Appointment of New CBI Director
Tags: Syllabus: GS2/ Indian Constitution, Parliament & State Legislatures
• Recently, Praveen Sood, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer with a Karnataka cadre from the 1986 cohort, was appointed director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Appointment of the CBI director
- The process of appointment was established by the Supreme Court’s 1997 Vineet Narain decision and the 2013 Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act amendments to The Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act.
- The Lokpal Act of 2013 stipulated that the CBI director shall be appointed by a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, and Chief Justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court designated by him.
About Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
- It is India’s premier investigative police agency.
- It is an elite force that plays a significant role in preserving public values and assuring the health of the national economy.
- The Supreme Court, the High Courts, the Parliament, and the general public hold CBI in high regard as an organization.
- The Special Police Establishment was founded in 1941 to investigate extortion and corruption during World War II.
- It was established in 1963 by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs in response to a recommendation from the Santhanam committee.
- It operates under the Department of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances, Government of India.
- The Government of India established the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in order to investigate serious crimes relating to the defense of India, corruption in high places, serious fraud, cheating, and embezzlement, as well as social crime, especially hoarding, black marketing, and profiteering in essential commodities, with pan-Indian and inter-state implications.
- It is also the Indian police agency responsible for coordinating investigations for Interpol member nations.
- Section 6 of the DPSE Act authorizes the central government to direct the CBI to investigate a case within the jurisdiction of any state upon the recommendation of the relevant state government. The courts can also order a CBI investigation and even oversee the investigation’s progress.
- The CBI can only investigate crimes on its own initiative in Union Territories.
• Conviction rate:
- According to the annual report of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), its conviction rate is between 65 and 70 percent, which is comparable to the finest investigation agencies in the world.
Issues & criticisms
- Lack of General Consent:
- The conduct or continuation of an investigation into crimes committed on the territory of a state requires the consent of the state, which is frequently delayed or even denied.
- CBI needs consent of a state to investigate crimes within the state’s jurisdiction; a general consent is granted to the agency so that consent is not required for each individual case.
- Withdrawal of consent means CBI cannot investigate even a central government employee stationed in a state without the consent of the state government.
- Numerous states, including West Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Meghalaya, have withdrawn their general assent for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate cases within their respective borders.
- At the time of consent withdrawal, all states alleged that the federal government was unjustly targeting the opposition with the CBI.
- Administrative issues:
- Lack of infrastructure, adequate manpower, and modern apparatus;
- Inhumane conditions, particularly at the lowest levels;
- Questionable methods for obtaining evidence;
- Officers who do not adhere to the rule book; and
- Lack of accountability for erring officers.
- Political Issues:
- In May 2013, when multiple corruption controversies plagued the UPA government, the Supreme Court made a remark about the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that has persisted to this day.
- A bench led by Justice R.M. Lodha compared the CBI to “a caged parrot speaking in its master’s voice” (Politicisation of the CBI).
- The remark was made in the context of government interference in the CBI’s investigation of cases involving the allocation of coal blocks.
• Transparency Concerns:
- The Central Bureau of Investigation is exempt from the 2005 Right to Information Act.
• Duplicated Functions:
- There are instances in which the jurisdictions of the CVC, CBI, and Lokpal overlap, causing complications.
Suggestions & Way ahead
- Creation of Independent umbrella institution:
- There is an immediate need for the establishment of an independent institution to consolidate various central agencies, such as the CBI, Enforcement Directorate, and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office.
- This institution must be established pursuant to a statute that outlines its powers, functions, and jurisdictions.
- The organization should be led by an independent and impartial authority chosen by a committee similar to the one that chose the CBI Director.
- Its leader could be assisted by deputies with expertise in various domains.
- Relationship between the State and Central agencies:
- There should be a harmonious relationship between the State and Central agencies, and collaboration is the key, given that all of these organizations seek to secure justice.
- There is a need for regular knowledge upgrades, deployment of cutting-edge technology, and international exchange programs to acquire the best practices.
- The CBI’s function, jurisdiction, and legal authority must be explicitly defined.
Tags: GS 2 / International
• The Polish government has recommended renaming the Russian exclave Kaliningrad as Królewiec. Russia described Poland’s action as “hostile.”
- Ownership: The Kaliningrad Oblast is Russia’s most western federal subject.
- Borders: Poland, Lithuania, and the Baltic Sea surround this semi-exclave.
- Its greatest city is ‘City of Kaliningrad’. It also contains the Baltic Sea port city of Baltiysk.
