29 August 2021 Daily Current Affairs

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A foreigner is travelling by Air India from Delhi to Mumbai. What will this be considered as in terms of national income:

 a) Import

 b) Domestic consumption

 c) Exports

 d) None of the Above

2)Gross capital formation will increase if:

gross domestic savings increases

gross domestic consumption increases

GDP increases

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

 a) 1 only

 b) 1 and 2 only

 c) 1 and 3 only

 d) None

3)Predatory pricing policy is designed to

 a) Drive competitors out of business

 b) Maximise profits

 c) Encourage entrants into the market

 d) Attain least cost output

Prelims Specific News Items

  1. Govt. sanctions over ₹130 cr. for ambitious HIMS project :- HIMS will bring all city hospitals under one platform and eliminate the need for patients to stand in queues for appointments.

2. Health Information Management System (HIMS) project :-

The Cabinet also approved sanctioning over ₹139 crore for the ambitious project, which will bring all city hospitals under one platform and eliminate the need for patients to stand in queues for appointments.

The system will enable all information about patients to be available at the tap of a button, allow doctors to give appointments over the phone, and allow patients to select appointment time as per their convenience

“The platform will help us know how many beds are vacant in a hospital, the status of medicine stock, number of ventilators, and any other information about medical infrastructure,”.

e-health cards :- The Delhi government is also streamlining the process to obtain a eHealth Card, which will contain the entire medical history of the cardholder and they will be able to get treated at any hospital listed on the HIMS.
Private hospitals will also be connected to the system in a phased manner.

3) Rajnath commissions ICGS Vigraha:- The augmentation of India’s security capabilities has ensured that the country has not suffered any terrorist attacks by sea route since the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said here on Saturday.

Commissioning the seventh Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), ICGS Vigraha, built indigenously by Larsen & Toubro for the Coast Guard (ICG), the Minister said the Coast Guard was continuously enhancing the capacity of the nation.

4) Hydropower Projects in Himalayas are Risky :-

In the aftermath of the Kedarnath floods of 2013 that killed at least 5,000 people, the Supreme Court had halted the development of hydroelectric projects in Uttarakhand pending a review by the Environment Ministry on the role such projects had played in amplifying the disaster. 

Some Committees and their recommendations :

Chopra committee :- A 17-member expert committee, led by environmentalist Ravi Chopra, was set up by the Ministry to examine the role of 24 such proposed hydroelectric projects in the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi basin, which contains the Ganga and several tributaries. The Chopra committee concluded that 23 projects would have an “irreversible impact” on the ecology of the region.

Vinod tare and B.P Das Committee :- committee, led by Vinod Tare of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, concluded that these projects could have a significant environmental impact.

The Environment Ministry in 2015 set up yet another committee, led by B.P. Das, who was part of the original committee, but had filed a “dissenting report”. The Das committee recommended all six projects with design modifications to some.

What are the challenges such projects face? :-

Following the break in the Raunthi glacier that triggered floods in the Rishiganga river in Uttarakhand on February 7, which washed away at least two hydroelectric power projects — the13.2 MW Rishiganga hydroelectric power project and the Tapovan project on the Dhauliganga river, a tributary of the Alakananda — environmental experts have attributed the glacial melt to global warming. 

Glacier retreat and permafrost thaw are projected to decrease the stability of mountain slopes and increase the number and area of glacier lakes.

The Himalayan ecosystem is very fragile and hence proper EIA needs to be done and a preference should be given to environment instead of development in this case

5) Govt notifies new ‘BH’ registration series for personal vehicles for seamless transfer across states :-

The road transport ministry notified a new regime of “Bharaseries (BH)” for registration of personal vehicles owned by defence personnel, employees of Central and state governments, PSUs and private sector companies and organizations, which have their offices in four or more states and UTs. This scheme will be voluntary.

Currently, a person is allowed to keep a vehicle for a maximum of 12 months in any state other than the state where it is registered. The owner has to get such vehicles re-registered before the expiry of 12 months.

