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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 13th April 2020

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  • April 13, 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 13th April 2020

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Minimum Support Price (MSP) to be implemented for Minor Forest Produces (MFP) 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Welfare Schemes; Governance & GS-III – Minimum Support Price

In News:

  • Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) has asked the State Nodal Departments and Implementing Agencies to initiate procurement of Minor Forest Produces (MFPs) under Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce Scheme.

Important value additions:

Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce Scheme

  • The scheme for forest produce has been started with following objectives:
    • To provide fair price to the MFP gatherers and enhance their income level. 
    • To ensure sustainable harvesting of MFPs.
    • To ensure huge social dividend for MFP gatherers, majority of whom are tribals.
  • Earlier, the scheme was only implemented in States having Schedule areas as listed in the Fifth Schedule of the constitution of India. 
  • Since 2016, the scheme is applicable in all States.

Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) 

  • It came into existence in 1987
  • It is a national-level apex organization. 
  • The basic objective of the TRIFED is to provide good price of the ‘Minor Forest Produce (MFP) collected by the tribes of the country.
  • It functions under Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India.
  • TRIFED has its Head Office at New Delhi. 
  • It has a network of 13 Regional Offices located at various places in the country.

Minor Forest Produce (MFP)

  • Section 2(i) of the Forest Rights Act defines a Minor Forest Produce (MFP) as all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and includes bamboo, brushwood, stumps, canes, cocoon, honey, waxes, Lac, tendu/kendu leaves, medicinal plants etc.
  • The definition of “minor forest produce” includes bamboo and cane, thereby changing the categorization of bamboo and cane as “trees” under the Indian Forest Act 1927.

Delivery of S-400 air defence missile systems to be on schedule

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – International Relations; Bilateral agreements

In News:

  • It has been reported that all the major military contracts between Russia and India, including the deliveries of S-400 air defence missile systems, will be on schedule despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

Important value additions:

S-400

  • India had signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy the S-400 air defence missile systems in 2018.
  • The system is also known as the ‘Triumf’ interceptor-based missile system.
  • It can simultaneously track numerous incoming objects — all kinds of aircraft, missiles and UAVs — in a radius of 400km and launch appropriate missiles to neutralise them.
  • The S-400 is Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.
  • Russia plans to complete the delivery by 2025.
  • The U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia under the stringent Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for manufacturing S-400.
  • The law also provides for punitive action against countries purchasing defence hardware from Russia.

India’s economic growth to get affected amidst COVID-19 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Economy & GS-II – Global groupings 

In News:

  • According to World Bank’s South Asia Economic Focus report, India may record its worst growth performance this fiscal year (2020-21) since the 1991 liberalisation.
  • Coronavirus outbreak is the main cause of severely disrupting the economy. 

Key takeaways:

  • India’s economy is expected to grow at 1.5% to 2.8% in the 2020-21. 
  • The World Bank approved USD 1 billion to India to fight the COVID-19 pandemic recently. 

Important value additions:

The South Asia Economic Focus report 

  • It is a biannual economic update presenting recent economic developments and a near-term economic outlook for South Asia
  • It covers South Asian countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. 
  • It aims at providing important background information and timely analysis of key indicators and economic and financial developments. 

World Bank

  • It is an international financial institution. 
  • It provides loans and grants to the poorer countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects.
  • It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA).
  • Headquarter : Washington D.C

Pradhan Mantri Janaushadhi Kendra (PMJK): CoronaWarriors delivering affordable quality medicines 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Governance

In News:

  • Pradhan Mantri Janaushadhi Kendra (PMJK) people are working as CoronaWarriors to serve the nation in order to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Pharmacists at Kendras are delivering quality generic medicines at affordable prices to the common citizens of the country amidst the crisis.

Important value additions:

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) 

  • It is being run by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India 
  • PMBJP is also generating awareness through informational posts on their social media platforms.
  • Vision: To bring down the healthcare budget of every citizen of India through providing “Quality generic Medicines at Affordable Prices”.
  • Pradhan Mantri Janaushadhi Kendra is a medical outlet opened under the scheme which makes quality medicines available at affordable prices for all. 
  • “Jan Aushadhi Sugam” mobile app helps in locating nearest Janaushadhi Kendra and availability of medicines with its price.

Miscellaneous

Anak Krakatau volcano eruption 

  • Indonesia’s Anak Krakatau recent volcano eruption is the longest eruption since its explosive collapse in 2018.
  • Anak Krakatoa is an island in the Sunda Strait in the Indonesian province of Lampung.
  • In 1927, Anak Krakatoa emerged from the caldera formed in 1883 by the explosive volcanic eruption that destroyed the island of Krakatoa.

Image source: Click here 

Bancassurance 

  • Insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has allowed the four banks, which emerged from the recent mega bank merger exercise, to continue for a year with existing bancassurance agreements.
  • Bancassurance means selling insurance product through banks
  • Benefits: On the one hand, the bank earns fee amount and the interest income from the insurance company. On the other hand, the insurance firm increases its market reach and customers. 
  • Government of India notification (Banking Regulation Act), 2000, laid out the Bancassurance clearance.

(MAINS FOCUS)


GOVERNANCE/ ECONOMY

Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors 
  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment. 

COVID-19: Critical Analysis on lockdown

India’s present lockdown (to prevent the spread of COVID-19) has been rated as the severest and the most disruptive, impacting a seventh of the world’s population. 

The Central government stated that in absence of lockdown, there would have been 800,000 infections by April 15th, 2020

Do You Know?

