Current Affair – May 12, 2021

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

What’s happening in Jerusalem?

  • On Monday, Israeli armed forces stormed Al­Aqsa Mos­que in the Haramesh­ Sharif in Jerusalem, ahead of a march by Zionist nationalists commemorating Israel’s capture of the eastern half of the city in 1967.
  • More than 300 Palestinians were in­jured in the raid. In retalia­tion, Hamas, the Islamist militant group that runs Ga­za, fired dozens of rockets that killed two Israelis. Israel launched an airstrike on Ga­za in response, killing 26 Pal­estinians, including militants and nine children. 

Sheikh Jarrah dispute

  • Earlier this year, the Central Court in East Jerusa­lem upheld a decision to ev­ict four Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah in favour of Jewish set­tlers. The Israeli Supreme Court was scheduled to hear the case on May 10. But the hearing was postponed on advice from the government amid the ongoing violence in Jerusalem. The issue re­mains unresolved.   Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced out of their homes when the State of Israel was created in historic Palestine in 1948 (the Palestinians call the events ‘Nakba’, or catas­trophe).
  •  28 of those Palestinian families moved to Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem to settle there. In 1956, when East Je­rusalem was ruled by Jor­dan, the Jordanian Ministry of Construction and Deve­lopment and the UN Relief and Works Agency facilitat­ed the construction of hous­es for these families in Sheikh Jarrah.
  • But Israel would capture East Jerusa­lem from Jordan in 1967. By the early 1970s, Jewish agen­cies started demanding the families leave the land.
  • Jew­ish committees claimed that the houses sat on land they purchased in 1885 (when Jews, facing persecution in Europe, were migrating to historic Palestine that was part of the Ottoman Em­pire).

Why Jerusalem?

  • Jerusalem has been at the centre of the Israeli­ Palesti­nian conflict.
  • According to the original 1947 UN Parti­tion Plan, Jerusalem was proposed to be an international city.
  •  But in the first Arab Israel war of 1948, the Israelis captured the western half of the city, and Jordan took the eastern part, in­cluding the Old City that houses Haram esh­Sharif.
  • Israel captured East Jeru­salem from Jordan in the 1967 Six­Day War and an­nexed it later.
  • Since its an­nexation, Israel has expand­ed settlements in East Jerusalem, which is now home for some 220,000 Jews.
  • Jews born in East Jeru­salem are Israeli citizens, while Palestinians in the city are given conditional resi­dency permits. Palestinians in East Jerusalem, unlike other parts of the occupied West Bank, can, however, apply for Israeli citizenship. Very few Palestinians have done so.
  • Israel sees the whole city as its “unified, eternal capi­tal”, a claim endorsed by Do­nald Trump when he was U.S. President but not recog­nised by most other coun­tries. Palestinian leaders across the political spectrum have maintained that they would not accept any com­ promise formula for a future Palestinian state unless East Jerusalem is its capital.

·  Al­Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, and the Dome of the Rock are situated within Haram esh-­Sharif (Noble Sanctuary).·      
   One side of the compound, called Temple Mount by the Jews, is the Wailing Wall (Western Wall), which is believed to be the remains of the Second Jew­ish Temple, the holiest site in Judaism.
Source: The Hindu

G7

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not attend the G7 summit in the United Kingdom next month. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has invited PM Modi to attend the G7 Summit as a Special Invitee. However, given the prevailing COVID situation, the Prime Minister will not attend the summit in person.

  • It is an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975

 by the top economies of the time as an informal forum to discuss pressing world issues.

  • The G-7 or ‘Group of Seven’ are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Canada joined the group in 1976, and the European Union began attending in 1977.
  • The G-7 does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters. The decisions taken by leaders during annual summits are non-binding.

The G-7 was known as the ‘G-8’ for several years after the original seven were joined by Russia in 1997. The Group returned to being called G-7 after Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 following the latter’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.

Significance

  • G-7 and G-20
    • The G-20 is a larger group of countries, which also includes G7 members. Apart from the G-7 countries, the G-20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey.
    • The G-20 was formed in 1999, in response to a felt need to bring more countries on board to address global economic concerns.
    • As opposed to the G-7, which discusses a broad range of issues, deliberations at the G-20 are confined to those concerning the global economy and financial markets.  Initially formed as an effort by the US and its allies to discuss economic issues, the G-7 forum has deliberated about several challenges over the decades, such as the oil crashes of the 1970s, the economic changeover of ex-Soviet bloc nations, and many pressing issues such as financial crises, terrorism, arms control, and drug trafficking.
  • The rise of India, China, and Brazil over the past few decades has reduced the G-7’s relevance, whose share in global GDP has now fallen to around 40%.

G-7 and G-20
·         The G-20 is a larger group of countries, which also includes G7 members. Apart from the G-7 countries, the G-20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey.
·         The G-20 was formed in 1999, in response to a felt need to bring more countries on board to address global economic concerns.
·         As opposed to the G-7, which discusses a broad range of issues, deliberations at the G-20 are confined to those concerning the global economy and financial markets.
Source: The Hindu

Strait of Hormuz

  • Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard rejected the U.S. Navy’s claim that fast­approaching Iranian speedboats in the Strait of Hormuz sparked a tense encounter in the already sensitive region.
  • The Revolutionary Guard said Americans were guilty of using “unprofessional behaviour” and should more strictly “abide by international regulations.”
  • A day earlier, the U.S. said that 13 armed speedboats came too close to U.S. Navy vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.
Source: The Hindu

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

  • A week after issuing an advisory, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has reiterated that the government must protect the rights of people during the second wave of the pandemic.
  • It said it also asked for 24/7 toll­free helplines and fiding of treatment prices. It had issued an advisory to the Health Ministry and all States and Union Territories on May 4.

