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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 23 March 2020

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. Technology Development Board.

2. Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0) Scheme.

3. Coronavirus: Stage by stage in a pandemic.

4. Schemes to boost bulk drugs manufacture.

5. Extradition Treaty between India and Belgium.

 

Facts for Prelims.

PIB one liner facts.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Technology Development Board

What to study?

For Prelims: TDB and GITA- composition, objectives and functions.

For Mains: Need for and significance of technological developments.

Context: Technology Development Board under DST invites technology proposals for fighting COVID 19.

The proposal may include technologically innovative solutions like low-cost masks, cost-effective scanning devices, technologies for sanitization of large areas as well as for contactless entry, rapid diagnostic kits and oxygenators, and ventilators.

About Technology Development Board:

It is a statutory body established by Technology Development Board Act, 1995.

Objective: To promote development and commercialization of indigenous technology and adaptation of imported technology for much wider application. 

Roles and functions of the board:

  1. Encourage enterprises to take up technology-oriented products.
  2. Provide equity capital or loans to industrial concerns and financial assistance to research and development institutions.

Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA):

In order to stimulate private sector’s investment in R&D, TDB has established Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA).

It is a joint venture between Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and TDB with an equity contribution of 51:49 respectively.

The GITA will assist Department of Science & Technology (DST) in implementing industrial research and development programme with different countries under bilateral and multilateral science and technology cooperation agreements.

Insta Link:

Prelims Link:

  1. Statutory vs Non statutory bodies.
  2. Grants vs Loans.
  3. Interests on loans provided by TDB.
  4. Who appoints TDB Chairperson and members?

Mains Link:

Discuss the role and functions of the Technology Development Board (TDB).

Sources: pib.

 

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

Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0) Scheme

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key features and significance of the scheme.

Context: Cabinet approves Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0) Scheme.

Key features:

  1. The scheme provides for development of world class infrastructure along with common facilities and amenities through Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs).
  2. The Scheme would support setting up of both Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs) and Common Facility Centers (CFCs).

 Where can these clusters be setup?

  1. An Electronics Manufacturing Cluster (EMC) would set up in geographical areas of certain minimum extent, preferably contiguous, where the focus is on development of basic infrastructure, amenities and other common facilities for the ESDM units.
  2. For Common Facility Centre (CFC), there should be a significant number of existing ESDM units located in the area and the focus is on upgrading common technical infrastructure and providing common facilities for the ESDM units in such EMCs, Industrial Areas/Parks/industrial corridors.

 Benefits of the scheme:

  1. Availability of ready infrastructure and Plug & Play facility for attracting investment in electronics sector.
  2. New investment in electronics sector
  3. Jobs created by the manufacturing units;
  4. Revenue in the form of taxes paid by the manufacturing units 

Insta Link:

Prelims Link:

  1. Where can EMCs and CFCs be setup?
  2. Implementing ministry.

Mains Link:

Discuss the features and significance of Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0) Scheme.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to Health.

Coronavirus: Stage by stage in a pandemic

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Various stages and their implications, preparedness required.

What are the stages of a pandemic?

In the first stage of a disease epidemic that eventually takes the form of a pandemic sweeping the globe, cases are imported into a country in which the infection did not originate. An infection whose spread is contained within the boundaries of one or a few countries is obviously not a pandemic.

The second stage is when the virus starts being transmitted locally. Local transmission means that the source of the infection is from within a particular area and the trajectory the virus has taken from one person to the next is clearly established.

The third stage is that of community transmission.

What is community spread of the infection?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says community transmission “is evidenced by the inability to relate confirmed cases through chains of transmission for a large number of cases, or by increasing positive tests through sentinel samples (routine systematic testing of respiratory samples from established laboratories)”.

In the simplest terms, community spread is when you do not know the source of the infection — you are unable to trace it back to someone who has travelled in an affected area overseas, or got it through contact with someone who is infected.

Why it is worrisome?

Community spread implies that the virus is now circulating in the community, and can infect people with no history — either of travel to affected areas, or of contact with the infected person.

In a situation of community transmission, it is theoretically possible for every person regardless of where they are from or whether they have been in contact, to spread the infection.

