Prelims Specific Question
1) National Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index, is released by which of the following organization?
- Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
- Ministry of Labor and Employment
- NITI Aayog
- Institute for Human Development
2) Which of the following statements correctly defines a Lorenz Curve?
- Statistical measure of inequality that describes how equal or unequal income or wealth is distributed among the population of a country.
- A graphical distribution of wealth, showing the proportion of income earned by any given percentage of the population.
- If tax rates are increased above a certain level, then tax revenues can actually fall because higher tax rates discourage people from working.
- Hypothesis that economic growth initially leads to greater inequality, followed later by the reduction of inequality.
3) Which of the following is considered as Guardian of the constitution?
- Prime Minister
- Supreme Court
Important News Items of the Day
1) Lachit Divas
The Prime Minister has paid tributes to Lachit Borphukan on the occasion of Lachit Divas.
Note: Assam celebrates Lachit Divas on November 24 as a tribute to Borphukan valour and heroism.
Who was Lachit Borphukan?
- Lachit Borphukan was a commander in the erstwhile Ahom kingdom.
- He is known for his leadership in the 1671 Battle of Saraighat that thwarted an attempt by Mughal forces to capture Assam.
- The battle of Saraighat was fought on the banks of the Brahmaputra in Guwahati.
- He defeated the Mughal Army by brilliant uses of the terrain, guerrilla tactics, clever diplomatic negotiations to buy time, military intelligence and by exploiting the sole weakness of the Mughal forces—its navy.
2) CDSCO for infra upgrade to be pandemic-ready
About The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO)
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) of India.
Functions: Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, CDSCO is responsible for approval of New Drugs, Conduct of Clinical Trials, laying down the standards for Drugs, control over the quality of imported Drugs in the country and coordination of the activities of State Drug Control Organizations by providing expert advice with a view to bring about the uniformity in the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
CDSCO along with state regulators, is jointly responsible for grant of licenses of certain specialized categories of critical Drugs such as blood and blood products, I. V. Fluids, Vaccine and Sera.
1) WISER Program
The Union Minister for Science and Technology has launched the Women’s Involvement in Science and Engineering Research (WISER) program.
What is the WISER Program?
- Launched by: Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC)
- Purpose: It is a first-of-its-kind programme that aims to promote women in the field of research and development through lateral entry.
- Features: The involvement in the program will be possible through lateral entry. There is neither requirement of break-in-career nor any age limit, and it will enable easy participation.
- Significance: The program will enable gender equality and women’s participation in Science and Technology.
What is Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC)?
IGSTC was established by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany.
Objective: to foster innovation through Indo-German R&D networking including industrial research partnership in PPP mode.
What is the 2+2 Project?
- The 2+2 project is the flagship programme of the Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC).
- Aim: To catalyse innovation-centric R&D projects by synergizing the strength of research/academic institutions and public/industry from India and Germany.
2) Anti-Bacterial Fabric
The Union Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) has launched the unique anti-bacterial fabric.
About Anti-Bacterial Fabric
- The anti-bacterial fabric has been developed by Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute, Jaipur under Khadi and Village Industries Commission(KVIC).
- The fabric is treated with an anti-bacterial agent extracted from cow dung which prevents bacterial growth in the fabric.
- Benefits: This innovative fabric could be of great use in hospitals and other medical facilities. It will also help create rural employment and contribute to environmental protection.
3) 1,000 held in 20 countries in financial crime crackdown
In an operation coordinated by the Interpol (The International Criminal Police Organization), enforcement agencies in more than 20 countries have arrested over 1,000 individuals and intercepted about $27 million of illicit funds as part of a crackdown on cyber-enabled financial crime.
India was one of the participants.
The operation codenamed ‘HAECHI-II’ was conducted over four months from June to September. Specialised police units from 20 countries, including Hong Kong and Macau, took part in the exercise to target specific types of online fraud, such as “romance” scams, investment fraud and money laundering linked to illegal online gambling, said the Interpol.
“The operation also saw Interpol officials pilot test a new global stop-payment mechanism – the Anti-Money Laundering Rapid Response Protocol (ARRP) – which proved critical to successfully intercepting illicit funds in several HAECHI-II cases,” said the Interpol.
What is Interpol?
- The International Criminal Police Organisation, or Interpol, is a 194-member intergovernmental organisation.
- Headquartered in Lyon, France.
- Formed in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission, and started calling itself Interpol in 1956.
- India joined the organisation in 1949, and is one of its oldest members.
4) Meat-eating bee
Bee species mostly feed on pollen and nectar. A few feed on carrion as well. Some newly discovered ones have completely switched to eating meat. They forego visiting flowers. The microbiomes of these ‘vulture’ bees showed the presence of bacteria found in vulture, hyenas and such carrionfeeders, which probably help protect them from pathogens found in meat.
Editorials of the Day
Editorial 1 – EWS criteria rethink
The story so far: The Union Government has decided to revisit the criteria set out for eligibility for its 10% reservation under the economically weaker sections (EWS) category within a month. The main criterion is a family income ceiling of ₹8 lakh. The decision came after the Supreme Court closely questioned it on how it arrived at the income figure, while considering a challenge to the implementation of 27% reservation for the Other Backward Classes and 10% for the EWS under the all-India quota for medical admissions.
How was EWS reservation introduced?
The 10% reservation was introduced through the 103rd Constitution Amendment and enforced in January 2019. It added Clause (6) to Article 15 to empower the Government to introduce special provisions for the EWS among citizens except those in the classes that already enjoy reservation. It allows reservation in educational institutions, both public and private, whether aided or unaided, excluding those run by minority institutions, up to a maximum of 10%. It also added Clause (6) to Article 16 to facilitate reservation in employment. The new clauses make it clear that the EWS reservation will be in addition to the existing reservation.
What are the criteria to identify the section?
- The main criterion is that those above an annual income limit of ₹8 lakh are excluded (income from all sources such as salary, business, agriculture and profession for the financial year prior to the application) of the family (applicants, their parents, siblings and minor children).
- Possession of any of these assets, too, can take a person outside the EWS pool:
- five or more acres of agricultural land,
- a residential flat of 1,000 sq. ft. and above,
- a residential plot of 100 square yards and above in notified municipalities, and
- a residential plot of 200 square yards and above in other areas.
What are the court’s questions about the criteria?
The court has been intrigued by the income limit being fixed at ₹8 lakh per year, as it is the same figure for excluding the ‘creamy layer’ from OBC reservation benefits. A crucial difference is that those in the general category, to whom the EWS quota is applicable, do not suffer from social or educational backwardness, unlike those classified as the OBC. Therefore, the question the court has raised is that when the OBC category is socially and educationally backward and, therefore, has additional impediments to overcome, “would it be arbitrary to provide the same income limit both for the OBC and EWS categories.”
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