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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th SEPTEMBER 2020

  • IASbaba
  • September 28, 2020
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th SEPTEMBER 2020
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 passed

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Health

In news

  • Parliament passed the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 recently.

Key takeaways

  • The bill amends the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
  • The bill repeals the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance that was promulgated in April this year.
  • It shall include protections for health care service personnel combating epidemic diseases.
  • It expands the powers of the Central Government to prevent the spread of such diseases.
  • The legislation makes harm, injury, hurt or danger to the life of health care service personnel as a cognizable and non-bailable offence.
  • It has provisions of imprisonment from 3 months to 5 years and a fine between Rs. 50,000 to 2 lakh rupees.
  • Persons convicted of offences under the bill will also be liable to pay compensation to the health care service personnel whom they have hurt.

Social Security Code, 2020 passed

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I – Society & GS-II – Schemes

In news

  • Lok Sabha passed the Social Security Code, 2020 recently.

Extending the reach of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation:

  • Efforts have been made to provide right to health security under ESIC to maximum possible workers
  • The facility of ESIC would now be provided in all 740 districts. At present, this facility is being given in 566 districts only.
  • Establishments working in hazardous sectors would mandatorily be linked with ESIC, even if there is only one worker working in it.
  • Provision for linking unorganised sector and Gig workers with ESIC.

Extending the reach of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO):

  • EPFO’s coverage would be applicable on all establishments having 20 workers.
  • At present, it was applicable only on establishments included in the Schedule.
  • Option to join EPFO is also being given to establishments having less than 20 workers.
  • Schemes would be formulated for workers coming under the category of ‘Self-employed’ or falling under any other category under the aegis of EPFO.

Other key takeaways

  • Provision has been made to formulate various schemes for providing comprehensive social security to workers in unorganised sector.
  • A “Social Security Fund” will be created in order to implement these schemes.
  • Provision for Gratuity has been made for Fixed Term Employee and there would not be any condition for minimum service period for this.

Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 passed

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Schemes; Education

In news

  • Rajya Sabha passed the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
  • It has been already passed by Lok Sabha.

Key takeaways

  • The Bill seeks amendment to the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Act, 2014 and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public-private Partnership) Act, 2017.
  • The Bill seeks to declare five IIITs set up under the PPP mode in Surat, Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala, and Raichur as institutions of national importance.
  • Currently, these institutes are registered as Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and do not have the power to grant degrees or diplomas.
  • On being declared institutions of national importance, the five institutes will be granted the power to grant degrees.
  • The central government will contribute 50% towards the expenses of institutes functioning under the PPP mode.
  • 35% will be borne by the states and 15% by the industries.
  • As a special impetus to North Eastern states, the central government will bear over 57% of the expenses whereas industries will contribute around 7% to the Institutes there.

Rashtriya Raksha University, Bill 2020 passed

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Schemes; Education

In news

  • Parliament has passed the Rashtriya Raksha University Bill 2020.

Key takeaways

  • The Bill establishes the Raksha Shakti University, Gujarat established under the Raksha Shakti University Act, 2009.
  • The Bill declares the University to be an institution of national importance.
  • The Bill also repeals the 2009 Act.
  • The Bill provides for several authorities under the University.
  • These include: (1) The Governing Body to frame the broad policies and programmes of the University; (2) The Executive Council will be the principal executive body (3) The Academic Council will specify the academic policies of the University.
  • The functions of the University include: (1) Providing instructions and research in police sciences, including coastal policing and cyber security (2) establishing and maintaining colleges (3) Prescribing courses, holding exams, and granting degrees and other distinctions.

Industrial Relations Code, 2020 passed

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Industries

In news

  • Lok Sabha passed the Industrial Relations Code, 2020.

Efforts made by the Government under the code for quickly resolving disputes

  • Provision for two members instead of one member in the Industrial Tribunal.
  • Provision for taking the matter straight to the Tribunal in case the dispute is not resolved at conciliation stage.
  • Implementation of award in 30 days after Tribunal award.
  • After recognition of Fixed Term Employment, workers will get the option of Fixed Term Employment instead of contract labour.
  • Under this, they would get benefits of hours of work, salary, social security and other welfare benefits like a Regular Employee.
  • A provision for “Negotiating Union” and “Negotiating Council” has been made for undertaking negotiation on any dispute.

Do you know?

  • Provision has also been made for giving recognition to Trade Unions at Central and State level. Trade Unions would be able to contribute more affirmatively and more effectively.
  • Provision for Re-Skilling fund has been made in the law for the first time for re-skilling those workers who have been fired from their jobs, so that they are able to get employment again.

Code On Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2020 passed

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Industries

In news

  • Lok Sabha passed the Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • Free health check-up once a year by the employer for workers who are older than a certain age.
  • Legal right for getting Appointment Letter to workers.
  • Cine Workers have been designated as Audio Visual Worker, so that more and more workers get covered under the OSH code.