- Lagoons: The Curonian Lagoon (which it shares with Lithuania) and the Vistula Lagoon (which it shares with Poland) are its most notable geographical features.
- Rivers: The Pregolya is the main river in the oblast. The end of the river Neman forms part of the frontier between Russia and Lithuania.
- Importance: Kaliningrad is strategically significant for Russia because it is home to the Russian Baltic Fleet at the port of Baltiysk and is the only ice-free European port for Russia.
|Exclave vs Enclave
• This territory was formerly the northern portion of the Prussian province of East Prussia; the remaining southern portion of the province is now a part of Poland.
• The remaining southern portion of the province is now a part of Poland.
• Under the Potsdam Agreement of 1945 (between three of World War II’s Allies: the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union), the territory officially became a part of the Russian SFSR of the Soviet Union, following the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.
History of Its name; Objections by Poland
• Kaliningrad was formerly known as Königsberg in German. After World War II, the Soviet Union changed the name to honor politician Mikhail Kalinin.Mikhail Kalinin was one of six Soviet Politburo signatories to the order to execute more than 21,000 Polish prisoners of war in the forests of Katyn and elsewhere in 1940.
Pratima Murthy Committee
Tags: Syllabus: GS2/Health
• The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) has formed a five-member expert committee comprised of medical experts and insurers to provide guidance on mental health and insurance-related matters.
About the Committee
• The panel’s two-year tenure coincides with the identification of mental health as an essential area requiring insurance coverage attention.
• Pratima Murthy, director of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), will convene the committee.
• It will also provide guidance on terminology and concepts from a medical domain perspective, as well as insurance-related facets pertinent to mental illnesses.
• When dealing with products designed to cover mental maladies and other related aspects, a holistic examination of involved factors such as types of conditions and treatments from an insurance perspective is required.
Insurance covers for the Surrogate Mother
• IRDAI also advised all insurers to comply with the provisions of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021 and the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Act, 2021 regarding insurance coverage for surrogate mothers and oocyte donors.
• The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act requires that the intending woman or couple purchase a three-year health insurance policy for the surrogate mother.
• The ART Act, 2021 has stipulated insurance coverage for 12 months in favour of the oocyte donor by the commissioning couple or woman, for an amount sufficient to cover the costs of complications arising due to oocyte retrieval.
About Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI)
- It is a statutory body established by the Insurance Regulatory and advancement Authority Act, 1999 (IRDA Act, 1999) for the overall supervision and advancement of the Indian insurance industry.
- Governing Acts: The IRDA Act of 1999 and the Insurance Act of 1938 outline the Authority’s powers and duties.
- The Insurance Act of 1938 is the primary statute governing the Indian insurance industry. It grants IRDAI the authority to draft regulations that establish the regulatory framework for the supervision of entities operating in the insurance industry. Section 14 of the IRDA Act of 1999 specifies the Authority’s Duties, Powers, and Functions.
- Key Objectives: promoting fairness, transparency, and orderly conduct in financial markets dealing with insurance, prudential regulation, and ensuring the financial security of the insurance market; protecting the interests of policyholders; ensuring the rapid and orderly growth of the insurance industry; expediting the settlement of valid claims; and establishing an effective grievance redressal mechanism.
Tags: Syllabus: GS3/GS2/Science and Technology/Health
Post COVID-19 Pandemic there is a lingering problem called long COVID that requires greater attention.
What is Long COVID
• It is defined as the continuation or emergence of new symptoms three months after the initial SARS-CoV-2 infection, with these symptoms enduring at least two months and having no other cause.
• Although prevalent symptoms of long-term COVID include fatigue, shortness of breath, and cognitive dysfunction, more than 200 different symptoms have been reported that can impair daily functioning.
Precaution from long COVID
- Protection from long COVID necessitates protecting yourself and others from COVID-19 infection in the first place.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following basic, effective measures:
- Accepting offers of COVID-19 vaccines/boosters,
- Wearing well-fitted masks,
- Cleaning hands routinely,
- Catching coughs and sneezes,
- Ensuring well-ventilated indoor spaces.
• Research is ongoing to ascertain why only a subset of the population develops long-term COVID. Several studies have found that it is more prevalent in females, but it has not been definitively linked to a particular age group or the severity of the initial infection.
• Initially, it was believed that long-term COVID was an autoimmune phenomenon, and some researchers believe it is due to the virus’s persistence in remote organs, such as the intestines. Reactivation of additional pathogens within the body is also a factor.