When can it be said that the virus is definitely in the stage of community spread?

There have to be several cases of untraced infection source to conclude definitively that the outbreak has moved to the next level.

What is the fourth stage?

It is when the disease becomes endemic in some countries. Among diseases that are currently endemic in India — meaning they occur round the year across the country — are malaria and dengue.

How does categorising an outbreak in this manner help?

The stages of a pandemic are uniform the world over.

This is so because in today’s interconnected world, it is important to have a standardised phraseology that conveys the same thing to every person around the world, and helps countries prepare better.

The categorisation helps countries take specific actions that are necessary to target just that particular scenario.

Worldwide, in which stage is the COVID-19 pandemic now?

The pandemic has spread to nearly every country on the planet. In most, though, it is in the stage of either imported cases or local transmission.

Among the countries where community transmission seems to be operating are China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan.

How should India be prepared now?

Isolation, and not indiscriminate testing, is the only way India can limit the spread of COVID-19. A lockdown is the most important step in breaking transmission of the infection.

Insta Link:

Prelims Link:

  1. Differences between four stages.
  2. When community transmission occurs?
  3. Who declares a disease as pandemic?

Mains Link:

What is community transmission? When can it be said that the virus is definitely in the stage of community spread? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Schemes to boost bulk drugs manufacture

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Features, implementation, significance of the scheme.

Context: The Union government has approved a package comprising the scheme on Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks and Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme to promote domestic manufacturing of critical Key Starting Materials/Drug Intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in the country.

Scheme on Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks:

  • The scheme aims to promote medical device parks in the country in partnership with the states. 
  • Under the scheme, an incentive of five per cent of incremental sales over the base year 2019-20 will be provided on the segments of identified medical devices.

Implementation of the Scheme:

  1. The Scheme for Promotion of Medical Device Parks will be implemented by a State Implementing Agency (SIA).
  2. The PLI Scheme for promoting domestic manufacturing will be implemented by a Project Management Agency (PMA) to be nominated by the Department of Pharmaceuticals.

There are four categories of medical devices considered under the PLI Scheme:

  1. Cancer care/Radiotherapy medical devices
  2. Radiology & Imaging medical devices (both ionizing & non-ionizing   radiation products) and Nuclear Imaging Devices.
  3. Anesthetics & Cardio-Respiratory medical devices including Catheters of Cardio Respiratory Category & Renal Care Medical Devices.
  4. AII Implants including implantable electronic devices like Cochlear Implants and Pacemakers.

Significance of these schemes:

Lead to substantial reduction in import of target segments of medical devices.

Boost domestic manufacturing by attracting large investments in the medical device sector.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Extradition Treaty between India and Belgium

What to study?

For Prelims: Salient features of the treaty and exceptions provided.

For Mains: Significance and the need for the treaty.

Context: Cabinet approves signing and ratifying of the Extradition Treaty between India and Belgium.

Salient features:

  1. Obligation to Extradite: Each Party agrees to extradite to the other any person found in its territory, who is accused or convicted of an extraditable offence in the territory of the other Party.
  2. Extraditable Offences: An extraditable offence means an offence punishable under the laws of both the Parties with imprisonment for a period of one year or more severe punishment.
  3. Duration of sentence: Where extradition is sought in respect of a convicted person, the duration of the sentence remaining to be served must be at least six months at the time of making the request.
  4. Offences relating to taxation, or revenue or is one of a fiscal character also fall within the scope of this Treaty. 
  5. Extradition of Nationals is discretionary. The nationality will be determined at the time the offence was committed.

Under the Treaty, extradition shall be refused if:

  1. The offence involved is a political offence.  However, the Treaty specifies certain offences, which will not be considered as political offences.
  2. The offence for which extradition is requested is a military offence
  3. The request for prosecution has been made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing the person on account of his race, sex, religion, nationality or political opinion.
  4. The prosecution of enforcement of sentence has become time barred.

What is Extradition?

As defined by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, ‘Extradition is the delivery on the part of one State to another of those whom it is desired to deal with for crimes of which they have been accused or convicted and are justifiable in the Courts of the other State’.

