Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- Inter state arrest
- La Nina
- Food Labelling
- Deemed Forest
- National Family Health Survey
- Facts for Prelims
1 . Inter State Arrest
Context : The arrest of BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga by Punjab Police on Friday (May 6) precipitated a crisis after the Delhi Police registered a case of kidnapping against the Punjab Police team that apprehended Bagga. The team, while transporting Bagga to Punjab, was then detained by Haryana Police en route and questioned on the basis of a warrant that Delhi Police got issued from a city court. By evening, Delhi Police had escorted Bagga back to the national capital.
- In the present case, Punjab Police have maintained that Bagga had been served five summons to join the investigations with regard to a case where he has been accused of making death threats to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, but he failed to appear for questioning.
What is the procedure for making inter-state arrests?
- Police is a State subject, and thus the jurisdiction of a state police is limited to the state.
- Broadly, the intent of the law has been that a criminal in a particular state must be arrested by the police of that state. However, in certain circumstances the law does allow the police of one state to arrest an accused in another state. This may be done by the execution of a warrant issued by a competent court, or even without a warrant — in which case the concerned state police must inform the local police about the arrest.
- State police forces across the country regularly make arrests in other states. In the normal course, this is done with the assistance of the local police. In many cases, however, the local police are merely informed before or after the arrest.
And what does the law say on inter-state arrests?
- The powers of the police to arrest an accused in another state have not been defined clearly as far as arresting without a warrant is concerned.
- Section 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) gives the police such powers, but the procedure is not defined. Section 48 merely says, “A police officer may, for the purpose of arresting without warrant any person whom he is authorised to arrest, pursue such person into any place in India.”
- It has been debated whether the word “pursue” in this section means entering another state in a chase, or is applicable to an accused who is staying in another state and is not cooperating with investigators
- Section 79 of the CrPC deals with inter-state arrests on the basis of warrants issued by competent courts. This section lays down detailed procedures for such arrests. However, this is not applicable to the case of Bagga, as Punjab Police made the arrest without a warrant — which it has the powers to do.
- Police, however, have an obligation to present an arrested person before a magistrate within 24 hours.
- Article 22(2) of the Constitution of India says: “Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours of such arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the magistrate, and no such person shall be detained in custody beyond the said period without the authority of a magistrate.”
- This is also laid down in Sections 56 and 57 of the CrPC. Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga greets his father upon his arrival, at his residence after being produced before the Duty Metropolitan Magistrate, in New Delhi, Friday night, May 6, 2022. (PTI Photo)
Guidelines on inter-state arrests?
- In 2019, in ‘Sandeep Kumar vs The State (Govt. Of NCT Of Delhi)’ case, the Delhi High Court issued certain guidelines for inter-state arrests.
- These state that a police officer must seek permission from his superior, in writing or on the phone, to visit another state to arrest a criminal. He must record reasons for a such a move in writing, and first make an endeavour to get an arrest warrant from a court except in “emergent cases”.
- He must also make “a comprehensive departure entry in the Daily Diary of his Police Station” before proceeding to another state.
- “Before visiting the other State, the Police Officer must endeavour to establish contact with the local Police Station in whose jurisdiction he is to conduct the investigation. He must carry with him the translated copies of the Complaint/FIR and other documents in the language of the State which he intends to visit,” the guidelines said.
- After reaching the other state, he should inform the concerned police station of the purpose of his visit to seek assistance and cooperation. “The concerned SHO should provide/render all legal assistance to him. Entry to this effect must be made at the said police station,” the guidelines said.
- While returning, the police officer must visit the local police station and “cause an entry made in the Daily Diary specifying the name and address of the person(s) being taken out of the State”
- The guidelines also expect the police to make an effort to obtain transit remand after producing the arrested person before the nearest magistrate unless exigencies of the situation warrant otherwise, and if the person can be produced before the magistrate having jurisdiction of the case without infringing the mandate of Sections 56 and 57 of the CrPC within 24 hours.
- On arrival at his police station, the police officer must make an arrival entry in the record and indicate the investigation carried out by him. He must also maintain a logbook of the vehicle used to ferry the accused from the other state.
- The guidelines make an exception for “urgent cases”, in which the police of a state may not inform their counterparts in the other state of an impending arrest.
