Hope you had a good celebration of Makar Sakaranti. In today’s selection of news for UPSC aspirants, we bring you news around an international tragedy, developments into the state of curfew in Kashmir and a special pension for army in ‘65 and ‘71 wars:
Avalanches in POK kill 100
Heavy snowfall in PoK has left about 100 dead in last two days, according to data released by Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority. Heavy, continuous snowfall has engulfed large parts of the area, turning into a deathtrap.
News reports have lauded the miraculuous escape of a 12-year-old, who had been found alive, after being buried in snow for 18 hours.
The death toll in Neelum Valley in the area, is currently at 74, as rescuers continue to uncover more bodies. The injured are receiving treatment and being airlifted from the avalanche-hit area. More heavy snowfall is expected in the area.
Snowfalls, landslides, floods, droughts are annual and bi-annual disasters for the Indian subcontinent. Disaster management, relief and rebuilding efforts are still organised on a case by case basis, largely in the middle of a calamity.
A UPSC aspirant can do well by reading up on existing disaster management systems and mechanisms.
36 Union Ministers to head to J&K on awareness
36 Union ministers are due to head to Jammu & Kashmir for an awareness campaign around the abrogation of Article 370. The ministers will visit different districts in both divisions of the union territory from January 18 to January 24.
They will visit 51 places in Jammu and 8 in the valley, including Baramulla and Sopore.
This initiative is in line with Home Minister Amit Shah’s move to spread the awareness about the pros of abrogation of Article 370 and the development the state will see after being made a Union Territory.
They aim to diffuse fears that the loss of special status will have on jobs, education and land for Kashmiri people.
Since the removal of Article 370, measures have been taken and some laws have also been formed wherein a person has to have a mandatory stay of 15 years in the state to be a domicile of the state and have the share in the job, land and education of the Union Territory.
This will be the second round of visit by the Union Ministers after the abrogation of Article 370 since August 5.The aim of the visit is to educate the mass section of people on the positives of the state being turned to Union Territory and removing Article 370.
The ministers would share the plan and vision of their ministries for the development of the region and to strengthen the integration of people of Jammu and Kashmir with the country.
J&K has been under the blanket of silence since the centre abrogated Article 370,stripping the region of special status and power hood.
Army plans new pension for officers in ‘65 and ‘71 wars:
The Indian Army has proposed a plan to provide special pension to the officers who fought the 1965 and 1971 war. Around 2,000 officers are there who fought these two wars but were either a short service commissioned or emergency recruited in Army.
The Army has planned to provide special pension to the 1965 and 1971 war veterans as the proposal for the same has been sent to the Defense Ministry by Army headquarters after consideration. Both the wars were fought against Pakistan and those 2,000 short service and emergency commissioned officers played big roles in the war.
The 1971 war which ended in Pakistan signing the instrument of surrender saw scores of those officers in the action who played crucial roles for Indian Army but till date no pension or even their absorption in Army was done. They all may soon start getting a monthly pension of 30,000.
The two wars that were fought between India and Pakistan included all the three services and to do away the shortage of officers, a large number of emergency and short service commissioned officers were induced.
The proposed pension scheme is on the lines of 'Ministry of Home Affairs' scheme for freedom fighters and their families.
The pension scheme would be somewhat like 'Swatantra Sensaman pension. Scheme'
The development on this matter came after the creation of Chief of Defense Staff.
UNSC members don’t entertain bid for Kashmir issue, ask for bilateral resolution
United Nations Security Council saw China raise the Kashmir issue and request for a resolution from the Council.
This request was raised at the behest of Pakistan. Members like UK, France and Russia however want this issue to be solved bilaterally, between India and Pakistan.
This is the third attempt by China to grant in the last 5 months (since August) to bring the Kashmir issue to the UNSC. The first one was made shortly after August 5, when Article 370 granting special status to J&K was removed.
Last month, there was another attempt to bring the issue to the Council, behind closed doors. That attempt was also blocked by the 4 nations, who hold Kashmir as an internal matter.
The Chinese President Xi Jinping had reiterated support to ally Pakistan in issues related to its own interests. China has also criticised India’s reorganisation of J&K, making Ladakh a union territory. Ladakh shares a border with China and there are many regions in Ladakh which China claims as its own.
All The Best To All The UPSC 2020 Aspirants !