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Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 02 October 2019


Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 02 October 2019


Table of Contents:

 

GS Paper 2:

  1. SC/ST judgment.
  2. Ayushman Bharat.
  3. Drone Innovators Network Summit 2019.

 

GS Paper 3:

  1. Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs).
  2. RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) initiative.
  3. The Gandhian Challenge.

 

Facts for Prelims:

  1. Military Nursing Service.
  2. National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL).
  3. National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language (NCPSL).
  4. D28 iceberg.

 

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered:

  1. Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  2. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

SC/ST judgment

 

What to study?

For Prelims: Features of SC/AT act and amendments, A 338A.

For Mains: SC’s guidelines and rationale behind, need for amendment and need for a permanent solution over the issue.

 

Context: Supreme Court has recalled its directions in a March 20, 2018 verdict that had effectively diluted provisions of arrest under the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. This was following a plea by the Centre seeking a review of that judgment.

 

Background:

Dilution of the stringent provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act had sparked angry and violent protests by Dalits across the country.

 

Observations made by the court:

The struggle for equality and civil rights of SC/ST communities was still not over. They are still discriminated. Untouchability has not vanished and rued that those involved in scavenging had still not been provided modern facilities.

 

Key Guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in September 2018 and rationale behind it:

  1. Supreme court gave the judgement on the pretext that Innocents cannot be terrorised by the provisions of the SC/ST Act and their fundamental rights need to be protected.
  2. The court said that public servants could be arrested only with the written permission of their appointing authority, while in the case of private employees, the Senior Superintendent of Police concerned should allow it.
  3. A preliminary inquiry should be conducted before the FIR was registered to check if the case fell within the ambit of the Act, and whether it was frivolous or motivated, the court ruled.

 

Way ahead:

The amendments to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 2018 is a move in the right direction. However, no matter how strong a piece of legislation is, all will depend on how well it is implemented.

If the implementing agency does not do its bit then the legislative effort would not be successful in the long run. The administrative set up, which includes police machinery, investigating agencies and judiciary, has to work together to effectively implement such a law.

 

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Topics Covered:

  1. Issues related to health.

 

Ayushman Bharat

 

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview and key features of the act.

For Mains: achievements, significance, challenges present and ways to address them.

 

Context: One Year of Ayushman Bharat.

Arogya Manthan event was organised by the National Health Authority, to mark the completion of one year of Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY.

The purpose of the event is to provide a platform to meet for all the important stakeholders of PM-JAY to meet and discuss the challenges faced in the implementation of the scheme in the past year and to forge new understanding and pathways to improving implementation.

 

About Ayushman Bharat:

Launched as recommended by the National Health Policy 2017, to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

This initiative has been designed on the lines as to meet SDG and its underlining commitment, which is “leave no one behind”.

Aim: to undertake path breaking interventions to holistically address health (covering prevention, promotion and ambulatory care), at primary, secondary and tertiary level.

Includes the on-going centrally sponsored schemes – Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS) and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY).

 

Ayushman Bharat adopts a continuum of care approach, comprising of two inter-related components, which are:

  1. Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs).
  2. Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY).

 

Key Features of PM-JAY:

  1. The world’s largest health insurance/ assurance scheme fully financed by the government.
  2. It provides cover of 5 lakhs per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization across public and private empaneled hospitals in India.
  3. Coverage: Over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable entitled families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) are eligible for these benefits.
  4. Provides cashless access to health care services for the beneficiary at the point of service.

 

Benefits and significance:

  • Helps reduce catastrophic expenditure for hospitalizations, which pushes 6 crore people into poverty each year.
  • Helps mitigate the financial risk arising out of catastrophic health episodes.

 

Eligibility:

  1. No restrictions on family size, age or gender.
  2. All pre–existing conditions are covered from day one.
  3. Covers up to 3 days of pre-hospitalization and 15 days post-hospitalization expenses such as diagnostics and medicines.
  4. Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country.
  5. Services include approximately 1,393 procedures covering all the costs related to treatment, including but not limited to drugs, supplies, diagnostic services, physician’s fees, room charges, surgeon charges, OT and ICU charges etc.
  6. Public hospitals are reimbursed for the healthcare services at par with the private hospitals.

 

Suggestions made by Indian Medical Association (IMA):

  1. Government hospitals should be removed from the ambit of the scheme as services there are already free of cost.
  2. The government should fund public hospitals directly. Under this scheme, it is being done through insurance companies by paying 15 per cent to them.
  3. India should not continue the insurance route for healthcare delivery as the administrative cost and the “unholy nexus” with insurance companies point towards profit maximization rather than quality health care delivery.
  4. Need of the hour: Tax funded” universal health coverage rather than the “for profit” insurance model.

 

Why some states have not implemented the health protection plan and what is holding back its 100 per cent implementation?

Few states including Delhi, Telangana, West Bengal and Odisha are not covered.

Health is a state subject, and so far these states have declined joining the central government-led scheme.

