The Hindu Newspaper 16/05/2020

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1)Consider the following statements with respect to Merchant Discount Rate (MDR)

  1. It is the percentage of the digital transaction that a merchant pays to banks.
  2. The merchant discount rate is expressed in percentage of the transaction amount.
  3. It is also applicable for online transactions and QR-based transactions.

 Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  • a.   1 only
  • b.   1 and 3 only
  • c.   2 and 3 only
  • d.   1, 2 and 3


  • Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) is the cost paid by a merchant to a bank for accepting payment from their customers via digital means.
  • The merchant discount rate is expressed in percentage of the transaction amount.
  • It is also applicable for online transactions and QR-based transactions.
  • The amount that the merchant pays for every transaction gets distributed among three stakeholders – the bank that enables the transaction, vendor that installs the point of sale (PoS) machine and the card network provider such as Visa, MasterCard, RuPay.
  • Union Finance Minister has recently announced that from 1 January, 2020, businesses with annual turnover of more than Rs. 50 crore will have to offer low cost digital payment options to customers and Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) will not be levied on either customers or merchants.

2)Pronab Sen Committee sometimes seen in the news recently is associated with which of the following?

  • a.   Economic Statistics
  • b.   Tribal Talent Development
  • c.   Foreign Portfolio Investors
  • d.   Local militancy in Jammu and Kashmir

3)India’s first University for Transgender community to come up in?

  • a.   Kerala
  • b.   Rajasthan
  • c.   Maharashtra
  • d.   Uttar Pradesh

Solution 3:-

  • The country’s first University For Transgender Community will be opened in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district.
  • It is to facilitate Transgender communitymembers to study right from class one to PG and even do research and get PhD degree.
  • The university, which will come up in Fazilnagar block of Kushinagar district, is being built by the Akhil Bhartiya Kinnar Siksha Seva Trust (All-India transgender education service trust).

Map of the Day:- Indian Ocean Important Islands

News:- New law for contract farming :- The third wave of Rs. 20 Lakh crore as announced by PM modi wad formulated.

Following are the steps taken to assist farming sector :-

Credit: The Hindu

Explanation of Scheme for Formalization of Micro Food Enterprises :-

News :- Yakshagana:- Yakshagana is a traditional Indian theatre form, developed in  Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada,  Shimoga and western parts of Chikmagalur  districts, in the state of Karnataka and in  Kasaragod district in Kerala that combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style and form. 

Editorial of the Day :- NEET is not student friendly, merit promoting

Basic History :- NEET was initially struck  down as unconstitutional in Christian Medical College, Vellore (2013) by a 2:1majority.  In 2016, not only was a review of this  judgment allowed but the dissenting judge of the 2013 judgment made NEET compulsory even  prior to a full hearing by the constitution Bench.

Why NEET is Criticised by the Author :-

  • Because of Such entrance tests Coaching  institutes are  prospering; since most of  them  are in cities,  poorer students  from  a rural  background and  who have studied  in the  vernacular medium face  a  disadvantage. 
  • There is also large scale variation  in the  syllabus and standards of the Central Board of Secondary Educationand State boards.
  • Not only this in the last 4 years , 2 times NEET paper has been leaked thus credibility and transparency is in question.
  • Translation is a big problem in NEET paper , as in 2018 49 questions were wrongly translated in Tamil.

Advantages of Holding Different types of or more than 1 entrance tests:-

  • If a student falls ill or has not done well in one  test, he will still have a chance to qualify in  another without losing a year.
  • Second, it gives a student a right to select an institution of his choice. 

Author Calls it an illusion of Meritocracy :- Origin of the term Meritocracy is from British  sociologist Michael Dunlop Young’s book,  The Rise of the Meritocracy (1958).

Author says Meritocracy requires competition  and  equality of opportunity. Since NEET fails on both and thus the concept of meritocracy is flawed.

Author also claims that NEET abrogates Article 30 of Minority institutions, centralised counselling  due to which several minority institutions  and  private medical colleges are unable to fill their  seats is indeed an ‘intolerable encroachment’.  Moreover, every vacant seat is the national loss.

Thus on these grounds NEET should be repealed.

Editorial 2:- The pandemic and the challenge of behaviour  change

As per author we need to develop some behavioural changes to prepare ourselves for the future disease outbreaks. Behaviour like Physical distancing etc are hard to develop but if developed can help a lot in future.

What is HBM Model :- The Health Belief Model (HBM), developed by  Irwin M. Rosenstock others suggests that a  person’s health related behaviours ultimately  stem from the desire to avoid illness. 

