1. Registration of Births and Deaths Act
- The Centre has proposed amendments to the registration of Births and Deaths Act (RBD), 1969.
- It will enable it to “maintain the database of registered birth and deaths at the national level.
Registration of Birth and Death:
- Registration of Births and Deaths in India is mandatory with the enactment of Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD), Act 1969, and is done as per the place of occurrence of the event.
- With a view to simplify the provisions of various sections of the existing RBD Act, 1969, and to make it people-friendly, the amendment has been proposed.
- The Chief Registrar would maintain a unified database at the State level and integrate it with the data at the national level.
- At the National level, it is maintained by the Registrar General of India (RGI), under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- Presently, the registration of births and deaths is done by the local registrar appointed by States.
- The appointment of “Special Sub-Registrars, in the event of disaster, with any or all of his powers and duties for on the spot registration of deaths and issuance of extract thereof, as may be prescribed.”
Use of the Data:
- To update the National Population Register (Citizenship Act, 1955) and the electoral register (Registration of Electors Rules, 1960), and Aadhaar (Aadhaar Act, 2016), ration card (National Food Security Act, 2013), passport (Passport Act) and driving license databases (Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019)
- The NPR update and the first phase of the Census will be conducted simultaneously by the RGI.
2. Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules, 2021
- Recently, the Central Government has notified the Indian Telegraph Right of Way (Amendment) Rules, 2021.
- The rule aims to incorporate the provisions related to nominal one-time compensation and uniform procedure for the establishment of Overground Telegraph Line in the Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules, 2016.
- The amount of one-time compensation for the establishment of an overground telegraph line will be a maximum of one thousand rupees per kilometer.
- These amendments will ease RoW related permission procedures for the establishment and augmentation of digital communications infrastructure across the country.
- Earlier, the RoW Rules had covered only underground Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) and mobile towers.
- There will be no fee other than Administrative fee and Restoration charges for establishing, maintaining, transferring or shifting the underground and overground telegraph infrastructure.
- The digital divide between rural-urban and rich-poor will be bridged, in line with the Digital India mission and BharatNet project.
- Information and communication needs of citizens and enterprises will be fulfilled (including 5G).
- The dream of India’s transition to a digitally empowered economy and society will be translated into reality.
3. OPV Sarthak
Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Sarthak has been commissioned and dedicated to the nation at Goa by the Indian Coast Guard.
- It is a 105-meter-long ship displacing 2,450 tons and is propelled by two 9,100 kilowatt diesel engines designed to attain a maximum speed of 26 knots.
- It is 4th in the series of five OPVs.
- It will significantly boost the maritime safety and security of the nation.
- OPVs are long-range surface ships, capable of operation in maritime zones of India, including island territories with helicopter operation capabilities.
- Their roles include coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones of India, control and surveillance, anti-smuggling, and anti-piracy operations with limited wartime roles.
- It has been designed & built indigenously by M/s Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) in line with the government’s vision of ‘Make in India’.
- It has about 70% indigenous content, thus providing the necessary fillip to the Indian shipbuilding industry and a giant leap towards achieving ‘Atmanirbar Bharat’.
Indian Coast Guard
- It is an Armed Force, Search and Rescue and Maritime Law Enforcement agency under the Ministry of Defence.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi.
- It was established in August 1978 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 as an independent Armed force of India.
- The concept of forming ICG came into being after the 1971 war.
- The blueprint for a multidimensional Coast Guard was conceived by the visionary Rustamji Committee.
- It has jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India including contiguous zone and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
- It is responsible for marine environment protection in maritime zones of India and is coordinating authority for response to oil spills in Indian waters.
4. Exemption from CAATSA: S 400 Missile
- Key lawmakers continue to voice their support for a sanctions waiver for India for its purchase of the S-400 missile defense system from Russia.
- India is likely to begin taking delivery of the S-400 in November, potentially activating U.S. sanctions under a 2017 law, Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
- Turkey, a NATO ally, was expelled from the American F-35 program (a consortium to build the aircraft) after it began accepting S-400 shipments in 2019.
S-400 Missile System
- The S-400 Triumf is a mobile, surface-to-air missile system (SAM) designed by Russia.
- It is the most dangerous operationally deployed modern long-range SAM (MLR SAM) in the world, considered much ahead of the US-developed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).
- The system can engage all types of aerial targets including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and ballistic and cruise missiles within the range of 400km, at an altitude of up to 30km.
- The system can track 100 airborne targets and engage six of them simultaneously
- Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act is a US federal law enacted in 2017.
- It imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia.
- The CAATSA Act empowers the US President to impose sanctions against certain countries.
- The imposition of sanctions takes place on countries that engage in a significant transaction with the Russian defense and intelligence sectors.
- The “ultimate goal” of CAATSA “is to prevent revenue to the Russian Government.
Imposition of type of sanctions
- Firstly, prohibition on loans to the sanctioned country
- Secondly, prohibition of Export-Import bank assistance for exports to sanctioned persons
- Thirdly, prohibition on procurement by the US Government to procure goods or services from the sanctioned persons
- And lastly, denial of visas to persons closely associated with the sanctioned persons
The US President could waive off the sanctions if:
- A Country is taking steps to reduce its dealings in terms of Russian weapons purchases or
- A Country has better cooperation with the US on other security matters that are critical to the US strategic interests or
- If the Russian weapons to the country do not significantly increase the risk to United States defense systems and operational capabilities.
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5. Congressional Research Service Report
There has been a considerable drop in India’s dependence on arms and equipment from Russia but the Indian military cannot operate effectively without Russian-supplied equipment, a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report Russian Arms Sales and Defense Industry.
