20 Apr, 2020
72 Min Read
|GS-I||Home Ministry issued Standard Operating Procedures for the movement of stranded migrant||Human Geography|
|GS-II||Essential Commodities Act||Various acts|
|GS-III||Govt. nod mandatory for FDI from neighbouring countries - FDI Reforms||Economic Issues|
|Water Quality Report - Draft notification on RO systems|
|Active pharmaceutical ingredients and Schemes Approved to Promote Drug Manufacturing||Economic Issues|
|Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) - AIDS|
|GS-IV||COVID-19 – eLearning - SWOT analysis||Ethics|
|Quarantine and Quality time||Ethics|
|PT Pointer||Polyprotein – Virus and Bacteria|
|Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Limited|
|PM - CARES Fund||Government policies and interventions|
Part of: GS-I- Geography -Migration (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
The Home Ministry issued Standard Operating Procedures for the movement of stranded migrant labourers for their engagement in industrial, manufacturing, construction, farming and MNREGA works within States and Union Territories where they are currently located. Under it, they have been allowed to go to places of work within a state with certain conditions.
The SOP said, in the event that a group of migrants wish to return to their places of work within the state where they are presently located, they will be screened and those who are asymptomatic will be transported to their respective places of work.
During the journey by bus, it will be ensured that safe social-distancing norms are followed and the buses are sanitized as per guidelines of the health authorities. The local authorities will also provide for food and water for the journey.
In the SOP, Union Home Secretary has made it clear that there will be no inter-state movement of workers during the lockdown which has been extended till the 3rd of next month.
The local authorities will also register the labourers residing in the relief and shelter camps. Their skill mapping will be carried out for their suitability for various kinds of work.
Internal migration policy- PAST ANALYSIS
Internal migration can be driven by push and/or pull factors. In India, over the recent decades, agrarian distress (a push factor) and an increase in better-paying jobs in urban areas (a pull factor) have been drivers of internal migration. Also, distress due to unemployment or underemployment in agriculture, natural calamities, and input/output market imperfections serves as the contributing factors. Data show that employment-seeking is the principal reason for migration in regions without conflict.
What are the problems faced by internal migrants?
Informal growth - A migrant’s lack of skills presents a major hindrance in entering the labour market at the destination. Further, the modern formal urban sector has often not been able to absorb the large number of rural workers entering the urban labour market. This has led to the growth of the ‘urban informal’ economy, which is marked by high poverty and vulnerabilities. The ‘urban informal’ economy is wrongly understood in countries such as India as a transient phenomenon, even though it has expanded over the years and accounts for the bulk of urban employment.
Jobs - Most jobs in the urban informal sector pay poorly and involve self-employed workers who turn to petty production because of their inability to find wage labour. There are also various forms of discrimination which do not allow migrants to graduate to better-paying jobs. Migrant workers earn only two-thirds of what is earned by non-migrant workers.
Cost of living - Further, they have to incur a large cost of migration which includes the ‘search cost’ and the hazard of being cheated. Often these costs escalate as they are outside the state-provided health care and education system. This forces them to borrow from employers in order to meet these expenses. However, frequent borrowing forces them to sell their assets towards repayment of loans.
Source Factor - Employment opportunities, the levels of income earned, and the working conditions in destination areas are determined by the migrant’s household’s social location in his or her village. The division of the labour market by occupation, geography or industry (labour market segmentation), even within the urban informal labour market, confines migrants to the lower end. Also, such segmentation reinforces differences in social identity, and new forms of discrimination emerge in these sites.
What are the benefits associated with migration?
Why there is need for a national policy?
The need for a national policy towards internal migration is underscored by the fact that less than 20% of urban migrants had prearranged jobs. Nearly two-thirds managed to find jobs within a week of their entry into the city.
The probability of moving to an urban area with a prearranged job increases with an increase in education levels. Access to information on employment availability before migrating along with social networks tend to reduce the period of unemployment significantly.
