03 May, 2020
90 Min Read
|GS-I||Jamini Roy||Art and Culture|
|GS-II||India is a candidate for a non-permanent seat in the UNSC|
|Sudan moves to criminalise Female Genital Mutilation||International Relations|
|Curbs on large gatherings of people and World major protests & Moment||International Relations|
|GS-III||US FDA ALLOWS “Remdesivir” antiviral drug for severely ill CoVID 19 patients|
|National Mission for Clean Ganga organised IDEAthon||Biodiversity & Environment|
|Chitra EmBed and Chitra EnMesh|
|NHC drug (beta-D-N4-hydroxycytidine)-Prodrug|
|Mobile power plants are taking to the high seas|
|PT Pointer||‘BHARATMARKET’ for retail traders||Economic Issues|
|Lokpal member Justice A K Tripathi (Retd) dies of coronavirus||Indian Polity|
|Forex reserves fall $113 mn to $479.45 bn||Economic Issues|
|Important GS Topics||5G-Rajya Sabha Analysis|
|Lokpal and Lokayukta||Governance|
National Gallery of Modern Art pays tribute to pioneering artist Jamini Roy through virtual tour
National Gallery of Modern Art pays tribute to the pioneering artist Jamini Roy on his 133rd Birth Anniversary year through virtual tour.
About Jamini Roy
He was honoured with the State award of Padma Bhushan in 1955. He was one of the most famous pupils of Abanindranath Tagore.
Jamini Roy was one of the earliest and most significant modernists of twentieth century Indian art.
From 1920 onwards his search for the essence of form led him to experiment with dramatically different visual style. His career spanning over nearly six decades had many significant turning points and his works collectively speak of the nature of his modernism and the prominent role he played in breaking away from the art practices of his time. Trained in the British academic style of painting in the early decades of the twentieth century, Jamini Roy became well-known as a skilful portraitist.
He received regular commissions after he graduated from the Government Art School in what is now Kolkata, in 1916. The first three decades of the twentieth century saw a sea-change in cultural expressions in Bengal.
The growing surge of the nationalist movement was prompting all kinds of experiments in literature and the visual arts. The Bengal School, founded by Abanindranath Tagore and Kala Bhavana in Santiniketan under Nandalal Bose rejected European naturalism and the use of oil as a medium and were exploring new ways of representation.
Jamini Roy, too, consciously rejected the style he had mastered during his academic training and from the early 1920s searched for forms that stirred the innermost recesses of his being. He sought inspiration from sources as diverse as East Asian calligraphy, terracotta temple friezes, objects from folk arts and crafts traditions and the like.
From the end 1920s, Jamini Roy rejected the European oil medium and began to use the traditional pigments from vegetable and mineral sources. The imagery was often drawn from village life.
Jamini Roy invested in the portrayal of peasants, artisans, followers of religious cults, village women and adivasis with immense dignity. He represented in his paintings what they held sacred with references from folk tales and narratives that permeated the rural consciousness. In this particular painting titled 'Woman' the artist has painted the figure of a woman against a red background with thick, black contouring lines. The simplification of form suggests a sculptural quality, especially the structured drapery with an ornate border.
From 1924 onwards, Jamini Roy experimented with a new idiom as he was looking for ways to simplify form. During this time his images for the most part became either monochromatic bearing an austere play of white, soft grey and black or the palette was limited to the use of one or two colours.
With a masterly control of the brush, he created contours of the form with fluid, calligraphic lines. Roy, during this phase painted seated female forms, mother and child figures, bauls, leaping deer, crawling infant
India is a candidate for a non-permanent seat in the UNSC
Part of: GS-II- UN General Assembly (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
UN General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande has discussed options, including online voting, to conduct elections for five non-permanent members of the Security Council in June, as large in-person meetings at the world body stand postponed till at least end of June due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Election criteria and procedure
Each year the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members (out of 10 in total) for a two-year term. The 10 non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis five for African and Asian States; one for Eastern European States; two for the Latin American and Caribbean States; and two for Western European and other States. The election is held by secret ballot.
