GS 2

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

  1. Gilgit-Baltistan to be made a full-fledged province: Pak. report

The issue in news

According to a Pakistani media report, Pakistan has decided to elevate the status of Gilgit-Baltistan to that of a full-fledged province with all constitutional rights.

Main points

  • The report said that the work on the Moqpondass Special Economic Zone would begin under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
  • The CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Pakistan’s Balochistan with China’s Xinjiang province, is the flagship project of Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • The CPEC is a collection of infrastructure and other projects under construction throughout Pakistan since 2013.

 

India’s objections:

  • India has said the Government of Pakistan or its judiciary has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it.
  • India has clearly conveyed to Pakistan that the entire union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of the country by virtue of its fully legal and irrevocable accession.
  • India expresses strong opposition to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor as it passes through the disputed territory (Gilgit-Baltistan) and hence violates India’s sovereignty.

 

  1. Pak. told to allow Queen’s Counsel

The issue in news

After being stuck on the issue of who will represent Kulbhushan Jadhav in the civilian court in Pakistan, India has invoked the Commonwealth grounds to end the debate over the appointment of his counsel.

  • The External Affairs Ministry has suggested that Pakistan should consider appointing a Queen’s Counsel for the Kulbhushan Jadhav case to ensure a free and fair trial.

 

What is Queen’s Counsel?

  • Queen’s Counsel is a barrister or advocate, appointed Counsel to the UK Crown on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor.
  • Queen’s counsels are recognised in almost all courts around the world.

 

Details:

  • The International Court of Justice had asked Pakistan to ensure a fair review of the death sentence.
  • Pakistan has not yet addressed the basic issues with respect to the case, which includes:
  • Provision of all documents related to the case.
  • Unconditional and unimpeded consular access to Shri Kulbhushan Jadhav.
  • Appointment of an Indian lawyer or a Queen’s Counsel to ensure a free and fair trial.

 

  1. U.S. keen on finalising BECA at 2+2 dialogue

The issue in news

The U.S. is keen that India sign the last foundational agreement, Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA), at the next India-U.S. 2+2 ministerial dialogue

Main points

  • Beginning 2016, India had signed three foundational agreements:
  • The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA).
  • The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA).
  • While the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) was signed a long time ago, an extension to the GSOMIA, the Industrial Security Annex (ISA), was signed at the last 2+2 dialogue.
  • BECA will allow India to use US geospatial maps to get pinpoint military accuracy of automated hardware systems and weapons such as cruise and ballistic missiles.

 

Note:

  • There has been a sharp increase in India’s maritime interactions with the Quad countries on a bilateral basis centred around information sharing for improved Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) in the Indian Ocean Region and Indo-Pacific.
  • A maritime information agreement is also under active deliberation between India and the U.S.
  • Once concluded, India will have such arrangements with all Quad countries — Australia, Japan and the U.S.

 

 

GS 3

Category: SECURITY

  1. ‘Telcos must conduct special security audit of networks’

The issue in news

The Department of Telecom has directed all telecom service providers in the country to carry out a special audit of their networks by an external agency to ensure security.

Main points

  • The modern age telecom equipment and networks used for provisioning of telecom services are prone to spyware/malwares, including the backdoor and trapdoor vulnerabilities.
  • The move comes at a time when there are renewed discussions in the country over allowing the use of telecom equipment supplied by China-headquartered firms due to security and surveillance concerns.
  • As per license conditions, the licensees had to get their networks audited for security once in a financial year by a network audit and certification agency.
  • Further, the DoT, in 2019, directed the telecom service providers to carry out Special Security Audit of their network.

 

Security Audit:

  • A security audit is a systematic evaluation of the security of a company’s information system by measuring how well it conforms to a set of established criteria.

 

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  1. Not all convalescent plasma may have protective effect

The issue in news

A multi-institutional study says that not all plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19 in India may contain enough protective antibodies.

What is convalescent plasma therapy?

  • Plasma therapy is the administration of filtered serum from the blood of those who had recovered from the infection to those who are battling it.
  • It is among the permitted off-label interventions recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in patients with moderate disease but whose oxygen saturation levels are not improving in spite of the use of steroids.

 

Main points

  • There are at least three kinds of antibodies produced in an infection: IgG, IgA, IgB but the neutralising effect was most visible only in the case of the IgGs.
  • The study underscored that only those IgG (Immunoglobulin G) antibodies that bind to the receptor-binding region of the coronavirus spike protein, which attaches itself to the body’s healthy cells and infiltrates, had a neutralising response.
  • Antibodies that bind to other parts of the virus did not succeed in provoking such a response.
  • Thus, doctors, when assessing plasma therapy, must evaluate the quality of the plasma via an assay, or a chemical test, that specifically evaluates the levels of RBD (receptor-binding domain)-specific IgG titres and not just crude IgG levels.

 

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