Social networks in the source region not only provide migrants with information on employment opportunities, but are also critical as social capital in that they provide a degree of trust. While migrants interact with each other based on ethnic ties, such ties dissipate when they interact with urban elites to secure employment.
The bulk of policy interventions for the migrants are aimed at providing financial services and directed towards poverty reduction. However, there is a dearth of direct interventions targeted and focussed on regions.
Hence, a national policy should aim at reducing distress-induced migration on one hand and address conditions of work, terms of employment and access to basic necessities on the other.
What should a national policy contain?
Essential Commodities Act
Part of: GS-II- Governance and recent act (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
In news recently: Government puts masks and hand sanitisers under Essential Commodities Act.
ECA enacted by Parliament in 1955 provides for the regulation and control of production, distribution and pricing of commodities which are declared as essential.
Aim: Maintaining/increasing supplies/securing equitable distribution and availability of these commodities at fair prices. The Centre can include new commodities as and when the need arises, and can take them off the list once the situation improves (in view of public interest).
States are the implementing agencies to EC Act, 1955
What is Essential Commodities Act?
The ECA was enacted way back in 1955.
It has since been used by the Government to regulate the production, supply and distribution of a whole host of commodities it declares ‘essential’ in order to make them available to consumers at fair prices.
The list of items under the Act include drugs, fertilisers, pulses and edible oils, and petroleum and petroleum products.
The Centre can include new commodities as and when the need arises, and take them off the list once the situation improves.
Under the Act, the government can also fix the maximum retail price (MRP) of any packaged product that it declares an “essential commodity”.
How it works?
But, why the recent Economic Survey said that this act is outdated and must go?
Why is it important?
The ECA gives consumers protection against irrational spikes in prices of essential commodities.
The Government has invoked the Act umpteen times to ensure adequate supplies.
It cracks down on hoarders and black-marketeers of such commodities.
State agencies conduct raids to get everyone to toe the line and the errant are punished.
Without the ECA the common man would be at the mercy of opportunistic traders and shopkeepers. It empowers the government to control prices directly too.
Part of: GS-III- Economy - FDI (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
China’s footprint in the Indian business space has been expanding rapidly, especially since 2014.
The major Chinese investments in India span a range of sectors with a significant share in the start-up space. A 2017 survey of Chinese enterprises in India by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s Mumbai branch found that 42% were in the manufacturing sector, 25% in infrastructure and others in telecom, petrochemicals, software and IT.
Threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic: Many Indian businesses have come to a halt due to the lockdown imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently their valuations have plummeted. Many such domestic firms may be vulnerable to opportunistic takeovers or acquisitions from foreign players. Recently, People’s Bank of China made a portfolio investment through the stock market into the housing finance company HDFC and now holds a 1.01% stake in the company.
**India shares land borders with Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
FDI new rules analysis
The revised FDI policy makes prior government approval mandatory for FDI from countries which share a land border with India. The objective is to curb opportunistic takeovers or acquisitions due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. This is indeed a risk that has also been identified by other countries.
Though well intended, the policy outlined in the press note released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (PT SHOT) may have some unintended consequences.
Aimed at China:
The amended FDI policy does not restrict its application to only the takeover of vulnerable companies. The amended policy makes every type of investment by Chinese investors subject to government approval. Such a blanket application could create unintended problems.
1. The new policy does not distinguish between Greenfield and Brownfield investments.
2. The new policy does not distinguish between listed and unlisted companies. It also does not distinguish between the different types of investors, such as industry players, financial institutions, or venture capital funds.
3. The restrictions on Venture capital funds may impact the prospects of many start-ups in the Indian market.
Applicability with respect to certain funds:
Will further drive down evaluations:
Consequences for the companies:
Future foreign investment:
Foreign direct investment (FDI)
It is an investment from a party in one country into a business or corporation in another country with the intention of establishing a lasting interest. Lasting interest differentiates FDI from foreign portfolio investments, where investors passively hold securities from a foreign country. Foreign direct investment can be made by expanding one’s business into a foreign country or by becoming the owner of a company in another country.
