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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 11 April 2020

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Jallianwala incident.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Charting a Common Minimum Relief Programme.

2. EU €500bn corona rescue deal.

3. How is WHO funded?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. What is Paralympics?

2. Bharat Padhe online.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

Jallianwala incident

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Jallianwala Bagh incident- overview, impacts and outcomes.

Context: On April 13, 1919, british forces opened fire on unarmed Indians at Jallianwala Bagh killing hundreds of people.

About the incident:

April 13, 1919, marked a turning point in the Indian freedom struggle. It was Baisakhi that day, a harvest festival popular in Punjab and parts of north India. Local residents in Amritsar decided to hold a meeting that day to discuss and protest against the confinement of Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew, two leaders fighting for Independence, and implementation of the Rowlatt Act, which armed the British government with powers to detain any person without trial.

  • The crowd had a mix of men, women and children. They all gathered in a park called the Jallianwala Bagh, walled on all sides but for a few small gates, against the orders of the British. The protest was a peaceful one, and the gathering included pilgrims visiting the Golden Temple who were merely passing through the park, and some who had not come to protest.
  • While the meeting was on, Brigadier-General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, who had crept up to the scene wanting to teach the public assembled a lesson, ordered 90 soldiers he had brought with him to the venue to open fire on the crowd. Many tried in vain to scale the walls to escape. Many jumped into the well located inside the park.

Outcomes:

  1. Considered ‘The Butcher of Amritsar’in the aftermath of the massacre, General Dyer was removed from command and exiled to Britain.
  2. Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi, as a sign of condemnation, renounced their British Knighthood and Kaiser-i-Hind medal respectively.
  3. In 1922, the infamous Rowlett Act was repealed by the British.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who was the Viceroy when this incident took place?
  2. Outcomes of the incident?
  3. What is Rowlatt Act?

Mains Link:

The tragedy of Jallianwala Bagh is a shameful scar on British Indian history. Comment. 

Sources: pib.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Charting a Common Minimum Relief Programme

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Overview of the proposed programme.

 Context: With India likely to experience an economic crisis because of lockdown, it is time for the Centre to chart a Common Minimum Relief Programme.

The economic pandemic that is likely to succeed COVID-19 threatens to be as large in scale if not larger than the public health crisis that we continue to battle.

Need of the hour:

  1. States should come up with varying measures for support and relief.
  2. Centre must lead this effort to ensure uniformity, optimisation and coordination amongst States of varying economic capability.
  3. The road map should provide forward guidance and economic clarity to the middle class, medium and small-scale enterprises and above all, to those at the very margins of society.

The focus should be mainly on:

  1. Daily wage earners, labourers and migrant workers. They are at the greatest risk of economic and social insecurity.
  2. Small and marginal farmers are in dire need of immediate support.
  3. Supply chain disruptions for fast moving consumer goods due to unavailability of labour, difficulty in transporting goods across borders during the lockdown. This is leading to a shortage of foodstuffs and other essential items.
  4. Medium and Small-Scale Enterprises. There are currently close to 4.25 crore registered MSMEs which contribute 29% to India’s GDP (or nearly 61 lakh crores) and these have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis imperilling, in turn, the livelihood of crores.
  5. Middle class for they are facing growing vulnerability.

What needs to be done?

  • There should be a uniform mechanism for the dispersal of both income support as well as essential items such as rice, wheat, millets, medicines, water and anything else that vulnerable families will require.
  • To ensure the agriculture problem doesn’t become cyclical, the government needs to make immediate arrangements for ensuring the availability of fertilisers, pesticides, other inputs (including access to lines of credit) for the planting of the next kharif crop as well.
  • For Medium and Small-Scale Enterprises, the government must lay out an action plan, including a financial package, to fortify this sector or risk see it perish.
  • NYAY(Nyunatam Aay Yojana), the Minimum Income Guarantee Programme. The Central government must devise and implement this scheme, at least as a temporary measure.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Nyay programme?
  2. How are MSMEs governed?
  3. Classification of MSMEs?

Mains Link:

Write a note on Nyay, the Minimum Income Guarantee Programme.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

EU €500bn corona rescue deal

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key features and overview of the deal.

 Context: The European Union (EU) has unveiled a grand 500bn corona rescue deal to cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic across Europe.

The deal is on safety nets for workers, businesses and public finances, as well as on a recovery plan.

What are the measures for people and firms?

  1. A safety net for healthcare systems.
  2. Safety nets for workers and the self-employed.
  3. Access to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM): Governments can apply for access to a total of €240 billion being made available under ESM, the bailout fund created during the eurozone debt crisis.
  4. Under the safety net for companies, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are to be helped via an EU-wide loan scheme.

Other recently announced measures:

  1. The new measures come on top of money channelled by national governments to bolster health and other public services, and support workers and industries.
  2. Countries have also pledged to make sure sectors in trouble have access to cash, via public guarantees and deferred tax payments.
  3. Last month the European Central Bank announced a package worth €750 billion to buy up government and company debt across the eurozone.

