The Hindu Newspaper 23/05/2020

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1)Which one of the following best describes the term “Syndemic”?

  • a.  It is a situation when two or more epidemics interact to produce an increased burden of disease in a population
  • b.  It is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations
  • c.  It is a situation in which a disease affects 90% of the region’s population and the people in the region learn to live with the disease
  • d.  It is declared when the presence or usual prevalence of its infectious agent is constant within a given geographical area or population group.

Classification of Diseases based on spread and occurrence

  • Epidemic – An epidemic is a large outbreak, one that spreads among a population or region. It is less severe than pandemic due to a limited area of spread.
  • Endemic – A disease is called endemic when the presence or usual prevalence of its infectious agent is constant within a given geographical area or population group.
  • Pandemic – A pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations.
  • Syndemic – A Syndemic is a situation when two or more epidemics interact synergistically to produce an increased burden of disease in a population.

2) Operation Greens” is run by which of the following Ministries?

  • a.  Ministry of Rural Development
  • b.  Ministry of Science and Technology
  • c.  Ministry of Food Processing Industries
  • d.  Ministry of Agricultural and Farmers Welfare
  • Union finance minister has recently announced that Operation Greens will be expanded with an additional fund of Rs 500 crore and extended from tomatoes, onions and potatoes to all fruits and vegetables.
  • Operation Greens is run by Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI).
  • The Scheme would provide 50% subsidy on transportation from surplus to deficient markets, 50% subsidy on storage, including cold storages and will be launched as pilot for the next 6 months and will be extended and expanded.
  • This will lead to better price realization to farmers, reduced wastages, and affordability of products for consumers.

3)Consider the following statements with respect to Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)

  1. It will be launched for integrated, sustainable, inclusive development of marine and inland fisheries.
  2. It will be launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  • a.  1 only
  • b.  2 only
  • c.  Both 1 and 2
  • d.  Neither 1 nor 2
  • Under the Special economic and comprehensive package of Rs 20 lakh crores, the central government will launch the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY).
  • It will be launched by the Ministry of Fisheries.

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)

  • It will be launched for integrated, sustainable, inclusive development of marine and inland fisheries.
  • Rs 11,000 crore for activities in Marine, Inland fisheries and Aquaculture and Rs. 9000 crore for Infrastructure – Fishing Harbors, Cold chain, Markets etc shall be provided.
  • Cage Culture, Seaweed farming, Ornamental Fisheries as well as New Fishing Vessels, Traceability, Laboratory Network etc. will be key activities.
  • There will be provisions of Ban Period Support to fishermen (during the period fishing is not permitted), Personal & Boat Insurance.
  • The focus will be on Islands, Himalayan States, North-east and Aspirational Districts.

Mao of the Day :-

Kalapani Dispute Explained :

The contestation is over three issues: the source of the Kali (also called Mahakali) river, the location of Lipulekh Pass , and the India-China-Nepal trijunction. The earliest the Nepalese go back on Kalapani is to 1816, the Treaty of Sugauli whose Article 5 reads: ‘areas east of Kali river belong to Nepal’. The origin/source of Kali river determines whether the Kalapani area, which is around 35 sq km, lies in India or Nepal.

Kathmandu claims the source of the Kali river is Lampiya Dhura and not Kalapani as avowed by India, which contends that beyond Kalapani, the boundary follows the watershed to the northern border encompassing the area bound by Lipu Gad (Kava Khola) and the watershed. If Lampiya Dhura is accepted as the source of river Kali, nearly 400 sq km of territory including Kalapani and Lipulekh Pass would go to Nepal.

News:- United Nations: India’s KHUDOL declared one of Top 10 Global Initiatives to fight COVID-19 : On May 22, 2020, the United Nations listed the KHUDOL initiative of Manipur as one of the top 10 global initiatives to fight against COVID-19.

KHUDOL is an initiative of a NGO called Ya_All. Under the initiative, the NGO provides food, hygiene and health of LGBTQ community, daily wage workers, people with AIDS.

News: US Threatens to leave Open Skies Treaty :- Signed March 24, 1992, the Open Skies Treaty permits each state-party to conduct short-notice, unarmed, reconnaissance flights over the others’ entire territories to collect data on military forces and activities. Observation aircraft used to fly the missions must be equipped with sensors that enable the observing party to identify significant military equipment, such as artillery, fighter aircraft, and armored combat vehicles.

Came into Force in :- 2002

The Treaty on Open Skies establishes a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its signatories.

The Treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, a direct role in gathering information through aerial imaging on military forces and activities of concern to them.

The treaty is one of the most wide-ranging international arms control efforts to date to promote openness and transparency in military forces and activities.

Currently, it has 34 member states. Russia and U.S. are signatories to the treaty.

News:- Monetary Policy Committee meets: Repo rate reduces to 4%

Remember the Two Simple Concepts:-
1) When RBI Increases the Repo and Reverse Repo , it sucks the money or Liquidity from the Market and thus reduces demand and ultimately Price or Inflation.

2)When RBI Decreases the Repo Rate or Reverse Repo, it pumps back the liquidity or money into the market and thus Spurs growth and demand.

Now What is Accomodative Monetary Stance :- An accommodative stance means a central bank will cut rates to inject money into the financial system whenever needed. 

EXIM BANK :- Exim bank was  set up in 1982.
Export-Import Bank of India was thus born after two decades of debate on the need for a specialized export credit agency for India and the role of international trade in India’s economic development.

The Export-Import Bank of India Act was passed in September 1981 and the Bank commenced its operations in March 1982.

Exim Bank is managed by a board of directors, which has representatives from the Government, Reserve Bank of India, Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India, a financial institution, public sector banks, and the business community.

