GS PAPER II NEWS

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Why in News

NATO along with the US will withdraw their troop from Afghanistan by September 11.

Key Points

  • The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks by jihadist organization al-Qaida.
  • The other NATO countries like Australia, New Zealand and Georgia also deployed their military forces to the South Asian country.
  • The main reason for a coordinated withdrawing is the NATO relies on US airlift capabilities and Shipping to more valuable equipment in and out of landlocked Afghanistan.
  • 1200px-NATO_OTAN_landscape_logo.svg.png An integral part of NATO’s recent mission “Resolute Support” is to train and equip Afghan security forces fighting the Islamist Taliban which was expelled from power by the US invasion in late 2001.
  • The first withdrawal of the US troop from Afghanistan will begin on 1st May.
  • After withdrawing troops, the US and NATO aim to rely on Afghan military and police forces which they develop, to maintain security though peace talks are struggling and the insurgency is resilient.

9/11 attacks in the US

  • On September 11 2001 was a series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks committed by 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda against targets in the United States, the deadliest terrorist attacks in U.S.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an inter-governmental military alliance.
  • The NATO organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.
  • It is an organization of 30 European and North American countries that constitutes a system of collective defense whereby member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.
  • Its Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels and Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.
  • Originally, it was established with 12 nations and later on it grows up to 30 member countries.
  • The most recent member state to be added to NATO was North Macedonia on 27 March 2020.
  • The 12 founding countries of NATO are: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The other countries are: Greece and Turkey (1952), Germany (1955), Spain (1982), the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland (1999), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia (2004), Albania and Croatia (2009), Montenegro (2017) and North Macedonia (2020).

GS PAPER – II

Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad)

Why in News

Recently, the Indian Navy Chief Admiral stated that if an ‘opportunity arose’ the Quad navies had the capability and capacity to come together almost in a ‘plug and play’ manner – indicating seamless integration.

Key Points

  • The Chinese Navy has seen massive expansion in recent years, with rapid addition of frontline warships with two aircraft carriers and more.
  • The US, Japan, India and Australia already enjoy a high degree of inter-operability.
  • The Chief Admiral stated that if an opportunity arises then India have the capacity and capability to come together in an almost plug and play mechanism.
  • India is the emerging power on the global stage and Indian Navy was ready to do its bit to contribute the Indo-Pacific security and stability.
  • According to the US Indo-Pacific Commander Admiral, QUAD had gained momentum and it is the “Diamond of Democracies” in the region.
  • QUAD have potential to create global economic opportunities, including diversification of supply chains and address common interests such as cyber-security, space cooperation and other advance technologies.

Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad)

  • QUAD is an informal strategic dialogue among four nations which maintained by talks between member countries.
  • This dialogue came into existence in 2007 by Prime Minister of Japan, with the support of Vice President of the US, Prime Minister of Australia and Prime Minister of India.
  • It has four members: The USA, India, Australia and Japan.
  • The dialogue was paralleled by joint military exercises of an unprecedented scale, titled Exercise Malabar.
  • The diplomatic and military arrangement was widely viewed as a response to increased Chinese economic and military power, and the Chinese government responded to the Quadrilateral dialogue by issuing formal diplomatic protests to its members.
  • The Objective is to support a “free, open and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region that China seeks to threaten.
  • In December 2012, Shinzo Abe floated the concept of Asia’s “Democratic Security Diamond” involving the members to safeguard the maritime commons from the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific.

GS PAPER – II

National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)

Why in News

Recently Union Ministry for Communication & IT and Law & Justice launched the “Online Grievance Management Portal of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)” in the august presence of Ministry of State for Social Justice & Empowerment.

Key Points

  • The Online Grievance Management Portal of NCSC was launched on the occasion of 130th birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Baba Saheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar here today.
  • The NCSC Grievance Management portal would make it easier for Scheduled Castes population to register their complaint from any part of the territory.
  • 226696_205450972827218_7707766_n.jpg The Online Grievance Management Portal shall enable Scheduled Castes to file application and other atrocity and services related grievances online and to get them addressed in a time bound manner.
  • This portal is linked to the website of Commission and one can file one’s complaint upon registering on it.
  • The facility to upload documents and audio/video files is also available.

National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)

  • The National Commission for Scheduled Castes is the constitutional body of India under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.
  • This Commission was established on 19 February 2004 under Article 338 of the Indian Constitution.
  • It was established with the objective to provide safeguards against the exploitation of Scheduled Castes and Anglo Indian communities.
  • This Commission promotes and protects the social, educational, economic and cultural interests, special provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Anglo Indian communities that were made in the Constitution.
  • Its head-quarter situated at New Delhi.

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

  • Dr Bababsaheb Ambedkar was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer.
  • He inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social discrimination towards the untouchables (Dalits).
  • He is also known as the ‘Father of the Nation’.
  • He was born on 14 April 1891 in the city of Mhow, Central Provinces (now in Madhya Pradesh).
  • On 29 August 1947, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee by the Constituent Assembly to frame India’s new Constitution.
  • Ambedkar was the first Indian to pursue a doctorate in economics abroad.

