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Current Affairs 16th May 2024 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Grounds of Arrest

Context: The Supreme Court of India invalidated the arrest of NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha, ordering his release, due to the improper procedures followed during his arrest under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

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  • The court held that the ratio laid down in the judgement in the case Pankaj Bansal v Union of India mandating that grounds of arrest must be supplied to the accused in writing will also apply in the cases registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.
  • The court dismissed the argument that Purkayastha was “orally” informed about the grounds of his arrest.
  • Additionally, the Supreme Court has ruled that article 22(1) of the Constitution mandates that an arrested person must be informed of the grounds of arrest and allowed to consult a lawyer, which was violated in this case.

Section 43 (A) and 43(B) of the UAPA

Section 43A: Power to Arrest, Search, etc.

Any officer of the Designated Authority, empowered by a general or special order of the Central or State Government, can:

  • Arrest a person if they know of a plan to commit an offence under the UAPA or have reason to believe, based on personal knowledge or written information, that the person has committed an offence punishable under this Act.
  • Search any building, conveyance, or place, by day or night, if they believe it contains evidence of the commission of an offence, illegally acquired property, or any document or article related to such property.
  • Authorise a subordinate officer to carry out the arrest or search.

Section 43B: Procedure of Arrest, Seizure, etc.

  • Informing Grounds of Arrest: Any officer arresting a person under Section 43A must inform the person of the grounds for the arrest “as soon as possible”.
  • Forwarding Arrested Person and Seized Articles: Every person arrested and an article seized under Section 43A must be forwarded without unnecessary delay to the officer-in-charge of the nearest police station.
  • Subsequent Measures: The authority or officer to whom any person or article is forwarded must promptly take necessary measures in accordance with the provisions of the Code.

Igla – S Air Defence System

Context: The Indian Army is expected to receive a new batch of Russian Igla-S very short range air defence systems (VSHORAD) by the end of May or early June.

About Igla- S (or SA-24 Grinch)

  • It is a man-portable air defence system (MANPADS).
  • Developed by: Russia.
  • Capabilities:
    • Operation: It is a hand-held defence system that can be operated by an individual or a crew.
    • Target Neutralisation: Designed to bring down low-flying aircraft and can also identify and neutralise air targets such as cruise missiles and drones.
    • Components: Comprises the 9M342 missile, the 9P522 launching mechanism, the 9V866-2 mobile test station, and the 9F719-2 test set, working together for a comprehensive air defence solution.
    • Role: Serves as the soldier’s last line of defence against enemy combat aircraft, helicopters, and UAVs within a multilayered air defence network.
  • Range and Performance:
    • Range: Effective range is from 500 metres to 6 kilometres.
    • Altitude: Can attack targets up to an altitude of 3.5 kilometres.
    • Speed: Missile speed is 400 metres per second.
    • Deployment Time: Deployment time is 13 seconds.
  • Significance: The acquisition of the Igla-S MANPADS enhances India’s air defence capabilities, particularly in mountainous regions.

Ethylene Oxide

Context: India has mandated the testing and sampling of Ethylene Oxide (EtO) residue for all spice shipments to Singapore and Hong Kong.

What is Ethylene Oxide?

  • Ethylene oxide is a pesticide and industrial chemical used as a fumigant by the spice industry to reduce microbial contamination like E. coli and Salmonella.
  • It is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, indicating strong evidence from human studies that it can cause cancer.
  • The chemical is colourless, highly flammable, and very reactive, effectively killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
  • Usage of ETO: Ethylene oxide is used industrially and in agriculture, primarily for sterilising medical devices and food products such as spices, to extend shelf life and reduce microbial contamination.
  • Health Risks of Ethylene Oxide Consumption
    • Ethylene oxide can damage DNA and increase the risk of various cancers, including leukaemia, stomach cancer, and breast cancer.
    • Chronic exposure through regular consumption of contaminated spices is a concern.
    • Additionally, Ethylene oxide exposure may also cause respiratory irritation, lung injury, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
    • Excessive use of ETO can leave toxic residues, potentially leading to the formation of carcinogenic compounds such as ethylene glycol.
      • Ethylene glycol was an ingredient in cough syrups linked to over 300 child fatalities across various countries.
Adjustment of Pesticide Residue Limits by FSSAI
  • FSSAI has raised the default limit for pesticide residues in spices to 0.1 mg/kg from the previous 0.01 mg/kg for cases where specific maximum residue limits are not established.
  • The default limit for other food products remains at 0.01 mg/kg.

Global Regulations on Ethylene Oxide Use in Food

  • The European Union (EU) banned ethylene oxide for food fumigation in 2011.
  • Its use is currently only permitted for medical device disinfection and sterilisation.

Examples, Case Studies And Data

  • Health (GS- 2): The Union Government’s health spending has decreased post-pandemic, whereas States have increased their expenditures.
    • In 2021, per capita public health spending in India was significantly lower compared to other countries: Bhutan spent 2.5 times more, Sri Lanka spent three times more, and many BRICS nations spent 14-15 times more than India.

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About the Author

I, Sakshi Gupta, am a content writer to empower students aiming for UPSC, PSC, and other competitive exams. My objective is to provide clear, concise, and informative content that caters to your exam preparation needs. I strive to make my content not only informative but also engaging, keeping you motivated throughout your journey!

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