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09 Jun, 2021

84 Min Read

Illegal adoption in COVID

GS-I : Social issues Issues related to Child

Illegal adoption in COVID

What is the issue?

  • The Supreme Court has directed the States and the Union Territories to take stringent action against private individuals and NGOs who invite people to illegally adopt children orphaned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A Bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose, in an 18-page order published, directed the government to step in and prevent private entities from revealing the identities of affected children, usually on social media and inviting people to adopt them.
  • The State Governments/Union Territories are directed to prevent any NGO from collecting funds in the names of the affected children by disclosing their identity and inviting interested persons to adopt them. No adoption of affected children should be permitted contrary to the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.
  • It was illegal to invite strangers to adopt children, already traumatised by their personal losses, without the involvement of the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), a statutory body under the Women and Child Development Ministry.
  • Invitation to persons for adoption of orphans is contrary to law as no adoption of a child can be permitted without the involvement of CARA.

Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)

  • CARA is a statutory body of the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.
  • It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.
  • CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by the Government of India in 2003.
  • CARA primarily deals with the adoption of orphan, abandoned, and surrendered children through its associated /recognized adoption agencies.
  • CARA interacts with State Governments and UT Administrations through regular training and orientation programmes as well as meetings, consultations and visits to the States/UTs.
  • The implementation of the adoption programme in the States/UTs is reviewed in various consultations organized by the Ministry as well as meetings of the Project Approval Board to consider proposals received from States/UTs for release of grants under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme.
  • In 2018, CARA allowed individuals in a live-in relationship to adopt children from and within India.

Hague Convention on Adoption

  • The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption is an international convention dealing with international adoption, child laundering, and child trafficking.
  • The Convention was developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the preeminent organization in the area of private international law.
  • It was concluded on 29 May 1993 and entered into force on 1 May 1995.
  • It is an effort to protect those involved from the corruption, abuses, and exploitation which sometimes accompanies international adoption.
  • The Convention has been considered crucial because it provides a formal international and intergovernmental recognition of intercountry adoption to ensure that adoptions under the Convention will generally be recognized and given effect in other party countries.
  • 96 countries including India has signed and ratified this convention. Whereas Nepal, South Korea, and Russia are yet to ratify it.

  • The order came after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), on Monday, raised the alarm on a spate of complaints about illegal adoption of COVID-19 orphans through private individual and organisations.
  • NCPCR statistics show that 3,621 children were orphaned, 26,176 children lost either parent and 274 abandoned between April 1, 2021 to June 5, 2021. The court is hearing a suo motu case on the plight of children impacted by the pandemic.

National Commission for protection of Child Rights, 2005

  1. It is a Statutory Body. NCPCR has given the definition of child to be less than 18 years.
  2. NCPCR can take up suo-motu cases.
  3. Mandate: To ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights given in Constitution and UN Convention on Rights of Child.
  4. NCPCR had asked to form special cells in schools to solve problems of children. The cell will examine the mental & physical torture against children. Complainsts regarding sexual harassment, mental harassment, favouritism etc. should be informed to the Taluk/District Legal Services Authority within 48 hours.
  5. It is the nodal body for Right to Education and Child abuse.

Main Recommendations of NCPCR:

  1. Seminars should be conducted for teachers to improve their teaching styles.
  2. The dignity of a student should be accepted by everyone.
  3. Drug addiction, copying, violence etc. should be curtailed.
  4. State Commissions of Protection of Child Rights should be established.

Child trafficking

  • Advocate Gaurav Agrawal, amicus curiae, said cases of child trafficking have been going up.
  • The government should intervene to care and protect children orphaned, abandoned or whose families have lost their earning members.
  • The court said lack of knowledge about the rights of children under the Juvenile Justice Act had led to many falling victim to efforts at illegal adoption.
  • It directed the Centre, States and the Union Territories to give wide publicity to the provisions of the 2015 Act at regular intervals so as to make the general public, children and their parents or guardians aware of such provisions.
  • It ordered the States and the Union Territories to continue with their efforts to identify children in need of care and protection after March 2020 and upload their details on the NCPCR database in order to provide them welfare schemes.

