What Is UAPA Law?

What Is UAPA Law?

UAPA, one of India’s home-brewed Preventative Detention Law to curb unlawful activities, has been widely cited as a tool to silence dissent. In that light, let’s look at the origins of this law, various amendments in it and some unexpected numbers associated with it.

Crux of the Matter

Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)
It was enacted on 30th Dec 1967.
The political climate around it:

  • Indian army’s defeat in the 1962 Sino-Indian War.
  • DMK‘s secession promises in Tamil Nadu.
  • Emergence of Separatist elements in Nagaland.

2004 Amendment
After Prevention of Terrorist Activities (POTA) law was scrapped in 2004, its controversial provisions were inculcated in UAPA. The amendment included introduction of clauses related to terrorist activities and their broadened definition.

2008 Amendment
After 26/11 Terrorist attacks, stricter bail and detention provisions for those under suspicion of terrorist activities were added.
It expanded already ambiguous definition of terrorism and authorized warrantless, wide authority search and seizure.

2019 Amendment
This amendment authorized Govt to designate individuals as terrorists. It further established a Review Committee for appeals, where Review Board had no time-limit to decide and no compulsion to reveal its reasoning.

NIA, UPA Enforcer
Operating under the Ministry of Home Affairs, National Investigation Agency (NIA) is responsible for investigating all cases under UAPA. They have designation of Special Courts for NIA trial. The law also enables NIA agents to arrest and seize properties circumventing Police.

Popular Case-Bhima Koregoan
In 2018, NIA arrested late Fr Stan Swamy, Varavara Rao, Sudha Bhardwaj, etc. on accusation of inciting violence at a rally in Koregaon. By 2020, multiple charge sheets have been filed but no trial has started and those arrested continue to be detained.

Human Rights Violation
The vague framing of the act leaves scope for possible misuse and its time consuming judicial proceedings leads to long periods of detention.

In UAPA cases, the process itself is the punishment.

Justice Aftab Alam, former Supreme Court Judge

UAPA Cases & Conviction Rate

  • Indian Constitution is the largest constitution in the World. Every year, 26th November is celebrated as Constitution Day in India to commemorate its adoption in 1949.

Colonialism To Castro: Cuba’s Cheat Sheet

Colonialism To Castro: Cuba's Cheat Sheet

Poor economic performance caused uproar and protests against current Prez Miguel Diaz. From Spanish crown to world superpowers, Cuba has had long history of standing up against those more powerful than itself. In this deep dive, let’s explore the controversial history of this small Carribean Island.

Crux of the Matter

2021 Anti-Govt Protests
Protests in Cuba recently erupted over the country’s economic crisis and the citizens demanded resignation of President Miguel Diaz. Notably, the country criticized US’ move to support dissent movements.


  • 15th to 19th Century: Cuba became a Spanish colony after Columbus’ discovery.
  • 20th Century: In Cuban-Spanish Conflict, Spaniards retreated as US established hegemony.
  • 1902: US military receded, and Cuba became Republic.

Independent Cuba

  • 1930s: Nationalist sentiment leads to revolt as citizens lose confidence in Cuban Revolutionary Party.
  • 1940: US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista becomes President.

Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro was a Cuban revolutionary known for establishing Communist Rule in the island.

  • 1953: He was sentenced to 15 years in jail after a failed coup attempt against General Batista.
  • 1955: Exiled in Mexico, he aligned himself with Che Guevara.

Anti-US Stance

  • 1959: Castro became President by overthrowing Batista in guerilla movement.
  • 1961: US allied with Cuban exiles and launched invasive covert operation against Castro.

Known as Bay of Pigs, the  invasion fails within 2 days. However, US continued to fund rebellion against Castro.

Cuban Missile Crisis
In 1962 US imposed naval quarantine on Cuba after reports of USSR nuclear ballistic missiles there. After talks between Soviet and US leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Kennedy, USSR removed missiles and US pledged to not invade the country again.

Cuba Cheetsheet
In confrontation with US, Cuba had communist states USSR, China, and North Korea as allies. Castro survived CIA assassination attempts, and US continued economic sanctions. Castro family dominated Cuba’s high-ranking politics.

Post Castro

  • With a population of over 11 million, Cuba is the second-most populous country in the Caribbean after Haiti. The country has no private hospitals or clinics, as all health services are Government-run.

Drowning In Oil Venezuela’s Economic Crisis

Drowning In Oil Venezuela's Economic Crisis

Amidst the ongoing fiasco between UK and Venezuela over gold, let’s have a look at how Venezuela ended up in the world’s worst hyperinflation situation under Maduro’s regime.

Crux of the Matter

Recent Venezuela Gold Case
With Bank of England (BoE) holding ~$2 bn of Venezuela’s gold, Nicolás Maduro’s Govt demanded access to gold for the country amidst the pandemic. However, BoE refused, as UK recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuelan President.

British Govt claims Guaidó is authorized to make decisions regarding gold held in BoE. Guaidó wants to keep the gold in BoE
vaults, believing that the gold will be used for corrupt purposes by Maduro.

