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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 28 July 2022

 

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:

1. The National Anti-Doping Bill, 2021 passed

2. Seeking to destroy India’s civil society

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Centre to amend Warehousing Act

 

Content for Mains enrichment (Ethics/Essay)

1. ‘ONE’ (Organic North East) and ‘NE Fresh’

2. Tamil Nadu rolls out ‘Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme’

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Draft Coffee (promotion and Development) Bill, 2022

2. MAGIFAC

3. UNRWA

4. Power Generation Capacity

5. Fiberisation

6. Vaccine development of Monkeypox Virus

7. Light-malted Albatross

8. Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART)

9. Crypto-jacking


The National Anti-Doping Bill, 2021 passed

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Government Policies

 

Source: Business standards

Direction: It is not very important from Mains perspective. For Prelims, just go through provisions once. No need to remember.

Context: The bill seeks to provide a statutory framework for the functioning of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) and the National Dope Testing Laboratory in sports.

  • It also seeks to give effect to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation International Convention against doping in sports and compliance with such other obligations and commitments.

Aim of the bill: It prohibits athletes, athlete support personnel and other persons from engaging in doping in sports.

Doping definition: It is the consumption of certain prohibited substances by athletes to enhance performance.

Key Features of the passed bill:

  • Prohibition of doping: The Bill prohibits athletes, athlete support personnel and other persons from engaging in doping in sports.
    • Support personnel includes the coach, trainer, manager, team staff, medical personnel, and other persons working with or treating or assisting an athlete.
  • No violation of the following rules:
    • presence of prohibited substances or their markers in an athlete’s body
    • use, attempted use or possession of prohibited substances or methods
    • refusing to submit a sample
    • trafficking or attempted trafficking in prohibited substances or methods, and
    • aiding or covering up such violations.
    • If any athlete requires a prohibited substance or method due to a medical condition, they may apply to the National Anti-Doping Agency for a therapeutic use exemption.
  • Consequences of violations: Anti-doping rule violation by an individual athlete or athlete support personnel may result in disqualification from an event already held- seizer of prize, ineligibility to participate in a competition to be held, and financial sanctions.
  • Changes in National Anti-Doping Agency: Currently, anti-doping rules are implemented by the National Anti-Doping Agency, which was established as a society.
    • The Bill provides for constituting this National Anti-Doping Agency as a statutory  It will be headed by a Director General appointed by the central government.
  • Data related to athletes and doping: The Agency will also have the power to collect certain personal data of athletes such as (a) sex or gender, (ii) medical history, and (iii) whereabout information of athletes (for out of competition testing and collection of samples).
  • National Board for Anti-Doping in Sports: The Bill establishes a National Board for Anti-Doping in Sports to make recommendations to the government on anti-doping regulation and compliance with international commitments on anti-doping.  T
  • Anti-doping Appeal Panels: The Board will constitute a National Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel for determining the consequences of anti-doping rule violations.   This Panel will consist of a Chairperson and four Vice-Chairpersons (all legal experts), and ten members (medical practitioners and retired eminent athletes).
  • Dope Testing Laboratories: The existing National Dope Testing Laboratory will be deemed to be the principal dope testing laboratory. The central government may establish more National Dope Testing Laboratories.

Key Issues:

  • Director General of NADA: the qualifications of the Director General are not specified in the Bill and are left to be notified through Rules.
    • Central government may remove the Director General from the office on grounds of misbehaviour or incapacity or “such other ground”.
    • Leaving these provisions to the discretion of the central government may affect the independence of the Director General.
  • Power to remove: Under the Bill, the Board has powers to remove the members of the Disciplinary Panel and Appeal Panel on grounds which will be specified by regulations and are not specified in the Bill.
    • Further, there is no requirement to give them an opportunity of being heard.  This may affect the independent functioning of these panels.
Insta curious:

International institution: WADA

In November 1999 the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was set up under the International Olympic Committee.

