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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS

10th November 2021

S. No.Topic NamePrelims/Mains
1.    About Foreign Contribution Regulation ActPrelims & Mains
2.    About the Dengue FeverPrelims & Mains
3.    Should Petroleum be brought under GST regimePrelims & Mains
4.    About the National Fund to Control Drug AbusePrelims & Mains
5.    About the Mullaperiyar Dam IssuePrelims & Mains
6.    About the Collegium SystemPrelims & Mains
7.    Jim Corbett National ParkPrelims Specific

 

  1. About Foreign Contribution Regulation Act: 

GS III

Topic – Money-Laundering related issues:

  • Why in News:
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had recently extended the deadline till December 31 for NGOs to apply for renewal of their Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) registration certificates.
  • The registration is mandatory for associations and NGOs to receive foreign funds.
  • What is Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA):
  • Foreign funding of persons in India are regulated under FCRA Act and is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The Act ensures that the recipients of foreign contributions adhere to the stated purpose for which such contribution has been obtained.
  • Under the Act, organisations are required to register/renew themselves every five years.
  • Registered NGOs can receive foreign contributions for five purposes — social, educational, religious, economic and cultural.
  • Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2020:

Prohibition to accept foreign contribution: The Act bars public servants from receiving foreign contributions.

  • Transfer of foreign contribution: The Act prohibits the transfer of foreign contribution to any other person not registered to accept foreign contributions.
  • Aadhaar for registration: The Act makes Aadhaar number mandatory for all office bearers, directors or key functionaries of a person receiving foreign contribution, as an identification document.
  • FCRA account: Foreign contribution must be received only in an account designated by the bank as FCRA account in such branches of the State Bank of India, New Delhi.
  • Reduction in use of foreign contribution for administrative purposes: Not more than 20% of the total foreign funds received could be defrayed for administrative expenses. In FCRA 2010 the limit was 50%
  • Surrender of certificate: The Act allows the central government to permit a person to surrender their registration certificate.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • About FCRA
  • About FCRA Amendment Act
  • Source – https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/why-is-the-home-ministry-tasked-to-monitor-foreign-funds-for-ngos-asks-supreme-court/article37396972.ece
  1. About the Dengue Fever:

GS II

Topic – Health related issues:

  • Why in News:
  • Punjab’s dengue cases totalled 16,129 – the highest number since 2016.
  • When do cases go up:
  • The disease has a seasonal pattern, that is, the highest number comes after rain and is not evenly distributed throughout the year.
  • Every year, from July to November, rise in dengue cases have been observed.
  • About Dengue:
  • The dengue virus is transmitted by the bite of a female mosquito Aedes (Ae.).
  • Aedes is a daytime transmitter and can fly a limited distance of 400 meters.
  • Although it usually causes minor illnesses, serious dengue diseases can sometimes be fatal.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are 100-400 million cases of dengue each year, with worldwide cases increasing dramatically in “recent decades”.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • Dengue- Causes, symptoms and spread.
  • Is the “Wolbachia way” related?
  • Where has this method been tested recently?
  • About the World Mosquito Program (WMP).
  • Source – https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/hc-seeks-govts-response-to-plea-on-controlling-dengue/article37409543.ece#:~:text=The%20Delhi%20High%20Court%20on,and%20imposing%20penalties%20for%20violations
  1. Should Petroleum be brought under GST regime:

GS III

Topic – Economy related issues:

