News: The Union Home Ministry has enhanced the powers of the Border Security Force (BSF) to “arrest, search and seize” within 50 km from the international boundary in Assam, West Bengal and Punjab.
Such operational powers to the BSF, a Central Armed Police Force under the Union, will also be applicable to the newly created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Earlier, the BSF’s limit was fixed up to 80 km from the international boundary in Gujarat and 15 km in Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.
The October 11 notification replaces a 2014 order under the BSF Act, 1968, which also covered the States of Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya.
Incidentally, the BSF’s jurisdiction in the international border along Gujarat has been reduced from 80 km to 50 km.
Under the BSF Act, “Section 139 (ii) gives sweeping powers of arrest to BSF. It has powers of preventive arrest under Section 139 (1) & post offence arrest under 139 (ii). No mention of consultation with local police.
2. TEEN PREGNANCIES IN RAJASTHAN A CHALLENGE
News: Amid the high prevalence of child marriages, reducing teenage pregnancies continues to be the biggest challenge in addressing issues related to the reproductive health of adolescents in Rajasthan.
Since more than one-third of the girls get married before they cross 18 and 6.3% of girls in the age group of 15 to 19 years are already mothers or are pregnant, investment in sexual and reproductive health is crucial for the State.
With these findings, a new study, titled ‘Returns on Investment in Adolescents’ Sexual and Reproductive Health in Rajasthan’, has calculated the benefit-cost ratio to conclude that for every ₹100 spent on meeting the unmet needs of adolescents, there will be a return of approximately ₹300 in terms of healthcare costs saved.
Adolescents comprised 23% of the State’s population, their demographic dividend could be harnessed through effective strategies.
The potential health gains from the interventions could avert 1.45 lakh unwanted pregnancies, 1.46 lakh unwanted births, over 14,000 unsafe abortions, and the deaths of more than 7,000 infants and 300 pregnant women between 2021 and 2025.
It could also save 7,321 infant lives and 343 maternal lives by 2025 and lead to a significant gain in the disability-adjusted life years, which is a measure of the overall disease burden.
The findings also revealed that a per capita investment of ₹1 in weekly iron and folic acid supplement (WIFS) could save almost ₹2 to ₹20 in terms of averted productivity loss in adolescents. In order to reap this benefit, the State will need to make an annual investment of ₹6.6 crore to ₹8 crore in order to realise ₹13.2 core in returns.
For achieving the coverage of at least 50% of in-school and out-of-school adolescents, the State will need to increase its reach of WIFS from the existing level of 9.2% to 25%.
Similarly, the benefits from the provision of sanitary pads to adolescent girls for a year will be about 4:1, indicating that every rupee invested in this intervention will produce a return of ₹4 by averting loss in educational achievement, according to the study.
The study highlighted challenges in the field of sexual and reproductive health because of structural poverty, social discrimination, regressive social norms, inadequate education, and early marriage and childbearing.
3. GI TAG AND NEPAL TRADE
News: After years of countering cheaper teas imported from Kenya and Sri Lanka, the beverage industry in India has a new worry — duplicate Darjeeling tea brought in from Nepal.
The paper said a revised treaty on trade signed in 2009 allowed the free and unhampered flow of goods between India and Nepal.
About GI Tag:
A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g., a town, region, or country).
India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15 September 2003.
GIs have been defined under Article 22 (1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement as: “Indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or a locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin.”
The GI tag ensures that none other than those registered as authorised users (or at least those residing inside the geographic territory) are allowed to use the popular product name.
Darjeeling tea became the first GI tagged product in India, in 2004–2005.
4. GOLDEN CRESCENT
News: Illegal production of drugs in Afghanistan has impacted Iran severely for several decades, the Embassy of Iran.
About Golden Crescent:
The Golden Crescent is the name given to one of Asia’s two principal areas of illicit opium production (with the other being the Golden Triangle), located at the crossroads of Central, South, and Western Asia.
This space overlaps three nations, Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, whose mountainous peripheries define the crescent.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) heroin production estimates for the past 10 years show significant changes in the primary source areas. In 1991, Afghanistan became the world’s primary opium producer, with a yield of 1,782 metric tons (U.S. State Department estimates), surpassing Myanmar, formerly the world leader in opium production.
Afghanistan now produces over 90% of the world’s illicit opium.
5. INDIA’S TRADE WITH CHINA
News: India’s trade with China is set to cross the $100 billion mark for the first time in 2021, with shipments hitting $90 billion after three quarters, an almost 30% jump from pre-pandemic levels.
Data from China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) showed two-way trade jumped 49% in the first nine months to $90.37 billion.
India’s imports from China surged 51.7% to $68.4 billion, while India’s exports rose 42.5% to $21.9 billion.
Two-way trade was substantially higher than pre-pandemic levels, with bilateral trade up 29.7% compared to the same period in 2019, with India’s imports up 21.5% and exports to China up 64.5%.
India’s biggest exports to China are iron ore, cotton, and other raw material-based commodities. India imports mechanical and electrical machinery in large quantities, while imports of medical supplies have soared in the past two years.
Chinese trade officials attributed China’s overall trade performance to the country’s economic recovery as well stronger global demand.
The growth in trade with India was among the fastest for China’s major trading partners.
While China’s total trade rose 22.7%, that with its biggest trading partners, ASEAN, the EU and the U.S., rose 21.1%, 20.5% and 24.9%, respectively.
The GAC said Chinese exports of mechanical and electrical products, as well as medicinal materials, grew robustly.
Medicine and medicinal material exports more than doubled.