The General Assembly is not holding meetings in person as UN staff and diplomats telecommute due to the pandemic. Resolutions are being adopted by the UN body through a silence procedure, under which if no member state raises any objections to the draft within a specified time period, the President of the General Assembly will circulate a letter confirming adoption of the text.
India has appointed T S Tirumurti as its Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN).
Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar (1887-1976)
Hansa Mehta (1897-1995)
Lakshmi Menon (1899-1994)
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (1900-1990)
Sudan moves to criminalise Female Genital Mutilation
Part of: GS-II- International issues (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Female genital mutilation is a deeply-rooted practice in Sudan and other countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, where it is traditionally seen as a way of curbing female sexual desire in order to reinforce conservative behaviour.
Sudanese officials said they are working to criminalise the widespread practice of female genital mutilation after the transitional government approved a landmark draft law. Under the proposed amendment to the criminal code, anyone found guilty of performing the procedure would be sentenced up to three years in prison.
What UN report says?
A 2014 report by the U.N. children’s agency estimated that 87% of Sudanese women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 have been subjected to the procedure. The U.N. children’s agency also welcomed the efforts to outlaw the practice. This practice is not only a violation of every girl child’s rights; it is harmful and has serious consequences for a girl’s physical and mental health.
What it is?
Most undergo an extreme form known as infibulation, which involves the removal and repositioning of the labia to narrow the vaginal opening.
In context of India
FGM is practised by the Dawoodi Bohra, a sect of Shia Islam with one million members in India. In the community, FGM is performed on six- or seven-year-old girls in a form known as khatna or khafz involving the total or partial removal of the clitoral hood.
The spiritual leader of the Dawoodi Bohra, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, has stated that male and female circumcision (respectively khatna and khafz) are required as "acts of religious purity". The term khafd is also used to describe the practice. Other Bohra sects including the Sulemani Bohras and the Alavi Bohras As well as some Sunni communities in Kerala, are reported as practising FGM
Matter in Supreme Court
In May 2017 a public interest litigation (PIL) case was raised in India's Supreme Court. The case was filed by Sunita Tiwari, a lawyer based in Delhi, seeking a ban on FGM in India. The Supreme Court received the petition and sought responses from four states and four ministries of the central government. An advocate for the petition claimed the practice violated children's rights under Article 14 (Right to Equality) and Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution of India. Female genital mutilation is performed "illegally upon girls (between five years and before she attains puberty)" and is against the "UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which is India is a signatory", the plea said, adding the practice caused "permanent disfiguration to the body of a girl child".
While an advocate opposing the petition argued that khafz is an essential part of the community's religion, and their right to practise the religion is protected under Articles 25 and 26. On August 28, 2018, the then CJI Dipak Mishra referred this matter to a five-judge bench. However, a bench has not yet been constituted to hear the matter in the apex court.
CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention and opened it for signature on 20 November 1989 (resolution 44/25)
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’ is an international statement of the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of children
The convention mentions the following rights of children
Guiding principles: General requirements for all rights
Survival and Development rights: The basic rights to life and achieving one’s full potential
Protection Rights: Keeping safe from harm
Participation rights: Having an active voice
Curbs on large gatherings of people and World major protests & Moment
Part of: GS-II- INTERNATIONAL Issue (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Protest movements in India against the implementation of the CAA and NRC appear to have been temporarily halted, due to corona outbreak but still many countries the protest seems to reappear.
Hong Kong protest
The Umbrella Movement was a political movement that emerged during the Hong Kong democracy protests of 2014. Its name arose from the use of umbrellas as a tool for passive resistance to the Hong Kong Police’s use of pepper spray to disperse the crowd during a 79-day occupation of the city demanding more transparent elections, which was sparked by the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) of 31 August 2014 that prescribed a selective pre-screening of candidates for the 2017 election of Hong Kong's chief executive.
