Several statements made headlines this week on the topics of Lumpini, NATO, Article 142 and many more. Enhance your current affairs by using them intelligently. Essential quotes, statements, notes, etc. of the week help you keep current issues in your memory and can be used wisely in your UPSC-CSE preparation.
1. “Cryptocurrency Can Do Dollarization of the Economy” – Reserve Bank of India Officials in Parliamentary Committee
Prelims-Economic and Social Development – sustainable development, poverty, inclusion, demographics, social sector initiatives, etc.
Key sources: GS III- The Indian Economy and Issues Related to Planning, Resource Mobilization, Growth, Development and Employment.
Dollarization can be defined as a form of currency exchange, in which dollars are used in addition to or in place of the local currency of a particular country. Dollarization, according to officials, could be against the country’s sovereign interest. Cryptocurrencies have the potential to be a medium of exchange. This will soon replace the rupee in financial transactions not only domestically but also across borders.
According to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, the dollarization of the economy can undermine the ability of the Reserve Bank of India to determine monetary policy and regulate the monetary system of the country.
Point to meditation: What is dedollarization? How is cryptocurrency seen as a threat to the financial sector in the country and what are the negative effects it has on the banking system?
2. “INS Udaygiri and INS Surat are two shining examples of India’s growing domestic capability. Its warships will be among the most technologically advanced missile carriers in the world, which will meet present and future requirements.” Rajnath Singh, Defense Minister.
Prelims – current events of national and international importance
Mains- GS III- Security Issues
Surat and Udigiri are both front-line ships. It was designed by the Directorate of Marine Design and built by Mumbai-based Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL).
Surat is a Visakhapatnam-class guided missile destroyer, which has the ability to attack other ships. Surat is the fourth ship to be built in India under Project 15B. The class got its name from the first ship commissioned under the project, called INS Visakhapatnam, which was delivered to the Navy in October 2021. The second ship, Mormugao, is undergoing sea trials and the third, Imphal, is in advanced stages of equipping and trials of various auxiliary equipment. The Vishakhapatnam class destroyers derive their lineage from the P15 Delhi class destroyers. Three such warships were introduced between 1997 and 2001, and until then the largest naval vessels were built inland. The second series of ships were the P15A destroyers, the Kolkata Class, under which three ships were introduced between 2014 and 2016.
Udaygiri is a Nilgiri-class frigate, usually faster and more maneuverable. Udaygiri is the second warship to be produced under Project 17A of the Nilgiri Class frigates. The first ship under the project, INS Nilgiri, was launched in September 2019. Nilgiri Class follows production of three Shivalik Class frigates commissioned between 2010 and 2012, which are “multi-role frigates that are the first of their kind warships built in India and featuring stealth features” .
Point to meditation: Why is naval modernization important at the moment?
3. “India tops the number of deaths due to air pollution in 2019” – The Lancet Planetary Health Report
Prelims: General Issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change
Electric current: GS III-Environment
Air pollution was responsible for 16.7 thousand deaths in India in 2019, or 17.8% of all deaths in the country that year. This is the highest number of air pollution-related deaths of any country. Globally, air pollution alone contributes to 66.7 thousand deaths, according to the report, which updates an earlier analysis from 2015.
Overall, pollution was responsible for an estimated 90,000 deaths in 2019 (equivalent to one in six deaths worldwide), a number that has not changed since the 2015 analysis. Ambient air pollution was responsible for 45 cases. deaths, and hazardous chemical pollutants for 17 lakh, with 9 deaths attributed to lead contamination. The majority of air pollution-related deaths of 16.7 thousand in India – 9.8 thousand – were caused by PM2.5 pollution and another 6.1 thousand were due to household air pollution.
According to the report, air pollution is most severe in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. This region contains New Delhi and many of the most polluted cities. Household biomass burning was the single largest cause of air pollution deaths in India, followed by coal burning and crop burning.
Point to meditation: What are some of the efforts made by the Government of India to reduce air pollution?
4. “The energy of the place where Buddha was born, gives a different feeling. I was happy to see the Mahabodhi seedling that I dedicated in 2014 to this place, now growing into a tree.” – PM Modi in Lumbini.
Prelims: Current Events of National and International Importance, History of India.
Main sources: GS I – Indian Culture – Notable Aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from Antiquity to the Modern.
