Daily Current Affairs: 23 October 2021

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics covered

  1. Central Bureau of Investigation
  2. Net zero target
  3. Public safety act
  4. Facts for Prelims
  5. Places in News

1 . Central Bureau of Investigation

Context : The Union Government told the Supreme Court that the Mamata Banerjee Government in West Bengal does not have any “absolute” power to keep the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from investigating crimes inside the State.

About the News

  • The Union Government, through the Department of Personnel and Training, was responding to a suit filed by the West Bengal Government against the Union of India under Article 131 of the Constitution. The State has challenged the CBI’s jurisdiction to register FIRs and conduct investigations in the State in myriad cases.
  • As per Central Govt “no power, not even the Union Government”, has the authority to rattle the autonomy of the premier agency to conduct investigations, especially in cases of post-poll violence transferred to it by the Calcutta High Court, in which the State police are under a cloud.

About Article 131

  • The Supreme Court has three kinds of jurisdictions: original, appellate and advisory.
  • Under its advisory jurisdiction, the President has the power to seek an opinion from the apex court under Article 143 of the Constitution.
  • Under its appellate jurisdiction, the Supreme Court hears appeals from lower courts.
  • In its extraordinary original jurisdiction, the Supreme Court has exclusive power to adjudicate upon disputes involving elections of the President and the Vice President, those that involve states and the Centre, and cases involving the violation of fundamental rights. 
  • For a dispute to qualify as a dispute under Article 131, it has to necessarily be between states and the Centre, and must involve a question of law or fact on which the existence of a legal right of the state or the Centre depends. In a 1978 judgment, State of Karnataka v Union of India, Justice P N Bhagwati had said that for the Supreme Court to accept a suit under Article 131, the state need not show that its legal right is violated, but only that the dispute involves a legal question.
  • Article 131 cannot be used to settle political differences between state and central governments headed by different parties.

How CBI operates

  • CBI is considered as a Central investigative agency but it was not constituted by an Act of Parliament like the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
  • The CBI was founded under a Delhi government law called the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act 1946 (DSPE Act).
  • Since the CBI has jurisdiction only over Central government departments and employees, it can investigate a case involving state government employees or a violent crime in a state only after the government concerned gives consent.

When can CBI Take over the Case registered by State Police

  • The CBI can take over a criminal case registered by a state police only in three situations:
    • First, the state government concerned makes a request to that effect and the Centre agrees to it pursuant to receiving comments from the CBI.
    • Second, the state government issues notification of consent under Section 6 of the DPSE Act, and the Centre also issues a similar notification.
    • Finally, if the Supreme Court or the high court orders the CBI to take up a case.

About General Consent

  • General consent is given by states so that the CBI can seamlessly conduct its investigation and not seek the state government nod for every case — unlike the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which has jurisdiction across the country.

Impact of Withdrawal of General Consent

  • The withdrawal of “general consent” will not have a bearing on cases that CBI has already been investigating. Also, withdrawal only means that the agency cannot register an FIR in Maharashtra. It can still register FIRs in other states and probe anyone in the state, as per a 2018 order of the Delhi High Court.
  • There is also no bar on the investigation into cases that are already being probed by the CBI, although the CBI now cannot file any new FIRs in any new cases.
  • Now CBI will need consent from the state for every case, if the Supreme Court asks the agency to take up a case, the withdrawal will not bar it from taking up the investigation

Click here to read more about CBI

2 . Net Zero target

Context: India weighs ‘net zero’ target ahead of CoP.

About the News

  • India has not entirely ruled out the possibility of agreeing to a “net zero” climate target, though it will not budge on demanding that developed nations make good their previous commitments, such as an annual $100 billion to developing countries for mitigating the impacts of climate change, facilitating technology transfer and putting in place a tangible market-based mechanism to activate the moribund carbon credit markets.

About Net Zero target

  • Net-zero, which is also referred to as carbon-neutrality, does not mean that a country would bring down its emissions to zero. Rather, net-zero is a state in which a country’s emissions are compensated by absorption and removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
  • Absorption of the emissions can be increased by creating more carbon sinks such as forests, while removal of gases from the atmosphere requires futuristic technologies such as carbon capture and storage.
  • This way, it is even possible for a country to have negative emissions, if the absorption and removal exceed the actual emissions. A good example is Bhutan which is often described as carbon-negative because it absorbs more than it emits
  • Gross zero would mean stopping all emissions, which isn’t realistically attainable across all sectors of our lives and industry. Even with best efforts to reduce them, there will still be some emissions.


