InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically.
Table of Contents:
GS Paper 2:
Facts for Prelims:
1. What are Metamaterials?
2. Odisha raises retirement age of doctors.
3. DDT to South Africa for Malaria control program.
4. Operation routes for merchant, fishing vessels in south-west Indian waters separated.
GS Paper : 2
Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 has come into effect from July 20, replacing the earlier Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
- The Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 got the President’s nod on August 2019.
Highlights of the legislation:
- Definition of consumer:
A consumer is defined as a person who buys any good or avails a service for a consideration.
- It does not include a person who obtains a good for resale or a good or service for commercial purpose.
- It covers transactions through all modes including offline, and online through electronic means, teleshopping, multi-level marketing or direct selling.
- Six consumer rights have been defined in the act, including the right to:
- Right to Safety.
- Right to be Informed.
- Right to Choose.
- Right to be heard.
- Right to seek Redressal.
- Right to Consumer Education.
- Central Consumer Protection Authority:
The central government will set up CCPA to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.
- It will regulate matters related to violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and misleading advertisements.
- The CCPA will have an investigation wing, headed by a Director-General, which may conduct inquiry or investigation into such violations.
- Increased compensation:
The CCPA may impose a penalty on a manufacturer or an endorser of up to Rs 10 lakh and imprisonment for up to two years for a false or misleading advertisement.
In case of a subsequent offence, the fine may extend to Rs 50 lakh and imprisonment of up to five years.
- Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission:
CDRCs will be set up at the district, state, and national levels. A consumer can file a complaint with CDRCs in relation to:
- Unfair or restrictive trade practices;
- Defective goods or services;
- Overcharging or deceptive charging; and
- The offering of goods or services for sale which may be hazardous to life and safety.
Complaints against an unfair contract can be filed only at the State and National levels.
- Appeals from a District CDRC will be heard by the State CDRC. Appeals from the State CDRC will be heard by the National CDRC.
- Final appeal will lie before the Supreme Court.
- Jurisdiction of CDRCs:
- The District CDRC will entertain complaints where value of goods and services does not exceed Rs one crore.
- The State CDRC will entertain complaints when the value is more than Rs one crore but does not exceed Rs 10 crore.
- Complaints with value of goods and services over Rs 10 crore will be entertained by the National CDRC.
The act provides for reference to mediation by Consumer Commissions wherever scope for early settlement exists and parties agree for it.
- Mediation Cells to be attached to Consumer Commissions. Mediation to be held in consumer mediation cells.
- Panel of mediators to be selected by a selection committee consisting of the President and a member of Consumer Commission.
- No appeal against settlement through mediation.
- Impact of Consumer Protection Act, 2019 on e-commerce platforms:
The e-commerce portals will have to set up a robust consumer redressal mechanism as part of the rules under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
- They will also have to mention the country of originwhich are necessary for enabling the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage on its platform.
- The e-commerce platforms also have to acknowledge the receipt of any consumer complaint within forty-eight hours and redress the complaint within one month from the date of receipt under this Act.
- Product Liability:
A manufacturer or product service provider or product seller will be held responsible to compensate for injury or damage caused by defective product or deficiency in services
- National vs State Commissions vs District Dispute redressal Forums, their compositions.
- Ambit, jurisdiction of the courts and Appeals.
- Can CCPA file suo motu cases?
- Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission- jurisdictions.
- Appeals from a National CDRC.
- Consumer definition and rights defined under the act.
Write a note on consumer dispute redressal mechanism under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.
Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
Deprived of sources of livelihood during the pandemic, sex workers, transpersons, gay and bi-sexual men, drug users and people living with HIV/AIDS have petitioned the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) protesting against being ignored by government and multilateral agencies in coronavirus (COVID-19) related emergency relief efforts.
- The petitioners urge the GFATM to issue guidance to governments to channelise their COVID-19 relief funds to emergency survival needs of KPs.
Popularly known as the Global Fund, it aims to “attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to support attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations.”
- Founded in 2002, the Global Fund is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases.
- Secretariat is in Geneva, Switzerland.
- The G8 formally endorsed the call for the creation of the Global Fund at its summit in July 2001 in Genoa, Italy
How is it administered?
The Global Fund was formed as an independent, non-profit foundation under Swiss law and hosted by the World Health Organization in January 2002.
- In January 2009, the organization became an administratively autonomous organization, terminating its administrative services agreement with the World Health Organization.
Role of GFTAM:
The Global Fund is a financing mechanism rather than an implementing agency.
Programs are implemented by in-country partners such as ministries of health, while the Global Fund secretariat monitor the programs.
- Implementation is overseen by Country Coordinating Mechanisms, country-level committees consisting of in-country stakeholders that need to include, according to Global Fund requirements, a broad spectrum of representatives from government, NGOs, faith-based organizations, the private sector, and people living with the diseases.
Since the Global Fund was created in 2002, public sector contributions have constituted 95 percent of all financing raised; the remaining 5 percent comes from the private sector or other financing initiatives such as Product Red.
- When was GFATM established?
- How funds are raised at GFATM?
- Where is its secretariat?
- India’s contributions.
Write a note on GFATM.
Sources: the Hindu.
