovered ever since.
  • In the last 10 years it has suffered multiple setbacks in the form of Brexit, US-China trade war and the Pandemic.
  • Today, globalization as we know it is facing an existential threat and new world order may soon replace it.
  • This change will come at a severe cost to many countries, including India.

Benefits of Globalization

  • Opening up of international trade has helped many countries grow much faster than they could have otherwise. 
  • Asian Tigers — South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, are a few examples
  • It has lifted millions out of poverty and gave many a better quality and longer life. 
  • It has offered developing countries like India access to capital and technology.
  • India’s GDP has risen from $270 billion in 1991 when it liberalised its economy to $2.66 trillion in 2020.

Unequal Growth

  • The accelerated pace of economic growth globalization has generated has not been equitable
  • If the number of billionaires has increased sharply, so have those in poverty.
  • Globalization could not prevent the East Asian crisis, economic collapse in Latin America and of course, the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.
  • Joseph Stiglitz in his book `Globalization and its discontents’ argues that it has done wonders to countries which embraced free trade at their own pace such as East Asian countries including China.
  • He says that globalization itself is neither good nor bad, it is the one-size-fits-all prescription by WB & IMF has caused the problems. 
  • He also accused the advanced countries of using free trade for their benefit by cleverly eliminating trade barriers of poor nations.

Russia Ukraine Invasion as Tipping Point

  • Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan refers the sanctions as economic weapons of mass destruction.
  • If they (sanctions) are used too widely, they could reverse the process of globalization.
  • The lessons other nations, run by autocrats and others, will learn is the need to sanction-proof their economy
  • This will push them towards self-sufficiency and strategic autonomy.
  • Which is necessarily a move away from free trade.

UPSC PYQ (2020) 

With reference to Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS), which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. 1. Quantitative restrictions on imports by foreign investors are prohibited.
  2. 2. They apply to investment measures related to trade in both goods and services.
  3. 3. They are not concerned with the regulation of foreign investment.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

 

Question Framed From Editorials

  • How will Globalization play an important role in terms of Post Pandemic recovery of Developing economies. Critically Enumerate the “Emerging” threats to globalization. (250 Words)

OR

  • Repealment of AFSPA will ensure greater convergences of the North East with Mainland India. Do you agree? (200 words)

 

 

 

 

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