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Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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Jallianwala Bagh shameful act in British-Indian history: British envoy

News

  • British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith termed the massacre at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, a hundred years ago, “a shameful act in British-Indian history.

Beyond News

  • Asquith was in Amritsar to pay tribute at the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial to mark the centenary of the tragedy.
  • On the 100th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre – when a peaceful gathering was fired upon by British Indian Army soldiers in Amritsar in 1919 – Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said here that an “appropriate expression of apology” was needed for closure.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

India, ASEAN vow to step up ties in maritime sector, boost connectivity

News

  • India and ASEAN have resolved to strengthen ties by deepening cooperation in the maritime sector and boosting connectivity.

Beyond News

  • The two sides made the affirmations at the 21st ASEAN-India Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) held on April 11-12.
  • The ASEAN-India SOM reviewed the strategic partnership and its future direction.
  • It assessed the progress of cooperation under all three pillars — political-security, economic and socio-cultural, the MEA said.
  • The SOM leaders also exchanged views on regional and international issues of interest to ASEAN and India.
  • They agreed to deepen maritime cooperation as decided at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit 2018. In this context, they proposed to undertake a variety of measures, including enhanced cooperation in the sub-sector of Blue Economy.
  • It was decided at the meeting to give an impetus to ASEAN-India connectivity in all its forms.
  • The two sides also discussed the ways and means to further deepen cooperation on financial matters as well as overall strengthening of the ASEAN Secretariat.
  • The two sides also vowed to step up cooperation in renewable energy and hold an ASEAN-India Conference on Renewable Energy in 2019. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) would be the co-partners for this project.
  • The ASEAN-India partnership is being implemented through the “Plan of Action (2016-20) to implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for peace, progress and shared prosperity”.

Oil import from Iran may be reduced as U.S. mulls waiver

News

  • Indian officials are working closely with U.S. officials to ensure that two upcoming deadlines in early May, for the extension of the Iran oil sanctions waiver, as well as the final decision on withdrawing India’s preferential Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) status, end positively for the government, multiple sources in Delhi and Washington confirmed.

Beyond News

  • While the decision on the GSP could be deferred until after elections, the discussions on the Iran oil sanctions waiver have indicated an extension is likely, with India allowed a lower quantity of oil imports from Iran.
  • Last week, following discussions with U.S. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelkar, who visited Delhi in early April to discuss U.S. nuclear-related sanctions on Iran and the global coalition to combat Iran’s state support for terrorism and ongoing malign behaviour, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said both sides had been “continuously engaged” on the issue of India’s oil imports from Iran since November.
  • India, Turkey and China remain the only countries with significant imports. After initial defiance where it said it only recognised “UN sanctions, not unilateral sanctions”, the Modi government has softened its stand in negotiations for the sanctions waiver from America.
  • S. is considering an extension of the six-month waiver, but reducing the quantity of oil India can import from the previous allowance of nine million barrels a month.
  • Despite the appeals, U.S. officials say there has been a growing sense of frustration in their administration on trade issues.
  • According to the officials, out of the nine outstanding issues on trade, the two sides were able to narrow differences on all but two or three, which were irreconcilable, and led to the U.S. notice on cancelling GSP.
  • These include the issue of certifying dairy products from “vegetarian” cows, and the price caps on medical devices like stents both of which had originally triggered the GSP review in April 2018.
  • The U.S. also remains concerned about duties and regulations in the Information Technology industry, an issue for which the European Union has filed a case against India at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) this week.
  • In addition, officials said the U.S. is watching India’s decision on 5G technology closely, particularly the fate of the bid by Chinese company Huawei, given the U.S.’s cases against it.

Drug advisory board proposes stringent norms for medical devices

News

  • In a move that would give end users more protection while using a medical device, the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), India’s top drug advisory body, has recommended that the Health Ministry should notify all medical devices under the drug laws.

Beyond News

  • When enforced, this translates into medical devices being treated as drugs, more stringent tracking systems, mandatory reporting of all adverse reactions and registration of device before it is allowed into the market.
  • A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting earlier this month and the recommendations, when brought in for implementation by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), would be introduced in a phased manner to help the manufactures/importers adhere to the new laws.
  • Currently of the 5,000-6,000 medical devices in the Indian market, there are only 23 notified medical devices under government control.
  • When enforced, medical devices will be recognised as drugs under Section 3 (b) (iv) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
  • The decision, however, has not gone down well with the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMED) which says that all medical devices need to be regulated under a separate medical devices-specific law.
  • AIMED has also asked the government to stick to the earlier assurance given to the industry by the Ministry in 2016, which included a four-step plan of starting with Medical Devices Rules (MDR), initially experimenting with a few electronic devices under MDR, amending MDR as per experience gained after six months of introduction and simultaneously drafting a Medical Device Patient Safety Bill to be reviewed and passed by Parliament.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

513 ceasefire violations by Pakistan post Balakot strike: Army

News

  • As many as 513 ceasefire violations by Pakistan have taken place along the line of control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir in the past one-and-a-half month and the Pakistan Army has suffered five to six times more casualties than the Indian Army in the retaliatory action, a senior officer said.

Beyond News

  • The Pakistan Army also used heavy weaponry like mortars and artillery guns in over 100 times during these violations and targeted civilian areas but was given a befitting response by the Indian Army.
  • Almost 513 ceasefire violations happened in the past one-and-a-half month and over 100 times during these violations, the Pakistan Army used heavy weapons like mortars and artillery guns and targeted civilian areas. Only yesterday [Friday], four civilians, including two girls, were injured in Poonch.
  • Ten people, including four security personnel, have been killed and nearly 45 others, mostly civilians, injured in the twin districts since India’s preemptive air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26 in response to the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
  • Some incidents of sniping took place earlier and accordingly we have taken some measures to strengthen our As per the data this year, only three incidents of sniping by the Pakistan Army were reported from January to February 26 in which one of the fatalities include a civilian porter.

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