Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th March 2020

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  • March 26, 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th March 2020



Significance of 21-day lockdown period

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Governance; Health; GS III – Disaster Management; Science and Technology

In News: 

  • Indian Prime Minister recently announced 21-day lockdown period in the entire country to contain the COVID- 19 pandemic.

Key Takeaways:

  • 21­day quarantine was encouraged extensively during Ebola crisis as well.
  • The calculations are based on the estimated incubation period of the virus in the human host. 
  • Usually, incubation period for any infection is 14 days epidemiologically.
  • Another week is added to ensure that the infection dies out and the host is entirely safe.
  • Since, this is a novel corona virus, the scientists have estimated the time between entry of virus to the onset of infection, falls within this period, known as median incubation period.
  • It was also recently reported that the median incubation period for COVID­19 is just over five days.
  • 97.5% of people who develop symptoms do so within 11.5 days of infection. 
  • This is the most effective way of preventing the spread of infection.
  • Maintaining personal hygiene and practising personal distancing are other ways of prevention.

Important value additions:


  • Ebola virus disease (EVD) is also known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever.
  • It is viral haemorrhagic fever of humans and other primates caused by ebolaviruses. 
  • The virus causes severe bleeding, organ failure and can lead to death.
  • Humans may spread the virus to other humans through contact with bodily fluids such as blood.


  • Quarantine is a restriction on the movement of people and goods which is intended to prevent the spread of disease or pests.

Preventive Detention, PSA and NSA

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Polity 

In News: 

  • Public Safety Act and National Security Act were in news because of recent detentions that took place after abrogation of Article 370 and also due to NCR and Anti-CAA protests.
  • Besides, recently former J&K CM Omar Abdulla was released after revocation of his detention.
  • So it is important to understand the concept of Preventive detention and FRs as well.

Important value additions:

Preventive Detention

  • It is the imprisonment of a person with the aim of preventing him from committing further offences or of maintaining public order.
  • Article 22 (3) – If a person is arrested or detained under preventive detention, then the protection against arrest and detention under Article 22 (1) and 22(2) shall not be available.
  • A detainee under preventive detention can have no right of personal liberty guaranteed by Article 19 or Article 21. 
  • To prevent reckless use of Preventive Detention, certain safe guards are provided in the constitution:
  • A person may be taken to preventive custody only for 3 months at the first instance. 
  • The detainee is entitled to know the grounds of his detention.
  • The detaining authorities must give the detainee earliest opportunities for making representation against the detention. 

Public Safety Act (PSA)

  • The Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 is a preventive detention law.
  • A person is taken into custody to prevent him/her from acting in a manner that is a threat to the security of J&K.
  • It is very similar to the National Security Act.
  • It allows for detention of a person without a formal charge.
  • Detention can be up to two years.
  • Detained person need not be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours of the detention. 
  • The detained person does not have the right to move a bail application before a criminal court.
  • He/she cannot engage any lawyer also.
  • Only The High Court and the Supreme Court have the jurisdiction to hear habeus corpus petitions against the detention.

National Security Act

  • The purpose of The National Security Act of 1980 is to make provisions for preventive detention in certain cases and for related matters.
  • The act extends to the whole of India
  • The act empowers the Central Government and State Governments to detain a person to prevent him/her from acting in any manner prejudicial:
    • to the security of India, 
    • to the relations of India with foreign countries, 
    • to the maintenance of public order, 
    • to the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community it is necessary so to do. 
  • The act also gives power to the governments to detain a foreigner in a view to regulate his presence or expel from the country. 
  • The maximum period of detention is 12 months.

Addendum to the Guidelines regarding Nationwide Lockdown issued

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Governance; GS III – Disaster Management

In News: 

  • Addendum to the guidelines regarding Nationwide lockdown was issued recently by Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • This addendum lays down additional categories of essential goods and services exempted under the Disaster Management Act, with respect to the 21- day lockdown.