  • According to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, the world must halve CO2 emissions by around 2030 and reach net-zero CO2 emissions by mid-century.
  • While net zero is a critical longer-term goal, steep emissions cuts – especially by the largest greenhouse-gas emitters – are imperative in the next 5 to 10 years in order to keep global warming to no more than 1.5 °C and safeguard a livable climate.
  • According to Scientis all nations committing to “net zero” will mean chance of restricting the average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, provided emissions fall to around 45% of the 2010 levels by 2030.

Current Status

  • Of the 191 Parties to the Paris Agreement, more than 130 Parties have so far submitted a new or updated national action plan – called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – as required by the agreement. Their planned combined emissions reductions by 2030 still fall far short of the level of ambition needed to achieve the 1.5 °C goal.
  • To date, 59 countries, representing 54% of global GHG emissions, have communicated net-zero emissions targets, including the world’s two largest emitters – the United States and China.
  • It goes against the core principle of “common but differentiated responsibility” that requires developed countries, which are responsible for the climate crisis, to take on deeper cuts and pay developing countries for the environmental damage from rising temperature as well as finance their transition to clean energy sources.

India’s stand on Net Zero

  • India’s long-term position in climate talks has always been that it will eschew the use of fossil fuels but only gradually because it cannot compromise on development, which is now primarily reliant on coal.
  • Over the next two to three decades, India’s emissions are likely to grow at the fastest pace in the world, as it presses for higher growth to pull hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.
  • No amount of afforestation or reforestation would be able to compensate for the increased emissions. Most of the carbon removal technologies right now are either unreliable or very expensive.
  • India is expected to announce its Net Zero Target in the upcoming CoP 26. There are also expectations that even if India doesn’t announce a net zero target, it may hint at an updated set of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), or a firmer set of commitments that could include higher clean-energy targets or reductions in specific categories of emissions.

3 . Public Safety Act

Context: Following the civilian killings and ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir beginning on Saturday, nearly 700 people have been detained in the Union Territory, including a few under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).

About PSA

  • The Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 is a preventive detention law, under which a person is taken into custody to prevent him or her from acting in any manner that is prejudicial to “the security of the state or the maintenance of the public order”. It is very similar to the National Security Act that is used by other state governments for preventive detention.
  • It comes into force by an administrative order passed either by Divisional Commissioner or the District Magistrate, and not by an detention order by police based on specific allegations or for specific violation of laws.
  • The PSA allows for detention of a person without a formal charge and without trial. It can be slapped on a person already in police custody; on someone immediately after being granted bail by a court; or even on a person acquitted by the court. Detention can be up to two years.

What happens after PSA is used?

  • A person who is detained under the PSA need not be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours of the detention. The detained person does not have the right to move a bail application before a criminal court, and cannot engage any lawyer to represent him or her before the detaining authority.
  • Within four weeks of passing the detention order, the government has to refer the case to an Advisory Board. This Advisory Board will have to give its recommendations within eight weeks of the order. If the Board thinks that there is cause for preventive detention, the government can hold the person up to two years.
  • The person detained has limited rights. Usually when a person is arrested, they have the right to legal representation and can challenge the arrest. But, when a person is arrested under the PSA, they do not have these rights before the Advisory Board unless sufficient grounds can be established that the detention is illegal. There have been cases where the High Court has interfered and quashed the detention.
  • According to Section 13(2), the detaining authority need not even inform the detained individual as to the reason for the action, if it decides that it goes against public interest.
  • The District Magistrate who has passed the detention order has protection under the Act, which states that the order is considered “done in good faith”. Therefore, there can be no prosecution or any legal proceeding against the official who has passed the order.
  • After an amendment last year by the Governor, persons detained under the PSA in Jammu & Kashmir can now be detained in jails outside the state.


  • The only way this administrative preventive detention order can be challenged is through a habeas corpus petition filed by relatives of the detained person.
  • The High Court and the Supreme Court have the jurisdiction to hear such petitions and pass a final order seeking quashing of the PSA.
  • However, if the order is quashed, there in no bar on the government passing another detention order under the PSA and detaining the person again.

Supreme Court on Public Safety Act

  • The Supreme Court has held that while detaining a person under the PSA, the DM has a legal obligation to analyse all the circumstances before depriving that person of his/her personal liberty.
  • It has also held that when a person already under police custody is slapped with the PSA, the DM has to record “compelling reasons” for detaining that person.
  • While the DM can detain a person multiple times under the PSA, he or she has to produce fresh facts while passing the subsequent detention order.
  • Also, all the material on the basis of which the detention order has been passed, the Supreme Court has held, should be provided to the detained person for making an effective representation.
  • The grounds of detention has to explain and communicate to the person in the language understood by the detained person.