Source: TH

BRICS Joint Statement on Multilateralism

GS-II : International organisation BRICS

BRICS Joint Statement on Multilateralism

The BRICS Foreign Ministers, at a virtual meet last week, put out a joint statement on multilateralism, in addition to the usual Ministers’ press statement.

  • China’s Foreign Ministry on Monday said the idea behind the statement was to forge a common understanding among the BRICS countries when there were “so many different interpretations and definitions of multilateralism in the world”.
  • Ironically, among the targets of Beijing’s recent attacks on what it calls “selective multilateralism” is the India-Australia-Japan-U.S. Quad grouping, which Chinese officials have repeatedly criticised.
  • India, which is the BRICS chair this year and will host this year’s leaders summit, which may also take place virtually, finds itself in a curious position of being described by Beijing as both a partner and a target in its recent emphasis on the importance of “multilateralism” and its criticism of calls for a “rules-based order”, voiced not only by the U.S. but also by the Quad.

The BRICS Joint Statement on Strengthening and Reforming the Multilateral System laid out the following principles:

  • First, it should make global governance more inclusive, representative and participatory to facilitate greater and more meaningful participation of developing and least developed countries.
  • Second, it should be based on inclusive consultation and collaboration for the benefit of all.
  • Third, it should make multilateral organisations more responsive, action-oriented and solution-oriented based on the norms and principles of international law and the spirit of mutual respect, justice, equality, mutual beneficial cooperation.
  • Fourth, it should use innovative and inclusive solutions, including digital and technological tools.
  • Fifth, it should strengthen the capacities of individual States and international organizations.
  • Sixth, it should promote people-centred international cooperation at the core.

Source: TH

Antonio Guterres is the UN General Secretary for a second term

GS-II : International treaties and conventions U.N Related

Antonio Guterres is the UNSC General Secretary for a second term

  • The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday approved Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a second term, with conflict resolution set to top his agenda at the world body’s helm.
  • The 72-year-old former Prime Minister of Portugal has held office since 2017 and faced no competition for the next term in the job.
  • During a brief closed-door session the Security Council voted unanimously to recommend that the General Assembly give Mr Guterres another term, said the council’s current President, Estonian ambassador Sven Jurgenson.
  • Approval from the General Assembly is seen as a formality and expected to take place soon.
  • During his first term, Mr Guterres was forced to concentrate on limiting the potential damage from the unilateral and nationalist foreign policy of then-U.S. President Donald Trump.

UN Security Council

  • The United Nations Charter established 6 main organs of the United Nations, including the Security Council. It gives primary responsibility for maintaining inter­national peace and security to the Security Council, which may meet whenever peace is threatened.
  • While other organs of the United Nations make recommendations to member states, only the Security Council has the power to make decisions that member states are then obligated to implement under the Charter.
  • UNSC has 15 members (5 are permanent and 10 non-permanent). Non-permanent members are elected for 2-year terms by the UNGA.
    1. UNSC has 5 permanent members namely France, the UK, China, Russia and USA.
    2. 10 non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis
      1. 5 for African and Asian States.
      2. 1 for the Eastern Europe States
      3. 2 for Latin American and the Caribbean States and
      4. 2 for Western Europe and other States.
    3. Each year 193 members of UNGA elect 5 non-permanent members for a 2-year term at UNSC, with 5 replaced each year. A retiring member is not eligible for re-election.
    4. The Asia-Pacific Group gets to nominate one of its members for the 2020 elections for a non-permanent seat of the UNSC. India won the unanimous support of all countries in 55 member Asia Pacific Group at UN for its bid for a non-permanent seat at UNSC for a 2-year term in 2021-22.

Source: TH

Operation Pangea XIV by Interpol on fake medicines

GS-III : Economic Issues Pharmaceutical

Operation Pangea XIV by Interpol on fake medicines

  • More than 1.1 lakh web links, including websites and online marketplaces, have been taken down in an operation involving the police, customs and health regulatory authorities of 92 countries against the sale of fake and illicit medicines and medical products.

