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03 Jul, 2020

18 Min Read

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)


United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

  • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, also known as Law of the Sea divides marine areas into five main zones namely- Internal Waters, Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the High Seas.
  • UNCLOS is the only international convention which stipulates a framework for state jurisdiction in maritime spaces.
  • It provides a different legal status to different maritime zones.
  • It provides the backbone for offshore governance by coastal states and those navigating the oceans. It not only zones coastal states’ offshore areas but also provides specific guidance for states’ rights and responsibilities in the five concentric zones.


  • It is the low-water line along the coast as officially recognized by the coastal state.

Internal Waters:

  • Internal waters are waters on the landward side of the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
  • Each coastal state has full sovereignty over its internal waters as like its land territory. Examples of internal waters include bays, ports, inlets, rivers and even lakes that are connected to the sea.
  • There is no right of innocent passage through internal waters.
  • The innocent passage refers to the passing through the waters which are not prejudicial to peace and security. However, the nations have the right to suspend the same.

Territorial Sea:

  • The territorial sea extends seaward up to 12 nautical miles (nm) from its baselines.
    • A nautical mile is based on the circumference of the earth and is equal to one minute of latitude. It is slightly more than a land measured mile (1 nautical mile = 1.1508 land miles or 1.85 km).
  • The coastal states have sovereignty and jurisdiction over the territorial sea. These rights extend not only on the surface but also to the seabed, subsoil, and even airspace.
  • But the coastal states’ rights are limited by the innocent passage through the territorial sea.

Contiguous Zone:

  • The contiguous zone extends seaward up to 24 nm from its baselines.
  • It is an intermediary zone between the territorial sea and the high seas.
  • The coastal state has the right to both prevent and punish infringement of fiscal, immigration, sanitary, and customs laws within its territory and territorial sea.
  • Unlike the territorial sea, the contiguous zone only gives jurisdiction to a state on the ocean’s surface and floor. It does not provide air and space rights.

Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ):

  • Each coastal State may claim an EEZ beyond and adjacent to its territorial sea that extends seaward up to 200 nm from its baselines.
  • Within its EEZ, a coastal state has:
    • Sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring, exploiting, conserving and managing natural resources, whether living or nonliving, of the seabed and subsoil.
    • Rights to carry out activities like the production of energy from the water, currents and wind.
    • Unlike the territorial sea and the contiguous zone, the EEZ only allows for the above-mentioned resource rights. It does not give a coastal state the right to prohibit or limit freedom of navigation or overflight, subject to very limited exceptions.

High Seas:

  • The ocean surface and the water column beyond the EEZ are referred to as the high seas.
  • It is considered as “the common heritage of all mankind” and is beyond any national jurisdiction.
  • States can conduct activities in these areas as long as they are for peaceful purposes, such as transit, marine science, and undersea exploration.

Source: TH/WEB

Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme


Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme

  • The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme has been activated as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The Integrated Disease Surveillance Project was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in assistance with the World Bank, in 2004.
  • It continued as the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) during 12th Plan (2012–17) under the National Health Mission with a domestic budget.
  • Under it, a Central Surveillance Unit (CSU) at Delhi, State Surveillance Units (SSU) at all State/Union Territories (UTs) head quarters and District Surveillance Units (DSU) at all Districts have been established.


  • To strengthen/maintain decentralized laboratory based and IT enabled disease surveillance systems for epidemic prone diseases to monitor disease trends.
  • To detect and respond to outbreaks in the early rising phase through trained Rapid Response Teams (RRTs).

Programme Components:

  • Integration and decentralization of surveillance activities through establishment of surveillance units at Centre, State and District level.
  • Human Resource Development – Training of State Surveillance Officers (SSOs), District Surveillance Officers (DSOs), RRT and other medical and paramedical staff on principles of disease surveillance.
  • Use of Information Communication Technology for collection, collation, compilation, analysis and dissemination of data.
  • Strengthening of public health laboratories.
  • Inter sectoral Coordination for zoonotic diseases.
  • Helps in Controlling the Disease Outbreak:
  • Data is collected on epidemic prone diseases on a weekly basis.
  • The weekly data gives information on the disease trends and seasonality of diseases.
  • The information is collected on three specified reporting formats, namely “S” (suspected cases), “P” (presumptive cases) and “L” (laboratory confirmed cases) filled by Health Workers, Clinicians and Laboratory staff respectively.
  • Whenever there is a rising trend of illnesses in any area, it is investigated by the RRT to diagnose and control the outbreak.

IDSP Portal:

The IDSP portal is a one stop portal which has facilities for data entry, view reports, outbreak reporting, data analysis, training modules and resources related to disease surveillance.

Source: WEB

Core’s contraction: On slowing economy

GS-III : Economic Issues Industry

Core’s contraction: On slowing economy


# Output in the eight core industries suffered an overall contraction for a third straight month in May, shrinking 23.4%, as the pandemic-induced lockdown kept large parts of the economy shuttered, the Commerce Ministry’s provisional figures show.

Core Sector Data

# Of the eight, all but one posted declines in production compared with a year earlier, with six sectors witnessing double-digit drops.

# Except fertilizers, all other sectors have shown decline.

# Steel and cement were the worst hit, slumping 48.4% and 22.2%, respectively, as construction activity and infrastructure projects remained mostly stalled.

# Refinery products, with the largest weight in the index contributing 28%, contracted 21.3% as the curbs on vehicular movement stymied demand for automobile fuels.

# And crude oil and natural gas continued their slide adding to the problems dogging India’s hydrocarbon exploration and production industry.

# Coal production also fell for a second straight month, declining 14%, as the lack of demand for electricity from the nation’s factories depressed power production as well as the need for the key thermal plant fuel.

# Output of electricity fell 15.6%, a slight improvement from April’s 23% slump, aided by the partial easing of restrictions and peak summer consumption by households.

# The only silver lining came from the fertilizer industry, as production rose 7.5% reversing the slump seen in the preceding two months and signalling robust activity in the agricultural sector at the start of the kharif season.

# A promising and early start to this year’s monsoon bodes well for the crucial farm income-dependent rural economy.

# The above average quantity and improved spatial distribution of rainfall in June have spurred a sharp jump in kharif sowing, with the area sown as on June 26 more than doubling compared with a year earlier to 315.6 lakh hectares.

# Also, there is a danger to the farm sector, especially in western, central and northern India this year from locust swarms.

# The Food and Agriculture Organization had in its June 27 update warned that India would need to remain on high alert through July for the possible arrival of swarms from northern Africa.

# The latest PMI data from researcher IHS Markit also paints a less than promising outlook for manufacturing, which contracted again in June albeit at a softer pace.

Source: TH


GS-I : Human Geography Current mapping upsc


  • It has the world’s largest number of elephants of about 1.3 lacs.
  • Okavango Delta is located here
  • Recently over 350 elephants died where the causes are unknown which can be due to anthrax.

Source: TH

Choreographer Saroj Khan Passes Away at the Age of 71

GS-I : Art and Culture Art Forms

Ace Choreographer Saroj Khan has passed away at the age of 71 due to cardiac arrest in Mumbai. Among the Bollywood circles she was referred to as "The Mother of Dance/Choreography in India".
She is a three time National Award Winner with 8 Filmfare awards to her credit.

Source: TH

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