  • Why in News:
  • The Central Government has recently reduced the excise duty on petrol by Rs 5 per litre and on diesel by Rs 10 per litre.
  • Taking cue from the same, many state governments have also reduced the VAT they charge on petrol and diesel by around Rs 5 to Rs 12 per litre.
  • How much do we pay for petrol and diesel:
  • Union and state government taxes include about 55 percent and 52 percent of the retail price of petrol and diesel respectively.
  • These account for approximately 135 percent and 116 percent of the base prices of two products respectively.
  • The central levy of petrol and diesel accounts for about 36 percent of the retail price and the state share is estimated at 20 percent (diesel) to 28 percent (petrol).
  • Including fossil fuels/petroleum in the GST:
  • GST Constitution Amendment Bill 122 of 2014 adopted a delayed choice option.
  • Under the delayed choice process, petroleum products will be included in the GST from the date on which the council may recommend.
  • Accordingly, sections 9 (2) and 5 (2) of the CGST / SGST Act and the IGST Act respectively, clearly provide for GST tax on these products from the date on which the Council may recommend.
  • Therefore, keeping the petroleum products under the GST is not easy to accomplish by central government alone.
  • How much will be the revenue loss if petroleum is included under GST:
  • The 28% GST tax on basic value will cost about Rs 5.40 a litre on petrol and Rs 5.45 per litre on diesel.
  • Current taxes are at least Rs 32.90 per litre on petrol and Rs 31.80 litre per lire on diesel.
  • However, bringing petroleum under the GST will reduce petrol and diesel prices by around Rs 55 a litre.
  • This will result in an estimated loss of Rs 3 lakh crore due to petrol and Rs 1.1 lakh crore due to diesel.
  • Conclusion:

Clearly, importing petroleum products under the GST will not reduce oil prices alone, unless the Union and state governments are willing to significantly reduce their revenues.

  1. About the National Fund to Control Drug Abuse:

GS III

Topic – Internal Security related issues:

  • Why in the News:
  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has recently recommended that the National Fund against Drug be used to implement anti-addiction programs, rather than only policing services.
  • About the National Fund against Drug Abuse:
  • It is instituted in accordance with the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs Act and the Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
  • It has a corpus of around Rs 23 crores.
  • Under the NDPS Act, the proceeds from the sale of any expropriated property or any grants made by any person or an institution go to the fund.
  • Use of the fund: The law states that the fund will be used to combat illicit drug trafficking, rehabilitate addicts, and prevent drug abuse.
  • World Drug Report 2021:
  • An estimated 275 million people worldwide use drugs.
  • More than 36 million people suffer from drug abuse disorders.
  • The enhancement in marijuana use during the epidemic has been reported in many countries.
  • Non-therapeutic use of some medicinal drugs has also been observed at the same time.
  • According to the latest international estimates, about 5.5 percent of people between the ages of 15 and 64 used drugs at least once a year.
  • More than 11 million people worldwide are estimated to be injecting drugs – half of them infected with Hepatitis C.
  • Opioids continue to account for the heavy disease burden associated with drug abuse.
  • Main Reasons for Drug Abuse:
  • Peer acceptance.
  • Growing economic pressure.
  • Changing cultural norms.
  • Neurotic addiction.
  • Police Inaction.
  • Cases of drug abuse in India:
  • According to a report by the National Crime Records Bureau’s Crime in India 2020, a total of 59,806 cases were filed under the NDPS Act.
  • In 2019, there were 3.1 crore cannabis users and 2.3 crore opioid users.
  • The Indian government has adopted a number of policies and programs to address the problem of drug trafficking:
  • The ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ or ‘India Drug-Free Campaign’ campaign was announced on 15 August 2020 in 272 regions of the country that were found to be most vulnerable based on data from various sources.
  • The Department of Social Justice and Empowerment has embarked on the implementation of the National Drug Reduction Program (NAPDDR) for 2018-2025.
  • The government established the Narco-Coordination Center (NCORD) in November, 2016.
  • The government has established a fund called the “National Drug Abuse Fund” to cover the costs incurred in the fight against trafficking in Narcotic Drugs; Addiction rehabilitation, and educating the public about drug abuse, etc.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • About UNODC.
  • Overview of the “International Financial Control Drug Assistance” program.
  • Structure of the Narco-Coordination Center (NCORD).
  • National Drug Abuse Fund.
  • About the Narcotics Control Bureau.
  • International Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking in Persons and Themes this year.
  • Source – https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/have-enough-evidence-on-wankhede-nawab-malik/article37409524.ece
  1. About the Mullaperiyar Dam Issue:

GS III

Topic – Water Conservation:

  • Why in News:
  • The Supreme Court has instructed the Steering Committee to take a swift and decisive decision regarding the high water level that can be maintained at the Mullaperiyar dam, amid heavy rains in Kerala.
  • Background:
  • The SC formed a permanent Steering Committee in 2014 to oversee all matters pertaining to the Mullaperiyar dam.
  • The dam is the source of the conflict between Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  • What is the problem:
  • Kerala said the water should not be more than 139 meters, just as the court ordered on August 24, 2018, when the State was hit by floods.
  • This is because the lives of 50 lakh people could be in danger if the water level rises in the dam.
  • However, Tamil Nadu challenged the decision, citing 2006 and 2014 Supreme Court rulings, which adjusted the water level to 142 meters.
  • What’s next:
  • The court has asked officials in Kerala and Tamil Nadu to co-operate responsibly and avoid any conflict.
  • The Court also made it clear that this was not a political game.
  • Now, the steering committee will have to decide on the high water level and inform the court about it.
  • About the Mullaperiyar Dam:
  • Although the dam is located in Kerala, it is used by Tamil Nadu following a 1886 lease agreement for 999 years (Periyar Lake Lease Agreement) signed between the Maharaja of Travancore and the Indian Secretary of State for Periyar Irrigation operations.
  • Built between 1887 and 1895, the dam redirected the river to flow into the Bay of Bengal, replacing the Arabian Sea and supplying water to the arid rain of Madurai at the Presidential Palace in Madras.
  • The dam is located at the confluence of the Mullayar and Periyar rivers in the Idukki region of Kerala.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • The Mullayar and Periyar River areas.
  • About the Periyar Lake Lease Agreement of 1886.
  • In terms of the Interstate River Water Disputes Act, 1956 (IRWD Act).
  • Source – https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mullaperiyar-build-new-dam-to-end-threat-to-lives-kerala-tells-sc/article37403514.ece
  1. Supreme Court Collegium:

GS II

Topic – Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies

  • Why in News:
  • The Supreme Court Collegiumhas approved 10 additional judges of the Karnataka High Court and two from the Kerala High Court for appointment as permanent judges of these courts.
  • Significance of the move:
  • The Collegium is pushing hard to fill vacancies.
  • There is likely to be a steady flow of recommendation of names for filling vacancies in the 25 High Courts, which have over 465 vacancies.
  • This is over 41% of the total sanctioned judicial strength of 1,098 in the High Courts.
  • Who appoints judges to the SC:
  • In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India,the appointments are made by the President of India.
  • The names are recommended by the Collegium.
  • Eligibility to become a Supreme Court judge:
  • The norms relating to the eligibility has been envisaged in the Article 124 of the Indian Constitution.
  • To become a judge of the Supreme court, an individual should be an Indian citizen.
  • In terms of age, a person should not exceed 65 years of age.
  • The person should serve as a judge of one high court or more (continuously), for at least five years or the person should be an advocate in the High court for at least 10 years or a distinguished jurist.
  • Is the collegium’s recommendation final and binding:
  • The collegium sends its final recommendation to the President of India for approval.
  • The President can either accept it or reject it.
  • In the case it is rejected, the recommendation comes back to the collegium.
  • If the collegium reiterates its recommendation to the President, then he/she is bound by that recommendation.
  • Common criticism made against the Collegium system:
  • Opaqueness and a lack of transparency.
  • Scope for nepotism.
  • Embroilment in public controversies.
  • Overlooks several talented junior judges and advocates.
  • Reforms needed:
  • A transparent and participatory procedure, preferably by an independent broad-based constitutional body guaranteeing judicial primacy but not judicial exclusivity.
  • It should ensure independence, reflect diversity, demonstrate professional competence and integrity.
  • Instead of selecting the number of judges required against a certain number of vacancies, the collegium must provide a panel of possible names to the President to appointment in order of preference and other valid criteria.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • What is Collegium System?
  • How SC judges are appointed and removed?
  • How HC judges are appointed and removed?
  • Constitutional provisions in this regard.
  1. Jim Corbett National Park:

Prelims Specific Topic

  • About the Jim Corbett National Park:
  • It is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand. The park encompasses the Patli Dun valley

formed by the Ramganga river.

  • The national park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger.
  • It is named after Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment.
  • It is the oldest national park in India. It was the first area to come under the Project Tiger initiative in 1973.
  • Source – Down To Earth Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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