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UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 16th April 2022

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS

16 APRIL 2022 – CA

S. No. Topic Name Prelims/Mains
1.     RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOLOMAN ISLANDS AND CHINA Prelims & Mains
2.     DETAILS OF THE AGRICULTURE AND CLIMATE ADAPTATION Prelims & Mains
3.     LYNCHING DECLARED AS A FEDERAL HATE CRIME IN USA Prelims & Mains
4.     BENGAL MONITOR LIZARD Prelims Specific Topic
5.     ABOUT THE BIHU DANCE Prelims Specific Topic

 

1 – RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOLOMAN ISLANDS AND CHINA:

 GS II

 Topic: International Relations

 Context:
  • The Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, according to a recently leaked document, have reached an unprecedented level of security coordination with China.
  • This is Beijing’s first deal of its kind in the region.
  • The United States and Australia, both of which have considerable interests in the South Pacific, are concerned about this.
  • What is the content of the proposed agreement, and why is it so contentious:
  • The “Framework Agreement between China and the Solomon Islands on Security Cooperation,” which was disclosed on social media on March 24, was leaked.
  • Because it has the potential to destabilise established security systems in the South Pacific region, it has provoked extensive controversy both at home and abroad.
  • The document expressly authorises China to dispatch “police, armed police, military personnel, and other law enforcement and armed forces” to the Solomon Islands at the request of the Solomon Islands government or if China believes the safety of its projects and workers in the islands is jeopardised.
  • According to the report, China’s naval ships will be able to use the islands for logistics support.
  • There have been rumours that China will build its second overseas naval facility in the Solomon Islands, following Djibouti, which was also referred to as a logistics support base.
  • While discounting the prospect of a foreign military installation, the Solomon Islands administration revealed that the draught of such a pact had been completed.
  • The deal hasn’t been signed yet, and it’s unknown whether the disclosed elements will be included in the final draught.
  • What is the rationale for the Solomon Islands’ increasing connections with China:
  • The Solomon Islands are an ethnically Melanesian archipelago of Pacific islands located between Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.
  • After the Japanese surrendered to the Americans during World War II, the islands, which were initially ruled by the British Empire during the colonial era, went through the hands of Germany and Japan before being returned to the United Kingdom.
  • The islands acquired independence in 1978 and became a constitutional monarchy with a legislative government under the British Crown.
  • Despite this, the country’s incapacity to resolve local ethnic conflicts led to close security ties with Australia, which is the South Pacific’s standard first response to any crisis.
  • The Solomon Islands have maintained significant links with Taiwan since the inception of the current government.
  • Taiwan was ceded to China by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s new government in 2019. This was supposedly in reaction to Beijing’s offer of $500 million in financial aid, roughly five times what Taiwan had spent on the islands in the previous two decades.
  • The negative impact of Chinese firms, Chinese labourers for Chinese infrastructure projects, and a perception of preferential treatment for Chinese interests on the local community increased as the money from China poured in.
  • As a result of the change in diplomatic relations and general dissatisfaction with the administration, significant Opposition protests and riots erupted in Honiara in November 2021.
  • Surprisingly, these protesters targeted Chinese assets in addition to government property.
  • The move, according to the administration, is aimed to diversify the country’s security alliances and alleviate the country’s long-standing security dependency on Australia.
  • What piques China’s interest in the Solomon Islands:
  • China faces diplomatic rivalry from Taiwan in the Pacific Islands, which is one of the few areas in the world where it does.
  • China considers Taiwan to be a renegade territory in desperate need of reunification, and it opposes Taiwan’s international recognition as a sovereign state.
  • As a result, any country wishing to establish official relations with China must sever ties with Taiwan.
  • Six Pacific island countries had formal bilateral ties with Taiwan, including the Solomon Islands. In 2019, the Solomon Islands and Kiribati switched their allegiance to China.
  • Small Pacific island governments can act as vote banks in international fora like the United Nations, where they can rally support for the major powers.
  • Furthermore, these governments have disproportionately large maritime Exclusive Economic Zones in comparison to their small sizes, which is why they are often referred to as “giant ocean states.”
  • The Solomon Islands, in particular, have significant timber, mineral, and fishery resources.
  • They’re also strategically located for China to position itself between American military facilities in the Pacific islands and Australia. This is particularly relevant in light of the foundation of the AUKUS (Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), which aspires to boost Australia’s strategic capabilities in reference to China through Anglo-American cooperation.
  • Nonetheless, the Honiara riots’ anti-China tone in 2021 acted as an instant trigger for Beijing to step up security cooperation with the Solomon Islands.
  • What does this mean for the current geopolitical situation in the region:
  • The Pacific islands were exclusively under the control of Western countries in the post-World War II era, particularly the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the regional heavyweights, Australia and New Zealand.
  • They all claim territory in the area, and the three nuclear powers have used it as a test bed for their nuclear weapons.
  • Smaller island nations in the region, particularly Australia, which is a resident power, rely heavily on them.
  • China is posing a growing danger to the region’s existing power structure by continuously displacing Taiwan and cultivating economic and political dominance.
  • Its potential accord with the Solomon Islands has added a security component to its rapidly rising regional stature.
  • More cash has been provided, as well as the extension of Australia’s current security deployment until 2023, when the Pacific Games will be held on the islands.
  • The US is considering reopening its embassy in the islands after a 29-year break.
  • New Zealand has spoken out against China’s militarization of Pacific islands, breaking its usual reticence on the issue.
  • As a result of China’s economic intrusions and harmful impact on their weak economic and political systems, significant unhappiness has grown within and among Pacific island states. The riots in Honiara are the most recent in a region rife with anti-China sentiment.
  • Conclusion:
  • The region’s geopolitics are undergoing unprecedented change as a result of increased movements in the Indo-Pacific, meaning an intensification of regional great power rivalry and domestic volatility for Pacific island governments in the coming years.

