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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 31 March 2020

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020.

2. Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is the ‘rapid test’?

2. NIDHI program.

3. What is Earth Hour?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. What are community reserves?

2. Sections 269 and 270 of the IPC.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020 and revised LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview of these schemes, what is LLP? How is it different from Companies?

For Mains: Significance and implications of these measures.

Context: Ministry of Corporate Affairs introduces the “Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020” and revised the “LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020” to provide relief to law abiding companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) in the wake of COVID 19.

What do these schemes entail?

  1. These schemes incentivise compliance and reduce compliance burden during the unprecedented public health situation caused by COVID-19.
  2. The schemes provide a one-time waiver of additional filing fees for delayed filings by the companies or LLPs with the Registrar of Companies during the currency of the Schemes, i.e. during the period starting from 1stApril, 2020 and ending on 30th September, 2020.
  3. They also significantly reduce the related financial burden on them, especially for those with long standing defaults, thereby giving them an opportunity to make a “fresh start”.
  4. Both the Schemes also contain provision for giving immunity from penal proceedings, including against imposition of penalties for late submissions.
  5. They also provide additional time for filing appeals before the concerned Regional Directors against imposition of penalties, if already imposed.

What is a LLP?

A Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is a partnership in which some or all partners have limited liability. It therefore exhibits elements of partnerships and corporations.

In an LLP, one partner is not responsible or liable for another partner’s misconduct or negligence.

Salient features of an LLP:
An LLP is a body corporate and legal entity separate from its partners. It has perpetual succession.
Being the separate legislation (i.e. LLP Act, 2008), the provisions of Indian Partnership Act, 1932 are not applicable to an LLP and it is regulated by the contractual agreement between the partners.
Every Limited Liability Partnership shall use the words “Limited Liability Partnership” or its acronym “LLP” as the last words of its name.

 Composition:

  • Every LLP shall have at least two designated partners being individuals, at least one of them being resident in India and all the partners shall be the agent of the Limited Liability Partnership but not of other partners.

 Need for and significance LLP:
LLP format is an alternative corporate business vehicle that provides the benefits of limited liability of a company but allows its members the flexibility of organizing their internal management on the basis of a mutually arrived agreement, as is the case in a partnership firm.
This format would be quite useful for small and medium enterprises in general and for the enterprises in services sector in particular.

  • Internationally, LLPs are the preferred vehicle of business particularly for service industry or for activities involving professionals.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. Difference between LLP and companies.
  2. Difference between LP and LLP.
  3. What is a body corporate?
  4. Roles and functions of LLP partners.

Mains Link:

Write a note on limited liability partnerships.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics covered: Issues related to health.

Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES)

What to study?

For prelims and mains: AES- causes, symptoms, effects and prevention, how is it related to Li hi fruits?

Context: Amid coronavirus, Encephalitis returns in Bihar as toddler dies in Muzaffarpur.

While the causes of AES are still researched, the association with hypoglycaemia and litchi fruit has drawn attention.

About AES:

  • Acute encephalitis syndrome is a basket term used for referring to hospitals, children with clinical neurological manifestation that includes mental confusion, disorientation, convulsion, delirium, or coma.
  • Meningitis caused by virus or bacteria, encephalitis (mostly Japanese encephalitis) caused by virus, encephalopathy, cerebral malaria, and scrub typhus caused by bacteria are collectively called acute encephalitis syndrome.
  • The disease most commonly affects children and young adults and can lead to considerable morbidity and mortality.

Symptoms:

It is characterized as acute-onset of fever and a change in mental status (mental confusion, disorientation, delirium, or coma) and/or new-onset of seizures in a person of any age at any time of the year.

Cause of the disease:

Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is considered a very complex disease as it can be caused by various agents including bacteria, fungi, virus and many other agents.

Viruses are the main causative agents in AES cases, although other sources such as bacteria, fungus, parasites, spirochetes, chemicals, toxins and non-infectious agents have also been reported over the past few decades.

Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is the major cause of AES in India (ranging from 5%-35%).

Nipah virus, Zika virus are also found as causative agents for AES.

