News: July 07, 2020

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


News: 1/5

Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking


  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
    • World Drug Report, 2020
      • In its annual report, UNODC cautions about hardships from pandemic could lead to increase in drug abuse.
      • India had fourth highest seize of opium in 2018 after Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.


Scheme of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse

  • Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal Ministry for drug demand reduction in India, and has been implementing this scheme since 1985-86. Recent revisions were made in 2015 and a tollfree Drug-de-Addiction Helpline was started
  • The Ministry recognizes drug abuse as a psycho-socio-medical problem, which can be best handled by adoption of a family/community-based approach by active involvement of NGOs/CBOs.
  • Under this scheme, financial assistance up to 90% of the approved expenditure is given to the voluntary organizations and other eligible agencies for setting up/running Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCAs). In the case of North-Eastern States, Sikkim and Jammu & Kashmir, the quantum of assistance is 95% of the total admissible expenditure
  • The Scheme provides financial support to NGOs and employers mainly for the following items:
    • Awareness and Preventive Education
    • Drug Awareness and Counselling Centres (CC)
    • Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts (IRCAs)
    • Workplace Prevention Programme (WPP)
    • De-addiction Camps (ACDC)
    • NGO forum for Drug Abuse Prevention
    • Innovative Interventions to strengthen community based rehabilitation
    • Technical Exchange and Manpower development programme
    • Surveys, Studies, Evaluation and Research on the subjects covered under the scheme.

Drug Abuse

  • Article 47 of the Constitution provides that “The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavor to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.
  • Nasha Mukt Bharat / drug-free India campaign -  for 272 vulnerable districts, launched by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment 

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • World Drug Report by UNODC
  • Aug, 20
    • 38 people died over 48 hours in three districts of Punjab allegedly after consuming spurious liquor.
      • Death toll rises to 98

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


News: 2/5

Apps And Portals In Focus



  • Aarogya Setu 
    • Developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)
    • Its self assessment test is based on ICMR guidelines
    • When someone is tested COVID-19 positive, the testing lab shares this information with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),  the nodal government agency for COVID-19 testing, which then shares it with the Aarogya Setu server.
    • The App screen gives color codes green, yellow, orange, or red after doing risk assessment.
    • Aarogya Setu is not mandatory for air, train travel
  • e-Choupal 4.0 - By ITC Agri, and will provide end-to-end and personalized services to farmers on weather and markets on a real-time basis.
  • SWAYAM - Online portal by UGC, providing free online courses, however fees is required for certificate.
    • App for turtle conservation. Provides a database for species identification, and location for nearest rescue centre
    • Developed by Indian Turtle Conservation Action Network (ITCAN) in collaboration with the Turtle Survival Alliance-India and Wildlife Conservation Society-India


  • National Mission on Government e Marketplace (GeM), 2018
    • A dedicated e market, set up by Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is used for different goods & services procured by Government Organisations / Departments / PSUs.
      • Some States / UTs have signed an MoU to make procurement through GeM mandatory
      • Before GeM, Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) was used for facilitating procurement.
    • Provides online, end to end solution for procurement of commonly used goods and services for all Central Government Departments, State Governments and PSUs
    • "Country of origin" must on products
  • National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)
    • A master database of 21 databases designed to provide real-time information to fight terror and crime to Union Cabinet cleared central agencies
    • Under Ministry of Home Affairs. First conceptualised in 2009, the project aims to go live by December 31, 2020.
    • National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to access the centralised online database on FIRs and stolen vehicles.
  • Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping’ (ASEEM) - to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities


  • Delhi
    • Assess Koro na - Collecting data with a door to door survey done by Delhi government. It is done through BLO (Booth Level Officer), municipal corporation workers, ASHA workers, and ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife)
    • Rozgaar Bazaar - focusses on those who lost their jobs and businesses during pandemic
  • Maharashtra
    • Mahajobs - job portal

[In News: Latest]

  • Delhi launches Rozgaar Bazaar for helping those who lost jobs in pandemic

Sub: Politics
Topic: Governance Policies and Welfare schemes
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 3/5

Media And Press

Jammu and Kashmir Media Policy-2020

In Jammu and Kashmir, Department of Information & Public Relations (DIPR) serves as the single window for information and communication for the government including all government departments, public sector enterprises and autonomous bodies.

