Published on May 10, 2024
Daily Current Affairs
Current Affairs 10 May 2024
Current Affairs 10 May 2024


  1. India Meteorological Department Warns of Severe Heatwave Conditions
  2. RBI Imposes Restrictions on Kotak Mahindra Bank
  3. WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture
  4. Supreme Court Reserves Verdict on West Bengal’s Suit Against CBI
  5. Fusobacterium Nucleatum
  6. Widal Test
  7. Dice Snake

India Meteorological Department Warns of Severe Heatwave Conditions


The India Meteorological Department has issued warnings about severe heatwave conditions impacting large parts of eastern India and the Gangetic Plain, following the waning phase of the strong El Niño of 2023. This underscores the complexity of assessing the impact of global warming on local weather patterns, with the presence of anticyclones intensifying the severity of heatwaves in affected regions.


GS I: Geography

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Role of Heat Waves in Global Warming
  2. Anticyclones
  3. Impact of Anticyclones on Weather Patterns:
  4. Recent Impact of Anticyclones

Role of Heat Waves in Global Warming:

  • Heat waves are a consequence of climate change, primarily caused by the emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) from burning fossil fuels.
  • These gases trap heat energy in the atmosphere, leading to an increase in both average and extreme temperatures.
  • Human activities have contributed to a 1.2 degrees Celsius rise in global temperatures since pre-industrial times, making extreme heat events more intense.
  • Global warming results in uneven temperature changes across regions, affecting the frequency and intensity of heat waves locally.
  • Understanding these local effects is crucial for accurate forecasting and effective mitigation strategies.


  • Anticyclones are regions of high atmospheric pressure, opposite to cyclones (low pressure).
  • Winds circulate clockwise around anticyclones in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere due to the Coriolis Effect.
  • They bring stable, calm weather conditions with little wind and clear skies.
  • Sinking air within anticyclones warms up and dries out, leading to reduced rainfall and humidity.
  • Summer anticyclones are often associated with hot and sunny weather, while winter anticyclones can bring cold and clear conditions with morning frost.
Link Between Anticyclones and Heat:
  • Anticyclones contribute to heat through their persistence and strength.
  • During the pre-monsoon season, the Indian Easterly Jet (IEJ) and a strong westerly jet can create an anticyclonic pattern over the Indian Ocean and the Indian subcontinent.
  • Strong anticyclones can bring dry and hot weather over many parts of India, while weaker ones result in milder conditions.
  • The IEJ, a narrow belt of strong easterly winds in the mid-troposphere, influences weather patterns over peninsular India and the south Indian Ocean during the pre-monsoon season.
  • Another example is the African Easterly Jet (AEJ), which occurs over West Africa during the summer months and is formed due to temperature contrasts between the Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Guinea.

Impact of Anticyclones on Weather Patterns:

  • Strong Indian Easterly Jet (IEJ) years are associated with elevated near-surface temperatures and decreased moisture levels in India, while weaker IEJ years coincide with cooler and wetter conditions.
  • The intensity of anticyclones in any given year is a critical determinant of their connection to heat waves and the broader issue of global warming.
  • El Niño occurrences often lead to more robust and enduring anticyclones over the Indian subcontinent, resulting in prolonged and more severe heat waves.
  • A comprehensive understanding of the prevailing climatic conditions characterized by cooler temperatures and robust, long-lasting anticyclones is essential for precise weather forecasting and timely alerts.
Recent Impact of Anticyclones:
  • Recent anticyclonic circulations over the North Indian Ocean caused anomalous rainfall in Odisha in March 2024. Anticyclones, characterized by clockwise wind circulation and subsiding air, can create high-pressure heat domes.
  • This phenomenon might have also contributed to the floods experienced in Dubai in April 2024.

-Source: The Hindu

RBI Imposes Restrictions on Kotak Mahindra Bank


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has prohibited Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) from acquiring new customers through its online and mobile banking platforms and issuing new credit cards. Existing customers, however, will continue to receive these services.


GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Factors Leading to Reserve Bank of India Restrictions
  2. Role of the RBI in Banking Regulation

Factors Leading to Reserve Bank of India Restrictions:

  • RBI identified “serious deficiencies and non-compliances” within KMB’s:
    • IT inventory management and user access protocols.
    • Strategies for preventing data leaks and addressing leaks.
    • Rigor and effectiveness of business continuity and disaster recovery measures.
  • These deficiencies were uncovered during RBI’s examinations of the bank’s systems spanning 2022 and 2023.
  • Despite receiving recommendations and corrective action plans from RBI, KMB failed to promptly and comprehensively address these concerns.
  • The bank was found to be non-compliant with RBI’s subsequent recommendations and Corrective Action Plans (CAPs), which are designed to strengthen the resilience of regulated entities.
Impact of RBI’s Restrictions:
  • KMB’s credit growth and profitability may suffer due to the regulatory action, particularly since credit cards represent a high-yield growth segment for the bank.
  • The bank may require approximately a year to fully address RBI’s primary concerns, given the time required for implementing changes and undergoing external audits.
  • The restrictions could impede the growth trajectory of KMB’s retail products, leading to adverse effects on margins and profitability.

