Argutes

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 25th and 26th October 2021

1. National Fund to Control Drug Abuse

The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry has recently recommended that the National Fund to Control Drug Abuse be used to carry out de-addiction programs, rather than just policing activities.

About the fund

  1. The fund was created in accordance with a provision of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985
  2. It had a nominal corpus of 23 crores.
  3. Under the NDPS Act, the sale proceeds of any property forfeited, grants made by any person and institution, and income from the investments of the fund, go towards the fund.
  4. The Act states that the fund would be used to combat illicit trafficking of narcotics, rehabilitate addicts, and prevent drug abuse.
  5. A proposal to decriminalize possession of “small quantities” of drugs, as defined in the NDPS Act, had also been sent to the Department of Revenue under the Finance Ministry.

India Scenario

  1. According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s Crime in India 2020 report, a total of 59,806 cases were lodged under the NDPS Act, of which 33,246 pertained to cases of possession of drugs for personal use, and 26,560 cases of possession of drugs from trafficking.
  2. According to the Social Justice Ministry and All India Institute of Medical Sciences’ report on the magnitude of substance use in 2019, there were 3.1 crore cannabis users  and 2.3 crore opioid users

2. International Snow Leopard day

  1. Oct 23 is recognized as International Snow Leopard Day.
  2. Unlike other big cats like the tigers, snow leopards and their conservation have gained ground only recently.
  3. The government has also embarked on an ambitious snow leopard assessment program to get an estimate of how many snow leopards are there in the country.

About Snow Leopard

  1. Top Predator: Snow leopards act as an indicator of the health of the mountain ecosystem in which they live, due to their position as the top predator in the food web.
  2. It lives mostly in mountainous regions of central and southern Asia.
  3. In India, their geographical range encompasses:
  4. Western Himalayas: Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh.
  5. Eastern Himalayas: Uttarakhand and Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
  6. Snow Leopard capital of the world: Hemis, Ladakh.
  7. Hemis National Park is the biggest national park in India and also has a good presence of Snow Leopard.

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3. Muslim Uighur community

  1. Forty-three countries have called on China to “ensure full respect for the rule of law” for the Muslim Uighur community in Xinjiang, in  United Nations.
  2. The declaration, signed by the United States as well as several European and Asian member states and others
  3. The Statement accused China of a litany of human rights violations against the Uighurs, including torture, forced sterilization, and forced disappearances.
  4. Beijing has long denied accusations of ethnic cleansing against Uighurs and other Muslim Turkic people in Xinjiang, where experts have estimated that more than one million people are incarcerated in camps.

About Uighur community

  1. There are about 12 million Uighurs, mostly Muslim, living in north-western China in the region of Xinjiang, officially known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
  2. The Uighurs speak their own language, similar to Turkish, and see themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations.
  3. They make up less than half of the Xinjiang population.
  4. In recent decades, there’s been a mass migration of Han Chinese (China’s ethnic majority) to Xinjiang, and the Uighurs feel their culture and livelihoods are under threat.
  5. In the early 20th Century, the Uighurs briefly declared independence, but the region was brought under complete control of mainland China’s new Communist government in 1949.

Xinjiang

  1. Xinjiang lies in the northwest of China and is the country’s biggest region.
  2. Like Tibet, it is autonomous, meaning – in theory – it has some powers of self-governance. But in practice, both face major restrictions by the central government.
  3. It is a mostly desert region, producing about a fifth of the world’s cotton.
  4. It is also rich in oil and natural gas and because of its proximity to Central Asia and Europe is seen by Beijing as an important trade link.

4. Law on Protection and exploitation of Border areas

Asserting that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China is “sacred and inviolable”, the country’s national legislature has adopted a new law on the protection and exploitation of the land border areas, which could have a bearing on Beijing’s border dispute with India.

