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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st MAY 2020

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  • May 1, 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st May 2020

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID), 2019 released

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I – Society & GS-III – Disaster; Conflicts/Terrorism

In News:

  • Recently,  the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre released its annual report on  internal displacement  of people

Key takeaways:

  • According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre’s (IDMC) annual report, around 50 million people worldwide were internally displaced in 2019. 
  • The causes of displacement were conflict or disaster, with coronavirus posing a new threat. 
  • Around 33 million new displacements were recorded in 2019, the highest annual figure since 2012.
  • The IDMC calls on governments to work towards solving conflicts like the civil war in Syria. 
  • It also highlights conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, and Afghanistan.

Important value additions:

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)

  • It is the world’s authoritative source  of data and analysis on internal displacement.
  • It is based in Geneva, Switzerland
  • It was established in 1998 as part of the Norwegian Refugee Council, a humanitarian, non-governmental organisation.
  • The Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID) is the annual flagship report of IDMC. 
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st MAY 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st MAY 2020

Image source: Click here 

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st MAY 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st MAY 2020

Image source: Click here 


SLF-MF scheme benefits extended to all banks

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Economy 

In News:

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended regulatory benefits to all banks under the Special Liquidity Facility for Mutual Funds (SLF-MF) scheme.
  • The extension includes those banks also which are using their own resources to extend liquidity support to the mutual funds. 

Important value additions:

Special Liquidity Facility for Mutual Funds (SLF-MF) scheme

  • Recently, the RBI had announced Rs 50,000-crore SLF-MF scheme to bailout the mutual funds facing redemption pressure.
  • The scheme was announced in the backdrop of Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund deciding to shut several schemes
  • Banks meeting the liquidity requirements of MFs will be eligible to claim all the regulatory benefits available under the scheme. 

Mutual Fund

  • A mutual fund is a type of financial vehicle made up of a pool of money collected from many investors to invest in securities like stocks, bonds, money market instruments, and other assets. 

Redemption

  • In finance, redemption describes the repayment of any money market fixed-income security at or before the asset’s maturity date. 
  • Investors can make redemptions by selling part or all of their investments such as shares, bonds, or mutual funds. 

New Parliament project gets Central Vista panel nod

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Parliament

In News:

  • The Indian government’s plan to construct a new Parliament building was recently approved by the Central Vista Committee
  • The committee is chaired by Central Public Works Department (CPWD) additional director general (works). 
  • The committee met through videoconferencing. 

Important value additions:

  • The construction of a new Parliament is a part of the larger revamp of the entire 3-km Central Vista from Rashtrapati Bhavan till India Gate
  • The project was proposed by the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry and its construction agency, the CPWD. 
  • The plan includes constructing a new triangular Parliament opposite the existing heritage structure and building a central secretariat for all Ministries.
  • The CPWD said the estimated cost of the project was Rs.922 crore.

Raghuram Rajan suggests spending ₹65,000 crore for the poor

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Economy

In News:

  • In a recent online conversation with a political leader, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has suggested ways to revive Indian economy in measured manner. 

Key takeaways:

  • He cautioned not to have a divided house in challenging times. 
  • He also estimated that India needs to spend about ₹65,000 crore to take care of the vulnerable sections like the migrant workers.
  • He also emphasized that the economy needs to be opened up in a sequential way in working out a balance in fighting the virus and facing the consequences of the economy.
  • He also suggested that India should leverage its Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) network to protect livelihoods, keep people alive. 

Miscellaneous 

Leukemia 

  • It is a type of cancer found in the blood and bone marrow and is caused by the rapid production of abnormal white blood cells
  • These abnormal white blood cells are not able to fight infection and restrict the ability of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells and platelets.
  • It occurs in both adults and children.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st MAY 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st MAY 2020

Image source: Click here 

Neuroendocrine cancer 

  • It is one form of rare cancer that affects the specialized cells of the body. 
  • These mostly include neural and hormone-producing cells.
  • Neuroendocrine tumors (NET’s) can be found anywhere in the body.
  • However, common occurrences of the tumor include the lungs, pancreas, intestines and rectum

Bank of Schemes, Ideas, Innovation & Research Portal on MSMEs

  • Union Minister of MSME launched Bank of Schemes, Ideas, Innovation and Research portal on MSMEs.
  • The Portal gives access to all Schemes of Union, State and UT Governments associated with MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises). 
  • It has the provision for uploading Ideas, Innovations & Researches in the sector.

