Table of Contents
- De-dollarisation: the race to attain the status of global reserve currency
Facts for Prelims
- Article 142
- Pulverized Coal Injection (PCI)
- Meitei community
- Similipal Tiger Reserve
De-dollarisation: the race to attain the status of global reserve currency
De-dollarisation refers to replacing the US dollar as the global reserve currency with other currencies.
The Reserve Currency Advantage:
- Economic superpowers’ currencies are usually used as global reserve currencies.
- The British pound was replaced by the US dollar as the global reserve currency as Britain lost its status as an economic superpower.
Criticism of the US Dollar:
- Critics argue that the US dollar’s global reserve currency status gives it unfair privileges.
- Irresponsible expansion of the money supply can cause the debasement of the currency and threaten its status as a reserve currency.
Expansionary Monetary Policy:
- Expansionary monetary policy adopted by the US Federal Reserve over the decades could threaten the US dollar’s status as a global reserve currency.
- Other countries have also been expanding their money supplies to address their domestic economic problems.
The Popularity of the US Dollar:
- The US dollar is widely used in international transactions because people prefer it for various economic reasons.
- Other currencies that have tried to compete against the US dollar are not as popular for carrying out international transactions.
Global Acceptability of the US Dollar:
- The high level of trust that global investors have in the US financial markets is a major reason why investors prefer to invest in US assets.
- China, a major exporter with a trade surplus, has been trying to make the yuan a reserve currency.
Why Countries Want to De-dollarise:
- Attempts to de-dollarise have picked up pace since the US imposed sanctions on Russia, restricting the use of the US dollar to purchase oil and other goods.
- Critics believe that the global reserve currency status gives the US dollar unfair privileges over other countries.
The Power of the US Dollar:
- International transactions carried out in the US dollar are cleared by American banks, giving the US government significant power to oversee and control these transactions.
- This power over international transactions is seen by many countries as an attempt to weaponise the US dollar.
The Alternative to the US Dollar:
- The Chinese yuan is seen as the primary alternative to the US dollar due to China’s rising economic power.
- However, restrictions placed by the Chinese government on foreign access to China’s financial markets have affected global demand for the yuan.
Threats to the US Dollar:
- The US dollar’s status as a reserve currency may come under serious threat if the US debases its currency at a faster pace than other countries.
- The US Federal Reserve’s expansionary monetary policy could also threaten the US dollar’s status as a global reserve currency.
The Importance of Trust:
- The high level of trust that global investors have in the US financial markets is crucial to the popularity of the US dollar.
- It is not necessary for a country to run a trade deficit for its currency to be accepted as a reserve currency.
People still prefer to use the US dollar for trading because no other currency is easy to use for everyone. Even if another currency was easy to use, some countries might worry that it would become too much like the US dollar. They wouldn’t want to have the same problems with a different currency. To solve this problem, we need to use different currencies so that no one currency is more important than the others.
The Supreme Court has recently ruled that it can grant a divorce directly to couples under Article 142.
About Article 142
Enforcement of Supreme Court Orders and Decrees:Article 142 deals with the implementation of orders and decrees of the Supreme Court.
Discretionary Power to the Supreme Court:Article 142 provides discretionary power to the Supreme Court to pass decrees and orders necessary for complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it.
Unique Power to Ensure Complete Justice:Subsection 1 of Article 142 provides a unique power to the Supreme Court to ensure complete justice between the parties.
Upholding Natural Justice: According to some jurists, natural justice is above the law, and the Supreme Court has the right to pass any just order.
Importance for People: The framers of the Constitution considered Article 142 essential for people who suffer due to delays in getting justice from the judicial system.
Significance of Article 142
Preventing Injustice:Article 142 provides extraordinary power to the Supreme Court to prevent injustice to litigants who have suffered illegality or injustice in the proceedings.
Upholding Citizens’ Rights:Article 142 has been invoked to protect the rights of different sections of the population.
Checking the Government:Article 142 serves as a system of checks and balances with the Government or Legislature.
Examples of Cases: The Supreme Court has used its plenary powers under Article 142 in several cases, such as the Bhopal Gas Tragedy and the Ayodhya dispute.
Discretion Not Arbitrary: The Supreme Court has held that any discretion exercised under Article 142 should not be arbitrary or inconsistent with the provisions of any statute laid down.
Cases where the Supreme Court has invoked its plenary powers under Article 142
- Manohar Lal Sharma v. Principal Secretary(2014):The Supreme Court can deal with exceptional circumstances interfering with the larger interest of the public in order to fabricate trust in the rule of law.
