Daily Prelims Notes 1 June 2020
- June 5, 2020
- Posted by: admin
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- Insurance and COVID 19
- A new era in space exploration
- Line of actual control
- Loan moratorium and NPAs
- Genome Mapping
- Herd immunity vs Herd Masking
- Solicitor General
- Rare scorpion fish found in Gulf of Manner
- World Milk Day
US President wanted to expand G7 group by including India, Russia, South Korea, and Australia and said present form of is outdated
- The G-7 or ‘Group of Seven’ is Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
- It is an intergovernmental organization that was formed in 1975 by the top economies of the time as an informal forum to discuss pressing world issues.
- Canada joined the group in 1976, and the European Union began attending in 1977.
- Initially formed as an effort by the US and its allies to discuss economic issues, the G-7 forum has deliberated about several challenges over the decades, such as the oil crashes of the 1970s, the economic changeover of ex-Soviet bloc nations, and many pressing issues such as financial crises, terrorism, arms control, and drug trafficking.
- The G-7 was known as the ‘G-8’ for several years after the original seven were joined by Russia in 1997. The Group returned to being called G-7 after Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 following the latter’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
- The G-7 does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters.
- The G-7 nations meet at annual summits that are presided over by leaders of member countries on a rotational basis
- The decisions taken by leaders during annual summits are non-binding.
- The rise of India, China and Brazil over the past few decades has reduced the G-7’s relevance, whose share in global GDP has now fallen to around 40%.
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has wanted to arrive at a ‘standardized cost structure’ for treatment of the pandemic with COVID-19 patients running up high bills in private hospitals.
- Currently standard Covid-19 insurance product which includes PPE kits and other consumables are not part of normal health insurance policy.
- As of now, private hospitals which have Covid-19 wards charge high rates with treatment costs ranging from Rs 3-8 lakh. “While government hospitals do not have adequate bed capacity to deal with patient load, the common man is unable to bear the expenses of a private hospital and especially a super speciality for Covid-19 treatment.
- In a communication to insurers, the General Insurance Council said the proposal under discussion entailed arriving at a negotiated rate for all elements associated with Covid treatment in a hospital.
General Insurance Council
- The General Insurance Council has been constituted under section 64C of the Insurance Act, 1938 since 2001 by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
- The General Insurance Council is an important link between the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India and the non-Life insurance industry.
- It also pushes for the Industry’s issues with the Government.
- While the Council plays the role envisaged for it by the Insurance Act, it also facilitates overall growth for the industry in a fair and equitable manner in the interest of all stake holders.
Subject: Science and tech
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon has landed two NASA astronauts at the International Space Station
- It was the first time that astronauts used a spaceship built and launched by a private company, and the event is being widely seen as the beginning of a new era in space exploration.
- For NASA, it was the first flight of its astronauts on an American spaceship, launched on American soil, after nine years.
- SpaceX flight therefore is a culmination of more than decade-long efforts to free to enable private players build and operate what essentially is a commercial taxi-service to space, and allow NASA to concentrate on deep space exploration, and work more vigorously towards taking humans to moon, and Mars, and, possibly, on some asteroid, in between.
- The involvement of private industry in the space sector is nothing new. World over, more and more work of space agencies is being done in collaboration with private companies. There are literally hundreds of private entities building commercial satellites for their clients.
ISRO and private sector
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has collaborated with private in building and fabricating the components that go into making rockets and satellites.
- There are several that have started making satellites for their own use, or for their clients.
- However, launch services, including the building of rockets or launch vehicles to take the satellites into space, is something that is still some distance away in India right now.
- While ISRO has been collaborating more and more with private industry, the capability to independently carry out even routine space missions, like the ones that SpaceX or Boeing or Virgin Galactic has been missing
Tensions continue to prevail between India and China along the Line of Actual Control
- The LAC is the demarcation that separates Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory.
- It is divided into three sectors: the eastern sector which spans Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, the middle sector in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, and the western sector in Ladakh.
- The alignment of the LAC in the eastern sector is along the 1914 McMahon Line, and there are minor disputes about the positions on the ground
- The line in the middle sector is the least controversial but for the precise alignment to be followed in the Barahoti plains.
- The major disagreements are in the western sector where the LAC emerged from two letters written by Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai to PM Jawaharlal Nehru in 1959, after he had first mentioned such a ‘line’ in 1956.
