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Weekly Current Affairs (22nd to 31st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC PDF Download

Recruitment of Skilled Workers for Israel

Weekly Current Affairs (22nd to 31st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context:

The governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, in collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), have launched a large-scale recruitment drive to send approximately 10,000 workers to Israel, primarily for construction activities.

  • Despite being praised as a "passport to dreams abroad" by the NSDC, the initiative has encountered significant opposition, mainly from trade unions. These unions express concerns about potential violations of emigration rules.

What are the Job Opportunities in Israel and Associated Concerns?

  • Promising Opportunities in Israel: The available positions in Israel include plastering workers, ceramic tile workers, iron bending, and frame workers. Selected candidates from India are assured monthly salaries of around ₹1.37 lakh (6,100 Israeli shekels). As of February 2023, about 18,000 Indian citizens were in Israel, engaged in various professions such as caregiving, diamond trading, IT, and education.
  • Concerns Raised by Trade Unions: Trade unions are contesting the employment drive, alleging violations of the Emigration Act. The Emigration Rules mandate that workers going to conflict zones register with the Ministry of External Affairs’ ‘e-migrate’ portal, but Israel is not on this list. Current conditions in Israel, particularly conflicts with Hamas, raise worries about the safety of migrant workers. Critics argue that the move contradicts the effort to repatriate citizens from conflict zones and accuse the government of leveraging unemployment for political gains.

Note: Workers going to conflict zones or places without sufficient labor protections are required to register with the Ministry of External Affairs’ ‘e-migrate’ portal. Passports issued under the ECR (Emigration Check Required) scheme cover workers traveling to 18 countries, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, the UAE, and Yemen. Israel is not on this list.

International Practices for Protection of Migrant Workers:

The international practices for the protection of migrant workers are governed by two conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO): the Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949, and Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975. While India has not ratified both conventions, Israel ratified the 1949 convention in 1953. The 1949 convention emphasizes measures against misleading propaganda related to emigration and immigration.

  • Additional Considerations: The ILO predicts a global increase in unemployment in 2024, urging countries to design sensible migration policies and skilling initiatives to address growing unemployment concerns. In 2019, a parliamentary committee recommended drafting a migration policy, emphasizing the need for enhanced institutional arrangements for the welfare of Indian emigrants.

Way Forward

  • Address Trade Union Concerns: Engage in a constructive dialogue with trade unions to address their concerns and ensure transparency in the recruitment process.
  • Enhance Safety Measures: Prioritise the safety and well-being of recruited workers by establishing robust safety protocols and contingency plans, especially considering the geopolitical challenges in Israel.
  • Develop Comprehensive Migration Policy: Work towards drafting and implementing a comprehensive migration policy, taking into account the recommendations of the parliamentary committee, to ensure the welfare and protection of Indian emigrants in the long run.

Question for Weekly Current Affairs (22nd to 31st January 2024) Part - 2
Try yourself:
What are the concerns raised by trade unions regarding the recruitment drive to send workers to Israel?
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Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace

Weekly Current Affairs (22nd to 31st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context:

The 12th General Assembly of the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace (ABCP), a voluntary movement comprising Buddhists in Asia, recently convened in New Delhi.

Key Highlights from the 12th General Assembly of ABCP:

  • Theme: Titled "ABCP - The Buddhist Voice of Global South," the theme underscores India's commitment, as demonstrated during its G20 presidency and the Voice of Global South Summit.
  • India's Dedication to Buddha's Legacy: India was recognized as a nation guided by the principles of Buddha. The assembly highlighted India's proactive role in developing the Buddhist circuit and establishing the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture.
  • Constitutional Recognition of Buddha's Influence: Special attention was given to the representation of Lord Buddha in the artwork of the Indian Constitution, specifically in Part V, where he is featured in the section on Union governance.

What is the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace?

  • About: ABCP was founded in 1970 at Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia as a voluntary movement of followers of Buddhism with both monastic (monks) and lay members.
    • ABCP then emerged as a collaborative effort of Buddhist dignitaries from India, Mongolia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, the then USSR, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, South and North Korea.
  • Headquarters: Gandanthegchenling Monastery in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
  • The Supreme Head of Mongolian Buddhists is the current ABCP President.