• There is evidence of an abnormal immune response in patients with chronic COVID, but it is unclear what causes this response or what can be done to alleviate it.
• Death is a frequently discussed hard outcome metric for COVID-19. However, long-term COVID is a relatively mild outcome due to its insidious onset and uncertain diagnosis.
• Many individuals with prolonged COVID do not seek medical attention, and among those who do, a diagnosis is rarely obtained. Frequently, such individuals are disregarded as ‘psychological’ or ‘anxiety-related’There are no diagnostic testing, such as X-rays, CT scans, or blood tests, available to confirm long COVID. Consequently, a substantial number of patients with long-term COVID go undiagnosed and either suffer in silence or fall victim to those who peddle miracle remedies on social media.
• According to studies, 10–20% of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 may develop symptoms diagnostic of long COVID.
• In the first two years of the pandemic (2020/21), it is estimated that more than 17 million individuals in the WHO European Region may have been affected by the disease.
• According to a study conducted by AIIMS, Delhi during the first phase of long COVID, its incidence was as high as 10%.
• Recent studies estimate the true incidence to be approximately 5%, which means that one in twenty patients with COVID-19 develop long-term COVID.
• Across the globe, millions continue to suffer from long COVID, and according to a study conducted by the CDC in Atlanta last year, nearly one-fifth of Americans who had the disease within the previous two years continued to suffer from long COVID.
• Recognizing the existence of long-term COVID and continuing to implement regionally appropriate mitigation measures when the situation so requires will assist in mitigating the detrimental effects of the pandemic on global health and productivity.
Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy (MRT)
Tags: Syllabus: GS3/ Science & Technology
• Australia became the second nation to permit Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy (MRT) after the United Kingdom. In eight years, fewer than five infants are born in the United Kingdom using this method. It has not been widely investigated in India.
What is Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy (MRT)?
- MRT is an in-vitro fertilization technique designed to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial diseases from carriers to their offspring. MRT entails modifications to the egg or embryo prior to implantation, so it lies under the broad category of gene therapies known as germline therapies.
|In-Vitro fertilization (IVF)
Mitochondrial disease or mitochondrial disorder refers to a group of diseases that affect mitochondria, also known as the cell’s powerplant. Mitochondria contain their own DNA, known as mitochondrial DNA (mDNA). This mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) or nuclear DNA (DNA found in the nucleus of a cell) mutations can cause mitochondrial disorder. Toxins in the environment can also cause mitochondrial disease.
These are the symptoms of mitochondrial disease:
How does MRT help?
- There are two forms of DNA in humans: nuclear and mitochondrial. Each cell contains a single complete set of nuclear DNA, but multiple copies of mDNA.
- Fertilization is the process by which gametes from male and female reproductive cells combine to form an embryo, also known as a zygote.Since sperm cell mitochondria are eliminated during early embryo development, the egg or oocyte is the gamete that provides all of the cell cytoplasm and organelles to the zygote following fertilization.
- This implies that the mother is the sole source of mitochondria and mDNA, and therefore mitochondrial diseases can only be transmitted by the mother.Thus, MRT concentrates on removing mutated mDNA from the fertilized zygote and developing in a healthy environment.
How is MRT performed?
- MRT can be performed utilizing two distinct procedures:
- Maternal spindle fiber transfer (MST) o Pronuclear transfer (PNT)
- Donor eggs with normal mDNA are used in both procedures.
|Three Parent Baby
Issues with MRT
Laws and Regulation of MRT
- In 2015, the British Parliament voted to amend the 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act to permit MRT.
- Approval is granted on a case-by-case basis by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) of the United Kingdom.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulatory authority over the clinical use of MRT in the United States.
- Since December 2015, Congress has included provisions prohibiting FDA from accepting applications for clinical research using MRT.
- As a result, clinical research involving MRT on humans is illegal in the United States.
- Before adopting MRT, it is necessary to weigh the potential risks against the potential benefits and then implement a balanced strategy.
- Before proceeding with MRT, informed consent from the donor mother should be obtained.
- Legislation can be used to address ethical and legal concerns.
- Better research into genetic maladies should be encouraged in order to eliminate inherent weaknesses.
Tags: Syllabus: GS3/ Science & Technology, Space
- ISRO is testing indigenously developed parachutes for the safe return of the capsule carrying astronauts in the proposed Gaganyaan program.
- It is created by The Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE), a Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory located in Agra.