Almost all students in universities of Hong Kong were in echo of 2014 Hong Kong class boycott campaign, and fully supported the "Umbrella Movement". Many secondary schools established political reform concern groups, for supporting student protests and "Umbrella Movement". Hong Kong's protests took another turn in June against plans to allow extradition to mainland China. Critics feared this could undermine judicial independence and endanger dissidents.
Until 1997, Hong Kong was ruled by Britain as a colony but then returned to China. Under the "one country, two systems" arrangement, it has some autonomy, and its people more rights. The bill was withdrawn in September but demonstrations continue and now demand full democracy and an inquiry into police actions.
Protests supporting the Hong Kong movement have spread across the globe, with rallies taking place in the UK, France, US, Canada and Australia.
Lebanon has been hit by civil protests since October 2019 that show no signs of stopping more than six months later.
What started as hundreds of people taking to the streets of Lebanon to protest plans for new taxes during the 2020 budget season on everything from tobacco to social media platforms like WhatsApp, escalated and expanded to wide-scale protests against an unstable economy, sectarian rule, unemployment and corruption.
Lebanon’s financial crisis resulted in a sovereign debt default and also affected its currency’s value. Protest camps were ordered to be removed by the country’s security forces and curfews were imposed on public gatherings. Lebanon’s government is contemplating extending the lockdown at least until May 10 with proposals to potentially restore certain parts of the economy.
Since April 21, protests across the country, including in places like Beirut, Tripoli, Sidon, Nabatieh, Akkar, Bekaa Valley (PT) have become more volatile, resulting in deaths and injuries of civilians as well as soldiers.
The yellow-vest movement that started in France in October 2018, followed by mass demonstrations a month later, have shown no signs of stopping. This movement also started as a protest against high taxes that would further burden the middle class and the poor and against income inequality. France has been under lockdown since March 17 to curb the spread of Covid-19 and amid the global health crisis.
Protests have been ongoing in Colombia since November 2019 against a range of proposed economic and political reforms. While they stopped in January 2020, following the outbreak of coronavirus, they appear to have started once again. Since March 24, Colombia has been under lockdown, first starting at city levels and expanding across the country.
Following the announcement of the lockdown, many daily-wage workers gathered at the Plaza Bolivar, the main square in the capital of Bogotá and protested the sudden imposition of these government orders fearing that they may not be able to pay rent or purchase food due to the loss of wages.
With the US recording the highest rates of coronavirus infections around the world, and witnessing those numbers rising each day, it now has an additional challenge with which it needs to contend. While most of the country has still been ordered to stay at home, some states have been easing restrictions by allowing the opening of parks, beaches and some businesses.
However, in several states around the country, protestors have taken to the streets and have engaged in blocking streets using cars and car horns in their protest.
The protestors say these restrictions are preventing them from leading their daily lives and are impacting businesses. Some have even come carrying firearms, claiming infringement of rights and civil liberties.
Reports suggest unemployment has also spiked across the country. Some other protestors have said they are desperate to start earning a regular salary. In April, Trump appeared to endorse these protests on Twitter by posting messages with calls to “liberate” different states like Minnesota, Virginia, Michigan etc. that had placed curbs to control coronavirus.
Across political lines, the response towards these protests has also been divided. Some public health experts and state governors and other political leaders have stated that social distancing is necessary for the US given the high infection rates. Two weeks ago, Facebook announced that it would remove events listings for such protest gatherings if they violate state laws that have instituted bans against them.
US FDA ALLOWS “Remdesivir” antiviral drug for severely ill CoVID 19 patients
Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
In United States, the Food and Drug regulatory body FDA has allowed emergency use of the antiviral drug, Remdesivir for treatment of severely ill COVID19 patients. A study by Gilead Sciences in US has shown that Remdesivir shortens the recovery time by 31 percent or about four days on average, for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
According to reports, a clinical trial of Remdedivir was conducted on 1,063 patients. Those given the drug were able to leave the hospital in 11 days on average versus 15 days for the comparison group. US National Institutes of Health Director, Anthony Fauci said the drug would become a new standard of care for severely ill COVID-19 patients like those in this study.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or USFDA) is a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments.
