News: July 16, 2020

Sub: Politics
Topic: Judiciary
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 1/6

Cases And Committees In Focus

Committees

  • Justice Verma Committee, 2013
    • On amendments to the Criminal Law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women.  
    • Recommended insertion of Section 53A in the Indian Evidence Act wherein previous good character should become irrelevant in criminal proceedings.
  • V.S. Malimath Committee, 2003: reforms in the criminal justice system 
    • The panel recommended a modification to Article 20 (3) of the Constitution that protects the accused from being compelled to be a witness against himself/herself. The Committee suggested that the court be given freedom to question the accused to elicit information and draw an adverse inference against the accused in case the latter refuses to answer
    • The panel recommends replacing "proof beyond reasonable doubt" with "if the court is convinced that it is true" as basis to convict accused in criminal cases
    • Recommended setting up of a National Security Commission and State Security Commissions
  • M.R. Shamshad committee - Delhi riots
  • Kris Gopalakrishnan committee - The committee was formed by ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) , to formulate a framework for Non-personal data (NPD)

Cases

  • Constitution
    • Kihoto Hollohan versus Zachillu, 1992: Judicial review for member disqualification is only available after final decision by the Speaker/Chairman. Till then he acts as a tribunal.
  • Information Technology
    • Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India, 2020  - Internet ban in Jammu and Kashmir under the pretext of Section 144
  • Police Reforms
    • Prakash Singh v. Union of India (2006) - Supreme Court pushing for legislation for governing police forces. Grievance redressal was a key component
    • Joginder Kumar v. State of UP, and D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal - Guidelines for right to life and right to know. To ensure that an accused person is made aware of all critical information regarding her arrest and also convey this to friends and family immediately in the event of being taken in custody.
  • Sexual assault 
    • Shri Bodhisattwa Gautam v. Shubra Chakraborty - suggest that a large number of women still fail to report rapes to the police 
    • Mahmood Farooqui v. NCT of Delhi (2017) - On consent in relationship
  • Torture
    • Raghbir Singh v. State of Haryana (1980), Francis Coralie Mullin v. Union Territory of Delhi (1981)
    • Sheela Barse v. State of Maharashtra (1987) : Court condemned cruelty and torture as violative of Article 21
    • DK Basu v. State of West Bengal: Prisoners and detainees are not deprived of their Fundamental Rights under Article 21 barring restrictions permitted by law
    • Nilabati Behera v. State of Orissa: Supreme Court made sure that the state could no longer escape liability in public law and had to be compelled to pay compensation

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Madhya Pradesh Council of Ministers exceeding prescribed limit
    • Controversy over Justice Krishna Dixit's “misogynistic” remarks
    • "Committee for the Reform of Criminal Laws" created by Ministry of Home Affairs. Its consultation exercise would start on July 4 and go on for the next three months.
    • Non-personal data committee invites public comments on framework
    • Kihoto Hollohan versus Zachillu, 1992 case in judicial review powers of high court

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

 

News: 2/6

Conditions and diseases in focus

Dengue 

  • Dengue is one of the world’s most widespread infectious diseases. Symptoms include sudden high fever, body rashes, headaches and retro-orbital (behind the eye) pain. In some cases, Also called "break-bone disease" for causing severe musculoskeletal pain
    • In 2019, H1N1 claimed 1,218, dengue 132 and malaria 50 lives in India
  • Dengue is caused by flaviviruses transmitted to humans through  Aedes genus (Aedes aegypti) mosquito vectors.
  • There is as yet no cure for dengue fever, but survivability has been enhanced by improved supportive procedures

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

Other 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.
  • Dengue
    • Dengue is one of the world’s most widespread infectious diseases. Symptoms include sudden high fever, body rashes, headaches and retro-orbital (behind the eye) pain. In some cases, Also called "break-bone disease" for causing severe musculoskeletal pain
      • In 2019, H1N1 claimed 1,218, dengue 132 and malaria 50 lives in India
    • Dengue is caused by flaviviruses transmitted to humans through  Aedes genus (Aedes aegypti) mosquito vectors.
    • As yet no cure for dengue fever, but survivability has been enhanced by improved supportive procedures
  • Leptospirosis 
    • A mild curable disease, caused by bacteria of Leptospira family and affects both humans and animals.
    • It mainly spreads by contact with water or soil contaminated by the urine of infected animals
    • Symptoms include high fever, headache, vomiting, red eyes, abdominal pain.
  • 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)

[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
  • Aug, 20
    • Kerala monsoon rains - watch out for dengue and leptospirosis, say heath officials

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

 

News: 3/6

Apps And Portals In Focus

Centre

Apps

  • 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.
  • KURMA
    • 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

Portals

  • 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

States

  • 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: Economics
Topic: Banking, Finance and Tax System Finance and Banking - India
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 4/6

Twin Balance Sheet

Twin balance sheet problem

  1. High non-performing assets (NPAs) of Public Sector Banks (PSBs)
  2. Highly stressed balance sheet of the private corporate sector

Insolvency And Bankruptcy 2016 (IBC)

The Code offers a uniform, comprehensive insolvency legislation encompassing all companies, partnerships and individuals (other than financial firms). 

  • Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate debtors: To initiate an insolvency process, the default amount should be at least 1 lakh. The code proposes two steps
    • Insolvency Resolution Process
      • financial creditors assess whether the debtor's business is viable to continue and the options for its rescue and revival.
      • For this financial creditor can go to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
    • Liquidation - a corporate debtor may be put into liquidation in the following scenarios
      • 75% majority of the creditor's committee resolves to liquidate the corporate debtor at any time during the insolvency resolution process
      • The creditor's committee does not approve a resolution plan within 180 days (or within the extended 90 days)
      • The NCLT rejects the resolution plan submitted to it on technical grounds
      • The debtor contravenes the agreed resolution plan and an affected person makes an application to the NCLT to liquidate the corporate debtor
  • Insolvency Resolution Process for Individuals and Partnerships - To initiate an insolvency process, the default amount should be at least 1 lakh. The code proposes two steps
    • Automatic fresh start - Under the automatic fresh start process, eligible debtors (basis gross income) can apply to the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) for discharge from certain debts not exceeding a specified threshold, allowing them to start afresh.
    • insolvency resolution - The insolvency resolution process consists of preparation of a repayment plan by the debtor, for approval of creditors. If approved, the DRT passes an order binding the debtor and creditors to the repayment plan. If the plan is rejected or fails, the debtor or creditors may apply for a bankruptcy order.
  • The Code provides for the constitution of a new insolvency regulator i.e., the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Board).
  • Insolvency And Bankruptcy (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 - Application for corporate insolvency resolution process for a corporate debtor, shall not be filed after March, 2020 for a period of six months

Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme (PCGS)

  • Sovereign portfolio guarantee of up to 20% of first loss for purchase of Bonds or Commercial Papers (CPs) with a rating of AA and below issued by NBFCs/ MFCs/Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) by Public Sector Banks (PSBs) 
  • The window for one-time partial credit guarantee offered by the government will remain open till March 31, 2021, for purchase of pooled assets and for the period as specified under the scheme for purchase of bonds/CPs, or till such date by which Rs. 10,000 crore worth of guarantees, including both guarantees toward the purchase of pooled assets and bonds/ CPs, are provided by the Government, whichever is earlier

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • IBC amendment in wake of pandemic
    • Govt. suspends all new insolvency proceedings for six months

Sub: International Relations
Topic: Geo Politics in Indian Context
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 5/6

India And Europe

India Europe relations

  • Cooperation agreement, 1994 took the bilateral relationship beyond trade and economic cooperation. Both extend most favoured nation status to each other. 
  • At the 5th India-EU Summit at The Hague in 2004, the relationship was upgraded to a ‘Strategic Partnership’.
    • First India-EU Summit took place in Lisbon in 2000
  • Two sides adopted a Joint Action Plan in 2005 (reviewed in 2008) providing for strengthening dialogue and consultation mechanisms in the political and economic spheres
  • India-EU Joint Commission meets annually, and deals with economic and commercial issues

Trade

India and EU do not have any FTA between them

Countries

  • United Kingdom
    • Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF) - By NIIF India and Department for International Development (DFID) UK aiming to raise GBP 500 million from international institutional investors to invest into areas such as renewable energy, clean transportation, water, sanitation, waste management, emerging technologies and similar industries in India, which offer significant investment opportunities and returns. NIIF and the UK Government have committed GBP 120 million each.

Statistics

  • EU is India's first and largest trading partner, accounting for €80 billion worth of trade in goods in 2019 or 11.1% of total Indian trade. India is EU's 10th largest trading partner.
  • EU is the second-largest destination for Indian exports (over 14% of the total) after the USA.
  • EU has highest FDI in India

Countries in Focus

  • Belarus - Minsk: Aug, 20, protests over rigged elections

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • India and the European Union committed to a framework for strategic cooperation until 2025. Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan to talk about Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA)
    • BP to invest USD 70 million in India’s Green Growth Equity Fund
  • Aug, 20
    • Belarus, protests over rigged elections

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

 

News: 6/6

Skill Development Initiatives

National Skill Development Mission

  • Launched in 2015, under Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship
  • Seven sub-missions have been proposed initially to act as building blocks for achieving overall objectives of the Mission. They are: (i) Institutional Training, (ii) Infrastructure, (iii) Convergence, (iv) Trainers, (v) Overseas Employment, (vi) Sustainable Livelihoods, (vii) Leveraging Public Infrastructure.
  • The Mission has been developed to create convergence across sectors and States in terms of skill training activities
  • Key institutional mechanisms for achieving the objectives of the Mission have been divided into three tiers- Governing Council for policy guidance at apex level, a Steering Committee, and a Mission Directorate (along with an Executive Committee) as the executive arm of the Mission.
  • Mission Directorate will be supported by three other institutions:
    1. National Skill Development Agency (NSDA)
    2. National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)
    3. Directorate General of Training (DGT)

National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)

  • Set up by Ministry of Finance as Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, with government owning 49% shares
  • Its objective is to enable support system which focuses on quality assurance, information systems and train the trainer academies either directly or through partnerships
  • NSDC aims to promote skill development by creating and funding large, quality and for-profit vocational institutions
  • Initiatives
    • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 
      • Flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) implemented by National Skill Development Corporation.
      • Launched in 2015, India's largest skill certification scheme.
      • Training and Assessment fees are completely paid by the Government
      • Components
        1. Short Term Training: For school/college dropouts and unemployed individuals. Training is provided according to the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF), and training is provided up to NSQF level 5. Has provision for assistance in training placement.
        2. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):  Individuals with prior learning experience or skills shall be assessed and certified under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) 
        3. Monitoring through the Skills Development Management System (SDMS). 
    • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra
      • Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship ( MSDE ) intends to establish visible and aspirational Model Training Centres ( MTCs ) in every district of the country.
      • NSDC is the implementation agency for the project. NSDC provides concessional loan funding per centre, up to 75% of the project investment
      • Each PMKK is assured a training mandate for three years

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Speaking on the occasion of the World Youth Skills Day and the fifth anniversary of "Skill India Mission", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the youth should skill, reskill and upskill themselves

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