News Analysis 02 Sept, 2022

02 Sep, 2022


1. Stockholm +50
2. Ending Ultra Poverty in India.
3. Armed Forces ( Special Powers) Act,1958.

1. Stockholm +50


Theme : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment , Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.




                              TABLE OF CONTENT

  1. Context

  2. Stockholm Conference

  3. Aftermath of the Stockholm Conference

  4. Stockholm +50


  6. Minamata Convention


Context :
Global Community  celebrated 50 years of the Stockholm Conference, which was held in June 1972.



Stockholm Conference :

  • The conference took place in Stockholm, Sweden in June 1972, with ‘Only One Earth’ as its theme and was officially called ‘United Nations Conference on Environment’. The Conference was first suggested by Sweden to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1968 with the idea of uniting the global community in discussions on human interaction with the Environment.

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP): UNEP was born as a result of the Stockholm Conference. The developing countries supported the idea of UNEP, majorly because it was one of the first international organizations, with its headquarters in the Third World, viz. Nairobi, in Kenya.


Aftermath of the Stockholm Conference :

  • Pooled Sovereignty: Environmental Conservation has created a situation where the nations need to take decisions which may not be directly in their self-interest at a given instant. However, the need for sustainable development dictates making decisions in favor of collective good and following up on them. This is referred to as Pooled Sovereignty.

  • Ministries of Environment: Stockholm Conference was a critical juncture in Environment conscience as it led to the growth of environmental institutions. For e.g., till 1972, no country had an Environment Ministry. After the Conference, Norway was the first country which set up the same. India followed up in 1985 by setting up the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

  • Ozone Hole: The emergence of Ozone Hole over the Antarctic was one of the first triggers of global environmental governance. It was the first time the nations realized the importance of Global Commons and recognized the fact that just like degradation, restoration of the Environment cannot be an individual effort.

  • Prominence of Environmental Issues: The importance of Stockholm Conference lies in mainstreaming the Environmental conservation issues like Acid Rain, Extinction of Species, and other region-specific issues like Mercury Poisoning in Minamata Bay in Japan (which ultimately led to the Minamata Convention )

  • Rio Conference: Rio Conference of 1992 was officially titled ‘UN Conference on Environment and Development’ (UNCED), but is mostly referred to as Rio Summit or Earth Summit. It was held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. It was a watershed moment in Global Environment Conservation.

  • East-West Divide: Stockholm Conference turned out to be another theater of the Cold war over the issue of non-inclusion of East Germany. This led the Socialist bloc led by the USSR to boycott the Conference.


Stockholm +50 :

  • Stockholm 2022: Stockholm+50 was scheduled  in the same city in June this year. The Conference aimed to take a view of the gains garnered in the last 50 years of Environmental governance. But, more importantly, the goal of the Conference would be to list the challenges faced in the implementation of international agreements and to find out possible ways to address such challenges.

  • Theme: The Conference has been themed ‘Stockholm+50: A healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity’. The theme points to the need for collaboration in the matters of Environmental governance. It must be noted here that as per UNEP’s ‘Inclusive Wealth Report 2018’, produced capital and human capital grew at a rate of 3.8% and 2.1% during 1990-2014, while natural capital decreased at the rate of 0.7% during the same period.



  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): It was signed in 1992 with the objective of decreasing carbon emissions and ensuring that global warming and climate change can be arrested and reversed to the extent possible.

  • It was a result of the Earth Summit, which took place in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

  • It resulted in major agreements like the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement.



  • It is an international treaty designed to protect human health from harmful effects of Mercury and its compounds.

  • The treaty was signed in 2013 at Kumamoto, Japan.

  • The convention is named after the Bay of Minamata in Japan, which experienced severe Mercury Poisoning.


2. Ending Ultra Poverty in India.


Theme : Poverty & Developmental Issues.





                                    TABLE OF CONTENT


  1. Context

  2. What is Ultra Poverty?

  3. How is Ultra Poor different from Poor?

  4. SECC Data on Ultra Poor

  5. Issues of Ultra Poverty

  6. What is the Ultra Poor Graduation Approach?

  7. Charcha Programme

  8. Government Initiatives


Context :
According to the World Bank Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report, Extreme poverty was expected to affect between 9.1% and 9.4% of the world’s population in 2020.


What is Ultra Poverty?

  • The term itself was coined by researcher Michael Lipton.

  • Ultra poor are those who spend 80 percent of their total expenditures on food and cannot attain 80 percent of their standard caloric needs.

  • They tend to be food insecure, living on less than 2 meals a day. 

  • Malnutrition exacerbates illnesses that further drain resources, leading to borrowings from exploitative moneylenders. 


How is Ultra Poor different from Poor?


The households living in ultra-poverty are tied to:

  • Unpredictable availability of wage labor

  • Own few or no assets of even a non-durable nature

  • Have limited livelihood prospects and 

  • Are socially, economically, and geographically isolated. 

SECC Data on Ultra Poor :

  • SECC 2011 captured data on the socio-economic status of 17.97 crore rural households of which 0.16 Cr. (0.91%) households are identified as poorest of the poor and were automatically included on the basis of the number of deprivations faced by them. 


Issues of Ultra Poverty:

  • Food insecurity, 

  • Poor health, 

  • Social stigma, 

  • Limited skills, assets or savings 


What is the Ultra Poor Graduation Approach?

