Daily Prelims Notes 4 June 2020
- June 6, 2020
- Posted by: admin
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- Key Agriculture Reform
- Solidarity Trials
- Integrated Disease surveillance Program
- Genome India Project
- Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H)
- PM KUSUM
- Border Area Development Programme (BADP)
The Cabinet has approved historic amendment to the Essential Commodities Act and passed ordinances.
i) Amendment to ECA
- While India has become surplus in most agri-commodities, farmers have been unable to get better prices due to lack of investment in cold storage, warehouses, processing and export as the entrepreneurial spirit gets dampened due to hanging sword of Essential Commodities Act.
- The Essential Commodities Act, 1955 was enacted to ensure the easy availability of essential commodities to consumers and to protect them from exploitation by unscrupulous traders. At present, there are seven commodities scheduled under the EC Act, 1955 as essential.
- Fertilizer, whether inorganic, organic or mixed
- Foodstuffs, including edible oilseeds and oils
- Hank yarn made wholly from cotton
- Petroleum and petroleum products
- Raw jute and jute textile
- seeds of food-crops and seeds of fruits and vegetables, seeds of cattle fodder, jute seeds and cotton seed
- Exercising powers under the Act, various Ministries/Departments of the Central Government and under the delegated powers the State Governments/UT Administrations have issued Control Orders for regulating production, distribution, pricing and other aspects of trading in respect of the commodities declared as essential.
- The enforcement/implementation of the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 lies with the State Governments and UT Administrations
Benefits from amendment: With the amendment to Essential Commodities Act, commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes will be removed from list of essential commodities.
- This will remove fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference in their business operations.
- The freedom to produce, hold, move, distribute and supply will lead to harnessing of economies of scale and attract private sector/foreign direct investment into agriculture sector. It will help drive up investment in cold storages and modernization of food supply chain.
ii) Barrier-free trade in agriculture produce
- There are restrictions for farmers in sellingagri-produce outside the notified APMC market The farmers are also restricted to sell the produce only to registered licensees of the State Governments.
- Further, Barriers exist in free flow of agriculture produce between various States owing to the prevalence of various APMC legislations enacted by the State Governments.
- Cabinet approved ‘The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020’.
- Farmers and traders will enjoy freedom of choice of sale and purchase of agri-produce.
- Promote barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade and commerce outside the physical premises of markets notified under State Agricultural Produce Marketing legislations.
- Open more choices for the farmer, reduce marketing costs for the farmers and help them in getting better prices.
- It will also help farmers of regions with surplus produce to get better prices and consumers of regions with shortages, lower prices.
- The ordinance also proposes an electronic trading in transaction platform for ensuring a seamless trade electronically.
- Creation of One India, One Agriculture Market
iii) Farmers empowered to engage with processors, aggregators
- Indian Agriculture is characterized by fragmentation due to small holding sizes and has certain weaknesses such as weather dependence, production uncertainties and market unpredictability.
- This makes agriculture risky and inefficient in respect of both input & output management.
- So cabinet approved ‘The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020’.
- Empower farmers for engaging with processors, wholesalers, aggregators, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters etc., on a level playing field without any fear of exploitation.
- It will transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the sponsor and also enable the farmer to access modern technology and better inputs.
- It will reduce cost of marketing and improve income of farmers.
- Act as a catalyst to attract private sector investment for building supply chains for supply of Indian farm produce to global markets.
- Farmers will get access to technology and advice for high value agriculture and get ready market for such produce.
- Farmers have been provided adequate protection. Sale, lease or mortgage of farmers’ land is totally prohibited and farmers’ land is also protected against any recovery.
- Effective dispute resolution mechanism has been provided for with clear time lines for redressal.
Cabinet approved ‘The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020’.
- Article 123 of the Constitution empowers the President to promulgate ordinances during the recess of Parliament. These ordinances have the same force and effect as an act of Parliament, but are in the nature of temporary laws.
- It has been vested in him to deal with unforeseen or urgent matters. But, the exercises of this power is subject to the following four limitations:
- He can promulgate an ordinance only when both the Houses of Parliament are not in session or when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session. Thus, the power of the President to legislate by ordinance is not a parallel power of legislation. He can make an ordinance only when he is satisfied that the circumstances exist that render it necessary for him to take immediate action.
- In Cooper case, (1970), the Supreme Court held that the President’s satisfaction can be questioned in a court on the ground of malafide
- His ordinance-making power is coextensive as regards all matters except duration, with the law-making powers of the Parliament. This has two implications: i) An ordinance can be issued only on those subjects on which the Parliament can make laws. ii) An ordinance is subject to the same constitutional limitation as an act of Parliament.
- Every ordinance issued by the President during the recess of Parliament must be laid before both the Houses of Parliament when it reassembles. If the ordinance is approved by both the Houses, it becomes an act. If Parliament takes no action at all, the ordinance ceases to operate on the expiry of six weeks from the reassembly of Parliament.
- Governor has similar power under Article 213
A report by WWF-India’s programme division Traffic has found “significant increase” in reported poaching of wild animals during the lockdown, which is not restricted to any geographical region or state, or to any specific wildlife area.