  1. Delhi government argues that it’s existing health scheme has wider coverage and is “10 times bigger than Ayushman Bharat”.
  2. Odisha has pointed out certain flaws, saying that the existing Biju Swastya Kalyan Yojana has special provisions like an extra Rs 2 lakh cover for women, which the Ayushman scheme lacks.
  3. Telangana too has raised concerns about the rather “narrow ambit” of PM-JAY, saying that its Aarogyasri scheme. benefits more people. 
  4. West Bengal opted out, refusing to pay its share of the expenditure.

 

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

  1. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

Drone Innovators Network Summit 2019

 

What to study?

For Prelims: Composition and objectives of DIN.

For Mains: Need for regulations and international cooperation, overview of India’s drones regulations.

 

Context: Drone Innovators Network Summit-2019 is being held in New Delhi.

Organised by the World Economic Forum under the aegis of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

 

Drone Innovators Network (DIN):

Started by the World Economic Forum to hasten and contribute to healthy drone policies in need of legislation.

Established to help overcome common challenges regulators are facing in enabling drones and unmanned aviation, such as how to enable beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights at scale, autonomous operations and flights over densely populated areas.

Composition: Government aviation agencies, academics, and established drone entities.

Inaugural Drone Innovators Network summit was held in Zurich in 2018.

 

Drone Regulation in India:

India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation issued Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), effective 1 December, 2018 for drones.

  • As per the regulations, manufacturers of drone are required to comply with the requirements of No Permission, No Take-off (NPNT) on the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).
  • These regulations (CAR Version 1.0) only permit operations of drones during daytime Visual Line of Sight.
  • DigiSky is a portal for registration and flying of civil drones in India. 

 

Way ahead:

  1. As drone technologies evolve and advance at unprecedented speed, regulators from around the world are struggling to keep pace with effective policy that protects populations without stifling the aviation ecosystem.
  2. As the scale and scope of change increases; government, industry, and civil society leaders must work together to unlock the potential benefits of these technologies to society, while managing and mitigating their risks.

 

Sources: pib.

 


 

GS Paper 3:

 

Topics Covered:

  1. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs)

 

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: APAs- meaning, features and significance.

 

Context: CBDT inks the 300th Advance Pricing Agreement.

APA Programme is currently in its seventh year.

 

What are APAs?

An APA is an agreement between a taxpayer and the tax authority determining the Transfer Pricing methodology for pricing the tax payer’s international transactions for future years.

Purpose: An APA provides certainty with respect to the tax outcome of the tax payer’s international transactions.

 

Statutory basis:

The Finance Act, 2012, inserted sections 92CC and 92 CD in the ITA to provide the legal basis for APA in India.

 

An APA can be one of the three types – unilateral, bilateral and multilateral:

  1. Unilateral APA is an APA that involves only the taxpayer and the tax authority of the country where the taxpayer is located.
  2. Bilateral APA (BAPA) is an APA that involves the tax payer, associated enterprise (AE) of the taxpayer in the foreign country, tax authority of the country where the taxpayer is located and the foreign tax authority.
  3. Multilateral APA (MAPA) is an APA that involves the taxpayer, two or more AEs of the tax payer in different foreign countries, tax authority of the country where the taxpayer is located and the tax authorities of AEs.

 

Significance:

The progress of the APA scheme strengthens the government’s resolve of fostering a non-adversarial tax regime. The Indian APA programme has been appreciated nationally and internationally for being able to address complex transfer pricing issues in a fair and transparent manner.

 

Sources: pib.

 


Topics Covered:

  1. Awareness in technology and development of new technology.

 

RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) initiative

 

What to study?

For Prelims: RUCO- features.

For Mains: Need for regulation of used cooking oil and uses of used cooking oil.

 

Context: To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October as Rashtriya Swachhta Diwas, publicity vans were flagged off in Delhi, to generate awareness among the people about the OMCs’ initiative of converting Used Cooking Oil to Biodiesel. 

  • The publicity involves wide social media campaign to spread awareness and educate people about the ill effects of used cooking oil and ways to dispose it off for converting it to biodiesel.

 

Concerns associated with the consumption of used cooking oil (UCO):

  • During frying, several properties of oil are altered, Total Polar Compounds(TPC) are formed on repeated frying.
  • The toxicity of these compounds is associated with several diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, liver diseases.

 

Limit set by FSSAI:

FSSAI has fixed a limit for Total Polar Compounds at 25 percent beyond which the vegetable oil shall not be used.

 

What are Total Polar Compounds (TPC)?

  1. The level of TPC increases every time oil is re-heated.
  2. TPC accumulation in oil without food is slower than that in oil frying with food.

 

About RUCO:

  1. Launched by FSSAI.
  2. The initiative will enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil to bio-diesel.
  3. FSSAI wants businesses using more than 100 litres of oil for frying, to maintain a stock register and ensure that UCO is handed over to only registered collecting agencies.

