The Hindu Newspaper 01/05/2020

1)Consider the following statements about the Election Commission of India (ECI).

  1. The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) is appointed by the President of India.
  2. It enjoys the same kind of independence that the judiciary enjoys.
  3. Once appointed, the Chief Election Commissioner is fully answerable to the government for its powers and responsibilities.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:- The ECI is an independent body. It is not answerable to the government.

2)Which of the following do not come under the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court?

  1. Inter-state water disputes
  2. Matters related to the finance commission
  3. A suit by a private citizen against the Centre or a state.

Choose the correct answer using the codes below:

3)The President can dismiss a Cabinet Minister, who is also a MP, with

 

Map of the Day :- Ports in India

News:- March core sector output slumps 6.5%

Output at India’s core sector contracted by 6.5% in March, Commerce Ministrydata show, reflecting the  early impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent nationwide  of eight corlockdown.

The index of 8 core sector industries, which  form 40% of the weight of items included in the broader Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

Contraction was seen in :- Crude oil, natural gas, steel, cement, refinery products, fertilizers and electricity saw output contract in March

Growth:- only in Coal.

IIP is released monthly computed by CSO.

Refinery products has highest weightage.

Second Highest :- Electricity

Third:- Steel

4th:Coal

5th:Crude oil

6th:Natural gas

7th:Cement

8th:Fertilizers.

 

Editorial of the Day :-

The making of the modern public intellectual

Central Theme:- Public intellectuals should be respected because they speak out against injustice wherever it occurs.

Author points out that the Critiques of the Govt. Today face a lot of problems, sometimes tagged as Anti-nationalists and sometimes arrested.

As per the author Politics establishes rules that govern multiple transactions of society.

It can not be its own defendant, judge and jury. If politics is, as Aristotle put it, the master science (science for Greeks isknowledge), it has to accept reflective and critical activity.

Politics is too important to be left to politicians alone.

While authoritarian societies breed court historians, mature democracies appreciate critical scholarship.

But today intellectualism is dismissed contemptuously as elitist.Not only does this attitude foster a culture of mediocrity, intellectuals who hold a mirror to the state are hounded and arrested.

Why are Public Intellectuals important :- Public intellectuals are the moral conscience of society, simply  because they think.

To think is to question, to call for freedom, and to invoke the right to disobey.

Our intellectuals have to be reflective, philosophical beings, philosophical in the sense that they think about issues, addresses contemporary social problems and see them as the legacies of previously  unresolved issues of social injustice.

Editorial 2:Needed: a pandemic patent pool

Fact :- April 26, we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day.

What is happening on the Covid-19 vaccine front:- friction already  exists  among various stakeholders.

For instance, one country made attempts to obtain exclusive rights to a vaccine being developed.

On the other hand, thereare also collaborations taking place. However, the spirit of collaborative solutions is only on the anvil.

Author says even on collaborative front it will take few months time to develop and distribute the vaccine. And if patent fights come into picture then the delay will be detrimental.

What the author says :- Pandemics need disruptive solutions. Governments and international organisations need to arrive at a consensus in advance to ensure that the system is ready.

Creating hindrances through exclusivity claims, in the wake of a, pandemic will result in dividing countries, corporations and international organisations. This will not benefit patients and the world as a whole.

If patent owners create impediments on the strength of patent rights, the world will start despising patents and that is not a situation IP owners ought to be in.

Under the TRIPS regime, there are several tools such as compulsory licensing that are available to ensure access to medicines.

Compulsory licensing means that in emergency situations to save life of the people govt. Can permit the local manufacturers to produce a patented medicine without taking permission of the actual owner.

Solution Suggested by the Author:-

Patent Pool:-  Patent pools are usually effective in aggregating, administering and licensing patents related to specific areas of technology.

Such pools are usually managed by a central agency and the patents which become part of the pool are readily made available for licensing.

Some pools even publish the royalty rates payable for such licences.

