The Hindu Newspaper 26/05/2020

  1. With reference to Foot and Mouth Diseases (FMD) of animals, consider the following statements:
  1. This disease is common amongst cow-bulls, buffaloes, sheep, goats and pigs. 
  2. There is no specific treatment for such diseases.

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

  • a.  1 only
  • b.  2 only
  • c.  Both 1 and 2
  • d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : c

  • The Cabinet has recently cleared a special scheme for controlling foot and mouth diseases of animals.
  • The Foot and Mouth diseases are common amongst cow-bulls, buffaloes, sheep, goats and pigs. 
  • There is no specific treatment, however symptomatic treatment can be done to speed up recovery and to avoid complications.

2)Bhuvan App sometimes seen in the news recently was launched in collaboration with?

  • a.  Indian Space Research Organisation
  • b.  Defence Research and Development Organisation
  • c.  Indian Meteorological Department
  • d.  Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre

Answer : a

  • Bhuvan app has been designed in collaboration with ISRO.
  • It will provide geo time location and documentation. 

3)Global Economic Prospects (GEP) Report was recently published by which of the following organisations?

  • a.  UN General Assembly
  • b.  World Bank
  • c.  World Economic Forum
  • d.  International Monetary Fund

Answer : b

  • Recently, World Bank has released the Global Economic Prospects (GEP) Report.
  • The other reports released by World Bank are as follows
  1. Ease of Doing Business
  2. World Development Report
  3. Remittance Report
  4. Ease of Living Index
  5. India Development Update
  6. Universal Health Coverage Index
  7. The Service Trade Restriction Index.

Map of the Day :- Coral Reef Sites in India

Artificial Reef Project in Malvan :- To prevent the degradation of corals and enhance biological diversity off Maharashtra’s coastline, the state government has launched a first-of-its kind project to set up artificial reefs and transplant corals at Malvan in Sindhudurg.

ILO Urged PM not to Dilute Labour Laws :-

  • It is the only tripartite U.N. agency. It brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.

History of the ILO

  • Established in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles as an affiliated agency of the League of Nations.
  • Became the first affiliated specialized agency of the United Nations in 1946.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Founding Mission: social justice is essential to universal and lasting peace.
  • Promotes internationally recognized human and labour rights.
  • Received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969.
    • For improving peace among classes
    • Pursuing decent work and justice for workers
    • Providing technical assistance to other developing nations
  • The organization has played a key role in
    • Ensuring labour rights during the Great Depression
    • Decolonization process
    • The creation of Solidarność ( trade union) in Poland
    • The victory over apartheid in South Africa
  • Today it is providing substantial support in the building of an ethical and productive framework for fair globalization.

Note: The basis of the ILO is the tripartite principle, i.e. the negotiations within the organization are held between the representatives of governments, trade unions, and member-states’ employers.

Structure of ILO

The ILO accomplishes its work through three main bodies which comprise governments’, employers’ and workers’ representatives:

  • International Labour Conference: it sets the International labour standards and the broad policies of the ILO. It meets annually in Geneva. It is often referred to as an International Parliament of Labour.
    • It is also a forum for discussion of key social and labour questions.
  • Governing Body: it is the executive council of the ILO. It meets three times a year in Geneva.
    • It takes policy decisions of ILO and establishes the programme and the budget, which it then submits to the Conference for adoption.
    • The work of the Governing Body and the Office is aided by tripartite committees covering major industries.
    • It is also supported by committees of experts on such matters as vocational training, management development, occupational safety and health, industrial relations, workers’ education, and special problems of women and young workers.
  • International Labour Office: it is the permanent secretariat of the International Labour Organization.
    • It is the focal point for ILO’s overall activities, which it prepares under the scrutiny of the Governing Body and under the leadership of the Director-General.
  • Regional meetings of the ILO member States are held periodically to examine matters of special interest to the regions concerned.

The Functions of the ILO

  • Creation of coordinated policies and programs, directed at solving social and labour issues.
  • Adoption of international labour standards in the form of conventions and recommendations and control over their implementation.
  • Assistance to member-states in solving social and labour problems.
  • Human rights protection (the right to work, freedom of association, collective negotiations, protection against forced labour, protection against discrimination, etc.).
  • Research and publication of works on social and labour issues.

Objectives of the ILO

  • To promote and realize standards and fundamental principles and rights at work.
  • To create greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment.
  • To enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all.
  • To strengthen tripartism and social dialogue.
  • The ILO registers complaints against entities that are violating international rules; however, it does not impose sanctions on governments.
  • Complaints can be filed against member states for not complying with ILO conventions they have ratified.
  • Complaints can be from another member state which has signed the same convention, a delegate to the International Labour Conference or the ILO’s Governing Body.

News:- Kerala team nets silver fish  in  Velankanni

Velankanni in Tamil Nadu has thrown up a new  species of small freshwater fish of the family  Cyprinidae.  The silver hued fish has been christened Puntius sanctus—‘sanctus’ is Latin for  holy—after the popular pilgrim town.

The Puntius species are known locally as ‘Paral’ in Kerala and ‘Kende’ in Tamil Nadu. They are purely  freshwater fishes.

Physical Characteristics :- Its physical characteristics included a  protractible mouth, a pair of maxillary barbels  (a sensory  organnear the snout), 2425 lateral line scales and  10  predorsal scales.

News :- Karnataka govt. takes efforts to solve mystery  over birthplace of Purandara Dasa

Purandara Dasa, hailed as father figure of  Carnatic music, the Department of Archaeology, Heritage and Museums will soon commence field research work at Keshavapura in Araga Grama Panchayat of Tirthahalli taluk in Karnataka. As ‘Purandara Vithala’ was the  pen name of his compositions.