Year of Awareness on Science & Health (YASH)

  • National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC), Department of Science & Technology (DST) has launched a programme on health and risk communication ‘Year of Awareness on Science & Health (YASH)’ with focus on COVID-19.
  • The programme is aimed at 
    • minimizing risks at all levels with the help of public communication and outreach activities, 
    • promoting public understanding of safety measures.

GI tag for Chak-Hao and Gorakhpur terracotta

  • Chak-Hao, the black rice of Manipur and the Gorakhpur terracotta have bagged the Geogrphical Indication (GI) tag recently. 
  • Chak-Hao has been cultivated in Manipur over centuries. 
  • It is characterised by its special aroma
  • It is normally eaten during community feasts
  • Chak-Hao has also been used by traditional medical practitioners as part of traditional medicine
  • Gorakhpur terracotta is a centuries-old traditional art form, where the potters make various animal figures like, horses, elephants, camel, goat, ox, etc. with hand-applied ornamentation
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st MAY 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st MAY 2020

Image source: Click here 

Image source: Click here 


(MAINS FOCUS)


ECONOMY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic: General Studies 2 & 3:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors 
  • Indian Economy and challenges with regard to resource mobilization

Employment Guarantee Programme

Context: Due to crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic, workers especially belonging to informal sector have been the worst affected. They are being forced to stay in camps or cramped accommodation, foregoing the comfort of family, food, and mental peace.

What should government do now?

  • They should treat labour force not in utilitarian terms but in human terms
  • They should facilitate migrant workers to go home 
  • Government should come up with policies assuring all Indians a measure of livelihood and income security. For Ex: Expanded MGNREGA

About MGNREGA

  • It stands for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005
  • It guarantees 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members (at least 18 years of age) volunteer to do unskilled work.
  • It has unique legal architecture of being demand-driven, and not budget constrained.
  • It is social security and labour law that aims to enforce the ‘right to work’.
  • It has provision for unemployment allowance, when the state cannot provide work
  • The central government bears the full cost of unskilled labour, and 75% of the cost of material (the rest is borne by the states).
  • Agriculture and allied activities constitute more than 65% of the works taken up under the programme.
  • MGNREGA has helped build rural infrastructure through approximately 10 crore families.

Solution to Pandemic: Expanded Employment Guarantee Act

  • Government should use the MGNREGA budget to pay full wages to all active job card holders during the lockdown
  • MGNREGA must be expanded to allow access to any adult seeking any number of days of work during the period of recovery from the COVID crisis.
  • Utilizing the existing provision in act (in the event of calamities) to expand the MGNREGA work by at least another 50 days
  • Work must be guaranteed on demand – No delay in process
  • Payment of part of the wages in subsidised foodgrain enabling cost efficiency for government
  • An Urban Employment Guarantee should also be put in place
  • Home-based activities can be permitted in the expanded employment guarantee programme: making masks, soaps and sanitisers
  • Following Kerala’s success, panchayats and local government units should be empowered and involved in disbursal of funds.
  • This will act as human response to this epidemic

Did You Know?