What is Gaganyaan Mission?
- Gaganyaan Mission of ISRO aims to attain human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of 3 members to Low Earth Orbit of 400 km and bringing them back to earth safely by landing in Indian sea waters.
- India will be the fourth nation to accomplish this feat, following Russia, the United States, and China.
|Low Earth Orbit
• The uncrewed ‘G1’ mission is scheduled for launch in the fourth quarter of 2023, followed by the second uncrewed ‘G2’ mission in the second quarter of 2024, and the final human space flight ‘H1’ mission in the fourth quarter of 2024.
• Diverse evaluations to assess the Technology Preparedness Levels for crew safety are scheduled. Included in these demonstrator missions are
- Integrated Air Drop Test (IADT),
- Pad Abort Test (PAT), and
- Test Vehicle (TV) flights.
• ISRO’s LVM3 rocket will serve as the launch vehicle for the Gaganyaan mission. Human Rated LVM3 (HLVM3) is the result of reconfiguring its components to meet human rating requirements. LVM3 is composed of solid, liquid, and cryogenic stages.
• The HLVM3 includes a personnel Escape System (CES) powered by a set of fast-acting, high-burn-rate solid motors, which ensures that the Crew Module and its personnel are transported to a safe distance in the event of an emergency on the launch pad or during ascent.
• The Orbital Module (OM) will consist of a Crew Module (CM) and a Service Module (SM).
o CM is the crew’s habitable space in space with an environment similar to Earth. I o SM will be utilized to provide necessary orbital support to CM.
Achievements So far:
Importance of Gaganyaan Mission
• Progress toward a sustained, cost-effective exploration of the solar system and beyond. • Capabilities in advanced technology for human space exploration, sample return missions, and scientific exploration.
• Possibilities for job creation and human resource development in advanced science and R&D endeavors.
• Through the sharing of challenging and peaceful objectives, it will bolster international partnerships and global security.
• Space is hostile due to the absence of gravity and atmosphere, as well as the threat of radiation.
• The transition from one gravitational field to another affects hand-eye and head-eye coordination, resulting in a loss of orientation, vision, muscle strength, aerobic capacity, and so forth.
• There are two options for an artificial atmosphere: a mixture of oxygen and inert gas similar to Earth’s or pure oxygen. A purified or concentrated oxygen atmosphere is hazardous and poses a fire hazard, particularly in ground operations.
Other ISRO Missions
|Aditya L1||Mid 2023 (expected)|
|Chandrayaan 3||June 2023|
• India could look forward to establishing a Space Station that will serve as a platform for conducting scientific and industrial research in a variety of areas of basic, applied, and engineering sciences.
Storm Shadow Missiles
Tags: GS 3 / Security; GS 2 / International
- Britain has become the first western country to provide Ukraine with the long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles.
• Manufacturer: It is manufactured by MBDA, a French-based European multinational missile developer and manufacturer.
• Previous Use: The missile has been deployed by both British and French air forces and has been employed in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Libya.
Storm Shadow is a conventionally armed, long-range, air-launched, deep-strike missile. It has a range “in excess of 250 kilometers,” which is considerably greater than the high-precision US Himars rocket launchers that Ukraine currently employs.
• The BROACH is equipped with a penetrating warhead capable of eliminating hardened and buried targets at a great distance. The missile is equipped with a BROACH (Bomb Royal Ordnance Augmented CHange) warhead, a high-tech warhead that slashes the target’s surface, penetrates it, and then detonates.
Significance for Ukraine
• It will enable Ukrainian forces to attack Russian military targets well behind the front lines, particularly in Crimea, which Russia illegally occupied in 2014.Storm Shadow could be used by the Ukrainians to demolish the Kerch Bridge, which connects Crimea to the Russian mainland.
Scalloped Hammerhead Shark (Spjyrna Lewini)
Tags: GS 3 / Environment
• According to a study published in the journal Science, scalloped hammerhead sharks remain warm while hunting for sustenance in the ocean’s frigid depths. They maintain their body temperature by closing their gills, which is equivalent to holding their breath.
• This strategy has never been observed before and distinguishes them from high-performance fish such as great white sharks and Atlantic bluefin tuna, which use distinct strategies to tolerate extreme cold.
• Family: The hammerhead sharks belong to the Sphyrnidae family of sharks.
• Winghead shark, scalloped bonnethead, scalloped hammerhead, Carolina hammerhead, scoophead, great hammerhead, bonnethead, smalleye hammerhead, and smooth hammerhead are included on the list of species.
