The Hindu Newspaper 10/05/2020

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1) Which of the following have low Albedo?

  •  a) Bare Soil
  •  b) Desert Sand
  •  c) Fresh asphalt
  •  d) Ocean Ice

Surface                        Albedo

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.

  1. It is situated in Manipur.
  2. 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.

  1. It is located in Kerala.
  2. 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 :-

GCC Members

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:

  1. To take direct and active interest in the issues
  2. To promote a speedy and systematic study of the police problems,
  3. 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. LatestNATIONAL 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.

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