What isn’t addressed by the measures?

  • The rescue package concerns only short-term economic measures to deal with the immediate impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • But it does not deal with the thorny question of how to pay for the longer-term reconstruction effort in the aftermath.
  • There are big disagreements over how what’s called the “EU Recovery Fund” will take shape.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are Corona Bonds?
  2. EU vs Eurozone vs European Council.

Mains Link:

How European nations are dealing with the economic crisis caused due to lockdown imposed in wake of the COVID 19 spread? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

How is WHO funded?

What to study?

For Prelims: WHO- objectives, functions, funding and governance.

For Mains: Issues with funding and need for reforms.

 Context: US President Donald Trump is planning to put a hold on America’s funding to the World Health Organization, accusing it of becoming China-centric during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

  • How much will Trump’s threat of stopping funds impact WHO?
    The US is the largest contributor to the WHO. The US share is part of the assessed contributions, which is more like a membership fee, calculated on the basis of a country’s wealth and population, payable on January 1 each year.
  • The share of assessed contributions in WHO’s annual budget has declined over the years, to the extent that they now constitute just 24%. The rest is through voluntary contributions not just from member nations but also from private organisations.
  • Besides, as of January 31, the US still hasn’t paid the dues for 2019 or for 2020, amounting to almost $200 million. Therefore, the impact would not be much on WHO.

Implications:

If Trump does decide to block the US’ contribution, the WHO can suspend the country’s voting rights and deny access to its services, as per Article 7 of its Constitution.

About WHO:

WHO came into existence on 7 April, 1948 – a date which is now celebrated every year as World Health Day. The organisation has more than 7,000 people working in 150 country offices, six regional offices and at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

How WHO is governed?

  1. The World Health Assembly (delegations from all members countries) determines the policies of the organisation.
  2. The executive board is composed of members technically qualified in health, and gives effect to the decisions and policies of the health assembly.
  3. Its core function is to direct and coordinate international health work through collaboration.

How is the WHO funded?

There are four kinds of contributions that make up funding for the WHO.These are:

  1. Assessed contributions are the dues countries pay in order to be a member of the Organization. The amount each Member State must pay is calculated relative to the country’s wealth and population.
  2. Voluntary contributions come from Member States (in addition to their assessed contribution) or from other partners. They can range from flexible to highly earmarked.
  3. Core voluntary contributions allow less well-funded activities to benefit from a better flow of resources and ease implementation bottlenecks that arise when immediate financing is lacking.
  4. Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Contributions were started in 2011 to improve and strengthen the sharing of influenza viruses with human pandemic potential, and to increase the access of developing countries to vaccines and other pandemic related supplies.

WHO’s current funding pattern:

As of fourth quarter of 2019, total contributions were around $5.62 billion, with assessed contributions accounting for $956 million, specified voluntary contributions $4.38 billion, core voluntary contributions $160 million, and PIP contributions $178 million.

Largest contributions:

  1. The United States is currently the WHO’s biggest contributor, making up 14.67 per cent of total funding by providing $553.1 million.
  2. The US is followed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation forming 9.76 per cent or $367.7 million.
  3. The third biggest contributor is the GAVI Vaccine Alliance at 8.39 per cent, with the UK (7.79 per cent) and Germany (5.68 per cent) coming fourth and fifth respectively.
  4. The four next biggest donors are international bodies: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (5.09 per cent), World Bank (3.42 per cent), Rotary International (3.3 per cent), and the European Commission (3.3 per cent). India makes up 0.48 per cent of total contributions, and China 0.21 per cent.

Allocation of funds:

  • Out of the total funds, $1.2 billion is allotted for the Africa region, $1.02 billion for Eastern Mediterranean region, $963.9 million for the WHO headquarters, followed by South East Asia ($198.7 million), Europe ($200.4 million), Western Pacific ($152.1 million), and Americas (39.2 million) regions respectively. India is part of the South East Asia region.
  • The biggest programme area where the money is allocated is polio eradication (26.51 per cent), followed by increasing access to essential health and nutrition services (12.04 per cent), and preventable diseases vaccines (8.89 per cent).

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. WHO governance.
  2. Types of contributions in WHO.
  3. Largest contributors.
  4. Significance of World Health Day.

Mains Link:

Discuss the role of WHO in promoting public health and environmental health across the globe.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims


 

What is Paralympics?

  • Paralympics or a series of international multi-sport events involving athletes with a range of disabilities.
  • There organised in parallel with the Olympic games.

Eligibility: The international Paralympic committee has established 10 disability categories.

The categories are impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, vision impairment and intellectual impairment.

 

Bharat Padhe online:

Context: ‘Bharat Padhe Online’ campaign launched to invite ideas to improve online education ecosystem.

  • The campaign aims to invite the best brains in the country to share suggestions/solutions directly with the HRD Ministry to overcome constraints of online education.
  • Further educators across the country can also come forward to contribute with their expertise and experience in the field of education.

Insights Current Affairs Analysis (ICAN) by IAS Topper