Agreement on the Prohibition of Nuclear-Attacks on Nuclear Installations and Facilities
India and Pakistan recently shared a list of their nuclear facilities. The exchange took place in line with Article II of the Pakistan-India Agreement on the Prohibition of Attacks on Nuclear Installations and Facilities.
Under the terms of the Agreement on Consular Access agreed in May 2008, the two nations also exchanged names of convicts imprisoned in each other’s jails.
Every year on the 1st of January and the 1st of July, the two nations are required to exchange detailed lists under this agreement.
Prohibition of Attacks on Nuclear Installations and Facilities:
Both nations are required to inform each other about nuclear plants under this agreement.
In 1988, the agreement was signed, and in 1991, it was ratified.
This was the 31st time the two neighboring nations had exchanged the list.
Nuclear power and research reactors, as well as fuel fabrication, uranium enrichment, isotope separation, and reprocessing facilities, as well as any other installations with fresh or radioactive nuclear fuel and materials in any form, and establishments storing significant quantities of radioactive materials, are all covered by the umbrella term “nuclear installations and facilities.”
The Agreement’s Importance:
The significance of the agreement was seen in the aftermath of Israel’s attack on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility near Baghdad in 1981. The operation, which was carried out by Israeli fighter planes across Iraqi airspace, had a substantial impact on Iraq’s nuclear weapons development.
The accord also came at a difficult time for Pakistan because of military improvements in India as well as the memories of the 1972 loss that fragmented Pakistan. After Israel’s action, Pakistan has reacted by placing its nuclear facilities and assets on “high alert” at the time.
National Air Sports Policy: Draft
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has issued a draft National Air Sports Policy (NASP) that would require organizations who provide these services and their equipment to register and be subject to fines if they do not.
Points to Remember
The policy envisions a two-tier air sports governance system in India, with an apex governing body named the Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI) and associations for each air sport.
The ASFI will be an autonomous entity within the Ministry of Civil Aviation. It will oversee a variety of areas of air sports, such as regulation, certification, competitions, rewards, and penalties, among other things.
Each air sports association will create its own safety criteria for equipment, infrastructure, manpower, and training, as well as the disciplinary procedures that will be taken if those standards are not met. If they are unable to do so, then ASFI may take action against them.
Popular air sports destinations in the country, such as Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh, Gangtok in Sikkim, Hadapsar in Maharashtra, and Vagamon in Kerala, are being considered as “control zones” for air sports to safeguard the safety of other manned aircraft.
Aerobatics, aeromodelling, amateur-built and experimental aircraft, ballooning, drones, gliding, hang gliding, paragliding, micro lighting, paramotoring, skydiving, and vintage aircraft will be among the sports covered.
The policy’s goal is for India to become one of the top air sports countries by 2030 and aims to boost the country’s air sports industry by making it safer, more inexpensive, accessible, entertaining, and long-lasting.
The strategy aims to maximize India’s potential in the field of aviation while also emphasizing the need of adhering to international safety standards.
Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, it wants to encourage local design, development, and production of air sports equipment; waive import duties on equipment for a few years, and ask the GST Council to lower the GST rate on-air sports equipment to 5% or less.
Schools and colleges will be encouraged to include air sports into their syllabus, and their students will be capable of competing in FAI international events.
India has the potential to become one of the world’s major air sports countries.
It has a sizable population, particularly among the young, boasts burgeoning adventure sports and aviation culture.
The multiplier advantages in terms of increase in travel, tourism, infrastructure, and local employment, particularly in mountainous regions of the nation, are many times more than the direct money from air sports activities.
The establishment of air sports centers around the country would also attract international air sports professionals and visitors.
GM Food Draft Rules: FSSAI
Farmers’ social activists have spoken out against the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) proposed rules on genetically modified (GM) food, calling them “unacceptable.”
The FSSAI has published draft rules for genetically modified foods. The regulations will apply to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Genetically Engineered Organisms (GEOs), and Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) intended for direct consumption or processing.
The laws will apply to food items that may have been created using GMO food ingredients or processing aids, even if GM material is not present in the final product.
What are the important provisions of the Draft GM Food Rules?
Without prior permission, no one may make or sell any food items or food components derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
It outlines the standards that laboratories must follow when evaluating GM foods.