Anyone who wishes to obtain a licence will be able to approach the pool, agree to the terms, and begin  to manufacture and sell the products. Such pools are prevalent in for instance, standard essential patents related to telecom and digital innovations.

Creation of a pool and immediate licensing will ensure that there are hundreds of manufacturers across the world and thus vaccine will be available quickly.

Editorial 3:- Plasma therapy is no silver bullet

Central Theme:- Author says many people recommended Plasma therapy without even getting Trial results from ICMR.

To recommend it without undertaking a robust scientific study may cause more harm than good.

More Research is needed:- The most important principle in  medical ethics is “do no harm. The transfusion of convalescent plasma is also not without risks, which range from mild reactions like fever, itching, to life threatening allergic reactions and lung injury.

To recommend a therapy without studying it thoroughly with robust scientific methods may cause more harm than good.

How to test a drug or vaccine:To say with certainty whether a drug is truly effective or not, the gold standard in medicine is to conduct a randomised controlled trial, where  half the patients get the experimental drug and the other half do not.

Only  if patients in the first half show substantial improvement over those inthe second half, it indicates the drugis beneficial.

What are Other related Aspects to be kept in Mind :-Further convalescent plasma therapy requires intensive resources,

  • Healthy COVID-19 survivors to donate,
  • a blood bank with proper machinery and t
  • Trained personnel to remove plasma,
  • Equipment to store it and
  • testing facilities to make sure it has an adequate amount of antibodies.

Too much focus on one approach can take away the focus from other important therapeutic modalities like use of oxygen therapy, antivirals, and antibiotics for complicated hospital courses.

To overcome thepandemic comprehensively, weshould focus on strengthening health  systems  at  all levels, including referral systems, supply chain, logisticsand inventory management.

News:- EC vague on RTI asking if J&K is in Electoral College

What was the query:- The Election Commission of India (ECI) has replied ambiguously to a Right to Information (RTI) query if the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be part of the Electoral College for the election of the President of India.

ECIs Response:- The EC sent a single line response, merely saying “for the information, applicant may be informed to refer Article 54 of the Constitution of India.”

So where is the Ambiguity?:- Under Article 54, the President is elected by an Electoral College, which consists of the elected members of both  houses of Parliament and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of all the States and also of Delhi NCTand Puducherry U.T.

Article 54, thus, only specifically mentions NCT of Delhi and Puducherry as eligible to bepart of the Electoral College. The J&K Reorganisation Act does not specify anything about whether the legislature would be able to vote in the election for a President.

News:- GI tag to Manipur black rice, Gorakhpur terracotta

  • Manipur Black Rice :- Chak-Hao, which is a black rice variety of Manipur. Chak-Hao, a scented glutinous rice which has been in cultivation in Manipur over centuries is characterised by its special aroma.
  • It is normally eaten during community feasts and is served as Chak-Hao kheer.
  • Gorakhpur Terracotta :- The terracotta work of Gorakhpur is a centuries old traditional art form, where the potters make various animal figures like, horses, elephants, camel, goat and oxwith hand applied ornamentation.

News:- Activists seek testing of Ganga water for COVID-19 treatment

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), anarm of the Jal Shakti Ministry that deals with the Ganga cleanup plan, has forwarded to the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) aproposal to undertake clinical trials and examine if Ganga water can be used to treat COVID-19 patients.

CSIR-National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute, Nagpur — had found  that the upper stretches of the Ganga had several species of bacteriophages.

 Phages as they are also called, are viruses that specifically target bacteria and are also extremely strain specific.

While there is research to suggest that these phages may have anti-microbial properties and could potentially destroy bacteria such as Mycobacterium  streptococcus and Pseudo-monas Yersinia, it is unclear how phages — being viruses themselves — could have anti-viral properties.

Phage therapy has its uses in experimental medicine and has been used to treat infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria.

News:- Football legend Chuni Goswami passes away

Subimal ‘Chuni’ Goswami —the man who inspired India to its most talked about moment of football glory, gold at the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta — is no more.

 

 

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