 

Potential and significance of the initiative:

  1. India has the potential to recover 220 crore litres of used cooking oil for the production of biodiesel by 2022 through a co-ordinated action.
  2. While biodiesel produced from used cooking oil is currently very small, but a robust ecosystem for conversion and collection is rapidly growing in India and will soon reach a sizable scale.

 

Sources: pib.


Topics Covered:

  1. Awareness in technology and development of new technology.

 

The Gandhian Challenge

 

Context: On the 150th birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, AIM, NITI Aayog’s Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and UNICEF India, including Generation Unlimited, have launched ‘The Gandhian Challenge’.

 

What is it?

  • This innovation challenge provides a platform for every child across India to ideate innovative solutions for a sustainable India of their dreams, using Gandhi’s principles.
  • The winners of The Gandhian Challenge will be awarded in New Delhi by NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission and UNICEF on the occasion of Children’s Day in November.
  • The contest – open for every child in India from 2 October to 20 October – also celebrates 70 years of partnership between Government of India and UNICEF India to enable Every Right for Every Child.
  • Ideas and solutions to the Gandhian Challenge may be expressed through broad categories: Art & Innovation (Letters, poems, painting, videos and photos, among others) and Science, Technology & Innovation (Robotics, IoT, sensors and 3D printers, among others).

 

About AIM:

AIM is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. Objective: to develop new programmes and policies for fostering innovation in different sectors of the economy, provide platform and collaboration opportunities for different stakeholders, create awareness and create an umbrella structure to oversee innovation ecosystem of the country.

 

Six major initiatives of AIM:

  1. Atal Tinkering Labs-Creating problem-solving mindset across schools in India.
  2. Atal Incubation Centers- Fostering world class start-ups and adding a new dimension to the incubator model.
  3. Atal New India Challenges-Fostering product innovations and aligning them to the needs of various sectors/ministries.
  4. Mentor India Campaign- A national Mentor network in collaboration with public sector, corporates and institutions, to support all the initiatives of the mission.
  5. Atal Community Innovation Center- To stimulate community centric innovation and ideas in the unserved /underserved regions of the country including Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
  6. ARISE– To stimulate innovation and research in the MSME industry.

 

Generation Unlimited:

  1. It is a new UNICEF-led global partnership.
  2. Aims to ensure that every young person age 10-24 is in some form of school, learning, training, self-employment, or age-appropriate employment by 2030.
  3. Also aims to co-create and scale up proven solutions related to secondary age-education, skills for learning, employability and decent work, and empowerment, with a focus on girls.

 

Sources: pib.

 


 

Facts for prelims:

 

Military Nursing Service: 

Context: celebrates 94th Raising Day.

Key facts:

  • MNS is the only all women corps in the Armed Forces.
  • came into being on March 28, 1888 with the arrival of first batch of 10 qualified British Nurses in Bombay (now Mumbai), to organise nursing in Military hospitals in India. 
  • In 1893 it was designated as Indian Army Nursing Service (IANS) and in 1902 as Queen Alexandra Military Nursing Service (QAMNS).
  • In 1914 for the first time Nurses were enrolled in India and were attached to QAMNS.
  • On October 1, 1926, a permanent Nursing Service for the Indian troops was formed and was designated as the Indian Military Nursing Service (IMNS).
  • On September 15, 1943, the IMNS officers became a part of the Indian Army and the members of service became Commissioned Officers.

 

National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL):

Autonomous body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), Department of Secondary and Higher Education.

Set up to promote, develop and propagate Urdu language, Council started its operation in Delhi on April 1, 1996.

In its capacity as the National Nodal Agency for the promotion of the Urdu language NCPUL is the principal coordinating and monitoring authority for promotion of Urdu language and Urdu education.

Important functions include:

  • To liaise with the State Governments and other agencies in matters relating to promotion and development of the Urdu language.
  • To provide financial assistance and guidance to Non-Government Organizations for propagation of the Urdu language.
  • To co-ordinate the activities of the state Urdu academies.

 

National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language (NCPSL):

Established as an autonomous registered body under the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD).

Registered under the Societies Registration Act in 1860 on 26th May 1994 under registration no. 1085 (Vadodara) Gujarat.

Important functions include:

  1. To formulate/implement schemes and project for learning of Sindhi Language through the media of English and Hindi and Modern Indian Languages including teaching through correspondence course.
  2. To implement schemes and project for learning of Sindhi Language through the media of English and Hindi and Modern Indian Languages including teaching through correspondence course.
  3. To implement schemes and project for learning of Sindhi Language through the media of English and Hindi and Modern Indian Languages including teaching through correspondence course.

 

D28 iceberg:

Context: A more than 1,500 sq.km. D28 iceberg recently broke off Antarctica.

  • It is about 210 metres thick and contains 315 billion tonnes of ice.
  • The east of Antarctica — where D28 broke off — is different from the west of the continent and Greenland, which are rapidly warming due to climate change.