News: June 12, 2020

 

News: 1/6

Global Legal Bodies And Initatives

International Criminal Court (ICC)

  • Headquartered in Hague, ICC was established in 2002 under the treaty of Rome Statute.
    • India has neither signed nor ratified Rome Statute
  • ICC prosecutes those who are responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity and is the court of last resort which intervenes only if a national authority could not prosecute the ones responsible for the crimes stated above.

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

  • FATF Is an inter-governmental body that works to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
  • It was established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7. It meets 3 times a year. FATF is different from OECD, however FATF Secretariat is housed administratively at OECD 
  • FATF Black List / OECD blacklist - is a list of countries that the FATF considers non-cooperative in the global effort to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The list is released as part of FATF's annual report. Currently North Korea and Iran are on list
  • FATF Grey List - Countries on the FATF grey list represent a much higher risk of money laundering and terrorism financing but have formally committed to working with the FATF

Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG)

  • EAG is is a regional body and an associate member of the FATF since 2010
  • EAG  is a FATF-style regional body (FSRB) for countries of the Eurasian region that have not been part of existing FSRBs, to play an important role in combating the threat of terrorism and increasing the transparency and security of financial systems of the region. The EAG objective is to incorporate these countries into the global system on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).
  • The EAG comprises of nine countries: India, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus.

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • USA sanctions on ICC
    • Pakistan to stay in FATF Grey List

Sub: Society
Topic: Human Development Education
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 2/6

Higher Study Bodies And Surveys

Bodies

School education is on the State list, and higher education is on the concurrent list

University Grants Commission (UGC)

  • UGC is a statutory body set up in 1956, and is charged with coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of higher education.
  • University Grants Commission provides recognition to universities and disburses funds to them.
  • In 2019 a Bill was proposed to replace UGC but was scrapped later

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)

  • AICTE is a statutory body under the aegis of Department of Higher Education, MHRD.
  • It is a national-level council for technical education responsible for planning and coordination of technical education and management of education system in the country.
  • It accredits graduate and post graduate programs at Indian institutions.
  • AICTE acts more as a guidance board

National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE)

  • For planned and coordinated development of the teacher education system throughout the country
  • Statutory body under National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993
  • It lay down guidelines for minimum qualifications and fees charged by recognised institutions
  • Suitable performance appraisal system, norms and mechanism for enforcing accountability on recognised institutions
  • Take all necessary steps to prevent commercialisation of teacher education

Surveys

  • National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)
    • Launched in 2015, is a methodology adopted by the MHRD to rank institutions of higher education in India.
    • The parameters give higher weightage to Teaching, Learning and Resources, Research and Professional Practices, Graduation Outcomes, Outreach and Inclusivity; and low weightage to Perception. 

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • NIRF: IIT-M tops India Rankings in 2020
  • July, 20
    • Students in limbo as UGC yet to decide on final year exams
    • UGC to take action if States cancel exams

Sub: Politics
Topic: Governance Agencies and Bodies
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 3/6

National Survey Organisations in focus

Geological Survey of India (GSI)

  • The main functions of GSI relate to creation and updation of national geoscientific information and mineral resource assessment
  • GSI is a survey organization attached to the office to the Ministry of Mines. 

National Statistical Office (NSO)

  • NSO was formed in 2019 under Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), from merger of National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) and Central Statistics Office (CSO) by
  • National Statistical Office (NSO) headed by a Director General is responsible for conduct of large scale sample surveys in diverse fields on All India basis.
  • First Advance Estimates of National Income, 2019-20
    • Released in January 20, the estimate is based on Benchmark-Indicator method from industrial production, financial performance of companies, freight and cargo handling, crop production.
    • Real GDP or GDP at Constant Prices (2011-12)  to grow at 5%
    • Real GVA at Basic Prices is estimated to increase by 4.9%
      • GVA is the value of output minus the value of intermediate consumption, and is a measure of the contribution to GDP made by an entity. In simple terms  it gives the rupee value of goods and services produced in the economy after deducting the cost of inputs and raw materials

Central Statistics Office (CSO)

