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12th June Current Affairs


  1. Levy of BAT on imported goods
  2. Virus, outdated method: Gujarat’s lion census
  3. Bose-Einstein matter observed in space for 1st time
  4. Reserve Bank proposes to shore up bank boards
  5. U.S. President targets ICC with sanctions
  6. First estimation exercise of Indian gaur in Nilgiris


Focus: GS-III Indian Economy

Why in news?

Recently NITI Aayog member suggested that we have to do a Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) to provide the domestic industry a level-playing field vis-a-vis imports, since US-China trade tensions are rising.

The need for BAT now:

  • The Indian industry has been complaining to the government about domestic taxes like electricity duty, duties on fuel, clean energy cess, mandi tax, royalties, biodiversity fees that get charged on domestically produced goods as these duties get embedded into the product.
  • But many imported goods do not get loaded with such levies in their respective country of origin and this gives such products price advantage in the Indian market.

What Is Border Adjustment Tax?

  • Border adjustment tax is a value-added tax on imported goods which is levied (in addition to the customs levy that gets charged at the port of entry) depending on where a good is consumed rather than where it is produced.
  • BAT is a fiscal measure that imposes a charge on goods or services in accordance with the destination.
  • Generally, BAT seeks to promote “equal conditions of competition” for foreign and domestic companies supplying products or services within a taxing jurisdiction.

How does BAT help?

  1. At the macro level, with imports reduced and exports increased, a country can cut its trade deficit.
  2. If a country is a major export market for many developing countries, the tax plan will have serious adverse effects on them after implementation.
  3. BAT may render some foreign firms less profitable and if the prices are forced upwards, they may lose competitiveness with substitute products or locally-made similar products.

What are the rules for applying BAT?

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules allow for the adjustment of certain types of internal taxes at the border under certain conditions. The main conditions are:

  1. The tax must be applied equally to imports and “like” domestic products.
  2. The tax must be “borne” by a product and not be “direct”.
  3. A permitted border tax adjustment must not subsidize exports.

-Source: Economic Times


Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology, Prelims

Why in news?

An outdated methodology and the true mortality from a virus affecting India’s lions dent the credibility of the Gujarat government’s claims on its lion population.

The first Lion Census was conducted by the Nawab of Junagadh in 1936; since 1965, the Forest Department has been regularly conducting the Lion Census every five years.

Click Here to read more about the rising numbers of Asiatic Lions in Gujrat and Gir National Park


The canine distemper virus (CDV) that killed at least 36 lions in Gir, Gujarat in 2018 had not ebbed.

What is Poonam Avlokan?

It includes two methods:

  1. Block counting method — in which census enumerators remain stationed at water points in a given block and estimate abundance of lions in that block, based on the direct sighting of lions who need to drink water at least once in 24 hours during the summer.
  2. Other teams keep moving in their respective territories and make their estimates based on inputs provided by lion trackers and on chance sightings.

Newer methods such as camera trapping and identifying lions based on permanent marks on their body, and statistical estimates based on the animals’ predatory patterns and numbers of their prey base are sue dot count tigers and are more scientifically precise.

However, Camera traps are not yet suitable for lions as they don’t have clearly discernible permanent physical features, unlike in tigers, which have unique stripes.

-Source: The Hindu


Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Prelims

Why in news?

  • Scientists have observed the fifth state of matter – Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) – in space for the first time.
  • BECs in labs on earth typically last few milliseconds, however, aboard the ISS the BECs lasted more than a second.
  • This discovery offers unprecedented insight that could help solve some of the quantum universe’s most intractable conundrums.

Bose-Einstein Condensates (BECs)

  • Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) are formed when atoms of certain elements are cooled to near absolute zero (0 Kelvin or -273.15°C).
  • BEC is a state of matter when separate atoms or subatomic particles, cooled to near absolute zero (0 K) coalesce into a single quantum mechanical entity—that is, one that can be described by a wave function—on a near-macroscopic scale.
  • This form of matter was predicted in 1920s by Albert Einstein on the basis of the quantum formulations of the Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose. Although it had been predicted for decades, the first atomic BEC was made only in 1990s, because the requisite methods to produce temperatures low enough to test Einstein’s prediction did not become attainable until then.
  • The most intriguing property of BECs is that they can slow down light.
  • Potential applications include more-accurate atomic clocks and enhanced techniques to make electronic chips, or integrated circuits.