  • In 1975, Maharashtra passed an employment guarantee law with no restrictions on the number of days or people. 
  • To fund this, the legislature identified four taxes to be put into a dedicated employment guarantee fund.
  • A professional tax on all salary earners, 
  • Tax on petrol
  • Sales tax surcharge and
  • Tax on the income of three-crop irrigated farms 
  • The Maharashtra Act served as a model for the MGNREGA although its innovative funding pattern was not adopted

Connecting the dots:

  • Rights based governance framework
  • Union Government’s Four Labour Codes 

GOVERNANCE/ ECONOMY/ INTERNATIONAL

Topic: General Studies 2 & 3:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors 
  • Indian Economy and challenges with regard to resource mobilization 

COVID-19: A pandemic patent pool needed

Context: Every April 26, World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated. This year provided an opportunity to reflect upon the role of intellectual property (IP) in the ongoing health crisis 

Vaccines as solution to Pandemic: Critical Analysis

For human life to become normal again, vaccines or medicines are the only permanent solutions. However, there are several obstacles like:

  • Time Constraints: Even by conservative estimates, it will take at least 6-10 months for any vaccine/drug to be available.
  • Scalability: Even when approval for marketing of a vaccine/drug is granted, it will be impossible for it to be made instantly available across the world.
  • National Boundaries: For the product to be available across the world, approvals will be required in each and every country. 
  • Large scale Collaboration: For the vaccine/drug to be available continuous dialogue has to take place among innovators, manufacturers and supply chains.
  • Exclusivity claims: Innovations may be subjected to patent applications around the world to reap commercial benefits, which enhances above constraints

What is the purpose of Patents/Intellectual Property?

  • The purpose of creating and recognising patent rights is for the common public good, i.e., innovation should be made public in exchange for a limited monopoly.
  • Thus, patents need to be disclosed to the public in order to enable further research.

Dangers of Patents in present times

  • It will create obstacles in delivering the medicine to patients
  • It will result in dividing countries, corporations and international organisations. 
  • Anti-IP sentiment will build up across society, when patents are excessively utilized during public health crisis like this- it is not in the long term interest of IP

Solution is Creating a Patent Pool

  • Patent pools are usually effective in aggregating, administering and licensing patents related to specific areas of technology
  • Such pools are usually managed by a central agency and the patents which become part of the pool are readily made available for licensing. 
  • They publish the royalty rates payable for such licences.
  • Anyone who wishes to obtain a licence will be able to approach the pool, agree to the terms, and begin to manufacture and sell the products. 
  • Such pools are prevalent in, for instance, standard essential patents related to telecom and digital innovations.
  • A fruitful endeavour would be to create a global pool of COVID-19related innovations, managed by a trustworthy international organisation

Advantages of Global Patent Pool for COVID-19

  • It will be in line with the Doha Declaration on Public Health which is a part of the TRIPS agreement. 
  • It ensures countries have the right to implement these innovations without further permission from the patent-holders and without resorting to provisions such as compulsory licensing, state acquisition, etc
  • It will ensure that there are hundreds of manufacturers across the world. As a result, vaccines and medicines will be quickly available. 
  • Though royalties will be at a minimal level, the revenues would be high due to the large population affected by the pandemic
  • Some part of the royalties could then be disbursed to patent owners on a periodic basis and some part could be used to fund further research to deal with such pandemics in future.

Conclusion

Global patent pool needs the cooperation of not just countries and international organisations but also the hundreds of researchers, innovators, companies and universities involved. 

Connecting the dots:

  • Compulsory licensing and India
  • National IPR Policy of India

(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 Global report on internal displacement is published by which of the following? 

  1. Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre 
  2. UNICEF 
  3. World Economic Forum 
  4. SAARC

Q.2 With regard to recently released Global report on internal displacement considered the following statements:

  1. Around 50 million people have been displaced worldwide internally.
  2. The highest annual displacement has taken place in 2019 since 2012. 

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 Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre is based in which of the following country?

  1. Switzerland 
  2. Sweden 
  3. Greenland 
  4. Russia

Q.4 Leukaemia is a cancer, found in which of the following part of the body?

  1. Blood and bone marrow 
  2. Pancreas 
  3. Stomach 
  4. Lungs

Q.5 Consider the following statements regarding neuroendocrine cancer: 

  1. It is a rare form of cancer. 
  2. It occurs only in the lungs.

Which of the above is/are correct?

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

Q.6 Chak Hao, the black rice is cultivated in which of the following state of India? 

  1. Manipur
  2. Assam
  3. Mizoram 
  4. Nagaland

ANSWERS FOR 30th April 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 C
2 A
3 A
4 C
5 A

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