THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 27 December 2018 (Strangers in our Midst)

Strangers in our Midst

Mains Paper 5: Polity
Prelims level: UAPA
Mains level: UAPA regulation and associated issues


  •  The UAPA was introduced in 1967 as a legislation to set out reasonable restrictions on the fundamental freedoms under Article 19(1) of the Constitution, such as freedom of speech, right to assemble peacefully and right to form associations.
  •  These restrictions were meant to be used to safeguard India’s integrity and sovereignty.
  •  Over the years, terror-specific legislations like Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) were repealed after running into legal trouble, and the UAPA became the primary anti-terror legislation in India.
  •  Since 2004, there have been a number of amendments to the UAPA to make it stricter when it comes to the rights of accused, and include more terror-related offences.
  •  In line with its stated objectives, the UAPA punishes the commission, funding and support of “unlawful activities” and “terrorist acts”.

Crime under the Act:

  •  To support any secessionist movement.
  •  To support a foreign power’s claim over Indian territories.
  •  Threatening economic security of India.
  •  Raising funds for terrorist activities (including the production and circulation of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN).
  •  Member of unlawful associations or terrorist gang or terrorist organisation.
  •  Expanded definition of terror:
  •  Encourages police torture:
  •  Overturns presumption of innocence:
  •  Arbitrary bans:
  •  Guilt by association:

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General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to economy, the term Washington consensus, refers to:
(a) a set of agreement which focuses on risks to banks and the financial system.
(b) a set of free market economic ideas, supporting free trade and macroeconomic stability.
(c) a set of agreements to avoid double taxation of goods and services.
(d) a set of agreements dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance.

Answer: B

Mains Questions:
Q.1) Discuss how Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) impinges on the personal liberty of citizens of India. (250 words)