Daily Current Affairs: 14th October 2021

Topics covered

  1. Border Security Force
  2. Gati Shakti
  3. G 20
  4. Facts for prelims
  5. Places in News : Palk Strait, Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle

1 . Border Security Force

Context : The Union Home Ministry has enhanced the powers of the Border Security Force (BSF) to “arrest, search and seize” within 50 km from the international boundary in Assam, West Bengal and Punjab.


  • Earlier, BSF’s limit was fixed up to 80 km from the international boundary in Gujarat and 15 km in Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) claims that recent drone droppings of weapons from across the border have prompted this expansion in the jurisdiction of the BSF.
  • Section 139 of the Border Security Force Act, 1968 empowers the Center to notify from time to time the area and extent of operation of the Border Security Force. The Union Home Ministry has issued a notification modifying the ‘Schedule’ of the border areas, where the BSF will have the powers of search, seizure, and arrest under Acts like Passport Act, NDPS Act, and Customs Act.

About the New notification

  • As per the new notification, BSF officers will be able to conduct searches and arrests over a wider area in West Bengal, Punjab, and Assam. BSF has got the right to take this action under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the Passport Act, and the Passport (Entry to India) Act.
  • In Assam, West Bengal, and Punjab, the BSF has got the right to search and arrest just like the state police.
  • The MHA has given permission for raids and arrests up to an area of 50 km inside Indian territory from the International Border (IB) along India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh. Earlier, this range was 15 km. In addition to this, BSF will also be able to search and arrest in Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, and Ladakh.
  • However, along with this, the jurisdiction of BSF in Gujarat has been reduced and the extent of the border has been reduced from 80 km to 50 km to bring uniformity, while in Rajasthan the radius area has been kept 50 km as before.
  • No boundaries have been set for the five northeastern states of Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, and Manipur. Along with this, there is no boundary set in Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh.

About BSF

  • The Border Security Force (BSF) is India’s border guarding organisation on its border with Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is one of the five Central Armed Police Forces of India, and was raised in the wake of the 1965 War on 1 December 1965, “for ensuring the security of the borders of India and for matters connected there with
  • It comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs
  • It currently stands as the world’s largest border guarding force. BSF has been termed as the First Line of Defence of Indian Territories.

2 . PM Gati Shakti

Context :

About PM Gati Shakti?

  • It is a ‘national masterplan’ for multi-modal connectivity. It will help India realise its dream of becoming the “business capital” of the world.
  • The Gati Shakti masterplan will use geo-mapping and real-time data in one centralised portal to ensure that key departments and states have visibility over major projects being planned, especially the ones which have multi-sectoral and multi-regional reach.
  • Sixteen central government departments, including Railways, Roads and Highways, Petroleum and Gas, Power, Telecom, Shipping, Aviation and others will be part of this initiative.
  • Gati Shakti will incorporate the infrastructure schemes of various Union ministries and state governments — Bharatmala, Sagarmala, UDAN, inland waterways, dry/land ports etc. The plan will also ensure quick completion of works with cost efficiency


  • The plan includes 11 industrial corridors, achieving a Rs 1.7 lakh crore turnover in defence production and having 38 electronics manufacturing clusters and 109 pharma clusters by 2024-25.
  • The national master plan fixes targets up to 2024-25 for all infrastructure ministries.
    • For the Road Transport and Highways Ministry, the target is having National Highways of 2 lakh km, completion of four or six-lane national highways of 5,590 km along coastal areas and all state capitals in north-east to be connected with four-lane national highways or two two-lane national highways.
    • For Railways, the target by 2024-25 is to handle cargo of 1,600 million tonnes from 1,210 million tonnes in 2020, decongesting 51 percent of the Railway network by completing additional lines and implementation of two Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs).
    • In Civil Aviation, the target is to double the existing aviation footprint to have a total of 220 airports, heliports and water aerodromes by 2025 which would mean building additional 109 such facilities by then. In Shipping, the national masterplan says the target by 2024-25 is to have total cargo capacity to be handled at the ports at 1,759 MMTPA from 1,282 MMTPA in 2020.
    • The gas pipeline network in the country is aimed to be doubled to 34,500 km by 2024-25 by building an additional 17,000 km long trunk pipeline connecting major demand and supply centres for industries, as per the plan. In Power lines, the total transmission network by 2024-25 is targeted to be 4.52 lakh circuit km and the renewable energy capacity will be increased to 225 GW from 87.7 GW presently.

Importance of PM Gati Shakti

  • Due to the wide gap between macro planning and micro implementation, problems of lack of coordination, lack of advance information, thinking and working in silos were leading to hampered construction and wastage of budget.