  • Code-named “Operation Pangea XIV”, the exercise was coordinated by Interpol.
  • Indian agencies also participated in the operation, said an official of the Central Bureau of Investigation is the nodal body for Interpol in the country.
  • The operation resulted in 1,13,020 web links being closed down or removed, the largest since the first “Operation Pangea” conducted in 2008, with the arrest of 277 suspects and seizure of potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals worth over $23 million.
  • It showed that criminals were continuing to cash in on the huge demand for personal protection and hygiene products due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than half of all the medical devices seized during the operation from May 18 to 25 were fake and unauthorised COVID-19 test kits.
  • In the United Kingdom, apart from the seizure of some three million fake medicines and devices worth over $13 million, the authorities removed more than 3,100 advertising links for the illegal sale and supply of unlicensed medicines, and shut down 43 websites, Interpol said in a statement on Tuesday.
  • A person in Venezuela was arrested for developing an e-commerce platform on WhatsApp to sell illicit medicines. “In Italy, authorities recovered more than 500,000 fake surgical masks as well as 35 industrial machines used for production and packaging,” said the statement, adding that globally, about nine million medical devices and illicit pharmaceuticals were seized.
  • “As the pandemic forced more people to move their lives online, criminals were quick to target these new ‘customers’,” said Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock.
  • During the operation, searches of about 7.10 lakh packages led to the discovery of fake and illicit drugs concealed amongst a range of legitimate products, including clothes, jewellery, toys, food and baby products. “In Qatar, officials discovered 2,805 nerve pain tablets hidden inside tins of baked beans,” said the Interpol.
  • The seized items included hypnotic and sedative medication, erectile dysfunction pills, medical and surgical devices like COVID test kits, masks, syringes, catheters, analgesics/painkillers, anabolic steroids, antiseptics and germicides, anti-cancer medication, antimalarials and vitamins.

Source: TH

Defense Corridors in India

GS-III : Economic Issues Defense industry

Defence Corridors in India

  • In pursuance to the budget announcement (2018-19), it has been decided to set up two Defence Industrial Corridors in the Country, one in Uttar Pradesh and another in Tamil Nadu.

  • Subsequently, six nodes in Uttar Pradesh Defence Corridor viz. Agra, Aligarh, Chitrakoot, Jhansi, Kanpur and Lucknow have been identified.
  • Similarly, for Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor, five nodes viz. Chennai, Coimbatore, Hosur, Salem and Tiruchirappalli have been identified.
  • Investments of approximately Rs 3,700 crore were announced by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB/Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) & Private Industries for Uttar Pradesh Defence Corridors and investment of approx Rs 3,100 crore were announced by OFB/DPSUs & private industries for Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor.
  • Further, Government has also appointed a consultant for the preparation of policy and Detailed Project Report (DPR) for these two Defence Corridors. Incentives to private players and foreign companies are provided under the respective state policies.
  • Setting up of Defence Industrial Corridors would catalyse indigenous production of defence and aerospace-related items, thereby reducing our reliance on imports and promoting the export of these items to other countries.
  • This will lead to achieve India’s goal of self-reliance in defence, generation of direct/indirect employment opportunities and growth of private domestic manufacturers, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Star-ups.

Source: PIB

PRAGYATA': Guidelines on Digital Education

GS-II : Governance Education

PRAGYATA': Guidelines on Digital Education

Union HRD Ministry released ‘PRAGYATA’: Guidelines on #DigitalEducation for school heads, teachers, parents, and students. The guidelines are based on four guiding principles, stipulating that all resources must be perceivable, operable, understandable and robust for disabled students.


  • The ministry has recommended a cap on the screen time for students.
  • As per the guidelines, online classes for pre-primary students should not be for more than 30 minutes.
  • It further mentions that two online sessions of up to 30-45 minutes each should be conducted for classes 1 to 8 and four sessions for classes 9 to 12.
  • The PRAGYATA guidelines include eight steps of online education that is, Plan, Review, Arrange, Guide, Yak(talk), Assign, Track, and Appreciate.