When can it be initiated?

An Extradition request for an accused can be initiated in the case of under-investigation, under-trial and convicted criminals. In cases under investigation, abundant precautions have to be exercised by the law enforcement agency to ensure that it is in possession of prima facie evidence to sustain the allegation before the Courts of Law in the Foreign State.

What is the Legislative Basis for Extradition in India?

The Extradition Act 1962 provides India’s legislative basis for extradition. It consolidated the law relating to the extradition of criminal fugitive from India to foreign states. The Indian Extradition Act, 1962 was substantially modified in 1993 by Act 66 of 1993.

Who is the nodal authority for Extradition in India?

CPV Division, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India is the Central/Nodal Authority that administers the Extradition Act and it processes incoming and outgoing Extradition Requests.

Insta Link:

Prelims Link:

  1. Does India extradite its own Nationals?
  2. If a fugitive Criminal is found in India, what is the procedure to obtain a warrant of arrest?
  3. Can the decision to be extradited be appealed against by the alleged offender?
  4. What are the bars to Extradition?
  5. Does India need a treaty with a foreign country to make a provisional arrest request?
  6. Who can make an extradition request from India’s side?

Mains Link:

What is Extradition? What is the Legislative Basis for Extradition in India? Discuss.

Sources: pib.

 


Facts for Prelims


 

What is Devonian period?

It is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic, spanning 60 million years from the end of the Silurian, 419.2 million years ago, to the beginning of the Carboniferous, 358.9 Mya.

Key features:

  • It is named after Devon, England, where rocks from this period were first studied.
  • The first significant adaptive radiation of life on dry land occurred during the Devonian.
  • Free-sporing vascular plantsbegan to spread across dry land, forming extensive forests which covered the continents.
  • By the end of the period the first seed-bearing plants appeared.
  • Various terrestrial arthropods also became well-established.
  • Fish reached substantial diversity during this time, leading the Devonian to often be dubbed the Age of Fishes.
  • The ancestors of all four-limbed vertebrates (tetrapods) began adapting to walking on land, as their strong pectoral and pelvic fins gradually evolved into legs.
  • The first ammonites, species of molluscs, appeared.
  • The palaeogeographywas dominated by the supercontinent of Gondwana to the south, the continent of Siberia to the north, and the early formation of the small continent of Euramerica in between.

 

CARISSA KOPILII:

Why in News? The Carissa kopilii is threatened by the very river it is named after — Kopili in central Assam. It is a distant cousin of multi- utility wild berry.

Properties: It has medicinal and utilitarian properties.

Reasons: a hydroelectric project on the river and water turned acidic because of coal mining in Meghalaya upstream.

Distribution: The “sun-loving” plant is distributed sparsely, rooted in rocky crevices along the Kopili riverbed at altitudes ranging from 85-600 metres above sea level.

Places in News- Rushikulya rookery coast:

Gahirmatha marine sanctuary and Rushikulya rookery coast in Ganjam district are main Olive Ridley Nesting sites in Odisha. Of these sites, Gahirmatha marine sanctuary is largest rookery (mass nesting site) of Olive Ridley turtles.

Olive Ridley is listed as Vulnerable under IUCN Red List.

 

Places in News- Reunion Island:

Context: India and France, For the first time, have conducted joint patrols from the Reunion Island.

India has so far carried out Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT) only with maritime neighbours and had rejected a similar offer by the US.

Reunion is an overseas department and region of the French Republic and an island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and 175 km southwest of Mauritius.

 


PIB one liner facts


 

  1. India’s share in global electronics manufacturing grew from 1.3% (2012) to 3.0% (2018). It accounts for 2.3% of India’s GDP at present. 
  2. SWAYAM is the national online education platform hosting 1900 courses covering both school (class IX to XII) And Higher Education (under graduate, post graduate programs) in all subjects including engineering, humanities and social sciences, law and management courses. 
  3. SWAYAM PRABHA: Has 32 D2H TV channels transmitting educational contents on 24/7 basis. These channels are available for viewing all across all across the country using DD free Dish set top box and antenna.