News: July 01, 2020

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

 

News: 1/5

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: Society
Topic: Human Development Poverty and Employment
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 2/5

Poverty upliftment initiatives

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PM-GKP)

* Not to be confused with Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), which was launched in 2016, and it allowed citizens to declare black money at 50% tax rate.

Announced in March, 2020, finance minister announced Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. Following are the components of scheme:

  • Insurance
    • Scheme for health workers fighting COVID-19 in Government Hospitals and Health Care Centres.
    • Compensation of 50 lakh to any health professional who meets an accident while treating a COVID patient
  • PM Garib Kalyan Ann (अन्न) Yojana
    • 5kg of food grains per person, and 1 kg of pulse and chana per family for free to anyone till NOvember.
      • Initially it was limited to those who were beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) .
    • 80 crore individuals would get double their entitlement for free of cost till August. Extended till November
    • The scheme will not be replacing any other food scheme.
  • Cash transfer
    • PMJDY women account holders to get 500 for next 3 months
    • Free gas cylinders to 8 crore poor families till September months under Ujjwala
    • 24% contribution to EPFO for 3 months for those earning less than 15000
    • EPF accounts to allow non-refundable advance of 75 percent of the amount or three months of the wages, whichever is lower
  • Divyang
    • Rs 1000 to divyangs, senior citizens, aged widows under National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)
  • Agriculture
    • Payment of 2000 to farmers under PM-KISAN
    • Increase in MNREGA wage to Rs 202 , and additional Rs 2,000 benefit annually to a worker

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Extension of PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana, and free gas cylinder till November
  • Aug, 20
    • As many as 11 States and Union Territories did not carry out any distribution at all under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) in July, the first month of the extended scheme

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

 

News: 3/5

Reserves in focus

National Park

  • Assam
    • Kaziranga National Park
  • Kerala
    • Mukkuruthi National Park 
    • Silent Valley National Park
  • Rajasthan
    • Ranthambhore National Park
  • Tamil Nadu
    • Nagarahole National Park
  • Uttar Pradesh
    • Dudhwa National Park 

Elephant Reserves

  •  Assam
    • Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve

Tiger Reserves

Of the 3,980 tigers left in the world, India, with 2,226, accounts for 75%.

  • Andhra Pradesh
    • Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve - largest tiger reserve in India 
  •  Assam
    • Orang National Park
  • Maharashtra
    • Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
  • Rajasthan 
    • Sariska Tiger Reserve 
  • Tamil Nadu
    • Nagarahole Tiger Reserve
  • Telangana
    • Amarabad Tiger Reserve 
  • Uttarakhand
    • Rajaji Tiger Reserve

Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Assam
    • Dehing Patkai wildlife sanctuary : To be upgraded into national park
    • Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary 
  • Karnataka
    • Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kerala
    • Karimpuzha Wildlife Sanctuary
      • borders the Mukkuruthi National Park in the south and the Silent Valley National Park buffer zone in the northeast.
      • Sanctuary comprise the new Amarambalam reserve forest and Vadakkekotta vested forest
      • However, the Manjeri colony of the primitive Cholanaikar tribes has been exempted from the sanctuary. 
  • Global
    • Bhutan
      • Sakteng wildlife sanctuary

[In News: Latest]

  • June, 20
    • Floods
    • Tiger reserves in news
  • July, 20
    • Karimpuzha Wildlife Sanctuary - inauguration of 18th wildlife sanctuary in state.
    • Sakteng wildlife sanctuary - China objecting to UNDP's Global Environment Facility (GEF) funding for park, citing boundary dispute
    • Green-lighting projects during pandemic

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

 

News: 4/5

Health Acts And Initiatives In India

Acts

National Health Mission, 2013

  • NHM, under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, envisages achievement of universal access to equitable, affordable & quality health care services that are accountable and responsive to people’s needs
  • National Rural Health Mission, 2005 (NRHM)
    • Key Objectives
      • Access to integrated comprehensive primary health care.
      • Reduction in child and maternal mortality
      • Revitalize local health traditions & mainstream AYUSH.
  • National Urban Health Mission, 2013 (NUHM)
    • Providing essential primary health care to urban poor.
    • Every Municipal Corporation, Municipality, Notified Area Committee, and Town Panchayat will become a unit of planning with its own approved broad norms for setting up of health facilities.
    • The separate plans for Notified Area Committees, Town Panchayats and Municipalities will be part of the District Health Action Plan drawn up for sub-mission NUHM.  
    • The centre-state funding pattern will be 75:25 for all the States; and 90:10 for North Eastern states, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
  • Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) - Online portal for reporting epidemic prone diseases through trained Rapid Response Team (RRTs).

Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (DCA)

  • Mandates that every drug stocked or sold in India must be sold under a license
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers (gel) and hand rubs (liquid) (ABHR) are required to be licensed under DCA
  • Disinfectant which is used to disinfect only medical equipments, comes under the category of Disinfectant, as per Medical Devices Rules, 2017
  • DCA does not have any specific regulatory provisions for conduct of trials for Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, and Homeopathy drugs.

Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954

  • Act to control the advertisement of drugs in certain cases, to prohibit the advertisement for certain purposes of remedies alleged to possess magic qualities
  • Penalty - In case of first conviction imprisonment upto six months, or fine, or both

National Medical Commission Act 2019

The Bill seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and dissolves the current Medical Council of India. It provides for a medical education system to ensure availability of high quality of medical professionals, adoption of latest medical research, a grievance redressal system, and periodic assessment of medical institutions.

  • The Bill sets up the National Medical Commission (NMC).  
  • Composition - NMC to consist of 25 nominated members. NMC to include diverse stakeholders such as public health experts, social scientists, and health economists. 
  • Within three years of the passage of the Bill, state governments will establish State Medical Councils at the state level.  The NMC will consist of 25 members, appointed by the central government.
  • Under the Bill, the central government will constitute a Medical Advisory Council.
  • The Bill sets up autonomous boards under the supervision of the NMC.  Each autonomous board will consist of a President and four members, appointed by the central government.  These boards are:
    • Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB), Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB) - responsible for formulating standards, curriculum, guidelines for medical education, and granting recognition to medical qualifications at the under-graduate and post-graduate levels respectively. 
    • Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) - The Board will have the power to levy monetary penalties on institutions which fail to maintain the minimum standards as laid down by the UGMEB and the PGMEB. It will also grant permissions for establishing new medical colleges, starting postgraduate courses, and increasing the number of seats in a medical college. 
    • Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EARB) - This Board will maintain a National Register of all the licensed medical practitioners in the country, and also regulate professional and medical conduct.  Only those included in the Register will be allowed to practice as doctors.  The Board will also maintain a register of all licensed community health providers in the country. 
  • There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to under-graduate and post-graduate super-speciality medical education in all medical institutions regulated under the Bill.
  • The Bill proposes a common final year undergraduate examination called the National Exit Test for the students graduating from medical institutions to obtain the license for practice.

[In news]

  • June, 20
    • Drug approvals
  • July, 20
    • IDSP reports sharp fall in reporting of Non-COVID diseases
    • IDSP - In India, 60% of COVID-19 patients had at least one co-morbidity and nearly 78% were under 50

Sub: Science And Technology
Topic: Research and Technology Information Technology
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 5/5

IT Acts And Bodies

Acts

Information Technology Act, 2000

  • Provisions
    • Allows authentication by electronic signature, giving them legal recognition
    • Provides recognition to foreign Certifying Authorities
    • Dispute resolution by Appellate Tribunal set up under TRAI Act and Finance Act. Appeals can be made in High Court.
  • Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA)
    • Under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)
    • Give license and regulate the working of Certifying Authorities (CAs). The Certifying Authorities (CAs) issue digital signature certificates for electronic authentication of users.
  • Sections
    • 66A : Punishment for sending offensive messages
      • Shreya Singhal v. Union of India, 2015 - Supreme court made Section 66A unconstitutional on grounds of violating the freedom of speech guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a)
    • 66F : Punishment for cyber terrorism.
    • 67 : Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material
    • 69 : Power to issue directions for interception or monitoring or decryption of any information
    • 69A : Power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information
  • Rules
    • Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009
      • Gets exercising powers under Section 69A of Information Technology Act, 2000
      • Central Government shall designate an officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary  for the the purpose of issuing direction for blocking access.
      • Every organisation shall designate a Nodal officer and intimate Department of Information Technology under Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP), 2012

