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The Hindu Newspaper 05/07/2020

1)“Status of Policing in India Report 2019” was recently published by which of the following?

  • a.  NITI Aayog
  • b.  Common Cause
  • c.  Ministry of Home Affairs
  • d.  None of the above

Answer : b

  • The Status of Policing in India Report, 2019 on police adequacy and working conditions was prepared by the NGO Common Cause and Lokniti programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.
  • According to the report, one in two police personnel surveyed feel that Muslims are likely to be “naturally prone” to committing crimes.

2)

Convention No. 185 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) deals with?

  • a.  Poisoning Arising from Benzene
  • b.  Equality of Treatment (Social Security)
  • c.  Seafarer Identity Document
  • d.  Protection of Workers against Ionising Radiations

Answer : c

  • India has become the first country in the world to issue Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID), capturing the facial bio-metric data of seafarers.
  • The new card is in confirmation of the Convention No. 185 of the International Labour Organisation on BSID.
  • India ratified the Convention in October 2015.

3)

World Investment Report is published by which of the following organization?

  • a.  World Bank
  • b.  World Economic Forum
  • c.  International Monetary Fund
  • d.  UN Conference on Trade and Development

Answer : d

1)The Hindu Explains | Why has Indian Railways opened doors for private players?

The story so far: Indian Railways has launched the process of opening up train operations to private entities on 109 origin destination(OD) pairs of routes using 151 modern trains. 

Background:– In 2015, the expert panel chaired by Bibek Debroy constituted by the Ministry of Railways a year earlier, recommended that the way forward for the railways was “liberalisation and not privatisation” in order to allow entry of new operators “to encourage growth and improve services.”

The overall objective of the present invitation, however, is to introduce a new train travel experience for passengers who are used to travelling by aircraft and air-conditioned buses.

Why is the move significant for Indian Railways?

For the Railways, one of the largest organisations in the country operating not just trains for passengers and freight, but also social institutions such as hospitals and schools, it represents a radical change. According to data maintained by the World Bank, in 2018 India had 68,443 route kilometres of railways. It is among the four largest rail networks in the world, along with the United States, China, and Russia, although every kilometre of track in India covers geographical area much less than Germany, Russia, China or Canada, indicating scope for expansion.

It was estimated that a one rupee push in the railway sector would have a forward linkage effect of increasing output in other sectors by ₹2.50. The Debroy committee found this significant to take the ‘Make in India’ objective forward. 

Are private train operations sustainable?

Private players aren’t expected to cater the universal welfare agenda and thus they would definitely charge higher. But private operators would have to raise the level of their offering even higher, to justify higher fares, and attract a segment of the population that is ready to pay for this difference. 

2)The Hindu Explains | What will be the impact of Chinese apps ban?

The story so far: In the wake of the face-off with Chinese forces Indian government on June 29 banned 59 apps of Chinese origin, citing data security and national sovereignty concerns. These include popular ones such as TikTok, SHAREIt, UC Browser, CamScanner, Helo, Weibo, WeChat and Club Factory.

How were the Apps Banned :- The Ministry said it had decided to block the 59 apps to safeguard the “sovereignty and integrity of India”, invoking powers under Section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.

Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and Information Technology and Law and Justice — he asserted that the ‘digital strike’ was done “for safety, security, defence, sovereignty & integrity of India and to protect data & privacy of people of India” 

How does the ban affect Chinese app providers?

The potential loss of advertising revenue impacts app-makers. Tik Tok’s parent ByteDance Ltd. recorded a doubling of global revenue to $17 billion in 2019, over the previous year, with $3 billion in profit.

Its India business may have yielded only $5.8 million in revenue for the year ended March 2019, but with quicker user adoption more recently, the stakes seem to be getting higher. When TikTok was banned briefly in India last year on the grounds that it reportedly promoted pornography, the company had told a local court that it was losing roughly $15 million a month due to the ban, according to a Reuters report.

Can the order be challenged in an Indian court?

Though it is unlikely that the companies concerned may take such a step immediately, either they or any affected individual in India could challenge the blocking orders in court.

