Current Affairs for today- 8th November 2019

GS Paper I, Paper III

‘Bulbul’ likely to bring heavy rain to Odisha


According to the reports from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), cyclonic storm Bulbul over the east-central Bay of Bengal may skip the Odisha coast, but the State government has taken no risk and sent the relief team to the coastal districts as there can be heavy rainfall due to the storm.

The districts- Jagatsinghpur, Balasore and Puri announced the closure of schools along with other 6 districts.

Two units of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force each to nine districts and units of National Disaster Response Force have moved steadily to 6 coastal districts.

Current Location of the storm: It is over the east-central Bay of Bengal now moving northwestwards with a speed of 21 kmph during the past 6 hours and lays centred about 560 km south-southeast of Paradip (Odisha), 680 km south-southeast of Sagar Islands (West Bengal) and 740 km south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh).

The IMD has issued an orange alert (cyclone warning) to the coastal districts of West Bengal and Odisha over the cyclone Bulbul.

The severe depression over the east-central and southeast Bay of Bengal and North Andaman Sea has resulted in a severe cyclonic storm forecasted to bring rainfall in many coastal districts.

It has been named by Pakistan.


Cyclone is the formation of a very low-pressure system with very high-speed winds revolving around it. Factors like wind speed, wind direction, temperature and humidity contribute to the development of cyclones. The most active North Indian Ocean cyclone seasons on record is in 2019.  They are mostly not bound, but cyclones tend to form between April and December, with two peaks in activity in May and November. The season featured 7 cyclonic storms, with 6 of them with record-breaking intensification to severe cyclonic storms. One of the most powerful this season was ‘Kyarr’.

  1. ‘Kyarr’ is a tropical cyclone that has intensified west of India in the Northern Indian Ocean’s Arabian Sea with 150 mph winds.
    It is the 1st super cyclonic storm in Arabian Sea belt in the last 12 years, according to the Indian Meteorological Department.
    It occurred in October, 2019.
    It has named so by Myanmar.
  2. ‘Pabuk’ is the season’s first named storm that entered the basin on January 4, 2019 from the Gulf of Thailand as a cyclonic storm.
    Its name was assigned by the Japan Meteorological Agency.
  3. ‘Fani’ is the season’s second cyclone- that was strongest tropical cyclone in the Bay of Bengal region. It originated from a tropical depression that formed west of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean on 26 April.
  4. ‘Maha’ originated in the low-pressure area off the southern tip (Comorin Sea) of India on October 30, 2019.
    It lied centred over Lakshadweep and the adjoining southeast Arabian Sea and the Maldives area. It has now become a depression without making a landfall in Gujarat coast.
    The cyclone is now likely to move east-northeast wards and weaken into a well-marked low-pressure area in the Arabian Sea, according to the report by the IMD.

GS Paper II

Kerala on its way to achieve 100% Internet penetration


According to the statement by the Kerala government, the Kerala Fibre Optic Network Project pegged at 1548 crore, would provide internet connections to every household in the State; for the BPL households, it would be given for free.

What’s in the news?

  • According to the report  titled ‘India Internet 2019’ the State’s Internet penetration rate is the 2nd highest in the country at 54%, only second to Delhi NCR with 69% penetration.
  • According to a recent report by the Internet And Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Kerala is already hallway to its goal of 100% coverage.
  • According to TRAI data as of June 2019, Kerala stand 4th among all the telecom service areas in terms of Internet subscriptions per 100 population, standing behind Delhi, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

Kerala showed 70 internet subscription per 100 population across service areas.

  • The report said that Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Delhi have the highest proportion of female Internet users.
  • The lowest number of subscriptions per 100 population is in Bihar with 29 and Uttar Pradesh at 34.

GS Paper II, Paper III

Changing the status quo (Editorial)


According to the recent news, the Home Ministry’s move to merge the Assam Rifles with the ITBP has caused clamour from the Army. MHA wants to merge the operation and the administrative control under itself, from the current operational control of the Army.