Aims of ABCP:

  • Bring together efforts of Buddhists in support of consolidating universal peace, harmony and cooperation among peoples of Asia.
  • Furthering their economic and social advancement and promoting respect for justice and human dignity.
  • Disseminating the Buddhist culture, tradition and heritage.

How Buddhist Teachings Convergence with Principles of Good-Governance?

  • Right View in Policymaking: The Buddha's emphasis on Right View, avoiding distortion and delusion, aligns with good governance principles of transparency, objectivity, and evidence-based decision-making.
    • For example, Bhutan's Gross National Happiness index, inspired by Buddhist values, aims to measure public well-being beyond just economic indicators.
  • Right Conduct in Leadership: The Buddha's Five Precepts - non-violence, non-stealing, non-lying, non-sexual misconduct, and non-intoxication - can be interpreted as ethical guidelines for public officials.
  • Compassionate Governance: The Buddha's core teaching of compassion encourages leaders to consider the needs and suffering of all citizens, not just certain groups.
    • For example, initiatives like universal healthcare or fair taxation policies reflect an attempt to govern with compassion in mind.
  • Dialogue and Nonviolent Conflict Resolution: The Buddha's emphasis on Right Speech and Right Action promotes respectful communication and nonviolent solutions to conflict.
    • This can be applied in international diplomacy, interfaith dialogue, and even within internal political debates.

How Buddha's Teachings Can Guide Through Contemporary Challenges?

  • Navigating Ethical Uncertainty: In a time characterized by ethical ambiguity, Buddha's teachings present a path of sustainability, simplicity, moderation, and reverence for all life. The Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path serve as a transformative roadmap, directing individuals and societies toward inner peace, compassion, and non-violence.
  • Mindfulness in a Distracted Era: In an era of constant digital bombardment, the Buddha's emphasis on mindfulness holds particular significance. Practices like meditation assist in managing information overload, reducing stress, and fostering focused attention in a scattered world.
  • Compassion in a Divided Society: Amidst escalating social and political tensions, the Buddha's teachings on compassion and understanding offer a vital antidote. His stress on recognizing the interconnectedness of all beings promotes empathetic communication and constructive conflict resolution.
  • The Middle Way in a Binary Culture: The Buddha's concept of the Middle Way, steering clear of extremes of indulgence and denial, resonates in our consumerist society. It encourages mindful consumption, finding equilibrium between personal desires and responsible living.

Parakram Diwas 2024

Weekly Current Affairs (22nd to 31st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context:

The recent celebration of Parakram Diwas on 23rd January 2024 at the Red Fort saw the active participation of the Prime Minister of India, commemorating the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

  • In tandem with the celebrations, the Prime Minister inaugurated Bharat Parv, a nine-day event organized by the Ministry of Tourism. This event aims to showcase India's rich diversity and exhibit its myriad cultures.
  • On the occasion of Parakram Diwas, the Centre announced the Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar-2024, acknowledging the significant contributions made by individuals and organizations in the field of Disaster Management.

Understanding Parakram Diwas:

  • Introduced in 2021, Parakram Diwas has become an annual celebration in India, honoring the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
  • The term "Parakram" translates to courage or valor in Hindi, symbolizing the robust and courageous spirit of Netaji and those who played a pivotal role in India's struggle for freedom.
  • The celebrations encompass a range of events and activities that underscore the historical significance of Netaji's contributions to the freedom struggle.
  • Organized by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with allied institutions such as the Archaeological Survey of India, National School of Drama, Sahitya Akademi, and the National Archives of India, the event delves into the profound legacy of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and the Azad Hind Fauj.
  • In 2022, commemorating Netaji's 125th birth anniversary, a hologram was installed near India Gate, replacing the space where a statue of King George V had stood until its removal in 1968. Subsequently, the hologram was replaced by a grand statue on 8th September 2022 near India Gate in New Delhi.

