Indian Express Explained 21st April 2020

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1)What are immunity passports some countries may issue to those who can get back to work

Lockdown is going on.

Among the ideas being considered is an “immunity certificate” or “immunity passport”, whose holders would be able to get back to work

What an immunity certificate means

Lockdowns around the world have severely impacted the global economy, with many governments facing glaring challenges such as high unemployment and fall in production.

Under increasing pressure to reopen their economies, parts of Europe and the US have been considering issuing immunity certificates to people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have its antibodies– thus presumed to be immune to the disease.

Would such a certificate be reliable?

Many have criticised the scheme as both scientifically and ethically controversial.

Experts have cautioned governments against acting in haste, since much still remains to be understood about the spread of the virus, as well as immunity to it.

Lack of necessary information would make categorising between immune and non-immune persons a challenging as well as potentially dangerous task, they insist.

There are also logistical problems, as not enough test kits are still available around the world to be able to issue such certificates on a large scale. Also, many researchers continue to remain sceptical about entirely relying on antibody tests to issue certificates.

2)Eco-mark:-Eco-mark is a voluntary labelling scheme for easily identifying environment friendly products.

The Eco-mark scheme defines as an environmentally friendly product, any product which is made, used or disposed of in a way that significantly reduces the harm it would otherwise cause the environment. The definition factors in all aspects of the supply chain, taking a cradle-to-grave approach, which includes raw material extraction, manufacturing and disposal.

What sets eco-mark apart from other labels is that not only does the product have to meet strict environmental requirements, but it also has to meet strict quality requirements.

The scheme is one of India’s earliest efforts in environmental standards, launched in 1991, even before the 1992 Rio Summit in which India participated. The scheme was launched by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, and is administered by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which also administers the Indian Standards Institute (ISI) mark quality label, a requirement for any product to gain the Eco-mark label.

3)Explained: Why Thiruvalluvar matters in Tamil Nadu

Thiruvalluvar, commonly known as Valluvar, was a celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher. He is best known as the author of Thirukkuṛaḷ, a collection of couplets on ethics, political and economical matters, and love.

The text is considered an exceptional and widely cherished work of the Tamil literature.

He is regarded as a cultural and moral icon for Tamils across caste and religious lines. The period when he lived is debated, as is his religious identity. Some place him in the third or fourth century; others put him in the eighth or ninth. Some call him a Hindu; some trace his past to Jainism; Dravidian groups count him as a saint with no religious identifiers except his Dravidian roots.


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