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Current Affairs – 14 April 2021

Current Affairs (14th April 2021)

Maximise India’s milk production

Context:

  • According to a recent British-Australian assessment of livestock, Cross-breeding, herd management and species composition were key strategies for maximising milk production in India.

About:

  • It is the first livestock yield gap assessment that models potential three-fold productivity gains in India with a systems approach.
  • Increasing milk production would require both, an increase in the quantity of feed available and more efficient use of existing resources.
  • This was especially important as the smaller, indigenous livestock breeds were replaced by larger cross-bred cattle and buffaloes with higher energy requirements.
  • Cross-breeding of indigenous cattle with exotic species effectively combines the environmental resilience of the former with the production potential of the latter.
  • While the extensive use of cross-breeding programmes is thus critical to meet the future demand for milk and other dairy products in India, it is essential that indigenous cattle are also maintained for their irreplaceable contribution to Indian agriculture and society.
  • It was also vitally important to collect high quality data on productivity and health from both indigenous and cross-breeds in order to be able to make informed decisions on the future role of each in the Indian dairy sector.

 

No blanket protection orders while probe on: Supreme Court to HCs

Context:

  • The Supreme Court cautioned the high courts from passing blanket orders protecting accused persons from arrest during pendency of investigation.
  • SC also ruled that in case it ordered that “no coercive steps (are) to be adopted…the High Court must clarify what does it mean by” that, lest it is “too vague and/or broad which can be misunderstood and/or misapplied”.

About Ruling:

  • The High Court shall not, and as such is not justified in passing the order of not to arrest and/or ‘no coercive steps’ either during investigation or till investigation is completed, and/or till the final report/chargesheet is filed under Section 173 Cr.P.C., while dismissing/disposing of the quashing petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. and/or under Article 226 of the Constitution.
  • Though, while passing interim orders, it is not necessary to elaborately deal with the merits, it is certainly desirable and proper for the High Court to indicate the reasons which have weighed with it in granting such an extraordinary relief in the form of interim protection.
  • Passing such type of blanket interim orders without assigning reasons, of not to arrest and/or “no coercive steps” would hamper the investigation and may affect the statutory right/duty of police to investigate the cognizable offence.
  • Granting of such blanket order would not only adversely affect the investigation but would have far-reaching implications for maintaining the Rule of Law.
  • Therefore, such a blanket order is not justified. The order of the High Court must disclose reasons why it has passed an ad-interim direction during pendency of proceedings under Section 482 Cr.P.C. Such reasons, however brief, must disclose an application of mind.
  • The ruling reiterated that the FIR is not an “encyclopedia” which must disclose all facts and details relating to the offence reported, and courts should not go into the merits of the allegations when investigation by the police is in progress.
  • Therefore, when investigation by the police is in progress, the court should not go into the merits of allegations in the FIR. Police must be permitted to complete the investigation.
  • It would be premature to pronounce the conclusion based on hazy facts that the complaint/FIR does not deserve to be investigated or that it amounts to abuse of process of law.
  • After investigation, if the investigating officer finds that there is no substance in the application made by the complainant, the investigating officer may file an appropriate report/summary before the learned Magistrate which may be considered by the learned Magistrate in accordance with the known procedure.

 

Currency chest

Context:

  • Recently, The theft of Rs 4.04 crore by a private security guard from the currency chest of Axis Bank, Chandigarh has put the affairs of currency chests in the spotlight.

What is currency chest ? Which authority monitors it?

  • Currency chest is a place where the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stocks the money meant for banks and ATMs.
  • These chests are usually situated on the premises of different banks but administrated by the RBI. Representatives of the RBI inspect currency chests time-to-time, and update their senior officers about it.
  • The money present in the currency chest belongs to the RBI and the money, kept in the strong room outside the currency chest belongs to the bank.
  • In the case of Axis Bank, the stolen amount of Rs 4.04 crore was the property of the RBI. Before sanctioning the currency chests, the RBI personnel inspect the premises of the applicant banks.

How is the loss recovered in case of a crime resulting in loss of cash?

  • As per the set guidelines, the bank, in which the currency chest is situated is liable to fulfill the loss of the currency chest. In the present case, Axis Bank will have to fulfill the loss from its account.
  • There are certain categories of the loss. But in the cases of thefts, robberies and fraud from the currency chests situated within the bank premises, the bank is considered to be responsible.
  • The Axis Bank has fulfilled the loss of the RBI in the present case. Regarding any crime, the bank concern is are also bound to submit a Fraud Monitoring Report (FMR) to the RBI.

What is the security arrangement for the chests?

  • The security of currency chests is the subject of the bank in which chests are situated. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reimburses the security expenses to the bank as per the set norms.
  • The expenses includes the cost of transportation of cash from one bank to another. In the current case, the management of Axis Bank has hired Punjab police personnel for the security of currency chest.
  • A bank may stock in the currency chest as per its Cash Balance Limit (CBL), which differs in every bank.

 

‘Northeast citizens faced bias amid pandemic’

Context:

  • A study on racial discrimination and hate crimes against people from the northeastern States was conducted by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR).

Highlights:

  • 78% of the people from the region who were interviewed believed that physical appearance was the most important reason for prejudice.
  • Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, people from the region faced an increased number of acts of hate and prejudices against them.
  • A series of attacks were reported in various parts of the country, where people from the region were harassed, abused, traumatised and were disparagingly called coronavirus.
  • The study quoted a 2020 report from the Right and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG) that found a significant upsurge in acts of racial discrimination against people from the northeastern region.
  • The risk of being victimised in racial hatred remains subtle yet deeply entrenched.

Safeguarding the vulnerable migrants:

  • In 2014, the Government of India set up the Bezbaruah Committee to investigate concerns of the persons hailing from the North-Eastern states who are living in different parts of the country, especially the metropolitan areas, and to suggest suitable remedial measures which could be taken by the Government.
  • The P. Bezbaruah Committee recommended amendments to the IPC by creating new offences under Section 153C and 509A to deal with comments, gestures and acts intended to insult a member of a particular racial group.
  • It also suggested making such offences ‘gender-neutral’, ‘cognizable’ and ‘non-bailable’ with imprisonment extendable up to three years or five years with fine, respectively.

 

Raisina Dialogue

Context:

  • Prime Minister inaugurated the sixth edition of the Raisina Dialogue virtually.
  • The Event is jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation.
  • The theme for the 2021 Edition is “#ViralWorld: Outbreaks, Outliers and Out of Control”.

About:

  • It is a multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community.
  • Every year, global leaders in policy, business, media and civil society are hosted in New Delhi to discuss cooperation on a wide range of pertinent international policy matters.
  • The Dialogue is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving heads of state, cabinet ministers and local government officials, as well as major private sector executives, members of the media and academics.
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