  • To foster a genuinely positive image of the Government based on performance
  • DIPR shall examine the content of the print, electronic and other forms of media for fake news, plagiarism and unethical or anti-national activities.
  • To create awareness among the people on government policies, plans and programmes 
  • To thwart mis-information, fake news and be alert to any attempts to use media to incite communal passions, preach violence, or to propagate any information prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India.
  • Effective and healthy interaction to be initiated and maintained with the public on online and social platforms.
  • Background checks of journalists, paper, and news portals

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Reporters and editors in J&K protested against new Media Policy 2020 over monitoring of every news

Sub: Politics
Topic: Constitution Constitutional and Statutory bodies
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 4/5


Election Commission

Article 324 vests "in an Election Commission" the "superintendence, direction and control of elections". Parliament enacted The Representation of the People Act, 1950 and The Representation of the People Act, 1951 to define and enlarge the powers of the Commission.

  • Election Commission of India is an autonomous permanent constitutional authority, set up in 1950, responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.
  • The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country. 
  • Composition
    • President appoints a Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. 
    • They have tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
    • They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of India. 
    • The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through impeachment by Parliament. 
  • At the state level, the election work is supervised by the Chief Electoral Officer of the State, who is appointed by the Commission from amongst senior civil servants proposed by the concerned state government
  • At the district and constituency levels, the District Election Officers, Electoral Registration Officers and Returning Officers, who are assisted by a large number of junior functionaries, perform election work. 
  • Powers
    • The Commission has the power to disqualify a candidate who has failed to lodge an account of his election expenses 
    • The Commission has advisory jurisdiction in the matter of post election disqualification of sitting members of Parliament and State Legislatures
    • The Commission gives binding opinion to President or Governor regarding disqualification of members found guilty of corrupt practices. The decisions can be challenged in High Court or Supreme Court.
    • It can review its results post election, but only after an election petition in High court; or in Supreme Court for Vice President and President's election.
  • SVEEP (Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation) - inspiring people to vote and make a knowledgeable choice during elections.

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 amended to allow postal ballot voting for those over 65 years. Earlier, casting votes through postal ballots was available only to armed forces and officials assigned poll duties.

Sub: Economics
Topic: Development Infrastructure
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 5/5


Airports Authority of India (AAI) 

  • Constituted in 1995 by Airports Authority of India Act, 1994 by merging erstwhile National Airports Authority and International Airports Authority of India
  • Design, Development, Operation and Maintenance of international and domestic airports
  • Development and Management of cargo terminals at international and domestic airports.
  • Control and Management of the Indian airspace extending beyond the territorial limits of the country, as accepted by ICAO.

India has a open skies policy with SAARC countries and those beyond the 5,000-km radius, which implies that nations within this distance need to enter into a bilateral agreement and mutually determine the number of flights that their airlines can operate between the two countries

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

  • ICAO is a UN specialized agency, established by in 1944, to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, 1944 (Chicago Convention).
  • ICAO works with the Convention’s 193 Member States and industry groups to reach consensus on international civil aviation Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and policies in support of a safe, efficient, secure, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible civil aviation sector. 

Air Freedom Rights / Freedoms of the air

  • The freedoms of the air are a set of commercial aviation rights granting a country’s airline the privilege to enter and land in another country’s airspace
  • These were formulated over disagreements on extent of aviation space in Convention on International Civil Aviation, 1944 (Chicago Convention).
  • There are a total of 9 freedoms. Only first five are officially recognized by ICAO.
  • International Air Services Transit Agreement (IASTA) / Two freedom agreement : Refers to first two freedom rights, allowing for transit (reasonable fees can be imposed) and emergency landing in foreign countries.
  • Important Rights:
    • First freedom of Air: Right to fly over a foreign country without landing
    • Second freedom of Air: Right to refuel or carry out maintenance in a foreign country without embarking or disembarking passengers or cargo
    • Third freedom of Air: Right to fly from one's own country to another country
    • Fourth freedom of Air: Right to fly from another country to one's own
    • Fifth freedom of Air: Right to fly between two foreign countries on a flight originating or ending in one's own country
    • Sixth freedom of Air:  Right to fly between two places in a foreign country, or two separate foreign countries, while stopping in one's own country for non-technical reasons.


[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Airports Authority of India (AAI) has put Air India in cash-and-carry mode at Ahmedabad
    • UAE is keen to have an open sky agreement with India, and wants India to revisit fifth and sixth freedoms
    • After a long stalemate that left many stranded, India and the UAE have agreed to allow each other’s airlines to bring passengers into their territory. Until now Vande Bharat flights operated by Air India Express were flying empty out of India while bringing back Indians from the UAE. The same was true for airlines such as Emirates and flydubai, which were not allowed to bring passengers into India
  • Aug, 20
    • Ban on international flights extended till Aug. 31
    • Kerala plane crash: ICAO document 9981 for airports serves as a guideline for compatibility study of the operation of larger aircraft in a comparatively smaller aerodrome


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