Review of FDI policy on various sectors (August 2019)
Major Impact and Benefits from FDI Policy Reform
FDI is a major driver of economic growth and a source of non-debt finance for the economic development of the country. Government has put in place an investor friendly policy on FDI, under which FDI up to 100% is permitted on the automatic route in most sectors/ activities. FDI policy provisions have been progressively liberalized across various sectors in recent years to make India an attractive investment destination. Some of the sectors include Defence, Construction Development, Trading, Pharmaceuticals, Power Exchanges, Insurance, Pension, Other Financial Services, Asset reconstruction Companies, Broadcasting and Civil Aviation.
These reforms have contributed to India attracting record FDI inflows in the last 5 years. Total FDI into India from 2014-15 to 2018-19 has been US $ 286 billion as compared to US $ 189 billion in the 5-year period prior to that (2009-10 to 2013-14). In fact, total FDI in 2018-19 i.e. US $ 64.37 billion (provisional figure) is the highest ever FDI received for any financial year.
Global FDI inflows have been facing headwinds for the last few years. As per UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2019, global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows slid by 13% in 2018, to US $1.3 trillion from US $1.5 trillion the previous year - the third consecutive annual decline. Despite the dim global picture, India continues to remain a preferred and attractive destination for global FDI flows. However, it is felt that the country has the potential to attract far more foreign investment which can be achieved inter-alia by further liberalizing and simplifying the FDI policy regime.
In Union Budget 2019-20, Finance Minister proposed to further consolidate the gains under FDI in order to make India a more attractive FDI destination. Accordingly, the Government has decided to introduce a number of amendments in the FDI Policy. Details of these changes are given in the following paragraphs.
As per the present FDI policy, 100% FDI under automatic route is allowed for coal & lignite mining for captive consumption by power projects, iron & steel and cement units and other eligible activities permitted under and subject to applicable laws and regulations. Further, 100% FDI under automatic route is also permitted for setting up coal processing plants like washeries subject to the condition that the company shall not do coal mining and shall not sell washed coal or sized coal from its coal processing plants in the open market and shall supply the washed or sized coal to those parties who are supplying raw coal to coal processing plants for washing or sizing.
It has been decided to permit 100% FDI under automatic route for sale of coal, for coal mining activities including associated processing infrastructure subject to provisions of Coal Mines (special provisions) Act, 2015 and the Mines and Minerals (development and regulation) Act, 1957 as amended from time to time, and other relevant acts on the subject. "Associated Processing Infrastructure" would include coal washery, crushing, coal handling, and separation (magnetic and non-magnetic)
Contract manufacturingThe business model in which a firm hires a contract manufacturer to produce components or final products based on the hiring firm’s design. Companies outsource their production to other companies. Contract manufacturing offers a number of benefits:
Single Brand Retail Trading (SBRT)
The extant FDI policy provides for 49% FDI under approval route in Up-linking of 'News &Current Affairs' TV Channels. It has been decided to permit 26% FDI under government route for uploading/ streaming of News & Current Affairs through Digital Media, on the lines of print media.
Jai Hind Jai Bharat
Water Quality Report - Draft notification on RO systems
Part of: GS-III- Environment-Pollution (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution has released Water Quality Report for State capitals & Delhi as analysed by the Bureau of India Standards (BIS).
The study focused on the quality of piped drinking water and also ranked the States, smart cities and districts accordingly. This study was in line with Jal Jeevan Mission which aims to provide tap water to all households by 2024.
It should be legally binding on agencies to achieve standards and empowering consumers. State governments should take an integrated view of housing, water supply, sanitation and waste management.
