The Indian express explained.

Findings of CBI’s cattle smuggling probe in Bengal.

Context:

A CBI crackdown on cross-border cow smuggling in West Bengal has thrown the spotlight not only on a nexus among BSF officials, customs officials and racketeers, but also on political leaders, besides Bengal Police personnel who are being questioned for information they may be able to provide. 

Key findings from the probe:

  • Every year, tens of thousands of cattle are estimated to be smuggled from West Bengal to Bangladesh through the 2,216-km border in the state.
  • Each cattle head is priced at Rs 80,000-90,000 (breeds from UP and Haryana) or Rs 40,000-50,000 (smaller breeds from Bengal) in Bangladesh. Prices shoot up during Eid, when there is high demand for packaged meat exported by Bangladesh. At such times, cattle fetch twice the prices at which they are procured in India.
  • According to CBI sources, after the cattle were seized, these were shown as smaller than their actual size in the BSF seizure memo.

The CBI is probing cross-border cow smuggling in West Bengal, a conspiracy which now also involves political leaders.

Starving Bangladesh of beef' would cost India Rs 31,000 crore | India News  - Times of India

Biasa basics

Upsc syllabus: GS-2: POLITY 

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) 

Ponzi scams: CBI to move SC against West Bengal govt for obstructing probe

is the premier investigating agency of India. Operating under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions(India),

Originally set up to investigate bribery and governmental corruption, in 1965 it received expanded jurisdiction to investigate breaches of central laws enforceable by the Government of India, multi-state organised crime, multi-agency or international cases. The agency has been known to investigate several economic crimes, special crimes, cases of corruption and other cases.

CBI is exempted from the provisions of the Right to Information Act. CBI is India's officially designated single point of contact for liaison with the Interpol. 

The CBI headquarter is located in CGO Complex, near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.

Rishi Kumar Shukla is the current director of the CBI.

Functions of CBI:

  • Investigating cases of corruption and fraud committed by public servants of all Central Govt. Departments, Central Public Sector Undertakings and Central Financial Institutions.
  • Investigating economic crimes, including bank frauds, financial frauds, Import Export & Foreign Exchange violations, large-scale smuggling of narcotics, antiques, cultural property and smuggling of other contraband items etc.
  • Investigating special Crimes, such as cases of terrorism, bomb blasts, sensational homicides, kidnapping for ransom and crimes committed by the mafia/the underworld.
  • Coordinating the activities of the anti-corruption agencies and the various state police forces.
  • Taking up, on the request of a state government, any case of public importance for investigation.

Maintaining crime statistics and disseminating criminal information

Powers and Jurisdiction of CBI:

  • Section 3 of the DSPE Act confers upon the CBIs concurrent and co-extensive powers to carry out the investigation of the offences mentioned under the same section.
  • According to Section 6 of the DSPE Act, The Central Government has the power to extend the jurisdiction of the CBI to any area, except union territories, that falls within the geographical boundaries of India, subject to the consent of the state so concerned
  • An additional power conferred in the CBI Constitution is that CBI can correspond with and demand information from any Ministry or Department of the central or State Government
  • The officers of the CBI also have the added power of being exempt from the provisions of the Right to Information Act of 2005.

Major Committees and recommendations:

  • P. Singh Committee, 1978 recommended the enactment of a comprehensive central legislation to remove the deficiency of not having a central investigative agency with a self-sufficient statutory charter of duties and functions.
  • Estimates Committee of the Parliament (1991-92) under Jaswant Singh had recommended that the CBI be given statutory status and have legal powers to investigate cases with inter-state ramifications
  • The 19th report of the parliamentary standing committee (2007) recommended that a separate Act should be promulgated for the CBI in tune with the requirements of the time to ensure credibility and impartiality.
  • The 24th report of the parliamentary standing committee (2008) was of the unanimous opinion that “the need of the hour is to strengthen the CBI in terms of legal mandate, infrastructure and resources”.
  • Parliamentary Committee (2015) recommended integrating Central Vigilance Commission and anti-corruption wing of the CBI to work directly under the command and control of Lokpal to deal with corruption case