History of Assam Rifles

Assam Rifles, also called as the Sentinels of North East is the oldest paramilitary force of India, was formed as Cachar Levy in 1835 to assist the British in maintaining peace in northeast region, with just 750 men at the time of its inception and proved its valor and efficiency. However, the troop required expansion. The unit was converted into the Assam Military Police Battalion with two Additional battalions in 1870- they were- Lushai Hills battalion and Lakhimpur Battalion and Naga Hills Battalion. Later, Darrang Battalion was also added. Together, all these battalions were renamed as Assam Rifles (but were police battalions with the Rifles tag) and fought in Europe and West Asia during the war by assisting the British.

2001 hailing by a group of Ministers- “One Nation, One Force” must now rightfully be adhered to.  The Ministry of Home Affairs has announced that, the current scenario of the Assam Rifles, a  Central Paramilitary Force is under administrative control of the MHA and the operational control of the Army, i.e Ministry of Defence will be redone, and both the administrative and the operational power and jurisdictions shall be vested under the MHA to maximize co-ordination.

The Centre’s decision to merge the 55,000 strong Assam Rifles with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) must be a welcome step in unifying the country.

What is the Army’s standpoint?

  • There will be a resultant tussle between the IPS officers and the CAPF officers consequent to the CAPF officers being brought under the fold of Organized Group ‘A’ Service this year, and would mean that the direct officers of Assam Rifles will eventually take up the top brass rings. Since the Lietenant General of the Army holds the office of the Director General of Assam Rifles, it is natural that the Army opposes the Centre’s move to integrate the Assam Rifles and the ITBP (CAPF) under the control of the MHA.
  • The Army opposes losing the promotional avenues that it has with the paramilitary force under CAPF, and does not want to lose the operational control on the troop to the MHA.

What is the issue?

A plea alleges that the dual control amounts to the violation of the rights of the troopers of Assam Rifles by challenging the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 saying that the Assam Rifles under the head “Police” is arbitrary, unreasonable and in violation of the rights of the Assam Rifles ex-servicemen guaranteed under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

According to the petition/plea, it seeks a grant of pay, allowances, pension (including arrears) and the ex0servicemen facilities to the Assam Rifles at par with the Indian Army.

Indian Security Forces can be classified onto:

  1. Defence forces (Indian Armed Force) are the primary force responsible for the security of the country, and they come under the authority of the Ministry of Defense.
  2. Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) only aid in combating external threats (they mainly manage internal security issues) but are managed by Ministry of Home Affairs.
  1. Indian Armed Forces  (IAF):

They are the military forces of the Republic of India. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. It is under the management of the Ministry of Defence under the Government of India. It consists of three professional uniformed service heads:

  1. Indian Amy Personnel
  2. Indian Navy Personnel
  3. Indian Air Force Personnel
  4. Indian Coast Guard Personnel
  • Central Armed Police Force (CAPF):

The Security Forces that mainly deals with the Internal Threats is the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF). They have the following divisions:

  1. Assam Rifles (AR)
  2. Border Security Force (BSF)
  3. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
  4. Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
  5. Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
  6. National Security Guard (NSG)
  7. Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

 The Paramilitary Forces that we informally talk about has the following heads:

  1. Indian Coast Guard Personnel – Indian Armed Force
  2. Assam Rifles (AR) – CAPF
  3. Special Frontier Force (SFF) – Intelligence

According to the 2015 estimate by Credit Suisse, the Indian Armed Forces are the world’s fifth most powerful military. It has also the fourth largest defence budget in the world.

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About the Author

Manasa Sastry

Masters degree holder in Forensic Science. Currently, a UPSC Aspirant helping fellow learners to sort their daily current affairs preparation. Loves to learn and help others. Music, dance and art are just a few of my many hobbies.

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