Important value additions:

Disaster Management Act 

  • The Disaster Management Act, 2005 provides for the legal and institutional framework for disaster management in India at the national, state and district levels.
  • The primary responsibility of Disaster Management vests with the state government.
  • The central government lays down the plans, policies and guidelines and provides support.
  • Recently, the Home Ministry declared the coronavirus outbreak as a “notified disaster”, thus bringing into play the provisions of the Disaster Management Act.
  • The Act allows the National Executive Committee to give directions to governments regarding measures to be taken by them.
  • The Disaster Management Act is also being used to rein in the circulation of fake news.
  • The Act is being used in tandem with the Epidemic Diseases Act.

Recapitalisation plan for regional rural banks approved

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Economy

In News: 

  • The Centre has approved Rs.1.304 crore recapitalisation plan for regional rural banks.

Key takeaways:

  • It is done to improve their capital-to-risk weighted assests ratio (CRAR).
  • These institutions that play major role in provision of credit in rural areas shall be strengthened.

Important value additions:

Regional Rural Banks.

  • Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) are Indian Scheduled Commercial Banks (Government Banks) 
  • They operate at regional level in different states of India. 
  • They have been created with a view to serve primarily the rural areas of India with basic banking and financial services.

Capital-to-Risk weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR)

  • The CRAR is the capital needed for a bank measured in terms of the assets (mostly loans) disbursed by the banks. 
  • Higher the assets, higher should be the capital by the bank.

Mass nesting of Olive Ridleys

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Environment; Conservation

In News: 

  • Vulnerable Olive Ridley sea turtles have returned to Odisha’s Rushikulya river in lakhs for mass nesting.

Key takeaways:

  • The animals had skipped Rushikulya in 2019 which became a cause of concern for turtle researchers.
  • Tourists have been barred from visiting Rushikulya due to the countrywide lockdown in place since March 24.
  • Thousands of turtles also laid eggs at Gahiramatha marine sanctuary recently.

Important value additions:

Olive Ridley

  • The Olive Ridley sea turtle is the most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.
  • It is found in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
  • It is best known for their unique mass nesting called arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
  • IUCN status: Vulnerable.

Marine Turtles

  • Five species of sea turtles are known to inhabit Indian coastal waters and islands.
  • Olive Ridley turtle 
  • Green turtle
  • Hawksbill turtle
  • Loggerhead turtle
  • Leatherback turtle
  • Except the Loggerhead, the remaining four species nest along the Indian coast.

Olive Ridley turtle

Mass nesting of Olive Ridleys

Mass nesting of Olive Ridleys

Image Source: Click here



Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.  

Drug Security: COVID-19’ s impact on API Industry

Do you know?

  • All drugs are made up of two core components: API & Excipients
  • Indian pharmaceutical industry is the 3rd largest in the world by volume but is largely dependent on China
  • India imports 80% of the APIs used for drug manufacturing from China

What is Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API)? 

  • Part of any drug that produces its effects. 
  • Intended to furnish pharmacological activity or other direct effect in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease

What are Excipients?

  • Substances other than the drug that helps deliver the medication to your system. 
  • Excipients are chemically inactive substances, such as lactose or mineral oil. 
  • Example: for headache, acetaminophen is the API, while the liquid in the gel-capsule or the bulk of a pill is the excipient. 

Why India is poor in APIs?

  • Weak Domestic Manufacturing sector
  • Inadequate government support
  • Lack of Central-State cooperation in effective policy making

Impact on COVID-19 on India’s API sector

  • Hostage to Supply Side disruption due to high dependence on China on APIs thus endangering the drug security in India
  • Price Rise of pharmaceutical drugs
  • Impacts the affordable healthcare services
  • Disproportionately impacts the poor 

Measures taken by the government (on 21st March 2020) 

  1. Production Linked Incentive Scheme 
  • Objective: To encourage domestic manufacture of key starting materials (raw material used in manufacture of APIs), drug intermediates, and APIs.
  • Financial incentive will be given to eligible manufacturers of identified 53 critical bulk drugs on their incremental sales over the base year (2019-20) for a period of 6 years.
  • A sum of Rs. 6,940 crore has been approved for this scheme
  1. Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks
  • 3 mega Bulk Drug parks will be developed in India in partnership with States.
  • Parks will have common facilities such as solvent recovery plant, distillation plant, power & steam units, common effluent treatment plant etc.
  • A sum of Rs. 3,000 crore has been approved for this scheme for next 5 years.

