The Hindu Newspaper 13/05/2020

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1) Which of the following are an ecotone?





Coral Reef

Select the correct answer code:

 a) 1, 2, 3

 b) 1, 2, 4

 c) 2, 3, 4, 5

 d) 1, 3, 4, 5

2) Which of the following statements is/are correct about a biosphere reserve?

A biosphere reserve focuses on protection of a single species rather than the entire ecosystem.

Gujarat has no biosphere reserve.

Select the correct answer code:

 (a) 1 only

 (b) 2 only

 (c) Both 1 and 2

 (d) Neither 1 nor 2

3) Which of the following will lead to fluctuations in the population density in a given habitat during a given period?





Select the correct answer codes:

 a) 1, 2

 b) 3, 4

 c) 1, 2, 3

 d) 1, 2, 3, 4

News:- PM announces ₹20 lakh crore economic stimulus package

₹20 lakh crore (estimated at 10% of the GDP) will try to make India Self reliant ( aatm nirbhar).

Disaster to Opportunity:- Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits and N-95 masks production started in india after this pandemic. India started from 0 production of PPE to near about 2 Lakh PPE and N-95 masks in one Day.

2)Aarogya Setu app mandatory for returning  NRIs, migrants:- Expanding the ambit of the Aarogya Setu app, the Union Health Ministry directed that downloading it be made  compulsory  for allreturnees (migrant  labourers and those coming from abroad)  for better contact surveillance and suitable medical intervention.

3) Industrial output shrank 16.7% in March:-

Index of Industrial Production

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index that shows the growth rates in different industry groups of the economy in a fixed period of time.

It is compiled and published monthly by the Central Statistical Organization (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

IIP is a composite indicator that measures the growth rate of industry groups classified under:

Broad sectors, namely, Mining, Manufacturing, and Electricity.

Use-based sectors, namely Basic Goods, Capital Goods, and Intermediate Goods.

Base Year for IIP is 2011-2012.

The eight core industries of India represent about 40% of the weight of items that are included in the IIP.

Significance of IIP :

IIP is the only measure on the physical volume of production.

It is used by government agencies including the Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of India, etc, for policy-making purposes.

IIP remains extremely relevant for the calculation of the quarterly and advance GDP estimates.

News:- India caught in U.S.China spat over Taiwan’s status at WHO

World Health Organization’s decision making executive body, is faced with a major choice on whether to support a U.S. move to reinstate Taiwan’s observer status at  the World Health Assembly (WHA) or to  China’s opposition to it.

Whats China’s Stand:- China claims Taiwan as its territory and has repeatedly said that as a part of China, Taiwan has no right to join WHO, which it says is a specialised agency of the United Nation restricted to sovereign states, or attend the upcoming WHO meeting.

The “One-China policy” is a policy asserting that there is only one sovereign state under the name China, as opposed to the idea that there are two states, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC), whose official names incorporate “China”.

ABOUT SCO:- SCO is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation.

It’s a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation aiming to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.

It was created in 2001.

The SCO Charter was signed in 2002, and entered into force in 2003.

It is a statutory document which outlines the organisation’s goals and principles, as well as its structure and core activities.

The SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.


Prior to the creation of SCO in 2001, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan were members of the Shanghai Five.

Shanghai Five (1996) emerged from a series of border demarcation and demilitarization talks which the four former Soviet republics held with China to ensure stability along the borders.

Following the accession of Uzbekistan to the organisation in 2001, the Shanghai Five was renamed the SCO.

India and Pakistan became members in 2017.










Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) – Established to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism.

News:- Under Samudra Setu , stranded Indians are brought from Maldives using INS Jalashwa and INS Magar.

News : – GI tag for Sohrai Khovar painting, 

Telia  Rumal 

Sohrai Khovar :- Painting from Jharkhand

“The Sohrai Khovar painting is a traditional and  ritualistic mural art being practised by local  tribal women during local harvest and marriage seasons.

Telia Rumal :- From Telangana Telia Rumal  cloth involves intricate hand made work with  cotton loom  displaying a variety of designs and  motifs in  three  particular colours — red,  black  and white.

News:- Glenmark initiates phase-3 clinical trials of Favipiravir in India

Favipiravir is a generic version of Avigan of  Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co. Ltd., Japan,  a subsidiary of Fujifilm Corporation.

Favipiravir has demonstrated activity against  influenza viruses and has been approved in  Japan for the treatment of novel influenza virus infections.

Glenmark is the first company in India to initiate Phase-3 clinical trials on Favipiravir for COVID-19 patients in India, it said.

News:- India may miss nutrition targets

Global Nutrition Report 2020 by WHO has mentioned that india is among 88 countries which will miss Global Nutritional targets to be achieved by 2025.

WHO in 2012 gave 6 targets :-

  • reduce stunting by 40% in children under five  and 
  • prevalence of anaemia by 50% among women in the age group of 19-49, 
  • ensure 30% reduction in low birth weight 
  • and no increase in childhood overweight, 
  • increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding  in the first six months up to at least 50% and 
  • reduce and maintain childhood wasting  to less than 5%. 