A scientific approach for water management should be adopted. A separate agency in each state should be entrusted for regular testing rather than relying on the same agency.
Data on water should be made public on the same lines as air quality which would put pressure on governments to act.
Jal Jeevan Mission
Recently, Union Ministry for Jal Shakti, conducted a conference of State Ministers on Jal Jeevan Mission in New Delhi.
Purifying water: On draft notification on RO systems
The Environment Ministry’s draft notification to regulate the use of membrane-based water purification systems primarily concerns the manufacturers of reverse osmosis (RO) water filters but effectively bars domestic users from installing RO systems.
The Central government has drawn up plans to ban the use of membrane-based water purification systems (MWPS) – primarily reverse osmosis (RO) systems – in areas where the source of water meets the Bureau of Indian Standards’ drinking water norms.
Draft notification that effectively prohibits home users to install MPWS:
The notification is the culmination of a legal dispute before the National Green Tribunal, which had banned RO water filter use in Delhi as the purification process wastes water.
The notification mainly deals with rules for commercial suppliers and for integration of systems that inform consumers about TDS levels, a major determinant of water quality.
This is envisaged both before water enters filtration systems and after it has been filtered.
The association of water filter manufacturers challenged this order and the litigation led to this pan-India notification, where the intent is to conserve water and cut waste.
What is Reverse Osmosis?
Reverse Osmosis is a technology that is used to remove a large majority of contaminants from water by pushing the water under pressure through a semi-permeable membrane.
Reverse Osmosis works by using a high-pressure pump to increase the pressure on the salt side of the RO and force the water across the semi-permeable RO membrane, leaving almost all (around 95% to 99%) of dissolved salts behind in the reject stream.
The amount of pressure required depends on the salt concentration of the feed water. The more concentrated the feed water, the more pressure is required to overcome the osmotic pressure.
The desalinated water that is demineralized or deionized, is called permeate (or product) water. The water stream that carries the concentrated contaminants that did not pass through the RO membrane is called the reject (or concentrate) stream.
Problem with Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems:
In RO, the total dissolved solids (TDS) in water, which covers trace chemicals, certain viruses, bacteria and salts can be reduced, to meet potable water standards. Home filters waste nearly 80% of the water during treatment.
Second, some research has shown that the process can cut the levels of calcium and magnesium, which are vital nutrients.
The resort to prohibition (to restrict home filters) may cause consumer apprehension but it is unlikely that they will be taken to task for using such water filters.
For one, the notification implies, these filters are only prohibited if the home gets water supply that conforms to Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for Drinking Water.
Although several State and city water boards claim BIS standards, the water at homes falls short of the test parameters.
World Health Organization issues reverse osmosis water warning:
Just about everyone knows that Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems excel at removing water impurities, but few are aware that they also remove the beneficial minerals.
In fact, the reverse osmosis process removes 92-99% of beneficial calcium and magnesium.
After analysing hundreds of scientific studies concerning demineralized or reverse osmosis water, the World Health Organization released a report stating that such water “has a definite adverse influence on the animal and human organism.”
Consumers have been so concerned with removing as many things from water as possible that they have forgotten to ask if the resulting water actually improves health or causes health problems.
It’s assumed that no toxins equal better health, but there is simply more to healthful water than a lack of toxins, as the World Health Organization clearly points out.
Official water supply quality by BIS:
The BIS, last year, ranked several cities on official water supply quality. Delhi was last and only Mumbai met all the standards.
In the 28 test parameters, Delhi failed 19, Chennai 9, and Kolkata 10. The BIS norms are voluntary for public agencies which supply piped water but are mandatory for bottled water producers.
Moreover, most of the country does not have the luxury of piped water. The Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) of NITI Aayog says that 70% of water supply is contaminated.
India is ranked 120th among 122 countries in an NGO, WaterAid’s quality index. The case for restricting people’s choices on the means they employ to ensure potable water is thus weak.
