The Hindu Newspaper 21st April 2020

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1. ‘Khor’ is related to the culture of Which state ?

A. Rajasthan

B. Manipur

C. Assam

D. Karnataka

2. Hojagiri Dance is related to

A. Bru tribe and Tripura

B. Konda tribe and Andhra pradesh

C. Baitha tribe and Madhya Pradesh

D. Chakma tribe and Sikkim

3. Betla National Park’ is located in

a) Rayalseema

b) Vidarbha

c) Chhota Nagpur Plateau

d) Mewar

Map of the Day :- Iran and Bordering Countries


News:– Yamuna is another sacred river of India that origins from Yamunotri Glacier at height 6,387 metres, on the south western slopes of Banderpooch peak. 

Its largest tributary Tons River flows through Garhwal region in Uttarakhand, and meets Yamuna near Dehradun.

Non – Peninsular Tributaries

1.   Rishiganga

2.   Uma

3.   Hanuman Ganga and

4.   Tons join it in the mountains.

5.   Hindon joins at Ghaziabad in the plain area

Peninsular Tributaries

Most of the Peninsular rivers flow into the Yamuna between Agra and Allahabad.

1.   Chambal

2.   Sind

3.   Betwa

4.   Ken.

2) Civil Services Day :- The Government of India celebrates April  21 every year as ‘Civil Services day’ as an occasion for the civil servants to rededicate themselves to the cause of citizen and renew their commitments to public service and excellence in work.

This date is chosen to commemorate the day when first Home Minister of Independent India, Sardar  Vallabhbhai Patel addressed the probationers of Administrative Services Officers in 1947 at Metcalf House, Delhi, he referred to civil servants as the ‘steel frame of India’. The first such function was held in Vigyan  Bhawan, New delhi  21 April 2006.

3)Nolan Principles:- In 1994, the UK government established a Committee on Standards in Public Life. The committee was chaired by Lord Nolan, and was tasked with making recommendations to improve standards of behaviour in public life.

The first report of the committee established the seven principles of public life, also known as the “Nolan principles”.

So what are the Nolan principles of public life? The seven principles are outlined below:

  • Selflessness – Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves, their family or their friends.
  • Integrity – Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
  • Objectivity – In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
  • Accountability – Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
  • Openness – Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
  • Honesty – Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
  • Leadership – Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Editorial of the Day :-

Takeover fears

The government’s decision to ban foreign direct investments (FDI) through the automatic route from neighbouring countries that share a land border with India has raised eyebrows.

This is mainly because the move is seen as aimed at Chinese investors who could exploit cheap valuations in the depressed economic conditions post lockdown to pick up equity interest in select companies. India is not alone in this fear of “opportunistic takeovers”, as Commerce Ministry described it.

Italy, Spain, France and Australia have already taken similar action to protect their businesses from foreign (read Chinese) investors fishing for distressed entities in need of cash in the post COVID-19 scenario.

Alibaba and Tencent have funded a host of Indian names such as Paytm, Swiggy, Ola, Zomato and BigBasket. It is quite possible that a move to curb or control Chinese investment in Indian companies was always on the cards and that COVID-19 was a good excuse to pull the trigger.

What could have been Done :-

  • Greenfield investments should have been kept out of the purview as they do not pose a threat of takeover of existing business; to the contrary, they create new capacities and businesses in the country.
  • A distinction should also have been made based on the class of investors: venture capital funds are financial investors who may not necessarily be interested in taking over and running a business.

While the FDI route has been plugged, it is not clear what happens to investments that come through the market route.

SEBI has already sent out missives to custodians asking for details of Chinese holdings in listed entities. How will this be regulated? And again, what happens to FDI that comes in through entities registered in countries that do not
share a land border with India but which may trace their beneficial ownership to china?

Editorial 2: Issue Faced by Women in a Pandemic:- 

According to World Health Organization data, around 70% of the world’s health workers are women, 79% of nurses are women. Health workers in general are highly vulnerable and not ensuring their safety is a high risk that can severely impact the health system.

India has a million plus accredited social health activist (ASHA) workers who are an integral part of its health system. ASHAs, who work at the ground level, are reporting incidents of attacks while on COVID-19 duty. Stringent
action against their tormentors is needed to ensure their professional safety.

In many households where both partners work, the work from home (WFH) concept is now common.