Role of the RBI in Banking Regulation:

Banking Regulation Act of 1949:
  • The RBI serves as the primary regulatory and supervisory authority for banks in India, governed by the Banking Regulation Act of 1949.
  • This Act grants the RBI authority to oversee and regulate the conduct of banks operating in India.
  • Under the Act, the RBI is empowered to license banks, regulate shareholding and voting rights of shareholders, oversee board and management appointments, and establish audit guidelines.
  • The RBI also plays a pivotal role in overseeing bank mergers and liquidations.
  • No banking company can operate in India without obtaining a license from the RBI, which conducts thorough inspections of the company’s operations before granting or revoking licenses.
Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) Framework:
  • The RBI’s PCA Framework is a supervisory tool aimed at addressing weak financial metrics exhibited by banks.
  • It involves continuous monitoring of key performance indicators, including the Capital to Risk-weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR), Net Non-Performing Assets (NNPA) ratio, and Leverage Ratio.
  • If a bank breaches predefined risk thresholds for these indicators, the RBI may initiate PCA, leading to restrictions on dividend distribution, branch expansion, and management compensation.
  • The PCA Framework is designed to incentivize banks to proactively take corrective measures to mitigate risks associated with low capital levels, poor asset quality, or unprofitable operations.
  • Additionally, it aims to promote market discipline by enhancing transparency regarding the financial condition of banks.

-Source: The Hindu

WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture


The US and Australia have contended that India has provided sugarcane subsidy beyond the limits set out in the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), which may have distorted global trade.


GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Understanding the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AoA)
  2. Critique of WTO’s AoA
  3. Concerns Regarding India’s Sugarcane Subsidies

Understanding the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AoA):

  • The AoA, part of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) framework, was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and took effect on January 1, 1995.
  • It categorizes subsidies into “boxes” based on their impact on production and trade: Amber (linked to production levels), Blue (production-limiting but trade-distorting), and Green (minimally distorting).
  • While subsidies in the amber box must be reduced, those in the green box are exempt from reduction commitments but must meet specific criteria to avoid significant trade or production distortion.
Three Pillars of the AoA:

Domestic Support:

  • Classified into trade-distorting and non-trade-distorting categories, allowing significant spending by developed countries on agricultural subsidies, leading to global market saturation and price depression, particularly affecting producers in developing countries.

Market Access:

  • Involves reducing tariff or non-tariff barriers to trade, with developed and developing countries mandated to decrease tariffs by specific percentages over defined periods, with exemptions and provisions for least developed countries (LDCs) to convert non-tariff barriers to tariffs or establish tariff ceilings.

Export Subsidies:

  • Requires developed countries to reduce export subsidies by defined percentages over set timeframes, with similar obligations for developing countries, aimed at curbing trade-distorting practices and fostering fairer global trade in agricultural products.

Critique of WTO’s AoA:

  • Civil society groups have criticized the Agreement for diminishing tariff protections for small farmers in developing nations while allowing affluent countries to maintain domestic agricultural subsidies.
  • NGOs have faulted the categorization of subsidies into trade-distorting (amber box) and non-trade-distorting (blue and green boxes), alleging that this arrangement permits an increase in non-trade-distorting subsidies.
  • There’s concern that as developed countries face pressure to reduce trade-distorting support, their spending on non-trade-distorting (green box) subsidies has surged.

Concerns Regarding India’s Sugarcane Subsidies:

  • US-Australia report claimed that India’s sugar subsidies exceeded 90% of production value, surpassing the permissible limit of 10%.
  • The report utilized a methodology endorsed by a WTO panel that ruled against Indian sugar subsidies in 2021 for calculating subsidy levels (Aggregate Measurement of Support [AMS]), categorizing it as a trade-distorting subsidy.
  • India contends that its Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for sugarcane and State-Advised Prices (SAPs) do not constitute market price support under the AoA.
  • Each sugar season, India sets the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for sugarcane, which acts as a floor price for sugar mills to pay farmers. Additionally, farmers receive premiums for increased production efficiency, and some states offer additional support known as State-Advised Prices (SAPs).
  • India’s appeal against the 2021 WTO panel report prevented its adoption by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body due to the non-functionality of the Appellate Body, delaying decisions on appeals.