The aim is also to ensure that after 2022, no more than 25% of water being treated is wasted, and for residential complexes to reuse the residual waste water for other activities, including gardening.
When implemented, the notification’s primary aim should be to persuade authorities to upgrade and supply BIS-standard water at the consumer’s end.
This should be done without additional costs, particularly on millions who now lack access to protected supply.
Part of: GS-III- Economy and Manufacturing (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
The pharmaceutical drugs which are biologically active are called active ingredients (AI). In medicine, terms such as bulk active and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) are also interchangeably used. For natural products, the term active substance is used. There are certain medication products that could comprise of multiple active ingredients. “Pharmacon” or “Pharmakon”, is a traditional word for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient originally denoting a magical drug or substance.
Often, “active constituent” is used while giving references to the active substance of interest in a plant (For example, arecoline in areca nuts, salicylic acid present in the bark of a willow tree) as the term “active ingredient” may in many sense imply a perception of human agency (something that is manually combined with other substances), whereas the natural products in plants occur naturally and will not be added by human agency. Therefore, the plant does not have ingredients but has active substances.
Schemes and Drugs production
Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved two schemes, namely the scheme on Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks and Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme to promote domestic manufacturing of critical Key Starting Materials/Drug Intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in the country.
Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks Scheme
Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme
ndia’s drug pricing regulator, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), has allowed an increase in the maximum retail prices of 21 drugs currently under price control by as much as 50%.
Drug Prices Control Order, 2013
On a longer term, India needs to build capabilities to manufacture the key ingredients for these medicines.
COVID-19 and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) strategy
Part of: GS-III- Health – S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently a person suffering from HIV has been treated in London called as ‘London Patient’. He is the second person after Timothy Ray Brown who got cured of HIV. He has been cured with CCR5-delta 32 technique, which is based on a stem cell transplant involving CCR5-delta 32 homozygous donor cells.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
HIV attacks CD4, a type of White Blood Cell (T cells) in the body’s immune system. T cells are those cells that move around the body detecting anomalies and infections in cells. After entering body, HIV multiplies itself and destroys CD4 cells, thus severely damaging the human immune system. Once this virus enters the body, it can never be removed.
CD4 count of a person infected with HIV reduces significantly. In a healthy body, CD4 count is between 500- 1600, but in an infected body, it can go as low as 200. Weak immune system makes a person prone to opportunistic infections and cancer. It becomes difficult for a person infected with this virus to recover from even a minor injury or sickness. By receiving treatment, severe form of HIV can be prevented.
Types of HIV – PT SHOT
Policies and efforts
National Aids Control Program
HIV/AIDS Act, 2017 Implemented
India’s HIV Burden
National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) 2017 – 2024
By 2020, the focus of the national programme will be on achieving the following fast track targets:
By 2024, the further achievements envisaged are:
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM)
The Red Ribbon
With the pandemic forcing everyone to seriously consider e-learning tools and resources, now is a good time to assess its strengths and opportunities, and adapt to the new normal
The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered educational institutions across the globe. Closure of schools, colleges and universities, the shutdown of the routine life of students and teachers, disruptions in education and the education ministry remaining incommunicado, have created an unprecedented situation and thrown many unexpected challenges to administrators, educators, teachers, parents and students. The situation has created a new normal. How to cope with the new normal is the question that everyone is now asking.
It is good to carry out a SWOT — Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats — analysis of the COVID-19 situation and its impact on education. This exercise can help us set new goals and objectives and move forward.
As educational institutions across India have remained closed for weeks, parents are worried about their children’s education. Some parents have forced their children to take up some online courses, but students do not seem to show interest in learning online. Some educational institutions have asked teachers to prepare online material, but most teachers do not have the experience of preparing e-material. Some universities and colleges want to move classes/courses online in order to engage students, but do not know how to go about.
The situation described above may present a gloomy picture, but it shouldn’t. Why? Looking at it positively, for the first time many teachers, parents and students have thought about the purpose of education and asked some useful and relevant questions.
