04 April, 2020 39 Min Read
|GS-II||UNGA adopts ‘Global solidarity to fight the COVID-19’ resolution||International Organisations|
|“Arogya Sanjeevani”: IRDAI||Regulatory authorities|
|Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019/2020||Important Bills|
|PT Pickups||United Nations Conference on Trade and Development-UNCTAD||International Organisations|
|NCC and COVID-19||Internal security|
|Coronavirus outbreak: Kerala based SCTIMST joins||Science and Technology|
|DRDO develops bio suit||Science and Technology|
|UNICEF launches “Mo Prativa”||International Organisations|
GS-II : International Organisations
UNGA adopts ‘Global solidarity to fight the COVID-19’ resolution
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II-UN
On April 3, 2020 the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopts a resolution– ‘Global solidarity to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)’, co-sponsored by 188 nations including India.
To intensify international cooperation so as to mitigate & defeat the pandemic which includes exchange of information, scientific knowledge & best practices in accordance with the guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization(WHO).
i.It is the 1st document adopted by world organisation on the global pandemic
ii.It recognises the unprecedented effects of the pandemic which includes the severe disruption to societies & economies, to global travel and commerce, & the devastating impact on the livelihood of people.
iii.It also highlights the need for human rights and stressed that there is no room for discrimination, racism and xenophobia in response to the pandemic.
iv.The resolution is sponsored by Ghana, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland.
v.The resolution was adopted under a silence procedure as the general Assembly is not holding meetings due to the pandemic.
It is one of the 6 major elements of the United Nations(UN) to discuss and work together on international issues covered by the Charter of UN, such as development, peace and security, international law, etc. In total there are 193 member states.
Headquarters– NewYork, United States
President of the General Assembly– Tijjani Muhammad-Bande
“Arogya Sanjeevani”: IRDAI
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II-Regulatory bodies
The COVID-19 hospitalization cases are increasing which posing financial burden on patients or their families due to hospitalization expenses. As a financial relief measure to the COVID-19 positive cases, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has made the coverage of hospitalization treatment costs of COVID-19 mandatory under standard health insurance product “Arogya Sanjeevani”. Apart from this, Indemnity based health insurance products offered by all general and health insurance companies will also cover the costs of hospitalization treatment on account of covid-19.
The objective behind this move is support individuals who are seeking treatment in private hospitals as in government hospitals the expenses the paid by government itself.
About Arogya Sanjeevani:
IRDAI in January, 2020 mandated all health and general insurance companies to offer a standard product called the Arogya Sanjeevani policy starting 1st April 2020. In this regard 29 general and health Insurance companies received clearance to market Arogya Sanjeevani.
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India or the IRDAI is the apex body responsible for regulating and developing the insurance industry in India. It is an autonomous body. It was established by an act of Parliament known as the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999. IRDAI is headquartered in Hyderabad in Telangana. Prior to 2001, it was headquartered in New Delhi. The organization fought for an increase in the FDI limit in the insurance sector to 49% from the previous 26%. The FDI cap was hiked to 49% in July of 2014.
Establishment– 1999 (autonomous body), 2000 (statutory body)
Headquarters– Hyderabad, Telangana
Chairman– Subhash C. Khuntia
Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019/2020
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II-Bills
Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha. The Bill aims to prohibit commercial surrogacy in India.
Commercial surrogacy, a practice also known as 'Rent a Womb', was legalised in India in the year 2002, in order to promote medical tourism. And soon, India became the hub of surrogacy. Driven by factors like low cost and the absence of a strict legislation, commercial surrogacy became a booming business in the country.
According to a 2012 study by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the size of India’s surrogate motherhood industry was $2 billion a year. Another 2012 study backed by the United Nations estimated the economic scale of the Indian surrogacy industry to be 400 million dollars a year with more than 3,000 fertility clinics across the country.
However, the unregulated business of surrogacy led to concerns over the rampant exploitation of surrogate mothers as well as their children, prompting the need for a legislation to regulate surrogacy in the country.
Features of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019
Criticism of the Bill
New amendments 2020
Union Cabinet has approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020.
The amended bill is reformed version of the draft legislation which was passed by Lok Sabha in August 2019 but its provisions, including that only a close relative of a couple can be a surrogate mother, had invited criticism.
The bill incorporates all recommendations made by a Rajya Sabha select committee, which studied an earlier version of the draft legislation, and is aimed at banning commercial surrogacy and allowing altruistic surrogacy.
Key features of the Bill:
Problems Associated with Cross-Border Surrogacy
Laws Governing Surrogacy in Different Countries
GS-III : Economy
3 new features of e-NAM platform to prevent crowding in mandis
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Economy -Agriculture
The Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Narendra Singh Tomar has launched three new features of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Platform to enable farmers to sell their harvested produce directly from warehouse which will prevent crowding in mandis amid COVID-19 outbreak.
