1) Which of the following have low Albedo?
- a) Bare Soil
- b) Desert Sand
- c) Fresh asphalt
- d) Ocean Ice
Fresh asphalt 0.04
Bare soil 0.17
Desert sand 0.40
Ocean ice 0.5 – 0.7
2) Consider the following statements about Singphan wildlife sanctuary.
- It is situated in Manipur.
- It has been declared as the Elephant Reserve.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
- a) 1 only
- b) 2 only
- c) Both
- d) None
Government of Nagaland has declared Singphan Wildlife Sanctuary as “Singphan Elephant Reserve” with the approval of Government of India on 16th August 2018. The Singphan Elephant Reserve is the 30th Elephant reserve in the country.
3) Consider the following statements about Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary.
- It is located in Kerala.
- A species of wood snake is a ‘point endemic’ here.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
- a) 1 only
- b) 2 only
- c) Both
- d) None
Meghamalai is a mountain range situated in the Western Ghats in Theni district, Tamil Nadu.
Map of the Day :-
News :-ICMR to test for community transmission in 75 districts
What is Community Transmission :-
- It signifies that a virus is circulating in the community and can affect people with no history of travel to affected areas or of contact with an infected person.
- India’s current emphasis on social distancing and discouragement of public gatherings is aimed at checking community transmission.
- Once community transmission begins, it is more difficult to trace contacts. As one unknown source of infection can infect many people unknowingly.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world. As early as in 1911, the Government of India set up the Indian Research Fund Association (IRFA) with the specific objective of sponsoring and coordinating medical research in the country. After independence, several important changes were made in the organisation and the activities of the IRFA.
It was redesignated in 1949 as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) with considerably expanded scope of functions.
The ICMR is funded by the Government of India through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The Indian Council for Medical Research announced a research collaboration with Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech International Ltd (BBIL) to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
2)News:- Police get a guide to detect fake news
The Bureau of Police Research and Development(BPRD) has published a step-by-step guide for law enforcement agencies to identify “fake news” and videos intended to spread panic through hatred and communal violence in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government of India vide Resolution dated 28.08.1970 formally established the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), under the Ministry of Home Affairs giving a new orientation to then existing Police Research and Advisory Council (1966) for the following reasons and with the primary objective of modernization of police force:
- To take direct and active interest in the issues
- To promote a speedy and systematic study of the police problems,
- To apply science and technology in the methods and techniques used by police.
In 2008, the Government of India decided to create National Police Mission under the administrative control of BPR&D to transform the police forces in the country into effective instrument for maintenance of internal security, by equipping them with the necessary material, intellectual and organizational resources.
Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJN), National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science from 1982. The institute provides training courses for officers of the criminal justice system in the two subjects i.e. Criminology and Forensic Science and carries out research.
News:- Using NFHS for population surveillance for coronavirus
The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India.
5 rounds of the survey have been conducted since the first survey in 1992-93. Latest – NATIONAL FAMILY HEALTH SURVEY 2019-20 (NFHS-5)
The survey provides state and national information for India on fertility, infant and child mortality, the practice of family planning, maternal and child health, reproductive health, nutrition, anaemia, utilization and quality of health and family planning services.
Each successive round of the NFHS has had two specific goals:
a) to provide essential data on health and family welfare needed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other agencies for policy and programme purposes, and
b) to provide information on important emerging health and family welfare issues.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), Government of India, designated the International Institute for Population Sciences(IIPS) Mumbai, as the nodal agency, responsible for providing coordination and technical guidance for the survey.
News :- Sal forest tortoise habitat stretches over unprotected areas
The sal forest tortoise is widely distributed over eastern and northern India and Southeast Asia. However, it is not common in any of this terrain. In fact, 23 of the 29 species of freshwater turtle and tortoise species found in India come under the threatened category in the IUCN red list and are under severe existential threat due to human activities.
Also known as the elongated tortoise (Indotestudo elongata), the sal forest tortoise, recently assessed as critically endangered, is heavily hunted for food.
It is collected both for local use, such as decorative masks, and international wildlife trade.
So what has happened :- Study by ecologists in the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, findsthat the area designated as a protected area network has only a small overlap with the actual habitat it roams around in. That means the Habitat of Sal tortoise does not match the protected area designated for them. According to the authors of the study published in the journal Herpetological Conservationand Biology, over 90% of the potential distribution of the species falls outside current protected area’s network.
Other Such Species:- The critically endangered brackish water turtle (Batagur baska) distributed in India and Bangladesh also needs such support.
Explainer – 1 :- Funds and the PM
Background:- On March 28, the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund, or the PM CARES Fund, was set up to tackle distress situations such as that posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who may contribute to the fund?
- The fund receives voluntary contributions from individuals and organisations and does not get any budgetary support.
- Donations have been made tax exempt, and can be counted against a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) obligations.
- It is also exempt from the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, and accepts foreign contributions, although the Centre has previously refused foreign aid to deal with disasters such as the Kerala floods.
Does India already has Such Fund:- The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) was set up in January 1948, originally to accept public contributions for the assistance of Partition refugees.
It is now used to provide immediate relief to the families of those killed in natural calamities and the victims of major accidents and riots and support medical expenses for acid attack victims and others.
The PMNRF was initially managed by a committeewhich included the Prime Minister and his deputy, the Finance Minister, the Congress President, a representative of the Tata Trustees and an industry representative.
However, in 1985, the committeeeentrusted the entire management of the fund to the Prime Minister, who currently has sole discretion for fund disbursal.
Concerns:- It is not clear whether the fund comes under the ambit of the RTI Act or oversight by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, although independent auditors will audit the fund.
The decision to allow uncapped corporate donationsto the fund to count as CSR expenditure —a facility not provided to PMNRF or the CM’s Relief Funds— goesagainst previous guidelines stating that CSR should not be used to fund government schemes.
The PMNRF provides annual donation and expenditure information without any detailed breakup. The PM CARES Fund’s trust deed is not available for public scrutiny.
Discussion – 2 How can inter-State workers be protected? :-
Background: – 16 migrant workers sirf by a train accident.
Those working in the field of labour welfare have recalled a 1979 law to regulate the employment and working conditions of inter State migrants, but feel that the lack of serious implementation has led to their rights being ignored.
What does the 1979 law envisage? :-
It is applicable to every establishment that employs five or more migrant workmen from other States; or if it had employed five or more such workmen on any day in the preceding 12 months.
It is also applicable to contractors who employed a similar number of inter State workmen.
It envisages a system of registration of such establishment. Contractors should also get license.
- This registration is the first step towards accountability and formalisation.
- Contractors after getting license are bound by certain conditions. These terms include “the remuneration payable, hours of work, fixation of wages and other essential amenities in respect of the inter State migrant workmen”.
- For similar nature of workers migrant workers should be paid same wages and same holiday benefits, same working g hours.
- In no case, shall the wages be lower than what is prescribed under the Minimum Wages Act.
Recently a Bill has been introduced in Parliament called the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019. The proposed code seeksto merge 13 labour laws into a single piece of legislation.
The InterState Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979, is oneof them.
Thus it means separate laws concerning various issues will be repealed including Factories Act, Mines act, dock workers act, interstate migrant workmen act.
The Code contains provisions similar to the 1979 Act regarding registration of establishments, licensing of contractors and the inclusion of terms and conditions on hours of work, wages and amenities.
Further, both theold Act and the proposed Code envisage the payment of a displacement allowance and a journey allowance to inter-State migrant workers.
What labour unions feel:- Labour unions feel that preserving theseparate enactment and enforcing it well is a better option than subsuming it under a larger code.