What is Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar?

Field Recognised:

  • The Government of India instituted Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskaar (SCBAPP) to recognise the excellent work done by the individuals and institutions in the field of disaster management.

Administered By:

  • National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA was established under the Ministry of Home Affairs under the Disaster Management Act, 2005).

Award:

  • The awards are announced on the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on 23rd January every year.
  • In addition to a certificate, these awards carry a cash award of Rs. 51 lakhs for an Institution and Rs. 5 lakhs for an Individual.
  • The Institution has to utilize the cash prize for Disaster Management related activities only.

Eligibility:

  • Only Indian nationals and Indian institutions can apply for the award.
  • The nominated individual or institution should have worked in any area of disaster management like Prevention, Mitigation, Preparedness, Rescue, Response, Relief, Rehabilitation, Research, Innovation or early warning in India.
  • SCBAPP- 2024: The 60 Parachute Field Hospital, Uttar Pradesh, has been selected for the Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar-2024 for its excellent work in disaster management, particularly in providing medical assistance during various natural calamities and crises, both nationally and internationally.
  • The hospital's work during events like the Uttarakhand floods (2013), Nepal Earthquake (2015), and the Turkey and Syria earthquake (2023) is highlighted as examples of its exceptional service.

Question for Weekly Current Affairs (22nd to 31st January 2024) Part - 2
Try yourself:
How does the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace promote peace and cooperation among Asian countries?
View Solution


Sri Sri Auniati Satra Vaishnavite Monastery

Weekly Current Affairs (22nd to 31st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context:

Sri Sri Auniati Satra, a venerable Vaishnavite monastery, holds prominence in Assam's Majuli district with a history spanning more than 350 years.

Key Highlights of Sri Sri Auniati Satra Vaishnavite Monastery:

Establishment:

  • Founded in the year 1653, Sri Sri Auniati Satra stands as one of the oldest Satras, institutional centers for Assamese Vaishnavism, in Majuli, Assam.
  • Satras serve as focal points for Assamese Vaishnavism, a devotional movement that emerged in the 15th century.
  • Situated in Majuli, the world's largest inhabited river island located in the Brahmaputra River, Assam, India.

Religious Significance:

  • At the core of Assamese Vaishnavism, Sri Sri Auniati Satra is a spiritual haven dedicated to the worship of Lord Krishna.
  • The original idol of Lord Krishna, manifested as Govinda, is believed to have been brought from the Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri.

Cultural Heritage:

  • Beyond its religious role, Vaishnavite monasteries like Auniati Satra serve as guardians of traditional arts, literature, and cultural practices, contributing significantly to the cultural heritage of the region.
  • These Satras, rooted in Vaishnavism, function as hubs for education, spiritual pursuits, and community service, with monks and disciples engaging in religious studies and meditation.

Bhaona and Traditional Art Forms:

  • Auniati Satra upholds the practice of Bhaona, a traditional art form that combines acting, music, and instruments.
  • Bhaona serves as a captivating medium to impart religious messages to villagers through a blend of entertainment and storytelling.

What is Vaishnavism?

About:

  • Vaishnavism is a prominent bhakti (devotional) movement within Hinduism, and it emphasises deep devotion and love towards the god Vishnu and his various incarnations.

Key Features:

  • Devotion to Vishnu: The central focus of Vaishnavism is devotion (bhakti) to Vishnu, who is considered the Supreme Being and the sustainer of the universe. Vaishnavas believe in a personal relationship with Vishnu, expressing love, reverence, and devotion toward the deity.
    • Vishnu is believed to have incarnated on Earth in various forms known as avatars to restore cosmic order and righteousness. The ten primary avatars are collectively known as the Dashavatara, with popular incarnations including Rama and Krishna.
  • Dashavatara: The ten avatars of Vishnu are Matsya (fish), Kurma (turtle), Varaha (boar), Narasimha (half-man, half-lion), Vamana (dwarf), Parashurama (the warrior with an axe), Rama (the prince of Ayodhya), Krishna (the divine cowherd), Buddha (the enlightened one), and Kalki (the future warrior on a white horse).
  • Bhakti and Liberation: Vaishnavism places a strong emphasis on the path of bhakti, which involves intense devotion and love toward Vishnu. The ultimate goal for many Vaishnavas is liberation (moksha) from the cycle of birth and death (samsara) and union with Vishnu.
  • Variety of Sects: Vaishnavism encompasses a variety of sects and groups with different interpretations of the relationship between the individual soul (jiva) and God. Some sects emphasise qualified nondualism (vishishtadvaita), while others subscribe to dualism (dvaita) or pure nondualism (shuddhadvaita).
    • Srivaishnava Sect: Emphasises qualified nondualism based on the teachings of Ramanuja.
    • Madhva Sect: Professes dualism, asserting the separate existence of God and the soul, following the philosophy of Madhva.
    • Pushtimarg Sect: Maintains pure nondualism according to Vallabhacharya's teachings.
    • Gaudiya Sect: Founded by Chaitanya, teaches inconceivable duality and nonduality.

Demand for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

Weekly Current Affairs (22nd to 31st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context:

India is making waves in the global push for autonomous driving, experiencing a noteworthy surge in demand for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

Understanding Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS):

Overview:

  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) refer to digital technologies within vehicles designed to aid drivers in routine navigation and parking. Unlike full automation, ADAS leverages computer networks to enhance driving experiences by providing active safety information and assistance without complete automation.

Components:

  • ADAS systems utilize sensors, cameras, and radar to monitor the vehicle's surroundings, offering features such as active safety information, driving interventions, and parking assistance.

Objective:

  • The primary goal of ADAS is to reduce the frequency and severity of unavoidable automotive accidents, ultimately preventing deaths and injuries. These systems provide crucial data about traffic conditions, road closures, congestion levels, and recommended routes to enhance overall safety.

Key ADAS Features:

  • The suite of ADAS features includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind spot collision warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and more.

Factors Driving Demand in India:

Progressive Democratisation:

  • India is experiencing a widespread adoption of autonomous driving tools, with car manufacturers increasingly offering ADAS as standard features on mid-segment vehicles. This trend contributes significantly to the escalating demand for advanced driver assistance technology.

Road Safety Prioritization:

  • Despite challenging road conditions, India is placing a growing emphasis on road safety. Car manufacturers are incorporating ADAS features to enhance safety measures, providing consumers with advanced driver assistance tools.

Challenges Confronting ADAS Systems in India:

Road Infrastructure Complexity:

  • India stands out as one of the most challenging driving environments globally, characterized by diverse road conditions. From well-maintained highways to poorly constructed rural roads, the inconsistent road markings and infrastructure present challenges for ADAS systems.

Diverse Road User Mix:

  • Indian roads accommodate a diverse mix of pedestrians, cyclists, non-motorized vehicles, and motor vehicles, posing complexities for ADAS adaptation. The consideration of non-motorized road users is crucial in the design of ADAS systems, as highlighted by a study conducted by the World Resources Institute (WRI) India.

Connectivity and Data Challenges:

  • The effectiveness of ADAS systems hinges on real-time data updates and reliable connectivity, which may face challenges in remote or poorly networked areas of India.

Cybersecurity Concerns:

  • A major apprehension surrounding ADAS systems is their susceptibility to cyberattacks. Hacked vehicles pose serious safety risks, emphasizing the need for robust cybersecurity measures.

Driver Awareness and Behaviour:

  • The success of ADAS systems depends on responsible driving behavior. A survey by the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) in India revealed that only 44% of drivers were aware of ADAS technology, underscoring the need for widespread education on its benefits and proper usage.

Question for Weekly Current Affairs (22nd to 31st January 2024) Part - 2
Try yourself:
What is the primary objective of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)?
View Solution


Third South Summit

Weekly Current Affairs (22nd to 31st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context:

The 3rd South Summit recently convened in Kampala, Uganda, uniting members of the Group of 77 (G77) and China.

