Prelim Bits 12-01-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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January 12, 2023

Title 42 and Principle of Non-refoulement

The United States announced that it will extend Title 42, to expel migrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border back to Mexico.

  • Title 42 dates back to a 1944 law known as the Public Health Service Act, which granted US health authorities emergency powers to prevent the spread of diseases.
  • In March 2020, the Trump administration invoked the statute with the stated intent of preventing Covid-19 from spreading in the US.
  • Title 42 allowed the administration to quickly expel migrants trying to cross the US-Mexico border without clearance including asylum seekers.
  • These measures under Title 42 appear to be at variance with the prohibition of collective expulsion and the principle of non-refoulement.

Principle of Non-Refoulement

  • The Principle of Non-Refoulement is guaranteed under international human rights law.
  • The international principle of non-refoulement guarantees that no one should be returned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
  • This principle applies to all migrants at all times, irrespective of migration status.


  1. The  Hindu - U.S. border plan risks undermining basic human rights
  2. BBC - Title 42: What is the Trump-era immigration policy?
  3. Indian Express - What is the U.S. ‘Title 42’ immigration policy?

Indian Skimmer

The Godavari estuary in Andhra Pradesh has become a prime and safe habitat for the Indian Skimmers.


  • Indian skimmer (Rynchops albicollis) which can ‘skim’ over water to snap up fish, is characterised by a bright orange bill.
  • They is found in the coastal estuaries of western and eastern India.
  • Habitat - It occurs primarily on larger, sandy, lowland rivers, around lakes and adjacent marshes and, in the non-breeding season, in estuaries and coasts.
  • Distribution - It is presently confined only to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.
  • It is considered as extinct in Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam.
  • In India - About 20% of the total population of fewer than 2,500 birds nest along river Chambal.
  • Around 250 Indian Skimmers were sighted in Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary in a day during the Asian Waterbird Census-2023.
  • Diet - Feeds on surface-dwelling fish, small crustaceans and insect larvae.
  • Threats - Habitat degradation, excessive and widespread increases in disturbance of rivers and predations.
  • Conservation Status
    1. IUCN - Endangered 

Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is in the East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The sanctuary is a tidal mangrove forest at the Godavari estuary.
  • About 40% of the sanctuary is only sea-backwaters.
  • The sea coast of the Sanctuary is a breeding ground for Olive ridley turtles.


  1. The Hindu - Godavari estuary - a prime habitat for Indian Skimmer
  2. East Godavari - Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary

Curative Petition

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court made it clear to the government that it will not "try" the curative petition of the Centre like a suit, the Bhopal gas leak tragedy case.

  • A curative petition may be filed after a review plea against the final conviction is dismissed.
  • It is meant to ensure there is no miscarriage of justice, and to prevent abuse of process.
  • A curative petition is usually decided by judges in chamber, unless a specific request for an open-court hearing is allowed.


  • Curative jurisdiction is a rare remedy evolved by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in 2002 in the Ashok Hurra Vs Rupa Hurra case.
  • Curative petition can be filed in the Supreme Court by elucidating the scope of -
    1. The curative nature of power conferred on the Supreme Court under Article 142.
    2. The power to review judgment pronounced or order made by the Supreme Court under Article 137.
  • Every curative petition is decided on the basis of principles laid down by this case.
  • The court ruled that a curative petition can be entertained if
    1. the petitioner establishes there was a violation of the principles of natural justice
    2. he was not heard by the court before passing an order
  • It will also be admitted where a judge failed to disclose facts that raise the apprehension of bias.

Criteria for Curative Petition

  • The SC has held that curative petitions must be rare rather than regular, and be entertained with caution.
  • A curative petition must be accompanied by certification by a senior advocate, pointing out substantial grounds for entertaining it.
  • It must be first circulated to a bench of the 3 senior-most judges, and the judges who passed the concerned judgment, if available.
  • Only when a majority of the judges conclude that the matter needs hearing should it be listed as far as possible, before the same Bench.


  1. The Hindu - Will not try curative plea like a suit, says Supreme Court
  2. India Kanoon - Rupa Ashok Hurra vs Ashok Hurra, 2002

Global Combat Air Programme

The UK, Italy and Japan have announced the joint working mechanism for the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) which is a new partnership to develop combat jets.

  • UK, Italy and Japan have announced the teaming for sixth-generation Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP).
  • GCAP is an ambitious endeavour to develop a next-generation fighter aircraft by 2035.
  • Merger - Japan’s F-X fighter jet program was merged with the UK and Italy’s ‘Tempest’ program to create the Global Combat Air Programme.
  • The GCAP will leverage from both the Tempest and F-X programmes.
  • The new jet will replace Japan’s F-2s and Britain’s Typhoon fighters.
  • F-35 and GCAP - All 3 countries are already part of the US fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighter program.
  • While the F-35 program will continue, the focus will shift towards the sixth generational upgrades.

Under the F-35 program, all three contribute the development of the F-35 and the different versions of the warplane are assembled in Italy and Japan.


  1. Financial Express - Sixth-generation Global Combat Air Programme

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for TTP

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Commission is in accession negotiations with the United Kingdom.

  • The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a free trade agreement (FTA) between 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The agreement would lower tariffs and other trade barriers among the 11 countries.
  • Signatories – The TPP-11 countries are - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
  • The CPTPP entered into force on December 30, 2018 with 6 countries to have ratified the agreement: Canada, Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Singapore.
  • For the other signatories, the CPTPP will enter into force 60 days after their ratification.
  • CPTPP Commission is the decision making body of CTPP.
  • TTP and CPTTP - The CPTPP Agreement is a separate treaty that incorporates, by reference, a majority of the provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement (signed but not yet in force).
  • The CPTPP preserves the ambitious scope and high quality standards and rules of the original TPP.
  • Accession - The CPTPP includes an accession process that provides for the further expansion of the Agreement’s membership.
  • Any economy that is able to meet the high-standard rules and ambitious market access commitments of the CPTPP can seek to join the Agreement.
  • This accession is subject to negotiations on terms and conditions with the current CPTPP members.
  • China and RCEP – Though China is Pacific-Rim country, it is not a part of TPP, but part of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which is viewed as an alternative to TPP.


  1. The Hindu - U.K., Japan sign defence pact
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