DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS
12th November 2021
|. No.||Topic Name||Prelims/Mains|
|1.||Issue of Custodial Deaths & Police Reforms||Prelims & Mains|
|2.||SC to hear pleas filled against FIRs registered under UAPA Act, 1967||Prelims & Mains|
|3.||Should Petroleum be brought under GST regime||Prelims & Mains|
|4.||The AY 4.2 Variant of COVID 19||Prelims & Mains|
|5.||Punjab House passes a resolution against the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) being expanded||Prelims Specific|
- Issue of Custodial Deaths & Police Reforms:
Topic – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Why Police Reforms are necessary:
- Between between 1stApril and 30th November, 2015, 25,357 cases were registered under police category which included 111 deaths in police custody, 330 cases of custodial torture and 24,916 in others.
- This data again lays emphasis on the need to make police accountableand carry out police reforms.
- Police Reforms (Meaning):
- Police reformsaim to transform the values, culture, policies and practices of police organizations.
- It envisages police to perform their duties with respect for democratic values, human rights and the rule of law.
- It also aims to improve how the police interact with other parts of the security sector,such as the courts and departments of corrections, or executive, parliamentary or independent authorities with management or oversight responsibilities.
- Police come under the state list of schedule 7 of the Indian constitution
- Committees/Commissions on Police Reforms:
- Issues Concerning Police Forces:
- Colonial Legacy:The Police Act of 1861 was legislated by the British right after the revolt of 1857 to bring in efficient administration of police in the country and to prevent any future revolts.
- This meant that the police were to always comply with those in power.
- Accountability to the Political Executives vs Operational Freedom:The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC-2007) has noted that political control has been abused in the past by the political executive to unduly influence police personnel, and have them serve personal or political interests
- Psychological Pressure:While improvements in pay scale and promotions are necessary aspects of police reforms, little has been spoken about reforms needed at the psychological level.
- In the Indian police force, the lower ranks of police personnel are often verbally abusedby their superiors or they work in inhuman conditions.
- This non-harmonious work environmentultimately affects their relationship with the public.
- Public Perception: The Second ARC has noted that police-public relations is in an unsatisfactory State because people view the police as corrupt, inefficient, politically partisan and unresponsive.
- Further, citizens in general fear going to a police station or dealing with the lower ranks of the police force.
- Overburdened Force: While the sanctioned police strength was 181 police per lakh persons in 2016, the actual strength was 137 police.
- This is way too low when compared with the United Nations’ recommended standard of 222 police per lakh persons.
- Further, a high percentage of vacancies within the police forces exacerbates an existing problem of overburdened police personnel.
- Constabulary Related Issues: The constabulary constitutes 86% of the State police forces and has wide-ranging responsibilities.
- Infrastructural Issues: Modern policing requires strong communication support, state-of the-art or modern weapons, and a high degree of mobility.
- However, CAG audit reports of year 2015-16, have found shortages in weaponry with state police forces.
- For example, Rajasthan and West Bengal had shortages of 75% and 71% respectively in required weaponry with the state police.
- Also, the Bureau of Police Research and Development has also noted a 30.5% deficiency in stock of required vehicles with the state forces.
- Modernisation of Police Forces: The Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF) scheme was initiated in 1969-70 and has undergone several revisions over the years.
- However, there is a need to fully utilize the finances sanctioned by the government.
- MPF scheme envisages:
- Procurement of modern weapons
- Mobility of police forces
- Logistics support, upgradation of police wireless, etc
- A National satellite network
- Need For Political Will: The Supreme Court in the landmark Prakash Singh case (2006) gave seven directives where considerable work in police reforms is still needed.
- However, due to the lack of political will these directives were not implemented in letter and spirit in many states.
- Revamping Criminal Justice System: Along with Police reforms, there is a need to reform the criminal justice system too. In this context, the recommendations of the Menon and Malimath Committees can be implemented.
- Some of the key recommendations are as follows:
- Creation of a fund to compensate victims who turn hostile from the pressure of culprits.
- Setting up separate authority at the national level to deal with crimes threatening the country’s security.
- A complete revamp of the entire criminal procedure system.
- Source – https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/up-custodial-death-family-seeks-answers/article37449519.ece
- SC to hear pleas filled against FIRs registered under the UAPA Act, 1967:
Topic – Internal Security related issues:
- Why in News:
- SC has agreed to hear pleas filed against FIRs registered against 102 persons in Tripura under the UAPA Act, 1967 alleging them of inciting communal violence through their social media posts.