The unprecedented situation has made them look at things critically. Here are some such interesting questions:
Many more questions…
The pandemic should have a positive impact on our education system. It should not be the same after the situation eases. There should be some positive changes.
The weaknesses in our system include lack of innovative thinking, inadequate infrastructure, untrained teachers, unequal accessibility, exam-centric assessment, and lack of learner autonomy.
How do these weaknesses act as hurdles now at the time of the pandemic and lockdown?
Remote learning, distance learning, home learning, online learning, e-learning, and webinar are the buzz-words that we hear today.
Recently, the Delhi government announced that it would conduct online classes for class XII students, but school teachers say that it is impractical since most students do not have access to the required facilities. Yes, we are challenged by these questions:
Can everyone in the country afford e-learning?
Is online education an elite concept in India? Will the digital divide further cement inequality and create an academic divide in the country?
Teachers working in elite schools in cities and big towns proudly state that they conduct classes online using and help students make use of the lockdown period in a useful manner. What about teachers working in government-aided and government schools in cities and towns and private schools in rural areas? Neither teachers nor students have access to computers and the Internet.
They may neither have the awareness of online tools such as Google Classroom available for such purposes nor have the expertise to use them. Is it possible for such teachers to even think of conducting classes online?
Since our education system has not trained our teachers and students to think creatively and manage in a crisis situation and has underplayed the importance of e-learning, they are unprepared for the transition from the classroom to online.
All systems have strengths and weaknesses. Maximising strengths and minimising weaknesses in order not to miss the opportunity to move forward should be the goal. The three main opportunities that we have are:
i) our students who belong to Gen Z,
ii) numerous web resources, and
iii) enthusiastic teachers.
Gen Z learners (born between 1997 and 2010) are true digital natives.
They are born in the digital era and are familiar with computers, multimedia content and Internet-based activities from an early age. As they live in the online environment, enjoy watching YouTube videos, love connecting with people through social media and speak the language of technology, they need to be taught differently. Now is the right time to move our classes to a different platform, introduce e-learning and develop learner autonomy.
The COVID-19 lockdown has enabled teachers to become creative. They can now create e-material such as YouTube videos and PPTs and share the links with their students and engage them during the lockdown period. Some teachers are using video conferencing facilities such as Zoom and BlueJeans Meetings for online teaching.
These video conference facilities have features such as one-click scheduling, screen sharing and collaboration, Cloud streaming and recording, and so on. Some educators use Google Meet.
Look up more Google resources available for distance learning at Google for Education’s Teacher Center online.
India is far behind some developing countries where digital education is getting increased attention. In countries where e-learning is popular, students have access to various online resources such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which help students, teachers and professionals upgrade their skills. E-learning promotes learner autonomy and enables students to acquire knowledge and skills without depending on teachers. India needs to take the threat of many developed and developing countries leading the way in online education seriously and promote it earnestly.
To summarise, education must continue. Students should keep learning. The lockdown period should be productive. Educators should think creatively and introduce innovative ways of learning. In a country where access to the Internet and high-speed connectivity is a problem, and the digital divide is an issue, it is important to address the challenges. Those who are involved in education planning and administration should give a serious thought to reducing the digital divide in the country and popularise digital learning.
Part of: GS-IV- Ethics-Interpersonal relationship (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Lockdown can get a little overwhelming with the family staying together indoors for long periods. How can you make the most of your time in a healthy manner?
Many parents are having a hard time navigating our “new normal” of working from home in the current times. Being a mother of two teens, I have attempted to put together some useful tips for teens and adolescents to step up and take responsibility during such trying times.
Discipline, discipline, discipline
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
At the cost of not sounding regimental and old school, ensure that you are able to manage a timely schedule and follow basic activities of daily living (ADLs) in a reasonable time frame. Waking up in the morning and having a fresh start is not only important but also essential as it sets the tone for the day that follows.