 

Way forward

  1. A comprehensive new central law should be formulated for the governance of the CBI and ensure autonomy to the agency. Further, the charter of duties should be clearly defined and stated.
  2. Measures should be taken to restore the institutional integrity of the CBI and boost public confidence in the institution
  3. CBI should develop its own dedicated cadre of officers who are not bothered about deputation and abrupt transfers.
  4. The infrastructure and human resources should be strengthened for effective investigation and to avoid delays in concluding investigations
  5. Measures should be taken to ensure transparency in the process of investigations by CBI. Further, there should be public discourse on whether CBI should be brought under the RTI Act.

 

 

Covaxin not to be used in cases of allergy, fever, poor immunity  

#GS2 #Health

  • According to Bharat Biotech, manufacturer of Covaxin, the COVID19 vaccine, those with a history of allergies, fever and bleeding disorder, people on blood thinners and those with compromised immunity or on medication that affects the immune system should not take it. 
  • There is remote chance that Covaxin could cause severe allergic reaction including difficulty in breathing, swelling of face/throat/ fast heart beat, rash all over the body and dizziness and weakness,” it said.
  • Out of 1.48 lakh persons who got the shot, 580 has faced adverse events.

Vaccines: 

COVISHIELD vaccine

  • Developed by the Oxford University in association with Swedish-British drug company AstraZeneca.
  • Based on adenovirus found in chimpanzees (a weakened version of a common cold virus)
  • It has the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein 
  • Human immune system is expected to recognise this protein as a threat, and start building antibodies to resist it.
  • Serum Institute of India (SII) will be manufacturing it in India.

COVAXIN: India’s indigenous vaccine.

  • Developed by Bharat Biotech, Hyderabad along with the ICMR’s National Institute of Virology, Pune
  • Inactivated vaccine: which is developed by inactivating (killing) the live microorganisms that cause the disease.
  • This destroys the ability of the pathogen to replicate, but keeps it intact so that the immune system can still recognise it and produce an immune response.
  • It is expected to target more than just the spike protein.
  • It also aims to develop an immune response to the nucleocapsid protein (the shell of the virus that encloses its genetic material).
  • This vaccine is still under "clinical trial mode." Covaxin Phase-3 efficacy data is still not released.

Significance:

  • COVAXIN is expected to be effective against latest variants of corona virus, including the UK variant, since it contains immunogens (epitopes) from other apart from Spike protein.
  • Immunogen is a stimulus that creates a humoral or cell-mediated immune response, whereas antigens are any substance that binds specifically to an antibody.

 

 

Land under PLA control since 1959

#GS3 #Security

  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) acknowledged the construction by China in the past several years “along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)” and that India has also stepped up its construction. 
  • Satellite images of a new Chinese settlement in Arunachal Pradesh were featured in the media.
  • This is the first time the government has acknowledged Chinese construction. 
  • According to official sources the land has been under the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) control since 1959.

Line of Actual Control

  • The Line of Actual Control is the demarcation that divides territory controlled by India from territory controlled by China. 
  • Difference between LoC and LAC
    • The LoC was created in 1948 with the United Nations (UN) negotiation after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947–1948. 
    • LoC was formed by the Shimla Agreement between India & Pakistan. 
    • It has the international sanctity of a legal agreement.
    • The LAC, in contrast, is only a concept. It is the part of an informal agreement between the two countries. It is not delineated on a map or demarcated on the ground. 
  • According to India, LAC is 3,488 km long. But China consider it to be only around 2,000 km.

Sectors Across the LAC:

  • 3 sectors: 
  1. the eastern sector covering Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim 
  2. the middle sector spanning over Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh 
  3. the western sector located in Ladakh 
  • In the eastern sector, the LAC is along the McMahon Line.
  • McMohan line marked borders which were not defined between Britain and Tibet.
  • The middle sector is not much disputed. But the western sector has seen many transgressions between India and China.
  • Disagreements:
  • India's claim line is not the same as that of the LAC. 
  • The official boundary marked on the maps released by the Survey of India, including Aksai Chin which is now under China’s control is what India claims.  
  • For China, LAC is correct upto some extend, but it claims the entire Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet in the eastern sector. 

