Daily Prelims Notes 20 November 2021
- November 20, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
20 November 2021
Table Of Contents
- No cyclones in October and November
- National Digital Drugs Databank
- Japan Unveils Stimulus Package
- IMF urges China to tackle financial risks
- The process for repealing a law
- Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal
- Uniform Civil Code
- Amazon Rain forests
Subject – Geography
Context – As many as seven low-pressure areas (LPA) have formed in the North Indian Ocean region since October 1, 2021 — but none of them have intensified into a cyclone.
- October and November constitute the peak cyclone season for India, according to data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
- No cyclone formation in the rest of November would mean a first-time anomaly in the last 31 years for October and November.
- If December also remains cyclone-free, it would be the first time since 1961 that the post-monsoon season would remain without a cyclone.
- This has happened only five times since 1891: In 1900, 1911, 1953, 1954 and 1961.
- This is happening despite the fact that the La Nina phase of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is currently prevailing.
- The La Nina is the cooling phase of the ENSO and is generally favourable for cyclone / hurricane / typhoon formation all over the world, including in the North Indian Ocean region.
- The October floods in Kerala and Uttarakhand and the November floods in Tamil Nadu were caused partly by low-pressure areas. Along with this, the southwest monsoon season extended into late October.
- The extension of the monsoon rainfall may also be a reason for the lack of cyclones.
- So the low-pressure systems are only acting as self-inhibitors for strong cyclone growth.
To know about Cyclones, please refer August 2021 DPN.
Subject – Economy
Context – National digital drugs databank will help address ‘information asymmetry’ in pharma space: CCI study
- A national digital drugs databank will help in addressing “information asymmetry” as well as provide key inputs in mapping the regulatory needs of different states, according to a pharmaceutical sector study conducted by the Competition Commission of India.
- The fair trade watchdog, which works on ways to foster competition and curb anti-competitive practices, in the market study found that brand competition overrides price competition in the domestic market where generic formulations are marketed with distinct brand names.
- Generic drugs play an important role in bringing down drug prices, thereby reducing healthcare costs and improving access.
- In India, generics dominate pharmaceutical sales, and the generic manufacturing within each molecule/formulation market is characterised by the presence of multiple manufacturers.
- A generic drug is a pharmaceutical drug that contains the same chemical substance as a drug that was originally protected by patents.
- Generic drugs are allowed for sale after the patents on the original drugs expire.
- Because the active chemical substance is the same, the medical profile of generics is believed to be equivalent in performance.
- A generic drug has the same active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) as the original, but it may differ in some characteristics such as the manufacturing process, formulation, excipients, color, taste, and packaging.
- The dosage, composition, method of intake, benefits, quality, and even side effects of generic medicines are similar to the brand-name version of the drugs.
- An active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), is the key ingredient of a drug or medicine, which lends it the desired therapeutic effect or produces the intended pharmacological activity. For example, paracetamol is a bulk drug, which acts against pain.
- API, also called as Bulk Drugs are mixed with binding agents or solvents to prepare the finished pharmaceutical product, i.e. a paracetamol tablet, capsule or syrup, which is consumed by the patient.
Subject – IR
Context – Japan PM Kishida unveils $490bn stimulus package
- Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has unveiled a record-breaking stimulus package worth approximately 56 trillion Japanese yen ($490bn).
- The government will compile an extra budget by the end of this year to fund the stimulus programme to deliver necessary aid to the public quickly.
What is Stimulus Package?
- Stimulus package is a package of tax rebates and incentives used by the governments of various countries to stimulate economy and save their country from a financial crisis.
- The idea behind a stimulus package is to provide tax rebates and boost spending, as spending increases demand, which leads to an increase in employment rate which in turn increases income and hence boosts spending. This cycle continues until the economy recovers from collapse.
- One such stimulus package was used by the United States in 2008 during the time of the global recession, which was aimed at increasing employment and recovery of the US economy.
- The theory behind the usefulness of a stimulus package is rooted in Keynesian economics, which argues that recessions are not self-correcting; therefore, government intervention can lessen the impact of a recession.
- A stimulus, or increased government spending, can compensate for decreased private spending, thereby boosting aggregate demand and closing the output gap in the economy.
- India too used its first stimulus package in 2008 to ensure the safety of bank deposits and stability of the financial system.
Subject – Economy
Context – IMF urges China to tackle financial risks in ‘clear and coordinated’ fashion
- China must address financial risks in a “clear and coordinated fashion” and temporarily shift its fiscal policy to a neutral stance from this year’s contractionary approach, International Monetary Fund said in a statement.
- The IMF blamed the slowdown to China’s rapid withdrawal of policy support, the hit to consumption from Covid-19 outbreaks, recent power outages and a slowdown in real estate investment.
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 member countries, each of which has representation on the IMF’s executive board in proportion to its financial importance, so that the most powerful countries in the global economy have the most voting power.
- The IMF, also known as the Fund, was conceived at a UN conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States, in July 1944.
- IMF focuses on fostering global monetary cooperation, securing financial stability, facilitating and promoting international trade, employment, and economic growth around the world.
- The IMF is a specialized agency of the United Nations.
How the IMF Makes Decisions
Subject – Polity
Context – Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday that the three contentious farm laws passed last year would be repealed.
What does it mean for a law to be repealed?
- Repealing a law is one of the ways to nullify a law. A law is reversed when Parliament thinks there is no longer a need for the law to exist.
- Legislation can also have a “sunset” clause, a particular date after which they cease to exist.