  • The entire family is now together within the limited space of their dwellings. As traditional role play is still prevalent in most sections of Indian society, the equal division of household responsibilities among couples is still distant.
  • Women from all strata face substantial additional household work.
  • Alongside this is the fear of job loss and reduced income which can create mental pressure on women, in turn affecting their Physical Well being.
  • The lower income groups are already facing job losses and anxiety is leading to domestic tensions and violence against women.
  • A large number of daily wage workers resort to alcohol consumption. The ban on alcohol sales, as a part of the national lockdown, is contributing to domestic tensions, leading to women abuse.
  • Hormonal Depression:- Women are twice as likely to face depression when compared to men. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) among reproductive age groups, pregnancy related depressive conditions, postpartum depression (PPDs) among new mothers as well as pre menopausal and menopausal symptoms are common, interfering in every day life and relationships. The lockdown is adding more intensity to these conditions.

Editorial 3:- Implement Aarogya Setu, but only through law

Central Theme :-Heightened epidemic surveillance by the government could lead to an increased risk of institutionalised surveillance of individuals.

The Aarogya Setu app launched by the government is designed to enable users who have come in contact with COVID-19 positive patients to be notified, traced and suitably supported.

It has been criticised for not complying with data protection principles of data minimisation, purpose limitation, transparency and accountability, all of which are crucial to protecting the privacy of its users.

The government is also at liberty to revise the terms of the privacy policy at its discretion (and has done so) without notifying its users.

Given the design of the app, it is not difficult to conceive of the wide dangers of its misuse to carry out surveillance of users.
Concomitantly, the app also equips the government with an instrument for restricting and regulating the right of freedom of movement of citizens, especially due to its fluid privacy policy.

To avoid unforeseeable dangers of mass surveillance and disproportionate restrictions of fundamental rights, it is therefore imperative that the Aaorgya Setu app is implemented only through law, especially since India lacks a comprehensive data protection or surveillance law.

3)News:- China says Indian trade curbs are against WTO principles

India’s recent policy to curb opportunistic takeovers of domestic companies goes against the World Trade Organisation (WTO) principles, the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy here said.

“The additional barriers set by Indian side for investors from specific countries violate the WTO’s principle of non-discrimination, and go against the general trend of liberalisation and facilitation of trade and investment.

More importantly, they do not conform to the consensus of the G20 leaders and Trade Ministers to realise a free, fair, nondiscriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep our markets open.

About WTO :

The WTO started functioning on 1 January 1995, but its trading system is half a century older. Since 1948, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) had given the rules for the system. (The second WTO ministerial meeting, held in Geneva in May 1998, included a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the system.)

It did not take long for the General Agreement to give birth to an unofficial, extant international organization, also known informally as GATT.
Over the years, GATT evolved through several rounds of negotiations.
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) had its last round in 1986 and it lasted till 1994.
This was known as the Uruguay Round and it led to the formulation of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
While GATT mostly dealt with trade in goods, the WTO and its agreements could not only cover goods but also trade in services and other intellectual properties like trade creations, designs and inventions.

The WTO has 164 members and 23 observer governments. Afghanistan became the 164th member in July 2016. In addition to states, the European Union, and each EU country in its own right is a member.


Ministerial Conference 9 : 2013

The ‘Bali Package’ was adopted by the WTO that aimed at the following points:

  • Boosting trade in the least developed countries (LDCs)
  • Higher food security provisions for developing countries
  • Streamlining trade

The Bali Package is a selection of issues from the broader Doha Round negotiations.

Kazakhstan to host WTO’s next Ministerial Conference ( as per earlier dates this was to be held in 2020).

India is a Founding member of both GATT and WTO.

Doha Declaration:-

The Doha Declaration is the November 2001 declaration that came out of the 4th Ministerial Conference of the WTO, that took place in Doha, Qatar.

  • This declaration gives the mandate for negotiations on an array of topics including issues concerning the implementation of the previous agreements.
  • This is called the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.
  • There were disagreements between developed and developing countries.
  • The major bones of contention were agriculture, non-tariff trade barriers, industrial tariffs, services and trade remedies.
  • The Bali Ministerial Declaration was achieved in 2013 which is the first agreement under the Doha Round, and also the first unanimous agreement under WTO.


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