Which targets India will miss:- stunting among under five children

anaemia  among women of reproductive age, childhood overweight and exclusive breastfeeding.

News:- ‘Defence think tank renamed unilaterally

Name of IDSA (Institute for Defence Studies and  Analyse) has been renamed as Manohar Parrikar institute for Defence Studies and Analyse.

Due process was not followed while changing thename of the Institute for Defence Studies and  Analyses (IDSA). No discussion with the Executive council of IDSA has been done.

IDSA, which was set up in 1965, evolved to  become the most famous think tank of the  strategic affairs community in India over the years. 

Critiques say It’s not about the individual but the  whole  renaming itself. Defence institutions should not be named after politicians.

News:- 44 existing labour laws into four codes. The Code on Wages Bill was cleared recently.  The Code on Occupational Safety, Health  and Working Condition

Code on Industrial Relations and Code on  Social Security are before the Lok Sabha

News :- Do numbers matter in Rajya Sabha ? 

Rajya Sabha has equal say in Ordinary bills as that of Lok Sabha, Less say in Money bills as they can not reject the money bill only give recommendations and hold the bill for 14 days.

Rajya sabha has more say when a resolution is passed for Parliament to make law on a state subject. Or When a new All India service is created (Art. 312).

Is Rajya sabha Obstructionist :- No since only 3 Joint sittings have took place till now.

The first instance was in 1961 when the Dowry  Prohibition Bill, 1959 suffered a defeat.  In 1978, the Banking Services Commission  (Repeal)  Bill, 1977 was rejected by the Rajya  Sabha  and in 2002, the Prevention of  Terrorism Bill, 2002 could not pass the Rajya  Sabha scrutiny.

Instances when Cordiality of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha suffered a dent:- First when Rajya Sabha members were not included in the  Public Accounts Committee in 1952.

Again, when the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill,  1953, was introduced in the Rajya Sabha,  some members questioned its certification as a Money Bill by the Lok Sabha Speaker.

Rajya Sabha is Becoming less Efficient : -An analysis by the Secretariat revealed that the  productivity of the Rajya Sabha till 1997 has been  100% and above and the past 23 years have  thrown up a disturbing trend of rising  disruptions. Productivity fell to 87% during 1998-2004, 76% during 2005-14 and 61% during 2015-19.

Rajya Sabha to retain its independence, it should not be seen as ‘disruptive’ as evidenced  over  the past two decades.

EDITORIAL OF THE DAY :- Riding roughshod over State governments

Instances of Breach by central govt. Over state govt.

One, the Central government,recently  classified  all districts in the country as red, orange or  green zones in abid to lift lockdown restrictions  in a specific manner. 

Some States/Union Territories objected to the classification of certain areas/districts as red zones on the ground thatthese areas are very large.  They pointed out that there was no need to keep economic activity on hold in an entire district when cases had been reported only from a small portion of that district. 

Two,The Kerala government had issued revised  guidelines in mid April following a near perfect  recovery rate and a steep fall in the number of  cases. However, the Central government did not  trust the wisdom and judgment of the State government in the matter.

Disaster Management Act is a breach by central govt. :- DM Act comes under Residuary subject (Article 248) thus centre can make laws, now central govt. Has issued binding guidelines under DM act but since Public Health comes under state list , there is a contradiction.

Why not Epidemic Act 1897?:- In fact, a law on this exists — the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, which has the objective of  preventing “…the spread of dangerous epidemic  diseases.” However, under this Act, it is the  State governments which havethe prerogative to take appropriate measures for arresting the  outbreak or spread of a contagious or  infectious  disease in their respective States.

Therefore, instead of resorting to the Epidemic  Diseases Act which gives powers to the States, the Centre has applied the Disaster Management Act, which has enabled it to ride roughshod over  State governments. 

Another important point is that :- The DM Act envisages the creation of a ‘National Plan’  under Section 11, as well as issuance of binding guidelines by the Centre to States under  Section 6(2), in furtherance of the ‘National Plan’. 

Now, Section 11(2) of the Act mandates State consultations before formulating a ‘National Plan’, and to that extent, when the binding  guidelines are ultimately issued under it, they are  expected to represent the views of the States. 

However, the Centre has not formulated the  ‘National Plan’,  and has chosen instead to  respond to COVID19 through adhoc binding guidelines issued to States, there by circumventing  the legislative  mandate of State consultations.

Another Issue that States Face is Lack of Funds :-

The Centre has also declared that corporations  donating to PMCARES can avail CSR exemptions,  but those donating towards any Chief  Minister’s Relief Fund cannot. 

This directly disincentivises donations to any Chief Minister’s Relief Fund; divertscrores in potential State revenues toPMCARES; and makes the  States largely dependent upon the Centre.

Further, the revenue streams of several States  have dried up because of the liquor sale ban;  negligible sale ofpetrol/diesel; no land dealings andregistration of agreements.

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