The Hindu Newspaper 08th April 2020

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1. Consider the following changes in the organizational structure of congress during the Nagpur session of 1920 during the declaration of non- cooperation movement:

1) A Congress Working Committee of 15 members was set up to lead the Congress.
2) Entry fee in the party was reduced to four arenas.
3) Provincial Congress Committees were organized but on non-linguistic basis.

Choose the correct statement from above:

a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Only 1 and 2
d. Only 3

2)Who was the prominent leader in Assam during non cooperation when strikes took place in tea plantations and Assam-Bengal Railways services were organized?

a. Rani Gaidinliu
b. J.M. Sengupta
c. Aruna Asaf Ali
d. None of the above

3)The Congress-Khilafat Swarajya Party formation as the aftermath reaction of withdrawal of non cooperation was Established by?

a. Chittaranjan Das, Narasimha Chintaman Kelkar and Jawaharlal Nehru
b. Subhas Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru
c. Chittaranjan Das, Narasimha Chintaman Kelkar and Motilal Nehru
d. None of the above

Map of the Day :-

ONLY ONE OF THE LAKES IS LOCATED ENTIRELY IN THE U.S :- Michigan :- It is the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume and is connected to Lake Huron by the Straits of Mackinac


1)India lifts ban on export of hydroxychloroquine :- India announced that it had rescinded its earlier ban on the export of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), which is now being used incountries such as the U.S. as a possible line of treatment for COVID-19.

2)Delhi’s ‘5T’ war against virus:-

  1. The first T is testing, whichwhen done on a mas scaleenables the actual data of people affected by novel coronavirus.
  2. The second T is tracing, which involves identifying and quarantining peoplewho have come in contactwith infected persons.
  3. The third T is treatment.
  4. The fourth T is teamwork and collective efforts are being made to fight the virus.
  5. The fifth T, is tracking and monitoring.

3) Telemedicine:-Telemedicine allows health care professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients at a distance using telecommunications technology.

Telehealth vs Telemedicine

Although the terms telemedicine and telehealth are often used interchangeably, there is a distinction between the two.

The term telehealth includes a broad range of technologies and services to provide patient care and improve the healthcare delivery system as a whole.

Telehealth is different from telemedicine because it refers to a broader scope of remote healthcare services than telemedicine.

While telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services,

telehealth can refer to remote non-clinical services, such as provider training, administrative meetings, and continuing medical education, in addition to clinical services.

4)Gender violence is ashadow pandemic: UN

The UN Women has urged member states to include prevention of violence against women in their action plans on COVID-19 and consider shelters and helplines essential services,calling the rise in genderbased violence a “shadow pandemic”. 

About UN-Women:- The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, is a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women.

UN Women was formed in 2010 but became operational in January 2011.

What Could be Done :- “Helplines, psychosocial support and online counselling should be boosted,using technology based solutions such as SMS, online tools and networks to expand social support, and to reach women with no access to phones or Internet.


SBI cuts MCLR by 35 bps

MCLR :- The marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) is the minimum interest rate that a bank can lend at.

MCLR is a tenor-linked internal benchmark, which means the rate is determined internally by the bank depending on the period left for the repayment of a loan.

MCLR is closely linked to the actual deposit rates and is calculated based on four components:

  1. the marginal cost of funds,
  2. negative carry on account of cash reserve ratio,
  3. operating costs and
  4. tenor premium.

The Reserve Bank of India introduced the MCLR methodology for fixing interest rates from 1 April 2016. It replaced the base rate structure, which had been in place since July 2010.

Under the MCLR regime, banks are free to offer all categories of loans on fixed or floating interest rates.

The actual lending rates for loans of different categories and tenors are determined by adding the components of spread to MCLR. Therefore, the bank cannot lend at a rate lower than MCLR of a particular maturity, for all loans linked to that benchmark.

Calculation :-

Marginal cost of funds = (92% x Marginal cost of borrowings) + (8% x Return on networth)

Negative carry on account of’ Cash reserve ratio (CRR)- Negative carry on the mandatory CRR arises because the return on CRR balances is nil. Negative carry on mandatory Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) balances may arise if the actual return thereon is less than the cost of funds.

Operating Cost associated with providing the loan product, including cost of raising funds, but excluding those costs which are separately recovered by way of service charges.

