DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS
15 AUGUST 2022
|Prelims & Mains
|Foreign Contribution Regulation Act
|Prelims & Mains
|Central Bureau of Investigation
|Prelims & Mains
|Non Communicable Diseases
|Prelims & Mains
|Mosque found in Israel
|Prelims Specific Topic
1 – G 7:
Topic – International Organizations
- About G 7:
- The Group of Seven (G-7) is an informal grouping of industrialised democracies that includes France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, and Canada. The G-7 meets once a year to discuss topics of mutual interest, such as international security, energy policy, and global economic governance.
- The Group of Five, which consists of the finance ministers of France, West Germany, the United States, Great Britain, and Japan (the G-5) after the 1973 oil crisis, is where the G-7 had its start.
- In order to continue negotiations about the world oil crisis, the French President summoned the leaders of West Germany, the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Italy to Rambouillet (France) in 1975.
- Membership The Group of Six was established in 1975 as a forum for the industrialised democracies to discuss urgent economic issues. Its founding members were France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
- Canada was also invited to join the group in 1976, and the United States sponsored the inaugural G-7 summit, which took place in Puerto Rico in 1976.
- Since 1981, the European Union has actively engaged in the G-7 as a “non enumerated” member.
- The leaders of the EU member states are represented by the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission (the EU’s executive body), respectively.
- After Russia joined the original seven in 1997, the G-7 was referred to as the G-8 for a while. After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, the USSR’s presence in the G-7 was intended as a gesture of East-West collaboration.
- Following Russia’s expulsion as a member in 2014 due to its annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine, the group once again went by the name G-7.
- Participants are all well developed democracies, but there are no formal requirements for membership. Nearly half of the world’s GDP and 10% of the world’s population are represented by the combined GDP of the G-7 member states.
- Participation in Summits The members of the group alternately organise annual summits. The G7 presidency and the calendar for the year are both held by the host nation.
- Global leaders are invited to attend the summit as special invitees by the host nation. At various summits, nations like China, India, Mexico, and Brazil have participated.
- Also invited are the top executives of significant international organisations including the European Union, IMF, World Bank, and the UN.
- The “sherpas,” who are either personal representatives or members of the diplomatic staff like ambassadors, lay the basis for the Summit, including topics to be covered and follow-up meetings.
- G-7 and G-20:
- The G-20 was first convened as a gathering of finance ministers and central bank governors in 1999, following the Asian financial crisis of 1997–1998.
- But at an initial summit in Washington, D.C., the G-20 was elevated to the level of heads of state in reaction to the financial crisis of 2008.
- The G-20 is a larger organisation that concentrates on the global economy, whereas the G-7 mostly deals with politics. 80 percent of the world’s GDP is represented by this event, also referred to as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy.”
- Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey make up the G-20 in addition to the G-7 nations.
- The G-7’s Decline in Power
- Subtle change of power: In 2008, the G-8 discussed food inflation and a wide range of other, undoubtedly significant global issues, but they completely ignored the world financial crisis.
- At their summit, the G-20 intervened and dealt with the underlying issue. They asked for tighter financial market regulation in the United States.
- After that, it became clear that any global initiative would require the G-20 emerging market nations, which had mostly avoided the crisis.
- The G-20 Summit replaced the G-8 as the most significant gathering of world leaders.
- It therefore signified the end of the previous order of things and the start of a new one.
- The forum’s small and generally homogenous membership encourages group decision-making, but detractors point out that it frequently lacks implementation and that significant growing powers are not represented.
- The declarations made by the summit’s leaders are not legally binding because the G-7 is an informal group that does not make any official decisions.
- The G-7 and other western-dominated organisations were challenged by the development of the G-20, which represented the aspirations of growing economies like India, China, Brazil, and others.
Source – The Indian Express
2 – Foreign Contribution Regulation Act:
Topic – Prevention of Money Laundering
- Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) controls foreign donations and makes sure they don’t compromise the nation’s internal security. The Act, which was initially passed in 1976, was revised in 2010 and then again in 2020.
- The Union government has “unchecked and unrestrained powers” under Section 5 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, to label an organisation as having a political nature and prevent it from receiving funding from outside sources.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs administers the FCRA.
- Prior Reference Category under the Act: It means that a foreign donor must obtain prior permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs in order to make a donation to such an NGO.
- Recent observations of the Supreme Court:
- It has questioned why, in accordance with the foreign contributions regulations law, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is responsible for monitoring the influx and subsequent outflow of foreign donations to NGOs.
- Regulation is required:
- According to information from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), foreign money entering India was utilised to finance actions that jeopardised the country’s peace and security. Even better, the data suggested that the funds were utilised to train naxals. National security and national integrity are factors at play in this situation.
