The Hindu Newspaper 07th April 2020

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Questions :-

Consider the following statements with respect to ‘Criminal Tribes Act’

  1. The term, ‘De-notified and Nomadic Tribes’, can be traced to this Act
  2. It was repealed in 1952 and the Habitual Offenders Act was enacted in its place.

Select the correct statements

  1. 1 Only
  2. 2 Only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Mekedatu dam project’ which is often seen is news is being built across which of the following rivers?

  1. Cauvery
  2. Mandovi
  3. Krishna
  4. Godavari

Consider the following statements about National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)

  1. Environment Protection Act provides for creating the National Tiger Conservation Authority
  2. It is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
  3. Project Tiger is administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority

Select the correct statements

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1 and 3
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Map of the Day :-

The countries that border Red Sea are:
  • Egypt to the west and north, and.
  • Sudan, Djibouti, and Eritrea to the west.
  • Yemen and Saudi Arabia in East.

1) Pench tiger death raises COVID-19 fears:-The death of a 10 year old ailing male tiger, in the Pench Tiger Reserve(PTR) — the country’s most munificent reserve —that succumbed to a ‘respiratory illness’ .

But a report of a confirmed COVID-19 infection in a tigerat the Bronx Zoo, in New York, United States and advisories by divisions of the Environment Ministry that deal with the protection of the cats in zoos, as well as in Tiger Reserves.

NTCA:- The National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA) was established in December 2005 following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force.

The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 was amended to provide for constituting the National Tiger Conservation Authority responsible for implementation of the Project Tiger plan to protect endangered tigers.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority is set up under the Chairmanship of the Minister for Environment and Forests.

  • It approves the State Govt. Plans for Tiger Conservation.
  • Lays down Standards and Measures.
  • Also Prepares Report to be laid down in front of Parliament.

Project Tiger was Launched in 1973.
NTCA at Present is a Statutory Body under MOEF.

It conducts Tiger Census every 4 year.

2)Lifeline UDAN:– The Lifeline UDAN was launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to help India fight against COVID-19.

Under this initiative, flights were operated in transporting essential equipment and medicines all over the country.

3)News:- MPLADS suspended; PM, MPs to take 30% salary cut
The Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) is an ongoing Central Sector Scheme which was launched in 1993-94.
The Scheme enables the Members of Parliament to recommend works for creation of durable community assets based on locally felt needs to be taken up in their constituencies in the area of national priorities namely drinking water, education, public health, sanitation, roads etc.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has been responsible for the policy formulation, release of funds and prescribing monitoring mechanism for implementation of the Scheme.Features

  1. The MPLADS is a Plan Scheme fully funded by Government of India. The annual MPLADS fund entitlement per MP constituency is Rs. 5 crores.

Editorial of the Day :-

Central Theme:- Measures taken during emergencies can not come at the cost of institutional checks and balances

State governments have invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act, first drafted to deal with bubonic plague that swept Maharashtra in 1897. The Act prohibited public gatherings, and regulated travel, routine screening, segregation, and quarantine.

The government was given enormous powers to control public opinion.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak, described as the‘father of Indian unrest’ by Valentine Chirol of The Times (London)was imprisoned for 18 months. His newspaper, Kesari, had criticised measures adopted by the government to tackle the epidemic.

Silence on these crucial issues bore expected results. In June1897, the brothers, Damodar Hari Chapekar and Balkrishna Hari Chapekar, assassinated W.C. Rand,the plague commissioner of Poona, and Lieutenant Charles Egerton Ayerst, an officer of the administration.

But Today The government could have paid attention to migrant labour when it declared a lockdown on economic activities, roads, public spaces, transport, neighbourhoods and zones in which the unorganised working class ekes out bare subsistence.

The result of this slipup was tragic. Thousands of workers and their families were forced to exit the city, and begin an onerous trek totheir villages.

Govt. In the Supreme Court :- The government claimed that panic over the migration of thousands of barefooted people was based on fake news, and that the scale of migration was overestimated.

Author Says in the name of Managing Pandemic the Government is dispensing off the Rights of those migrant labourers.

Author quotes the Human Rights Experts statement in which he said :- Emergency powers, the experts insisted, shouldnot be used to quash dissent. Moresignificantly, these measures haveto be proportionate, necessary and non discriminatory.

Editorial 2:- Cash less Indians, the new normal, and survival

First A Very important Fact :-

  • The World Bank defines “extreme poverty” as living on less than $1.90 a day.
  • New standards for poverty include those for middle- and high-income countries, at $3.20, $5.50, and $21.70 a day.

India is in $3.20 level.

What this means, in real terms,is that the poorest 500 million Indians would be out of cash reserves completely by April 15 and another 500 million will be left with just half their reserves.

Inequality in India :-

Inequality of cash, a basic economic instrument, gives us a picture of how unequal our society is.