The FDA is led by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Commissioner reports to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
What is the FDA equivalent in India?
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization is the Indian regulatory body for pharmaceuticals and medical devices, being the equivalent of the FDA in the US.
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) of India.
Functions: Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, CDSCO is responsible for approval of New Drugs, Conduct of Clinical Trials, laying down the standards for Drugs, control over the quality of imported Drugs in the country and coordination of the activities of State Drug Control Organizations by providing expert advice with a view to bring about the uniformity in the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
CDSCO along with state regulators, is jointly responsible for grant of licenses of certain specialized categories of critical Drugs such as blood and blood products, I. V. Fluids, Vaccine and Sera.
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) organized an IDEAthon on “The future of River Management’ to explore how the COVID-19 crisis can shape River Management strategies for the future.
Dealing with the COVID-19 crisis has been a challenge for most countries across the globe which has witnessed some sort of lockdown in most of the places. While the general narrative around this crisis has been that of anxiety and concern, the crisis has also thrown up some positive developments.
Rivers have become cleaner. The air has become fresher. There has been a significant drop in GHG emissions.
Purely from a river management point of view, in India there has been a noticeable improvement in the water quality of the Ganga and Yamuna in the last few weeks. During the last year or so, the Gangetic Dolphin, an indicator species, has been showing improvements with sightings at several stretches of the river. The sighting of this is more frequent during lockdown in Ganga and its tributaries. Venice’s (in) famously polluted canals have become clearer as tourists stay away. For the first time in recent history, dolphins are back in the waterways of Italy as navigation has stopped.
National Mission for Clean Ganga
National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG) was registered as a society on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act 1860.It acted as implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority(NGRBA) which was constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA),1986. NGRBA has since been dissolved with effect from the 7th October 2016.
The Act envisages five tier structure at national, state and district level to take measures for prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution in river Ganga and to ensure continuous adequate flow of water so as to rejuvenate the river Ganga as below;
1. National Ganga Council under chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
2. Empowered Task Force (ETF) on river Ganga under chairmanship of Hon’ble Union Minister of Jal Shakti (Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation).
3. National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG).
4. State Ganga Committees and
5. District Ganga Committees in every specified district abutting river Ganga and its tributaries in the states.
NMCG has a two tier management structure and comprises of Governing Council and Executive Committee. Both of them are headed by Director General, NMCG. Executive Committee has been authorized to accord approval for all projects up to Rs.1000 crore. Similar to structure at national level, State Programme Management Groups (SPMGs) acts as implementing arm of State Ganga Committees. Thus the newly created structure attempts to bring all stakeholders on one platform to take a holistic approach towards the task of Ganga cleaning and rejuvenation.
The Director General(DG) of NMCG is a Additional Secretary in Government of India. For effective implementation of the projects under the overall supervision of NMCG, the State Level Program Management Groups (SPMGs) are, also headed by senior officers of the concerned States.
Steps taken to Prevent Ganga Pollution
Fight Corona IDEAthon, a 2-day online ideathon, is an initiative jointly organised by MHRD Innovation Cell, AICTE, MEITY Startup Hub, InnovatioCuris and other institutions of global and national prominence offering support in terms of Technology, Knowledge, Outreach, etc., with Forge Accelerator as the Partner incubator, in the endeavour to scout for accessible and affordable technological solutions that can contain the rapid spread of infection, ease the mounting pressure and ensure a quick return to normalcy.
Challenges and problem statements have been sought from healthcare professionals, government officials and other stakeholders working on the ground and are curated under 8 different categories such as - Personal Hygiene & Protection, Awareness, Preparedness & Responsible Behavior, Medical Systems - Diagnostic & Therapeutic, Screening, etc.
During the 2-day IDEAthon, Startups and innovators shall be guided by Domain experts, Healthcare providers and professionals, Innovation experts, etc.
Online webinars, masterclasses and live one-one mentoring sessions are organized to support innovators with a focus to guide in technical design, innovation acceleration and rapid development of their prototypes
Technologists at the Sree Chitra Triunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India, have developed two types of nasal and oral swabs and viral transport medium for COVID-19 testing.