- Only 10% of the more than 22 lakh non-government organisations, according to the CBI, submit their yearly income and expense statements to the organisations with which they have registered.
- Newest amendments for 2020 and related criticisms:
- The revisions required that all registered NGOs open a special account in the State Bank of India’s capital branch, where all foreign donations to their various causes must go.
- The petitioners contend that this rule will be burdensome for NGOs working outside of the Capital in rural India.
Source – The Indian Express
3 – Central Bureau of Investigation:
Topic – Statutory and Non-Statutory Bodies
- About CBI:
- The top investigative police force in India is called the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
- The Department of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances, Government of India, which is a division of the prime minister’s office, is in charge of overseeing its operations.
- The Central Vigilance Commission, however, is in charge of overseeing investigations into offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
- Additionally, it is the nodal police organisation in India that organises inquiries on behalf of Interpol Member nations.
- Its conviction rate, which can reach 65 to 70 percent, is equivalent to that of the world’s top investigative organisations.
- Background History:
- A Special Police Establishment (SPE) was established in the British Indian Department of War in 1941 to investigate claims of bribery and corruption in war-related procurements during the Second World War.
- The Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946 later institutionalised it as a government organisation with the responsibility of looking into claims of corruption in various government departments.
- The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act of 1946 gives the CBI the authority to conduct investigations.
- The Government of India established the CBI in 1963 with the goal of looking into serious crimes involving the defence of India, high-level corruption, serious fraud, cheating, and embezzlement, as well as social crime, particularly hoarding, black-marketing, and profiteering in essential commodities with national and interstate implications.
- With time, the CBI began looking into more common crimes like murders, abductions, hijackings, and crimes committed by radicals.
- Cases that the CBI handles
- Anti-Corruption Crimes – for the investigation of cases involving public officials and workers of the central government, public sector undertakings, corporations, or bodies that are owned or controlled by the government of India under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
- Crimes relating to Fake Indian Currency Notes, Bank Frauds, Cyber Crime, Import Export & Foreign Exchange Violations, Large-Scale Smuggling of Narcotics, Antiques, Cultural Property, and Other Contraband Items, etc. Economic Crimes – for investigation of Major Financial Scams and Serious Economic Frauds
- Special Crimes – for investigation of serious and organised crime in accordance with the Indian Penal Code and other laws on the requests of State Governments or on the orders of the Supreme Court and High Courts – such as cases of terrorism, bomb blasts, kidnapping for ransom, and crimes committed by the mafia/the underworld.
- Suo Moto Cases – The CBI can only suo moto investigate crimes in Union Territories.
- Only with the agreement of the State Government in question may the Central Government direct CBI to probe a crime in a State.
- However, without the permission of the State, the Supreme Court and High Courts can direct CBI to look into a crime anywhere in the nation.
- The administration of the organisation is the responsibility of the Director of CBI, who also serves as the Inspector General of Police for the Delhi Special Police Establishment.
- The DSPE Act, 1946 served as the foundation for the CBI Director’s appointment up to 2014.
- On the recommendation of the Supreme Court in the Vineet Narain case, the DSPE Act was changed in 2003. The Central Government would receive recommendations for the nomination of the CBI Director from a committee that included members from the Central Vigilance Commission and secretaries from the Home Ministry, Ministry of Personnel, and Ministry of Public Grievances.
- A committee for the appointment of the CBI Director was established under the Lokpal Act in 2014:
- Other members include the Chief Justice of India and a judge on the Supreme Court, as well as the leader of the major opposition party.
- A list of qualified individuals is sent by Home Ministry to DoPT. The DoPT then compiles the final list and submits it to the committee based on seniority, integrity, and experience conducting anti-corruption investigations.
- The CVC Act of 2003 guarantees the director of the CBI a two-year term.
- Due to excessive political meddling in how it operates, the Indian Supreme Court has criticised the CBI and compared it to a “caged parrot speaking in its master’s voice.”
- The current administration frequently used it to hide misdeeds, control coalition allies, and intimidate political rivals.
- It has been accused of taking a very long time to wrap up investigations, as seen in the 1990s Jain hawala diaries case, where it was slow to investigate high dignitaries.
- Loss of Credibility: The agency has been criticised for its handling of several sensitive cases, including the Bofors scandal, the Hawala scandal, the Sant Singh Chatwal case, the Bhopal gas tragedy, and the 2008 Noida double murder case, as well as its mismanagement of several cases involving prominent politicians (Aarushi Talwar).