  • Central Statistics Office coordinates the statistical activities in the country and evolves statistical standards. It is headed by a Director General assisted by 5 Additional Director Generals.
  • Prepares quarterly estimates of GDP at current and constant prices, estimates of State Domestic Product (SDP), Input-Output Transaction Tables, maintains National Data Bank (NDB) on socio-religious categories, monitors Millennium Development Goals, and publishes National Accounts Statistics
  • Its Economic Statistics Division (ESD) compiles All India Index of Industrial Production(IIP), and develops classifications like - National Industrial Classification (NIC) and National Product Classification (NPC)
  • Its Coordination and Publications Division (CAP) organizes Conference of Central and State Statistical Organizations (COCSSO), Annual Action Plan, Outcome Budget and Annual Plan of the Ministry. The Division is also responsible for implementation of Capacity Development Scheme and Support for Statistical Strengthening (SSS) , a Central Sector Scheme aimed at improving the Statistical Capacity and Infrastructure of the State Statistical System

Index For Industrial Production (IIP)

  • IIP measures the quantum of changes in the industrial production in an economy and captures the general level of industrial activity in the country. It is a composite indicator expressed in terms of an index number which measures the short term changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to the base period.  The base year is always given a value of 100. The current base year for the IIP series in India is 2011-12. So, if the current IIP reads as 116 it means that there has been 16% growth compared to the base year. 
  • IIP is a short term indicator of industrial growth till the results from Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) and National Accounts Statistics (NAS) are available
  • Index of Industrial Production is compiled and published every month by Central Statistics Office (CSO), with a time lag of six weeks from the reference month
  • Categorization of IIP
    • Sectoral classification: Industrial production for the purpose of IIP is divided into three sectors, i.e, Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity, with relative weights of 75.5%, 14.2% and 10.3% respectively. 
    • Use-based classification: In addition to the industry wise indices/growth rates, the users also require the indices in respect of different use-based categories, i.e., basic goods (45.68%), capital goods (8.83%), intermediate goods (15.68), and consumer durables and non durables (29.81%).

Private Survey Bodies

  • Inferential Survey Statistics and Research Foundation[ISSRF]
    • a research group formed by retired officials from the statistical and economic services.
  • Projex Survey
    • By Projects Today
    • Tamil Nadu, followed by Maharashtra, emerged as the top investment destination in the first quarter of 2020 financial year

[In news]

  • June, 20
    • GSI along with CSIR-NEERI are finding the causes behin Lonar lake coloration
    • ISSRF survey - Although almost all of Odisha’s poor senior citizens received the four-month advance old-age pension promised by the State as COVID-19 relief, only half of them got free foodgrains,
  • Aug, 20
    • Industrial Activity Continued To Contract In May But At A Slower Pace

Sub: Geography
Topic: Environment Ecosystem Biodiversity
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 4/6

Species in focus

Animal Species 

  • Asiatic lion
    • IUCN status: Endangered
    • Found in Saurashtra region
    • There number have risen to 674
  • Common Leopard / Panthera pardus 
    • IUCN status: Near Threatened
    • Found in India near shivaliks, Egypt
  • Gangetic river dolphin
    • IUCN status: Endangered
    • Listed in Schedule I of India’s Wildlife (Protection), Act, 1972
    • India's national Aquatic Animal
    • It is primarily found in the Ganges and Brahmaputra, in fresh waters. The dolphin uses echolocation as they are effectively blind.
  • Gee's golden langur
    • IUCN status: Endangered
    • Found only in Assam and Bhutan
  • Golden birdwing butterfly
    • IUCN status: Least Concern
    • endemic to himalayan region, China, South Asia
    • Became largest butterfly in India in 2020, breaking 88 year old record
  • Indian Gaur / Indian Bison
    • IUCN status: Vulnerable
    • Native to South and Southeast Asia,
    • Found in evergreen forests or semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests
  • Indian Pangolin
    • IUCN status: Endangered
    • Of the eight extant species of pangolin, the Indian Pangolin Manis crassicaudata and Chinese Pangolin M. pentadactyla are found in India.
  • Indian rhinoceros /  Greater one-horned rhinos
    • IUCN status: Vulnerable, CITES appendix I
    • Found only in South Asia and South East Asia
      • Of the 2000 rhinos living, 1800 are in two places; Kaziranga National Park in Assam, India and Chitwan National Park, Nepal
    • Indian Rhino Mission 2020: Started in 2005 by Assam government, International Rhino Foundation, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Bodoland Territorial Council to attain the rhino population of at least 3000 in seven protected areas of Assam by the year 2020
  • Pashmina goat / Changthangi
    • Found in Tibet, Burma, Ladakh
    • Reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh
  • Tibetan antelope / Chiru Goat
    • IUCN status: Near Threatened 
    • They are hunted for their fur - shahtoosh

