07 May, 2020 66 Min Read
|GS-I||159th birth anniversary of Gurudev -All about Rabindranath Tagore||History And Culture|
|Buddha Purnima-All about Buddhism||History And Culture|
|GS-II||Drone Regulation in India||Governance|
|India hands over 3 tranche of emergency medical assistance to Bangladesh||International Relations|
|GS-III||Bureau of Energy Efficiency-BEE||Energy|
|Soil Health Card Scheme||Economy|
|RBI Cancels Licence of CKP-Cooperative Bank||Economy|
|Drop in FPI||Economy|
|PT Pickups||Nsafe mask||Science and Technology|
|Vande Bharat Mission one of the largest evacuation mission||International Relations|
|Microwave Oven as Sterilisation unit-COVID-19||Science and Technology|
|Israel isolates Coronavirus antibody||Science and Technology|
GS-I : History And Culture
159th birth anniversary of Gurudev -All about Rabindranath Tagore
National Gallery of Modern Artwill organise the Virtual Tour titled “Gurudev – Journey of the Maestro through his visual vocabulary” from 7th May 2020 to commemorate the 159th birth anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore
Modern art of the Gurudev
Rabindranath Tagore’s role in the freedom struggle
India’s National Movement for freedom was accompanied by a large wave of social, educational and economic awareness throughout the nation. Tagore, one of the foremost thinkers in the country at the time spent time in building educational infrastructure. A man of true talent, his contribution to the freedom movement is significant.
Following are the events that are evident in showing his contributions to the freedom struggle;
His role during Bengal partition:
In 1904, the Viceroy of India Lord Curzon announced that the Bengal providence would be divided into two parts. The British government was worried about the social integrity among different communities in Bengal and wanted to divide and rule.
During this time Rabindranath Tagore wrote the song Banglar Mati Banglar Jol (Soil of Bengal, Water of Bengal) to unite the Bengali population. He started the Rakhi Utsav where people from Hindu and Muslim communities tied colourful threads on each other’s wrists. In 1911, the two parts of Bengal were reunited.
Literary works as weapons:
Tagore, unlike most of the other freedom fighters of his time, exposed the depravity of the British rule by chronicling all his adversities with British imperialism through poetry and literary works. He wrote most of his pieces in his mother tongue, Bengali, to be later translated to cater to his vast audience. He used his literature as mobilization for political and social reform, hence allowing other nations to be aware and further apply international pressure to Britain to be accountable for its actions. He documented everything that would expose Britain’s true intentions in India.
Role in Jalianawalabagh:
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre even in its centenary year brings out the same vivid experience of trauma felt on April 13, 1919. The incident completely altered the political scenario and composition of India fighting against the British government. The event caused many moderate Indians loyal to the British rule to abandon their loyalty to embrace nationalist values and grow distrustful of British. Many freedom fighters and political leaders were influenced by the incident too. Tagore’s actions against the cruel act also awakened the non-violent stand against the colonial rule.
Tagore during the time of the massacre was ‘Sir’ Rabindranath Tagore (knighthood conferred in 1915) and had been a Nobel Laureate for six years. On receiving the news about Jallianwala Bagh, he tried to arrange a protest in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and finally denounced the knighthood as an act of protest with a repudiation letter to Viceroy Lord Chelmsford dated May 30, 1919.
His views on education
President’s Greetings on The Eve of Buddha Purnima on May 6th
Vesak Day, spelt “Wesak Day” until the 1970s, commemorates the birth, enlightenment and attainment of nirvana of Siddharta Gautama Shakyamuni (Sakyamuni) Buddha.The day falls on the full moon of the fourth lunar month. It falls on 7th May,2020.
Tenets of Buddhism
Four noble truths:
Suffering (dukkha) is the essence of the world.
Every suffering has a cause – Samudya.
Suffering could be extinguished – Nirodha.
It can be achieved by following the Atthanga Magga (Eight Fold Path).