Challenges:– The rural and urban demand has been falling down. The manufacturing activity in the country has fallen down by 21% post COVID-19. Also, the output from core industries has fell by 6.5%.

News:New security law will tighten Beijing’s grip on Hong Kong:-

A draft legislation on national security tabled before China’s  Parliament will for the first time allow Beijing to draft national security laws  for  Hong Kong and also operate its national security organs in the Special  Administrative Region(SAR).

Hong kong has criticised china for undermining the “one country,  two systems” model that gives  the SAR a high degree of autonomy.Since the return to China in1997, Hong Kong has been governed by  the  Basic Law, which allows the territory“ to enjoy executive,  legislative  and independent judicial power, including  that offinal adjudication”,  barring matters of defence and foreign  affairs.

Article 23 of the Basic Law requires Hong Kong to pass national security  legislation,but past attempts to do so were shelved when the moves triggered wide protests. 

The New Legistlation from China is trying to strip of SAR of Hongkong of its power and thus the Dispute.

Editorial of the Day :- As we have already discussed the Kalapani Dispute in detail. Todays Editorial was regarding the Same, Author has given many arguments why India is correct.

Before the 1816 Treaty of Sugauli, the Nepalese kingdom stretched from the Sutlej river in the west to the Teesta river inthe East. 

Nepal lost the Anglo Nepalese War and the resulting Treaty limited  Nepal  to its present  territories.  The Sugauli Treaty stated that“ [t]he Rajah of Nipal  [Nepal] hereby cedes to the Honourable [the]East India  Company in perpetuity all the undermentioned territories”, including 
“the whole of the lowlands between the Rivers Kaliand Rapti.”

It elaborated further that “[t]he Rajah of Nipal [Nepal]renounces  for  himself,  his heirs,and successors, all claim to or  connection  with the  countries lying tothe west of the River Kali and engages never to have any  concern with those countries or the inhabitants there of.”

History of Lipulekh Pass:

  • Treaty of Sagauli, 1816: Before this treaty, the Nepalese kingdom stretched from the Sutlej river in the west to the Teesta river in the East. Nepal lost the Anglo-Nepalese War and the resulting Treaty limited Nepal to its present territories.
  • Arise of the present controversy:It has arisen since the Nepalese contest that the tributary that joins the Mahakali river at Kalapani is not the Kali river. Nepal now contends that the Kali river lies further west to the Lipu Lekh pass.
  • British time: The British used the Lipu Lekh pass for trade with Tibet and China. The Survey of India maps since the 1870s showed the area of Lipu Lekh down to Kalapani as part of British India. Both the Rana rulers of Nepal and the Nepalese Kings accepted the boundary.
  • For India: It was mentioned as one of the border passes for trade in a 1954 agreement with China, which was also reaffirmed in another trade agreement in 2015.
  • China re-opened the Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrimage route for Indians in 1981 and this pass has been used to walk into Tibet.
  • India did not exist in 1816 when the Treaty of Sugauli was concluded. India inherited the boundaries of British India. It cannot now unravel the historic past.

Possible Reasons for Nepal’s stand:

  • To hide government failures: The controversy has given Nepal’s PM an opportunity to hide his government’s incompetence to meet the basic needs of the people.
  • Deployment of armed forces at Chharung, close to Kalapani, in its Sudoor Paschim:The manner and timing of the deployment has raised eyebrows in New Delhi.
  • China factor for India: The ITBP is located in Kalapani because of its closeness to the India-China border. Indian forces are not there because of Nepal.
  • Dragging on border issues:
    • It is unfortunate that the respective Foreign Secretaries, tasked by PM and then Nepal leader Sushil Koirala in 2014 to discuss the boundary matter, have failed to find an acceptable date for a meeting since then.
    • When matters came to a boil in Kathmandu, the MEA’s response that it would convene the meeting after the pandemic had been dealt with was unnecessarily dismissive of an issue important to Kathmandu.
  • Internal Politics of Nepal: It is clear that the struggle within the ruling Nepal Communist Party has spurred Mr. Oli’s more combative posture.

Resolution to solve disputes:

  • The Nepal-India Technical Level Joint Boundary Working Group:
    • It was set up in 1981 to resolve boundary issues, to demarcate the international border and to manage boundary pillars.
    • By 2007, the group completed the preparation of 182 strip maps, signed by the surveyors of the two sides, covering almost 98% of the boundary, all except the two disputed areas of Kalapani and Susta.
    • It also ascertained the position of 8,533 boundary pillars.
  • The next steps:  
    • Approval of the strip maps by the respective governments (that of the Nepalese Government is still awaited)
    • The resolution of the differences of opinion over Kalapani and Susta
    • Speeding up the erection of damaged or missing border pillars.
  • Need of political will: The India-Nepal border issues are easily solvable if there is political goodwill and statecraft exercised on both sides.

Ties are unique between India and Nepal:

  • Self-respect of Nepal: India has been conscious of the self-respect and pride of the Nepalese people and always supported with measures like the free movement of peoples.
  • Nepal’s past contribution:
    • Its political leaders contributed to India’s struggle for freedom.
    • The only time since Independence that foreign troops were deployed on Indian soil was  in 1948-49. Nepalese soldiers under the command of General Sharda Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana came to India’s northern cantonments, depleted by deployments in Jammu and Kashmir and Hyderabad.
  • The people-to-people relationship: In the far corners of India, locals never turn against the Nepalese. It is the government-to-government relationship that generally lags.
  • Need for quiet diplomacy: Both sides should refrain from tough languages like mentioning China in bilateral disputes. It widens the door for someone else to foment more trouble. This is a matter best handled bilaterally.

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