Current Affairs Analysis

8th August 2017 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

Why Chabahar Port is crucial for India? All- India Judicial Service (AIJS); Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD); National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB); Measles Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign; Measles-rubella (MR); Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC); ‘disturbed area’ tag; Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA); etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
August 08, 2017


Polity & Governance

  • Nine High Courts oppose all-India judicial service
  • NCRB merged with bureau of police research

Issues related to Health & Education

  • Second phase of measles-rubella vaccination drive launched in eight states, UTs

Bilateral & International Relations

  • India calls for expanding cooperation with MGC member countries
  • India, Iran call for early Operationalisation of Chabahar Port

Defence & Security Issues

  • Centre extends Assam’s ‘disturbed area’ tag for another month under AFSPA

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Polity & Governance

Nine High Courts oppose all-India judicial service

Nine high courts have objected to a plan for a country-wide exam for recruitment to lower judiciary, a proposal that has the backing of the Supreme Court.

ias toppers All- India Judicial Service

What’s the proposal?

  • The idea was first mooted in the 1960s. The government has proposed an exam on the lines of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, better known as NEET, held for medical course to select judicial officers to address concerns over the quality of junior judges and lack of uniformity in recruitment.

Who are opposing?

  • The high courts of Andhra Pradesh, Bombay, Delhi Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Patna and Punjab and Haryana are not in favour of the idea.

What they demand?

  • They want the administrative control over the subordinate judiciary to remain with the respective high courts.

The Deadlock:

  • The courts’ stand is contrary to the views of Chief Justice of India JS Khehar who said the new system would ensure quick appointment of competent judges necessary for an effective judiciary.
  • The exam would bring uniformity in the selection process and curb nepotism and favouritism in judiciary.

Key facts:

  • In the Indian Constitution, the judiciary and executive remained separate but the control of lower judiciary remains vested with the high courts.

ias toppers All- India Judicial Service

Need for an All- India Judicial Service (AIJS):

  • The quality of judicial officers in the subordinate judiciary is a matter of concern. The ever continuing decline in their quality will delay delivery of justice, increase pendency of cases, impair quality of judgments, and in turn affect competence of higher judiciary as well.
  • The proposal for setting up an AIJS, in the lines of Indian Civil Service, is hanging fire for more than five decades despite there were several proposals and decisions including that of the apex court, in its favour.
  • There is widespread hope that AIJS can deal with great many ills Indian judiciary face right now and revitalize it into a far more vibrant constituent of Indian governance and democracy.
  • The precise purpose of AIJS is to create a rigorous mechanism for appointment of persons of highest ability, impartiality and integrity to the district courts and to equip the subordinate judiciary in turn to serve as the feeder line for appointment of competent judges to the high courts or eventually the Supreme Court.
[Ref: The Hindu]


NCRB merged with bureau of police research

The Union Home Ministry has merged three-decade old National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) with Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD).

ias toppers NCRB merged with BPRD

Key Facts:

  • Now BPR&D will oversee all the data collection related to Crime in India, Suicides and Accidental Deaths, Prison Statistics and Fingerprints which was earlier done by NCRB.
  • The BPRD Director General (DG) will be the head of the merged new entity, where the NCRB Director, an Additional DG rank post will report to the former.

Reasons for merger:

  • The merger aims at improving administrative efficiency and optimal utilisation of resources for development works related to policing. It will also boost crime data collection and research efforts.
  • BPR&D has been given charge of NCRB so that there is more research based and methodological data collection in future as data collection by NCRB as of now was that of taken from states and was sometimes inaccurate.
  • It was also felt that if the researchers of BPR&D there will be more accurate and research based data collection.

The merger is opposed. Why?

Some are not happy with the decision as both bureaus have different functions.

  • NCRB’s core function is to collect data on crimes related to IPC and other sections, courts, convictions etc which are taken from states and union territories and then analysed.
  • On the other hand, BPRD’s research is not related to crime. It focusses more on research and data collection on how police, central paramilitary forces work, manpower problems, pattern of registration of crime, or influences of police on society etc. Therefore, there is no clarity how both these organisations will work together.

About the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD):

ias toppers Bureau of Police Research and Development

  • The BPRD was established in 1970 as the national police organisation to study, research and develop on subjects and issues related to policing.
  • It functions under the aegis of Union Home Ministry.

