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The Hindu 19 August 2019

UPSC - Daily Current Affair







An intervention that leads to more questions



Taking on TB 



UAE to give Modi highest civilian award                                                          



A law for those who testify                                                                                   



Odisha to conserve two of its largest lakes                                                  




1. An intervention that leads to more questions                                            (The Hindu, Page 10)     


Mains: GS Paper II – Security 


Nuclear Doctrine 


Context: Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh recently announced that India’s ‘future’ commitment to a posture of No First Use of nuclear weapons ‘depends on the circumstances’. 


  • India's nuclear doctrine like any other principle of national security should be dynamic in nature and capable of change to change in international conditions. 


  • The two foundational pillars of India's nuclear doctrine are Credible Minimum Deterrence and of No first Use(NFU). 

  • NFU in simple terms means that India will not be the first country to use nuclear weapons but if any country uses any weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear weapons, or chemical or biological weapons, then India will most likely attack with nuclear weapons and if India does retaliate with nuclear weapons then it will do so at a massive scale or basically cause massive destruction to the enemy country that used nuclear weapons.

  • India’s nuclear weapons were based on staggering and punitive retaliation, in case deterrence failed. 

  • NFU showcases India to be a responsible nuclear power whereby India has shown that its nuclear weapons are for defensive purposes and we will use it only when someone uses it against us.

  • India’s self-proclaimed restraint has formed the basis for its claims to belong to the nuclear mainstream — such as the claim to membership for the Nuclear Suppliers Group and our recent membership to the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group. 

  • So according to the author, the recent statement of the defence minister makes NFU ambiguous or not clear.
    Within that regard, author raises a question in this editorial: what has changed in India’s strategic outlook that requires a revision of NFU. Whereby what are these circumstances under which NFU would not be applicable.



2. Taking on TB                                                                                                                  (The Hindu, Page 10)   


Prelims GS Paper II – Social issues 





The anti-tuberculosis drug pretomanid recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be a game changer for treating people with extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) and those who do not tolerate or respond to now available multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) drugs. The all-oral, three-drug regimen of bedaquiline, pretomanid, and linezolid (BPaL) had a 90% cure rate in a phase III trial in South Africa.

The availability of a potent drug is welcome news, it remains to be seen if it would be made affordable, particularly in the developing countries. 


About TB:

  1. Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. Tuberculosis is curable and preventable.

  2. TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.

  3. About one-quarter of the world's population has latent TB, which means people have been infected by TB bacteria but are not (yet) ill with the disease and cannot transmit the disease.

  4. People infected with TB bacteria have a 5–15% lifetime risk of falling ill with TB. However, persons with compromised immune systems, such as people living with HIV, malnutrition or diabetes, or people who use tobacco, have a much higher risk of falling ill.

  5. When a person develops active TB disease, the symptoms (such as cough, fever, night sweats, or weight loss) may be mild for many months. This can lead to delays in seeking care, and results in transmission of the bacteria to others. People with active TB can infect 10–15 other people through close contact over the course of a year. Without proper treatment, 45% of HIV-negative people with TB on average and nearly all HIV-positive people with TB will die.

  6. DOTS more than doubles the accuracy of TB diagnosis & its success rate is up to 95%. The DOTS strategy is in practice in more than 180 countries. By March 2006, India has extended DOTS to the entire country.  

  7. Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) is caused by strains of the tuberculosis bacteria resistant to the two most effective anti-tuberculosis drugs available - isoniazid and rifampicin. MDR TB can only be diagnosed in a specialized laboratory.  



3. UAE to give Modi highest civilian award                                                          (The Hindu Page 13`)


Mains: GS Paper II – International relations 




• The highest honor of Palestine given to a foreign leader ‘Grand Collar’ was bestowed upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Palestine in 2018.

• The first Indian to receive the Seoul Peace Prize was PM Narendra Modi. It was established in 1990 to commemorate the success of the 24th Olympic Games held in Seoul, South Korea. It has been awarded biennially with past laureates include Kofi Annan, Angela Merkel Doctors Without Borders, etc.

• UAE will bestow its highest decoration Zayed Medal to PM Modi in 2019 for strengthening India-UAE ties

• The highest environmental honour of the UN which is the UN Champions of the Earth Award was awarded to PM Modi in 2018 in the Leadership category for initiating the International Solar Alliance & pledging to eliminate single-use plastic in India by 2022.

• In addition, the highest civilian honour, firstly of Afghanistan Amir Amanullah Khan award & secondly of Saudi Arabia the King Abdulaziz Sash was conferred to PM Modi in 2016.

• Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, the highest civilian award of the Russian Federation through a Presidential decree. The award is being given to the Prime Minister for his distinguished achievement in developing the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between Russia and India.



