A report on “Trends in International arms transfers 2019” has been released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) recently.
Saudi Arabia the top largest arms importer in the world followed by India, Egypt, Australia and China.
Russia has been the top supplier to the Indian market between 2015-19 although the Indian weapons market for Russia decreased to 56%.
The top 5 arms importers countries account for 36% of the total arms imports in the world.
The U.S. was the largest exporter of major arms with a delivery of 76% more material than Russia.
The U.S. contributed about 35 percent of all the world’s arms exports during 2015-19 and half of the weapons exported to the Middle East only.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI):
It was founded in 1966 as an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflicts, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden
The members of Karnataka State Wildlife Board have strongly opposed the Hubballi-Ankola Railway Line Project.
The proposed railway line is 164.44 km and passes through the forests of two protected areas viz. Kali Tiger Reserve and Bedthi Conservation Reserve.
This project involves large-scale destruction of forests and hence the permission of the board is required as the forest between two protected areas acts as a corridor.
The project was announced in 1997 and was rejected by the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Environment and Forests had opposed it, and even the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had rejected it twice on the grounds that the damage caused due to such a project is irreversible.
(Source: The Hindu)
Kali Tiger Reserve: It is a tiger reserve that is located in Karnataka and comprises of Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and Anshi National Park. The tiger reserve forests are moist deciduous and semi-evergreen. Some of the animals found in this reserve are Leopard, Spotted Deer, Hanuman Langur, etc.
State Boards for Wildlife are constituted under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The members of the board include Chief Minister of State (Chairman) and Forest Minister of the State (Vice-Chair) among others.
The Supreme Court has directed the States and Union Territories to implement the recommendations made by the second National Judicial Pay Commission.
The Second National Judicial Pay Commission recommended to nearly triple the pay and allowances for subordinate judiciary.
The Commission has recommended that the starting pay for a Junior Civil Judge/First Class Magistrate should be increased from Rs.27,700 to Rs.77,840.
The next higher post of Senior Civil Judge starts with the pay of Rs.1,11,000 and that of the District Judge Rs.1,44,840.
In its 28 February order, the Supreme Court highlighted that a financially subordinate judiciary is important to maintain independence of judiciary.
National Judicial Pay Commission:
The first Judicial Pay Commission was formed in 1996 which was headed by Justice K. Jagannatha Shetty and it gave its report in 1999.
The second Judicial Pay Commission was formed in 2017 pursuant to the Order of the Supreme Court in All India Judges Association case. The Commission is chaired by former judge of Supreme Court, Justice P.V. Reddi.
The third edition of WION’s global summit was held recently in Dubai.
Theme for 2020 Summit- “Navigating and negotiating global imperatives”
The subjects ranging from rise of nationalism and India’s place in the emerging world to combating climate change were discussed during the summit.
During the discussions, former minister of Pakistan recalled the plans for Sir Creek Pact.
Sir Creek Dispute:
The dispute is mainly due to the interpretation of the maritime boundary between the Sindh province of Pakistan and Kutch region of India.
In the early 20th century, Rao of Kutch and the Chief Commissioner of Sindh Province of British India had different opinions on the boundaries and claimed the creek.
The Government of Bombay conducted a survey and gave the verdict in 1914. The verdict had two contradictory paragraphs- Paragraph 9 and 10 that is creating issue between the two countries.
Paragraph 9 says that the boundary between Kutch and Sindh lies to the east of the Creek known as Green Line which means that the creek belonged to Sindh region and, therefore, to Pakistan.
According to international law and the Thalweg principle, a boundary can only be fixed in the middle of the navigable channel, and since Paragraph 10 states that Sir Creek is navigable most of the year, India claims that a boundary should be drawn from the mid of the Sir Creek.
It was originally known as Ban Ganga and later named Sir Creek after a British representative. It is 96-km strip of water which is significant for both the countries due to its strategic location, and potential reserve of oil and natural gas. It is considered to be one of the largest fishing grounds in Asia.
Q1. What is Sir Creek dispute? Mention the significance of the Sir Creek. (200 words)
Q2. What is the role of State Wildlife Boards in giving permission to infrastructure projects that have potential to harm the ecosystem? (125 words)