Objective of the Summit:

The Third South Summit brought together the 134 members of the Group of 77 and China to enhance South-South cooperation across various domains, including trade, investment, sustainable development, climate change, poverty eradication, and the digital economy. The summit was guided by the theme "Leaving No One Behind."

Overview of the Group of 77 (G77):

Formation:

  • Established on June 15, 1964, through the "Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Developing Countries" issued at the inaugural session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.

Membership:

  • Comprising 134 members, excluding China, as the Chinese government considers itself a partner providing political and financial support rather than a formal member. It is crucial to note that the G77 mentions China as part of its membership.

Purpose:

  • The G77 stands as the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries within the United Nations. It serves as a platform for Southern countries to express and advance their collective economic interests while strengthening their collaborative negotiating capabilities on major international economic issues.

Organizational Structure:

  • The G77 operates under the leadership of a Chairman, serving as the spokesperson and coordinating actions within each regional Chapter. The Chairmanship rotates regionally (Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Caribbean) and holds office for one year in all Chapters. Uganda currently holds the Chairmanship for 2024.

Chapters:

  • Regional divisions, known as Chapters, facilitate coordination and representation in various UN agencies and international forums. Chapters are located in Geneva (UN), Rome (FAO), Vienna (UNIDO), Paris (UNESCO), Nairobi (UNEP), and the Group of 24 in Washington, D.C. (IMF and World Bank).

South Summit:

  • The South Summit serves as the apex decision-making body of the Group of 77. The First and Second South Summits occurred in Havana, Cuba, in 2000 and Doha, Qatar, in 2005, respectively.

What are the Key Outcomes of the Third South Summit Document?

Resolution for Peace in Palestinian-Israeli Conflict:

  • Member nations underscored the inseparable connection between sustainable development and peace, advocating for a just and peaceful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Universal Commitment to Global Agendas:

  • The outcome document reiterated a commitment to implementing various global agendas, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), the Paris Agreement on climate change, the New Urban Agenda (NUA), and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

Emphasis on Poverty Eradication:

  • Member countries reaffirmed their commitment to poverty eradication as the foremost global challenge, emphasizing the need for adequate means of implementation. Leaders called on developed nations to engage in a strengthened and scaled-up global partnership for development.

Strengthening of Multilateral Institutions:

  • The summit highlighted the necessity of reinforcing the roles of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in addressing the reform of the international financial architecture. 
  • Proposed reforms included an annual SDG Stimulus of USD 500 billion, sufficient capitalization of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), and expanded contingency financing for countries in need.

Climate Finance and Debt Solutions:

  • Member nations urged Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to meet the financing needs of all developing countries, including Low- and Middle-Income Countries, through concessional finance and grants. The leaders advocated for increased debt swaps for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including swaps for climate and nature.

Calls for Urgent Reforms in Multilateral Organizations:

  • Leaders at the summit urged urgent reforms in multilateral organizations, recognizing the significance of the Global South. They emphasized the necessity for an international financial system rooted in inclusion and equity.

Understanding the Global South:

Definition:

  • The Global South, often misunderstood as solely a geographical concept, encompasses nations facing diverse developmental challenges, considering geopolitical, historical, and developmental factors. It includes countries from different geographical locations, such as India and China in the northern hemisphere.

Historical Perspective:

  • Brandt Line: Proposed by former German Chancellor Willy Brandt in the 1980s, the Brandt Line visually represents the global economic divide based on per-capita GDP. It zigzags across continents, symbolizing economic disparities and excluding Australia and New Zealand.

Formation of G-77:

  • In 1964, the Group of 77 (G-77) was established when member countries signed a Joint Declaration during the first session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva. It serves as a coalition of developing nations primarily from the Global South, addressing economic and developmental issues at the United Nations.

Resurgence of the Global South:

Economic Dynamics:

  • Impact of Covid-19: The pandemic highlighted existing economic imbalances, disproportionately affecting Global South countries due to limited healthcare infrastructure and vulnerable sectors.
  • Trade and Supply Chain Shifts: Post-pandemic and amid geopolitical conflicts, discussions on repositioning global supply chains have emerged, providing an opportunity for some Global South economies to restructure.