How is it related to litchi fruits? How it affects?

In India, AES outbreaks in north and eastern India have been linked to children eating unripe litchi fruit on empty stomachs.

Unripe fruit contain the toxins hypoglycin A and methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPG), which cause vomiting if ingested in large quantities. Hypoglycin A is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the unripened litchi that causes severe vomiting (Jamaican vomiting sickness), while MCPG is a poisonous compound found in litchi seeds.

 Why it affects undernourished children?

  • Blood glucose falls sharply causing severe brain malfunction (encephalopathy), leading to seizures and coma, and death in many cases.
  • This is because under-nourished children lack sufficient glucose reserve in the form of glycogen and the production of glucose from non-carbohydrate source is blocked midway leading to low blood sugar level.
  • This causes serious brain function derangement and seizures.

Measures needed:

  1. Increase access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities.
  2. Improve nutritional status of children at risk of JE/AES.
  3. Preparative measures to be in place before the possible outbreaks.
  4. Vector control.
  5. Better awareness generation among children, parents through Anganwadi workers, ANMs etc.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. AES is caused by?
  2. Diseases caused by virus vs bacteria vs fungi.
  3. What is hypoglycaemia?
  4. What is JE?
  5. How eating litchi fruits aggravate the problem in malnourished children?

Mains Link:

What is Acute encephalitis syndrome? Discuss the causative agents, do you think authorities failed at several levels in preventing deaths due to encephalopathy in Bihar? Suggest what needs to be done?

Sources: down to earth.

Encephalitis


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

What is the ‘rapid test’?

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Rapid test- features, how is it carries out, significance and criticisms.

Context: To tackle suspicions of whether the novel coronavirus has spread into the community and if not prevent such a scenario, the Kerala government has announced ‘rapid tests’ that will ensure speedy results within half an hour.

What is the ‘rapid test’ for Coronavirus?

A rapid test is conducted to determine whether there has been any kind of recent viral infection in a person’s body.

  • When a pathogen enters a human body, specific antibodies are released as a response to the virus.
  • A rapid test can detect the presence of such antibodies in blood, serum or plasma samples quickly, indicating a viral infection. Rapid testing is conducted usually to check for community transmission of a virus during an epidemic.
  • According to the health department, it is a simple test that can be done with a person’s blood sample and will give out results within 10-30 minutes. It is also a low-cost test.

What does Kerala’s health department plan to do?

  • Rapid tests can be used to conduct screening within the community and identify those with suspected infection, put them under observation and if required, subject them to the PCR test for coronavirus confirmation.
  • Kerala plans to acquire as many rapid antibody kits as possible from ICMR-NiV and begin to use them, especially on those under quarantine in areas like Kasaragod district which has reported 80 of the 181 active cases. The situation in Kasaragod is critical than in other districts and has been met with stricter lockdown measures by the administration.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

NIDHI program

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview of NIDHI program, how Scitech Airon ionizer machine works?

For Mains: Significance of this breakthrough, how it can help healthcare workers in India?

 Context: A new technology has been adopted by the Maharashtra hospitals in the fight of COVID-19 fight. The technology was developed by a Pune based Start Up.

  • The product is named “Scitech Airon”. It is a Negative Ion Generator.
  • The technology has been developed under the NIDHI PRAYAS program initiated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

How it works?

  1. The Scitech Airon ionizer machine generates negatively charged ions at approximately hundred million per 8 seconds (10 ions per sec).
  2. The negative ions generated by the ionizer form clusters around microparticles such as airborne mould, corona or influenza viruses, mite allergens, bacteria, pollens, dust and so on and render them inactive through a chemical reaction by creating highly reactive OH groups called hydroxyl radicals and H O which are highly reactive and known as atmospheric detergents.
  3. The detergent property generated by the ion generator helps in the breakdown of the outer protein of the allergens, viruses, and bacteria, which helps in controlling airborne diseases.
  4. It increases the body’s resistance to infections and harmful environmental factors. This resistance could be helpful for the next 20-30 days outside the ion atmosphere.
  5. It also decomposes gaseous pollutants like Carbon Monoxide (1000 times more harmful than Carbon dioxide), Nitrogen dioxide, and Volatile Organic Compounds.

