IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


23rd August, 2019


Explained: What are the polygraph, narco tests that PNB accused has refused?


Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) wants to conduct polygraph and narco analysis tests on a former staffer of Punjab National Bank (PNB) , who is in custody in the alleged Rs 7,000-crore fraud involving the absconding jewellers  Nirav Modi and  Mehul Choksi.


Polygraph test:

A polygraph test is based on the assumption that physiological responses that are triggered when a person is lying are different from what they would be otherwise.

- Instruments like cardio-cuffs or sensitive electrodes are attached to the person, and variables such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, change in sweat gland activity, blood flow etc. are measured.

Narcoanalysis :

It involves the injection of a drug sodium pentothal, which induces a hypnotic or sedated state in which the subject’s imagination is neutralised, and they are expected to divulge true information.

- It was used during World War II for intelligence operations.

- It was used in larger doses as anaesthesia during surgery.

- They are seen as being a “softer alternative” to torture or ‘third degree’ to extract the truth from suspects.

- Neither method has been proven scientifically to have a 100% success rate.

- Forcible intrusion into a person’s mental processes is also an affront to human dignity and liberty, often with grave and long-lasting consequences.

Constitutional and Legal Provisions:

- Supreme Court ruled no lie detector tests should be administered “except on the basis of consent of the accused”.

- Those who volunteer must have access to a lawyer.

- Accused should be informed about the physical, emotional and legal implications of the test by police and the lawyer.

- ‘Guidelines for the Administration of Polygraph Test on an Accused’ published by the National Human Rights Commission in 2000, must be strictly followed.

- Subject’s consent should be recorded before a judicial magistrate.

- The results of the tests cannot be considered to be “confessions”.

- Any information or material subsequently discovered with the help of such a voluntarily-taken test can be admitted as evidence.

- The decision was based upon right to a fair trial, and the right against self-incrimination under Article 20(3) of the Constitution.

Recent Applications:

- Use of it on the driver and conductor of truck which hit the Unnao rape victim.

- Was used in resolving the Talwar murder case.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-polygraph-narco-analysis-lie-detector-test-5926426/

What is Adratiklitboulahfa?

Scientists have described a new species of Stegosaurus and dated it to 168 million years ago, which makes it the oldest known member of that group of Dinosaurs ever known.

- It has been named Adratiklitboulahfa.

- It is also the first stegosaurus to be found in North Africa.

- The scientists believe it is not only a new species but also belongs to a new genus. 

- The Adratiklit was armoured and herbivorous.

-  It lived on the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/this-word-means-adratiklit-oulahfa-5928591/



What Henley Passport Index tells us about mobility of an Indian passport:

The latest Henley Passport Index ranks India at 86, down five places from 81 in 2018. Last year, an Indian passport holder had visa-free access to 60 countries; this year access reduced to 58 countries.

Henley Passport Index:

- Prepared by Henley and Partners, a London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm.

- It claims to be the “original ranking of all the world’s passports”. 

- It gathers data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that manages inter-airline cooperation globally. 

-  It covers 227 destinations and 199 passports.

Ranking  of Passports and Significance of it:

- For 2019, India’s score is 58 and it ranks 86 in the list.

- Japan and Singapore, on the other hand, are ranked 1 and have a score of 189.

- The score is the sum of the number of countries accessible by that passport holder without requiring pre-departure government approval for visa-types including a visitor’s permit, visa on arrival or an electronic travel authority (ETA). 

-  A passport holder from Singapore and Japan can travel to 189 countries/territories without requiring pre-departure government approval.

- Passport rankings point towards the strength of diplomatic relations between countries.

- It shows rising number of bilateral visa-waiver programmes signed between different countries.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-henley-passport-index-tells-us-about-mobility-of-an-indian-passport-5928114/


Government proposes ban on e-cigarettes, with jail term of up to 3 years

Health officials are proposing jail terms of up to three years, along with a penalty of up to 500,000 rupees ($7,000), for repeat offenders against the new rules.

First time offenders would face a prison term of up to one year and a fine of 100,000 rupees.


Arguments in favour of banning E-cigarettes:

-  Leads to addiction of nicotine.

- Children and young adults are more influenced.

- Pushes people for tobacco consumption.

- 16 state govt has already prohibited it. There is a lack of federal legislation.

- Can be used as delivery devices for other substances like Cannabis.

- Undermines govt efforts to curtail the Tobacco use.


Argument against banning of E-cigarette:

- less harmful than consuming Tobacco

- Users do not inhale the dangerous matter.


E-cigarette: They are battery operated devices that people use to inhale an aerosol, which typically contains nicotine (though not always), flavourings, and other chemicals. E-cigarette contains

- a cartridge or reservoir, which holds a liquid solution

- a heating element (atomizer)

- a power source (usually a battery)

- a mouthpiece that the person uses to inhale.

Puffing activates the battery powered heating device, which vaporizes the liquid in the cartridge. The person then inhales the resulting aerosol or vapour (called vaping).  


Reference: https://www.livemint.com/news/india/governmentproposesbanonecigaretteswithjailtermofupto3years1566496452080.html





Explained: Why ordnance factory workers are on strike

More than 80,000 workers of the 41 ordnance factories across the country are on strike, protesting against the proposed restructuring of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

Ordnance factories manufacture weapons, ammunition, explosives and other equipment like armoured vehicles for our defence forces as well as foreign clients. 