- For example, the anti-terror legislation Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act 1987, commonly known as TADA, had a sunset clause, and was allowed to lapse in 1995.
- For laws that do not have a sunset clause, Parliament has to pass another legislation to repeal the law.
How can the government repeal a law?
- Article 245 of the Constitution gives Parliament the power to make laws for the whole or any part of India, and state legislatures the power to make laws for the state. Parliament draws its power to repeal a law from the same provision.
- A law can be repealed either in its entirety, in part, or even just to the extent that it is in contravention of other laws.
What is the process for repealing a law?
- Laws can be repealed in two ways — either through an ordinance, or through legislation.
- In case an ordinance is used, it would need to be replaced by a law passed by Parliament within six months. If the ordinance lapses because it is not approved by Parliament, the repealed law can be revived.
- The government can also bring legislation to repeal the farm laws. It will have to be passed by both Houses of Parliament, and receive the President’s assent before it comes into effect. All three farm laws can be repealed through a single legislation. Usually, Bills titled Repealing and Amendment are introduced for this purpose.
The 3 Farm Laws
- The Government with the aim of transforming agriculture in the country and raising farmers’ income had passed three important legislation from Parliament.
- The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020,
- The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020,
- Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020
- Freedom to the Farmers: The Act provides the farmers the freedom of choice related to sale and purchase of produce.
- Liberation from the Cess: The farmers will not be charged any cess or levy for sale of their produce under this Act. Further there will be a separate dispute resolution mechanism for the farmers.
- The act aims at opening up agricultural sale and marketing outside the notified Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis for farmers, removes barriers to inter-State trade and provides a framework for electronic trading of agricultural produce.
- It expands the scope of trade areas of farmers’ produce from select areas to “any place of production, collection, aggregation”.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020
- Aims to provide for a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for farm services.
- It defines a dispute resolution mechanism. The Act provides for a three-level dispute settlement mechanism– Conciliation Board, Sub-Divisional Magistrate and Appellate Authority.
Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020
- It removes cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onions and potatoes from the list of essential commodities. It will deregulate the production, storage, movement and distribution of these food commodities.
- It will also remove stockholding limits on such items except under “extraordinary circumstances”. The central government is allowed regulation of supply during war, famine, extraordinary price rise and natural calamity of grave nature and annual retail price rise exceeding 100% in horticultural produce (basically onions and potatoes) and 50% for non-perishables (cereals, pulses and edible oils), while providing exemptions for exporters and processors at such times as well.
- It requires that imposition of any stock limit on agricultural produce be based on price rise.
- It will allow agribusinesses to stock food articles and remove the government’s ability to impose restrictions arbitrarily.
Subject – Environment
Context – Ahmedabad: Vessel containing ‘hazardous substances’ intercepted, brought to Mundra Port
- The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal first came into force in 1992.
- The Convention puts an onus on exporting countries to ensure that hazardous wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner in the country of import.
- The Basel Convention places obligations on countries that are party to the Convention. 151 Countries have ratified the Basel Convention as at December 2002.
- These obligations are to:
- Minimise generation of hazardous waste;
- Ensure adequate disposal facilities are available;
- Control and reduce international movements of hazardous waste;
- Ensure environmentally sound management of wastes; and
- Prevent and punish illegal traffic.
- It particularly focuses on preventing transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries.
- It provides for cooperation between the parties, including exchange of information on issues relevant to the implementation of the Convention.
- It applies Prior Consent Approval procedure to regulate the transboundary movement of the hazardous and other wastes.
- Non-parties cannot transport hazardous waste to and from each other unless specially agreed. Basel Convention states such transportation, illegal.
- The member nations to the convention are required to have domestic legislation for both prevention and the punishment of the illegal trafficking of such hazardous wastes.
- Conference of Parties (COP) is a primary organ of the Basel Convention and is responsible to make decisions about the operations of the convention. It meets biennially.
- India is a member of the Basel Convention. It ratified the convention in June 1992 and brought it into force on 22nd September 1992.
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MOEF&CC) introduced Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules of 2016.
Subject – Polity
Context – HC presses Centre on Uniform Civil Code
- The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) calls for the formulation of one law for India, which would be applicable to all religious communities in matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption.
- The code comes under Article 44 of the Constitution, which lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India.
Background of Uniform Civil Code
- The origin of the UCC dates back to colonial India when the British government submitted its report in 1835 stressing the need for uniformity in the codification of Indian law relating to crimes, evidence, and contracts, specifically recommending that personal laws of Hindus and Muslims be kept outside such codification.
- Increase in legislation dealing with personal issues in the far end of the British rule forced the government to form the B N Rau Committee to codify Hindu law in 1941.
- Based on these recommendations, a bill was then adopted in 1956 as the Hindu Succession Act to amend and codify the law relating to intestate or unwilled succession, among Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs.
- However, there were separate personal laws for muslim, chirstian and Parsis.
- In order to bring uniformity, the courts have often said in their judgements that the government should move towards a uniform civil code.
- The judgement in the Shah Bano case is well known, but the courts have made the same point in several other major judgements.
- By arguing that practices such as triple talaq and polygamy impact adversely on the right of women to a life of dignity, the Centre has raised the question whether constitutional protection given to religious practices should extend even to those that are not in compliance with fundamental rights.
Subject – Environment
Context – Amazon deforestation surges to worst in 15 years
To know more about Amazon Rain Forests, please refer July 2021 DPN.