While keeping awake all night, watching movies, binging on Netflix, gaming or socialising with your cliques is thrilling at this point, there can be a tendency to stay awake till the wee hours of the morning. However, not being able to have a good night’s rest and lack of adequate sleep (seven to eight relaxed hours) is enough to create sleep deprivation and cause laziness, irritability, moodiness, fatigue, forgetfulness, a lack of appetite, and a depressed mood.
Cut down the entitlement
“There ain’t no such thing like a free lunch.”
Given the fact the current support system in the form of paid help — maids, cooks, babysitters (for smaller siblings), caretakers for the elderly at home is missing — we need to help out. Everybody at home, most certainly needs to chip in.
You are an integral part of the family and it is crucial that you contribute and showcase some responsible behaviour. Mum and dad really can’t do much without your timely help and support.
Choose chores that you like (even when you really really don’t like them) and pitch in. Cooking, chopping, washing dishes, cleaning the home, drying and folding clothes, taking care of pets, — the list is rather exhaustive and endless. So, grab your pick.
Technology / Internet / Gadget (ab)use
“The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free!”
India has the second largest internet users after China. Teens’ continuous, incessant and relentless gadget and screen usage bordering on addiction is a huge problem today for parents and teens themselves.
Given the current quarantine and lockdown, we need to cut ourselves a little slack — given these extenuating circumstances, but beware of the time that you tend to spend on your gadgets and gizmos and the sites and activities that you are engaging in online. It is not always a safe place. It is better to be safe than sorry.
There is excessive information on social media, most of which is untrue and can be harmful to your consumption. FaceTime, Zoom, Facebook video calls, and Skype are all virtual tools for you to chat and catch up with your friends and extended family. TikTok, online games and many other interactive apps increase your vulnerabilities to share plenty of information that might not be necessary and warranted. Use caution. Be mindful of your language and aggression levels as, many times, you tend to lose grounding in a virtual world. Rationing screen time is well worth it.
Excessive usage of screen time can also result in symptoms such as a dysfunctional daily schedule, lack of a routine, anxiety, depression, dishonesty, avoidance of work, isolation, mood swings, fear, boredom with routine tasks, agitation and procrastination.
Schedule time with family
“The family that prays together, stays together.”
Ensure that you engage with the family and do something meaningful for at least 30 minutes to an hour, every day. These can be simple activities together beyond the cleaning rituals and the chores that can become mundane. Cards, board games, old family stories sharing time, television/show viewing of common shows and serials, yoga, meditation, chatting and/or evening prayers are examples of what can become a ‘Family Ritual’. Build memories with your loved ones before you fly from the nest.
“The early summer break is not going to last forever”
For those who have not been able to complete their board exams, please set aside some time for reading up and revising the subjects that are pending. These holidays are eventually going to end and yes, the suspense around that can create a lot of anxiety. But, the only way around is to be prepared.
Those of you, preparing for CETs and various other entrance exams, schedule in some time for a good enough prep so that you are not taken by surprise should the lockdown be lifted on May 3 and dates get preponed. Many virtual content and classes have commenced keeping students afloat and so get on with your tasks on time as well.
Difference between Coronavirus and bacterium:
Bacteria are living even outside a host body.
The viruses are basically inactive outside a host organism.
Each bacterial cell has its own machinery to reproduce itself.
Viruses would be unable to renew and grow by themselves.
The genes in the Bacterial cells are made up of DNA molecules.
The Coronavirus does not have DNA as their genome, but instead has RNA. (Some viruses also have DNA as their genetic material)
The information contained in this DNA is transcribed as a message to the messenger molecules called RNA. This message is translated into action molecules called proteins which help in the growth and multiplication of the bacterium.
The Corona viruses can only translate and not transcribe. The viruses infect the ‘host cells’ which they bind to, and multiply.