  • One of the biggest bottlenecks was multiplicity of approvals and delayed clearances which this initiative will overcome. Its multiplier effects would lead to faster implementation of projects and keep costs under control.
  • Due to the wide gap between macro planning and micro implementation, problems of lack of coordination, lack of advance information, thinking and working in silos were leading to hampered construction and wastage of budget.
  • PM Gati Shakti is aimed at reducing logistic cost and turnaround time. With this, India will become a more attractive investment destination.
  • PM Gati Shakti will provide business community with information about upcoming connectivity projects, other business hubs and industrial areas.

3 . G -20

Context : At the meeting of the G-20 nations Prime minister Narendra Modi spoke about the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, especially as winter nears. He also called for international community to provide Afghanistan with immediate and unhindered access to humanitarian assistance.

About G 20

  • The G20, or Group of 20, is the main international forum for economic, financial and political cooperation: it addresses the major global challenges and seeks to generate public policies that resolve them. 
  • It is made up of the European Union and 19 countries: Germany, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, South Korea, United States, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom, Russia, South Africa and Turkey.


  • The G20 began as a forum of finance ministers and central bank presidents. It was created on September 25, 1999 at a meeting of finance ministers of the G7, who saw the need for a more inclusive group that generates a greater impact.
  • In 2008, during the international financial crisis, the world saw the need to generate new consensus among the highest ranking officials. From then on, the G20 summits also began to include meetings at the level of heads of State and Government, and the thematic agenda was expanded.


  • Together, the G20 members represent 85% of the global gross product, two thirds of the world population and 75% of international trade. 
  • In addition, the G20 debates are enriched by the participation of international partner organizations, invited countries and affinity groups, representing different sectors of civil society.


  • The presidency of the G20 rotates annually between the group’s 19 member countries.
  • As the G20 has no headquarters or permanent staff, the country which holds the G20 presidency hosts the meetings and plays a leading role in setting the agenda and building consensus among members.
  • Every year, when a new country takes on the presidency (in this case Argentina), it works hand-in-hand with the previous presidency (in this case Germany) and the following presidency (Japan) in what is collectively known as the troika. This is to ensure the consistency and continuity of the group’s agenda.

4 . Facts for Prelims

Emergency use approval

  • Drugs Controller General of India’s subject expert committee has approved the emergency use of Covaxin for kids aged between 2-18 years.
  • Covaxin is the second Covid-19 vaccine to get approval for emergency use among children in India after Zydus Healthcare’s ZyCoV-D.
  • In an emergency situation, like a pandemic that is causing great human loss and damage to the economy, it may not be possible to have all the data related to safety and efficacy that regulators expect in normal times.
  • The regulator will have to rely on preliminary data to assess whether the particular vaccine or drug will actually save lives and whether its benefits outweigh risks. The regulators may also take a cue from what the other regulators have done. Based on all this, the regulator will take a call on allowing emergency use.
  • In India, the Drugs & Cosmetics Act doesn’t have any specific provision that allows the special use of drugs and other medical products during emergencies like pandemics.

CRISP-M tool

  • CRISP-M is a web and mobile phone-based geographic information system-aided tool that has been designed to help communities make climate-smart decisions.
  • It helps enable them to absorb the effects of climate risks, adapt to climate impacts and transform their capacities to deal with growing climate impacts.
  • CRISP-M shows the value of combining scientific climate risk information, methods, practices and technology with the traditional knowledge, practices and skills of communities. 
  • The tool has already been successfully piloted in 18 village panchayats of Niwali Block in Badwani, Madhya Pradesh, and
  • MGNREGS, IIED, in partnership with MP Council of Science and Development (MPCST), has developed the Climate Resilience Information System and Planning Tool for MGNREGS (CRISP-M tool) for the the Ministry of Rural Development, India

Major uses of coal

  • Generating Electricity : Coal is mainly used as fuel to generate electricity through combustion. Thermal coal is used in power stations to generate electricity.
  • Production of Steel : The steel industry is the second largest user of coal. Coal and iron are essential raw materials used in the production of steel
  • Plant Fertiliser : Coal can be turned into ammonia fertiliser by breaking it into carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas. The hydrogen mixes with nitrogen to make ammonia.
  • Coal Gas and Coal Liquid as Transportation Fuel : Coal can be converted into gas and liquid which can be used to fuel cars, motorcycles and ships.
  • Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industry : Many chemical products are manufactured from the by-products of coal. Refined coal tar is used to make chemicals such as creosote oil, naphthalene, phenol and benzene.
  • Cement: Coal is used as an energy source in the cement industry given that the production of cement is extremely energy-intensive. By-products generated from burning coal are also used in concrete production.
  • Paper and Aluminium Industry : Aluminium smelting requires uninterrupted quality power supply for production which can be met only through in-house captive power plants (CPPs)

5 . Places in News

Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle

  • “Golden Crescent”, comprises illicit opium production areas in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan; and the “Golden Triangle”, the second largest opium production region in the world, covering Myanmar, Thailand and Laos.

Palk Strait

  • The Palk Strait is a strait between the Tamil Nadu state of India and the Jaffna District of the Northern Province of the island nation of Sri Lanka.

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