Why in news? For the first time, India and Pakistan will be part of a multi-nation counter-terror exercise in Russia in September for a peace mission.
India-Pak Peace mission:
For the first time, India and Pakistan will be part of a multi-nation counter-terror exercise in Russia in September, which will also be joined by China and several other countries.
The military exercise will take place under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
SCO is a China-dominated security grouping which is increasingly seen as a counterweight to NATO.
The military drill would be held in the Ural Mountains of Russia, and almost all SCO member countries will be part of it.
The main aim of the exercise, Peace Mission, will be to enhance counter-terror cooperation among the eight member countries.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation:
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a Eurasianpolitical, economic, and security organization.
It was created by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter was signed in June 2002 and entered into force on 19 September 2003.
These countries, except for Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five group, founded on 26 April 1996 in Shanghai.
The Secretariat of the SCO is the primary executive body of the organisation.
It serves to implement organisational decisions and decrees, drafts proposed documents (such as declarations and agendas), function as a document depository for the organisation, arranges specific activities within the SCO framework, and promotes and disseminates information about the SCO.
It is located in Beijing.
The main work areas of the SCO are:
Cooperation on security
India’s membership of SCO:
India and Pakistan were admitted as observers of the grouping in 2005.
Both the countries were admitted as full members only recently.
India’s membership was strongly pushed by Russia, while Pakistan’s entry into the grouping was backed by China.
With expansion of the grouping, SCO now represents over 40% of humanity and nearly 20% of the global GDP.
India feels that as an SCO member, it will be able to play a major role in addressing the threat of terrorism in the region.
It is also keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS), which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.
FACT # 2
Why in news? NAG missile has recently been developed by DRDO.
Nag, also known as Nag (Nāga; “Cobra”) is a third generation “fire-and-forget” anti-tank missile, along with the Missile Carrier Vehicle (NAMICA), developed in India.
It is one of five missile systems developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
Nag has been developed at a cost of ₹3 billion (US$45.9 million).
The Nag has top attack capabilities that can effectively engage and destroy all known enemy tanks during day and night.
This will give a quantum boost to the Army’s capability against enemy armour.
In addition to basic land and helicopter variants the DRDO is now developing number of advanced variants of the Nag missile namely:
Air launched version
FACT # 3
Why in news? Recently Government has proposed an amendment of POCSO Act to make it gender-neutral.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 was formulated in order to effectively address sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children.
The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age.
It defines different forms of sexual abuse, including penetrative and non-penetrative assault, as well as sexual harassment and pornography.
It deems a sexual assault to be “aggravated” under certain circumstances, such as when the abused child is mentally ill or when the abuse is committed by a person in a position of trust or authority like a family member, police officer, teacher, or doctor.
The Act also casts the police in the role of child protectors during the investigative process.
Thus, the police personnel receiving a report of sexual abuse of a child are given the responsibility of making urgent arrangements for the care and protection of the child, such as obtaining emergency medical treatment for the child and placing the child in a shelter home, and bringing the matter in front of the CWC, should the need arise.
The Act further makes provisions for avoiding the re-victimisation of the child at the hands of the judicial system.
It provides for special courts that conduct the trial in-camera and without revealing the identity of the child, in a manner that is as child-friendly as possible.
Hence, the child may have a parent or other trusted person present at the time of testifying and can call for assistance from an interpreter, special educator, or other professional while giving evidence.
Above all, the Act stipulates that a case of child sexual abuse must be disposed of within one year from the date the offence is reported.
The Act also provides for mandatory reporting of sexual offences.
This casts a legal duty upon a person who has knowledge that a child has been sexually abused to report the offence; if he fails to do so, he may be punished with six months’ imprisonment and/ or a fine.