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Current Affairs 24th February 2024 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Enforcement Directorate (ED)

Context: The Supreme Court scrutinised the Tamil Nadu government’s intervention at the Madras High Court, which led to a suspension of the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) summons regarding a money laundering case associated with illegal sand mining.

About Enforcement Directorate (ED)

  • About: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is India’s specialised agency for enforcing economic laws and combating financial crimes.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue).
  • Establishment: May 1956 as an ‘Enforcement Unit’ within the Department of Economic Affairs, it focused on violations of Exchange Control Laws under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 (FERA 1947).
    • In 1957, it was renamed as the Enforcement Directorate
    • In 1960, its administrative control shifted to the Department of Revenue.
  • Responsibilities: ED’s responsibilities span multiple disciplines, enforcing acts such as the
    • Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)
    • Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA),
    • Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 (FEOA),
    • Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973 (FERA), and
    • acting as a sponsoring agency under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 (COFEPOSA).
  • Jurisdiction: The ED’s jurisdiction covers all of India, applying to any individual or entity involved in financial crimes.
    • While FEMA cases are civil, PMLA cases are criminal. Public servants are also within its purview for money laundering offences.
    • However, the ED does not initiate investigations without a prior complaint from another agency or the police.
  • Hierarchy: Headquartered in New Delhi and led by the Director of Enforcement, the ED has
    • 5 regional offices in Mumbai, Chennai, Chandigarh, Kolkata, and Delhi, each overseen by Special Directors.
    • It also has 10 Zonal and 11 Sub-Zonal Offices, each managed by Deputy and Assistant Directors, respectively.
  • Tenure: The tenure of the Director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in India can be extended from the initial two years to up to five years.
Legal Provisions For ED Summon
  • Under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is endowed with powers similar to those of a civil court for conducting investigations.
  • Failing to adhere to the ED’s summons can incur penalties and might result in legal consequences under Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code, encompassing imprisonment and/or a monetary fine.

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Context: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) stated that the Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA) payload onboard the Aditya-L1 has detected the impact of coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

About Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA)

  • What is it?: PAPA is an energy and mass analyzer used for direct observations of solar wind electrons and ions, particularly in the lower energy spectrum.
  • Sensors:
    • Solar Wind Electron Energy Probe (SWEEP): Measures electrons in the energy range of 10 eV to 3 keV.
    • Solar Wind Ion Composition Analyser (SWICAR): Measures ions in the energy range of 10 eV to 25 keV and mass range of 1-60 amu.
  • Operation: Since December 12, 2023.
  • Benefits:
    • Provides valuable data for understanding space weather and solar phenomena.
    • Helped detect the impact of coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

About Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs)

  • About: Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are large expulsions of plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun’s corona.
  • Occurrence: They can occur during solar flare events or from filament eruptions on the Sun.
  • Components: CMEs contain ionised gas (plasma) and embedded magnetic fields.
  • Speed: Their speeds can vary widely, from about 100 km/s to over 3000 km/s.
  • Impact on Earth: CMEs can affect Earth’s magnetosphere, leading to geomagnetic storms, auroras, and disruptions in communication and navigation systems.
  • Frequency: The frequency of CMEs varies with the solar cycle, being more common during solar maximum.
  • Observation: CMEs are observed using space-based instruments like coronagraphs, which can image the Sun’s corona.
  • Space Weather: They are a major component of space weather and can impact space-borne and ground-based technological systems.

Ultra Processed Food

Context: The Maharashtra Food & Drugs Administration took action against McDonald’s for incorrectly labelling their cheese analogues.

About Ultra Processed Foods

What is it?

  • Ultra-processed foods (UPFs) typically contain five or more components, encompassing additives uncommon in home cuisine.
  • Their variety is vast, covering everything from ice creams to the processed meats found in fast-food outlets.
  • While these items offer convenience and appealing packaging, they heighten the likelihood of developing non-communicable diseases, earning them the label “junk food.”
  • They deliver a high-calorie count per bite yet lack sufficient nutritional value.


  • Unprocessed: Whole wheat flour (atta)
  • Processed: Dalia (wheat porridge) with added salt and sugar
  • Ultra-processed: Cookies made with atta and numerous additional ingredients

Health Concerns:

  • High in: Salt, sugar, and fat, which can contribute to various health problems like:
    • Obesity
    • Hypertension
    • Heart disease
    • Other lifestyle diseases
  • Artificial chemicals: May negatively impact gut health, potentially leading to:
    • Neurological issues
    • Stress
    • Mood swings
    • Obesity
  • Addiction: Taste enhancers can make these foods highly desirable, leading to overconsumption.
  • Rapid absorption: Processed ingredients are often quickly absorbed by the body, promoting hunger and potentially leading to sugar addiction.
Report Related to India’s ultra Food-processing Sector
  • A collaborative report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) indicates a marked rise in ultra-processed food sales in India over the last ten years.


  • Decrease in sales of chocolates and sugar confectioneries from 10% in 2019 to 1% in 2020, attributed to the pandemic, before rebounding to 9% in 2021.
  • Sales of salty snacks and beverages also saw a reduction, dropping from 14% in 2019 to 9% and 1% in 2021, respectively.
  • Despite a reduction in their market share, ultra-processed foods like chocolates, sugar confectioneries, salty snacks, and pre-prepared meals will remain prevalent in the market till 2032.

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