4. A law for those who testify                                                            (The Hindu , pg no - 11)                                                                                            


Mains GS Paper II – Polity 


Witness protection scheme 



The Supreme Court while hearing a case in Prem Chand v State of NCT of Delhi has directed respective state governments to implement Draft Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 framed by the Centre in consultation with the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA). Witness protection scheme is necessary as it aims to protect such people who have witnessed a crime and can give evidence in a Court of law.


However, in some cases, due to harassment or undue influence, the witnesses refuse to give evidence in the Court of law leading to release of the accused due to lack of evidence. Thus, a witness protection scheme is very important not only to ensure justice but also to develop a free and fair criminal justice system. 


Draft Witness Protection Scheme-2018


Aims and Objectives

  • The objective of this Scheme is to ensure that the investigation, prosecution and trial of criminal offences is not prejudiced because witnesses are intimidated or frightened to give evidence without protection from violent or other criminal recrimination.

  • It aims to promote law enforcement by facilitating the protection of persons who are involved directly or indirectly in providing assistance to criminal law enforcement agencies and overall administration of Justice.

  • It is aimed to identify series of measures that may be adopted to safeguard witnesses and their family members from intimidation and threats against their lives, reputation and property.


Issues with implementation of witness protection scheme

  • The objective of the scheme which is to ensure the safety of witnesses, so that they

are able to give a true account of the crime without any fear of violence or criminal

recrimination, however its implementation on the ground is poor, which leaves

much room for laxity. Eg The Unnao matter would have been hushed up but for the

fact that the survivor attempted to immolate herself in front of the Chief Minister’s


  • Further, though the scheme provides for police personnel to be deployed to protect

the witness on the basis of threat perception, it is silent on the punishment to be

given to those policemen who, while being charged with providing security,

themselves threaten the witnesses. Eg Why were the policemen tasked with

protecting the Unnao survivor not with her when she travelled to Rae Bareli? Were

they aware that a sinister plan had probably been hatched to eliminate her


  • politician-police nexus : Due to the politician-police nexus , the criminals get the

support from the police themselves. Further, no policeman who is at the mercy of

political leaders for his career progression, dares to take any action against his

‘master’. As long as this nexus continues, the delivery of criminal justice in India will

remain a casualty.


Witness protection is a dire need of the hour and India needs to come up with a suitable and

comprehensive legislation to protect the witnesses so as to strengthen the administration of criminal


The steps need to be taken are:

  • The manner in which cases are being prosecuted, investigative and prosecuting machinery, has to be improved.

  • There should be separation of the investigating authorities from the law and order duties.

  • Support by an effective and efficient investigation is need of the hour.

  • Adequate provisions should be made for constitution of special investigation teams for speedy investigation.

  • Special legislation is required to protect the rights of witnesses so that they depose freely and without intimidation.

  • In criminal cases, witnesses be permitted to record their evidence in-camera, or by video-links or other audiovisual techniques. They should be protected from all types of harassment and treated with dignity.

  • To save the witnesses from the trouble of appearing before the courts time and again, speeding up of the trial is also required to prevent the witnesses from turning around their statements.

  • However, when witnesses change their versions, make false statements with impunity in the courts, they should be dealt with seriously for committing the offence of perjury, since it leads to conviction of an innocent and acquittal of a criminal. Failure of system to address perjury has engendered a callous disregard for the sanctity of court proceedings. Such law needs to be made more stringent and put into practice more frequently. Witnesses play a key role in the proper direction of a criminal case.



  • The Witness Protection Scheme calls for more elaborate and stricter laws to be

incorporated so that criminals find no loopholes that can be exploited to their


  • The sooner the Centre comes up with a legislation codifying the protection to be

given to witnesses, the better it is for India’s criminal justice system.



5. Odisha to conserve two of its largest lakes                                                  (The Hindu Pg no 06)


Prelims GS paper I – Environment 




News : The Odisha Wetland Authority has approved implementation of an integrated management plan for Chilika, country’s largest brackish water lagoon, and Ansupa, State’s largest freshwater lake, at an estimated investment of ₹180 crore.


About chilika lake

  • It comprises ‘ marine, brackish and freshwater ecosystem’

  • It is a shallow lagoon ( Lagoon is a body of water separated from large body of water like sea) .

  • It is the largest lagoon in India 

  • It is the largest watering ground for migratory waterfowl in Indian subcontinent. 



  • Located in puri, Khurda and ganjam district of Odisha 

  • It is fed by 52 rivers and rivulets 

  • The large Nalabana Island (Forest of Reeds) covering about 16 sq km in the lagoon area was declared a bird sanctuary in 1987. 


Protection status 

  • Migratory birds have been protected under Wildlife protection act 1972

  • It is a designated Ramsar Site – Is a wetland of international importance.

  • It is home to irrawady dolphin – Which is listed as endangered under IUCN 

  • The lake was included in Montreax record (Threatened) list in 1993 

  • However it was removed from the montreax record in 2002 due to successful restoration by chilika development authority.It was the first site to be removed from montreaux record.