2 types of nasal and oral swabs
They have good recovery of viral RNA collected using these swabs and medium. The swabs will be available as sterile, ready-to-use devices.
The swabs are designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment and help in improved specimen collection with minimum discomfort to patients. Their safe and convenient breakpoint ensures minimal contact of the health worker with the sample during packing.
Viral transport medium
The second innovation, Chitra Viral Transport Medium, is specifically designed to retain the virus in its active form during its transportation from the collection point to the laboratory. Currently, kits containing 50 (3ml/vial) viral transport medium with 50 swabs cost is upwards of Rs 12000/.
Currently, Nasal and throat specimens collected with specially designed swabs are used for the detection of SARS-COV2 by viral gene amplification method, which is necessary for the confirmation of COVID 19.
Proper and adequate specimen collection and its transport in a suitable liquid medium are critical for ensuring good quality and quantity of viral RNA from the sample for testing, as these influence the accuracy of the test.
Centre for disease control and prevention (CDC),the USA, recommends the use of synthetic fibre swabs with plastic shafts, preferably flocked swabs when available.
These two swabs developed with locally available material can reduce import dependency of the materials currently used and can meet the huge demand for them at much lower costs.
What is a nasal swab test?
A nasal (or nasopharyngeal) swab is used to diagnose upper respiratory tract infections, such as whooping cough and COVID-19. It is a quick test that may feel a little uncomfortable but is not painful.
In this test, secretions from the back of your nose and upper throat are collected using a swab. Sometimes, a suction device may be used to gently remove the secretions. This is known as a nasal (or nasopharyngeal) aspirate.
The secretions are sent to a laboratory where they are grown. This makes it easier to identify which viruses, bacteria or fungi are present. The results are sent back to your doctor who will use them to help diagnose what germs could be causing your symptoms.
How is a nasal swab done?
To do a nasal swab, a small, soft-tipped swab will be inserted into one or both of your nostrils and twirled a few times until it is covered in secretions. Only a single swab is taken for COVID-19 testing.
The swab will be inserted quite a way in to get to the area that will give the best result. This may be a little uncomfortable but should not be painful.
Note that although a nasal swab is the preferred option for COVID-19 diagnosis, sometimes a throat swab is used.
What is gene amplification ?
An increase in the number of copies of a gene. There may also be an increase in the RNA and protein made from that gene. Gene amplification is common in cancer cells, and some amplified genes may cause cancer cells to grow or become resistant to anticancer drugs. Genes may also be amplified in the laboratory for research purposes.
NIAB develops portable coronavirus detection kit
National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), Hyderabad, have developed a biosensor that can detect the novel coronavirus in saliva samples.
Biosensors have been currently used across the world to detect toxins, narcotic drugs, and are also considered as a reliable tool to detect infectious diseases.
The new portable device named eCovSens, can be used to detect the presence of novel coronavirus antigens in human saliva within 30 seconds using just 20 microlitres of the sample.
How eCovSens works?
The in-house built biosensor consists of a carbon electrode and the coronavirus antibody. The antibody is capable of binding with the spike protein found on the outer layer of the virus. An electrical signal is generated when the antigen and antibody binds
Electrical components in the device further amplify this signal, process it, convert it to digital readings on an LCD display.
The device can also be connected to a computer or cellphone via Bluetooth and studied. The signal’s intensity was found to be proportional to the concentration of the antigen in the sample.
1.The device can also be battery-operated as it uses very low voltage of 1.3V to 3V.
2.The team also compared eCovSens to a regular potentiostat and found the new device to be ultrasensitive and quicker.
3.The device is portable and can be taken to the bedside of the patient too.
4.It requires only a very small amount of saliva.
5.The device is stable and when built in bulk can drastically bring down the cost of testing. The validation studies using saliva samples from coronavirus patients are yet to be done.