Eight Fold Paths: the path consists of various interconnected activities related to knowledge, conduct, and meditative practices.
Dukkha and its extinction are central to the Buddha’s doctrine. Suffering is not limited to the actual pain but also to the potential to experience these things.
The essence of Buddhism is the attainment of enlightenment. It points to a way of life that avoids self-indulgence and self-denial. There is no supreme god or deity in Buddhism.
The ultimate goal of Buddha’s teaching was the attainment of nibbana which was not a place but an experience, and could be attained in this life.
Buddha also established code of conduct both for the monastic order and the laymen to follow which are also known as the Five Precepts or Pancasil and refrain from them.
Major Buddhist Texts
Buddhist Councils marked important turning points in the early Buddhism.
These councils resulted in sectarian clashes and the eventual Great Schism that resulted in the two major schools, Theravada and Mahayana.
In total, 4 major Buddhist councils were convened:
It was held soon after the Mahaparinirvan of the Buddha, around 483 BC under the patronage of King Ajatshatru and was presided by Mahakasyapa, a monk.
The council was held in the Sattapani cave at Rajgriha.
The council was held with the purpose of preserving Buddha’s teachings (Sutta) and rules for disciples. During this council, the teachings of Buddha were divided into three Pitakas.
It was held in Vaishali, a village in Bihar under the patronage of the king Kalasoka in 383 BC. It was presided by Sabakami.
It was held in 250 BC in Patliputra under the patronage of Ashoka and was presided by Moggaliputta Tissa.
It was held in 72 AD at Kundalvana, Kashmir. It was presided by Vasumitra, while Asvaghosa was his deputy under the patronage of King Kanishka of Kushan Empire.
Buddhism was divided into two sects namely Mahayan and Hinayan.
Schools of Buddhism
UNESCO’s heritage sites related to Buddhism:
GS-II : Governance
Drone Regulation in India
Part of: GS-II- Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
The guidelines (Drone Regulations 1.0) issued by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for commercial use of drones or remotely operated aircraft came into force from December 1, 2018.
Drone Regulation 1.0
Under this regulation, the Digital Sky Platform will enable online registration of pilots, devices, service providers, and NPNT (no permission, no take-off). The Digital Sky Platform is a unique unmanned traffic management (UTM) system which is expected to facilitate registration and licensing of drones and operators in addition to giving instant (online) clearances to operators for every flight.
The airspace has been partitioned into Red Zone (flying not permitted), Yellow Zone (controlled airspace), and Green Zone (automatic permission). The restricted locations are airports, near international border, near coast line, state secretariat complexes strategic locations, military installations.
Drone is a layman terminology for Unmanned Aircraft (UA). There are three subsets of Unmanned Aircraft- Remotely Piloted Aircraft, Autonomous Aircraft and Model Aircraft. Remotely Piloted Aircraft consists of remote pilot station(s), the required command and control links and any other components, as specified in the type design.
All civilian drone operations will be restricted to only during day time and a maximum of 400 feet altitude.
Drone Regulations 2.0
Meanwhile, the government is already working on drone regulations 2.0, focussing on three thresholds:
The current policy allows one drone pilot for each drone whereas in the next set of regulations, one pilot can operate any number of drones. Under drone regulations 2.0, the drones will be tracked by computers through artificial intelligence. However,delivery of products by e-commerce players like Amazon and flying taxis like Uber Elevate are likely to be part of drone regulations 3.0.
Drones have immense potential apart from few mentioned above. This new policy initiative will open up many new and exciting applications that can propel India's economy forward. It can provide strong impetus to all players in the drone ecosystem and place India among the global leaders.
Although drone-enabled deliveries, air taxis, and many other innovations will not be widely available for years, but when available they could be as disruptive as the advent of automobiles. That gives all industry stakeholders impetus to identify roadblocks and realistically consider potential applications now.