Plant Species

  • Globbaandersonii / "Dancing ladies"
    • IUCN status: Critically endangered
    • Usually grows in a dense colony as a lithophyte (plant growing on a bare rock or stone) on rocky slopes in the outskirts of evergreen forests

[In News: Latest]

  • July, 20
    • A Himalayan butterfly named golden birdwing is now India’s largest butterfly
    • Assam floods
  • Aug, 20
    • Gang smuggling pangolin scales arrested
    • Leopard poaching by a study by TRAFFIC is highest in Uttarakhand, Maharashtra

Sub: Science And Technology
Topic: Biology
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 5/6

Conditions and diseases in focus

Diseases

  • MRSA Super bug / Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus - MRSA super bug is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. It's tougher to treat because it develops quick resistance to antibiotics. It is naturally found in nose and on skin.
  • Canine distemper / footpad disease (CDV) - A viral disease that affect a wide variety of animal families. It is caused by a single-stranded RNA virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, and it is highly contagious via inhalation.
  • Pneumonia
    • Caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. It is both preventable and curable.
    • India had the second-highest number of deaths of children under the age of five in 2018 due to pneumonia, after Nigeria in 2019
    • Responsible for 15 per cent of deaths in children under the age of five
    • Serum institute has developed first fully indigenously conjugate vaccine for pneumonia
  • Swine flu
    • Respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs.
    • In 2009 a strain of swine flu called H1N1 infected many people around the world.
    • Influenza viruses can transmit between human to human, human to pigs, and pigs to humans, mainly through coughing and sneezing
    • G4 flu virus
      • A new strain G4 Eurasian-Avian like (EA) H1N1 has been discovered infecting pigs in China
      • G4 strain has the capability of binding to human-type receptors (like, the SARS-CoV-2 virus binds to ACE2 receptors in humans)

Tuberculosis

  • Caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, TB is a contagious infection that usually attacks your lungs. It can spread to other parts of your body, like your brain and spine.
  • Symptoms include - cough, fever, blood coughing, night seats, weight loss.
  • There are two types of drug resistant TB
    • Multi drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) : MDR TB is the name given to TB when the bacteria that are causing it are resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, two of the most effective TB drugs
    • Extensively drug resistant tuberculosis  (XDR-TB) : XDR-TB is a form of TB caused by bacteria that are resistant to isoniazid and rifampicin, and other most effective anti-TB drugs. XDR-TB strains, rare, arose after the mismanagement of individuals with MDR-TB.
  • Treatment
    • Directly Observed Treatment - Short Course (DOTS) - Its a treatment strategy recommended by WHO. The strategy has five components - Government component (finance and accountability), detecting bacteria through sputum smear microscopy followed by culture and drug susceptibility test (DST), Supervised treatment, Drug supply, and Monitoring and evaluation
  • India
    • India has highest number of TB cases, about 2.7 million
    • Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) - The National TB Programme (NTP) was started by government in 1962, which was renamed to Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) in 1993
      • Managed by Central TB Division (CTD), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s (MOHFW)
      • Released a ‘National strategic plan for tuberculosis 2017-2025’ (NSP) for the control and elimination of TB in India by 2025. 
        • NSP focuses on private sector engagement
        • Project PEET - By PATH (non-profit) and private providers which connected patients in the private sector with free TB drugs in the public sector for increased case notifications and treatment outcomes
        • Project JEET  - By CHRI (non-profit) and Ministry of Health, focusing on access to affordable TB diagnostics in the private sector, as well as helping patients to stay on treatment until it is completed, while reducing the cost of that treatment
      • NIKSHAY: Web based TB surveillance system

