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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Oct 18, 2021

Current Affair 1:
Law On Border Security Force's Enhanced Powers in Border States

 

The Ministry of Home Affairs recently extended the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force ('BSF) in the states of West Bengal, Assam and Punjab- a move that has invited criticism from the states of Punjab and West Bengal Government for violating the federal structure and infringing the rights of the state police.

States have argued that since law and order is a state subject, BSF's enhanced jurisdiction infringes upon the powers of the state government.

Border Security Force

BSF is one of the Central Armed Police Forces of India constituted to defend India's national interest mainly against internal threats. Central Armed Police Forces under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The other armed forces which form a part of CAPF are the Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Sashastra Seema Bal.

 

BSF's primary role is to guard India's border along its border with Pakistan and Bangladesh.

 

Border Security Force's power, duties and jurisdictional limitations are provided under Border Security Force Act, 1968.

 

As provided under the Schedule to the BSF Act, BSF's jurisdiction extends to the 10 States and 2 Union Territories which share a boundary with either Pakistan or Bangladesh- i.e Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam and UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Within these states, BSF's jurisdictional powers vary according to different states.

 

Jurisdictional Limitation under the Border Security Force Act, 1968.

  1. A notification issued in 2014 had outlined BSF's jurisdiction as "the whole of the area comprised in the States of Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya and so much of the area comprised within a belt of 80 kilometres in the State of Gujarat, 50 kilometres in the State of Rajasthan and 15 kilometres in the States of Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, running along the borders of India."
  2. The 2021 notification amends the 2014 notification and extends the jurisdiction of the BSF up to 50 km inside the international borders in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam. Earlier, the BSF's powers were limited to up to 15 km in these states. The jurisdictional limit with respect to the state of Gujarat has been reduced from 80kms to 50 kms.

Central Government's Power to Enhance Jurisdiction

  1. The Central Government in exercise of the powers conferred by S.139 (1) (see above image) of the Border Security Force Act, 1968 can notify the area and extent of border force's operational mandate from time to time.
  2. S.139 (1) provides that the Central Government may by notification in the Official Gazette direct that within the local limits of such area adjoining the borders of India, any member of the Force may discharge such powers and duties under that Acts specified in the said orders.
  3. Further, S.139 provides that in case the Central Government wants to confer or impose upon the members of BSF any powers or duties exercisable under a State Act, the concurrence of State Government is required.
  4. Subsection (3) of S.139 further requires that orders passed under this Section be laid before the Parliament and passed by both Houses.

Conclusion: Thus, it can be seen from the text of S.139 of the BSF Act that the Central Government has the power to unilaterally increase or decrease the jurisdictional limits of the Border Security Force in these areas.

There is no statutory mandate of either consultation or concurrence of the state governments in case the powers enhanced are under Central Acts. The BSF Act mandates the concurrence of the state in question only when the powers or duties being conferred are under a State Act.

Current Affair 2:
Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement

 

The above is article from Indian Express. No need to go in detail but some relevant points are mentioned below.

Annual meetings of IMF and World Bank are currently going on at its headquarters i.e., Washington. In context of that the following reforms are being suggested in IMF.

  1. As the economic size of emerging economies are growing their Quota needs to be increased proportionately. For example, Quota of BRICS countries should be increased and European Union Countries should be reduced. Quota determines  (a) Subscription amount  (b) Voting rights  (c) SDR allocation and (d) Borrowing capacity of member
  2. IMF should now focus on the much lower income group countries (mostly African) who are not able to raise funds in case of BoP crisis. Most of the Asian economies and India has now the strength to raise funds from the market (based on the strength of their forex reserves)
  3. Presently there is an informal arrangement between US and European countries that the President (head) of World Bank will be from US and Managing Director (head) of the IMF will be from European countries. How it is possible? Actually, based on the earlier size of the economies of US and Europe, with their combined voting power they are able to choose the heads of IMF and World Bank. When US proposes the President for World Bank, then European countries support and when European countries proposes the Managing Director for IMF then US supports. This needs to be changed.
  4. The institutions should maintain their strict vigilance and standards with respect to their reports. This is in context to the fudging of "Ease of Doing Business" Report of World Bank.
  5. Restructuring of Article IV consultations

Article IV Consultations [Surveillance]

When a country joins the IMF, it agrees to subject its economic and financial policies to the scrutiny of the international community. It also makes a commitment to pursue policies that are conducive to orderly economic growth and reasonable price stability, to avoid manipulating exchange rates for unfair competitive advantage, and to provide the IMF with data about its economy. The IMF's regular monitoring of economies and associated provision of policy advice is intended to identify weaknesses that are causing or could lead to financial or economic instability. This process is known as surveillance.

