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27th March 2023

Section 144 of CrPC


Former Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit stated that conferring drastic powers upon the executive or the police through Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is not acceptable in a nation governed by the rule of law.

  • The CJI made the comment while speaking at the launch event of a report titled ‘The Use and Misuse of Section 144 CrPC’.

Key-highlights of the Report

  • The report states that prohibitory orders were issued over 6,100 times in the national capital in 2021.
  • In some cases, Section 144 was used to regulate the sale of balms or cough syrups, which are often used as drugs
  • The report categorises the prohibitory orders into four broad themes, including establishing CCTV surveillance and regulating businesses.
  • Section 144 is an emergency provision to prevent rioting, and maintain tranquillity and peace. But as per this report, the State uses it to snoop on regular life.
About Section 144 of CrPC
  • Section 144 of CrPC is meant for emergency situations.
  • It empowers a district magistrate, a sub-divisional magistrate, or any other executive magistrate empowered by the state government, to issue orders to prevent and address urgent cases of apprehended danger or nuisance.
  • The written order by the officer may be directed against an individual or individuals residing in a particular area, or to the public at large.
  • In urgent cases, the magistrate can pass the order without giving prior notice to the individual targeted in the order.

Powers under the Provision

  • The provision allows the magistrate to direct any person to abstain from a certain act, or to pass an order with respect to a certain property in the possession or under the management of that person.
  • This usually means restrictions on movement, carrying arms, and unlawful assembly. It is generally understood that an assembly of three or more people is prohibited under Section 144.
  • When aimed at restricting a single individual, the order is passed if the magistrate believes it is likely to prevent obstruction, annoyance or injury to any lawfully employed person, or a danger to human life, health or safety, or a disturbance of the public tranquility, or a riot, etc.
  • Time limit: Orders passed under Section 144 remain in force for two months, unless the state government considers it necessary to extend it. But in any case, the total period for which the order is in force cannot be more than six months.

Issues with section 144 of Crpc

  • The criticism is that it is too broad and the words of the section are wide enoughto give absolute power to a magistrate that may be exercised unjustifiably.
  • The immediate remedyagainst such an order is a revision application to the magistrate himself.
  • An aggrieved individual can approach the High Courtby filing a writ petition if his fundamental rights are at stake. However, fears exist that before the High Court intervenes, the rights could already have been infringed.

Court’s Ruling on Section 144:

  • Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya case 1967, the Supreme Court held that “no democracy can exist if ‘public order’ is freely allowed to be disturbed by a section of the citizens”.
  • ‘Madhu Limaye vs Sub-Divisional Magistrate’: SC  said the power of a magistrate under Section 144 “is not an ordinary power flowing from administration but a power used in a judicial manner and which can stand further judicial scrutiny”.
  • The Supreme court in another recent judgement said that the section cannot be used to impose restrictions on citizens' fundamental right to assemble peacefully, cannot be invoked as a 'tool' to 'prevent the legitimate expression of opinion or grievance or exercise of any democratic rights'.
  • In 2012, the Supreme Court criticised the government for using Section 144 against a sleeping crowd in Ramlila Maidan. “Such a provision can be used only in grave circumstances for maintenance of public peace. The efficacy of the provision is to prevent some harmful occurrence immediately.

Assam’s Bodoland council on mission happiness


The BTC government is set to launch its Mission Happiness across the 9,000 sq. km Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) comprising four districts – Baksa, Chirang, Kokrajhar and Udalgiri.   

About the mission
  • Happiness will soon be an academic subject in Assam’s Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC). 
  • Introducing peace and happiness as an interlinked subjects will be taught in all mainstream subjects
  • The reign of peace in BTR since the signing of the Bodo Accord in January 2020 helped conceive the idea of teaching happiness by first understanding the reasons that make different categories of people unhappy.

Who are Bodos?

  • The Bodo people are the largest tribe of Assam settled in the northern part of the Brahmaputra river valley.
  • It is estimated that the Bodo tribe comprise 28 per cent of Assam's population.
  • Bodos are an ethnolinguistic community spread across northeast India but are concentrated in Assam.
  • They speak the body language, a mixture of a dialect of Tibetan and Burmese, recognised as one of the twenty-two scheduled languages in the constitution of India.

What is the BTC?

  • The Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) is an autonomous body under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
  • BTC, currently has control over 30 subjects such as education, forests, horticulture but no jurisdiction over the police, revenue and general administration departments, which are controlled by the Assam government.
  • The area under the jurisdiction of BTC, formed under the 2003 Accord, was called the Bodo Territorial Autonomous District (BTAD).
  • As per the accord, the BTAD was renamed Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR). BTAD comprises Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguridistricts, accounting for 11% of Assam’s area and 10% of its population.

