The Hindu Newspaper 03/05/2020

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1)Consider the following statements about the Veto power of the President.

  1. Absolute veto is exercised for Government bills and not for private members’ bills.
  2. President does not possess suspensive veto in the case of money bills.
  3. President has no veto power in respect of a constitutional amendment bill.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

2)The Vice-president of India is elected by the electoral college consisting of

  1. Elected Members of the Parliament.
  2. Nominated Members of the Parliament.
  3. Elected Members of State Legislative Assemblies

Select the correct answer code:

3)Consider the following statements

  1. Money bill can be introduced in either house of Parliament.
  2. Once a Money Bill is passed by Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha can either approve the bill or suggest the amendment but cannot reject the Money Bill.
  3. Amendments to the money Bill suggested by Rajya Sabha may or may not be accepted by Lok Sabha.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Map of the Day :-

Middle East Seas:-


Order From West to East :- Aegean Sea , Dardanelles, Sea of Marmara, Bosphorus, Black Sea, Sea of Azov

NEWS:Unicode nod for proposal to add Tamil characters to Telugu

The Unicode Consortium, a body which specifies the representation of text in software products, has accepted the proposal to add two Tamil characters to the Telugu list for transcribing religious Tamil texts.

The Unicode Standard assigns code to characters from different languages in the world so that they can be understood and displayed across software platforms.

The idea was to“borrow” the characters (LLLA) and (RRA) so that Tamil texts can be transcribed into Telugu without worrying about equivalents.

About Unicode Consortium:- The Unicode Consortium (Unicode Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Mountain View, California. It was formed in 1991.

  • Its primary purpose is to maintain and publish the Unicode Standard which was developed with the intention of replacing existing character encoding schemes which are limited in size and scope, and are incompatible with multilingual environments.
  • To develop, extend and promote use of various standards, data, and open source software libraries which specify the representation of text in modern software, allowing data to be shared across multiple platforms, languages and countries without corruption or need for re-engineering.

2)News:-USCIRF report may prompt concern

The government of India has unequivocally dismissed the US Commission of International Religious Freedom’s latest report, which ranks India on the lowest grade of “Countries of Particular Concern”,  citing the citizenship amendment act and the proposed National Registerfor Citizens, both of which were announced by the government in the past year. In its statement this week, the External Affairs Ministry hit back at the USCIRF directly calling it an “Organisation of Particular Concern”, with no “locus standi” or official standing.

About UNCIRF:- The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom is a U.S. federal government commission created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the leadership of both political parties in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The Office of International Religious Freedom (IRF) inthe State Department and the USCIRF were created by  “International Religious Freedom Act of 1998”, both are separate entities and the USCIRF’s recommendations are non-binding on the State Department.

However,according to the State Department website, the U.S. Secretary of State, who makes the final recommendation on whether to designate a country as a CPC, “takes into account” the recommendation made by the USCIRF.

3)NIAB develops portable coronavirus detection kit:-

National Institute of Animal Biotechnology.(NIAB), Hyderabad, have developed a biosensor that can detect the novel coronavirus in saliva samples.

The new portable device named eCovSens, can beused to detect the presence of novel coronavirus antigens in human saliva within 30 seconds using just 20 microlitres of the  sample

4) Explainer : Debt and  mutual funds

What are Mutual Funds:-

  • A mutual fund is a type of investment vehicle consisting of a portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other securities.
  • Mutual funds give small or individual investors access to diversified, professionally managed portfolios at a low price.
  • Mutual funds are divided into several kinds of categories, representing the kinds of securities they invest in, their investment objectives, and the type of returns they seek.
  • Mutual funds charge annual fees (called expense ratios) and, in some cases, commissions, which can affect their overall returns.
  • The overwhelming majority of money in employer-sponsored retirement plans goes into mutual funds.

What has happened :-

  • Six debt schemes of Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund were shut down
  • Liquidity crunch in Mutual Fund Industry
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a special liquidity window of ₹50,000 crore for mutual funds.
  • Under the scheme, the RBI will conduct repo (repurchase agreement) operations of 90 day tenor at a fixed repo rate of 4.40% for banks.
  • Banks will have to lend this SLF-MF money into Mutual funds only.

Why Templton Franklin Shut it’s debt funds?:- 

The fund house said that it decided to wind up the schemes to preserve the value at prevailing levels — their value had eroded because of  redemption pressures and mark-to-market losses due to lack of liquidity on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That led to fear that many other fund houses face redemption pressure accentuated by the panic sparked by Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund’s sudden move.

What Are Mark-To-Market Losses?

Mark-to-market losses are losses generated through an accounting entry rather than the actual sale of a security.

Mark-to-market losses can occur when financial instruments held are valued at the current market value.

Example:If a security was purchased at a certain price and the market price later fell, the holder would have an unrealized loss, and marking the security down to the new market price would result in the mark-to-market loss.

5)Explainer – 2

What is the difference between rapid anti body tests and the RT-PCR tests?

There are two ways to detect the presence of a virus, directly or indirectly.

Antibody tests, also called serological tests, have usually been the time  tested approach to finding out the presence of a virus in the body.

They do so by detecting the presence and quantity of antibodies that are produced by the immune system to battle an infection.

It is an indirect test because it can not find the virus, but it can determine if the immune system has encountered it.

What are Antibody Test Flaws :-

  1. Anti-bodies can show up between nine to 28 days after an infection has set in; by that time, an infected person, if not isolated, can spread the disease.
  2. Sometimes the antibodies may be produced in response to a closely related pathogen and sometimes they may not be the right kind to counter the infection.

These are the factors  that can make an antibody test erroneous.

In an RT-PCR test, a nasal or throat swab is taken from a patient suspected of having the disease.

The test involves extracting RNA or ribonucleic acid, the genetic material of the virus, and checking if it shares the same genetic sequence as the SARSCoV2 virus.

If it is a match, sample is deemed positive.

The only way such tests turn negative is if the actual sample does not have the virus or the swab was not properly administered and too little of the virus was gleaned.

This is why it was possible to prepare accuratetests to detect the virus relatively quickly, almost in the middle of a pandemic, and the RT-PCR tests began to befollowed as the ‘gold standard’ in detecting the virus.

As not enough research hours have been spent studying the antibodies  and the profile of recovered patients, the antibody tests we have for COVID-19 are imperfect.

6)Fact :- Oxford University initiated a phase-1 human clinical trial of its vaccine —ChAdOx1 nCoV19 — against the novel coronavirus.

7)Documenting the last honey hunting group of Arunachal Pradesh:- The honey hunting skill of the Sherdukpen community and the associated indigenous craftsmanship.

Chi Lupo was adjudged the best documentary at the 10th Dada Saheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2020.

Chi means honey and Lupo is hunter in the dialect of the Buddhist Sherdukpen community, whose total population is estimated to be 4,500.

8) On May 2, 2020, the National Mission for Clean Ganga operating under Ministry of Jal Shakti launched “IDEAthon”. It focuses on “The Future of River Management” to explore how the COVID-19 crisis will change the river management strategies.

The Namami Gange, also called the National Mission for Clean Ganga was launched in 2011. The initiative focuses on controlling the pollution of River Ganga.

9) NSTMIS Report :- The National Science and Technology Management Information (NSTMIS) has conducted a survey on Research and Development Statistics and Indicators 2019-20.

The report says that India ranks 3rd globally in the scientific publication. The first two ranks were occupied by USA and China.

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