Tenor Premium- The change in tenor premium cannot be borrower specific or loan class specific. In other words, the tenor premium will be uniform for all types of loans for a given residual tenor.

What is the Benefit of MCLR Cut :- The Loans become cheaper and thus people can take more loan. This means more income with people and thus more consumption. More consumption means more demand and more demand means more growth , that means this move spurs growth.

6) ICRA Limited (ICRA) is an Indian independent and professional investment information and credit rating agency.

It was established in 1991, and was originally named Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited (IICRA India).

7)News: Two CSIR labsstart virus sequencing

India has shared nine whole genome sequences of the novel corona virus (SARSCoV-2) with the Global Initiativeon Sharing All InfluenzaData (GISAID) a public platform started by the WHO in 2008 for countriesto share genome sequences.

All these have been shared by the Punebased National Institute of Virology.

About CSIR:- The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research  (CSIR) was established by the Government of India in September 1942 as an autonomous body that has emerged as the largest research and development organisation in India .

Although it is mainly funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

Editorial of the Day :-

Ten questions posed by the virus

First, the virus has resurrected theclassic utilitarian question in an immediate life and death situation: whether or not, how many, and whose deaths will be acceptable for a greater common good.

Social Darwinism, the survival of thefittest principle has never been tested this close to the bone.

Second, what is national power?

Third, whither globalisation? All countries have tried to enforce border controls to stop the virus, which ironically also demonstrated their futility.

It isnow a profiteering expedition ofsoulless greed.Can there be a new globalisation where humanity and environment take precedence?

Fourth, how much more power will the state accumulate?

Citizenry seeks benevolence and control from the state. We see ingenious uses of technology for surveillance.

Fifth, will this expanding state be increasingly democratic or progressively authoritarian? China and Singapore showed that authoritarian measures work; Germany showed that democratic and inclusive methods work too. But Italy and the U.S. showed that individualism and markets can impede collective goals.

Sixth, what will happen to the neo-liberal wisdom that unbridled competition of all against all improves efficiency and brings progress?

It is not that competition is universal — the poorer under cut one another while the richer cartelize in a neoliberal world. Cuba,considered inefficient, has sent healthcare professionals to many countries. The virus tells us that competition is risky; cooperationcould be redeeming.

Seventh, what will happen to populism? Populists have shown remarkable resilience in the face of crises, not necessarily by resolving them, but usually by blaming other countries, communities and political opponents.

Eighth, the inhuman exploitation of labour under globalisation, labelled ‘efficiency’ and ‘competitiveness’, has been concealed by the glitzof globalisation and consumerist seduction.

The ninth question is whether we need to travel as much as we do.

The tenth is how our idea of community and boundaries has changed.The COVID-19 crisis has let loose contradictory forces. On the one hand everyone is confined within the tiniest spaces, but on the other, the crisis has also urged us to community action.

Editorial 2 :- A different economic approach

Central Theme :- In time, a vaccine will become available. But the economy cannot remain shut untilthat happens.

A prolonged lockdown will extract a huge economic cost. Therefore, the policy objective must be to find ways of ensuring that the lockdown ends early without compromising on public health.

Suggestions by the Author :-

The economic cost of combating COVID-19can be reduced by combining aggressive testing and isolation, a strategy proposed by economist Paul Romer for the U.S. For it to work, people must be tested in large numbers.

Those who test positive must be isolated. This will make it unnecessary for the rest of the population to stay home and it will allow the economy to restart.

The success of this will depend on eliminating the fears associated with isolation. Such fears can be reduced only if isolation facilities are good.

The second precondition is the substantial ramping up of manufacturing capacities for medical grade masks, gloves, gowns, ventilators, testing labs, etc.

Way Forward :- Since the state of the lockdown is not a normal condition, the usual policy levers become ineffective. Loan moratoriums and cash transfers can fend off bankruptcy and defaults for a few months and buy time on non-performing assets in banks.

If the public health sector can be the economy’s main engine for six months, the public health versus economic health tradeoff can be resolved. The spread of COVID-19 will slow down. The economic pain of combating the virus will reduce. There will be jobs, including for low skilled construction labourers. If planned and executed smartly, the severe health infrastructure deficit will get addressed.


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