Other viral antigens
Cross-reactivity studies were done to check if the antibody in the device binds with any other viral antigen. No electric current was generated when tested with antigens of the Avian influenza virus. Hence it can be used to test only COVID-19 strains
About NIAB (National Institute of Animal Biotechnology)
NIAB is an autonomous institution under Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology.
NIAB is aimed to harness novel and emerging biotechnologies and take up research in the cutting edge areas for improving animal health and productivity. The Institute's focus of research will be on Animal Genetics and Genomics, Transgenic Technology, Reproductive Biotechnology, Infectious Diseases, Bioinformatics and Nutrition Enrichment.
The institute aims at translational research leading to the development of novel vaccines, diagnostics and improved therapeutic molecules for farm animals. The Institute plans to promote bio entrepreneurship by providing support environment for commercial tenants involved in the development of farm animal based products
Mission: Development of sustainable and globally competitive livestock industry through innovative technology.
NHC drug (beta-D-N4-hydroxycytidine)
Researchers have found that a ribonucleoside analogue (beta-D-N4-hydroxycytidine or NHC) that has previously shown to be effective against influenza and Ebola is also potent against coronaviruses, including the novel coronavirus that is currently causing the pandemic.
The drug was found to be effective in both cell lines and primary human airway epithelial cultures against SARS, MERS and SARS-CoV-2. It was also effective against three closely-related bat coronaviruses that were capable of replicating in human cells without undergoing any adaptation, suggesting potential direct transmission from bats to humans.
The NHC drug is highly active against all three coronaviruses — 2002 SARS, MERS and the novel coronavirus. While it was not toxic to human cells.
The antiviral activity of NHC arises from increased mutation rate in viral genomic RNA. In the case of MERS, treatment with 1 microMolar of NHC resulted in three-fold increase in error rate and 138-fold decrease in virus titer. When the amount of NHC used was increased to 10 microMolar, the error rate increased sixfold and virus titer reduction increased 26,000-fold.
Viral load, also known as viral burden, viral titre or viral titer, is a numerical expression of the quantity of virus in a given volume a body fluid, usually blood plasma.
A prodrug is a medication or compound that, after administration, is metabolized (i.e., converted within the body) into a pharmacologically active drug
NHC is a prodrug, which gets converted into a drug after getting administered into a body based on the mutation of the virus RNA.
The prodrug was tested in vitro using the 2002 SARS coronavirus. Lung haemorrhage was significantly reduced and there was a dose-dependent reduction in lung titer of SARS coronavirus. They found the prodrug given as a prophylactic was “robustly antiviral” and was able to prevent SARS coronavirus replication and disease.
Data demonstrate that NHC prodrug robustly reduces MERS-CoV infectious titers, viral RNA, and pathogenesis under both prophylactic and early therapeutic conditions.
One drawback is that this prodrug has to be used in the initial stages og the infections (administration of prodrug approx. 12hours from MERS infection helped the drug to control the viral load).
Data support the continued development of NHC prodrug as a potent broad-spectrum antiviral that could be useful in treating contemporary, newly emerged and emerging CoV infections of the future
Mobile power plants are taking to the high seas
Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
As economic lockdowns complicate efforts to bring electricity to every corner of the planet, one company is putting generation units on ships that can sit offshore and plug into local grids at short notice. Karpowership is busy marketing floating power plants across the developing world, where governments are seeking extra voltage to power hospitals and other facilities to keep the lights on during the coronavirus pandemic.
How power ships work in four steps
The company converts existing dry bulk vessels, buys engines in bulk and builds them “one after another, almost like a production line. The technology for the power plant is internal combustion engine, rather than more typical turbines. While more expensive to build, they are cheaper to maintain and better suited for countries in hot climates with unstable grids, which are often in desperate need for power to avoid blackouts. Since traditional power plants on land can take six years or more to complete, floating units have a distinct advantage and can appear in under three months to deal with a surge in demand.
‘BHARATMARKET’ for retail traders
CAIT said the marketplace will integrate capabilities of various technology companies to provide end-to-end services in the logistics and supply chains from manufacturers to end consumers, including deliveries at home. The e-commerce portal will include a nationwide participation by retailers and aims to bring 95 per cent of retail traders on-board the platform, who would exclusively run the portal.