  • WADA is recognised by the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport (2005).
  • WADA’s primary role is to develop, harmonise, and coordinate anti-doping regulations across all sports and countries.
  • It does so by ensuring proper implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADA Code) and its standards, conducting investigations into doping incidents, conducting research on doping, and educating sportspersons and related personnel on anti-doping regulations.
  • WADA publishes the list of prohibited substances at least once a year and distributes it to all the signatories.
  • Use of prohibited substances is exempted if needed for therapeutic use, as specified.
  • According to WADA, in 2019, most of the doping rule violations were committed in bodybuilding (22%), followed by athletics (18%), cycling (14%), and weightlifting (13%)

Insta Links

National Anti-Doping Bill

 

Mains Link (Practice Question)

Q. India does not figure very high in terms of sporting achievement, but disproportionately high on athletes accused of doping. Examine why and discuss probable solutions to tackle the doping menace. (250 words)

 

Consider the following statements in respect of the Laureus World Sports Award which was instituted in the year 2000

  1. American golfer Tiger Woods was the first winner of this award.
  2. The award was received mostly by ‘Formula One players so far.
  3. Roger Federer received this maximum number of compared to others

Which of the above statement are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: C

The award event was first held in 2000. The annual event honours the greatest and most inspirational sporting triumphs of the year and showcases the work of Laureus Sport for Good.

Seeking to destroy India’s civil society

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Governance: Government Policies & Interventions

 

Source: The Hindu

Context: This article highlights the importance of civil societies and how recent amendments affect their working nature.

Direction: Keep a note prepared on Civil Society/NGOs. Keep names of a few civil societies working in different fields handy- to be used as an example in Mains answer writing. This is the topic you can’t miss to score good marks.

 

What are civil societies?

As per the EU, civil society means “All types of social action carried out by individuals or groups who are not related to, or managed by, the state“. India has over 3.4 million NGOs working in various fields.

 

Role of the civil societies

  • Plugging the Implementation Gap: NGOs play important role in the promotion and implementation of important rights-based legislation such as RTI, FRA 2006, RTE 2010, and the MGNREGA
  • Support for sectors untouched by the state: g. providing aid to migrants, human and labour rights, Tribal welfare (Nilgiris Wynaad Tribal Welfare Society (NWTWS)), Women advocacy (ActionAid India, Sewa, Eklavya, Sathin, Disha work for women empowerment)
  • Promotes community-based organizations such as SHG, and Farmer’s organizations: these organizations are critical in bringing about changes at the grass-roots level
  • Work as Pressure Group: NGOs mobilize people for their rights as well as educate communities against harmful policies of government e.g. Narmada Bachao Andolan work for the rights of displaced people
  • Bring about behavioural changes: NGOs work against superstition, false faith, Beliefs, and Customs e.g. Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS); or Committee for Eradication of Blind Faith, CEBF)
  • Promoting Environmentalism:g. Green Peace, Vanashakti NGO, etc.
  • All the new initiatives of the government require the participation and awareness of people and there is no better organisation than the civil society to achieve this objective.
    • Involvement of civil society in the Swachha Bharat Mission has made it a huge success.
    • Role of Swacchagrahis has a visible impact in changing the behaviour of people to stop open defecation practices in rural areas.

 

Challenges faced by NGOs in India

  • Inaccessibility of Funds: Government regulation will ban ‘regranting’ of funds to smaller NGOs thereby making them more dependent on government funds.
    • This will be counter-intuitive for NGOs independence and their ability to raise voices against governmental policies
  • The politicization of NGOs: Mushrooming of politically motivated NGOs that act as the conduit for political funds, money laundering, and advocacy is a challenge for Indian polity
  • Involvement in Anti-national activity:g. some of the NGOs were involved in funding terrorism in J&K and promoting LWE activity in ‘Red Corridor Areas’
  • NGOs lack transparency and accountability: Only a small fraction of NGOs have submitted their account statement to Income tax and only a few have a Board of Governance
  • Undermine India’s Development: An IB report said in 2014 that working of NGOs such as Greenpeace, Cordaid, and Amnesty have reduced India’s GDP by 2-3%
  • Loss of registrations: Data suggests that of the 20,679 civil society organisations that lost their registration between 2011 and May 2022
  • Non-utilization of fund for which it was meant: Foreign contribution doubled between the years 2010 and 2019, however many recipients have not utilised the fundfor the purpose for which they were registered or granted under FCRA Act.
    • Department of Rural Development’s Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) blacklisted 833 NGOs for misutilization of funds provided to them by the Government
  • Civil societies are under deep suspicion: In the 73rd graduation ceremony of the Indian Police Academy in November 2021. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had warned budding police officers that “civil society was the new frontier of war”.
    • In 2017 the Ministry of Home Affairs suspended the FCRA license of the Public Health Foundation of Indiaon grounds of misusing foreign funds to lobby Members of the Parliament in favour of tobacco control activities.