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.
The Delhi High Court has directed the Animal Welfare Board (AWB) to forthwith carry out a nationwide survey to find out the number of animals in circuses, which are unable to perform due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and consider rehabilitating them to the nearest zoos.
- The court has also issued notices to other relevant stakeholders and directed them to file replies within two weeks.
What’s the issue?
The court was hearing a plea stating that the condition of animals is vulnerable due to bankruptcy of circuses due to the pandemic.
The petition was filed by Federation of Indian Animals Protection (FIAPO), which is a collection of 100 organisations working towards the protection of animal rights for over a decade.
- It challenged the constitutional validity of Sections 21 to 27 of the prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act so far as they permit exhibition and training of animals in relation to circus acts.
- The petitioners also sought to declare the Performing Animal Rules, 1973 and Performing Animal (Registration) Rules, 2001 to the extent that they allow registration of animals as ‘performing animals’ for circuses as against the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Constitution of India.
- Circuses with animals performing tricks often use wild animals, including elephants, hippos, and exotic birds.
- These animals are very often used without requisite paperwork certifying their fitness.
- Investigations show animals being chained and tied up for several hours each day, made to perform several shows without proper rest, trained using negative reinforcement with instruments like metal rods, wooden sticks, whips and outdated and barbaric tools like hooks and spiked belts.
These are in direct violations of animal protection laws, animal rights and welfare.
Need of the hour:
On account of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been numerous reports of animals being stranded as part of these circuses all over the country and being abandoned by their owners.
Therefore, authorities should formulate an appropriate scheme for the rescue, rehabilitation and relocation of all animals rescued from circuses.
- There is also an urgent need to ban animals from circuses initiating their rehabilitation.
As an interim relief, the authorities should take custody of all animals from all circuses operating in India and make appropriate arrangements for their transfer and well-being.
Established in 1962 under Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960, the Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory advisory body advising the Government of India on animal welfare laws, and promotes animal welfare in the country of India.
It was started under the stewardship of Late Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale, well known humanitarian.
- When was Animal Welfare Board of India established?
- Provisions under which it was established?
- Rukmini Devi Arundale is often associated with?
- Sections 21 to 27 of the prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act are related to?
- Who heads National Tiger Conservation Authority?
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Issues related to health.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has declared the results of a serological survey carried out in Delhi between June 27 and July 10.
- A total 21,387 samples were collected to look for the presence of antibodies.
This study has been done by the National Centre for Disease Control [NCDC] in collaboration with Govt of National Capital Territory of Delhi, following a rigorous multi-stage sampling study design.
What is a serological survey? How is it performed?
A serological survey seeks to assess the prevalence of disease in a population by detecting the presence of specific antibodies against the virus.
The survey included the IgG Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test which estimates the proportion of the population exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- The IgG test is not useful for detecting acute infections, but it indicates episodes of infections that may have occurred in the past.
- The test has been approved by ICMR for its high sensitivity and specificity.
Benefits of serological studies:
Since it is not possible to test everyone in the population, serological studies are used as a tool to make an estimate of the extent of disease spread in the community.
- 22.86% of the people surveyed had developed IgG antibodies, indicating they had been exposed to the novel coronavirusthat causes Covid-19.
- This shows that the proactive efforts by the government to prevent the spread of Covid-19, including prompt lockdown, effective containment and surveillance measures, contact tracing and tracking, as well as citizens’ compliance had yielded benefits.
So what happens now?
The government has said that results show that a significant proportion of the population is still vulnerable to contracting the novel coronavirus infection.
Therefore, Containment measures need to continue with the same rigour. Non-pharmacological interventions such as physical distancing, use of face mask/cover, hand hygiene, cough etiquette and avoidance of crowded places etc. must be followed strictly.
- Types of antibodies.
- What is serological survey?
- ELISA test is associated with?
- About the National Center for Disease Control [ NCDC]?
- Can ELISA test detect acute infections?
Discuss the significance of Delhi’s serological survey results.
Facts for Prelims
What are Metamaterials?
They are artificially crafted materials with unique internal microstructures that give them properties not found in nature. The constituent artificial units of the metamaterial can be tailored in shape, size, and interatomic interaction, to exhibit unusual properties.
Odisha raises retirement age of doctors:
Retirement age of doctors under Odisha Medical and Health Services (OHMS) cadre and allopathic medical officers under the Labour and ESI Department is being enhanced from 62 years to 65 years.
DDT to South Africa for Malaria control program:
HIL (India) Limited, a PSU under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has supplied 20.60 Metric tonne of DDT 75 % WP to South Africa for their Malaria control program.
HIL (India) is the sole manufacturer of DDT globally.
- The company was incorporated in the year 1954 to manufacture and supply DDT to Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for malaria control programme.
Operation routes for merchant, fishing vessels in south-west Indian waters separated:
To minimise accidents and enhance marine environment, the government has announced separate operation routes for merchant and fishing vessels in south-west Indian waters.
Need for: Given a large number of merchant vessels passing through the area and operation of fishing vessels, there have been reports of collisions resulting in damage of property, environmental pollution, and loss of lives.
Articles to be covered tomorrow:
- Few facts.