National Forensic Sciences University Bill 2020 passed

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Schemes; Education

In news

  • Parliament has passed the National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020 recently.

Key takeaways

  • The Bill shall establish the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University (Gandhinagar) and the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences (New Delhi) as a National Forensic Sciences University in Gujarat.
  • The Bill declares the University to be an Institution Of National Importance.
  • This university will work for the capacity building in the field of forensic science and promote research.

Health in India report released

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Health

In news

  • ‘Health in India’ report was recently released.
  • Released by: The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
  • Objective: To gather basic quantitative information on India’s health sector.

Key takeaways

  • Around 7.5% of Indians reported that they were suffering from ailments.
  • Rural India: 6.8%
  • Urban India: 9.1%.

Religion based classification

  • Zoroastrian community: Most susceptible to ailments. (31.1%)
  • Jains: 11.2%
  • Sikhs: 11%;
  • Christians: 10.5%
  • Muslims: 8.1%
  • Buddhists: 8%
  • Hindus: 7.2%

Sex based classification

  • Women remain more susceptible to suffering from ailments than men.
  • Rural India: 6.1% of males and 7.6% of women
  • Urban India: 8.2% of males and 10% of females

Do you know?

Definition of ‘ailment’ by the survey

  • The survey defines ailment as any deviation from a person’s state of physical and mental well-being. The ‘Proportion of Persons who Responded as Ailing’ (PPRA) in a 15-day period when they were approached by the surveyors, were registered as those suffering from ailments.

Miscellaneous

Destination North East-2020

  • Union Home Minister inaugurated the “Destination North East -2020”.

  • The Union Home Minister is also the Chairman of the North-East Council.
  • Ministry: Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.
  • Objective: To take the North East Region to other parts of the country.
  • Aim: To introduce various cultures of the country to each other along with the tourist destinations of the North East.
  • Theme: The Emerging Delightful Destinations which speaks of the tourism destinations emerging stronger and more attractive when the Sector picks up momentum.

(MAINS FOCUS)


ENVIRONMENT/ ECONOMY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic: General Studies 2,3:

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

The benefits of a carbon tax

Context: China, the largest carbon dioxide emitter, announced that it would balance out its carbon emissions with measures to offset them before 2060. The spotlight is now on the U.S. and India, countries that rank second and third in emissions.

Do You Know?

  • India ranks fifth in the Global Climate Risk Index 2020.
  • Between 1998 and 2017, disaster-hit countries reported trillion in direct economic losses, with 77% resulting from climate change, according to a United Nations report.

What are India’s commitments to tackle Climate Change?

  • India has committed to 40% of electricity capacity being from non-fossil fuels by 2030
  • India has also committed lowering the ratio of emissions to GDP by one-third from 2005 levels
  • It has agreed to enhance its forest cover which will absorb 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2, the main gas responsible for global warming) by 2030.

A Stronger Action is required – Pricing Carbon

It is in India’s interest to take stronger action before 2030, leading to no net carbon increase by 2050. A smart approach is pricing carbon which can be done in following ways:

  1. Emission Trading
  • One way to price carbon is through emission trading, i.e., setting a maximum amount of allowable effluents from industries, and permitting those with low emissions to sell their extra space.
  • It is a market-based approach to controlling pollution by providing economic incentives for reducing the emissions of pollutants.
  • This is in contrast to command-and-control environmental regulations imposed by governments
  1. Carbon Tax
  • Another way is to put a carbon tax on economic activities — for example, on the use of fossil fuels like coal, as done in Canada and Sweden.
  • A carbon tax is a fee on the carbon content of fossil fuels
  • It is a powerful monetary disincentive that motivates transition to clean energy across the economy, simply by making it more economically rewarding to move to non-carbon fuels and energy efficiency.
  • Example: Canada imposed a carbon tax at per tonne of CO2 emissions in 2019, eventually rising to per tonne. This is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by between 80 and 90 million tonnes by 2022.
  • The fiscal gains from pricing carbon can be sizeable. A carbon tax at per tonne of CO2 emissions in India is estimated to be capable of generating some 2% of GDP through 2030.
  1. Carbon Tariff on Imports
  • Big economies like India should also use their global monopsony, or the power of a large buyer in international trade, to impose a carbon tariff as envisaged by the EU
  • Focusing on trade is vital because reducing the domestic carbon content of production alone would not avert the harm if imports remain carbon-intensive

Conclusion

By reducing carbon emission through carbon pricing there are immense health benefits. A significant part of more than 3 % percent of India’s GDP currently spent on pollution-induced diseases will inevitably come down

Connecting the dots:


ECONOMY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic: General Studies 3:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development.
  • Government Budgeting

Economic Situation

Context: Global growth prospects for 2020 have been projected by a number of multilateral institutions and rating agencies including that for India.