Significance of the technology:

It helps to control the virus, bacteria, and other fungal infections in a closed environment and could help purify the air and disinfect areas around COVID-19 positive cases and suspects. Hence it could ensure the wellbeing of the staff, doctors, and nurses who are working round the clock in quarantine facilities by enhancing their disease-resistance power and ability to fight the virus.

What is NIDHI program?

Department of Science & Technology has launched a NIDHI program (National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations) under which programmes for setting up of incubators, seed fund, accelerators and ‘Proof of concept’ grant for innovators and entrepreneurs have been launched.

Under NIDHI, PRAYAS (Promoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring innovators & Startups) programme has been initiated in which established Technology Business Incubators (TBI) are supported with PRAYAS grant to support innovators and entrepreneurs with grants for ‘Proof of Concept’ and developing prototypes.

A maximum grant of Rs. 220 lakh is given to a TBI for establishing a PRAYAS Centre which includes Rs.100 lakh for PRAYAS SHALA, Rs. 20 lakh for operational cost of PRAYAS Centre and maximum of Rs. 10 lakh to one innovator for developing prototype. Funding for ten innovators is given to the TBI in a year.

Sources:pib.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

What is Earth Hour?

What to study?

For Prelims: Earth hour, Earth day and give up to give back.

For Mains: Climate change and its effects.

Context: Every year, Earth Hour is observed on the last Saturday of March at 8:30 pm. And while previously it brought the public out onto the roads to mark the hour, this year the famous environmental initiative went digital as many countries are in lockdown.

What is Earth Hour? 

Dating back to 2007, Earth Hour is an annual event organized by the World Wildlife Fund that promotes conservation and sustainable energy. During this time, civilians are encouraged to switch off their lights for one hour to help reduce the effect of global warming and raise awareness for climate change and wildlife conservation.

Background:

It was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown to engage more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide. Today, Earth Hour engages a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues. The one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the now larger movement.

What’s the difference between Earth Hour and Earth Day? 

Whereas Earth Hour stands as a climate change initiative where people reduce their electricity usage, Earth Day (April 22) celebrates our natural environment by inspiring people to plant trees, recycle regularly and keep the planet tidy.

Why do we need earth hour?

  • Global warming and climate change have dominated the scientific discourse in the past more than one decade. With ever rising population of the world, the climate change has put the humankind at a great risk along with other species.
  • Global warming, rising levels of pollution due to ever increasing industrialisation, declining forest cover and rising sea levels are some of the dangers that drastically affect the workings of life on the earth.
  • Though the largest polluters are big industries, the WWF tries to make the masses more and more aware about the impending dangers of adverse climate so that they could put pressure on the respective governments to frame environment-friendly policies and laws.
  • With Earth Hour, the WWF aims to engage people across the globe to adopt more sustainable lifestyle. Turning off lights for an hour is just an annual reminder that if the world does not mend its ways, it will be heading to a dark age, literally.

Sources: AIR.

 


Facts for Prelims


What is Community Reserves?

Conservation reserves and community reserves in India are terms denoting protected areas of India which typically act as buffer zones to or connectors and migration corridors between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests of India.

  • Such areas are designated as conservation areas if they are uninhabited and completely owned by the Government of India but used for subsistence by communities and community areas if part of the lands are privately owned.
  • These protected area categories were first introduced in the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act of 2002 − the amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
  • These categories were added because of reduced protection in and around existing or proposed protected areas due to private ownership of land, and land use.

 

Sections 269 and 270 of the IPC:

Context: Sections 269 & 270 IPC invoked are being invoked against persons who malignantly do any act which is likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life.

  • Sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) come under Chapter XIV of the IPC.
  • While Section 269 provides for a jail term of six months and/or fine, Section 270 provides for a jail term of two years and/or fine.
  • In Section 270, the word ‘malignantly’ indicates a deliberate intention on the part of the accused.