Genetically Modified or Engineered Organisms “shall not be used as an ingredient” in baby food
Labeling rules for food items that have 1% or more GMO material.
What are the Activists’ concerns about these rules?
According to the proposed standards, all food items containing individual genetically modified components of 1% or more shall be labeled “Contains GMO/Ingredients Derived from GMO.”
Activists contended that this was a hidden consent to import genetically modified foods rather than a prohibition.
24th Financial Stability Report by RBI
The 24th Financial Stability Report has been issued by the Reserve Bank of India, which is published twice a year (biannually).
It represents the FSDC subcommittee’s collective assessment of the threats to financial stability and the resilience of the financial system.
FSDC is an umbrella group of regulators that provides an assessment of India’s financial system’s health.
Concerned issues of FSR
Is there enough capital in Indian banks (both public and private) to run their operations?
Are bad loans (or non-performing assets) within permissible limits?
Is it possible for various sectors of the economy to get credit (or fresh loans) for economic activity?
The RBI also conducts “stress tests” as part of the FSR to determine what would happen to the soundness of the banking sector if the larger economy breaks down.
Similarly, it attempts to determine how influences outside of India may influence the home economy.
The findings of the Systemic Risk Surveys are also included in each FSR.
The 100-day reading campaign 'Padhe Bharat'
The Ministry of Education recently announced the ‘Padhe Bharat’ 100-day reading campaign, which will run from January 1st to April 10th, 2022.
21st February, which is recognized as International Mother Tongue Day, has also been included in this campaign in order to promote our society’s indigenous language and culture.
The Campaign is consistent with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which emphasizes the development of happy reading culture for children by providing the availability of age-appropriate reading materials for children in their native/mother tongue/regional/tribal language.
It will concentrate on students from Balvatika till Grade 8.
This initiative is also in line with the objective and goals of the Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission.
It seeks to include all stakeholders at the national and state levels, including children, teachers, parents, community members, educational officials, and so on.
International Mother Tongue Day:
In 1999, UNESCO recognized February 21st as International Mother Tongue Day, and the world has been commemorating it since 2000.
The day also celebrates Bangladesh’s longstanding struggle to conserve its mother tongue, Bangla.
The effort aims to preserve and promote mother tongues and to safeguard the various cultures and intellectual legacy of the different regions of the world.
Dalai Lama and India
The last surviving member of a small contingent of Indian troops who accompanied the Dalai Lama out of Tibet in 1959 died recently.
The Dalai Lama belongs to the Gelugpa Tibetan Buddhist lineage, which is Tibet’s biggest and most prominent.
There have only been Fourteen Dalai Lamas in Tibetan Buddhism’s history, with the first and second Dalai Lamas receiving the title posthumously. Tenzin Gyatso is the 14th and current Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lamas are said to be incarnations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Tibetan patron saint and Bodhisattva of Compassion.
Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who have sworn to return to the earth in order to serve mankind. They are motivated by a desire to reach Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Escort for the Dalai Lama:
China’s political situation began to shift in the 1950s and there were plans in the works to officially annex Tibet to China. Tibetans, on the other hand, came to the streets in March 1959, demanding an end to Chinese authority.
During the 1959 Tibetan rebellion, the Dalai Lama escaped to India with thousands of supporters, where he was welcomed by former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who granted him permission to organize the “Tibetan government in exile” in Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh).
The process to Choose Dalai Lama:
Buddhists believe that the present Dalai Lama has the ability to pick the body into which he is reborn, based on Buddhist belief in reincarnation.
When that individual is identified, the person will succeed the Dalai Lama.
Following the death of the existing Dalai Lama, Buddhist academics believe it is the obligation of the Gelugpa tradition’s High Lamas and the Tibetan government to search for and select the next Dalai Lama.
If more than one candidate is recognized, authorities and monks draw lots in a public ritual to choose the genuine successor.
When a suitable candidate is found, he and his family are transported to Lhasa (or Dharamsala), where the child learns Buddhist texts in preparation for spiritual leadership.
This procedure may take many years: finding the 14th (current) Dalai Lama took four years.
The search is mostly focused in Tibet, yet the current Dalai Lama has said that there’s a possibility he won’t be reincarnated, and if he is, it won’t be in a Chinese-controlled territory.