The guidelines outline suggestions for administrators, school heads, teachers, parents, and students in the following areas:

  • Need assessment
  • Concerns while planning online and digital education like duration, screen time, inclusiveness, balanced online and offline activities, etc level-wise
  • Modalities of intervention including resource curation, level-wise delivery, etc.
  • Physical, mental health, and wellbeing during digital education
  • Cyber safety and ethical practices including precautions and measures for maintaining cyber safety
  • Collaboration and convergence with various initiatives: To mitigate the impact of the pandemic, schools will not only have to remodel and re-imagine the way teaching and learning have happened so far, but will also need to introduce a suitable method of delivering quality education through a healthy mix of schooling at home and schooling at school.
  • They recommend that all textbooks be made digitally accessible in a phased manner, so that they are available in multiple formats such as text, audio, video and sign language with turn-on and turn-off features. Detailed technical standards have been provided.
  • The closure of regular schools and learning centres due to COVID-19 has led to special difficulties for many disabled children.
  • For instance, a recent study by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy showed that more than half of the NCERT textbooks available on the government’s virtual education platform DIKSHA were not accessible for visually impaired students.
  • The guidelines provide strategies to produce supplementary content for varying disabilities, including students who face visual and hearing challenges, those on the autism spectrum, those with intellectual or special learning disabilities, and those with multiple disabilities.
  • They note that learning activities must include audio, visual and tactile experiences, while evaluation must be multimodal.
  • Ironically enough, while the guidelines call for the use of image descriptions wherever pictures are used in order to be accessible to visually challenged students using screen readers, this is not even followed by the guidelines document itself, according to Muralidharan, secretary, National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled.

Way Forward

The guidelines do include an implementation roadmap. The next steps are the nomination of an expert technical team to update the DIKSHA platform, followed by training and development of prototypes of accessible digital textbooks.

Source: TH

Scheduled Areas and Tribal areas: Rengma Nagas demand autonomous district council

GS-II : Indian Polity Significant Provisions

Scheduled Areas and Tribal areas: Rengma Nagas demand an autonomous district council

This topic has been explained in the easiest format by Ankit Sir with Mains Answer Writing Question.

First, watch the lecture by Ankit Sir about the Difference between the 5th Schedule and the 6th Schedule of the Constitution. Click here to watch the Youtube lecture.

And then read the comprehensive write up about Difference between 5th Schedule (Scheduled areas) and 6th Schedule (Tribal areas)

What is the news?

  • The Rengma Nagas in Assam has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding an autonomous district council amid a decision by the Central and the State governments to upgrade the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) into a territorial council.
  • The KAAC population is around 12 lakh and the Karbis constitute only 3 lakh, the remaining are non-Karbis, including the Rengma Nagas, whose population is around 22,000.
  • The Rengma Naga Peoples’ Council (RNPC), a registered body, said in the memorandum that the Rengmas were the first tribal people in Assam to have encountered the British in 1839, but the existing Rengma Hills was eliminated from the political map of the State and replaced with that of Mikir Hills (now Karbi Anglong) in 1951.
  • Narrating its history, the council said that during the Burmese invasions of Assam in 1816 and 1819, it was the Rengmas who gave shelter to the Ahom refugees.
  • The petition said that the Rengma Hills was partitioned in 1963 between Assam and Nagaland at the time of creation of Nagaland State and the Karbis, who were known as Mikirs till 1976, were the indigenous tribal people of Mikir Hills.
  • Thus, the Rengma Hills and Mikir Hills were two separate entities till 1951. Karbis have no history in the Rengma Hills. People who are presently living in Rengma Hills are from Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. They speak different dialects and do not know the Karbi language of Karbi Anglong.
  • The National Socialist Council of Nagaland or NSCN (Isak-Muivah), which is in talks with the Centre for a peace deal, said in a statement that the Rengma issue was one of the important agendas of the “Indo-Naga political talks” and no authority should go far enough to override their interests.
  • More than 3,000 Rengma Nagas were forced to relocate to relief camps in 2013 after several people were killed in a series of attacks following a call given by a Karbi insurgent group.

For news on Naga Peace Accord: Click here

Source: TH

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