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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 4 April 2020

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. What is the National Security Act?

2. Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination.

3. Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is Round-tripping?

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

What is the National Security Act?

What to study?

For Prelims: Key features of the act.

For Mains: Criticisms and concerns over it’s misuse, need for review.

Context: The Uttar Pradesh government has said that six persons associated with the Tablighi Jamaat who have been accused of misbehaving with women staff at the district hospital in Ghaziabad will be charged under the National Security Act (NSA).

About National Security Act, 1980:

It allows preventive detention for months, if authorities are satisfied that a person is a threat to national security or law and order.

The person does not need to be charged during this period of detention.

The goal is to prevent the individual from committing a crime.

It was promulgated on September 23, 1980, during the Indira Gandhi government.

As per the National Security Act, the grounds for preventive detention of a person include:

  1. acting in any manner prejudicial to the defence of India, the relations of India with foreign powers, or the security of India.
  2. regulating the continued presence of any foreigner in India or with a view to making arrangements for his expulsion from India.
  3. preventing them from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State or from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order or from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community it is necessary so to do.

What the Constitution says?

Article 22 (3) (b) of the Constitution allows for preventive detention and restriction on personal liberty for reasons of state security and public order.

Article 22(4) states that no law providing for preventive detention shall authorise the detention of a person for a longer period than three months unless: An Advisory Board reports sufficient cause for extended detention.

The 44th Amendment Act of 1978 has reduced the period of detention without obtaining the opinion of an advisory board from three to two months. However, this provision has not yet been brought into force, hence, the original period of three months still continues.

Duration:

Under the National Security Act, an individual can be detained without a charge for up to 12 months; the state government needs to be intimated that a person has been detained under the NSA.

A person detained under the National Security Act can be held for 10 days without being told the charges against them.

Appeal: The detained person can appeal before a high court advisory board but they are not allowed a lawyer during the trial.

Criticisms:

The NSA has repeatedly come under criticism for the way it is used by the police. As per a Law Commission report from 2001, more than 14 lakh people (14,57,779) were held under preventive laws in India.

How Is It Draconian?

Typically, if a person is arrested, then he/she enjoy certain rights bestowed by the Indian Constitution. The person has to be informed of the reason for the arrest. Under Section 50 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), the person arrested has to be informed.

  • However, in the case of the NSA, the person can be held up to ten days without being informed of the reason.
  • Sections 56 and 76 of the same penal code guarantee the detained person to be produced before a court within 24 hours. Apart from this, Article 22(1) of the Constitution allows the detainee to seek legal advice from a legal practitioner. However, under the NSA, none of these above mentioned basic rights is permitted to the suspect.

Insta links:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who can invoke NSA?
  2. Appeals against preventive detention?
  3. Right to be informed the reason for arrest under this?
  4. Applicability of Constitutional rights in this regard.
  5. The writs under the constitution.

Mains Link:

What is the National security act? Why is it termed as a draconian law? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination

What to study?

For Prelims: Use and applicability of this vaccine, what is TB?

For Mains: Criticisms wrt the recent report on usage of this vaccine to treat COVID 19.

Context: According to a  US-based research, a combination of reduced morbidity and mortality could make the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination a “game-changer” in the fight against novel coronavirus.

What is BCG Vaccine?

Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine is a vaccine primarily used against tuberculosis (TB).

  • In countries where TB or leprosy is common, one dose is recommended in healthy babies as close to the time of birth as possible.
  • In areas where tuberculosis is not common, only children at high risk are typically immunized, while suspected cases of tuberculosis are individually tested for and treated.

How can TB vaccine help fight COVID-19?

  • The BCG vaccine contains a live but weakened strain of tuberculosis bacteria that provokes the body to develop antibodies to attack TB bacteria.
  • This is called an adaptive immune response, because the body develops a defense against a specific disease-causing microorganism, or pathogen, after encountering it.
  • Most vaccines create an adaptive immune response to a single pathogen.
  • Unlike other vaccines, the BCG vaccine may also boost the innate immune system, first-line defenses that keep a variety of pathogens from entering the body or from establishing an infection.