Insights

  1. The law, which becomes operational from January 1 next year, stipulates that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China are sacred and inviolable.
  2. The Land Borders Law will not necessarily change how border security is handled, but it reflects China’s growing confidence in its capability to manage its frontiers.
  3. The state shall take measures to safeguard territorial integrity and land boundaries and guard against and combat any act that undermines them.
  4. The law stipulates that China can close its border if a war or other armed conflict nearby threatens border security
  5. The state shall, following the principle of equality, mutual trust, and friendly consultation, handle land border-related affairs with neighboring countries through negotiations to properly resolve disputes and longstanding border issues.
  6. The law states that the Chinese military “shall carry out border duties”, including “organizing drills” and “resolutely prevent, stop and combat invasion, encroachment, provocation, and other acts”.
  7. A significant aspect of the new law includes state support for the construction of border towns, improving their functioning and strengthening supporting capacity for the construction.

5. Climate Prosperity Plan

Bangladesh plans to present its “climate prosperity plan” aimed at mitigating the effects of global warming on economic development at the forthcoming UN climate talks in Glasgow.

Insights

  1. The plan envisions boosting renewable energy, making agriculture more resistant to climate shocks, and finding solutions in nature to challenges posed by global warming
  2. The South Asian nation says it will encourage other similarly vulnerable countries to draft their own plans.
  3. With most of its 160 million people tightly packed into low-lying areas along the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh is considered especially prone to flooding, extreme weather, and the loss of farmland to rising ocean levels.
  4. Relying on its own resources and with support from the international community, Bangladesh could still make the Ganges River delta that dominates much of the country prosperous.
  5. The question of how climate change will impact its economy is key for the country that has emerged as one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies.
  6. Its GDP has increased from $6.2 billion in 1972 to $305 billion in 2019. Some forecasts expect it to double in size by 2030, with the goal of becoming a higher middle-income country by 2031 and a developed one by 2041.
  7. But climate change could reverse this trend and presents an existential threat
  8. Climate Vulnerable Forum said earlier that the recent UN science report stressed the urgent need to ensure that global warming doesn’t increase beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius.

6. Climate Vulnerable Forum

  1. The Climate Vulnerable Forum is an international cooperation group of developing countries tackling global climate change.
  2. The CVF was founded by the Maldives government before the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which sought to increase awareness of countries considered vulnerable.
  3. United Nations agencies collaborate in implementing activities linked to the CVF with the UNDP, the lead organization supporting the forum’s work.
  4. The CVF was formed to increase the accountability of industrialized nations for the consequences of global climate change.
  5. Afghanistan, Nepal, and Bhutan are its members, whereas India is one of the observer state

7. Green Initiative Program

  1. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman opened the Saudi Green Initiative forum in Riyadh place on Saturday, announcing the Kingdom’s new “green” objectives.
  2. The forum will discuss Saudi Arabia’s environmental efforts with guests that include high-profile government leaders and international personalities.

Insights

  1. The forum was launched in Riyadh, along with the announcement of Saudi Arabia’s new “green” objectives.
  2. The forum will discuss the environmental efforts made by Saudi Arabia with guests including international personalities and high-profile government leaders.
  3. In this forum, Saudi Arabia also announced the roadmap of Saudi Arabia protecting the environment and confronting climate change.
  4. It is an annual forum, which will serve as a platform for the launch of new environmental initiatives of the country.
  5. It will also monitor the impact of previously announced environmental initiatives.

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8. UN Day

  1. UN day is observed on October 24, every year since 1948.
  2. UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter.
  3. The UN Charter is the founding document of this great non-partisan institution that has been working towards global peace and equality

United Nations Day 2021: The 76th anniversary

  1. UN Day, celebrated every year, offers the opportunity to amplify our common agenda and reaffirm the purposes and principles of the UN Charter that have guided us for the past 76 years.
  2. Usually held in the General Assembly Hall of the Organization, at Headquarters in New York, a concert is held to mark UN Day.

United Nation

  1. The UN was formed following the devastating World War II, with the aim of preventing future global-scale conflicts. It was a successor to the ineffective League of Nations.
  2. The representatives of 50 governments met in San Francisco on 25 April 1945, to draft what would become the UN Charter.
  3. The Charter was adopted on 25 June 1945 and came into effect on 24 October 1945.
  4. The UN is structured around five principal organs:
    • General Assembly
    • United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
    • Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
    • International Court of Justice
    • UN Secretariat.
    • A sixth principal organ, the Trusteeship Council, suspended operations on 1 November 1994, upon the independence of Palau, the last remaining UN trustee territory.