News: July 05, 2020

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

 

News: 1/6

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

 

News: 2/6

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: 3/6

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

Sub: International Relations
Topic: India and its neighbors
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 4/6

Indo China Relations

Defence

Current conflict

  • Galwan river - Galwan river is a tributary of Shylok river, a tributary of Indus river. It flows from Aksai chin to Ladakh.
  • Pangong Tso - Lake in Ladakh and Tibet. Not part of Ramsar Convention
  • Five fingers of the Tibetan palm - Cited in the 1950s by Chinese officials, Xizang (Tibet) was China’s right palm, and it was its responsibility to 'liberate' the fingers, defined as Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, and the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA, or Arunachal Pradesh).

LAC agreements

  • Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas, 1993
    • Neither side shall use or threaten to use force against the other by any means.
    • Two sides shall strictly respect and observe the line of actual control. No activities of either side shall overstep the line of actual control
  • Agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas, 1996
    • Neither side shall use its military capability against the other side.
    • The two sides reiterate their determination to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the boundary question.
    • Reaffirmed in 2003 in Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation between India and China
  • Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field Along the Line of Actual Control in the India–China Border, 2005
    • The differences on the boundary question should not be allowed to affect the overall development of bilateral relations
    •  The two sides will give due consideration to each other’s strategic and reasonable interests, and the principle of mutual and equal security.
    • The boundary should be along well-defined and easily identifiable natural geographical features to be mutually agreed upon between the two sides.
    • In reaching a boundary settlement, the two sides shall safeguard due interests of their settled populations in the border areas.
  • Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination of India-China Border Affairs (WMCC), 2012
    • WMCC is focussed on management of relations between the troops on the ground in border areas, the Special Representatives mechanism between the two countries is engaged in finding a solution to the vexed boundary issue between the two neighbours. 
    • It is headed by joint secretary-level officials from both sides
  • Border Defence Cooperation Agreement between India and China, 2013
    • The two sides shall implement border defence cooperation by exchanging information, by jointly combating smuggling, by assisting other side if a personnal or livestock crosses other's side.
    • Resolve border deference  through flag meetings and periodic meetings
    • Work with the other side in combating natural disasters or infectious diseases that may affect or spread to the other side
    • Two sides may establish Border Personnel Meeting sites in all sectors, as well as telephone contacts and telecommunication links
    • The two sides agree that they shall not follow or tail patrols of the other side in areas where there is no common understanding of the line of actual control 
    • In case a doubtful situation arises with reference to any activity by either side in border areas where there is no common understanding of the line of actual control, either side has the right to seek a clarification from the other side. 

Initiatives

  • The Chinese and Indian armies have agreed to not use unmanned aerial vehicles at the friction points in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)

Trade

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

  • China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), erstwhile One Belt One Road, in 2013 to improve connectivity and cooperation on a transcontinental scale.
  • Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) is not part of initiative after India's reservations over China's expansion
  • CPEC : India opposes it as the road is bound to pass through Gilgit-Baltistan

Geography

  • Islands
    • East China sea
      • Senkaku Islands / Diaoyu Islands - disputed island between Japan and China

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • border talks
  • July, 20
    • Pakistan committed to completion of CPEC
    • Japan accuses China for sending its ships to Senkaku Islands

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

 

News: 5/6

Census Of India

Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India (ORGI)

  • ORGI is an an attached office of Ministry of Home Affairs,
  • Registrar General of India functions as National Registration Authority and Registrar General of Citizen Registration under Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003
  • Conducts the decennial population census, and tabulates the census data under the provisions of the Census Act 1948 and Census (Amendment) Act, 1993
    • First census was conducted in 1872 under Lord Mayo
    • First complete census was done in 1881, thereafter every 10 years till 2011
  • Registers births and deaths in the country
  • Provides opinion to the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and Ministry of Tribal Affairs on the State/UT Governments’ recommendations concerning inclusion, exclusion, and modifications in the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes lists in their respective States/UTs

Sample Registration System (SRS) statistical report, 2018

SRS is carried out by the Office of Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India with an objective of providing reliable annual estimates of birth rate, death rate, infant mortality rate and various other fertility and mortality indicators. SRS is one of the largest demographic surveys in the world covering about 8.1 million population. It serves as the main source of information on fertility and mortality both at the State and National levels.

  • Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)
    • Infant mortality rate (IMR) = (Number of infant deaths during the year / Number of live births during the year ) X 1000
    • Infant mortality rate highest in Madhya Pradesh (48), Odisha (44) and Assam(44).
    • Kerala IMR lowest with 7
    • India's IMR is 34, and has gradually decreased since 2013 (40)
    • SDG 3.2: By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age to as low as 12 per 1000 live births and under-5 mortality to as low as 25 per 1000 live births
  • Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR)
    • Maternal death is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy. Maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is number of maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births
    • All-India MMR in 2016-18 stood at 113. Kerala has the lowest at 43, and Assam has highest at 215.
    • SDG 3.1: By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 live births.
      • Southern states have achieved the SDG goal 3.1,

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • SRS Report, 2018 - Infant mortality rate highest in Madhya Pradesh (48), Odisha (44), Assam(44). India's IMR is 34. A major concern is birth spacing as in most cases two children were born within one-one and a half years against the advised gap of around three years. This may result in premature deliveries of low birth weight babies,
    • India registers steep decline in MMR

Sub: International Relations
Topic: India and its neighbors
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 6/6

India Sri Lanka Relations

Trade

  • In 2019, a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between India, Japan, and Sri Lanka to jointly develop and operate the East Container Terminal (ECT) at Colombo port, with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) holding 100% ownership
  • Reserve Bank of India has agreed to a $400 million currency swap facility for Sri Lanka till November 2022
  • Deepening Economic Collaboration between India and Sri Lanka: Webinar organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies, for collaboration and exploring possibilities

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Sri Lanka sets up committee to look into East Container Terminal (ECT) project
    •  Reserve Bank of India has agreed to a $400 million currency swap facility for Sri Lanka till November 2022. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka had sought the swap facility to help bolster the pandemic hit island nation’s foreign exchange reserves.

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