 

2 – DETAILS OF THE AGRICULTURE AND CLIMATE ADAPTATION:

GS III

 Topic: Environmental Conservation

 The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) on climate change has issued a dire warning about the need to reduce the “adaptation gap” and build resilience to “unfamiliar” conditions.

  • India’s Agriculture and Climate Change:
  • Crop output and productivity are already being impacted by climate change, as extreme weather events grow more common and intense, and rainfall becomes more unpredictable.
  • Local food shortages, as well as negative effects on rural incomes and poverty, result as a result of this.
  • Climate change has a detrimental impact on food supply and pricing, exacerbating the country’s hunger problem.
  • Adapting to climate change is a question of survival for small-holder agriculture, which accounts for around 86 percent of Indian agriculture and a substantial chunk of it is subsistence agriculture.
  • Any climate-change solution must strike a balance between the demand for enough food and the protection of natural resources and ecosystems.
  • A Few More Details:
  • Agriculture requires development plans that prioritise soil and water management, crop diversification, cropping system optimization, risk sharing (co-investment, community engagement), risk transfer (crop/livestock insurance), and improved localised forecasting and agro-advisory to maximise mitigation benefits.
  • Policies and efforts aimed at small and marginal landowners must also be developed.
  • A State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) that is connected with the SDGs must be established because agriculture is a state responsibility under the Indian Constitution.
  • The agriculture, forestry, and land use components of the SAPCCs must also be examined, updated, and integrated on a regular basis.
  • The district administration’s disaster management plans must contain adaptation measures for the impact of natural disasters on agriculture and allied sectors.
  • It’s vital to establish the infrastructure that supports the agricultural value chain, such as water supply, power, and physical connectivity, in addition to developing adaptive crop kinds.
  • India’s financial adaptation needs in key climate-sensitive industries like agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and water resources are estimated to reach $206 billion (at 2014–2015 prices). As a result, achieving this aim will necessitate a significant and ongoing financial commitment from both the public and private sectors.
  • Conclusion:
  • Agriculture must take a proactive approach to adaptation, combining efforts and resources on climate and disaster resilience, to reduce risk exposure, limit damages, and prepare for disasters

 

3 – LYNCHING DECLARED AS A FEDERAL HATE CRIME IN USA:

 GS II

 Topic : International Relations

 Context:

  • President Joe Biden of the United States has signed a measure making lynching a federal hate crime, more than a century after it was originally proposed.
  • The Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act is named after a Black boy whose lynching in Mississippi in the summer of 1955 sparked the civil rights movement.
  • Details:
  • When a conspiracy to conduct a hate crime results in death or significant bodily injury, the new statute makes it possible to prosecute the incident as a lynching.
  • The statute stipulates a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison as well as penalties.
  • In India, there have been a number of recent cases of mob lynching:
  • A mob allegedly killed a 23-year-old student leader in Assam in 2021.
  • At the Singhu Border, where farmers were protesting the three agricultural regulations, a man was allegedly killed, his limbs hacked off, and left to die in October 2021.
  • A crowd allegedly thrashed a bangle salesman in Indore in August 2021 for allegedly concealing his identity.
  • The man survived and was taken into jail by the authorities.
  • When a 25-year-old Gurugram guy went out to get medicines in May 2021, he was allegedly lynched.
  • On December 18, 2021, a man was lynched in Shri Harmandir Sahib Gurudwara (Golden Temple) in Amritsar by the Sikh Sangat (Sikh worshippers) for allegedly attempting to disrespect the Sikh religion’s sacred book, Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
  • What does it mean to be Lynched:
  • Any act or series of acts of violence perpetrated by a mob on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary customs, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity, or any other connected reasons, whether spontaneous or planned.
  • What steps are taken in these cases:
  • Under the present IPC, such situations have “no independent” definition. Sections 300 and 302 of the IPC can be used to prosecute lynchings.
  • Section 302 states that anyone who commits murder faces the death penalty or life in prison, as well as a monetary penalty. Murder is a punishable offence that is not bailable or compoundable.
  • SC recommendations:
  • To establish a strong example in incidents of mob violence, there should be a “distinct offence” for lynching, and trial courts should typically award the maximum punishment upon conviction of the accused person.
  • State governments will be required to appoint a senior police officer in each area to take preventative measures against mob violence and lynching.
  • The state governments must identify districts, subdivisions, and villages where recent reports of lynching and mob violence have been made.
  • Any inter-district coordination concerns should be brought to the attention of the DGP so that a strategy to combat lynching and mob violence may be devised.
  • Every police officer is responsible for dispersing a mob that has a history of causing violence, whether under the pretence of vigilantism or not.
  • The federal and state governments must broadcast information about the terrible repercussions of mob lynching and mob violence on radio, television, and other media platforms.
  • Regardless of the procedures taken by the State Police, if a lynching or mob violence occurrence is brought to the attention of the local police, the jurisdictional police station must immediately file a FIR.
  • In light of the provisions of Section 357A of the CrPC, state governments must develop a lynching/mob violence victim compensation plan.
  • It will be considered willful negligence if a police officer or a district administration officer fails to perform his duties.
  • The necessity of the hour:
  • We demand special legislation to deal with honour killings, hate crimes, witch hunting, and mob lynching every time there is a case of these crimes.
  • However, these crimes are all murders, and the existing provisions of the IPC and CrPC are adequate to deal with such crimes.
  • We are properly prepared to cope with mob lynching, thanks to the guidelines established in the Poonawala case. What we need, however, is effective implementation of current laws and accountability of enforcement authorities.
  • Various states have made attempts in this regard:
  • The government of Manipur was the first to introduce a bill against lynching in 2018, which included certain logical and necessary elements.
  • In August of this year, the Rajasthan government approved a measure prohibiting lynching.
  • West Bengal, too, has passed a more stricter anti-lynching bill.

  

4 – BENGAL MONITOR LIZARD:

 Prelims Specific Topic

 Four persons were arrested in Maharashtra’s Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (STR) for allegedly rapping a Bengal monitor lizard.

  • Bengal monitor lizard:
  • This species can be found on the Indian Subcontinent, as well as parts of Southeast Asia and West Asia. From the tip of the snout to the end of the tail, the animal’s length varies between 61 and 175 cm (24 to 69 in).
  • Adult monitors prefer to hunt on the ground, preying largely on arthropods but sometimes on small terrestrial vertebrates, ground birds, eggs, and fish.
  • Although mature Bengal monitors have few predators other than people who hunt them for meat, young Bengal monitors are preyed upon by a variety of predators.
  • Bis-cobra, Goyra, guishaap or goshaap in Bangladesh and West Bengal, goh in Punjab and Bihar, ghorpad in Maharashtra, and Thalagoya in Sri Lanka are all names for the same snake.
  • TanajiMalusare, a fabled founder Maratha Koli commander who supposedly mounted a fort wall with a monitor lizard tied to a rope, according to the Maharashtra clan Ghorpade.
  • The Bengal monitor’s belly skin has long been used to produce the drum head for the kanjira (also known as the Dimadi in Maharashtra), a South Indian percussion instrument.

 

5 – ABOUT THE BIHU DANCE:

Prelims Specific Topic

 Bihui is a fast-paced Assamese dance that is extremely upbeat.

  • It is performed by young girls and boys at the Bihu festivals, which take place in January, April, and May, and include Bhogali/Magh Bihu, Bohag/Rongali Bihu, and Kongali Bihu. (October).
  • The Assamese New Year has begun.

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 16th April 2022

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