But, what’s the concern now?

Doctors and scientists in India have expressed caution on this study, which argues that countries that have deployed the BCG-tuberculosis vaccine in their immunisation programmes have seen fewer deaths from COVID-19.

They say, it is premature for India, that has had a consistent TB vaccination policy since 1968, to take comfort from the study.

Insta Link:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is BCG?
  2. What is adaptive immune response?
  3. Difference between diseases caused by bacteria and virus.
  4. What is TB?

Mains Link:

What is adaptive immune response? Discuss how BCG vaccine fights against tuberculosis?

Sources: down to earth.

 

Topics covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

What to study?

For Prelims: AIIB- structure, voting and share of countries, NIIF.

For Mains: AIIB- significance, need for infrastructure funding.

Context: India seeks $6 billion loans from AIIB, ADB to combat COVID-19.

The central government is in talks with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and ADB to secure these loans to further the testing and infrastructure facilities in the country.

Background:

India has already secured $1 billion funding from the World Bank to better its health sector for fighting against the coronavirus pandemic according to previous reports. The World Bank has approved a fast-track $1 billion “India COVID Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project” to help India prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic and better its public health preparedness. It was the largest ever healthcare sector support from the World Bank.

What is AIIB?

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.

It is headquartered in Beijing.

  • It commenced operations in January 2016.
  • By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors today, it aims to connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.

Various organs of AIIB:

Board of Governors: The Board of Governors consists of one Governor and one Alternate Governor appointed by each member country. Governors and Alternate Governors serve at the pleasure of the appointing member.

Board of Directors: Non-resident Board of Directors is responsible for the direction of the Bank’s general operations, exercising all powers delegated to it by the Board of Governors. This includes approving the Bank’s strategy, annual plan and budget; establishing policies; taking decisions concerning Bank operations; and supervising management and operation of the Bank and establishing an oversight mechanism.

International Advisory Panel: The Bank has established an International Advisory Panel (IAP) to support the President and Senior Management on the Bank’s strategies and policies as well as on general operational issues. The Panel meets in tandem with the Bank’s Annual Meeting, or as requested by the President. The President selects and appoints members of the IAP to two-year terms. Panelists receive a small honorarium and do not receive a salary. The Bank pays the costs associated with Panel meetings.

Significance of AIIB:

The United Nations has addressed the launch of AIIB as having potential for “scaling up financing for sustainable development” for the concern of global economic governance. The capital of the bank is $100 billion, equivalent to ​2⁄3 of the capital of the Asian Development Bank and about half that of the World Bank.

Insta Link:

Prelims Link:

  1. AIIB vs ADB vs WB.
  2. Members of AIIB.
  3. Top shareholders.
  4. Voting powers.
  5. AIIB supported projects in India.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Money laundering related issues.

What is Round-tripping?

What to study?

For Prelims: What is GAAR? Meaning of round tripping?

For Mains: Concerns associated and ways to address them.

 Context: In a major relief for New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV), the Supreme Court has quashed an income tax re-assessment notice issued by revenue authorities against the premier news broadcasting company.

What’s the issue?

Income Tax department had accused NDTV of “round-tripping” finances in connection with a July 2007 issuance of step-up coupon bonds amounting to $100 million through its U.K. subsidiary.

What is round tripping?

Round tripping refers to money that leaves the country though various channels and makes its way back into the country often as foreign investment. This mostly involves black money and is allegedly often used for stock price manipulation.

Round tripping is often done through a series of transactions that don’t have any substantial commercial purposes, which makes it fall within the trappings of GAAR.

How does the money return to India?

It could be invested in offshore funds that in turn invest in Indian assets. The Global Depository Receipts (GDR) and Participatory Notes (P-Notes) are some of the other routes that have been used in the past.

Why round tripping happens?

There are a number of observed factors that promotes round tripping. Mainly, Tax concessions allowed in the foreign country encourages individuals to park money there and then reroute it.

Sources: the Hindu.


Insights Current Affairs Analysis (ICAN) by IAS Topper