The initiative has had active support and guidance of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, as they see this as an effective way to get essential commodities to consumers during the lockdown period and within containment zones. CAIT National President BC Bhartia said the traders body is looking to enrol about one crore retailers on this e-marketplace in 2020 and make it the world's largest and most-unique e-marketplace.
Appraisal of post independent situation of India, in particular with regard to plight of traders, revealed that their problems in a broad way were attributed to the following factors:
Lokpal member Justice A K Tripathi (Retd) dies of coronavirus
Justice AK Tripathi (retired) was one of the four judicial members of the Lokpal. He passed away due to the novel coronavirus. He was Former Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court and Lokpal member.
Forex reserves fall $113 mn to $479.45 bn
In the previous week, the reserves had increased by $3.09 billion to $479.57 billion.
After rising for the past few weeks, the country’s foreign exchange reserves declined $113 million to $479.45 billion in the week to April 24, due to a fall in foreign currency assets, according to the latest data from the Reserve Bank of India.
In the previous week, the reserves had increased by $3.09 billion to $479.57 billion. The reserves had touched a lifetime high of $487.23 billion in the week to March 6, after it rose by $5.69 billion. During 2019-20, the country’s foreign exchange reserves rose by almost $62 billion.
In the reporting week ended April 24, the foreign currency assets (FCAs), a major component of the overall reserves, decreased by $321 million to $441.56 billion. Expressed in dollar terms, the FCAs include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US units like the euro, pound and yen held in the foreign exchange reserves. Gold reserves rose by $221 million to $32.901 billion in the reporting week, the RBI data showed. The special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell $6 million to $1.42 billion.
5G-Rajya Sabha Analysis
Part of: GS-III- S&T – 5G (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
What’s in the news?
Perspective on India:
Differences between 4G and 5G Networks:
How do these high frequencies help?
Some Negatives of 5G:
Tracing the journey of Communications Technology:
(I) 1G: Voice Only
(II) 2G: SMS and MMS
(III) 2.5G and 2.75G: Data
(IV) 3G: More Data, Video Calling, and Mobile Internet
(V) 4G: The Current Standard
(VI) 5G: The Future
5G promises significantly faster data rates, higher connection density, much lower latency, and energy savings, among other improvements.
Source: Rajya Sabaha
Lokpal and Lokayukta
Part of: GS-II&IV- Polity and Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Why do we need such institutions?
Highlights of the Lokpal Act of 2013:
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Amendment) Bill, 2016
NOTE: The name of former Supreme Court Judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose has been cleared by the Lokpal Selection Committee headed by the Prime Minister.
Who can become the Chairperson?
The person who is to be appointed as the chairperson of the Lokpal should be either of the following: Either the former Chief Justice of India Or the former Judge of Supreme Court Or an eminent person with impeccable integrity and outstanding ability, having special knowledge and expertise of minimum 25 years in the matters relating to anti-corruption policy, public administration, vigilance, finance including insurance and banking, law and management.
Who can become a member?
Out of the maximum eight members, half will be judicial members. Minimum fifty per cent of the Members will be from SC / ST / OBC / Minorities and women. The judicial member of the Lokpal should be either a former Judge of the Supreme Court or a former Chief Justice of a High Court. The non-judicial member should be an eminent person with impeccable integrity and outstanding ability, having special knowledge and expertise of minimum 25 years in the matters relating to anti-corruption policy, public administration, vigilance, finance including insurance and banking, law and management.
Who cannot become the chairperson?
The following persons cannot become chairperson of Lokpal: MPs and MLAs Persons convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude Less than 45 years of age, Members of Panchayats or Municipality, A person who was removed or dismissed from the public service, A person who holds any office of trust / profit; if so, he would need to resign from Lokpal. A person who is affiliated to a political party Carries on some business / profession; if so, he would need to quit some business.
Structure of Lokpal
Lokpal Search Committee
Lokpal Jurisdiction and Powers
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