Role of Ambedkar in framing Constitution of India

  • On 15th August 1947 British Government leave the Indian by transferring power to the Mahatma Gandhi & others, & Jawaharlal Nehru became first Prime Minister of India without election.
  • The Constituent Assembly of India was formed on 6 December 1946.
  • Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was appointed as the president of drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution by the Constituent Assembly.
  • All responsibility of Indian Constitution was on the head of Dr. Ambedkar, though the committee of 7 members.
  • Granville Austin described the Indian Constitution drafted by Ambedkar asfirst and foremost a social document’.
  • Ambedkar argued for:
  • Extensive economic and social rights for women.
  • He won the Assembly’s support for introducing a system of reservations of jobs in the civil services, schools and colleges for members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and Other Backward Class, a system akin to affirmative action.

GS PAPER – III

Atal Innovation Mission

Why in News

On the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell strategically collaborates to empower Atal Tinkering Lab school students.

Key Points

  • The collaboration of AIM and AICTE aiming for World class future innovation skill.
  • They aiming to establish around 7200+ Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) schools with 2500+ Institution’s Innovation Councils (IICs) functioning in higher educational institutions (HEIs) across country.
  • In schools, ATLs provide tinkering opportunities to school students to ideate and initiate innovative projects to improve their innovative skills.
  •  IICs in HEIs engage students and faculties in innovation and entrepreneurship activities and provide opportunity to ideate, innovate and become entrepreneurs.
  • This move is aligned with the NEP 2020 objective of bridging gap between schools and higher educational institutions.

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)

  • Atal-Innovation-Mission-600x381.jpgAtal Innovation Mission (AIM) is an initiative of Government of India was setup in 2016.
  • Objective:
  • To create and promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the length and breadth of our country.
  • To develop new programmes and policies for fostering innovation in different sectors of the economy
  • It provides platforms and collaboration opportunities for different stakeholders.
  • It creates an umbrella structure to oversee the innovation & entrepreneurship ecosystem of the country.
  • It is currently monitored and managed systematically using real-time MIS systems and dynamic dashboards.

Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs)

  • AIM has launched the Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) program.
  • ATL is a state-of-the-art space established in a school with a goal to foster curiosity and innovation in young minds, across the country.
  • The aim is to stimulate a problem-solving innovative mindset within the children of the ATL and nearby communities.
  • Till date, AIM has selected 10,000 schools in 680+ districts of the country for the establishment of ATLs.

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)

  • The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is a statutory body, and a national-level council for technical education, under the Department of Higher Education.
  • It established in November 1945 first as an advisory body and later on in 1987 it made statutory body by an Act of Parliament.
  • It comes under Ministry for Human Resource Development.

Objectives of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)

  • Promotion of Quality in Technical Education.
  • Planning and Coordinated Development of Technical Education System.
  • Regulations and Maintenance of Norms and Standards.

GS PAPER – III

FASTag

Why in News

Recently the Union government stated to the Bombay High Court that making FASTag mandatory for all vehicles plying on the national highways does not breach a citizen’s fundamental right to freedom of movement in any way.

Key Points

  • The Centre submit affidavit in response to a public interest litigation challenging its decision to make FASTag, the electronic toll collection chip, mandatory for all vehicles at toll plazas on national highways.
  • The plea also challenged the government’s norm of imposing fines on vehicles flouting the FASTag rules.
  • According to the Centre, FASTag had been made compulsory on national highways to ensure seamless traffic movement and cut travel time short.
  • All decisions had been taken in accordance with the Central Motor Vehicles (CMV) Rules.
  • In case where it was not possible to fit vehicles with the tag for any reason, they were permitted to still ply on the extreme left of the FASTag lanes.
  • The Centre went on to say that the double user fees or penalties imposed on vehicles without FASTag on national highways were in accordance with the National Highway Fee (determination of rates and collection) Rules, 2008.
  • The Reserve Bank of India had announced the enhancement of national electronic toll collection and would allow easy payment options, including Unified Payments Interface.

FASTag

  • FASTag is an electronic toll collection system in India and operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
  • FasTag_3003.jpg It was established on 4 November 2014.
  • It works on the principle of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments.
  • It directly linked to the prepaid or savings account or directly toll owner for easy transactions.
  • The tag can be purchased from official Tag issuers or participating Banks and if it is linked to a prepaid account, then recharging or top-up can be as per requirement.

Significance of FASTag

  • Saves fuel and time: The vehicle registered with FASTag doesn’t need to stop at the toll plaza for the cash transaction.
  • SMS alerts for transactions: All transactions bill will receive by the users via SMS on their registered mobile numbers for tag account.
  • Online Recharge: Users can recharge online through any means of Online Transactions.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

  • This technology uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects.
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) refers to a wireless system comprised of two components: tags and readers.
  • The reader is a device that has one or more antennas that emit radio waves and receive signals back from the RFID tag.
  • Tags use radio waves to communicate their identity and other information to nearby readers, can be passive or active.

National Highway Authority of India (NHAI)

  • The National Highways Authority of India is an autonomous agency of the Government of India under Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
  • It was set up in 1988 and is responsible for management of a network of over 50,000 km of National Highways out of 1,15,000 km in India.
  • NHAI has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Space Research Organization for satellite mapping of highways.
  • Sukhbir Singh Sandhu (IAS) is the present Chairman of NHAI since 28 October 2019.