The two most important constructs of the model  are:

  1. perceived benefits — the effectiveness of  actions available to reduce the threat  of the disease, and 
  2. perceived barriers — the obstacles to performing a recommended health action. 

The author points out that there are certain triggers which are needed to develop a particular behaviour. I.e Informative, Educational and Emotional.

Information and Education are alone not enough to develop a particular behaviour . Ex. Cigarette , everyone knows smoking kills then also there are no limits.

How the PM used Emotional Appeal in case of Corona :- PM used emotions like Fear, Patriotism , nationalism to develop habits of Physical distancing (Junta Curfew).

International Example:- In Singapore, the government, perhaps taking a  cue, supported an event, “Sing Together  Singapore”.

Even Naming and Shaming Methodology can be effective in developing behavioural change.

Hindrances to Recent Behavioural changes :-

  1. Asking someone to stand far or not shake hand might seem rude.
  2. Areas with high population density ex. Slums of dharavi might find it difficult to exercise strict distancing.

News:- Facts about NABARD:-

NABARD is a development bank focussing primarily on the rural sector of the country. It is the apex banking institution to provide finance for Agriculture and rural development. Its headquarter is located in Mumbai, the country’s financial capital.

It is responsible for the development of the small industries, cottage industries, and any other such village or rural projects.

It is a statutory body established in 1982 under Parliamentary act-National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act, 1981.


NABARD’s initiatives are aimed at building an empowered and financially inclusive rural India through specific goal oriented departments which can be categorized broadly into three heads: Financial, Developmental and Supervision.

It provides refinance support for building rural infrastructure.

It prepares district level credit plans to guiding and motivating the banking industry in achieving these targets.

It supervises Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) and helping them develop sound banking practices and integrate them to the CBS (Core Banking Solution) platform.

Core Banking Solution (CBS) is networking of branches, which enables Customers to operate their accounts, and avail banking services from any branch of the Bank on CBS network,  regardless of where he maintains his account. The customer is no more the customer of a Branch. He becomes the Bank’s Customer.

It is involved in designing Union government’s development schemes and their implementation.

It provides training to handicraft artisans and helps them in developing a marketing platform for selling these articles.

NABARD has various international partnerships  including leading global organizations and World Bank-affiliated institutions that are breaking new ground in the fields of rural development as well as agriculture.

News : –Coast Guard ship count hits 150 

Aship and two interceptor boats (IB) were  commissioned into the Coast Guard in Goa  via videoconference from the national capital. This marks a landmark for the force: it now has 150 ships and boats and 62 aircraft. 

The New Ship is ICGS Sachet. ICGS is under defence ministry.

News: Centre’s nod to defence test facilities 

Defence Minister approved the launch of Defence  Testing Infrastructure Scheme(DTIS) with an  outlay of ₹400 crore for creating state of the art  testing infrastructure for domestic defence and  aerospace manufacturing sector.

“The Scheme would run for the duration of five years and envisages to setup six to eight new test  facilities in partnership with private industry. 

News : – Anticipatory bail

What is Bail:- Bail’ as procuring “the release of a person from legal custody, by undertaking that he shall appear at the time and place designated and submit himself to the jurisdiction and judgement of the court.”

In the 1973 case Supt. and Remembrancer of Legal Affairs v. Amiya Kumar Roy Choudhry, the Calcutta High Court explained the principle behind giving bail: “The law of bails… has to dovetail two conflicting demands, namely, on one hand, the requirements of the society for being shielded from the hazards of being exposed to the misadventures of a person alleged to have committed a crime; and on the other, the fundamental canon of criminal jurisprudence viz. the presumption of innocence of an accused till he is found guilty.”

As opposed to ordinary bail, which is granted to a person who is under arrest, in anticipatory bail, a person is directed to be released on bail even before arrest made.

Section. 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, lays down the law on anticipatory bail.

Sub-section (1) of the provision reads: “When any person has reason to believe that he may be arrested on an accusation of having committed a non-bailable offence, he may apply to the High Court or the Court of Session for a direction under this section; and that Court may, if it thinks fit, direct that in the event of such arrest, he shall be released on bail.

News:- A village Named after Quinine : Meghalaya village Quinine Nongladew.

Quinine Nongladew, a village named after the alkaloid quinine extracted from the bark of  cinchona, a plant belonging to the Rubiaceae family and classified as either a large shrub orasmall tree.

“There was no village before this to produce quinine and the place was called Quinine  because of the plantation. 

Cinchona nursery wasraised in the 19th century, probably around 1874, when Shillong  became  the British administrative headquarters for  Assam Province.


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