- “…In case of urgency or other considerations in the interest of investigation, it is not found feasible to inform the police station encompassing the jurisdiction of the search, seizure, arrest or investigation before the event, this should be done soon after… In all cases a diary entry should mandatorily be made in the police station of jurisdiction,” the guidelines said.
2 . La NINA
Context : In most years, meteorologists consider the La Nina to be a friend of India. The phenomenon associated with below normal sea surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean, makes the summer monsoon wetter and the winter colder unlike its evil twin, the El Nino, or a warming phenomenon that frequently dries up monsoon rains over India. This year, however, the La Nina is being blamed for worsening perhaps the longest spell of heatwaves from March to April in north, west and Central India.
What is La Niña?
- The La Niña and El Nino are oceanic and atmospheric phenomena that typically develop between April and June and gain strength during October and February. Though these events prevail for 9-12 months, they can last for up to two years.
- Under normal conditions, trade winds or the winds guiding the ocean currents in the Pacific Ocean blow west along the equator. This causes warm water from South America to move towards Asia. Cold water rises from the depths of the ocean to replace the displaced warm water.
- However, two opposing climate patterns, El Niño and La Niña, break these normal conditions.
- El Niño, which means a little boy in Spanish, weakens the trade winds and corresponds to the warmer phase. During this phenomenon, warmer currents are pushed back east, toward the west coast of the America. A large part along the equator experiences above-normal ocean temperature. The heat dissipating from the ocean rises into the atmosphere and causes warmer air temperatures in the Pacific, thereby leading to warmer global air temperatures.
- On the other hand, La Niña, which means ‘a girl’ in Spanish, is responsible for an opposite climatic pattern. During this phase, a strong easterly current pushes the water towards the west, which cools the ocean surface.
- El Nino and La Nina are phases of a bigger weather pattern called ENSO or El Nino-Southern Oscillation in the Pacific Ocean with global weather ramifications.
- While in El Nino, warm water is pushed back east, toward the west coast of the Americas, during La Nina trade winds are even stronger than usual, pushing more warm water toward Asia. The two climatic conditions have global impacts on weather conditions worldwide with the power to shape economies.
Heat Waves and La Niña
- The persistence of the heat wave is linked to pressure conditions created by the ongoing La Niña phenomenon, which formed for a second consecutive year in the winter of 2021. La Niña is an oceanic phenomenon that moves warm waters from the western Americas towards eastern Asia in the Pacific, and in turn also affects the jet stream.
- Jet streams are bands of powerful winds that circle the globe at different latitudes, affecting the global weather.
- Every summer, the formation of a low pressure over India pulls in high-pressure winds from the Arabian Sea, causing the monsoon. However, the subtropical jet stream that blows over the northern half of India developed a ridge or a crest. This meant that the hot air over land was boxed in from all sides by the jet stream’s high pressure, resulting in the formation of a ‘heat dome’. The resultant overall high-pressure region prevents other winds from being pulled into the subcontinent.
- Within the heat dome, the jet stream moves air from west to east, but this air sinks back hot, leading to a heat wave.
- Experts believe the anomaly itself was likely triggered by persistent La Niña conditions, which continue to affect weather in parts of the globe.
- La Niña produces a low-pressure pattern over the Indian subcontinent, which leads to a harsh winter. This climate pattern dissipates after the winter, but has continued to persist this year, for two years in a row, leading to other disturbances like the formation of rare cyclones in March.
- All these conditions, combined with the warming Arctic’s currents being pulled down, caused heat-wave conditions to persist for nearly two months.
Impact on Wester Disturbances
- While land temperatures over India begin rising in March, they are usually punctuated by western disturbances, or moisture from the Mediterranean region that fall as rain over north and western India.
- For these currents to make it as far as India, they need a significant difference in temperature between Europe and the latitudes over India. “Partly due to La Nina, this temperature difference was absent and so the western disturbances that came to India were weak with hardly any rain
3 . Food Labelling
Context : The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is expected to issue a draft regulation for labels on front of food packets that will inform consumers if a product is high in salt, sugar and fat. It is expected to propose a system under which stars will be assigned to a product, which has earned the ire of public health experts and consumer organisations who say it will be misleading and ineffective. Health experts are demanding that the FSSAI instead recommend the “warning label” system which has proven to have altered consumer behaviour.