- The TRAFFIC, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, is a leading non-governmental organisationworking on wildlife trade in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
- It is a joint program of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- It was established in 1976 and has developed into a global network, research-driven and action-oriented, committed to delivering innovative and practical conservation solutions.
- Headquarters: Cambridge, United Kingdom
- It aims to ensure that trade in wild plants and animal is not a threat to the conservation of nature.
Subject: Science and tech
The World Health Organization said that clinical trials of the repurposed anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for treatment of covid-19 will resume, after a committee reviewed the available data for the drug.
- Solidarity” is an international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19, launched by the World Health Organization and partners.
- The Solidarity trial will compare four treatment options against standard of care, to assess their relative effectiveness against COVID-19.
- By enrolling patients in multiple countries, the Solidarity trial aims to rapidly discover whether any of the drugs slow disease progression or improve survival.
- Over 90 countries including India are working together to find effective therapeutics as soon as possible, via the trial.
- Four treatment options:
- The chloroquine-hydroxychloroquine combination to prevent entry of virus using ACE 2 receptor
- Lopinavir-ritonavir to prevent replication of virus by inhibiting enzymes used for replication
- By understanding structure
- By understanding virus behavior
- WHO says that while randomized clinical trials normally take years to design and conduct, the Solidarity Trial will reduce the time by 80%.
- The Union health ministry has permitted the trial for four drugs: Remdesivir, Lopinavir, Interferon (beta-1a) and hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine.
Subject: Science and tech
According to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme data, currently, as many 11.68 lakh migrants who have returned to the state are under surveillance. Of them, 74,237 migrants have been tested for the infection and 2,404 have turned positive — a positivity rate of 3.2 per cent.
- Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) was launched with World Bank assistance in November 2004 to detect and respond to disease outbreaks quickly.
- Objective is to strengthen/maintain decentralized laboratory based IT enabled disease surveillance system for epidemic prone diseases to monitor disease trends and to detect and respond to outbreaks in early rising phase through trained Rapid Response Team (RRTs)
- Programme Components:
- Integration and decentralization of surveillance activities through establishment of surveillance units at Centre, State and District level.
- Human Resource Development – Training of State Surveillance Officers, District Surveillance Officers, Rapid Response Team and other Medical and Paramedical staff on principles of disease surveillance.
- Use of Information Communication Technology for collection, collation, compilation, analysis and dissemination of data.
- Strengthening of public health laboratories.
- Inter sectoral Co-ordination for zoonotic diseases
Subject: Science and tech
The Genome India Project has submitted a fresh proposal to Delhi to examine samples of a thousand Covid-19-infected Indians.
- The Genome India Project aims to map the diversity of India’s genetic pool, and “lay the bedrock of personalised medicine.”
- The Rs 238-crore project, which will be a collaboration between 20 Indian research institutions, with the Indian Institute of Science’s Centre for Brain Research serving as its nodal point
- In its first stage, it develops a reference Indian genome using genetic samples from 10,000 persons across India.
- This will enable greater medicinal efficiency in terms of preventive interventions and customised treatments
- The stage two was always meant to be about another batch of 10,000 of Indian samples with diseases, of three broad categories — non-communicable diseases like cardio-vascular and diabetes, mental illnesses and cancer.
Subject: Science and tech
The Union Cabinet has given its approval to re-establish Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) as Subordinate Office under Ministry of AYUSH
- Presently, Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) is an autonomous body under the aegis of Ministry of AYUSH established since 2010.
- Re-establishment of Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H is by merging into it Pharmacopoeia Laboratory for Indian Medicine (PLIM) and Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Laboratory (HPL)– the two central laboratories established at Ghaziabad since 1975.
- The merger is aimed at optimizing the use of infrastructural facilities, technical manpower and financial resources of the three organizations for enhancing the standardization outcomes of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs towards their effective regulation and quality control.
- The primary mandate is of publishing Pharmacopoeias and Formularies for drugs/formulations used in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani (ASU) and Homoeopathy (ASU&H) systems of Medicine.
8. PM KUSUM
Ministry of New & Renewable Energy ( MNRE) has recently noticed that few new websites have cropped up as registration portal for PM-KUSUM Scheme which are potentially duping general public and misusing data captured through fake registration portal.
The PM KUSUM scheme had three components
- 10,000 megawatts (MW) of decentralised ground mounted grid-connected renewable power plants (Component-A);
- Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone solar powered agriculture pumps (Component-B); and
- solarisation of 10 lakh grid-connected solar powered agriculture pumps (Component-C).
Government is going to boost infrastructure in areas along China border
- The Department of Border Management, Ministry of Home Affairs has been implementing the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) through the State Governments as part of a comprehensive approach to Border Management.
- The programmeaims to meet the special development needs of the people living in remote and inaccessible areas situated near the international border and to saturate the border areas with the essential infrastructure through convergence of Central/State/BADP/Local schemes and participatory approach.
- The State covered are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
- Under this programme priority is given to the areas closer to the border.
- BADP is an important intervention of the Central Government to bring about development of border areas by supplementing the State Plan Funds to bridge the gaps in socio- economic infrastructure on one hand and improving the security environment in border areas on the other.