History of Extremism

  • The demand for a separate state for the Bodos has been going on in Assam for nearly five decades, with several Bodo overground and militant groups having raised it, leading to recurring agitations, protests and violence.
  • This was the third Bodo accord to be signed in the last 27 years when the violent movement for a separate Bodoland state claimed hundreds of lives, and destroyed of public and private properties.
    • First Accord: The first Bodo accord was signed with the All Bodo Students Union in 1993, leading to the creation of a Bodoland Autonomous Council with limited political powers.
    • Second Accord: In 2003, the second Bodo accord was signed with the militant group Bodo Liberation Tigers, leading to the formation of a Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) with four districts of Assam- Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baska and Udalguri-called Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD).
  • In the 1990s more than 20,000 Muslims were displaced in Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon districts.
  • In 1998, a bloody clash between Adivasi and Bodos led to the killings of 50 people and around 500 homes were burnt down.
  • In 2014, around 80 people were killed during the conflict between the Bodo forces and the Adivasi people.

Bodo Accord 2020

  • In 2020, The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Assam government and the Bodo groups signed an agreement to redraw and rename the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) in Assam, currently spread over four districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri.
  • Funding: A Special Development Package of Rs. 1500 crores over three years will be given by the Union Government to undertake specific projects for the development of Bodo areas.
  • Commission: It proposes to set up a commission under Section 14 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, which will recommend the inclusion or exclusion of tribal populations residing in villages adjoining BTAD areas.
  • Bodo-Kachari Welfare Council: The Government of Assam will establish a Bodo-Kachari Welfare Council as per the existing procedure.
  • Associate official language: The Assam government will also notify Bodo language as an associate official language in the state and set up a separate directorate for Bodo medium schools.
  • Tribal status: Bodos living in the hills would be conferred a Scheduled Hill Tribe status.
  • Structural changes: The name of BTAD will be changed to Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) and it will have more executive, administrative, legislative and financial powers.

Biotransformation technology


A UK-based start-up claims to have developed Biotransformation technology that can alter the state of plastics and make them biodegradable without leaving behind any microplastics.

What is biotransformation technology?

  • Biotransformation technology is a novel approach to ensure plastics that escape refuse streams are processed efficiently and broken down.
  • The tech was co-developed by the Imperial College in London, UK, and a Britain-based startup, Polymateria.
  • Plastics made using this technology are given a pre-programmed time during which the manufactured material looks and feels like conventional plastics without compromising on quality.
  • Once the product expires and is exposed to the external environment, it self-destructs and biotransforms into bioavailable wax.
  • This wax is then consumed by microorganisms, converting waste into water, CO2, and biomass.
  • This biotransformation technology is the world’s first that ensures polyolefins fully biodegrade in an open environment causing no microplastics.


Biotransformation is the process by which substances that enter the body are changed from hydrophobic to hydrophilic molecules to facilitate elimination from the body. This process usually generates products with few or no toxicological effects. 

Why do we need it?

  • Huge plastic waste: the country is generating 3.5 billion kgs of plastic waste annually and the per capita plastic waste generation has also doubled in the past five years. Of this, a third comes from packaging waste.
    • According to Statista, in 2019, plastic packaging waste from e-commerce firms was estimated at over a billion kilograms worldwide.
  • Freshwater and marine ecosystems as pollution: Amazon generated, nearly 210 million kgs of plastic from packaging waste in 2019. They also estimated that up to 10 million kgs of Amazon’s plastic packaging ended up in the world’s freshwater and marine ecosystems as pollution in the same year.


  • Food packaging and healthcare industries are the two prime sectors that could use this technology to reduce waste.
  • “The increase in cost is relatively small compared to conventional plastic that does not contain” this technology.

Alternatives to reducing plastic waste

  • A switch to jute or paper-based packaging could potentially cut down plastic waste. This could also build sustainability within the paper industry, and save on the import bill on ethylene solutions.
  • Wooden packaging is yet another alternative, but that will make the packaging bulkier and increase the cost.
  • Some other alternatives can be coir, bagasse, rice and wheat bran, plant and agricultural residue, banana and areca leaves, jute and cloth.

Gandhamardan hills become 3rd biodiversity heritage site in Odisha


The Odisha government has declared the Gandhamardan hill as the third biodiversity heritage site of the state by giving it the status of a unique, ecologically fragile ecosystem having rich biodiversity.