  • The Model Ultra-Poor Graduation programmes provide extremely poor households with a pathway out of poverty by helping families engage in a productive and resilient livelihood. This programme gradually builds household capacity and empowers families to become involved with the local economy and community in productive and positive ways.

  • It is a comprehensive, time-bound and sequenced set of interventions that aim to graduate people from ultra-poverty to sustainable livelihoods.


Charcha Programme :

‘Charcha’ has served as a platform for all stakeholders in India’s development to come together and chart the course towards a poverty-free India. 

  • Since its inception, the platform has enabled leading institutions and organizations in India’s development sector to host pivotal events that have shaped the narrative in a wide range of developmental topics.

  • It is centered on intense hand holding of the identified households through motivated and well-trained field cadres. 

  • It includes: 

    • A consumption grant: To provide ‘breathing space’ for the household to learn livelihoods activities, 

    • A ‘big push’ livelihood grant: (either for agriculture, livestock, a small enterprise, or a combination), household-level enterprise planning and development support, access to rights and entitlements, access to food and nutritional security, health and education services and 

    • Support through special institutions to address the unique challenges of the poorest of the poor. 



Government Initiatives :

  • Governments of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh have targeted the poorest of the poor through convergence programs like the Attapadi program with the Irula and Muruga tribal and Kurumba PVTG communities

  • Bihar, through its State Rural Livelihood Mission, is implementing the ‘Satat Jivikoparjan Yojana’ program to graduate 2 lakh households from ultra- poverty.

  • Efforts are being made with Vantangia and Sawariya communities in Uttar Pradesh.


3. Armed Forces ( Special Powers) Act,1958.


Theme : Challenges to Internal Security.




                      TABLE OF CONTENT


  1. Context

  2. Genesis and the Need of the AFSPA.

  3. The Jeevan Reddy Committee.

  4. Provisions

  5. Controversy around the Act.

  6. Views of the SC on the Act.


Context :
Discussions on withdrawing the much-dreaded Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 completely from the North Eastern region.


Genesis and the Need of the AFSPA:

  • Genesis :The genesis of the law can be traced to the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Ordinance 1942 which was enacted by the British to subjugate the rebels in the country during the Quit India movement, particularly in Assam and Bengal .

  • Need :The need for the law was required in the 1950s when Naga insurgents resorted to large-scale violence. Hundreds of Indian Army soldiers, central and State paramilitary personnel were either killed or injured in ambushes that had been meticulously planned and launched by the insurgents. Informers of the security forces were eliminated or disabled.



The Jeevan Reddy Committee:

On November 19, 2004, the Central government appointed a five-member committee headed by Justice BP Jeevan Reddy to review the provisions of the act in the northeastern states.

The Committee had recommended a complete repeal of the law. “The Act is a symbol of hate, oppression, and an instrument of high-handedness,” it said.

The committee submitted its report in 2005, which included the following recommendations:

  • AFSPA should be repealed and appropriate provisions should be inserted in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967

  • The Unlawful Activities Act should be modified to specify the powers of the armed forces and paramilitary forces

  • Grievance cells should be set up in each district where the armed forces are deployed.

The 5th report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission on public order has also recommended the repeal of the AFSPA.


Provisions :

  • Under Section 3, the Central Government or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory can declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area. An area can be disturbed due to differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities. 

  • Section 4 gives the Army powers to search premises and make arrests without warrants, to use force even to the extent of causing death, destroy arms/ammunition dumps, fortifications/shelters/hideouts and to stop, search and seize any vehicle.

  • Section 6 stipulates that arrested persons and the seized property are to be made over to the police with the least possible delay.

  • Section 7 offers protection of persons acting in good faith in their official capacity. The prosecution is permitted only after the sanction of the Central Government.


Controversy around the Act :

Human Rights Violations:

  • The exercise of these extraordinary powers has often led to fake encounters and other human rights violations by security forces

  • Example: Custodial rape and killing of the Thangjam Manorama by the Assam rifles in 2004

Misuse of Absolute Power:

  • The power to shoot on sight violates the fundamental right to life, making the soldier on the ground the judge of the value of different lives and people the mere subjects of an officer’s discretion.

Violates Fundamental Rights:

  • The power of arbitrary arrest and detention given to the armed forces goes against the fundamental right vested in Article 22.

Immunity against any Punitive Action

  • The act provides immunity to the armed forces against prosecution, suit or another legal proceeding, which shall be instituted only with the previous sanction of the central government.


Supreme Court Views on the Act :

  • The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of AFSPA in a 1998 judgment (Naga People’s Movement of Human Rights v. Union of India).


Supreme Court Orders – 2016 :

  • Every death in the ‘disturbed areas’, be it of a common person or insurgent, should be thoroughly enquired by the CID at the instance of the NHRC

  • Not every armed person violating the prohibitory order in a disturbed area is an enemy. Even though he is considered an enemy a thorough investigation has to be conducted, since every citizen of India is entitled to all the fundamental rights including Article 21 of the constitution.

  • Even if the enquiry finds the victim to be an enemy, a probe should look into whether excessive or retaliatory force was used.

  • There is no concept of absolute immunity for army personnel who commit a crime.