-Source: Times of India


Focus: GS-III Indian Economy, Prelims

Why in news?

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed a stronger board for banks in the country for improving governance and proposed stringent norms for chief executive officers and whole-time directors.

Details: RBI’s recommendations on the Bank’s Board reforms

  • The norms are applicable for private banks, foreign banks and also public sector banks except in so far as what is prescribed is not inconsistent with provisions of specific statutes applicable to them or in case where the government retains its instructions.
  • RBI has suggested to empower the bank board for setting the culture and values of the organisation, recognize and manage conflicts on interest, setting the appetite for risk and manage risks within the appetite and improving the supervisory oversight of senior management.
  • Improving the quality of governance in financial intermediaries is an important determinant of efficiency in allocation of resources, protection of depositors’ interest and maintaining financial stability.
  • The RBI said board members should not be a member of any other bank’s board or the RBI and should not be either a Member of Parliament or State Legislature or Municipality or other local bodies.

Not to be confused with Bank Board Bureau

  • The government, in 2016, approved the constitution of the Banks Board Bureau (BBB) as a body of eminent professionals and officials to make recommendations for appointment of whole-time directors as well as non-executive chairpersons of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and state-owned financial institutions.
  • It is an autonomous recommendatory body.
  • The Ministry of Finance takes the final decision on the appointments in consultation with the Prime Minister’s Office.

-Source: The Hindu


Focus: GS-II International relations

Why in news?

U.S. President issued an executive order authorising sanctions against individuals involved in an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into whether U.S. forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan.


  • A senior White House official, without providing details, said the ICC probe is “being pushed forward by an organisation of dubious integrity” and accused Russia of having a role.
  • Afghanistan is a member of the ICC, though Kabul has argued that any war crimes should be prosecuted locally.
  • The U.S. government has never been a member of the court, established in 2002.
  • The ICC decided to investigate after prosecutors’ preliminary examination in 2017 found reasonable grounds to believe war crimes were committed in Afghanistan and that the ICC has jurisdiction.

The International Criminal Court (ICC)

  • The International Criminal Court is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • The ICC has jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.
  • It is intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore exercise its jurisdiction only when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals.
  • The ICC lacks universal territorial jurisdiction, and may only investigate and prosecute crimes committed within member states, crimes committed by nationals of member states, or crimes in situations referred to the Court by the United Nations Security Council.

How is it different International Court of Justice (ICJ)?

  • The International Court of Justice (ICJ) sometimes called the World Court, is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN).
  • It settles disputes between states and gives advisory opinions on international legal issues referred to it by the UN.
  • Its opinions and rulings serve as sources of international law.
  • The ICJ comprises a panel of 15 judges elected by the General Assembly and Security Council for nine-year terms.
  • The court is seated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, making it the only principal UN organ not located in New York City.

-Source: The Hindu


Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology, Prelims

Why in news?

The first population estimation exercise of the Indian gaur carried out in the Nilgiris Forest Division in recent years.


  • The estimation exercise revealed that the majority of the animals in “conflict-prone” areas in the division live perilously close to human habitations due to habitat loss and fragmentation, exacerbating the probability of having problematic interactions with humans.
  • Although there were sizeable populations of gaurs in other areas, interactions with humans were comparatively less due to native forests being largely free of invasive flora, and land-use patterns also remaining relatively stable, officials said, making it clear that increasing human pressures were leading to problems.

Indian Gaur

  • The gaur also called the Indian bison, is one of the largest extant bovines.
  • It is native to South and Southeast Asia and has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986.
  • Bos gaurus is listed in CITES Appendix I, and is legally protected in all range states.
  • It is extinct in Sri Lanka and probably also in Bangladesh.
  • It is one of the largest species among the wild cattle.
  • Gaur historically occurred throughout mainland South and Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China and Nepal. Today, the range of the species is seriously fragmented, and it is regionally extinct in Sri Lanka.
February 2024