21st December – Prelims Booster

US, India discuss terrorism, sign industrial security pact

The Industrial Security Annex (ISA), signed between India and the U.S. at the second 2+2 dialogue in Washington, will open the door for U.S. defence companies to partner with the Indian private sector for several multi-billion dollar deals in the pipeline, including the one for 114 fighter jets.

With this, three of four foundational agreements are through. The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA) is still under negotiation as both sides try to iron out few reciprocal issues.

About ISA –

  • The ISA is a part of the General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), which India signed with the U.S. long back.
  • It became critical as India opened up the defence sector to the private sector and the Strategic Partnership policy, which has few big military platforms and is reserved for the Indian private sector.

India-US Security Partnership agreements –

  • Logistics Support Agreement – LSA would require both countries to provide their fuels, bases and other kind of logistics support to each other fighter jets and naval warships through cashless transactions on a reciprocal basis. The payments, if any would be settled periodically.
  • Communication and Information Security Memorandum Agreement – CISOMA would allow interoperability of US and India equipments. In simple terms, it would allow the different equipments that are differentiated through encryption codes to work seamlessly without any hindrance
  • Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement – BECA is to facilitate exchange of geospatial information between governments for military and civilian use.

Portugal sets up Gandhi Prize

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa has announced the setting up of a Gandhi Citizenship Education Prize while attending the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

About Gandhi Prize –

Every year, the prize would be inspired by Gandhi’s thoughts and quotes and the first edition of the prize would be dedicated to animal welfare.

Section 144, a vestige of colonial rule

India’s criminal justice architecture continues to reflect its colonial heritage, both on paper and in practice. This is perhaps reflected best in the vibrant and unfettered invocation of Section 144 in the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.

Debate around Section 144 –

  • It confers upon executive officers such as executive magistrates or sub-divisional magistrates, unimaginable powers for passing orders to tackle any urgent cases of “nuisance” or “apprehended danger” that may arise in their territorial jurisdiction, where such orders will “prevent or are likely to prevent” any adverse impact upon human life, health, safety, or prevent “a disturbance of the public tranquillity.” They can make sure that the procedure was correctly followed, but they cannot substitute their judgment for that of the officer on the ground.
  • Section 144(1) confers these powers for achieving certain goals, i.e. preventing any damage to life or property, but frames these objectives as widely as possible given the logic of emergencies.
  • Section 144 is a useful tool to help deal with emergencies. However, absence of any narrow tailoring of wide executive powers with specific objectives, coupled with very limited judicial oversight over the executive branch, makes it ripe for abuse and misuse.

DRDO successfully flight-tests Pinaka missile System off Odisha coast

Pinaka Missile System developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was successfully flight-tested from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the Odisha coast.

About Pinaka Missile System –

  • The Pinaka is an Artillery Missile System capable of striking into enemy territory up to a range of 75 kilometres with high precision.
  • The Pinaka MK-II Rocket is modified as a missile by integrating with the Navigation, Control and Guidance System to improve the end accuracy and enhance the range. The Navigation system of the missile is also aided by the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).
  • The missile system has been jointly developed by various DRDO Laboratories.

NITI Aayog to draft roadmap for achieving population stabilisation

NITI Aayog is organising a National Consultation titled “Realising the vision of population stabilisation: leaving no one behind”.

Measures for population stabilisation –

Some of the key recommendations expected to emerge from the meeting are as follows –

  • Increasing the basket of contraceptive choices, with greater focus on spacing methods and helping women make informed choices about delaying pregnancy and spacing between children.
  • Addressing social determinants of health such as age at marriage and sex-selective practices.
  • Strengthening quality of care, including counselling services, managing side effects and family planning support.
  • Increasing budgetary allocations for family planning, to align with the unmet needs of India’s young people who constitute nearly 30 per cent of our population.
  • Addressing existing socio-cultural barriers towards contraception by investing extensively in innovative behaviour-change communication strategies.
  • Treating population stabilisation and family planning as a national priority, fostering inter-departmental convergence and ensuring multi-sectoral participation and integration.

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