Need for the Corporatization:

- It is currently a department under the Defence Ministry.

- Government plans to convert it in a Public Sector Unit (PSU).

- At least three expert committees — T K S Nair Committee (2000), Vijay Kelkar Committee on Defence Reforms (2005) and the Raman Puri Committee (2015) had suggested this move.

- D B Shekatkar committee had recommended regular performance audits of all ordnance units. 

- It would improve efficiency, make products cost-competitive and enhance quality.

- It will bring flexibility at top managerial levels.

- Since OFB can’t retain profits due to being an arm of government, they don’t have any incentives to generate it.

- Present structure is not appropriate for carrying out production activities.

- They can’t compete with rivals in the private sector who have all the managerial and technical flexibility.

- Corporatisation of OFB will bring OFB at par with other defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) of the Ministry of Defence. 


- Corporatisation is a step towards privatisation.

- Job insecurity.

- A corporate entity may not be able to survive the unique market environment of defence products.

= It is not commercially viable as there are 

- Fluctuations in orders.

- Long gaps between orders.

- Uneconomical order quantity.

- Life cycle support required for 30-40 years after introduction of equipment.

Conclusion: Government has already issued that the interests of the workers will be adequately safeguarded in any decision taken on the subject.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-why-ordinance-factory-workers-are-on-strike-5928607/


At solar alliance summit, Delhi to propose global power grid

India plans to help set up a global electricity grid that may initially aim to link countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam with the sub-continent as part of an evolving energy security architecture.

- Proposal will be discussed at International Solar Alliance (ISA) 2nd meet.

- A  grid connection running east to west or west to east to eliminate the need of energy storage because the Sun is always shining somewhere.

- India is already creating new energy architecture.

- It will involve supplying electricity to Nepal and Bangladesh and buying electricity from Bhutan.

- A South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) electricity grid .

- SAARC - Pakistan will be a realist grid. It will be connected with ISA grid.

- ISA is counter to The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in terms of providing energy security.

- Crude oil importers are calling for responsible pricing.

- Energy diplomacy is part of neighbourhood first policy.

More on ISA:

- The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance of more than 122 countries initiated by India.

- The Paris Declaration establishes ISA as an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its member countries.

- ISA’s major objectives include global deployment of over 1,000GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over US$ 1000 billion into solar energy by 2030.

- ISA reduce prices through bulk purchase and facilitate deployment of existing solar technologies at scale.

- Promote collaboration in solar R&D and capacity building.

- While those countries who have signed and ratified the ISA framework agreement will attend the second general assembly as members.

- Those countries who have only inked it will be attending as observers.

- In the first meeting, India moved resolution to extend membership to all UN countries. 

IMF takes note of slowdown, asks FinMin about revenue targets

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is learnt to have posed questions to the Finance Ministry on whether revenue targets for direct, indirect taxes, including GST estimates in Budget, appear achievable.

The IMF has enquired

- Whether the revenue targets can be met given that revenue buoyancy will be affected due to the economic slowdown.

- Impact on the fiscal math of the government.

- Flagged the roadblocks in the implementation of GST.

- Highlighted the need to further simplify the indirect tax regime.

During an Article IV consultation, an IMF team of economists visits a member country to assess economic and financial developments and discuss the country’s economic and financial policies with government and central bank officials.


- Slow growth in direct taxes during first quarter of this financial year.

- GST collection revenue contracted for the centre in this financial year.

- The required growth rate becomes 29.5% for the next nine months in order to achieve the stipulated target which is unrealistic in nature.


- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 countries.

= It works to:

- Foster global monetary cooperation

- Secure financial stability

- Facilitate international trade

-Promote high employment and sustainable economic growth

- Reduce poverty around the world.

= It was created in 1945.

- It publishes:

- Global Financial Stability Report

- World Economic Outlook


Reference: https://www.livemint.com/industry/energy/atsolaralliancesummitdelhitoproposeglobalpowergrid1566496938758.html  



India hosts 66% of leprosy patients,  shows  WHO data

India has become the leprosy capital of the world in the 14 years, since it was declared free of the disease.

Why it happened:

- Lack of vigilance

- Unfriendly laws (Currently around 108 laws discriminates against the leprosy affected persons).

- Higher incidence in tribal belt.

- Didn’t pay much attention to surveillance and case finding.

- Lack of awareness

- Social- cultural beliefs and myths

- Lack of diagnostic facility in rural areas.

- Social isolation

- Disease of most marginalized and oppressed section

- India was declared leprosy free in 2005. 

Measures taken to eradicate Leprosy:

- Can be treated through Multidrug therapy: available free of cost across all public hospitals.

- National leprosy eradication program for eradication of leprosy.

- Legally, Leprosy not a ground for dissolution of marriage.

- Introduced three pronged strategy to deal with Leprosy under National Health Mission. 

- “Sparsh” leprosy awareness campaign to address the issue of stigma and discrimination. 


Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. It usually affects the skin and peripheral nerves.

- Long incubation period of 5 to 10 year.

- Causes permanent physical disability.

Supreme Court ruling on Leprosy:

- Undertake a campaign to spread the awareness.

- Deletion of the archaic provisions

- Telecasting of programs on Radio and TV.

- Campaign at Gram Panchayat level

National Leprosy Eradication Programme:

- A Centrally sponsored Scheme

- Run by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.


Reference: https://www.livemint.com/science/health/wasindiaeverfreefromleprosy1566443030568.html