The courts will then decide whether the government has provided sufficient explanation as to the nexus between what these apps are alleged to be doing and the reasons adduced by the government such as protection of national security and strategic interests.

3)What are the risks from emerging pathogens?

At this stage, potential harm from G4 EA H1N1, the new strain, has just been flagged by scientists who predict risk from emerging pathogens. Knowledge of the existence of the virus in pig farms in China has been present since 2016. But a new study (“Prevalent Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza virus with 2009 pandemic viral genes facilitating human infection”) published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S. (https://bit.ly/2ZuLy7O), said it replicates efficiently in human airway paths and so far, has infected a few people without actually making them ill. They found antibodies for the virus in the blood of pig farm workers, none of whom was sick.

Is G4 a current pandemic?

No. The paper has merely forewarned of the possibility that the G4 virus might emerge into a pandemic in the future, and the authors have called for greater vigilance in monitoring people. It has not become potent in humans even though their blood contains antibodies for the virus.

Closely studying a pathogen will yield valuable information on transmission, and behaviour of the organism, giving humans early lessons in its prevention and treatment. Alerts should also be sent out by global health mechanisms, including the World Health Organization (WHO), so that other nations at equal risk might be warned before the outbreak hits their shores.

Vugilance Vigilance Vigilance is the Solution .

WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) is at the front of such initiatives to make scientific predictions based on certain models.

News:- IDSP :

  • IDSP is an initiative by the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs started in 2004 with the assistance of World Bank. 
  • Objective:
    • To strengthen/maintain decentralized laboratory based IT enabled disease surveillance system for epidemic prone diseases to monitor disease trends 
    • 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 and District Surveillance Officers, Rapid Response Team and other Medical & Paramedical staff on principles of disease surveillance.
  • Use of ICT for collection, collation, compilation, analysis and dissemination of data.
  • Strengthening of public health laboratories.
  • Inter sectoral Co-ordination for zoonotic diseases

In India, 60% of COVID-19 patients had at least one  comorbidity and nearly 78% were under 50, says data from the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), a Health Ministry body that’s tasked with monitoring disease  outbreaks across the country.

News:- PM launches Atmanirbhar Bharat app challenge 

News:- Infant mortalities surged by a single point in Madhya Pradesh in 2018

The infant mortality rate (IMR) in Madhya Pradesh, recording the country’s worst rate for years now, surged by a single point over the previous year to 48 in 2018, stymying an improving annual trend for at least six years, according to the Office of the Registrar General India.

In rural Madhya Pradesh, 52 children below one died per 1,000 live births (Infant mortality rate) and 36 in urban area. The country’s average stands at 36 deaths for rural and 23 for urban areas. 

Basic definitions :- Infant mortality is the death of young children under the age of 1. This death toll is measured by the infant mortality rate (IMR), which is the number of deaths of children under one year of age per 1000 live births. The under-five mortality rate, which is referred to as the child mortality rate, is also an important statistic, considering the infant mortality rate focuses only on children under one year of age.

Birth spacing a major concern

“A major concern is birth spacing as in most cases two children were born within one-one and a half years against the advised gap of around three years. This may result in premature deliveries of low birth weight babies,” 

Paediatric intensive care units

To bring down the IMR, Mr. Singh said, “We are setting up paediatric intensive care units in 26 districts, available only in five districts until 2018. We are also enhancing our manpower.”

As for encouraging community referrals and ensuring timely treatment, the NHM was training workers at health and wellness centres.

News:- Govt mulling new law to streamline logistics sector

The union government is considering framing a law– National Logistics Law Efficiency and Advance Predictability Act—to streamline the logistics eco-system in the country. The law will replace the existing multimodal transportation of goods act.

Multimodal transportation involves several modes of transportation–railways, roads, waterways, for delivery of goods.

Logistics Concerns :- Logistics cost of India is particularly high and has been a pain point for the industry for the longest time, impacting the competitiveness of domestic goods in the international market. The government aims to reduce the logistics cost, which is 14% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the moment to less than 10%.

Gvernment is working on creating digital platforms and mobiles apps for logistics such as warehouse information tracking and trading yard (WITTY), among others to mapping of warehouses.

A national logistics policy is also under works to promote seamless movement of goods across the country.

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