  • Sweden’s strategy to fight the pandemic has been largely non-interventionist and instead dependent on voluntary social distancing. 
  • Korea has followed a strategy of aggressive, widespread diagnostic testing and isolation coupled with social distancing.

Criticisms on Lockdown

  • Lives vs Livelihoods: Extended lockdown negatively impacts the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable sections of society -cure should not be worse than disease
  • Criticality of timing of lockdown
    • Early lockdowns are known to be suboptimal because they merely postpone the peak, but do not reduce the numbers
    • Many countries have imposed lockdowns only when infections peaked to levels that threatened the capacity of their healthcare systems
  • Effect on Tropical Countries:  
    • There is also fair likelihood to suspect that tropical country like India may be experiencing a less virulent epidemic than seen in the west
    • This can be either due to higher natural immunity, or vastly different demographics.
    • In such case, all-out lockdown was not an efficient solution
  • Efficient use of intervening time 
    • Failure to train personnel as well as procure the requisite devices, supplies and protective equipment during the lockdown will yield sub-optimal results
  • Alternative Strategy- Herd Immunity
    • It is believed that viral epidemics abate only when around 60-80% of the population acquires “herd-immunity” — either by vaccination or by acquiring the disease.
  • Projection Models
    • Several leading global health experts have questioned the numbers projected in the initial studies and forecasts as being inordinately high.

Way Forward

In place of a one-size-fits-all lockdown, there can be graded containment strategies that can be based upon following factors: 

  • Geographic– depending on the varying locational intensity of the disease
  • Vulnerability-oriented, with differing containment strategies for more vulnerable sections like the aged; and 
  • Sectoral -with a more liberal containment regime in place for essential activities like agriculture

Connecting the dots:

  • Challenges of using Herd Immunity as a Strategy
  • Challenges with regard to calibrated exit to lockdown 

Source: Indian Express


INTERNATIONAL/ GOVERNANCE

Topic: General Studies 1, 2 & 3:

  • Effects of globalization on Indian society. 
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
  • India’s Economic reforms and Investment models

COVID-19 and the crumbling world order

COVID-19 will fundamentally transform the world especially the following:

  • The world order
  • International Balance of power
  • The future of globalisation
  • Traditional conceptions of national security
  1. World Order
  • COVID-19 has exposed that global institutional framework are:
    • Pawn in the hands of the great powers (who created these institutions post WW-II)
    • Undemocratic and unrepresentative in its character
    • Cash-strapped to fight crisis of this scale 
    • Its agenda is focused on high-table security issues and are not designed to serve humanity at large.
  • Post-national regional arrangements like EU also stood clueless when the virus spread like wildfire in Europe. Its member states turned inward for solutions and not regional coordination.

Result

  • Credibility of the world institutions has been further eroded
  • The global institutional architecture of the 1940s cannot help humanity face the challenges of the 2020s. 
  • Need for new social contract between states and the international system
  1. Balance of Power
  • One country that is likely to come out stronger from this crisis is China
  • China’s industrial production is recovering even as other countries are taking a hit. 
  • The decline in oil prices will make China’s recovery even faster.
  • China appears to use its manufacturing power to its geopolitical advantage. 
    • Beijing has offered medical aid and expertise to those in need
    • China has increased cooperation with its arch-rival Japan

Result: 

  • Beijing’s claims to global leadership will be aided by its manufacturing power
  • It might push Huawei 5G trials as a side bargain
  • China might also showcase the Belt and Road Initiative as the future of global connectivity. 
  • COVID-19 will further push the international system into a world with Chinese characteristics.
  1. Future of Globalisation
  • Neoliberal economic globalisation will take a major beating as experts have predicted recession worse than 2008 crisis
  • The profits of big corporations will reduce, and the demand for stability will increase.
  • COVID-19 shock will further catalyse states’ protectionist tendencies fuelled by hyper nationalism. 
  • There will be an increased state intervention to avoid unpredictable supply sources, avoid geopolitically sensitive zones, and national demands for emergency reserves.

Result

  • Retreat of LPG: Licence-quoto-permit Raj can return
  • State to become omnipresent and omnipotent: Governments will gather more power and surveillance technologies to prevent future such shocks
  • State-led models of globalisation and economic development would be preferred over (big) corporates-led globalisation
  • New-age racism: Questions are likely to be asked about the source of goods and stringent imposition of phytosanitary measures by advanced states on products coming from developing countries
  • Impact on Indian Society: Moral claims based on birth & class and the associated notions about hygiene (purity) could become sharper

Conclusion

Globally, societies could become more self-seeking and inward-looking

Source: The Hindu

Connecting the dots:

  • Perils of Licence raj and Crony Capitalism
  • Impact of COVID-19 on India’s caste system

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


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

Note: 

  • 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. Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce Scheme is applicable to all states.
  2. The basic objective of the TRIFED is to provide good price for all forest produce collected by the tribes of the country.

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 regarding S-400 air defence missile systems:

  1. It can simultaneously track numerous incoming objects and launch appropriate missiles to neutralise them.
  2. It is long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.

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 Anak Krakatoa island is located in which of the following country?

  1. Inodnesia
  2. Vietnam
  3. Japan
  4. South Korea

Q.4 Consider the following statements regarding Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana:

  1. Its objective is to bring down the healthcare budget of every citizen of India.
  2. Jan Aushadhi Sugam mobile app helps in locating nearest Janaushadhi Kendra.

Which of the above is/are correct?

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

ANSWERS FOR 11th April 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 B
2 A
3 D
4 A
5 C

Must Read

About options to ease COVID lockdown:

The Hindu

About impact of COVID-19 on trade:

The Hindu

About using COVID-19 crisis to transform agri-marketing system:

Indian Express

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