About the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB):

ias toppers national_crime_records_bureau

  • National Crime Records Bureau is an attached office of Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
  • It was established in 1986 with a mandate to empower Indian Police with information technology solutions and criminal intelligence to enable them to enforce the law effectively.
  • It is responsible for collecting and analysing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
  • It facilitates Investigating Officers with updated IT tools and information in Investigation of Crimes.
  • The MHA has entrusted NCRB with a renewed mandate for the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) Project.
  • NCRB has won Digital India Award 2016 for digitizing and uploading ‘Crime in India’ on Opensource Govt. Portal since 1967.
  • NCRB has been training Indian and Foreign Police Officers from more than 20 countries since 1990 and till date more than 40,000 Police Officers have been trained.
  • Various applications developed by NCRB include Crime & Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), Finger Prints Science, ‘Vahan Samanvay’, ‘TALASH’, Mobile Apps Citizen Complaint, View FIR, Locater, Automated License Plate Reader and NCRB Publications of ‘Crime in India’, ‘Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India’ and ‘Prison Statistics India’.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Issues related to Health & Education

Second phase of measles-rubella vaccination drive launched in eight states, UTs

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the second phase of measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign to reduce measles morbidity and mortality.

ias toppers Second phase of measles-rubella

  • The second phase of campaign will cover 8 states and union territories namely Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana and Uttarakhand.

About Measles Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign:

  • The Health Ministry has initiated MR vaccination campaign in the age group of 9 months to less than 15 years in a phased manner in the country.
  • It was started across the country under the universal immunisation programme (UIP).
  • The campaign aims to rapidly build up immunity for both measles and rubella diseases in the community to knock out the disease. Under the second phase, more than three crore children are expected to be covered in these 8 states.
  • Under this campaign, MR vaccine has replaced two doses of measles vaccine provided in the routine immunisation programme in these states. For those children who have already received such vaccination, the campaign dose will provide additional boosting to them.

First phase of the campaign:


  • The first phase of the campaign was launched across five states — Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Lakshadweep and Puducherry — in February this year.
  • More than 3.3 crore children were vaccinated, reaching out to 97% of the intended age group.
  • The drive was carried out at schools, community centres and medical institutes, covering children between the ages of nine months and 15 years.

About Measles-rubella (MR):


  • Measles is one of the important causes of death in children. It is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing of an infected person.
  • It can also make a child vulnerable to life threatening complications such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and brain infection.
  • Symptoms of the infection can include cataracts and deafness. It can also affect the heart and the brain.
  • The disease commonly known as German Measles (or three-day measles) and is symptomatically similar to measles.
  • It can have devastating consequences if a pregnant mother is infected with it and the foetus may be born with incurable congenital anomalies.
  • Symptoms of the infection can include cataracts and deafness. It can also affect the heart and the brain.
  • The congenital rubella infection is believed to affect approximately 25,000 children born in India every year.
[Ref: PIB]


Bilateral & International Relations

India calls for expanding cooperation with MGC member countries

At 8th Mekong Ganga Cooperation Ministerial Meeting held in Manila, Philippines, India has called for expanding the areas of cooperation among the member countries of the Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) bloc.

ias toppers india MGC member

  • MGC countries have proposed to add newer areas of cooperation to the traditional areas on tourism, culture, education, transport and communication to further deepen mutually beneficial partnership and cooperation.

About the Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC):

ias toppers Mekong Ganga Cooperation

  • The MGC is an initiative by India and five ASEAN countries, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam for cooperation in tourism, culture, education, as well as transport and communications.
  • It was launched in 2000 at Vientiane, Laos.
  • Both the Ganga and the Mekong are civilisational rivers, and the MGC initiative aims to facilitate closer contacts among the people inhabiting these two major river basins.
[Ref: Business Standard]


India, Iran call for early Operationalisation of Chabahar Port

India and Iran have expressed commitment for early completion and operationalisation of Chabahar Port besides strengthening bilateral ties.


Key Facts:

  • Both countries reviewed and assessed the progress in implementation of the decisions taken during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Iran in 2016, including the progress in the development of Chabahar Port.
  • India also has conveyed its readiness to aid Iran in taking up operations in Chabahar Port during the interim period between the actual activation of contract.