4 . Facts for Prelims

Pinaka Missile System

  • Pinaka is a multiple rocket launcher produced in India and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Army.The Pinaka Mk-II rocket is modified as a missile by integrating with the navigation, control and guidance system to improve the accuracy and enhance the range.
  • Pinaka rocket systems was named after Pinaka, the bow of Lord Shiva. Pinaka was used for the first time in Kargil war.
  • The manufacturing of Pinaka missiles began with the help of Russian technology transfer.The plan was formulated in 1983 and manufacturing began in 1994.
  • Pinaka Mark I was first launched-It is an indigenous multi-barrel unguided rocket launch system for firing of multiple warheads .It was used in the 1999 Kargil conflict.It has a range of 40 km.
  • Pinaka Mark I was later transformed into a short-range precision guided missile and thus renamed as Guided Pinaka – Mark II.
  • The Mark-I version of Pinaka has a range of around 40 kilometres and the Mark-II version can fire up to 75 kilometres.
  • The Mark-II version of the rocket has been modified as a guided missile system by integrating it with the navigation, control and guidance system to improve the end accuracy and increase the range. The navigation system of the missile is linked with the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System.

Smerch long range multi barrel rocket launch system

  • The 9K58 Smerch 300mm Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) is designed to defeat soft and hard-skinned targets, artiller.
  • It is produced by the Splav State Research and Production Association, Tula, Russia, which also manufactures the Uragan, Grad and Prima rocket launchers. 

BrahMos super sonic cruise missile

  • An amalgamation of the names of Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers, the BrahMos is designed, developed and produced by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture company set up by DRDO and Mashinostroyenia of Russia.
  • Various versions of the BrahMos, including those that can be fired from land, warships, submarines and Sukhoi-30 fighter jets, have already been developed and successfully tested in the past.
  • The BrahMos (PJ-10) is a short-range, ramjet powered, single warhead, supersonic anti-ship/land attack cruise missile developed and manufactured by India and Russia.
  • The BrahMos, which derives its name from the Brahmaputra and Moscow rivers in India and Russia, is based on the earlier Russian design for the SS-N-26 (3M55 Oniks/Yakhont/Bastion) cruise missile.
  • BRAHMOS is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine as its first stage which brings it to supersonic speed and then gets separated.
  • The liquid ramjet or the second stage then takes the missile closer to 3 Mach speed in cruise phase. Stealth technology and guidance system with advanced embedded software provides the missile with special features.
  • The missile has flight range of up to 290-km with supersonic speed all through the flight, leading to shorter flight time, consequently ensuring lower dispersion of targets, quicker engagement time and non-interception by any known weapon system in the world.
  • It operates on ‘Fire and Forget Principle’, adopting varieties of flights on its way to the target. Its destructive power is enhanced due to large kinetic energy on impact. Its cruising altitude could be up to 15 km and terminal altitude is as low as 10 meters.
  • It carries a conventional warhead weighing 200 to 300 kgs.
  • Compared to existing state-of-the-art subsonic cruise missiles, BRAHMOS has:
    • 3 times more velocity
    • 2.5 to 3 times more flight range
    • 3 to 4 times more seeker range
    • 9 times more kinetic energy
  • The missile has identical configuration for land, sea and sub-sea platforms and uses a Transport Launch Canister (TLC) for transportation, storage and launch
  • BrahMos are a type of system known as “standoff range weapons”, which are fired from a range sufficient to allow the attacker to evade defensive fire from the adversary. These weapons are in the arsenals of most major militaries in the world. BrahMos Aerospace was set up in 1998 with the aim to build such missiles.
  • Special features
    • Universal for multiple platforms
    • “Fire and Forget” principle of operation
    • High supersonic speed all through the flight
    • Long flight range with varieties of flight trajectories
    • Low radar signature
    • Shorter flight times leading to lower target dispersion and quicker engagement
    • Pin point accuracy with high lethal power aided by large kinetic energy on impact

Uighur community

  • Uyghur, Chinese (Pinyin) Weiwu’er is a Turkic-speaking people of interior Asia.
  • Uyghurs live for the most part in northwestern China, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; a small number live in the Central Asian republics.
  • There were some 10,000,000 Uyghurs in China and a combined total of at least 300,000 in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan in the early 21st century.
  • China has been accused of committing crimes against humanity and possibly genocide against the Uyghur population and other mostly-Muslim ethnic groups in the north-western region of Xinjiang.
  • Human rights groups believe China has detained more than one million Uyghurs against their will over the past few years in a large network of what the state calls “re-education camps”.
  • Recent decades have seen a mass migration of Han Chinese (China’s ethnic majority) into Xinjiang, allegedly orchestrated by the state to dilute the minority population there.

5 . Places in News


  • Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of the Americas
  • Barbados elects first ever president ahead of becoming republic.
  • Dame Sandra Mason, 72, is set to be sworn in on 30 November, which will mark the country’s 55th anniversary of independence from Britain.
  • Once heavily dependent on sugar exports, its economy has diversified into tourism and finance.

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