- R. Antulay v. R.S. Nayak(1988):The Supreme Court held that any discretion which is given by the court should not be arbitrary or in any way be inconsistent with provisions of any statute laid down.
- Union Carbide Corporation v. Union of India (1989): In Bhopal Gas Tragedy Case, the court ordered to award of compensation to the victims and placed itself in a position above the Parliamentary laws.
- Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das (2019):Popularly known as the Ayodhya dispute, the Supreme Court exercised the powers mentioned under Article 142 of the Constitution
Pulverized Coal Injection (PCI)
Russia has replaced Australia as the top supplier of pulverized coal injection to Indian steel mills for at least five months in FY23.
About Pulverized Coal Injection (PCI)
- PCI injects fine coal particles into blast furnaces for partial coke replacement.
- It improves blast furnace efficiency and reduces energy consumption and environmental emissions.
- The coal used for injection affects blast furnace operation, stability, and productivity.
- PCI system has six sub-systems, including coal storage, pulverizing, transportation, and combustion.
- Explosion prevention facilities are an essential part of the PCI system.
What is a Tuyere?
- A tuyere is a tube through which air is blown into a furnace.
- It is used to increase the temperature of the fire in front of the blast.
- The hot temperature enables metals to be smelted or worked in a forge.
- Air or oxygen is injected into the furnace under pressure from a device like bellows or a blowing engine.
- Tuyeres are essential for the operation of blast furnaces and other furnaces.
A recent study reveals that changes in temperature and rainfall patterns may reduce the suitable area for hijol growth in the India-Bangladesh landscape by 50.5%.
- Hijol is an evergreen tree that grows up to 15 meters tall.
- Scientific name: Barringtonia acutangula; Common names: Hijal, Hijangal, Hendol, Stream Barringtonia, Itchy Tree.
- It is native to coastal wetlands in southern Asia and northern Australasia.
- The tree is found near freshwater rivers, swamps, and lowland plains with heavy soils.
- Hijol is commonly found in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basin.
- The tree has thick, smooth, oval-shaped leaves that are 8-12 cm long and 4-5 cm wide.
- Its reddish petioles are about 0.5-1.0 cm long.
- The flowers are small, pink to red, and purple-red with numerous stamens.
- It grows up to 15 meters tall.
- The bark of the tree contains tannin, which is useful for heart diseases.
- Powder made from its seeds works as an expectorant and is applied to cure the cough of children.
- Leaves and roots are used to prepare tonic.
- Its roots are used to make fish poison.
The Meitei community is planning to take legal action against the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) of the Manipur Legislative Assembly for not obeying their previous orders.
About the Meitei community:
- The Meitei people are the largest ethnic group in Manipur, a state in northeastern India.
- Most of them follow Vaishnavism, a form of Hinduism.
- They are organized into clans that do not permit intermarriage.
- The Marup system is a unique cooperative savings and credit institution in their village society.
- Their language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family, but their culture is influenced by Hinduism.
About the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) of the Manipur Legislative Assembly
- The HAC was established in 1972.
- It consists of lawmakers from the constituencies that cover the state’s hilly regions.
- Under Article 371C of the Indian Constitution, the tribal hill districts of Manipur have special protections, and all laws that affect them must be approved by the HAC.
- The HAC’s role is to safeguard the interests of the hill people and ensure their representation in the state legislature.
- The Meitei community members plan to file a contempt petition against the HAC for allegedly disregarding their previous orders.
Similipal Tiger Reserve
Recently, a rare melanistic tiger was found dead in the core area of Similipal Tiger Reserve.
- Similipal is a forest area in the Indian state of Odisha.
- It is named after the ‘Simul’ (silk cotton) tree, which is found in large numbers in the forest.
- The forest area is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna.
- It was formally designated a tiger reserve in 1956 to protect the Bengal tiger population.
- It was brought under Project Tiger in 1973 to conserve tigers and their habitats.
- Similipal was declared a biosphere reserve by the Government of India in June 1994.
- The reserve is spread over an area of 4,374 square kilometres.
- It is one of the largest biosphere reserves in India. It is home to many endangered species of plants and animals.
- The reserve has been part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2009.
Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve
- Similipal is part of the Similipal-Kuldiha-Hadgarh Elephant Reserve. The elephant reserve is also known as the Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve.
- It includes three protected areas – Similipal Tiger Reserve, Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary and Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary.
- It covers an area of 5,452 square kilometres. The reserve is an important habitat for elephants and other wildlife.