Prelim Bits 29-04-2019

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April 29, 2019

Khasi Tribes

  • Khasi people are an indigenous ethnic group of Meghalaya in north-eastern India.
  • They are found in the bordering state of Assam, and in certain parts of Bangladesh.
  • Their language, Khasi, is categorized as the northernmost Austroasiatic language.
  • The word Khasi is derived from shankaradevas Baghavata purna an Indo Aryan literature.
  • Though around 85% of the Khasi populace have embraced Christianity, a substantial minority of the Khasi people still follow and practice their age old indigenous religion, which is known as Ka Niam Khasi.
  • The main crops produced by the Khasi people are betel leaf, areca nut, oranges, local Khasi rice, vegetables, etc.
  • The War sub-tribe of the Khasi community designed and built the famous living root bridges of the Cherrapunji region.
  • Under the Constitution of India, the Khasis have been granted the status of Scheduled Tribe.

Khasi Accord

  • During British rule, the Khasi domain was divided into the Khasi states and British territories.
  • At that time, the British government had no territorial right on the Khasi states and they had to approach the chiefs of these states if they needed land for any purpose.
  • After independence, the British territories became part of the Indian dominion but the Khasi states had to sign documents beginning with the Standstill Agreement that provided a few rights to the states.
  • The 25 Khasi states had signed the Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement with the Dominion of India between 1947-1948.
  • The Khasi states did not sign the Instrument of Merger unlike most other states in India.

National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC)

  • A National Crisis Management Committee is a temporary committee set up by the Government of India in the wake of a natural calamity for effective coordination and implementation of relief measures and operations.
  • On the constitution of such a committee, the Agriculture Secretary shall provide all necessary information to and seek directions.
  • The Committee consists of Cabinet Secretary of various departments as stakeholders.
  • Crisis Management Group (CMG) will deal with matters relating to relief in the wake of major natural calamities.
  • The Resident Commissioners of the States affected by a major natural calamity may be coopted on the CMG during the period of crisis.
  • The CMG will meet at least twice in a year and as often as may be required by the Relief Commissioner.

USTR Watch List

  • Priority Watch List and Watch List countries are identified by the annual Special 301 Report.
  • Priority Watch list countries - are judged by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) as having “serious intellectual property rights deficiencies” that require increased USTR attention.
  • Watch List countries - have been identified by the USTR as having “serious intellectual property rights deficiencies” but are not yet placed on the “Priority Watch list”.
  • The USTR can move countries from one list to the other, or remove them from the lists, throughout the year.
  • India has been on the priority watch list reportedly for over 25 years, for “lack of sufficient measurable improvements to its IP framework that have negatively affected US right holders”.
  • The Priority Watch List is topped by China also includes Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
  • Countries under the priority watch list will be the subject of increased bilateral engagement with the USTR to address Intellectual Property (IP) concerns.

UN Arms Trade Treaty

  • United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is aimed at regulating the global arms trade.
  • ATT has the ambitious aim of responding to the international concern that the $70 billion a year trade in conventional weapons leaves a trail of atrocities in its wake.
  • The treaty calls for the international sale of weapons to be linked to the human rights records of buyers.
  • It requires countries to establish regulations for selling conventional weapons.
  • Conventional weapons covered by the UN Arms Trade Treaty include tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, artillery, attack helicopters, naval warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms.
  • The treaty does not regulate the domestic sale or use of weapons in any country.
  • The treaty also seeks to prevent conventional military weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists or organized criminal groups and to stop deals that would violate UN arms embargos.
  • India has not signed the treaty, recently the US has pulled out itself from the treaty.


Source: PIB, the Hindu

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