Prior to his initiation to Haridasa tradition, Purandara Dasa was a rich merchant and was  called as Srinivasa Nayaka.

News:- Deliberations on to end LAC tensions

The green top hill above the finger area of Pangong Tso (lake) seems to be the latest friction point,  with reports stating that 18 Indo Tibetan  Border  Police (ITBP) personnel from a larger patrol party  were  detained by Chinese soldiers. However, the Indian Army on Sunday denied any such “detention”.

Fingers in the lake :- The barren mountains on the lake’s northern bank, called the Chang Chenmo, jut forward in major spurs, which the Army calls “fingers”. India claims that the LAC is coterminous with Finger 8, but it physically controls area only up to Finger 4.

Chinese border posts are at Finger 8, while it believes that the LAC passes through Finger 2. Around six years ago, the Chinese had attempted a permanent construction at Finger 4 which was demolished after Indians strongly objected to it.

Editorial of the :- The problem with the liquidity push 

Author says that the relief Package as recently announced by the Finance minister was focussing excessively on the liquidity infusion.

This.approach as per the Author is going to further accentuate the situation rather than solving that.

There are 4 L’s for Self Reliant India :

  1. Land
  2. Labour
  3. Laws
  4. Liquidity

Indian govt. Has focussed excessively on 4th L.

Instances of Govt.s Push for Liquidity :-

  • Scheme for infusing Liquidity into NBFC’s (LTRO)
  • The second round was geared to saving NBFCs,  whose balance sheets were under severe stress even before the COVID-19 strike
  • Then Collateral Free loan to MSME’s was also announced by the centre.
  • Temporary increase in the disposable income – Advance access to savings like provident fund contributions, lower tax deduction at source, reduced provident fund contributions and moratoriums on debt service payments promotes disposable income with citizens.

Criticism of liquidity push

  1. No demand in market – Due to COVID associated lockdown, there has been loss of 122 million jobs which also lead to loss of income. In such scenario, there is absence of demand which in turn suppresses the investment by industries and thus their reluctance to borrow or increase liquidity.
  2. Loss to businesses – Small as well as big businesses have suffered huge losses which compounded to slowdown in economy in 2019 has add to their woes. This makes them fearful for any new investments and new borrowings.
  3. Weaker transmission of repo rate policy – RBI has slashed its repo rate for past 1 year to boost liquidity in system. However, banks have been reluctant to pass on these benefits to its borrowers due to issues like Non-performing assets.

Suggested Solution – Increased share of fiscal spending – Fiscal spending by government, although will increase fiscal deficit, but has the potential to increase liquidity in short-term which will revive the economy at faster rate than the liquidity push measures(long-term steps). This involves :

  • New and additional transfers to people in cash and kind
  • Wage subsidies
  • Equity support
  • spending on employment programmes

Way Forward – Liquidity push and structural reforms introduced in the mission are much needed long-term measure for reviving economy. To boost growth in FY21, Government need to opt for fiscal stimulus which in turn promote immediate demand in economy and lead to investment by firms.

EDITORIAL – 2:- A well Balanced Stimulus Package: Author Rajiv Kumar Vice Chairman of NITI AAYOG has said that the Package is well balanced.

Five tranches of the package:

  1. The first tranche primary focus to alleviate the distress in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector.
  2. The second tranche dealt with measures for the distressed migrant workers.
  3. The third tranche included 11 measures for the agriculture sector.
  4. The fourth tranche included measures for commercial coal mining; coal gasification projects; privatization of airports, optimization of Indian airspace etc.
  5. The fifth tranche included allocation of additional Rs 40,000 crore for MNREGA, Technology Driven Online Education Systems, decriminalization of Companies Act and health related initiatives.

Measures to boost Demand Side in the Economy:

  • 1.73 lakh crore allocated for improving the incomes and welfare of the most vulnerable, including the 20 crore female Jan Dhan account holders;
  • 50,000 crore additional incomes to  those whose TDS and TCS were reduced by 25%;
  • 40,000 crore additional allocation for MNREGA
  • 30,000 crore for construction workers;
  • 17,800 crores transferred to 12 crore farmers;
  • 13,000 crores transferred to States to finance the costs of running quarantine homes and shelters for migrant workers.

Measures to boost Supply Side in the Economy

  1. Ensuring Food Security: The government declared agriculture and all related activities as essential services amid Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. This ensured harvesting and efficient procurement of the critical Rabi crop.
  2. Prevention of Insolvency and Bankruptcy: The government had announced moratorium for all businesses for their debt servicing obligations to commercial banks. Further, MSMEs were provided an additional credit line of Rs.3 trillion without any fresh collateral.
  3. Measures to improve ecosystem for private producers and investors:
  • Agriculture: The government decided to amend Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to help provide the farmers with a better price share. Also, traders and exporters of agro-products can maintain necessary stocks to meet export obligation
  • Defense:Government made further liberalization in the defense production sector
  1. Street vendors:street vendors across India have been given a credit of Rs.10,000 each for re-stocking.

Conclusion: The economic stimulus package is expected to be a great boost and help in revival of the Indian economy. It has the capabilities to boost demand and ensure the survival of existing production capacities

News:- India Observatory in collaboration with several other organisations has launched CoAST India (Collaboration/Covid Action Support Group) for helping migrants.

CoAST IndiaIt is a GIS-enabled dashboard that maps the movement of migrants in real time and draws information from 55 organisations on the ground to help administrators, civil society organisations in planning urgent steps to get the stranded migrant population to safety and care.

Additional Facts:

  • India Observatory: It is India’s first socio economic ecological open source integrated Geospatial data platform launched in 2019.
  • It aims to provide comprehensive information on India’s social, ecological and economic parameters on a single platform to supplement local level decision making.

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