LAC different from the Line of Control with Pakistan
- The LoC emerged from the 1948 ceasefire line negotiated by the UN after the Kashmir War. It was designated as the LoC in 1972, following the Shimla Agreement between the two countries. It is delineated on a map signed by DGMOs of both armies and has the international sanctity of a legal agreement.
- The LAC, in contrast, is only a concept – it is not agreed upon by the two countries, neither delineated on a map nor demarcated on the ground.
RBI permitted banks and NBFCs to allow a further 3-month moratorium, i.e from June 1 to August 31, 2020, on the payment of installments in respect of term loans outstanding as on March 31, 2020.
According to data provided by different banks, nearly 30 per cent of their outstanding loans have come under moratorium so far, with micro-finance borrowers facing extreme stress, followed by automobile finance, MSMEs, corporate and retail loans. For some banks, this percentage is almost 70 per cent.
Impact of moratorium on banks
- Banks are likely to take a hit down the line since this is expected to significantly add to their non-performing assets (NPAs) from the second half of 2020-21.
- Banks are unlikely to face problems for the next three months as regulatory relaxations, will provide them a breather till September in recognizing NPAs.
- Post September, NPAs are expected to shoot up from the current level of around Rs 10 lakh crore, when these loans come up for repayments.
Subject: Science and tech
- Mapping genomic variants of SARS CoV-2 could help control second wave. Tackling a second wave will rely on all the information countries have gotten from the first round of the outbreak. To that end, researchers will be using genome sequencing to prevent, or curb a second wave.
- Scientists have so far sequenced 34,000 genomes for the virus globally. This data is expected to help researchers trace “the origin of the outbreak in their countries”.
- Genomic profiling helps reduce the duration of outbreaks, and their intensity, by aiding contact tracing.
- At the start of a second wave, when there are few cases, available genomic data can be used to spot which clade of the virus one is dealing with, and what was its last geographic trace.
- New Zealand, which has managed to keep new infections to zero, has sequenced the genome of all variants of the virus from infections within its borders.
- Genome sequencing involves revealing the order of bases present in the entire genome of an organism
- Genome: It is an organism’s complete set of genetic material, including all of its genes. Each genome contains all of the information needed to build and maintain that organism
Subject: Science and tech
Herd immunity happens when so many people in a community become immune to an infectious disease that it stops the disease from spreading. This can happen in two ways:
- Many people contract the disease and in time build up an immune response to it (natural immunity).
- Many people are vaccinated against the disease to achieve immunity.
When a large percentage of the population becomes immune to a disease, the spread of that disease slows down or stops. Many viral and bacterial infections spread from person to person. This chain is broken when most people don’t get or transmit the infection. This helps protect people who aren’t vaccinated or who have low functioning immune systems and may develop an infection more easily
- This refers to the immunity against the disease that wearing masks gives a community.
- The benefit of masks in preventing the spread of infection has been a common notion across the world.
- Since the virus spreads through respiratory droplets, evidence shows that the use of masks would go a long way.
Appearing on behalf of the central government, the Solicitor General claimed that the government had shifted 10 million migrant workers to their home states and that some migrants were still walking “because of anxiety or local level instigation
- Solicitor General is the second highest law officer in the country.
- He is subordinate to the Attorney General of India, the highest law officer and works under him. He also advises the government in legal matters.
- Solicitor general is appointed for period of three years by Appointment Committee of Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister.
- It should be noted here that only the office of the AG is created by the Constitution. In other words, Article 76 does not mention about the solicitor general and additional solicitor general.
- Solicitor General and Additional Solicitor Generals’ office and duties are governed by Law Officers (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1987
Researchers at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) have found a rare fish in the Gulf of Manner.
- During finding, it is camouflaged within the seagrass meadows
- This bandtail Scorpion fish (Scorpaenospsisneglecta) is well known for its stinging venomous spines and ability to change colour
- The fish is called ‘scorpionfish’ because its spines contain neurotoxic venom. When the spines pierce an individual, the venom gets injected immediately and it can be extremely painful.
10. World Milk Day
World milk day celebrated on June 1 since 2001
- FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) was asked to propose a specific day on which all aspects of milk could be celebrated.
- The Day provides an opportunity to focus attention on milk and to publicise activities connected with milk and the milk industry. The fact that many countries choose to do this on the same day lends additional importance to individual national celebrations and shows that milk is a global food.
- The theme for World Milk day 2020 is ‘the 20th Anniversary of World Milk Day’. The day is being celebrated to promote the health benefits of milk and dairy products.
- India is the world’s largest milk producer, with 22 percent of global production, followed by the United States of America, China, Pakistan and Brazil.