[CA 18-08-2016] Managing Western Border | Chromium Pollutant | Blood Banking App

PMF IAS Current Affairs

Challenges in managing our western Border [Indian – Pakistan Border]

India Paistan Border - Radcliffe Line

Credits: http://www.nytimes.com/

Better managed western border can reduce ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts by terror groups.

No Legal Basis for Border Management
  • Absence of firm ground rules (bilateral treaty with legal basis) accepted by both the countries on border management. [India Pakistan Border Ground Rules, 1960-61, has not been signed by the two governments.]
Karachi vs. Shimla Agreements
  • Karachi Agreement of 1949 è refers to the Ceasefire Line.
  • Karachi Agreement stipulates that there should be no new defence construction, such as bunkers, within 500 yards of the LoC. Both sides have violated this agreement.
  • Shimla Agreement of 1972 è brought the current LoC into existence.
  • India has generally argued that the Shimla Agreement of 1972 made the Karachi Agreement of 1949 irrelevant, something Pakistan disagrees with.
Border Disputes
  • Disagreements between the India & Pak over the International Border & the Line of Control. International Border in J&K is itself ad hoc due to unsettled border disputes.
Non-uniform border
  • Western border is a non-uniform one in terms of terrain, threat perception, illegal activities, legal basis, and the forces that manage the border.
  • Personnel Committees set up to review and strengthen border management are often not represented by the most important stakeholders – BSF and the Indian Army.
The 2003 ceasefire agreement not formalized yet
  • Scores of soldiers and civilians have been killed by ceasefire violations. But India & Pak have so far taken no serious steps to formalize the agreement.
  • The ceasefire agreement is not a written document with properly laid-down rules, norms or principles.
Maintenance of Fence
  • The fence has a number of gaps across the States it runs through.
  • In Kashmir snowfall plays havoc with the fence.
  • In Jammu and Punjab torrential rains and overflowing rivers create gaps in the fence.
  • The fence in Thar desert gets seriously impacted by the shifting sand dunes.
  • Inadequate personnel, long working hours (16-18 hour duty according to The Hindu http://goo.gl/qtRx6M) and lack of modern equipment like light weight bulletproof jackets, night vision, infrared vision etc.
  • Hardships faced by troops on the ground due to treacherous terrain and extremes of climate.
  • Stepmotherly treatment meted out to BSF. [they are not treated on a par with the Army when it comes to pay and facilities even though they do the same work]
  • Usually IPS officers occupy the highest positions of BSF (demoralizing BSF officers). [BSF is a part of Central Armed Police Forces. BSF officers are recruited through CAPF exam. Officers recruited through CAPF occupy low and midlevel management posts.]

Source: The Hindu: http://goo.gl/qtRx6M

Portable Chromium Contamination Detector

  • BARC develops portable kit for detection of Chromium contamination of water.
  • BARC – Bhabha Atomic Research Centre [Department of Atomic Energy].

Chromium Pollutant

  • Chromium is widely used in leather, steel, chrome plating, paint manufacturing, wood preservation
  • Chromium in the environment primarily exists as Trivalent Chromium Cr(III) and Hexavalent Chromium Cr(VI).
  • The Hexavalent Chromium Cr(VI) is highly toxic.
  • It is carcinogenic & can cause stomach ulcers, severe damage to kidneys & liver.
  • The maximum permissible concentration of Cr(VI) in drinking water is 50 mg/l.
  • Detection of Cr(VI) at such low levels is technically challenging & expensive.
  • BARC has developed quick and cost effective kit for onsite determination of Cr(VI).
  • It can measure the level of Chromium contamination in tap water, ground water etc..
  • The procedure involves adding a specific reagents to the water sample and identifying the developed color. Cr(VI) levels can be estimated using the intensity of color.

Portable Chromium Contamination Detector

Recent initiatives in Power Sector


  • ‘TARANG’ (Transmission App for Real Time Monitoring & Growth) Mobile App & Web Portal.
  • Launched by Ministry of Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines
  • Enhance accountability & transparency and boost confidence of investors in power transmission sector.
How it works?
  • TARANG tracks upcoming transmission projects and monitor the progress of Inter-State & Intra-State transmission systems in the country.
  • TARANG includes status of stalled/delayed transmission systems in country which would enable the stakeholders (Ministry, state governments, private sector transmission and PSUs) for expeditious completion of such projects.
  • Green Energy Corridors, an important component of our renewable energy mission, would also be monitored through TARANG.


  • ‘e-Trans’ web platform for e-bidding and e-reverse auction for Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) in transmission projects.


  • DEEP (Discovery of Efficient Electricity Price) e-Bidding’ portal for medium term (1-5 years) purchase of power, on the occasion.
  • E-Bidding & e-reverse auction process for medium term (1-5 years), the time span of the bidding process and the cost of procurement is expected to be reduced substantially.

Osteoporosis drug trial in US shows initial success.

  • Clinical trials found that the drug stimulates bone growth and prevents fractures.
What is Osteoporosis?
  • Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones.
  • It often leads to years of pain, disability and early death.
  • Bone is naturally lost with age. But osteoporosis is an extreme, abnormal bone loss.


Picture Credits: Wikipedia

Blood banking app

  • “Blood Banking app” is Indian Red Cross Society’s mobile application.
  • It facilitates creating and managing a personal blood banking account for donors.
  • The blood can be withdrawn whenever required. [Bank: Deposit Rs. X today and you can withdraw Rs. X whenever need arises. Blood Bank: Donate blood today and get blood easily when in need.]
  • The ‘blood balance’ can also be transferred to friends in need.
  • So, the app creates a human network of blood bankers.
  • It enables users to make appointments round the clock.
Why such an app?
  • There is an annual shortage of 3 million units of blood across India. The app can encourage more donations.
  • Blood banks depend heavily on replacement donors. Finding a replacement donor is not easy during emergency situations. [The app can be of great help here. Just call a friend that has a positive balance in his blood banking account.]
Lessons to be learnt
  • Government blood banks can emulate the above model and save precious lives.
Sharing is Caring !!

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