United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an Independent bi-partisan commission has recommended the US Government to put India on a list ‘Countries of Particular Concern (CPC)’ for the worst violations of religious freedoms in 2020.
- USCIRF has put forth its recommendations in its 2021 Annual Report.
- This is the 2nd year in a row that USCIRF has asked the US Government to designate India as CPC.
- Including India, 14 countries have been recommended to be put under CPC list. They are Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan,Russia, Syria & Vietnam.
- Nigeria was the 1st democratically secular country to be placed in the CPC. It was designed as CPC by the US Government in 2020, following the recommendations of USCIRF in its 2020 report.
- The recommendations of USCIRF are not binding on the US Government.
Special Watch Lists (SWL)
- The report has recommended 12 countries for placement in SWL based on their government’s perpetration or toleration of severe violations.
- They include – Cuba, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.
US puts India in Currency Manipulator Watchlist
The US Department of Treasury has put India in its monitoring list of countries for Currency Manipulation.
i.It has been stated in the US Department of Treasury’s 2021 Annual Report.
ii.It has been included in the watchlist for two major reasons
- High dollar purchases done by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) (close to 5% of GDP), these purchases breached the 2% threshold. This was done by RBI to support the value of Rupee which had weakened due to Pandemic.
- India’s trade surplus with the US has increased by around USD 5 Billion to USD 23 Billion in the FY 2020-21 (from USD 18 Billion in FY 2019-20).
Recent Related News:
i.March 5, 2021, According to the ‘Freedom in the World 2021: Democracy under Siege’ released by US based Think Tank Freedom House, India has scored 67 and its position has been downgraded to ‘Partly Free’ from ‘Free’ in 2020.
About United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)
Executive Director – Erin D. Singshinsuk
Headquarters – Washington D.C., US