The Gini coefficient, a common measure of inequality, of cash holding in India is as high as 0.71, where 0 indicates perfect equality and 1 indicates perfect inequality. Other measurements of inequality such as the Atkinson Index [A(1)=0.624] and the Generalised Entropy Index [GE(1)=3.108] also show a very high inequality of cash holding. This means that in India, cash is heavily concentrated at the top.

Extent of Inequality:- Even inter district and intra district cash inequality is very high. The top 10% districts held 764 times more currency than the bottom 10% districts.

It is unsurprising then that the districts at the top are situated in Tier I and II cities.

In fact, the bottom 60 districts, mostly comprising hill and tribal districts, held only 0.2% of all the cash.

Currently, a humanitarian crisisis unfolding in India, where the poorest Indians have been returning to their homes by foot, in packed vehicles, hungry and cashless.

However, due to the great inequality of cash, it will not be long before workers are forced to migrate back to cash rich centres again, despite lockdowns and fears of a deadly virus.

Authors Suggestion:- Given the dire economic situation, author proposes: a social and economic argument to remonetise India. This would mean a direct cash transferof ₹2.5 lakh crore just to replenish people’s exhausted cash coffers.

Why Remonetise:-Inequality reproduces more inequality. If a majority of Indians lose their cash reserves, they will fall into income traps where real wages will diminish and lost wages can only be recovered by longer working hours.

Economist Joseph Stiglitz has argued that that it is not the differences in saving thatcause the difference in income but the other way around, where incomes cause the difference in saving.

Editorial 3 :- Preparing for SAARC 2.0

Considering that SAARC has been dormant for several years due to regional tensions, it is worth stressing that thefight against COVID-19 has been taken up in right earnest through a series of tangible measures.

First, all the eight member states were represented at the video conference —all at the level of head of state or government, except Pakistan. The Secretary General of SAARC participated. They readily agreed to work together to contain the virus, and shared their experiences and perspectives.

Second, India’s proposal to launch a COVID-19 Emergency Fund was given positive reception. Within days, all the countries, except Pakistan, contributed to it voluntarily, bringing the total contributions to $18.8 million. Although it is a modest amount, thespirit of readily expressed solidarity behindit matters.

Third, the fund has already been operationalised. It is controlled neither by India nor by the Secretariat. It is learnt that each contributing member state is responsible for approval and disbursement of funds in response to requests received from others.

Fourth, in the domain of implementation, India is in the lead, with its initial contribution of $10 million. It has received requests for medical equipment, medicines and other supplies from Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Many requests have already been accepted and action has been taken, where as others are under implementation.

Fifth, a follow up video conference of senior health officials was arranged on March 26. The agenda included issues ranging from specific protocols dealing with screening at entry points and contact tracing to online training capsules for emergency response teams.

Steps are now under way to nurture technical cooperation through a shared electronic platform as also to arrange exchange of all useful information among health professionals through more informal means.

Both New Delhi andits friendly neighbours need to start preparing themselves for SAARC 2.0.

Editorial 4:- Restructuring our food systemfor a healthy world 

Central Theme:- Many disease outbreaks show that within thewelfare of animals lies the welfare of people.

The novel coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic is an opportunity for us to analyse our food system, ideate andmake changes for a healthier andmore sustainable future. It is widely believed that the disease is zoonotic,which means that it got transferred to humans from the exotic animals stored in the ‘wet markets’ in Wuhan,China, the epicentre of the outbreak.

Like SARSCoV-2, SARS too was believed to have spread from civet cats to human beings in 2002. There aresimilar theories about Ebola and HIV.

What lessons do these various outbreaks offer us? 

One concern is antibiotic resistance. According to the World Health Organization, the large volume of antibiotics given to farm animals contributed to the development of anti-microbial resistant bacteria particularly in settings of intensive animal production.

Most of the standalone meat vendors do not follow the standards laid down by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Further, while welfare standards of animals are often neglected, one thing is clear: immuno-compromised animals are the most likely to pass on an infection.

It is thus imperative that India understand the risk of zoonosis and antibiotic resistance in terms of following FSSAI regulations and adhering to/welfare standards in animal husbandry.

Alternate Plant Meat :– The second lesson is to undertake greater investment in the alternate protein industry.

India has a high rate of malnutrition among children under the age of five and is trying to combat this by encouraging meat production. India must explore the potential behind plant and cultivated meats.

Plant based meats are made from plants and are cholesterol and antibiotic free, but taste and feel like meat. Cultivated meat is produced by taking a small sample of animal cells and replicating themoutside of the animal; the resulting product is real meat, but without the antibiotics, E. coli, salmonella, oranimal waste.

Problems Alternate Plan Meat can Solve:-

  • malnutrition,
  • low farmer incomes,
  • anti-biotic dependency, and
  • inhumane factory farming of animals.

Western Examples:- In the Western world, these plant based meats are already popular and two plant based companies – the Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat –won the Champions of Earth award, the United Nation’s highest environmental honour.



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