Daily Analysis

An in-depth analysis of the best and most relevant editorials of the day from the best dailies known for civil services preparation.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS, 24th September 2020

EPIDEMIC DISEASES (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020


Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.

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Context

  • The Union government is in the process of formulating a National Public Health Act, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday while responding to issues raised by Opposition members on expanding the scope of Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020. 

  • The Bill was tabled and passed unanimously in Rajya Sabha.

 

Salient Features

 

  • The bill amends the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 to include protections for health care service personnel combating epidemic diseases and expands the powers of the Central Government to prevent the spread of such diseases.

  • The bill repeals the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance that was promulgated in April this year.

  • The legislation makes harm, injury, hurt or danger to the life of health care service personnel as a cognizable and non-bailable offence.

  • It has provisions of imprisonment from three months to five years and a fine between 50 thousand rupees to two lakh rupees.

  • Persons convicted of offences under the bill will also be liable to pay compensation to the health care service personnel whom they have hurt.


Source: AIR.


INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION OF ROAD TRAFFIC


Focus: GS2.

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests.

 

Context

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has advised the States and Union Territory administrations to stamp the International Convention of Road Traffic of 19th September 1949 on the first page of the International Driving Permit, IDP issued by them.

Background

Many countries are not accepting the International Driving Permit issued to Indian citizens and that officials there ask for the validation of IDP in accordance with the International Convention of Road Traffic of 19th September 1949. Hence the direction.

 

About the Highlights

 

  • The Convention on Road Traffic, commonly known as the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, is an international treaty promoting the development and safety of international road traffic by establishing certain uniform rules among the contracting parties.

  • The convention addresses minimum mechanical and safety equipment needed to be on board and defines an identification mark to identify the origin of the vehicle.

  • The Convention was prepared and opened for signature by the United Nations Conference on Road and Motor Transport held at Geneva from 23 August to 19 September 1949. 

  • It came into force on 26 March 1952.

 

Source: AIR News.


FIRST DIRECT CARGO FERRY SERVICE BETWEEN INDIA, MALDIVES FLAGGED OFF


Focus: GS2.

Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

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Context

  • In line with New Delhi’s commitment to Male since June 2019, a direct cargo ferry service between India and Maldives commenced. 

  • This is the first time that a direct cargo shipping line is connecting the two neighbouring countries.

 

Background

 

  • The ferry service, which was announced by PM Narendra Modi in June 2019 during his visit to Maldives, was launched in an e-flag-off ceremony jointly by MoS (Independent Charge) Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya and Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation of Maldives Aishath Nahula.

  • Commencement of the service was announced by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during his virtual meeting with the Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid on August 13.

 

Highlights

 

  • The service will run twice a month, and will be operated by Shipping Corporation of India.

  • Sources said the ferry will herald direct connectivity for movement of cargo between India and Maldives and thereby boost bilateral trade.

  • Despite geographical proximity, India is only the fourth largest trade partner of Maldives. 

  • Maldives imports more from the UAE, China and Singapore.

  • The ferry has a cold storage facility, which will allow more exports from Maldives of tuna fish and other marine food items.

  • In March-April this year, FICCI’s Kerala State Council conducted a study on the viability of a ferry service between India and Maldives. 

  • The study found that for 27 principal import items of Maldives, India’s share of imports is well below their potential.

  • Since Maldives is a 100 per cent import-dependent country, improved connectivity between India and Maldives will help boost bilateral trade and help economic activity in Maldives, already reeling under the disruption due to Covid-19.

  • The pandemic has drawn the world’s attention towards resilient supply chains. In May-June this year, while Maldivian imports had fallen by 50 per cent, India became the second largest exporter to Maldives. 

  • “India has, therefore, proven that it can provide supply side security to the Maldives during such uncertain times,” the source said.

 

Source: PIB.


8 RAJYA SABHA MPs SUSPENDED

 

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Parliament and State Legislatures - structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.