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • CDV that killed 36 lions in Gir, Gujarat in 2018, still prevails
  • July, 20
    • Report of a new strain of H1N1 infecting workers in china, transmitted from pig
    • Serum institute has developed first fully indigenously conjugate vaccine for pneumonia

Sub: Geography
Topic: Environment Ecosystem Vegetation and Wildlife
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 6/6

Animal Protection

Acts

Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972

The main object of the Act is to provide protection to the wild animals birds and plants. Salient features:

  • Hunting of all wild animals except vermin prohibited, with exceptions.
    • Boars have been declared vermin
  • The Act empowers Central Government to declare certain areas as Sanctuaries or National Parks. Central Government is empowered to appoint the Director and Asst. Director Wild Life Preservation and other officials and employees
  • The Act empowers State Government to appoint Chief Wild Life Warden, Wild Life Wardens and on Honorary Wild Life Warden in each District and other officers and employees as may be necessary.
  • The State govt. by notification, may declare any area as national park; and any area within the reserved forest or territorial waters as a sanctuary. If there are tribals in the area, then their rights need to be met before declaration
  • Setting of 'Wild Life Advisory Board' in each State or Union Territory to advise the State government.
  • All zoos to be monitored by Central Zoo Authority (CZA). Thus CZA is a statutory body chaired by the Environment Minister
  • Any authorized person under this Act is entitled and has power of entry, search, arrest and detention of any premises.
  •  Schedules
    • Sechedule I and part II of Schedule II provide absolute protection - offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties
    • Penalties for Schedule III and Schedule IV are less and these animals are protected.
    • Schedule V includes the animals which may be hunted
    • Schedule VI contains the plants, which are prohibited from cultivation and planting. 

Advisory for dealing with import of exotic live species in India and declaration of stock

  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued an advisory in June, 2020 to streamline the process for import and possession of exotic live species in India.
  • The advisory has defined exotic animals as those that are mentioned in Appendices I, II and III of CITES, but not under the schedules of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • A person trying to import a live exotic animal will have to submit an application for grant of a licence to the Director General of Foreign Trade  (DGFT). He will also have to attach a No Objection Certificate (NOC) of the chief wildlife warden  (CWLW) of the state concerned
  • The processes under this Advisory shall be dealt online through the Parivesh Portal
    • PARIVESH portal - Single window clearances of Environment, Forests and Wildlife and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Clearances. By Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change 

Indian Bodies

Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB)

  • WCCB is statutory multi-disciplinary body under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to combat organized wildlife crime.
  • WCCB is mandated under Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime activities and to disseminate the same to State and other enforcement agencies
  • It also assists and advises the Customs authorities in inspection of the consignments of flora & fauna

Wildlife Institute of India (WII)

  • an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, established in 1982

Global Bodies

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) / Washington Convention, 1975

  • CITES is an international treaty to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. India has ratified the convention
  • Does not have arbitration or dispute resolution powers.
  • CITES Appendices: Appendices I, II and III to the Convention are lists of species afforded different levels of protection. Species are proposed for inclusion or deletion from the Appendices I and II, at meetings of the Conference of the Parties (CoP), held approximately once every three years. However, species from Appendix III may be added or removed at any time and by any Party unilaterally
    • Appendix I: Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered among CITES-listed animals and plants. These species are threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except for non commercial purposes like scientific research.
    • Appendix II: Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction but that may become unless trade is closely controlled. International trade is authorized with export permit, but no permit is required for import
    • Appendix III: Appendix III is a list of species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade. For trading, an export permit and a certificate of origin is required.

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau busts syndicate smuggling exotic macaws
  • July, 20
    • Environment Ministry has reconstituted the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) 
    • KURMA app  - One of the major challenges for freshwater turtle conservation in the country is that wildlife crime prevention agencies are not sufficiently equipped to know how to distinguish one species from the other, or their protection status in accordance with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) and the Wildlife Protection Act.
  • Aug, 20
    • Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has slammed a petroleum exploration major for not learning any lesson from two earlier oil well blowouts in Assam

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