 

Steps taken by government:

Foreign Contribution Regulation (Amendment) Act (FCRA), 2020

RegulationsImpact
Restrictions on the transfer of foreign contribution money to other organizations·         It will seriously restrict collaboration between organizations and smaller grass-root working NGO may get starved of Funds

·         This would also undermine the flow of foreign funding and development aid

Restricts administrative expenses to 20% of an NGO’s budgetIt will impact the salaries of employees and the ability of NGOs to draw various experts
Every organization must have its FCRA account in only one SBI branch in Delhi·         This may be a regressive step in an era of online connectivity and digital monetary transactions.

·         It will also impact the fund transfer in remote areas.

 

Increased the power of government officers to investigate breachesGovernment interference may obstruct working in critical areas such as Tribal Welfare in LWE affected areas
Proposed National Council of Social Work (Education and Practice) Bill, which regulates social work educationThis council is supposed to promote ethical behavior amongst social work professionals but may make it much more difficult to get a job in the NGO sector without a degree.

 

These changes are not in sync with the ideals of human rights, environmentalism, and civil liberties (important pillars of India’s Soft Power) as these sectors receive most of the foreign contributions

Effects after the amendment

  • Oxfam’s license was not renewed, a mechanism permissible under the FCRA amendment of 2010.
    • Oxfam was generating widely publicized reports regarding the plight of migrant labourers and the conditions of the poor during the pandemic.
  • The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative’s FCRA approval was suspended for some time, after which its license was cancelled.
  • The Enforcement Directorate (ED) was used to attack NGOs such as Amnesty International and the Centre for Equity Studies that have worked incessantly for minority rights.

Conclusion

Civil Societies are an essential aspect of democracy; they bridge the gap between the government and the governed.  Proper guidelines should be issued, rules regarding their accreditation and maintenance of accounts should be clearly stated and efforts should be made to have a balance between national security concerns and the need for a vibrant civil society.

/ 28 Jul CA, Today's Article

Centre to amend Warehousing Act

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Food processing and related industries in India – scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

 

Source: The Hindu

Context: Union Food and Public Distribution Ministry have suggested major amendments to the Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Act of 2007.

Direction: Not a very important article from the perspective of the main but do remember 2-3 points. Moreover, more changes are likely in the future.

Aim of the amendment: Changes are aimed to help farmers get access to the service of quality warehouses

Definition: Warehouses are scientific storage structures especially constructed for the protection of the quantity and quality of stored products.

Provisions:

  • Make registration of godowns compulsory (At present, the registration with the Warehousing Development and Regulation Authority (WDRA) is optional)
    • Only the Central government will have powers to exempt any class of warehouses from registration with the Authority. This will ensure a gradual and non-disruptive change to a regulated warehousing system
    • Status: At present, there are about 60,000 warehouses in the country. Out of which, 4,700 warehouses have registered with the regulator but only 2,910 warehouses are active.
  • Raise the penalty for various offences: increase the penalty from the current ₹1 lakh for various offences
  • Will do away with the jail term as a punishment for the offences: The amendment will do away with up to three years imprisonment for various offences.
  • Exception for a captive warehouse: Captive warehouses such as those of the Food Corporation of India are excluded from the ambit of the Act.
  • Establish a system of negotiable and non-negotiable warehouse receipts (NWR) which is now in electronic form. It will enable NWR as a tool of the trade to improve the fiduciary trust of depositors and banks in the Negotiable Warehouse Receipt System.
  • Changes in WDRA: At present, the Authority is comprised of a chairperson and two full-time members. After the amendment, three ex-officio part-time members will be added to the Authority including joint secretaries in the Food and Economic Affairs departments and the Executive Director of the SEBI.
    • Enhanced power of WDRA: The powers to investigate, take enforcement action, impose a monetary penalty, recover monetary penalty and adjudication had been provided in the amendment.
  • Do away with the accreditation agencies: As the accreditation process was time-consuming, prone to malpractices and led to complaints.
    • The application for registration of warehouses will be submitted directly to the WDRA and a new system of online applications, which will be contactless and faceless will be implemented and the average registration time will be reduced.

 

Issues:

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) (a farmer’s organization) fears that the amendments are for bringing back certain provisions of the repealed Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act through the backdoor.

 

Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA)

It was constituted in 2010 under the Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Act, 2007, under the Department of Food and Public Distribution to ensure scientific storage by prescribing infrastructural and procedural standards.

Negotiable Warehouse Receipt System

Launched in 2011, through it farmers can seek loans from banks against the warehouse receipts issued to them against their storage. The Electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipt (e-NWR) System was launched in 2017.

Insta Links

Agriculture marketing and warehousing

 

Practice Questions

Consider the following statements regarding Warehouse Receipts.

  1. Warehouse Receipts are documents issued by warehouses to depositors against the commodities deposited in the warehouses.
  2. Warehouse Receipts issued by registered warehouses would help farmers to seek loans from banks against the receipts.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None

Answer: C

Warehouse Receipts are documents issued by warehouses to depositors against the commodities deposited in the warehouses, for which the warehouse is the bailee.

A warehouse Receipt is proof of storage. It is an acknowledgement of the goods held by the warehouse keeper on behalf of the person named therein. It is a document issued by a warehouse keeper stating that he holds the goods mentioned in the receipt and is awaiting instructions from the person to whom it is addressed. It is a mere deposit receipt. The banker can accept it as a security to grant loans.

/ 28 Jul CA, Today's Article

 

Content for Mains enrichment (Ethics/Essay)


‘ONE’ (Organic North East) and ‘NE Fresh’

Display ethnic foods of the North Eastern Region (NER) at the national and international levels.

Launched by North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd. (NERAMAC) for promotion of Agri-Horti products of NER.

 

Tamil Nadu rolls out ‘Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme’

The Tamil Nadu government issued an Order to implement the first phase of the ‘Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme’ at 1,545 government primary schools to benefit more than 1.14 lakh children in Classes I-V across the State during 2022-23.

As much as possible, breakfast prepared with millets available in the region could be provided to students at least two days every week.

Every student is to be provided with a cooked meal of 150-500 gram breakfast with sambar with vegetables.

 

 


Facts for Prelims


Draft Coffee (promotion and Development) Bill, 2022

Context:  This will replace the Coffee Act of 1942

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Aim: To modernize coffee board, promote export and support the domestic market

Provisions:

  • Mandate of coffee board expanded: It will now include support for production, research, extension, and quality improvement apart from regular work of control, marketing and sale.
  • Protection of interests of labour
  • Simplifying the procedures and registration process of curing units.

Scheme: Centre extended the RoDTEP (Refund of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products) scheme to the coffee sector to boost exports.

 

MAGIFAC

Context: Multi-Agency Group for investigation of Foreign Asset Cases (MAGIFAC) is an inter-agency group of enforcement agencies for the coordinated investigation of various categories of foreign asset cases e.g. Panama Paper, Pandora paper, Paradise papers etc.

 

UNRWA

Context: India contributed $2.5 mn to United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

About:

Established in 1949 with the mandate to provide assistance and protection to about 5.6 mn Palestinian refugees (in West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan)

Funding: only through voluntary contributions

India: As a part of the Link West Policy, India has de-hyphenated its relationship with Israel and Palestine in 2018 to treat both the countries as mutually independent and exclusive.