They are termed cephalofoils because their heads are flattened and laterally extended into a “hammer” shape. This shape varies between species; for instance, the great hammerhead has a distinct T-shape while the scalloped hammerhead has a convex head with a central notch.
• Distribution: Hammerhead sharks are located worldwide in warm coastal and continental shelf waters.
Scalloped hammerhead shark
- The scientific name for Sphyrna lewini is Sphyrna lewini.
- Globally Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
• Dangers: Its population is declining due to exploitation, which is fueled by the high economic value of its fins and the demand for its meat.
• Distribution: This shark species is found in coastal warm temperate and tropical seas of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans around the globe.
Tags: Syllabus :GS 3/Species In News
Recent research has cast light on the migration patterns of Milkweed butterflies in southern India.
About Milkweed butterflies
- The Milkweed butterfly is any member of the Nymphalidae (brush-footed) family of butterflies.The preponderance of species are found in the tropics of both the Old and New Worlds.
- However, the monarch butterfly and the queen butterfly reside in temperate regions.
- The large, multicolored adults have lengthy, typically brownish or orange wings with black-and-white patterns. The first pair of legs are miniature and are not used for movement.
- Some, such as the monarch butterfly, migrate vast distances while others, such as the swallowtail butterfly, migrate slowly and deliberately.
- Diet: They primarily eat milkweed and occasionally nightshades.
- Migration: In southern India, millions of milkweed butterflies migrate between the Eastern and Western Ghats in search of refuge from the brutal summer.
- According to a recent study, the dominant species involved in the migration, the Dark blue tiger and the Double-branded crow, do not breed in the Western Ghats’ mid- and high-altitude evergreen and semi-evergreen forests.However, additional research is required to corroborate the result.
- Importance: During their migration, Milkweed butterflies perform an important ecological role. As pollinators, their movements can influence the health of entire ecosystems.
- Threats: Changes in land use, habitat destruction, and climate change jeopardize their migration.
- Studying their migration patterns and feeding practices can demonstrate the interdependence of plant and animal life.
- This research may contribute to the conservation of these butterflies.
4th Positive Indigenisation List (PIL)
Tags: Syllabus : GS 3/Defence
• Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the fourth Positive Indigenisation List (PIL) containing 928 items with an import substitution value of Rs 715 crore.
About the list
- The PIL items will only be procured from the domestic industry after the timelines specified in the list accessible via the Srijan portal.
- This fourth list is a continuation of the previous three PILs pertaining to Line Replacement Units (LRUs) / Sub-systems / Assemblies /Sub-assemblies / Spares & Components, which were published in December 2021, March 2022, and August 2022, respectively.
- This list includes Line Replacement Units (LRUs) / Sub-systems / Assemblies /Sub-assembliesThe DPSUs will undertake indigenisation of these items through various routes under the ‘Make’ category and in-house development through the capabilities of MSMEs and private Indian industry, thereby providing impetus to the growth of the economy, enhancing defence investment, and reducing DPSUs’ import dependence.
Aims and Objectives
- To promote ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in the defense sector and reduce imports by Defense Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs),
- Additionally, the participation of academic and research institutions will enhance the design capabilities of the domestic defense industry.
- The purpose of the indigenization list is to reduce imports by DPSUs in the defense industry.
- During the next five years, the Indian armed forces will spend approximately $130 billion on the acquisition of capital products.
- In an effort to reduce its reliance on foreign military equipment, the government has chosen to promote domestic defense manufacturing.
- In order to accomplish this, the defense ministry has set a goal of attaining a $25 billion (or?1.75 lakh crore) turnover in defense manufacturing within the next five years.
- This objective entails the export of $5 billion worth of military hardware.
|Do you Know?
EXERCISE SAMUDRA SHAKTI – 23
Tags: Syllabus: GS3/Defence, Internal Security
- Fourth volume of India-Indonesia The bilateral exercise Samudra Shakti-23 began on the 14th of May.
About the Exercise
• In 2018, in accordance with India’s Act East Policy, the bilateral maritime exercise ‘Samudra Shakti’ was conceived between India and Indonesia.
Bilateral exercises between India and Indonesia
• Exercise Garuda Shakti is a bilateral joint special force exercise.
• CORPAT is a naval exercise (India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol).
• Ex KOMODO is an Indonesian Navy multilateral naval exercise. It is conducted annually between the Indian and Pacific oceans.