India hands over 3 tranche of emergency medical assistance to Bangladesh
The third tranche consists of RT-PCR COVID-19 kits capable of running 30 thousand tests. After being received in Dhaka, the RT-PCR test kits were dispatched to the Institute of Epidemiological Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Bangladesh.
These test kits are domestically manufactured in India and they are being widely used for COVID-19 detection. Bangladesh is the first country to receive these test kits on priority which reflects the importance India attaches to Bangladesh. The release said that the assistance is in line with India’s Neighbourhood first policy and reaffirms India’s commitment to take a collaborative regional approach to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A.K.Abdul Momen appreciated India’s help for providing medical assistance through three tranches following the outbreak of the Corona pandemic.
The assistance is covered under the SAARC COVID-19 emergency fund which was set up with an initial contribution of 10 million dollars by India on the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his video conferencing with leaders of SAARC nations on March 15.
The first tranche of emergency medical assistance under this fund containing 30,000 surgical masks and 15 thousand head-caps was handed over to Bangladesh on 25 March. The second tranche consisting of 50 thousand sterile surgical gloves and 1 lakh Hydroxychloroquine tablets were handed over on 26th April.
India has also conducted online courses for medical professionals of SAARC countries under its Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) framework programme. Two such courses have been conducted by AIIMS, Raipur and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh in April and May. Another programme designed by AIIMS, Bhubaneshwar specifically for Bangladesh in Bangla language will be held on 12-13 May.
GS-III : Energy
The energy efficiency initiatives by BEE leads to savings worth Rs. 89,122 Cr.
Union Minister of State (IC), Power and New & Renewable Energy & Minister of State, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship,today released a Report on “Impact of energy efficiency measures for the year 2018-19” through Video conference.
The Government of India set up Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). on 1st March 2002 under the provisions of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001. The mission of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency is to assist in developing policies and strategies with a thrust on self-regulation and market principles, within the overall framework of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001 with the primary objective of reducing energy intensity of the Indian economy.
Role of BEE
BEE co-ordinates with designated consumers, designated agencies and other organizations and recognize, identify and utilize the existing resources and infrastructure, in performing the functions assigned to it under the Energy Conservation Act. The Energy Conservation Act provides for regulatory and promotional functions.
The Major Promotional Functions of BEE include:
The Standards & Labelling Programme
Star Labelling Programme
BEE expanded the coverage of its star labelling programme by including energy efficient Deep freezer and Light Commercial Air Conditioners (LCAC).
The Star Labeling Programme has been formulated by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
During the event, a database on energy efficiency named Urja Dakshata Information Tool (UDIT) was also launched. This initiative has been taken by the BEE with the World Resources Institute (WRI).
World Resources Institute (WRI)
Soil Health Card Scheme
The Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has called for making integrated soil nutrient management a farmers’ movement. Reviewing the progress of the Soil Health Programme here today, he directed running mission mode awareness campaigns on increasing use of bio and organic fertilisers and reducing chemical fertilisers strictly based on recommendations of Soil Health Card.
About Soil Health Card
Soil Health Card (SHC) is a Government of India’s scheme promoted by the Department of Agriculture & Co-operation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare. It is being implemented through the Department of Agriculture of all the State and Union Territory Governments. A SHC is meant to give each farmer soil nutrient status of his/her holding and advice him/her on the dosage of fertilizers and also the needed soil amendments, that s/he should apply to maintain soil health in the long run.
What is a Soil Health Card?
SHC is a printed report that a farmer will be handed over for each of his holdings. It will contain the status of his soil with respect to 12 parameters, namely N,P,K (Macro-nutrients) ; S (Secondary- nutrient) ; Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Bo (Micro - nutrients) ; and pH, EC, OC (Physical parameters). Based on this, the SHC will also indicate fertilizer recommendations and soil amendment required for the farm.
How can a farmer use a SHC?