-Source: The Hindu

Supreme Court Reserves Verdict on West Bengal’s Suit Against CBI


The Supreme Court has withheld its decision on the West Bengal government’s lawsuit, which claims that the CBI is investigating post-poll violence cases in the state without obtaining its prior approval as mandated by the law. This follows the Centre’s assertion that West Bengal’s original suit under Article 131 of the Constitution is misconceived.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Centre’s Challenge Regarding CBI Probes’ Maintainability
  2. Article 131 of the Constitution of India
  3. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
  4. Functions of CBI
  5. Challenges of CBI

Centre’s Challenge Regarding CBI Probes’ Maintainability


  • The Supreme Court addressed an original suit initiated by the State of West Bengal under Article 131 of the Constitution.
  • West Bengal alleges that the Union government interferes in cases within the state’s jurisdiction by unilaterally authorizing the CBI to investigate them.

West Bengal’s Position:

  • The Centre persists in employing the CBI despite the State’s withdrawal of general consent to CBI investigations within its territory, a decision made under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946 in November 2018.
  • The CBI has initiated over 15 cases in West Bengal.

Centre’s Position:

  • The Solicitor General contended that the suit was not maintainable and should be dismissed outright.
  • West Bengal incorrectly designated the Union as the defendant in the suit. The petitioners were mistaken in labeling the CBI as the “police force of the Union.”
  • The Centre asserted it had no involvement in the location or manner of CBI investigations.
  • It further argued that the suit could not be amended to include the CBI as a defendant since it was not considered a ‘state’ under Article 131. Original suits under Article 131 are exclusively for disputes involving the Centre and States.

Observations by the Supreme Court:

  • The Supreme Court scrutinized the Centre’s assertion, highlighting Section 5(1) of the DSPE Act, the legislation governing the premier investigative agency.
  • Section 5(1) permits the Central government to confer the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) jurisdiction over areas in states, including railway areas, to investigate specific offenses.
Article 131 of the Constitution of India

Article 131 of the Constitution of India confers upon the Supreme Court (SC) the authority to adjudicate disputes between various entities within the Indian Federation. These disputes encompass the following scenarios:

  • Disputes between the Government of India and one or more states.
  • Conflicts involving the Government of India and any state(s) on one side and one or more states on the other.
  • Disputes between two or more states, particularly if the dispute revolves around a question of law or fact that determines the existence or scope of a legal right.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was set up in 1963 after the recommendation of Santhanam committee under Ministry of Home affairs and was later transferred to the Ministry of Personnel and now it enjoys the status of an attached office.
  • Now, the CBI comes under the administrative control of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
  • The CBI derives its powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, however, it is NOT a Statutory Body.
  • CBI is the apex anti-corruption body in the country – Along with being the main investigating agency of the Central Government it also provides assistance to the Central Vigilance Commission and Lokpal.
  • The CBI is required to obtain the prior approval of the Central Government before conducting any inquiry or investigation.
  • The CBI is also the nodal police agency in India which coordinates investigations on behalf of Interpol Member countries.
  • The CBI’s conviction rate is as high as 65 to 70% and it is comparable to the best investigation agencies in the world.
  • The CBI is headed by a Director and he is assisted by a special director or an additional director. It has joint directors, deputy inspector generals, superintendents of police.

CBI has following divisions

  • Anti-Corruption Division
  • Economic Offences Division
  • Special Crimes Division
  • Policy and International Police Cooperation Division
  • Administration Division
  • Directorate of Prosecution
  • Central Forensic Science Laboratory

How does the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) function in India?

Provision of Prior Permission:
  • The CBI is required to obtain prior approval from the Central Government before conducting an inquiry or investigation into an offense committed by officers of the rank of joint secretary and above in the Central Government and its authorities.
  • The Supreme Court, in 2014, declared Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, which provided protection to joint secretary and above officers from facing preliminary inquiries by the CBI in corruption cases, as invalid and violative of Article 14.
General Consent Principle for CBI:
  • The state government can grant consent to the CBI on a case-specific basis or through a “general” consent.
  • General consent is usually given by states to facilitate seamless investigation of corruption cases involving central government employees within their states.
  • This consent is considered implicit, allowing the CBI to initiate investigations assuming consent has already been given.
  • Without general consent, the CBI would need to seek permission from the state government for each individual case, even for minor actions.