Why do we need front-of-package labelling?
- In the past three decades, the country’s disease patterns have shifted. While mortality due to communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases has declined and India’s population is living longer, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries are increasingly contributing to the overall disease burden.
- In 2016, NCDs accounted for 55% of premature death and disability in the country. Indians also have a disposition for excessive fat around the stomach and abdomen which leads to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
- According to the National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-2021), 47.7% of men and 56.7% of women have high risk waist-to-hip ratio.
- An increased consumption of packaged and junk food has also led to a double burden of undernutrition and overnutrition among children. Over half of the children and adolescents, whether under-nourished or with normal weight, are at risk of cardiovascular diseases, according to an analysis by the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey in India (2016-2018).
- Reducing sugar, salt, and fat is among the best ways to prevent and control non-communicable diseases. While the FSSAI requires mandatory disclosure of nutrition information on food packets, this is located on the back of a packet and is difficult to interpret.
What decision has FSSAI taken?
- At a stakeholder’s meeting on February 15, 2022, three important decisions were taken on what would be the content of the draft regulations on front-of-package labelling.
- These included threshold levels to be used to determine whether a food product was high in sugar, salt and fat; that the implementation will be voluntary for a period of four years before it is made mandatory; and that the health-star rating system would be used as labels on the basis of a study commissioned by the FSSAI and conducted by IIM-Ahmedabad. The food industry agreed with the FSSAI’s decision on the issue of mandatory implementation and use of ratings, and sought more time to study the issue of thresholds.
- The World Health Organization representative said the thresholds levels were lenient, while the consumer organisations opposed all three decisions.
- The biggest contention is over the use of a health-star rating system that uses 1/2 a star to five stars to indicate the overall nutrition profile of a product.
Why is there opposition to the rating system?
- In a health-star rating system, introduced in 2014 in Australia and New Zealand, a product is assigned a certain number of stars using a calculator designed to assess positive (e.g., fruit, nut, protein content, etc) and risk nutrients in food (calories, saturated fat, total sugar, sodium).
- Scientists have said that such a system misrepresents nutrition science and the presence of fruit in a fruit drink juice does not offset the impact of added sugar. Experts say that so far there is no evidence of the rating system impacting consumer behaviour.
- The stars can also lead to a ‘health halo’ because of their positive connotation making it harder to identify harmful products. Over 40 global experts have also called the IIM-Ahmedabad study flawed in design and interpretation.
- There are many other labelling systems in the world, such as “warning labels” in Chile (which uses black octagonal or stop symbols) and Israel (a red label) for products high in sugar, salt and fat. The ‘NutriScore’, used in France, presents a coloured scale of A to E, and the Multiple Traffic Light (MTL), used in the U.K. and other countries depict red (high), amber (medium) or green (low) lights to indicate the risk factors.
- Global studies have shown a warning label is the only format that has led to a positive impact on food and beverage purchases forcing the industry, for example in Chile, to reformulate their products to remove major amounts of sugar and salt.
4 . Deemed Forest
Context : The Karnataka Government notified 3.3 lakh hectares as deemed forest. The notification dated May 5 by the Under Secretary to the Department of Forest Environment and Ecology, M. Satyavati, states that the total land includes 2.21 lakh hectares of deemed forest land identified by the Reconstituted Expert Committee-No.1 and 1.08 lakh hectares of land, which was not included by the expert committee but meets the local requirements for calling it as forest.
What are deemed forests?
- While the concept of deemed forests has not been clearly defined in any law including the Forest Conservation Act of 1980, the Supreme Court in the case of T N Godavarman Thirumalpad (1996) accepted a wide definition of forests under the Act.
- “The word ‘forest’ must be understood according to its dictionary meaning. This description covers all statutorily recognised forests, whether designated as reserved, protected or otherwise for the purpose of Section 2 (1) of the Forest Conservation Act,” the Supreme Court said in its December 12, 1996 order.