Geopolitical Realities:

  • Increased Collective Voice: The Global South's collective voice gained prominence in international forums like the G20, altering power dynamics and prompting greater consideration of their perspectives and interests.

Environmental and Climate Focus:

  • Climate Vulnerability: The Global South is disproportionately affected by climate change, leading to discussions on climate adaptation, resilience-building, and equitable global climate action.
  • Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development: Focus on sustainable development goals, renewable energy investments, and environmental conservation initiatives within the Global South garnered global attention and support.

Extension of BSF Jurisdiction

Weekly Current Affairs (22nd to 31st January 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context:

The Supreme Court (SC) is scheduled to address the controversy surrounding the extension of the Border Security Force (BSF) jurisdiction in Punjab.

What is BSF?

  • In 2021, the Ministry of Home Affairs released a notification to widen the BSF's jurisdiction in Punjab, West Bengal, and Assam. This move faced opposition from the Punjab government.

Establishment:

  • The Border Security Force (BSF) was established in 1965 following the India-Pakistan war.

Role and Administration:

  • It is one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces operating under the administrative authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • Other Central Armed Police Forces include the Assam Rifles (AR), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), National Security Guards (NSG), and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

Deployment and Operations:

  • The force, comprising 2.65 lakhs personnel, is stationed along the borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • BSF operates on the Indo-Pakistan International Border, Indo-Bangladesh International Border, and Line of Control (LoC) in collaboration with the Indian Army. Additionally, it participates in Anti-Naxal Operations.
  • BSF is responsible for safeguarding Sir Creek in the Arabian Sea and the Sundarbans delta in the Bay of Bengal, utilizing its advanced fleet of Water Crafts.

International Contributions:

  • The force actively contributes to UN peacekeeping missions by annually dispatching a substantial contingent of trained personnel.

Why was the BSF Jurisdiction Extended?

Jurisdiction of BSF:

  • The BSF is meant to secure India’s borders with its neighbouring nations and is empowered to arrest, search and seize under a number of laws, such as the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) of 1973, the Passports Act 1967, the Passport (Entry into India) Act 1920, and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), 1985 etc.
  • Section 139(1) of the BSF Act allows the central government, through an order, to designate an area “within the local limits of such area adjoining the borders of India” where members of the BSF can exercise powers to prevent offences under any Acts that the central government may specify.

Extension of BSF Jurisdiction:

  • Prior to the notification issued in October 2021, the BSF could exercise its powers within 15 kilometres of the border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam. The Centre expanded this to within 50 kilometres of the border.
  • The notification states that, within this larger 50-kilometre jurisdiction, the BSF can only exercise powers under the CrPC, the Passport (Entry into India) Act and the Passports Act.
  • For other central legislations, the 15-km limit remains.
  • In the states of Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, it extends to the entire area of the state.

Reasons for Extension of Jurisdiction:

  • Increased Use of Drones and UAVs: The expansion of the Jurisdiction of BSF was in response to the increased use of drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), which have long-range capabilities and enable spying and smuggling of arms and fake currency.
  • Cattle Smuggling: Cattle Smuggling is another issue that the BSF aims to combat. The extension of jurisdiction allows the BSF to address the challenges posed by smugglers who may attempt to take advantage of areas beyond the original jurisdiction of the force.
  • Smugglers often seek refuge outside BSF jurisdiction.
  • Uniform Jurisdiction: Extension of BSF Jurisdiction in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam establishes uniformity in the jurisdiction of the BSF across states in India by standardising the 50-kilometer limit, which was already applicable in Rajasthan.
  • Additionally, the notification reduced the jurisdiction in Gujarat from 80 kilometres to 50 kilometres.

What are the Issues Raised by the States Related to the Extension of BSF Jurisdiction?