6) BCG vaccine: 100 years and counting :- TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, belonging to the Mycobacteriaceae family consisting of about 200 members. Some of these cause diseases like TB and leprosy in humans and others infect a wide range of animals. Mycobacteria are also widely dispersed in the environment. In humans, TB most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB), but it can also affect other organs (extra-pulmonary TB).

 TB is a very ancient disease and has been documented to have existed in Egypt as early as 3000 BC. 

Who discovered BCG :- BCG was developed by two Frenchmen, Albert Calmette and Camille Guerin, by modifying a strain of Mycobacterium bovis (that causes TB in cattle) till it lost its capacity to cause disease while retaining its property to stimulate the immune system. It was first used in humans in 1921.

Currently, BCG is the only licensed vaccine available for the prevention of TB. It is the world’s most widely used vaccine with about 120 million doses every year and has an excellent safety record. In India, BCG was first introduced in a limited scale in 1948 and became a part of the National TB Control Programme in 1962.

BCG and relation with Latitude :- One intriguing fact about BCG is that it works well in some geographic locations and not so well in others. Generally, the farther a country is from the equator, the higher is the efficacy. It has a high efficacy in the UK, Norway, Sweden and Denmark; and little or no efficacy in countries on or near the equator like India, Kenya and Malawi, where the burden of TB is higher. 

India is committed to eliminate TB as a public health problem by 2025. To achieve this goal, we would not only need better diagnostics and drugs but also more effective vaccines.

About Insulin :

Insulin was discovered by Sir Frederick G Banting (pictured), Charles H Best and JJR Macleod at the University of Toronto in 1921 and it was subsequently purified by James B Collip.

Before 1921, it was exceptional for people with type 1 diabetes to live more than a year or two. One of the twentieth century’s greatest medical discoveries, it remains the only effective treatment for people with type 1 diabetes today.

This means that in 2021, we’re celebrating 100 years since the discovery of insulin. It was one of the greatest medical breakthroughs in history, which went on to save millions of lives around the world and triggered a century of diabetes discoveries. Here we take a look at the journey that got us there.

7) What has the Supreme Court ruled on ‘creamy layer’?

Recent Judgement of Supreme Court :- On August 24, a Division Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao, observed that economic criterion cannot be the sole basis for identifying the ‘creamy layer’ of a backward class, and that other factors like social advancement, education, employment, too, matter. 

Who belongs to the ‘creamy layer’? :-

The ‘creamy layer’ concept was introduced in the Supreme Court’s Indra Sawhney judgment, delivered by a nine-judge Bench on November 16, 1992. Though it upheld the government’s decision based on the Mandal Commission’s report to give 27% reservation to Other Backward Classes, the court found it necessary to identify sections of backward classes who were already “highly advanced socially as well as economically and educationally”.

The court believed that these wealthy and advanced members form the ‘creamy layer’ among backward classes. The judgment directed the State governments to identify the ‘creamy layer’ and exclude them from the purview of reservation.

Indira Sawhney II :- However, certain States like Kerala did not promptly implement the judgment. This led to the Indra Sawhney-II case, reported in 2000. In this, the court went to the extent of determining the ‘creamy layer’ among backward classes.

So who comes in Creamy layer ? :-

  • The judgment held that persons from backward classes who occupied posts in higher services such as IAS, IPS and All India Services had reached a higher level of social advancement and economic status, and therefore, were not entitled to be treated as backward. Such persons were to be treated as ‘creamy layer’ without any further inquiry. Likewise,
  • people with sufficient income who were in a position to provide employment to others should also be taken to have reached a higher social status and treated as “outside the backward class”.
  • Other categories included persons with higher agricultural holdings or income from property.
  • Thus, a reading of the Indra Sawhney judgments shows that social advancement, including education and employment, and not just wealth, was key to identify the ‘creamy layer’.

Why is it difficult to have a economic line for creamy layer ? :-

The identification of ‘creamy layer’ has been a thorny issue. The basic question here is how rich or advanced should a backward class section be to invite exclusion from reservation. Justice Jeevan Reddy, in the Indra Sawhney judgment, wondered “how and where to draw the line” between the deserving and the creamy layer among backward classes. “The basis of exclusion should not merely be economic, unless, of course, the economic advancement is so high that it necessarily means social advancement,”

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