  • The hill spans 18,963.898 hectare over Bolangir and Bargarh districts.
  • Flora: The floral diversity of Gandhamardan hills comprises of 1,055 plant species that include 849 angiosperms, 56 pteridophytes, 40 bryophytes, 45 lichens and 2 gymnosperms and 63 species of macrofungi.
  • Fauna: The faunal diversity comprises 500 species of animals that include 43 species of mammals, 161 species of birds, 44 species of reptiles, 16 species of amphibians, 118 species of butterflies, 27 species of dragonflies, 7 species of damselflies and 83 species of spiders.
    • One angiosperm: ficus conccina var. dasycarpa and one spider: peucetia harishankarensis are endemic to this hill.
  • With this announcement, Gandhamardan has become the 37th biodiversity heritage site of India, along with the Majuli island of Assam, Nallur Tamarind grove of Bangalore, Khlaw Kur Syiem KmieIng sacred grove of Meghalaya and Naro Hills of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The Mandasaru gorge in Kandhamal district was notified as the first such site in Odisha in 2019, followed by Mahendragiri hills in 2022.

Historical Significance

  • The hills have historical monuments such as the Nrusinghanath temple located on the northern slope and Harishankar temple on the southern side.
  •  These two shrines are big pilgrimage sites of Odisha.

What are Biodiversity Heritage Sites?

  • Biodiversity heritage sites are well-defined areas under the National Biodiversity Authority that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems – terrestrial, coastal and inland waters and, marine – having a rich ecosystem comprising any one or more of the following components: richness of wild as well as domesticated species or intra-specific categories, high endemism, presence of rare and threatened species, keystone species, species of evolutionary significance, wild ancestors of domestic/ cultivated species or their varieties, past pre-eminence of biological components represented by fossil beds and having significant cultural, ethical or aesthetic values and are important for the maintenance of cultural diversity, with or without a long history of human association with them.

IMF’s bailout plan for Sri Lanka


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) confirmed a $3 billion bailout plan for Sri Lanka’s struggling economy.

Why do nations seek an IMF bailout?

  • Currency risk: Countries seek help from the IMF usually when their economies face a major macroeconomic risk, mostly in the form of a currency crisis.
    • For instance in the case of Sri Lanka and Pakistan, both countries have witnessed domestic prices rise rapidly and the exchange value of their currencies drop steeply against the U.S. dollar. 
  • Mismanagement by Central Bank: Currency crises are generally the result of gross mismanagement of the nation’s currency by its central bank. Central banks may be forced by governments to create fresh money out of thin air to fund populist spending.
    • Such spending eventually results in a rapid rise of the overall money supply, which in turn causes prices to rise across the economy and the exchange value of the currency to drop.
  • Weakening confidence in currency: A rapid, unpredictable fall in the value of a currency can destroy confidence in said currency and affect economic activity as people may turn hesitant to accept the currency in exchange for goods and services.
    • Foreigners may also be unwilling to invest in an economy Foreigners may also be unwilling to invest in an economy 

About International Monetary Fund (IMF)

  • The IMF was set up along with the World Bank after the Second World War to assist in the reconstruction of war-ravaged countries.
  • The two organizations agreed to be set up at a conference in Bretton Woods in the US. Hence, they are known as the Bretton Woods twins.
  • The IMF is governed by and accountable to the 190 countries that make up its near-global membership.
    • India joined on 27th December 1945.
  • The IMF's primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system — the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other.
  • The Fund's mandate was updated in 2012 to include all macroeconomic and financial sector issues that bear on global stability.
  • Reports by IMF:
    • Global Financial Stability Report
    • World Economic Outlook
  • Domestic economic policy: economic policy that imperils productivity can affect a country’s ability to attract the necessary foreign exchange for its survival. 
    • For example, In the case of Sri Lanka, a decrease in foreign tourists visiting the country led to a steep fall in the flow of U.S. dollars into the nation.

How does the IMF help a country?

  • The IMF basically lends money, often in the form of special drawing rights (SDRs), to troubled economies that seek the lender’s assistance.
    • SDRs simply represent a basket of five currencies, namely the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese yuan, the Japanese yen, and the British pound.
  • The IMF carries out its lending to troubled economies through a number of lending programs such as the extended credit facility, the flexible credit line, the stand-by agreement, etc.


  • Prerequisite structural reforms: The IMF usually imposes conditions on countries before it lends any money to them. For example, a country may have to agree to implement certain structural reforms as a condition to receive IMF loans.
  • Tough on public: The IMF’s conditional lending has been controversial as many believe that these reforms are too tough on the public.
  • Influenced by international politics: Some have also accused the IMF’s lending decisions, which are taken by officials appointed by the governments of various countries, to be influenced by international politics.