- “The term ‘forest land’ occurring in Section 2 will not only include ‘forest’ as understood in the dictionary sense, but also any areas recorded as forest in the government record irrespective of the ownership. The provisions enacted in the Forest Conservation Act 1980 for the conservation of forest and the matters connected therewith must apply clearly to all forest so understood irrespective of the ownership or classification thereof,” the court said. al.
- An expert committee constituted by the Karnataka government after the Supreme Court order identified ‘deemed forests’ as “land having the characteristic of forests irrespective of the ownership’”. Thickly wooded areas of the Revenue Department not handed over to the Forest Department; thickly wooded areas recommended to be handed over to the Forest Department; thickly wooded land distributed to grantees but not cultivated; and thickly wooded plantations of the Forest Department could all be ‘deemed forests’, the committee said in a report in 2002.
5 . NFHS Survey
Context : The Total Fertility Rate (TFR), an average number of children per woman, has further declined from 2.2 to 2.0 at the national level between National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 4 and 5.
About NFHS Survey
- National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India.
- Three rounds of the survey have been conducted since the first survey in 1992-93.
- The survey provides state and national information for India on fertility, infant and child mortality, the practice of family planning, maternal and child health, reproductive health, nutrition, anaemia, utilization and quality of health and family planning services.
- Each successive round of the NFHS has had two specific goals:
- a) to provide essential data on health and family welfare needed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other agencies for policy and programme purposes, and
- b) to provide information on important emerging health and family welfare issues.
- The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), Government of India, designated the International Institute for Population Sciences(IIPS) Mumbai, as the nodal agency, responsible for providing coordination and technical guidance for the survey.
- IIPS collaborated with a number of Field Organizations (FO) for survey implementation. Each FO was responsible for conducting survey activities in one or more states covered by the NFHS.
- Technical assistance for the NFHS was provided mainly by ICF (USA) and other organizations on specific issues. The funding for different rounds of NFHS has been provided by USAID, DFID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, UNFPA, and MOHFW, GOI.
- The NFHS-5 national report lists progress from NFHS-4 (2015-16) to NFHS-5 (2019-21).
- The NFHS-5 survey work has been conducted in and around 6.37 lakh sample households from 707 districts (as on March, 2017) of the country from 28 States and eight UTs, covering 7,24,115 women and 1,01,839 men to provide dis-aggregated estimates up to district level.
- The report also provides data by socio-economic and other background characteristics; useful for policy formulation and effective programme implementation.
Key Findings of Report
- There are only five States — Bihar (2.98), Meghalaya (2.91), Uttar Pradesh (2.35), Jharkhand (2.26) Manipur (2.17) — in India which are above replacement level of fertility of 2.1 as per the national report of the NFHS-5, released by the Union Health Ministry.
- The other key highlights of the survey include institutional births increased from 79% to 89% across India and in rural areas around 87% births being delivered in institutions and the same is 94% in urban areas.
- As per results of the NFHS-5, more than three-fourths (77%) children aged between 12 and 23 months were fully immunised, compared with 62% in NFHS-4.
- The level of stunting among children under five years has marginally declined from 38% to 36% in the country since the last four years. Stunting is higher among children in rural areas (37%) than urban areas (30%) in 2019-21.
- NFHS-5 shows an overall improvement in Sustainable Development Goals indicators in all States/Union Territories (UTs). The extent to which married women usually participate in three household decisions (about health care for herself; making major household purchases; visit to her family or relatives) indicates that their participation in decision-making is high, ranging from 80% in Ladakh to 99% in Nagaland and Mizoram. Rural (77%) and urban (81%) differences are found to be marginal. The prevalence of women having a bank or savings account has increased from 53% to 79% in the last four years.
- Compared with NFHS-4, the prevalence of overweight or obesity has increased in most States/UTs in NFHS-5. At the national level, it increased from 21% to 24% among women and 19% to 23% among men. More than a third of women in Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Sikkim, Manipur, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Punjab, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep (34-46 %) are overweight or obese.
6 . Facts for Prelims
Central Council of Health and Family Welfare
- The Central Council of Health and Family Welfare was set up under Article 263 of the Constitution to provide support and advice to the Department of Health on policy formulation.
- Dhap dance is an old adivasi traditional dance of the tribes of Orissa. It is performed during the main festival of the Oriyas, ‘Nuakhai’.