Venezuela In 1998
With ~30% annual inflation, nearly 50% population was below poverty line. The oil-dependent economy was enduring falling oil prices.

Hugo Chávez’s Presidency (1999-2013) was characterized by alienation from US, promise of redistribution of oil wealth, and economic stability.

Maduro’s Presidency
Chavez’s Vice President Nicolás Maduro replaced him in 2013, under whom Venezuelan economy collapsed, and inflation reached 50%. After losing majority in Parliament and protests against him, Maduro established more powerful National Constituent Assembly loyal to him.

Economic Downfall

  • 2016: Inflation reached 800%.
  • 2017: Pro-Maduro Supreme Court tried to dissolve the Parliament.
  • 2018: Maduro elected with majority, which were called rigged by opposition.

    Maduro’s autocratic rule prompted sanctions from NATO, aggravating the economic crisis.

Presidential Crisis

Petrostate Perils
Petrostates are oil-dependent economies with some having widespread corruption and extreme income inequality. ~90% of Venezuela’s earnings come from oil exports, making its economy susceptible to oil price fluctuations.

Bolivar Plummets

  • Venezuela faced oil bust in 2016, when international crudeoil prices collapsed.
  • Oil prices plunged from $100 per barrel in 2014 to $30 in 2016.
  • Combined with depreciation of Venezuelan currency, Bolivar, inflation rate there reached over 10,00,000% in 2018.

  • In Venezuela, a litre of petrol costs just $0.02, making it the cheapest in the world. Petrol prices in Hong Kong are the highest in the world with 1 litre of petrol costing $2.40.

Know About The Korean War Exhibition Honouring Indian Aid

Know About The Korean War Exhibition Honouring Indian Aid

As a special exhibition regarding the contribution of India in the Korean War is underway, let’s take a quick look at some facts about the war and why India received praise for its role.

Crux of the Matter

Recent Exhibition
An exhibition by the Korean Cultural Centre India (KCCI) on the Korean war, titled ‘Korean War Special Exhibition – ’60 Para Field Ambulance’, has been in news for commemorating India’s medical contribution in the war.

The online exhibition, available for viewing till 25th August, honours the 60 Para Field Ambulance unit of India.

Korean War Recap
Korea was under Japanese rule, which ended with the World War 2. After the War, it was divided into North Korea and South Korea. North Korea was occupied by Soviet Union, which appointed Communist dictator Kim Il Sung as ruler. South Korea, occupied by US, had appointed the ‘anti-communist dictator’ Syngman Rhee.

The skirmishes, present since the division, soon broke into a war in June 1950 over issues of territory as well as the ‘Cold War’ between US and Soviet.

Indian Role
At that point, India sent medical troop called ‘60 Para Field Ambulance’, which had 627 personnel. As per PTI, the unit “provided assistance to an estimated 2.2 lakh wounded during the war, and performed 2,324 field surgeries”.

Led by Lieutenant Colonel A G Rangaraj, it was the largest medical unit troop in the Korean War. However, 2 medical workers were martyred while 10 were injured in the War.

  • Republic of Korea is the official name of South Korea. The government there states that they govern the whole nation of Korea and does not consider North Korea as a divided part.

Aam Friends: Understanding Mango Diplomacy

Aam Friends: Understanding Mango Diplomacy

Recently, Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina sent 2,600 kg regionally grown Haribhanga mangoes to PM Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee. In that light, let us understand what Mango Diplomacy is.

Crux of the Matter

In News
Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina sent 2,600 kg regionally grown Haribhanga mangoes to PM Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee on 6th July. She gifted another 300 kg to Tripura CM Biplab Deb.

Mangoes As Diplomatic Gifts
Named as ‘King Of Fruits’, mangoes have played a crucial role in India’s political relations. Everyone from early Mughals to the late colonizers used it. Portuguese were responsible for the term Mango and Alphonso.

The Colonial British government sent mangoes as an official gift for the coronation of George VI, and PM Nehru also gave presentations on how to eat mangoes. Aside from goodwill, mangoes as diplomatic gifts also promote its exports.

Mango Diplomacy
With almost 1,000 varieties, India produces nearly half of the world’s mangoes, but mango exports have fallen about 50% in last year. To increase exports to Japan, the largest importer of mangoes, India, sent 500 kg of mangoes to Japan in June. 

Though usually successful, Pakistan’s Mango Diplomacy initiative backfired this year as China, USA, and others returned the fruits citing Covid restrictions earlier in June 2021. As a gesture of goodwill, Pakistan also sent the chaunsa variety of mangoes to PM Modi.

During The Cultural Revolution In China
During the Cultural Revolution in China, Mao donated Pakistani-gifted mangoes to the public. Since mangoes were seen as divine gifts from Mao, they preserved them in formaldehyde and worshipped them in mango motifs.

  • Indira Gandhi received the highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, in 1971. She was honoured with the award for leading India to victory against Pakistan in the Bangladesh liberation war which took place in the year 1971.