17 March 2022 Current Affairs

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1) In the Gupta empire, Paramabhattaraka was a

  • a) Council of Peace and conflict
  • b) Minister for foreign affairs
  • c) In charge of granaries
  • d) Title adopted by Gupta Kings

2) Chola inscriptions mention several categories of land. Among them vellanvagai was a land

  • a) given for the maintenance of a school
  • b) donated to Jaina institutions
  • c) belonging to non-Brahmana peasant proprietors
  • d) left for fallow cultivation

3) With reference to the cultural history of India, the memorizing of chronicles, dynastic histories and Epictales was the profession of who of the following?

  • a) Shramana
  • b) Parivraajaka
  • c) Agrahaarika
  • d) Maagadha

Mains Question of the Day

How can Circular Economy help India achieve the Aim of Climate as well as Economics.

Prelims Specific News :

The Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has released “Draft National Policy for the Medical Devices, 2022.

What are the salient features of the policy?

The policy will

– Incentivise core technology projects and exports through tax refunds and rebates.

– Adopt Public-private partnerships to reduce the cost of healthcare and drive efficiency.

– Create a single-window clearance system for licensing medical devices.

– Identify critical suppliers and promote local sourcing.

– Encourage cross-industry collaboration.

– Increase the share of medical technology companies in research and development to around 50%.

– A dedicated fund for encouraging joint research involving existing industry players, reputed academic institutions and startups.

– Incorporate a framework for a coherent pricing regulation to make available quality and effective medical devices to all citizens at affordable prices.

– NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority) shall be strengthened with adequate manpower of suitable expertise to provide effective price regulation, balancing patient and industry needs.

Need for such policy

  • Policy vacuum: India’s medical devices sector has so far been regulated as per provisions under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940, and a specific policy on medical devices has been a long standing demand from the industry.
  • Meaningful expense on R&D: The policy also aims to increase India’s per capita spend on medical devices. India has one of the lowest per capita spend on medical devices at $3, compared to the global average of per capita consumption of $47.
  • Reducing import dependence: With the new policy, the government aims to reduce India’s import dependence from 80 per cent to nearly 30 per cent in the next 10 years.
  • Becoming a global hub: It aims to become one of the top five global manufacturing hubs for medical devices by 2047.
  • Domestic manufacturing of high-end products: Indian players in the space have so far typically focussed on low-cost and low-tech products, like consumables and disposables, leading to a higher value share going to foreign companies.

2) India is amongst the world’s largest arms importers, accounting for 11 per cent of global imports, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

India’s arm imports

  • India’s overall imports decreased by 21% between 2012-16 and 2017-21 but that it was still the world’s biggest importer of military hardware.
  • Russia, France and the US are India’s biggest suppliers of arms, accounting for 46%, 27% and 12% of the country’s imports in the last five years.
  • India’s share of global arms imports stood at 11% during 2017-21 compared to 14% in the previous five-year period.

Dependence on Russia is declining

  • Russia’s arms exports to India fell 47% between 2012-16 and 2017-21 even though the deliveries of several platforms including air defence systems and warships are pending.
  • Russia was the largest supplier of major weapons and systems to India during

3) Heatwave

The Konkan region, including Mumbai, has been experiencing sweltering heat in recent days, with the maximum temperatures touching the 40 degrees mark.

What is a Heatwave and when is it declared?

  • Heatwaves occur over India between March and June.
  • IMD declares a heatwave event when the maximum (day) temperature for a location in the plains crosses 40 degrees Celsius.
  • Over the hills, the threshold temperature is 30 degrees Celsius.

Following criteria are used to declare heatwave:

To declare heatwave, the below criteria should be met at least in 2 stations in a Meteorological subdivision for at least two consecutive days and it will be declared on the second day.

a) Based on Departure from Normal

  • Heat Wave: Departure from normal is 4.5°C to 6.4°C
  • Severe Heat Wave: Departure from normal is >6.4°C

b) Based on Actual Maximum Temperature (for plains only)

  • Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥ 45°C
  • Severe Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥47°C

4) All about ICJ

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946.
The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (United States of America).
The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.
The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ. Its official languages are English and French.
It has two primary functions:

to settle legal disputes submitted by States in accordance with established international laws, and to act as an advisory board on issues submitted to it by authorized international organizations.

Members: The International Court of Justice is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms of office by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council.

In order to be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes in both bodies.

In order to ensure a measure of continuity, one third of the Court is elected every three years. Judges are eligible for re-election.

Presidency:The President and Vice-President are elected by the Members of the Court every three years by secret ballot.

The election is held on the date on which Members of the Court elected at a triennial election begin their terms of office or shortly thereafter. An absolute majority is required and there are no conditions of nationality. The President and Vice-President may be re-elected.

The 15 judges of the Court are distributed as per the regions:

Three from Africa.
Two from Latin America and Caribbean.
Three from Asia.
Five from Western Europe and other states.
Two from Eastern Europe.

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