Challenges of CBI

  • The CBI has been dubbed a “caged parrot speaking in its master’s voice” by the Supreme Court of India due to excessive political influence in its operations. It has frequently been utilised by the government to conceal misdeeds, keep coalition allies in line, and keep political opponents at away. It has been accused of massive delays in concluding investigations, such as in its investigation into high-ranking Jain dignitaries in the Jain hawala diaries case [in the 1990s].
  • Loss of Credibility: Improving the agency’s image has been one of the most difficult challenges so far, as the agency has been chastised for its mishandling of several high-profile cases, including the Bofors scandal, the Hawala scandal, the Sant Singh Chatwal case, the Bhopal gas tragedy, and the 2008 Noida double murder case (Aarushi Talwar).
  • Lack of Accountability: CBI is exempt from the Right to Information Act, which means it is not accountable to the public.
  • Acute staff shortage: One of the key causes of the shortfall is the government’s mishandling of the CBI’s employees, which includes an inefficient and inexplicably biassed recruitment policy that was utilised to bring in favoured officials, possibly to the organization’s damage.
  • Limited Authority: Members of the CBI’s investigative powers and jurisdiction are subject to the consent of the State Government, restricting the scope of the CBI’s inquiry.
  • Restricted Access: Obtaining prior authorisation from the Central Government to initiate an inquiry or probe into Central Government workers at the level of Joint Secretary and above is a major impediment to tackling corruption at the highest levels of government.

-Source: The Hindu

Fusobacterium Nucleatum


In a new study, a group of researchers has identified a distinct subtype of the Fusobacterium nucleatum that’s found in relatively greater quantities in colorectal cancer (CRC) tumour.


Facts for prelims

Fusobacterium nucleatum Overview:

  • Fusobacteria are anaerobic bacilli, typically Gram-negative, with species-specific habitats in the human mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and other locations.
  • Historically viewed as an opportunistic pathogen due to its frequent detection in anaerobic samples from patients with various infections.
Research Highlights:
  • Researchers initially examined the genomes of F. nucleatum strains isolated from human colorectal tumors and from individuals without cancer. Among its several known subspecies, only one, termed F. nucleatum animalis (Fna), was consistently identified in the tumor samples.
  • Further genetic analyses revealed the subdivision of Fna into two distinct groups.
  • While both groups were present in approximately equal proportions in oral samples, only one, designated Fna C2, was notably abundant in colorectal tumor samples.
  • Fna C2 exhibited increased resistance to acidic environments, potentially facilitating its passage from the mouth to the intestines via the stomach.
  • Additionally, Fna C2 demonstrated the ability to conceal itself within certain tumor cells, potentially evading detection by the immune system. Moreover, it displayed adaptability to utilize nutrients prevalent in the gastrointestinal tract, distinct from those in the oral environment.

-Source: The Hindu

Widal Test


The Widal Test’s propensity for erroneous results is obfuscating India’s typhoid burden, increasing expenses, and risking more antimicrobial resistance.


GS II: Science and technology

Widal Test Overview:

  • The Widal test is employed to diagnose typhoid fever, a bacterial infection caused by Salmonella Typhi, commonly transmitted through contaminated food or water.
  • Symptoms of typhoid fever include fatigue, high fever, headache, diarrhoea or constipation, abdominal pain, weight loss, and red spots, which overlap with other infections, complicating diagnosis without proper testing.
  • The test detects antibodies produced by the immune system against Salmonella Typhi in the patient’s blood sample.
  • It aids in diagnosing current or recent infections and determining previous exposure to typhoid.
  • Being a point-of-care test, it does not require specialized skills or infrastructure for implementation.
  • Developed in the late 1800s by a French physician, the Widal test has limitations and is no longer widely used due to its shortcomings, as highlighted by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Limitations of the Widal Test:

  • A single positive result does not definitively confirm a typhoid infection, nor does a negative result exclude it.
  • Diagnosis of an active infection typically requires testing of at least two serum samples taken 7-14 days apart to detect changes in antibody concentrations, which can be challenging and time-consuming.
  • In regions with a high typhoid burden, baseline antibody levels may be present, complicating result interpretation without established cutoff values.
  • Reagents used in the Widal test may cross-react with antibodies from other infections or vaccinations, leading to false positives.
  • Previous antibiotic therapy can alter antibody levels, potentially yielding false-negative results.

-Source: The Hindu

Dice Snake


The recent study found that the dice snakes can fake their own death when being attacked by predators by putting on a theatrical display which includes oozing “mouthfuls” of blood.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dice Snake Overview:

  • The Dice Snake, also known as a water snake, is a nonvenomous snake belonging to the family Colubridae, subfamily Natricinae.
  • Female Dice Snakes are typically larger than males.
  • Distribution: Found across much of Eurasia, including Egypt.
  • Habitat: They inhabit areas near rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, grasslands, coastal regions, plantations, and urban areas.

Unique Behavior:

  • They employ a tactic of feigning death to evade predators, a strategy to create a diversion and escape.
  • Feigned death behavior is influenced by factors such as sex, injuries, body temperature, size, age, food presence in the stomach, female egg presence, and previous predator encounters.
  • When threatened, they emit a foul-smelling secretion from their cloaca or simulate death.
  • Threats: Facing habitat loss, pollution, road accidents, human persecution, and capture for the pet trade.

Conservation Status:

  • Listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

-Source: The Hindu