The CRS prepares periodic reports on various issues using independent subject experts. Its reports are not official reports of Congress and are prepared to help lawmakers take informed decisions.
- A graphic showed that since 2015, there has been a consistent drop in the import of equipment from Russia.
- Indian planners appear to have concluded that alternatives to the S-400 offered by Washington — the Patriot and THAAD systems — lack the purported range and versatility of the Russian equipment.
- Despite a trend away from Russian arms imports, India in late 2019 submitted USD 800 million toward the full USD 5.4 billion contracts for S-400 systems
- India is going “full steam ahead” with the induction of S-400 and added that the first deliveries are set to be completed by early 2023.
Imports and Exports Share
- Since 2010, Russia has been the source of nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of all Indian arms imports
- India has been the largest Russian arms importer, accounting for nearly one-third (32 percent) of all Russian arms exports, according to SIPRI.
- Between 2016 and 2020, India accounted for nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of Russia’s total arms exports and Russia accounted for roughly half (49 percent) of Indian imports.
- According to The Military Balance 2021, India’s present military arsenal is heavily stocked with Russian-made or Russian-designed equipment.
- The Indian Army’s main battle tank force is composed predominantly of Russian T-72M1 (66 percent) and T-90S (30 percent).
- Indian Navy’s sole operational aircraft carrier is a refurbished Soviet-era ship
- The entire complement of fighter and ground attack aircraft is Russian-made or produced in India on license.
- The Navy’s fighter fleet comprises 43 MiG-29K/KUBs
- “Four of the Navy’s 10 guided-missile destroyers are Russian Kashin class, and six of its 17 frigates are Russian Talwar class.
- The Navy’s sole nuclear-powered submarine is on lease from Russia, and eight of the service’s 14 other submarines are Russian-origin Kilo class.
Air Force Component
- Indian Air Force’s 667-plane FGA fleet is 71 percent Russian-origin (39 percent Su-30s, 22 percent MiG-21s, nine percent MiG-29s).
- All six of the service’s air tankers are Russian-made Il-78s.
6. Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement
- India and the European Union (EU) are set to resume negotiations for a Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) by December.
- Another official termed the India-EU connectivity partnership, announced in May, as a “counterfoil” to other such initiatives in an indirect reference to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
- At the India-EU summit in May this year, the two sides had agreed to resume.
- Talks for BTIA were suspended in 2013 and also adopted a Connectivity Partnership document outlining plans to cooperate on digital and infrastructure projects.
- ‘India-EU Connectivity: Partnership for Development, Demand and Democracy’ organized by the think tank Research and Information System (RIS) for Developing Countries.
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7. G20 Climate Risk Atlas
According to the Report, G20 Climate Risk Atlas published by the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, G20 countries including the wealthiest like the US, European countries, and Australia will bear extreme impacts of climate change over the coming years.
- The first study of its kind, it provides climate scenarios, information, data, and future changes in climate across the G20 countries.
- The report was published ahead of the G20 summit in Rome in October 2021.
Highlights of the Report
- GDP losses due to climate damage in G20 countries increase each year, rising to at least 4% annually by 2050.
- This can reach over 8% by 2100, equivalent to twice the bloc’s economic losses from Covid-19.
- Some countries will be even worse hit, such as Canada, which could see at least a 4% decrease in its GDP by 2050 and over 13% by 2100.
- Heatwaves could last at least ten times longer in all G20 countries, with heatwaves in Argentina, Brazil, and Indonesia lasting over 60 times longer by 2050.
- In Australia, bushfires, coastal floods, and hurricanes could raise insurance costs and reduce property values by 611 billion Australian Dollars by 2050.
- The sea-level rise could wreck coastal infrastructure within 30 years, with Japan set to lose 404 billion euro and South Africa 815 million euros by 2050, on a high emissions pathway.
Impact on India:
- Low Emission: Projected temperature variations will remain contained under 1.5 degrees celsius, both by 2050 and 2100.
- Medium Emission: Between 2036 and 2065, the maximum temperature of the warmest month in India could rise by at least 1.2 degrees celsius in a medium emission pathway.
- High Emission: By 2050 under a high emission scenario average temperature could rise to 2 degrees celsius.
- Annual rainfall is likely to record a steep increase by 2050 with an 8% to 19.3% increase in all emission scenarios.
- Heatwaves in India will last 25 times longer by 2036-2065 if emissions are high (4°C), over five times longer if global temperature rise is constrained to about 2°C, and one and a half times longer if emissions are very low and temperature rise only reaches 1.5°C.
- On a pathway to 4°C global heating, agricultural drought will become 48% more frequent by 2036-2065.
- On a 2°C pathway this drops to 20% more frequent, and constraining temperature rise to 1.5°C, agricultural drought will still be 13% more frequent.
- Under 18 million Indians could be at risk of river flooding by 2050 if emissions are high, compared to 1.3 million today.
- In India, declines in rice and wheat yields due to climate change could lead to economic losses between 43 and 81 billion EUR (or 1.8-3.4% of (GDP) by 2050.
- Water demand for agriculture is likely to rise around about 29% by 2050 – meaning yield losses are likely to be underestimated.
- Total labor is expected to decline by 13.4% under a low emissions scenario by 2050 due to the increase in heat, and by 24% under a medium emissions scenario by 2080.
- In India, declines in rice and wheat production could spark economic losses of up to Euros 81 billion by 2050 and a loss of 15% of farmers’ incomes by 2100.