 

 

 

Centre’s affidavit pushes for wide roads

#GS2 #Governance

The Central government supported the majority view taken by the Supreme Court’s Char Dham High-Powered Committee (HPC) for the necessity of broadening the Himalayan feeder roads to India-China border in order to facilitate troop movement.

Chardham Pariyojana

The Char Dham project is by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for connectivity improvement for Chardham 

Pilgrimage. It includes the towns of: 

  1. Badrinath
  2. Kedarnath
  3. Gangotri
  4. Yamunotri
  • It includes improvements and development of 889 km length of national highways.
  • Uttarakhand State Public Works Department (PWD), BRO and the National Highway & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) takes care of this project.

Border Roads Organisation

  • It was conceived and raised in 1960 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for coordinating the speedy development of a network of roads in the North and the North Eastern border regions of the country.
  • It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence.
  • It has diversified into a large spectrum of construction and development works comprising airfields, building projects, defence works and tunneling and has endeared itself to the people.

 

 

New monsoon forecast models on the anvil

#GS1 #Geography

  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) may introduce new monsoon models this year to better forecast changes in rainfall.
  • The monsoon of 2020 was different compared to that of 2019.
  • It is the third time in a century that India saw continuous years of above normal rainfall. 
  • The IMD forecast on the magnitude of the excess was not precise.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) 

  • It is the national meteorological service of the country 
  • It is the premier government agency that deals with meteorology, seismology, and connected subjects. 
  • IMD comes under the Ministry of Earth Sciences
  • HQ: New Delhi.

 

 

 

The hindu editorial analysis

Being tethered to bars during a pandemic

CONTEXT:

1. The jail and the issue of decongestion within the time of  COVID-19.

2. Rights of prisoners in several part of world and the way its handle the” pandemic”

3. prison reform and Violation of its rights and what state and effective management for brand new and rising threats like pandemic like Covid-19.

Prisoner’s situation in world and in India:

  • In USA By Sept, forty four of fifty COVID-19 clusters were found to be settled in prisons.
  • Detention centers “breeding grounds for uncontrolled transmission”
  • England and Wales have 121 prisons housing concerning 79,000 prisoners. By October the number rose to 1,529, tested positive of COVID with 5 deaths.
  • In INDIA 1,400 found positive of COVID, so prisons, ‘housing’ over 4.5 lakh prisoners are breeding grounds for the virus doesn't occupy our thoughts, even our virus-related thoughts.

What are the rights of prisoners in India?

Fundamental rights:

1. Under Article, 14, 19, 20, 21 and 22 of the Constitution of india impliedly agitate the rights of prisoners.

2. Article fourteen deals with right to equality that provides equality before law and equal protection of law to any or all persons.

3.  Article 21 deals with right to life and private liberty.

LEGAL RIGHT:

  • within the case of Charles Sobraj through Marie Andre’o vs. The Superintendent, Central Jail, Tihar, Indian capital (1978).Imprisonment doesn't spell farewell to elementary rights though, by a practical re-appraisal, Courts can refuse to recognise the total array of half III enjoyed by a free citizen”.
  • the case of Sheela Barse vs. State of geographical area (1983) : the Supreme Court took cognizance of the matter concerning the maltreatment and poor conditions of the prisoners within the jail and issued sure directions beneath article twenty one.
  • Right beneath section fifty-four of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 to be medically examined.
  • the case of Pramod Kumar Saxena vs. Union of Asian nation and Others (2008): “The Supreme Court control that he should be free on bail in order that he will build arrangements for the compensation of quantity and conjointly defend cases registered against him.”
  • Statutory rights on the market to the prisoners. The Prisons Act, 1894:

Section four of the Prisons Act provides for accommodation and sanitary conditions for prisoners.

Section seven provides for shelter and safe custody of the surplus range of jailers UN agency can't be safely unbroken in any prison. 