Context

  • Eight Rajya Sabha MPs were suspended on Monday (September 21) for unruly behaviour in the House the previous day (September 20). The motion was passed by a voice vote.

  • The government moved a motion seeking the suspension of Derek O’Brien (TMC), Sanjay Singh (AAP), Rajeev Satav (Congress), K K Ragesh (CPM), Syed Nazir Hussain (Congress), Ripun Boren (Congress), Dola Sen (TMC) and Elamaram Kareem (CPM)

About the Background

  • The general principle is that it is the role and duty of the Presiding Officer — Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairman of Rajya Sabha — to maintain order so that the House can function smoothly. 

  • The suspension of the eight members comes a day after the Upper House witnessed massive unruly scenes by protesting Opposition members during the passage of two farm Bills.

  • In order to ensure that proceedings are conducted in the proper manner, the Speaker/Chairman is empowered to force a Member to withdraw from the House.

Highlights

  • Rule Number 373 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business says: “The Speaker, if is of the opinion that the conduct of any Member is grossly disorderly, may direct such Member to withdraw immediately from the House, and any Member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall remain absent during the remainder of the day’s sitting.” 

  • To deal with more recalcitrant Members, the Speaker make take recourse to Rules 374 and 374A.


Source: The Hindu.


SOCIAL SECURITY CODE, 2020


Focus: GS2.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Context

  • Lok Sabha passed the Social Security Code, 2020.

  • Efforts have been made to provide right to health security under ESIC to maximum possible workers.

 

Highlights

 

  • The facility of ESIC would now be provided in all 740 districts. At present, this facility is being given in 566 districts only.

  • Establishments working in hazardous sectors would mandatorily be linked with ESIC, even if there is only one worker working in it.

  • Provision for making scheme for linking unorganised sector and Gig workers with ESIC.

  • Option to link workers working in Plantations is being given to Plantation owners.

  • Option for becoming member of ESIC is also being given to establishments with less than 10 workers.

  • EPFO’s coverage would be applicable on all establishments having 20 workers. At present, it was applicable only on establishments included in the Schedule.

  • Option to join EPFO is also being given to establishments having less than 20 workers.

  • Schemes would be formulated for bringing workers coming under the category of ‘Self-employed’ or falling under any other category under the aegis of EPFO.

  • Provision has been made to formulate various schemes for providing comprehensive social security to workers in unorganised sector. A “Social Security Fund” will be created on the financial side in order to implement these schemes.

  • Work to bring newer forms of employment created with the changing technology like “platform worker or gig worker” into the ambit of social security has been done in the Social Security Code.

  • Provision for Gratuity has been made for Fixed Term Employee and there would not be any condition for minimum service period for this.

 

Source: Indian Express.


IFSC EXPERT COMMITTEE


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


Context

  • The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) Expert Committee on international retail business development in the IFSC has submitted its interim report to the Chairperson of the IFSCA. 

  • The interim report covers a number of suggestions aimed at swift and efficient development of international retail businesses in the IFSC and focuses mainly on the banking vertical.

  • Other key business verticals, i.e., insurance, asset management, and capital markets, will be covered in reports that the committee plans to release subsequently.

Background

The Expert Committee has been constituted by the IFSCA with an aim to suggest how to develop international retail business in International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) along with potential strategies for making IFSC attractive for international financial services; provide a roadmap for the future growth of international retail business in IFSC; and also examine and recommend any other issues that are important in the development of the IFSC.

 

Highlights

 

  • The committee suggests that the IFSC can aim at:

    • Becoming a gateway to India growth story for international investors and business

    • Providing Indian diaspora and individuals from Asia and Africa with a comprehensive range of financial services from the IFSC

    • Serving domestic residents availing liberalized remittance scheme

  • Further, the IFSC with its approach of "FinServe from IFSC" would complement the 'Make in India' vision of the Government of India.