The government has set up the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund) to deal with any kind of emergency or distress situation posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This Fund has been set up owing to a number of requests made by the people to support the government in the wake of the COVID-19 emergency.
About the Fund
Contribution to PM - CARES Fund will Qualify as CSR Expenditure
Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF)
This fund was instituted in 1948 by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to assist displaced persons from Pakistan. The fund is currently used primarily to tackle natural calamities like floods, cyclones and earthquakes. The fund is also used to help with medical treatment like kidney transplantation, cancer treatment and acid attack.
Kisan Rath App Part of: GS-III-Food Security (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has launched the ‘Kisan Rath’ mobile application (app) to facilitate the transportation of foodgrains and perishable during
World Heritage Day-UNESCO-World Heritage site of India Part of: GS-I- CULTURE (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Every year 18th April is celebrated as the International Day for Monuments and Sites or the World Heritage Day. The International Council on Monuments
Export curb removed from Paracetamol The Centre has permitted the export of formulations (medicinal products) made from Paracetamol. However, the restriction on export of Paracetamol Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) will continue. The API is the part of any d
Covid-19 tests among the tribal population living along the Godavari river valley area Part of: GS-I- CULTURE-Geography (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Recently, a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court directing the Andhra Pradesh government to conduct Covid-19 tests among the tri
Safe drinking water supply and management – Water crisis and management Part of: GS-I- Geography and climate change (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Recently, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) issued an advisory to state governments asking them to ensure sa
Cultural heritage list Part of: GS-I- CULTURE (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Draft intangible cultural heritage list released by the Union Culture Ministry. Details: 106 items have been listed as intangible cultural heritage in the draft released by the Union Culture Ministry as a p
RBI to infuse Rs 1 lakh crore – LTRO – RBI Reforms Part of: GS-III- RBI reforms (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Context RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das announced new measures to maintain adequate liquidity in the system, facilitate bank credit flow and ease financial stress. RBI announ
INDIAN scientists have developed low cost diagnostic kit for COVID -29 Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram, under the Department of Science and Technology, has developed an innovative diagnostic test kit named, Chitra Gene LAMP-N for the d
WHO welcomes joint effort with India to fight CoVID -19 The WHO has said it will work with India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to leverage the strategies that helped the country eradicate polio to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. In a tweet, WHO Chief said, WHO's national polio sur
Indian railway creates history Indian Railways has created history as its 88 coach freight train Annapurna carrying foodgrains covered 1,634 kilometres in less than 50 hours. Eighty-eight coach Annapurna Freight Train travelled from Dhandharikalan in Punjab to New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal in 49
Government dismiss false news alarm that UPSC exams have been cancelled due to COVID -19 Union Government has dismissed false reports in a regional news channel that examinations held by UPSC have been cancelled in the wake of COVID-19. In a tweet, Press Information Bureau clarified that the c
Pool testing of coronavirus Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in the country to start pool testing of coronavirus samples. The move is aimed at speeding up the screening process and also bringing down the cost of testing samples. The state health department has also decided to carry out an
Recent judgement and Forest Rights Act, 2006 Part of: GS-II- Forest Right Act – Tribal Rights (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Recently Supreme Court asked states to free tracts of forest land in possession of people whose claims have been rejected under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006. The
Earth Day and Earth Hour Part of: GS-III- Environment (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22. Worldwide events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. The theme of Earth Day 2019 is “Protect Our Spe
Agriculture labourer problems and solutions Part of: GS-III- Economy-Labour (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Problems of Agriculture Labour: Marginalisation of Agricultural Workers. The workforce in agriculture (cultivators plus agricultural labourers) was 97.2 million in 1951 and this r
Farm Loan Waiver When there is a poor monsoon or natural calamity, farmers may be unable to repay loans. The rural distress in such situations often prompts States or the Centre to offer relief,reduction or complete waiver of loans. Essentially, the Centre or States take over the liability of far
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