GS II – India and its Neighborhoods – International Relations
Prime Minister Modi’s recent visit to Lumbini and the laying of the foundations of her monastery for India may provide a foothold as well as a cultural space.
Significance of Lumbini: Lord Buddha was said to have been born in 623 BC in the sacred district of Lumbini located in the Terai plains of southern Nepal. Ashoka, the king of ancient India, erected one of his memorial pillars there. The site is now being developed as a Buddhist pilgrimage center. Here, archaeological remains associated with the birth of the deity Buddha form a central feature.
The complex structures include – Shakya Tank, remains inside a Maya Devi temple, a sandstone Ashoka pillar with Pali inscription in Brahmi script, excavated remains of Buddhist viharas (monasteries) from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD, the remains of stupas (memorial shrines) from The third century BC to the fifteenth century AD.
Lumbini and the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The first foreign monastery in Lumbini was built by the Vietnamese monk Tai Hoen Dio. The largest monastery was built by the Chinese who sponsor and support international conferences on Buddhism in Nepal as well as massive celebrations of Buddhist festivals such as Vesak. There is no monastery in Lumbini in India.
Point to meditation: What is that Buddhist center whose founder PM Modi has set up in Lumbini? How will this visit enhance relations between India and Nepal?
5. “In exercising our power under Section 142 of the Constitution, we direct that the appellant has served the sentence in connection with the offence.” – SC while letting Perarivalan go in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
Prelims: Indian System of Government and Government – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues etc.
Electricity: GS II – Indian Constitution
The release of AG Perarivalan in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case brought Article 142 into the news once again. Article 142 gives the Supreme Court a unique power, to administer “full justice” between the parties, as sometimes the law or the law may not provide a remedy. In those cases, the court can extend itself to put a calm in a dispute in a way that fits the facts of the case.
Section 142(1) states that “The Supreme Court may in the exercise of its jurisdiction make such decree or order as is necessary for the full justice of any case or matter pending before it, and any ordinance made or ordered to do so shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be determined by any Act of Parliament or by any Act of Parliament, and until such time is determined on its behalf, in such manner as the President may by order.”
Article 142 of the Constitution of India provides for a special and extraordinary power of the Supreme Court to bring full justice to the litigants who have experienced bypassing unlawful actions or unfairness.
The necessity of including such an article in the Constitution was made clear in the Constituent Assembly. The framers of the Constitution felt that this provision was of paramount importance to those persons who suffer delays in obtaining necessary reparations due to the poor state of the judicial system. According to Shri Thakur Das Bhargava, natural justice is above the law, and the Supreme Court will also be above the law, in the sense that it will have the full right to pass any order it considers fair. This gives almost unlimited powers to the Supreme Court. Therefore, the Supreme Court has to exercise these powers and will not be deterred from doing justice by providing any rule, law, executive practice, executive circular, implementing regulation, etc.
(Sources: Constitutionofindia.net, legalserviceindia.com)
Point to meditation: What important cases has the court invoked Article 142 in the past?
6. “Russia has no problems with Finland and Sweden, and … [NATO’s] Expansion at the expense of these countries does not pose a direct threat to us. But the expansion of the military infrastructure in this region will certainly provoke our response.” – Putin in his first remark after Finland and Sweden officially announced their intention to join NATO.
Prelims: current events of national and international importance.
Key Points: GS II – Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements in which India is involved and/or that affect Indian interests.
Finland and Sweden have shown interest in joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Finland has remained far from such alliances because it has always wanted to maintain friendly relations with its neighbor Russia. For a long time, the idea of not joining NATO or getting too close to the West was a matter of survival for Finland. But the Russian invasion of Ukraine is invisible. But unlike Finland, whose political position was a matter of survival, Sweden opposed joining the organization for ideological reasons.
In response to this development, Russia threatened military action if membership continued and warned Finland not to realize the consequences of this move. The United Nations and the United States welcomed the announcement. Norway and Denmark have said they will push to join NATO faster. Until membership is formally accepted, the United States has stated that it is ready to provide any necessary defense support or address any concerns. Turkey opposes Finland and Sweden from joining NATO. The Turkish government claimed that it could use its membership in the Western alliance to veto the two-state acceptance moves. Turkey blames Sweden and other Scandinavian countries for its support for Kurdish militants and other groups it considers terrorist.
Point to meditation: What is NATO? How would NATO membership benefit Sweden and Finland and vice versa?