  • India had requested Iran for an early submission of loan application for Chabahar Port Development to Exim Bank of India so that the contract agreement can be activated.
  • The Iranian side earlier had requested India to provide up to $150 million credit and had made it a condition for activation of the Chabahar Port contract. The application for loan to Exim Bank of India is still awaited.
  • India and Iran had signed a pact for the development of Chabahar port in May 2016. India will develop and operate the Chabahar port.
  • India Ports Global, a recently formed port project investment arm of the shipping ministry and a joint venture between the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and the Kandla port, will invest $85 million in developing two container berths with a length of 640 metres and three multi-cargo berths.


Where is Chabahar port located?

The port of Chabahar is located on the Makran coast of Sistan and Baluchistan Province, next to the Gulf of Oman and at the mouth of Strait of Hormuz.


  • It is the only Iranian port with direct access to the Indian Ocean.
  • Being close to Afghanistan and the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan etc., it has been termed the “Golden Gate” to these land-locked countries.
  • The Chabahar port was partially developed by India in the 1990s.


Why Chabahar Port is crucial for India?

  • The first and foremost significance of the Chabahar port is the fact that India can bypass Pakistan in transporting goods to Afghanistan.
  • Chabahar port will boost India’s access to Iran, the key gateway to the International North-South Transport Corridor that has sea, rail and road routes between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia.
  • Chabahar port will be beneficial to India in countering Chinese presence in the Arabian Sea which China is trying to ensure by helping Pakistan develop the Gwadar port. Gwadar port is less than 400 km from Chabahar by road and 100 km by sea.
  • With Chabahar port being developed and operated by India, Iran also becomes a military ally to India. Chabahar could be used in case China decides to flex its navy muscles by stationing ships in Gwadar port to reckon its upper hand in the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and Middle East.
  • With Chabahar port becoming functional, there will be a significant boost in the import of iron ore, sugar and rice to India. The import cost of oil to India will also see a considerable decline. India has already increased its crude purchase from Iran since the West imposed ban on Iran was lifted.
  • Chabahar port will ensure in the establishment of a politically sustainable connectivity between India and Afghanistan. This is will, in turn, lead to better economic ties between the two countries.
  • From a diplomatic perspective, Chabahar port could be used as a point from where humanitarian operations could be coordinated.
  • The Zaranj-Delaram road constructed by India in 2009 can give access to Afghanistan’s Garland Highway, setting up road access to four major cities in Afghanistan – Herat, Kandahar, Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif.

ias toppers Chabahar port afghanistan

[Ref: The Hindu]


Defence & Security Issues

Centre extends Assam’s ‘disturbed area’ tag for another month under AFSPA

The Centre has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Assam for one more month, declaring the entire state of Assam as a “disturbed” area due to various violent activities by insurgent groups ULFA, NDFB, and others.

ias toppers AFSPA Manipur

  • The Union home ministry has also declared Meghalaya’s border areas adjoining Assam, and three districts in Arunachal Pradesh as “disturbed” under the AFSPA for two more months with effect from August 3.

About AFSPA:

  • Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), is an Act of the Parliament of India that grant special powers to the Indian Armed Forces in what each act terms “disturbed areas”.

Why is this required?

  • The government (either the state or centre) considers those areas to be ‘disturbed’ “by reason of differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.”

Under which conditions AFSPA can be declared?

  • When the local administration fails to deal with local issues and the police proves inefficient to cope with them.
  • When the scale of unrest or instability in the state is too large for the police to handle.

How does one officially declare a region to be ‘disturbed’?

  • Section (3) of the AFSPA Act empowers the governor of the state or Union territory to issue an official notification on The Gazette of India, following which the centre has the authority to send in armed forces for civilian aid.
  • It is still unclear whether the governor has to prompt the centre to send in the army or whether the centre on its own sends in troops.
  • Once declared ‘disturbed’, the region has to maintain status quo for a minimum of three months, according to The Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976.

What about the state government’s role?

  • The state governments can suggest whether the Act is required to be enforced or not. But under Section (3) of the Act, their opinion can still be overruled by the governor or the centre.
[Ref: The Hindu]


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