  • There is immense immediate potential to promote international retail business in IFSC, and if done efficiently, it will meet three key objectives – boost job creation, generate additional revenue for India, and attract funds (especially from the Indian diaspora) for building India's infrastructure. 

  • The IFSC must aim to provide best in class jurisdictions and aim to build its competitiveness in terms of key factors like reputation, regulatory environment, taxation and ease of operations.

  • The other members of the Expert Committee comprise G. Srinivasan, (Ex-CMD, New India Assurance Ltd.), Siddhartha Sengupta, (ex-DMD, State Bank of India), Shyamal Mukherjee (chairman, PWC), Prakash Subramanian (head-strategy, Standard Chartered Bank), Dipesh Shah (head-IFSC dept., GIFT IFSC) and Nitin Jaiswal (head-Govt Affairs and Strategic relations, Bloomberg, Asia Pacific).

  • The Government of India had constituted the IFSCA with Shri I Srinivas as its Chairperson earlier this year to develop and regulate the financial services market in the IFSC in India. Apart from channelizing India's offshore business to the IFSC located at GIFT City and making it the gateway for India centric international financial services, the objective is to make it a global hub for international financial services on the lines of London, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai.

 

Source: PIB.


MINIMUM SUPPORT PRICES


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

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Context

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all mandated Rabi crops for marketing season 2021-22. 

  • This increase in MSP is in line with the recommendations of Swaminathan Commission.

 

Background

 

  • In view of nutritional requirements and changing dietary pattern and to achieve self-sufficiency in pulses and oilseeds production, the Government has fixed relatively higher MSP for these crops.

  • The highest increase in MSP has been announced for lentil (Rs. 300 per quintal) followed by gram and rapeseed & mustard (Rs. 225 per quintal each) and safflower (Rs. 112 per quintal). 

  • For barley and wheat, an increase of Rs. 75 per quintal and Rs 50 per quintal respectively has been announced. 

  • The differential remuneration is aimed at encouraging crop diversification.

Highlights

  • The increase in MSP for Rabi Crops for marketing season 2021-22 is in line with the principle of fixing the MSPs at a level of at least 1.5 times of the All-India weighted average Cost of Production as announced in Union Budget 2018-19. 

  • The expected returns to farmers over their cost of production are estimated to be highest in case of Wheat (106%) followed by rapeseed & mustard (93%), gram and lentil (78%). For barley, return to farmers over their cost of production is estimated at 65% and for safflower, it is 50%. 

  • Support is in the form of MSP as well as procurement.  

  • In the case of cereals, Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other designated State Agencies would continue to provide price support to the farmers. Government has set up a buffer stock of pulses and domestic procurement of pulses is also being done under Price Stabilization Fund (PSF).

  • The Umbrella Scheme “Pradhan Mantri AnnadataAaySanraksHan Abhiyan” (PM-AASHA), comprising Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS), and pilot Scheme of Private Procurement and Stockist Scheme (PPSS) will aid in the procurement of pulses and oilseeds.


Source: The Hindu.


SPECIAL REPORT ON SUSTAINABLE RECOVERY


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

Context

  • Against the backdrop of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the International Energy Agency (IEA), in collaboration with NITI Aayog, presented a ‘Special Report on Sustainable Recovery’ on 18 September 2020.  

  • Part of IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook series, the report proposes a number of actions that could be taken over the next three years to revitalize economies and boost employment while making energy systems cleaner and more resilient.

 

Background

 

  • The report was virtually launched by IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol and NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, in the presence of Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal.

  • IEA Chief Energy Modeller Laura Cozzi presented the key findings, and Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian was also present during the launch.  

 

Highlights

 

  • The current crisis should be used as an opportunity to make energy transitions smoother, faster, more resilient and affordable.

  • As governments around the world respond to Covid-19, the IEA’s report, prepared in cooperation with IMF, details energy-focused policies and investments that could help boost economic growth, create jobs and put emissions into structural decline while making energy systems lower-cost, secure and resilient.