About NHRC

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India was established on 12 October, 1993. The statute under which it is established is the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993 as amended by the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2006.

Composition:

  • It consists of a Chairperson and three members. Of the three members atleast one will be a woman.
  • The chairperson is a retired chief justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • They hold office for a term of three years or until they attain the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.
  • They are appointed by the President on the recommendations of a six-member committee consisting of:  
    • Prime Minister (head)
    • Speaker of the Lok Sabha
    • Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
    • Leaders of the Opposition in both the Houses of Parliament
    • Union Home Minister.
      Chairperson for National Commission for Minorities, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, National Commission for Backward Classes and Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities act as ex-officio members.

They are appointed by the President on the recommendations of a six-member committee consisting of:
 
·         Prime Minister (head)
·         Speaker of the Lok Sabha
·         Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
·         Leaders of the Opposition in both the Houses of Parliament
·         Union Home Minister.

What are Human Rights?

  • As per the UN definition, Human rights are inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, gender, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. These rights are entitled to all humans without any discrimination.
  • Section 2(1)(d) of the PHRA defines Human Rights as the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India.
Source: The Hindu

Child trafficking during Covid-19

  • According to UNICEF, India has over 30 mil­lion orphan and abandoned children. Unfor­tunate parental deaths during Covid-19 has added unknown numbers of orphans to the list. Many chil­dren escaped monitoring by the official ma­chinery due to the breakdown of systems.
  • Today, some people are offering infants for instant adoption by sell­ing sob stories of how the children have lost their parents to the dreaded virus. These un­scrupulous people target gullible persons who fall into the trap, little realising that such adoptions are illegal. The lack of inputs for proper procedures for legal adoption and hasty sentimental considerations are ex­ploited for exorbitant sums of money. This business of criminal trading of children must be checked.

Protection granted by the law

  •  The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) law was enacted in 2015.
  • The Juve­nile Justice Rules of 2016 and the Adoption Regulations of 2017 followed to create the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CA­RA) as a statutory body for the regulation, monitoring and control of all intra­country and inter­country adoptions.
  • Furthermore, CARA became pivotal in granting a ‘no objec­tion’ certificate for all inter­country adop­tions, pursuant to India becoming a signato­ry to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co­operation in Respect of In­tercountry Adoptions.
  • India is also a signato­ry to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Thus, protections afforded to children became a legal mandate of all authorities and courts. Laws were enacted. Machineries and mechanisms created were put in place.

About Juvenile justice Act

  • The Juvenile Justice Act is a secular law. All persons are free to adopt children under this law. However, persons professing the Hindu religion are free to adopt under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act of 1956.
  • Rehabilitation of all orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children is regulated by the strict mandatory procedures of the Adop­tion Regulations.
  • Children of relatives can al­so be adopted under the Juvenile Justice Act.
  • Only such children declared legal­ly free for adoption under the Juvenile Jus­tice Act by prescribed procedures can be adopted.
  • Any person or organisation offer­ing or receiving such children for adoption in violation of the Juvenile Justice Act and the Adoption Regulations invites punishment up to three years and a fine of ₹1 lakh or both.

Adoption Procedure within India

  • The eligibility of prospective adoptive pa­rents living in India, duly registered on the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS), irrespective of marital status and religion, is adjudged by specialised adoption agencies preparing home study reports.
  • Upon approval, as per seniority in the adoption list, prospective children are offered and pre-adoption foster care follows.
  • The specialised adoption agen­cy then secures court orders approving the adoption.

Procedure for NRIs

  • All non­resident persons ap­proach authorised adoption agencies in their foreign country of residence for regis­tration under CARINGS.
  • Their eligibility is adjudged by authorised foreign adoption agencies through home study reports.
  • As per seniority, they are offered profiles of chil­dren and child study reports are finalised.
  • CARA then issues a pre­adoption ‘no objec­tion’ certificate for foster care, followed by a court adoption order.
  • A final ‘no objection’ certificate from CARA or a conformity certif­icate under the adoption convention is man­datory for a passport and visa to leave India.

Way forward

  • CARA must con­duct an outreach programme on social me­dia, newspapers and TV, warning everyone not to entertain any illegal adoption offers under any circumstances whatsoever.
  • The legal process of adoption must be adequately publicised.
  • The National and State Commis­ sions for Protection of Child Rights must step up their roles as vigilantes, as they are empo­wered by law to take effective action against those engaging in illegal activities.
  • Social ac­tivists, NGOs and enlightened individuals must report all the incidents that come to their notice.
  • Respective State Legal Services Authorities have the infrastructure and ma­chinery to stamp out such unlawful practices brought to their attention.
  • Media must publicise and shame all those involved in this disreputable occupation. Innocent children deprived of the love and care of their natural parents due to tragedies cannot fall prey to traders of human smuggling.
  • Police authorities need to be extra vigilant in apprehending criminals. A joint private­public venture must come into mo­tion. Every citizen of the nation has a role to play in eradicating this unhealthy practice
Source: The Hindu

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