Real GDP Growth Numbers

  • Pandemic Devastated Growth: India’s growth in the first quarter of 2020-21 at (-) 23.9% showed one of the highest contractions globally
  • Real GDP Growth Projection: Reserve Bank of India’s Survey of Professional Forecasters estimate 2020-21 real GDP growth for India in the range of -5.8% to whereas Goldman Sachs projects it as -14.8%.
  • OECD in its September 2020 Interim Economic Outlook has projected a contraction of -10.2% in FY21 for India

Inflation Projection for this Fiscal

  • The latest data released by the Ministry of Statistics indicate a Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate of 6.7% for August 2020.
  • The average CPI inflation during the first five months of 2020-21 is estimated at 6.6%.
  • Given the injection of periodic liquidity into the system and the inflation trends, the year as a whole may show a CPI inflation of close to 7%.
  • Since deflator-based inflation tends to be lower than the CPI inflation, it may be about 5% or less.

Are there sectors which hold hope for growth revival?

  • There was hope that some key sectors such as agriculture and related sectors, public administration, defence services and other services may perform normally or better than normal given the demand for health, relief and revival expenditures
  • However, the recently released national income figures for Quarter I of 2020-21 hold no such hope
  • The most surprising in the Q1 data is that the sector ‘Public Administration, Defence and other Services’ contracted at (-) 10.3%. This means that there was no fiscal stimulus.
  • Independent estimates show that States’ capital spending fell by 43.5%.
  • The worsening of the fiscal deficit appears to be because of decline in revenue than increase in expenditure

Revenue Erosion

  • In the first quarter of 2020-21, the Centre’s gross tax revenues contracted by (-) 32.6% and the CAG-based data pertaining to 19 States show a contraction of (-) 45% in their own tax revenues.
  • The revenue calculations of the Budget were made on the assumption that the nominal income of the country would grow at 10%.
  • With the prospect of a contraction even in nominal growth (-5%), tax revenues of the Centre would show a considerable shortfall as compared to the budgeted amounts.
  • Some estimates indicate that the tax and non-tax revenue and non-debt capital receipts in the current fiscal may fall well short of the budget estimates by an amount higher than ₹5-lakh crore
  • Only way out: The combined fiscal deficit of the Centre and the States will have to make up for the shortfall in tax and non-tax revenues, if the level of budgeted expenditures is to be maintained.

Fiscal Deficit

  • In order for the central government to maintain the level of budgeted expenditure and also provide for additional stimulus, its fiscal deficit may have to be increased to close to an estimated 8.8% of GDP.
  • If one adds the Centre’s and States’ fiscal deficit, the combined fiscal deficit amounts to 13.8% of GDP.
  • It may be noted that the Centre’s fiscal deficit to GDP ratio for the Q1 of 2021 was 17.4%. The Centre’s fiscal during the first four months of 2020-21 as a per cent of annual budgeted target was at 103.1%.

How to fund the high fiscal deficit?

  • There are not adequate resources to support a fiscal deficit of nearly 14% of GDP.
  • All this will therefore require substantial support from the RBI which will have to take on itself, either directly or indirectly, a part of the central government debt
  • In the direct mode, the RBI takes on the debt directly from government at an agreed rate.
  • In indirect mode the RBI would operate only in the secondary market through the OMO (open market operations) route. OMOs involve the sale and purchase of government securities to and from the secondary market by the RBI to adjust the rupee liquidity conditions
  • Both direct monetisation of debt and OMOs involve expansion of money supply that can potentially result in inflation.

Conclusion

The economic situation warrants enhanced government expenditure; the policy challenge is to minimise the growth fall

Connecting the dots:

  • Balance of Payment Crisis of 1991
  • 2008 Global Financial Crisis

(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 regarding Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which was passed recently:

  1. The legislation makes harm, injury, hurt or danger to the life of health care service personnel as a cognizable and bailable offence.
  2. It has provisions of imprisonment from 3 months to 1 year

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 The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 seeks to establish IIITs under PPP mode in which of the following cities?

  1. Surat
  2. Bhopal
  3. Bhagalpur
  4. Agartala
  5. Lucknow

Select the correct code:

  1. 1, 2, 3 and 5 only
  2. 1 and 5 only
  3. 1,2,3 and 4 only
  4. 3, 4 and 5 only

Q.3 In which of the following state will the Raksha Shakti University be established?

  1. Assam
  2. Maharashtra
  3. Uttar Pradesh
  4. Gujarat

Q.4 Consider the following statements regarding Health in India report recently released:

  1. The least percentage of people suffering from any ailment belongs to Hindu community.
  2. Women are more susceptible to suffering from ailments than men in both rural and urban India.

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 26th September 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 C
2 B
3 D
4 D

Must Read

About improving medical education:

The Hindu

About Supreme Court’s failure to come to rescue of citizens:

The Hindu

About Farmer’s freedom to sell:

The Indian Express

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