Daily Current Affairs: January 7, 2021

SC to study anti-conversion laws of Uttarakhand and U.P.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to examine the constitutional validity of laws enacted by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, that criminalise religious conversion via marriage and mandate prior official clearance before marrying into another faith.

  • The Supreme Court however did not stay the implementation of the Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 and the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018,.
  • The court fixed a hearing in four weeks.
  • The petition filed by advocates Vishal Thakre and A.S. Yadav and researcher Pranvesh, who were represented by advocates Sanjeev Malhotra and Pradeep Kumar Yadav, said the laws were against public policy and society at large.
  • “These laws will create fear in society and become a potent tool in the hands of bad elements to falsely implicate anyone. A grave injustice will be done by the ordinances… They will create a chaotic situation,” it said.
  • A series of Supreme Court verdicts underline that the choice of a life partner, whether by marriage or outside it, was part of an individual’s “personhood and identity”.

India’s Maritime Strategy

  • Today, the enemy at sea is often unrecognisable.
  • A nation like India faces many threat from maritime border.
  • It could be a terrorist, a pirate, a criminal or a sea robber.
  • Law enforcement agencies today always have to be on the guard.
  • The Indian Navy has been on a drive to improve domain awareness in the Indian Ocean.
  • The Navy is seeking to expand India’s surveillance footprint by setting up radar stations in the Maldives, Myanmar and Bangladesh; Mauritius, the Seychelles and Sri Lanka have already integrated into the wider coastal radar chain network.
  • Indian Navy has been monitoring Chinese activity in the Eastern Indian Ocean.
  • India’s biggest concern is the expanding presence of China in the eastern littorals.
  • Maritime strategy is not always about conflicts. It is also about cooperation in the sea.
  • Seven Indian Ocean countries — Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Mauritius and the Seychelles — are likely to post Liaison Officers at the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region in Gurugram.
  • India is also expanding its presence in the Western Indian Ocean by positioning a Liaison Officer at the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC) in Madagascar.
  • RMIFC was established under the auspices of the Indian Ocean Commission .
  • India joined the recently as an ‘observer’.
  • The RMIFC is a key centre of maritime information in the Western Indian Ocean.
  • India’s moves in the Western and South Western littorals have been facilitated by France.
  • France has been instrumental in securing ‘observer’ status for India at the Indian Ocean Commission.
  • Quieter submarines built by China will be hard to detect in the near-seas.
  • Reports suggest that China has been mapping the undersea terrain in the approaches to the Indian Ocean Region.
  • India has moved to expand its underwater detection capabilities in the Eastern chokepoints.

This note is based on Boosting India with maritime domain awareness, published in The Hindu

Greenhouse gas emissions from man-managed grasslands

According to a new study, published in Nature, emissions of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from grasslands increased by a factor of 2.5 since 1750 mainly due to increased emissions from livestock.

This has more than compensated for reduced emissions from the shrinking number of wild grazers.

According to the study, full greenhouse gas reporting for each country could facilitate the assessment of progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and better link national greenhouse gas budgets to the observed growth rates of emissions in the atmosphere.

In the context of low-warming climate targets, the mitigating or amplifying role of grasslands will depend on a number of aspects. This includes future changes in grass-fed livestock numbers, stability of accumulated soil carbon in grassland and whether carbon storage can be further increased over time or if it will saturate, as observed in long-term experiments.