Short News Article

Geography (GS-I)

NASA monitors South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA)

Nasa is monitoring a region of magnetic intensity in Earth's field between South America and southwest Africa.

  • The odd phenomenon, called the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA), is known as a "dent" in Earth's magnetic field.
  • While it doesn't affect Earth, orbital spacecraft including the International Space Station can pass directly through the anomaly.

Geography (GS-I)

Western Disturbances

The reason for the abnormal winter seasons since 2020-21 lies in the changing character of the Western Disturbances.

  • A western disturbance (WD) is an extra-tropical storm which originates in the Mediterranean region.
  • The disturbance travels from the “western” to the eastern direction.

Disturbance means an area of “disturbed” or reduced air pressure. Equilibrium exists in nature due to which the air in a region tries to normalise its pressure.

  • In the term “extra-tropical storm”, storm refers to low pressure. “Extra-tropical" means outside the tropics.
  • As the WD originates outside the tropical region, the word “extra-tropical” has been associated with them.
  • A WD is associated with rainfall, snowfall and fog in northern India.
  • Upon its arrival in Pakistan and northern India, clouds along with rain and snow also arrive.
  • The moisture which WDs carry with them comes from the Mediterranean Sea and/or from the Atlantic Ocean.

Geography (GS-I)

Chenab Arch Bridge

Chenab Bridge is expected to have trains plying on it by January-February 2024.

  • The bridge will provide the much-needed all-weather connectivity between Kashmir and the rest of the county. Chenab Bridge is a part of the ambitious Udhampur-Srinagar-Baram ulla rail link (USBRL) project.
  • Location: The bridge is built across a deep gorge of the Chenab River between the Bakkal and Kauri in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir. The area falls under seismic zone IV
  •  Indian Railways is constructing the iconic arch bridge on river Chenab, which is 1.3 KM long
  • The completion of the steel arch is a major leap towards the completion of the 111 km long winding stretch from Katra to Banihal.
  • Features: It is arguably the biggest civil-engineering challenge faced by any railway project in India in recent history.
    • o   It can absorb the seismic shock. About 28,000 tonnes of steel has been used to construct the arch bridge which gives it strong foundation.

Chenab River

  • Source: It rises in the upper Himalayas in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh state.
    • The river is formed by the confluence of two rivers, Chandra and Bhaga, at Tandi, 8 km southwest of Keylong, in the Lahaul and Spiti district.
  • Flows Through: It flows through the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir into the plains of Punjab, Pakistan, before flowing into the Indus River.

Polity & Governance (GS-II)

SC restores doctrine of “guilt by association”

The Supreme Court restored the doctrine of “guilt by association” in criminal jurisprudence in India, as it overruled a bunch of its 2011 judgments and declared that mere membership of a banned organisation will be a crime under country’s anti-terror law — Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967.

  • Guilt by association, also known as the association fallacy, is officially defined as "guilt ascribed to someone not because of any evidence, but because of their association with an offender."
  • In this particular context, an individual can face criticism or backlash as a result of their likeness to an existing group or entity.
  • Conversely, honour by association describes a situation where someone is lauded as a result of their affiliation with groups that are perceived in a positive light.


Making sense of the disquali?cation of a Lok Sabha MP


The conviction of Congress leader and now former Member of Parliament from Wayanad Rahul Gandhi by a Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Surat, Gujarat, and the issuance of a noti?cation the next day by the Lok Sabha Secretariat of Mr. Gandhi’s disquali?cation raised some important constitutional and legal issues.

Constitutional Provisions for disqualification

  • Articles dealing with disqualification: Basic disqualification criteria for an MP are laid down in Article 102 of the Constitution and for an MLA in Article 191.
  • Constitutional provisions:
    • Holding an office of profit under the Government of India or State Government
    • If he is of unsound mind and so declared by the court.
    • If he is an undischarged insolvent
    • If he is not a citizen of India or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign state.
  • Disqualification on ground of Defection: The constitution lays down that a person shall be disqualified from being a member of Parliament if he is so disqualified on the ground of defection under the provision of the Tenth Schedule.

Disqualification under Representation of People’s Act 1951

  • Term of conviction-He must not have been convicted for any offense resulting in imprisonment for two or more years.
  • Corruption Charges- He must not have been dismissed from government service for corruption or disloyalty of the state.
  • Election Offences- He must not have been found guilty of certain election offenses or corrupt practices in the elections.
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