 

Power Generation Capacity

Context: Ministry of Power and New & Renewable Energy has estimated India’s electricity generation capacity to reach 820GW by 2030 (out of this 500 GW will be from renewable resources)

TERI released a “roadmap for feasible pathways to achieve decarbonisation targets” (we will cover the report in detail in tomorrow’s CA)

At COP26, India announced the highly ambitious goal of decarbonizing energy to 50% and achieving 500 GW of fossil fuel-free generating capacity by 2030

 

Fiberisation

Context: 5G spectrum auction has highlighted the need for requisite infrastructure in terms of fiberisation

Definition: It is a process of connecting radio towers via optical fibre cables, thus facilitating the flow of a large amount of data to be used in 5G services.

Issue:

  • Low fiberasition: Compared to the US, UK, and Japan (80-90% fiberisation), India has just 33% of the towers fiberized, which is becoming a hurdle in India transitioning to the 5G network.
  • Low funding: India requires a huge amount of funding (over 2.2 lakh cr) to fiberize 70% of the towers.
  • Slow speed of fiberization

Solution: Satellite-based networks (along with on-ground optical fibre networks) can help reduce dependence on fiberization and deliver 5G broadband to users on moving vessels, including cars, ships, aeroplanes and high-speed trains.

Government initiatives:

  • Amendment in Indian Telegraph Right of Way (RoW) Rules 2016, to make it easier to install aerial optical fibre cable. However, several states and local bodies have not agreed to RoW rules.
  • GatiShakti Sanchar Online Portal (DoTs): It will simplify approvals of RoW and granting of compensation.
  • BharatNet: Vision to connect every village with optical fibre cable in 1000 days

 

 Vaccine development of Monkeypox Virus

Context

ICMR- National Institute of Virology has isolated the virus strain  of Moneky pox for the first time in the country

Steps of vaccine:

Isolation of virus strains is the first step toward expediting the development of drugs, vaccines and rapid diagnostic kits in the country. The genomic sequence of the Indian strains has a 99.85% match with the West African strain circulating globally.

Two types of virus: There are two known types (clades) of monkeypox virus — one that originated in Central Africa and one that originated in West Africa. The current world outbreak (2022) is caused by the less severe West African clade.

 

Indian Council of Medical Research

  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research.
  • It is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
  • ICMR’s EOI document states that it reserves all the Intellectual Property Rights and Commercialisation Rights on the Monkeypox virus isolates and its method/protocols for purification, propagation and characterisation.
  • ICMR is lawfully entitled to enter into any form of non-exclusive agreements with experienced Drug/Pharma/Vaccine/IVD manufacturers through defined agreement for undertaking R&D as well as manufacturing activities.

 

Light-malted Albatross

Context: It is a seabird native to Antarctic seas, but has been sighted for the first time in Asia (Rameswaram and adjoining islets of the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park on the Adam’s Bridge (Ram Setu)

Indication: It shows the pattern of bird migration away from the well-known and established routes and sites. Changes in the wind pattern triggered by global warming are bringing non-native birds to other areas.

IUCN: Near Threatened

 

Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART)

Context: India is a facing shortage of dolutegravir (given to adults and children) and nevirapine drugs (only for infants) used in ART for HIV-positive patients.

These drugs help in protecting CD4 cells thus keeping the immune system strong enough to fight off the disease.

HIV attacks CD4 (a type of White Blood Cell (T cells)- which detects anomalies and infections in cells). Patient with HIV can have CD4 count as low as 200 (a normal person have a 500-1600 count)

As per the India HIV Estimation 2019 report, incidences of HIV had been reducing in India since 2000.

Recently: A US patient with leukaemia has become the first woman and the third person to date to be cured of HIV after receiving a stem cell transplant from a donor who was naturally resistant to the virus that causes AIDS

 

Crypto-jacking

Crypto-jacking is a cyber-attack wherein a computing device is hijacked and controlled by the attacker, and its resources are used to illicitly mine cryptocurrency.


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