The card will contain an advisory based on the soil nutrient status of a farmer’s holding. It will show recommendations on dosage of different nutrients needed. Further, it will advise the farmer on the fertilizers and their quantities he should apply, and also the soil amendments that he should undertake, so as to realize optimal yields.
Will the farmer get a card every year and for every crop?
It will be made available once in a cycle of 2 years, which will indicate the status of soil health of a farmer’s holding for that particular period. The SHC given in the next cycle of 2 years will be able to record the changes in the soil health for that subsequent period.
What are the norms of sampling?
Soil samples will be drawn in a grid of 2.5 ha in irrigated area and 10 ha in rain- fed area with the help of GPS tools and revenue maps.
Who will draw the soil sample?
The State Government will collect samples through the staff of their Department of Agriculture or through the staff of an outsourced agency. The State Government may also involve the students of local Agriculture / Science Colleges.
What is the ideal time for soil sampling?
Soil Samples are taken generally two times in a year, after harvesting of Rabi and Kharif Crop respectively or when there is no standing crop in the field.
What is a soil test laboratory?
It is a facility for testing the soil sample for 12 parameters. This facility can be static or mobile or it can even be portable to be used in remote areas.
What is the payment per sample?
A sum of Rs. 190 per soil sample is provided to State Governments. This covers the cost of collection of soil sample, its test, generation and distribution of soil health card to the farmer.
A 2017 study by the National Productivity Council (NPC) found that the SHC scheme has promoted sustainable farming and led to a decrease of use of chemical fertilizer application in the range of 8-10%. Besides, overall increase in the yield of crops to the tune of 5-6% was reported due to application of fertilizer and micro nutrients as per recommendations available in the Soil Health Cards.
RBI Cancels Licence of CKP
Part of: GS-III- Bank (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the licence of Mumbai-based CKP Co-operative Bank.
RBI has cancelled the licence of the bank as the financial position of the bank was highly adverse and unsustainable. The bank is not in a position to pay its present and future depositors. The bank failed to meet the regulatory requirement of maintaining a minimum capital adequacy ratio of 9% (PT) and reserves.
RBI has asked the Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Maharashtra to start the process of winding up operations of CKP Co-operative bank and appoint a liquidator. On liquidation, every depositor of the bank is entitled to get up to Rs 5 lakh from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation.
In September last year, RBI had imposed restrictions on Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank not to do any business for six months after it found major irregularities, which included financial irregularities, complete failure of internal control and systems, and wrongdoing and under-reporting of its lending exposure.
Capital Adequacy Ratio
Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (PT)
DICGC came into existence in 1978 after the merger of Deposit Insurance Corporation (DIC) and Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Ltd. (CGCI) under the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961.
It serves as a deposit insurance and credit guarantee for banks in India. It is a fully owned subsidiary of and is governed by the Reserve Bank of India. DICGC charges 10 paise per ?100 of deposits held by a bank. The premium paid by the insured banks to the Corporation is paid by the banks and is not to be passed on to depositors.
DICGC last revised the deposit insurance cover to ?5 lakh in Feb, 2020, raising it from ? 1 lakh since 1993. The protection cover of deposits in Indian banks through insurance is among the lowest in the world. The Damodaran Committee on ‘Customer Services in Banks’ (2011-PT) had recommended a five-time increase in the cap to ?5 lakh due to rising income levels and increasing size of individual bank deposits. Banks, including regional rural banks, local area banks, foreign banks with branches in India, and cooperative banks, are mandated to take deposit insurance cover with the DICGC.
A Co-operative bank is a financial entity which belongs to its members, who are at the same time the owners and the customers of their bank. It is distinct from commercial banks. Co-operative banks in India are registered under the States Cooperative Societies Act. The Co-operative banks are regulated by both Registrar of Co-operative Societies and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and governed by the
Banking Regulations Act 1949.
Banking Laws (Co-operative Societies) Act, 1955.