  • To facilitate the access to Government of India owned shareable data and information
  • NDAP applies to all data and information created and archived using public funds provided by Government of India directly or through authorized agencies
  • A state-of-the-art data warehouse and data archive with online analytical processing (OLAP) capabilities, which includes providing, a multi-dimensional and subject oriented view of the database needs to be created.
  • Department of Science & Technology to be the nodal agency, and NIC to create data.gov.in under Open Government Data (OGD) Platform
    • Open Government Data (OGD) : A platform for supporting Open Data initiative of Government of India. It facilitates Government Organizations to publish their datasets in open formats for free public use. OGD is also available as Software as a Service (SaaS).

Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019

  • The Bill seeks to provide for protection of personal data of individuals, and establishes a Data Protection Authority for the same. 
  • Obligations of data fiduciary: A data fiduciary is an entity or individual who decides the means and purpose of processing personal data.
  • The Bill allows processing of data by fiduciaries only if consent is provided by the individual. However, in certain circumstances, personal data can be processed without consent.  These include: (i) if required by the State for providing benefits to the individual, (ii) legal proceedings, (iii) to respond to a medical emergency.
  • The Bill amends the Information Technology Act, 2000 to delete the provisions related to compensation payable by companies for failure to protect personal data

Bodies

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

  • Umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India, is an initiative of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007
  • NPCI is a 'Not for Profit' Company registered under the provisions of Section 8 of Companies Act 2013
  • RuPay : an Indigenously developed Payment System 
  • Unified Payments Interface (UPI) :  One-stop bill payment solution for all recurring payments
  • National Automated Clearing House (NACH) : For Banks, Financial Institutions, Corporates and Government a web based solution to facilitate interbank, high volume, electronic transactions which are repetitive and periodic in nature.
  • National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) : Toll collection through FASTag. FASTag are Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) stickers which are affixed on the vehicle windshield

Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In)

  • CERT-In is a functional organisation of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology with the objective of securing Indian cyber space
  • Provides a single point of contact for reporting local problems
  • Provides a 24 x 7 security service. 

Miscellaneous

  • Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C):
    • Set up in 2018 deal with all types of cybercrimes in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
    • Functions under Ministry of Home Affairs, and to act as a nodal point in the fight against cybercrime
    • National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal: cybercrime.gov.in ,is a citizen-centric initiative that enables citizens to report cybercrimes online through the portal
  • Cyber Prevention, Awareness & Detection Centre (CyPAD) -  CyPAD is the nodal Cyber Crime Unit of Delhi Police.

Global

Group of Governmental Experts (GGE)

The issue of ICT security has been on the UN agenda since 1998, when Russia introduced a draft resolution on the subjec.

  • UN GGE process has been the primary avenue for inter-state dialogue about the international legal regulation of cyberspace
  • The first Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) was established in 2004 but it did not agree on a substantive report
  • Till now there have been 6 GGE meetings with two year terms; India being member in 5 of them.
  • GGE has limited membership based on equitable geographical distribution. Current GGE with 25 members was set in 2019, and will give its report in 2021

Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) for security in ICT

  • Set up in 2019, similar to Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) with membership open to all. The group will report back to Assembly in 2020

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • NPCI denies breach in BHIM app leak
  • July, 20
    • MeitY bans 59 Chinese apps, under Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules exercising authority under Section 69A of IT Act, to safeguard the "sovereignty and integrity of India"
    • CERT-In received concerns from citizens about privacy in these apps.
    • Environmental website www.fridaysforfuture.in protesting EIA 2020 notification was blocked by Union Environment Ministry under section 66 of IT Act
    • Growing cyber attack in pandemic and call for order
  • Aug, 20
    • CyPAD asked to submit report by high court on plea from a student about misuse of her photographs on social media

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