Impact of the above two initiatives:

  • Reduces manufacturing cost of bulk drugs in the country 
  • Reduces dependency on other countries for bulk drugs
  • Attracts private sector and foreign investment into the sector
  • Creates additional employment

Challenges ahead

  • Issues with Government’s price-capping policy – so less private player participation
  • Drug makers are forced to cut costs to maximise profits – favour cheap Chinese APIs with basic minimum quality, Indian made APIs
  • Also capping prices doesn’t really succeed (study from different countries)
  • Drug price control Order (DPCO) needs reforms and amendments

Connecting the dots


Topic: General Studies 3:

  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

COVID-19: Possibility of Biggest Depression

World had witnessed two great depressions- The Great Depression (GD) of 1930s and 2008 global financial crisis (GFC). There is high possibility that COVID-19 could cause the history’s biggest economic depression given the number of people and economies it has affected

What is depression?

  • It is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies

Impact of the previous two depressions – GFC & GD of 1930s 

  • Stock markets collapsed by 50% or more
  • Credit markets froze up
  • Massive bankruptcies of firms followed
  • Unemployment rates soared above 10%
  • GDP contracted at an annualized rate of 10% or more

How COVID-19 induced depression can be different from previous depression?

  • The above mentioned macroeconomic and financial outcomes of depression took around three years to play out for 2008-GFC & 1930-GD
  • In the current COVID-19 crisis, similar outcomes have materialized in three weeks- thus exacerbating the possibility of Depression.
  • COVID induced depression is more severe & faster.

Measures needed by countries

  1. Containing the epidemic
  • All countries need to roll out widespread Covid-19 testing, tracing and treatment measures, enforce quarantines, and a full-scale lockdown (China model)
  • Antivirals and other therapeutics need to be deployed on a massive scale as it could take 18 months for a vaccine to be developed and produced at global scale
  1. Easy Monetary Policy by Central Banks
  • Zero or negative interest rates
  • Quantitative easing –large-scale asset purchases by Central Bank to induce liquidity into system
  • Credit easing to banks, non-banks, money market funds, and even large corporations.
  1. Massive Fiscal Stimulus
  • Direct cash disbursements to households
  • Monetizing the increased fiscal deficits – so that interest rates are kept low


  • Monetization of massive deficits starts can lead to high inflation. 
  • Geopolitical white swans that could derail recovery of global economy
    • The crisis can give way to renewed conflicts between the West and at least four revisionist powers: China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
    • The possibility of cyber attacks on the US election process may lead to a contested final result which will have a spill over effect on International Institutions (causes disorder & chaos)
    • Risk of a war between the US and Iran


The trifecta of risks—uncontained pandemics, insufficient economic policy arsenals, and geopolitical white swans—will be enough to tip the global economy into persistent depression and a runaway financial-market meltdown. Thus, above measures needs to be taken.

Connecting the dots:

  • Difference between Earlier depression and Depression that can be caused by COVID-19
  • How should world countries work together after COVID-19 to bring back the economy
  • Keynesian Economics


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)


  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. 
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q 1. Consider the following statements:

  1. The time between entry of virus to the onset of infection is known as Median incubation period.
  2. Median incubation period for COVID-19 is five days.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q 2. Consider the following statements:

  1. Under preventive detention, protection against arrest and detention under Article 22 (1) and 22(2) shall be available.
  2. Detention can be upto 3 years under Public Safety Act.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q 3. Consider the following statements:

  1. #stayhomeindiawithbooks initiative was launched recently by Human Resource Development Ministry.
  2. The books are available for download only in Hindi and English.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q 4. Consider the following statements:

  1. Disaster management is the prime responsibility of state government.
  2. Recently coronavirus pandemic was notified as a disaster.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2


1 C
2 D
3 D
4 B

Must Read

About Indian Health Diplomacy:

The Indian Express

About COVID-19 and data puzzle of China:

The Hindu

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