About newly launched software modules in e-NAM software:
i.Negotiable Warehouse Receipt (e-NWRs) module– It will enable small & marginal farmers to directly trade their stored produce from selected Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) accredited warehouses which are declared deemed market by the State. With this, farmers can sell the produce across India to get better Price and the hassle of mandi will also be avoided. Already States of Telangana (14 warehouses) & Andhra Pradesh (23 warehouses) declared designated warehouses in the State as deemed market.
ii.Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) trading module– This will enable FPOs to upload the picture and quality parameters of the produce for bidding which will help distant bidders to visualise the produce before bidding. This feature will help FPOs in reducing the transaction costs (Transportation) forinter-mandi and inter-state trade.
iii.Logistic Module– This will promote inter-State trade under e-NAM by providing online transport facilities for distant buyers. For this purpose 3,75,000 trucks from large logistic providers have been deployed.
What is e-NAM?
What was the mechanism prior to e-NAM?
What is the working mechanism of e-NAM?
e-NAM & Its Constituents
e-NAM comprises of commodity onsets and prices, buy and sell trade offers, facility to respond to trade offers, among other services.
The focus areas, with regards to the implementation of e – National Agriculture Market, are given in table below:
Informing and trading commodities on e-NAM
Increasing the involvement of traders on e-NAM
Aggregate the quantity and value of supplies being traded on e-NAM
Increasing the figures of bids cited by traders
Encouraging cashless transactions, e.g. online payments, to farmers
Promoting inter-market trade between Mandis
Offering access to Soil Testing Laboratories to farmers
Accompanying awareness and farmer orientation programs
Providing elementary amenities and facilities for cleaning, sorting and packing to farmers in the Mandi
Creating logistics and infrastructure available to encourage inter-market trade on the e-NAM platform
Undertaking local initiatives and innovative systems to influence greater strength to e-NAM
Safeguarding transparency and accountability in implementation.
Some key points related to e-NAM are given below:
What are the advantages of e-NAM?
What are few challenges e-NAM is facing?
PT Pickups : International Organisations
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
NCC volunteer cadets to fight COVID-19 under ‘Exercise NCC Yogdan’
On April 2, 2020 the National Cadet Corps (NCC) has offered its volunteer cadets to assist the civilian authorities to fight COVID-19 under ‘Exercise NCC Yogdan’.
i.The cadets must not be employed to handle law & order situations or for active military duties or at hot spots.
ii.Only the Senior Division volunteer cadets above 18 years will be employed in small cohesive groups of 8 to 20 under the supervision of Permanent Instructor Staff or/and an Associate NCC Officer.
iii.Before the cadets are sent to duty, ground conditions & stipulated requirements must be confirmed.
iv.For employment of volunteer cadets the State governments /district administration must send requisition through State NCC Directorates & the details will be coordinated at Directorate/Group Headquarters/Unit level with state government/local civil authority.
It is operated under the Ministry of Defence & is the largest uniform youth organization in the country which involves various social service and community development activities. It contributes to the national cause during natural calamities like floods, cyclones, etc.,
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
Director General– Lieutenant general(Lt Gen) Rajeev Chopra
Coronavirus outbreak: Kerala based SCTIMST joins hands with Wipro 3D to make automated ventilators
On April 03, 2020, In view of increasing coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in India, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), an institute of National Importance of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) based in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, has partnered with ‘Wipro 3D’ to build a portable and lightweight emergency ventilator system based on Artificial Manual Breathing Unit (AMBU) to assist the breathing of the critical patients who have no access to ICU (Intensive care unit)ventilators.
i.This ventilator system is essentially a hand held device also called as AMBU bag or bag-valve-mask (BVM) to provide positive pressure ventilation to a corona patients with breathing difficulties with a controlled rate of expiration, ispiratory to expiratory ratio, Tidal volume etc.
ii.In addition to this, a PEEP (Positive End Expiratory Pressure) valve has been equipped as an extra tool to control pressure on the lower airways at the end of the breathing cycle which prevents the alveoli from collapsing during expiration.
iii.However, a disadvantage of the normal AMBU bag is that it requires a bystander to operate it and hence is non-advisable for treating a Covid-19 patient.
DRDO develops bio suit with seam sealing glue to keep health professionals fighting COVID-19 safe
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a bio suit with self-sealing seam to keep the medical, paramedical and other personnel engaged in combating COVID-19, safe from the deadly virus.
UNICEF launches “Mo Prativa”
In order to keep children engaged in some creative work during 21-days lockdown due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the Odisha state government in collaboration with UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), has launched a creative skill competition programme called “Mo Prativa” (My talent).
i.Under this online programme children can participate in competitions such as drawings, paintings, posters, writing of slogans, short stories (within 500 words) and poetry. Children will have to upload their work and for this they will get a certificate every week.
ii.Children of 5 to 18 years will be able to participate in this competition, where they have to work under 2 themes – ‘Being at home during lockdown’ and ‘My responsibility as a young citizen during COVID-19’.
iii.Participants can send their entry in three different categories of 5-10 years, 11-15 years and 16-18 years & have to submit online between 10 am to 6 pm.
Chief Minister– Naveen Patnaik
Governor– Ganeshi Lal
About UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund):
Headquarters– New York, United States
Executive Director– Henrietta H. Fore