Features of Cooperative Banks:
Difference between UCBs and Commercial Banks
Drop in FPI
Part of: GS-III- Economy (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
According to recent data from Central Depository Services Limited (CDSL), the Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) have significantly reduced the pace of outflows from the equity and debt market in April, 2020, after a record net outflow of Rs 1,18,203 crore in March 2020.
FPIs sold a net of Rs 6,883 crore from the equities market and net holdings worth Rs 12,551 crore from the debt market in April.
However, they invested a net of Rs 4,032 crore in debt Voluntary Retention Route (VRR) scheme. VRR scheme allows FPIs to participate in repo transactions and also invest in exchange traded funds that invest in debt instruments.
Voluntary Retention Route (VRR) scheme
Foreign Portfolio Investment
PT Pickups : Science and Technology
IIT-Delhi start-up ‘Nanosafe Solutions’ has launched an antimicrobial and washable face
mask ‘NSafe’. The said mask is reusable up to 50 launderings, thus greatly cutting down the cost of use.
IIT-Delhi said that the ‘NSafe’ mask is a triple-layered product consisting of :
1.inner hydrophilic layer for comfort,
2.middle layer having antimicrobial activity and
3.outer most layer having water and oil repellent behaviour.
“NSafe mask has 99.2% bacterial filtration efficiency [at 3 microns] along with breathability and splash resistance.
IIT-Delhi startup Nanosafe Solutions plans to launch the mask at MRP of ?299 (Pack of 2) and ?589 (Pack of 4)
Vande Bharat Mission one of the largest evacuation mission
In one of the largest evacuation exercises named Vande Bharat Mission, the government will operate 64 flights between 7th and 13th of May to bring home nearly 14,800 Indian nationals stranded abroad due to the Corona virus lockdown. Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar said that preparations for the operation has commenced and also urged the stranded individuals to stay in touch with the Indian embassies in their countries.
The 64 flights which will be operated include ten flights from UAE, seven each from Bangladesh,Malaysia, United Kingdom and United States, five each from Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Philippines and Kuwait along with two each from Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.
Meanwhile, Navy has confirmed that three of its ships are on the mission to get back stranded citizens from Maldives and UAE. INS Jalashwa and INS Magar (Operation Sagar setu) will get back Indians from the Maldives while INS Shardul has been diverted to Dubai to get back the expatriates.
Microwave Oven as Sterilisation unit-COVID-19
Rajat Kumar Panigrahy, Principal of the government Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Odisha’s Berhampur, has started transforming discarded microwave ovens into Ultraviolet (UV) sanitisation chambers for the disinfection of mobile phones, pens and other small objects carried by medical staff working in COVID-19 hospitals.
Transformation of thrown away microwave oven to UV sanitisation chamber costs only ?1,200.Any equipment has to be placed in it for 15 minutes for disinfection and there is a timer for the purpose.
It id similar to the UV sterliser tower manufactured by the DRDO.
There is an urgent need for UV sanitisers at COVID-19 hospitals. Cleaning mobile phones using chemical sanitisers at times damages the touch-screen of smartphones.
Earlier, faculty from the Berhampur ITI had also designed and manufactured highly affordable ‘Aerosol face shields’ that could be used by front-line personnel involved in containing the pandemic.
Israel isolates Coronavirus antibody
The “monoclonal neutralising antibody” developed at the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) “can neutralise it (the disease-causing coronavirus) inside carriers’ bodies
The IIBR has been leading Israeli efforts to develop a treatment and vaccine for the coronavirus, including the testing of blood from those who recovered from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus.
Antibodies in such samples - immune-system proteins that are residues of successfully overcoming the coronavirus - are widely seen as a key to developing a possible cure.
The antibody reported as having been isolated at the IIBR is monoclonal, meaning it was derived from a single recovered cell and is thus potentially of more potent value in yielding a treatment.
Elsewhere, there have been coronavirus treatments developed from antibodies that are polyclonal, or derived from two or more cells of different ancestry