Concerns about State Powers:

  • The expansion of BSF's jurisdiction would encroach upon the state's exclusive powers to legislate on matters related to the police and public order.
  • These powers are granted to the states under Entries 1 and 2 of the State List as per Article 246 of the Constitution.
  • Although, the Union government also has the legislative capacity to issue the direction under Entries 1 (defence of India), 2 (armed forces) and 2A (deployment of armed forces) of the Union Lists.
  • By extending the BSF's jurisdiction, the central government has overstepped into areas where states traditionally have authority.

Non-Cooperative Federalism:

  • Some states view the extension of BSF's jurisdiction as a challenge to the principles of Federalism, which emphasize a distribution of powers between the central government and the states.

Geographical Differences:

  • In Punjab, a significant number of cities and towns would fall within the 50-kilometer jurisdiction, while in Gujarat and Rajasthan, the areas along the international border are sparsely populated, primarily consisting of marshlands or deserts.
  • This geographical difference is one of the Prime factors influencing the impact of the jurisdiction extension.

What Measures are Required for Effective Border Management While Preserving State Jurisdiction?

Promoting Collaboration:

  • Encourage collaboration between central and state law enforcement agencies to jointly oversee border security.
  • Establish a framework for sharing information and coordinating activities among different security forces.
  • Formulate joint task forces comprising personnel from both central and state police for specific border regions.

Involvement of State Police:

  • Engage state police units in border surveillance to complement the efforts of central forces like the BSF.
  • Adopt a model akin to arrangements by the Coast Guard and Indian Navy at sea, where each force maintains exclusive jurisdiction but collaborates in mutual vigilance.

Integration of Technology:

  • Invest in advanced surveillance technologies, including drones, sensors, and communication systems, to bolster border monitoring.
  • Create a centralized information-sharing platform that consolidates data from various sources for real-time analysis.

Establishing a Clear Legal Framework:

  • Develop a transparent legal framework delineating the roles, responsibilities, and jurisdiction of both central and state forces in border areas.
  • Define protocols for addressing cross-border incidents and conducting joint investigations when necessary.

Regular Consultations:

  • Conduct regular consultations and meetings between central and state authorities to address concerns and challenges related to border management.
  • Establish a platform for ongoing dialogue to adapt strategies based on evolving security dynamics.

International Cooperation:

  • Initiate diplomatic efforts to enhance cooperation with neighboring countries on border security matters.
  • Explore joint initiatives, information sharing, and coordinated patrols with neighboring countries to tackle transnational security challenges.

Constitutional Perspective on Armed Forces Deployment in States:

  • Article 355 empowers the central government to deploy forces to protect a state from "external aggression and internal disturbance," even without the state's request for assistance.
  • In cases where a state opposes the deployment, the appropriate course for the Centre is to issue directives under Article 355 to the concerned state.
  • If the state does not comply with the central government's directive, further action can be taken under Article 356 (President’s Rule).

Question for Weekly Current Affairs (22nd to 31st January 2024) Part - 2
Try yourself:
What is the objective of the Third South Summit?
View Solution


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FAQs on Weekly Current Affairs (22nd to 31st January 2024) Part - 2 - Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

1. What is the purpose of the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace?
Ans. The purpose of the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace is to bring together Buddhist leaders and practitioners from Asian countries to promote peace, understanding, and cooperation among Buddhist communities.
2. What is the significance of Parakram Diwas 2024?
Ans. Parakram Diwas 2024 commemorates the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, a prominent leader in India's struggle for independence. It is celebrated to honor his contributions and sacrifices towards the country's freedom movement.
3. What is the role of the Sri Sri Auniati Satra Vaishnavite Monastery?
Ans. The Sri Sri Auniati Satra Vaishnavite Monastery is a religious institution in India that follows the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. It plays a significant role in preserving and promoting the teachings and practices of Vaishnavism.
4. What is the demand for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems?
Ans. The demand for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) refers to the increasing need for technologies and features in vehicles that enhance safety and assist drivers in various aspects of driving. ADAS includes features like lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.
5. What is the purpose of the Third South Summit?
Ans. The purpose of the Third South Summit is to bring together leaders and representatives from countries in the Global South to discuss and address common challenges, promote cooperation, and enhance the socio-economic development of the participating nations.
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