- Lack of Public Accountability: CBI lacks public accountability because it is immune from the provisions of the Right to Information Act.
- Acute staffing shortage: The government’s gross mismanagement of the CBI’s workforce through a system of ineffective, and puzzlingly biassed, recruitment policies—used to bring in preferred officers, possibly to the organization’s detriment—is a key contributor to the shortfall.
- Limitations: The State Government must give its approval before CBI members can conduct investigations, which places restrictions on their authority.
- Access Restrictions: A major barrier to tackling corruption at higher levels of bureaucracy is getting prior consent from the Central Government to initiate an inquiry or probe against personnel of the Central Government at the level of Joint Secretary and above.
- Separate the CBI from the government’s administrative oversight – The investigative agency won’t enjoy autonomy and won’t be able to freely probe matters as long as the current administration has the authority to transfer and appoint individuals of its choosing in the CBI.
- Maintaining the institution’s independence will be made easier by giving it statutory standing through legislation, similar to that given to the Comptroller & Auditor General and the Election Commission.
- The following was suggested in the twenty-fourth report of the department-related parliamentary standing committee on personnel, public grievances, law, and justice regarding CBI operations:
- strengthening human resources through CBI’s increased power; better infrastructure investments; increased financial resources; and increased administrative responsibility.
- Give the CBI more authority (in relation to the Union, State, and Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution); pass a new law (the “Central Bureau of Intelligence and Investigation Act”) in its own right, replacing the “DSPE Act.”
- A complete central law to address the shortcoming of not having a central investigative agency with a self-sufficient legislative charter of duties and activities was advocated by the L P Singh committee in 1978.
- A new law should be passed to regulate the operation of the CBI, according to the Second Administrative Reforms Commission’s (2007) recommendation.
Source – The Indian Express
4 – Non Communicable Diseases:
Topic – Health Related Issues
- The WHO has identified containing NCDs as one of its health goals for this year, along with lowering mortality from air pollution and climate change, the worldwide influenza pandemic, etc.
- Important findings:
- Over 70% of all deaths worldwide, or 41 million people, are caused by non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. These include 15 million persons between the ages of 30 and 69 who pass away prematurely.
- People who are economically productive are affected by one-third of these early deaths, which happen before the age of 70.
- The four “main” NCDs are largely brought on by four modifiable behavioural risk factors: cigarette use, poor diet, insufficient exercise, and alcohol abuse.
- The burden on health care systems is rising as a result of the NCDs, which disproportionately afflict the poor and impoverish families.
- What should be done?
- Consuming whole grains and fibre can lower your chance of developing non-communicable diseases like heart disease. Consuming meals high in fibre decreases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer by 16 to 24%.
- When compared to lesser intake, a higher intake of fibre is also linked to lower body weight, systolic blood pressure, and total cholesterol.
- Additionally, doctors advise patients to consume fewer calories, savour their meals by chewing each bite thoroughly, fill half of their plates with fruits and vegetables, avoid eating large portions that can lead to weight gain, choose whole grains for at least half of their grains, and avoid foods high in trans fats.
- About NCDs:
- Chronic diseases, sometimes referred to as noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), are conditions that develop over an extended period of time as a result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioural variables.
- The four primary categories of NCDs are diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases (including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma), and cardiovascular disorders (such heart attacks and stroke).
- What are NCDs’ socioeconomic effects?
- The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development contains a goal of reducing premature mortality from NCDs by one-third by 2030, yet NCDs pose a danger to this goal.
- NCDs and poverty are tightly related. It is anticipated that the rapid increase in NCDs will hinder efforts to reduce poverty in low-income countries, particularly by raising family health care expenses. Because they are more likely to be exposed to harmful products, like tobacco, or unhealthy dietary practises, like poor eating habits, and because they have less access to health services, vulnerable and socially disadvantaged people get sicker and pass away earlier than people in higher social positions.
- The cost of treating NCDs swiftly depletes household finances in low-resource environments. Millions of individuals fall into poverty each year as a result of the high costs of NCDs, which include frequently expensive and time-consuming treatment as well as the loss of breadwinners.
Source – The Indian Express
5 – Mosque found in Israel:
Prelims Specific Topic
- The mosque in the Negev desert is described by the IAA as having “a square room with a wall facing the direction of Mecca,” with a half-circle niche in that wall pointing south.
- The authority stated that “these distinctive architectural features demonstrate that the building was used as a mosque,” noting that it probably accommodated a few dozen worshipers at a time.
- The IAA reported that a “luxurious estate building” close to the mosque had also been found, with the remains of dinnerware and glass artefacts indicating the luxury of its occupants.
Source – The Indian Express