  • Given that need, IEA’s Sustainable Recovery Plan has a very useful role in guiding governments, businesses, technologists and other key decision-makers. NITI Aayog has been championing sustainable initiatives since its inception. 

  • The SDG indices, Electric Mobility Mission, ACC battery scheme and our leadership in methanol economy initiatives, stand testament to NITI Aayog’s commitment to the sustainable causes.

  • The report mentions key sectors for creating jobs: electricity, transportation, buildings, industry and sustainable biofuels and innovations. 

  • A combination of policy actions and targeted investments will offer huge benefits to the economy and generate jobs. 

  • However, the measures highlighted in the report remains the sovereign choice of the country.

 

Source: PIB.

ONE HORNED RHINO

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

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Context

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said India is home to the largest number of Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros in the world with a population in the range of 3000 animals in Assam, West Bengal and UP.

Background

 

  • In his message on the occasion of World Rhino Day, Mr Javadekar said Environment Ministry has launched a National Conservation Strategy for Indian One-Horned Rhino. 

  • He added that the conservation initiatives for rhino has also enriched the grassland management which help in reducing the negative impacts of climate change through carbon sequestration.

 

Highlights

 

  • The National Rhino Conservation Strategy for India was launched last year to conserve the greater one-horned rhinoceros. 

  • This is a first of its kind for the species in India which aims to work for the conservation of the species under five objectives. 

  • The objectives include strengthening protection, expanding the distribution range, research and monitoring, and adequate and sustained funding.

  • One horned rhino was close to extinction with a population of less than 200 in the beginning of the 20th century. 

  • It is the only large mammal species in Asia to be down-listed from endangered to vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN Red list in 2008.


Source: AIR News.


Map of the Day–Maldives

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Quote for the Day


“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”― Abraham Lincoln

 

Mains Answer Writing


  1. Examine why 42nd Constitutional Amendment is called a Mini Constitution. (250 Words).

  2. What do we understand by Social Audit? What are its objectives and advantages? Discuss. (250 Words).

  3. Critically analyze the performance of unnat Bharat abhiyan in transforming rural lives through technology and whether there is a need to alter the approach? (250 words)


Test your Knowledge



  1. With reference to the ABHYAS - High-speed Expendable Aerial Target, consider the following statements:

    1. It is designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment of DRDO.

    2. The air vehicle is launched using twin underslung booster.

    3. The vehicle is programmed for partially autonomous flight. 

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

 

      1. 1 only

      2. 1 and 2 only

      3. 2 and 3 only

      4. 1, 2 and 3

 

  1. With reference to the National Forensic Sciences University Bill 2020, consider the following statements:

    1. The Bill is to establish the Maharashtra Forensic Sciences University and the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences, New Delhi, as a National Forensic Sciences University, Gujarat.

    2. The Bill declares the University to be an institution of national importance.

    3. This university will work for the capacity building in the field of forensic science and promote research.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

 

      1. 1 only

      2. 1 and 2 only

      3. 2 and 3 only

      4. 1, 2 and 3

 

  1. With reference to the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020, consider the following statements:

    1. The Bill seeks to declare five IIITs set up under the PPP mode in Surat, Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala, and Raichur as institutions of national importance.

    2. The Bill seeks amendment to the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Act, 2014 and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public-private Partnership) Act, 2017.

    3. The central government will contribute 35 percent towards the expenses of institutes functioning under the PPP mode. 

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

 

      1. 1 and 2 only

      2. 1 and 3 only

      3. 2 and 3 only

      4. 1, 2 and 3

 

  1. Which of the following is the only large mammal species in Asia to be down-listed from endangered to vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN Red list in 2008?

 

      1. Asiatic Lion

      2. Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros

      3. Tiger

      4. Dhole

 

  1. Rashtriya Raksha University will be established in:

 

      1. Gujarat

      2. Maharashtra

      3. Bengaluru

      4. Chennai

 

Answers

  1. B 2.C 3.A4.B 5.A


 
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