Country surveillance

Country surveillance is an ongoing process that culminates in regular (usually annual) comprehensive consultations with individual member countries, with discussions in between as needed. The consultations are known as "Article IV consultations" because they are required by Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement. During an article IV consultation, an IMF team of economists visits a country to assess economic and financial developments and discuss the country's economic and financial policies with government and central bank officials. IMF staff missions also often meet with parliamentarians and representatives of business, labor unions, and civil society.

The team reports its findings to IMF management and then presents them for discussion to the Executive Board, which represents all of the IMF's member countries. A summary of the Board's views is subsequently transmitted to the country's government. In this way, the views of the global community and the lessons of international experience are brought to bear on national policies.

Regional surveillance

Regional surveillance involves examination by the IMF of policies pursued under currency unions—including the euro area, the West African Economic and Monetary Union etc.

Global surveillance

Global surveillance entails reviews by the IMF's Executive Board of global economic trends and developments.

Current Affair 3:
IIT-Madras researchers design white light emitters for LED applications

Source Link

Conventional LED materials cannot emit white light and specialised techniques such as coating blue LED with yellow phosphor and combining blue, green and red LEDs, have been used to produce white light.

There has been a worldwide search for materials that can directly emit white light rather than through these indirect techniques that can cause loss of efficiency.

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have successfully developed a white light emitter for use in LEDs. The development of energy-efficient Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs replaced the energy-inefficient incandescent lamps in lighting and display applications. While LEDs have been available in almost all colours, white LEDs are a more recent development.

The innovation has been patented by the researchers and was recently granted the Government of India’s ‘SERB-Technology Translation Award.’

The IIT Madras team has been exploring crystalline materials called ‘Halide-Perovskites’ for various applications due to their extraordinary optoelectronic properties and excellent light-to-current conversion efficiencies.

The researchers developed expertise in tuning the material at an atomic level to obtain different properties. Through a recent project that included simulation and experimental work, the team distorted the crystal structure of this material to obtain a natural white light emitter.

Current Affair 4:
NASA mission to Jupiter’s Trojans

 

What are Jupiter Trojan asteroids?

  1. Simply known as Trojans, they are a large group of asteroids that share the Jupiter’s orbit around the Sun. Thousands of such asteroids exist in a gravitationally stable space.
  2. The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched Lucy, the spacecraft, October 16, 2021, on a 12-year cruise to the swarms of these Trojans.
  3. The swarms lead and follow the planet Jupiter along its orbit around the Sun.
  4. Lucy will fly by eight asteroids—seven Trojans and one main-belt asteroid — over the next 12 years. It is the agency’s first single spacecraft mission in history to explore so many different asteroids.

What exactly are Trojans?

  • Lucy’s Trojan destinations are trapped near Jupiter’s Lagrange (L) points, which are gravitationally stable locations — it is where the gravity from the Sun and from Jupiter cancel each other out. This means their orbits are stable and the Trojans are trapped in the space between.
  • This also means that asteroids are as far away from Jupiter as they are from the Sun.
  • Jupiter’s leading and trailing Lagrangian points (L4 and L5) have been stable over the age of the solar system. This means that that their orbits have accumulated many, many asteroids. It makes sense to call a Trojan a co-orbital object, which moves around one of the two stable Lagrangian points.
  • More than 7,000 Jupiter Trojan asteroids have been discovered as of 2020, two-thirds of which are located near L4 and the remaining near L5.

Who is Lucy?

It is the fossil of a hominin that lived 3.2 million years ago. She is known to be one of the most famous pre-human fossils in history. Nearly 40 per cent of the fossilised skeleton of this hominin was discovered in 1974 by a team of paleoanthropologists led by Donald Johanson. 

The name was inspired from the famous Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” which Johanson’s team listened to at camp the night of their discovery.

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