Section 24(2) provides for examination of prisoners by qualified medical officers.

Section thirty-one provides for separation of prisoners containing feminine and male prisoners, civil and criminal prisoners and condemned and undertrial prisoners.

Section thirty-three provides that each civil and unconvicted unfortunate, unable to supply himself with comfortable wear and bedding, shall be furnished with such wear and bedding.

 Section thirty-five provides for treatment of undertrials, civil prisoners, parole and temporary unharness of prisoners.

Section thirty-seven provides that a unfortunate should be given a medical practitioner if he's in want or if he seems out of health in mind or body.

Criminal and prisons reform in India:

  • mulla Committee: In 1980, the govt. of india set-up a Committee on Jail Reform, beneath the situation of Justice an. Mulla:

Vital recommendations:

  • The condition of prisons ought to be improved by creating Adequate arrangements for food, clothing, sanitation, Ventilation etc.
  • The prison employees ought to be properly trained and arranged into completely different cadres. it would be well to represent an All india Service known as the Indian prisons and punitory Service for accomplishment of Prison officers.
  • After-care, rehabilitation and probation ought to represent an integral a part of jail service. sadly, Probation law isn't being properly enforced within the Country.
  • The media and public men ought to be allowed to go to jails and allied punitory establishments sporadically in order that public might have first-hand data concerning conditions within prisons and be willing to co-operate with prison officers in rehabilitation work.
  • Lodging of beneath trials in jail ought to be reduced to reveal minimum and that they ought to be unbroken break away the condemned prisoners. Since beneath trials represent a large portion of jail population, their range will be reduced by speedy trials and alleviation of bail provisions.
  • the govt. ought to build an Endeavour to supply Adequate resources and funds for jail reforms

The Code Of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2005:

  • Section 436-A has been introduced within the CrPC. Excluding offences that death penalty is envisaged.
  • it provides for an under-trial to be free on a private bond, with or while not sureties if the spent in detention by the under-trial has been for over half the most period of imprisonment prescribed for that offence.
  • Aim, de-congestion and 2, fairness. Today, in our COVID-19 times, if congestion is in and of itself control to be dangerous, de-congestion in prisons through a prescribed legal procedure becomes not simply desirability however a requirement.

Conclusion:

  • The governments of state and centre have the responsibility to not solely offer infrastructure, man-power and humane conditions for rehabilitation and
  • The rightful survival of prisoners, however conjointly to supply data of rights to prisoners at the correct time, to avoid attainable, potential and excessive abuse of prisoners by powerful within the prisons.
  • The rights’ data to prisoners, immense content of prisoner’s right in media and corner to corner police work in prisons might be the keys for upholding prisoners’ rights in India.
  • whereas ‘Prisons’ is within the ‘State List’, as is ‘Public Health’, the Constitutional responsibility of handling infectious and contagious diseases figures within the synchronic List. it's the Centre that must show the States its concern during this and lead from the front.

 

 

 

Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin

#GS2 #Governance

PM to release financial assistance to over 6 lakh beneficiaries in UP under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin

PMAY-G: Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Grami

  • Administered by Ministry of Rural Development.
  • Restructured version of Indira Awaas yojana (IAY) 
  • Objective: To provide housing with basic amenities to all houseless and those households living in kutcha and deteriorated house, by 2022. 
  • The scheme aims to build 2.95 crore houses with all basic amenities by the year 2022.
  • So far 1.26 crore houses have already been built across the country under the scheme. 

Funding:

  • The funding is shared among Central and State Governments with the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90:10 for North Eastern and Himalayan States.
  • The scheme will train Rural Masons to improve their workmanship and quality of construction of houses. Hence, increasing availability of skilled masons and enhancing employability of such masons.
  • Under PMAY-G, each beneficiary is given 100% grant of Rs.1.20 lakh (in plain areas) and Rs. 1.30 lakh (in Hilly States/North Eastern States/Difficult areas/UT of J&K and Ladakh/IAP/LWE districts).

Beneficiaries:

  • Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011 will be assessed, coupled with Gram Sabha verification.
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