- About the UAPA (Amendment) Act:
- The Act gives central government full powers, which, if the Agency deems an activity illegal, may, through the Official Gazette, declare it so.
- It has the death penalty and life imprisonment as the highest penalties
- Key points:
- Under UAPA, both Indians and foreigners can be charged.
- It will apply to people in other countries even if crimes are committed in another country, outside of India.
- Under the UAPA, the investigating agency may file a case sheet within 180 days of the arrest and the period may be extended further after reporting to the court.
- According to the 2019 amendments:
- The law gives the Director-General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) the power to authorize the seizure or attachment of property if a case is being investigated by the agency.
- The law empowers NIA officials, Inspector-level or higher, to investigate terrorism cases other than those perpetrated by the DSP or ACP or a senior government official.
- It also included the provision of nominations for terrorism.
- Delhi High Court defines UAPA contours:
- In June 2021, issuing a ruling defining the provisions of Section 15 of the “ambiguity” of the Offenses (Prohibition) Act, 1967, (UAPA), the Delhi High Court set out some important provisions in setting out Section 15, 17. & 18 of the Act.
- Sections 15, 17 and 18 of UAPA:
- 15 charges a ‘terrorist act’.
- 17 puts down the penalty for raising money by committing terrorism.
- 18 charges ‘conspiracy’ and so on. committing an act of terrorism or any act of preparation to commit an act of terrorism ’.
- Prelims Hot-Link:
- Definition of illegal activity.
- Power of the Institution under the law.
- Does judicial review work in such cases?
- Changes introduced by amendments in 2004 and 2019.
- Can foreigners be prosecuted under this law?
- Source – https://indianexpress.com/article/india/tripura-violence-sc-to-hear-plea-on-fir-against-civil-society-members-7618062/
- Should Petroleum be brought under GST regime:
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 litrer
- 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.
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.
- Source – https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/a-tax-burden-that-attacks-the-federal-rights-of-states/article37446022.ece
- The AY 4.2 Variant of COVID 19:
Topic – Health related issues:
- Why in News:
- 4.2 is a sub-group of the new Delta variant of COVID-19.
- The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, first appeared in India in October 2020.
- 4.2 (called “Delta Plus” and now called VUI-21OCT-01 by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)) sub-list contains 2 mutations in its spike protein – A222V and -Y145H.
- Currently, the United Kingdom makes 96% of AY 4.2 cases, followed by Denmark and Germany with one percent each. It has also been reported in the US, Israel and Russia.
- In India, cases were found in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
- How dangerous is AY 4.2:
- Although the evidence in AY.4.2 is still emerging, as of now, it does not appear to cause the most serious diseases.
- According to COVID-19 jabs, the small genealogy does not provide the vaccines currently used against it.
- How do viruses develop and why:
- Viral strains have one or more differentiating mutations that are different.
- In fact, the virus’s goal is to reach a point where it can live with humans because it needs the host to survive.
- Defects in viral RNA are called mutations, and viruses with this mutation are called mutations. Differences can vary with one or more conversions.
- Prelims Hot-Link:
- What is Covid 19?
- What is genetic mutation?
- What is mRNA?
- What is an RT-PCR test?
- What is a genetic sequence?
- What is different about anxiety?
- Source – https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/delta-remains-main-covid-19-variant-of-concern-others-now-negligible-in-sequencing-data-insacog/article37437832.ece
- The jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) has been expanded:
Prelims Specific Topic:
- The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had recently expanded the Border Security Force (BSF) capacity to 50 km within the Punjab, West Bengal and Assam across international borders.
- At the same time, the Department has reduced the operating area of the BSF in Gujarat from 80 km from the border, to 50 km.
- The government said it was using force under the Border Security Force Act of 1968.
- BSF capabilities – including arrests, searches and kidnappings – are limited to 15 km in these provinces.
- The Punjab House has now passed a resolution against this expansion of BSF’s jurisdiction.
- In its 2014 proclamation, the MHA described the BSF mandate as “encompassing the entire States of Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya as well as a vast area less than 80 kilometres from the state of Gujarat, 50 km in Rajasthan Province and 15 km in the States of Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, along the Indian border ”.
- BSF Powers: The BSF has jurisdiction over Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Passport (India Entry) Act, 1920, Passport Act, 1967, NDPS Act, Arms Act, Customs Act and other laws.