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The Hindu Newspaper 28th April 2020

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1)Kamlang wildlife sanctuary is located in

2)India’s National Waterway-1 passes through which of the following states

  1. Uttar Pradesh
  2. Bihar
  3. Jharkhand
  4. Chhattisgarh
  5. West Bengal

Select the correct answer code

Solution 2:- The NW-1 passes through West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh

3)Consider the following statements.

  1. Tigris River flows through Turkey and Iraq.
  2. Mekong River flows through parts of Arunachal Pradesh.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution 3:- The Mekong is a trans-boundary river in Southeast Asia. From the Tibetan Plateau the river runs through China’s Yunnan Province, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Map of the Day :-  Major Islands in India

 

News:- RBI opens ₹50,000 cr. liquidity tap for MFs (Mutual Funds)

Under the special liquidity facility for mutual funds (SLF-MF), the RBI will conduct repo operations of 90 days tenor at the fixed repo rate.

The SLF-MF is on-tap and open-ended, and banks can submit their bids to avail the funding till May 11 or up to utilization of the allocated amount, whichever is earlier.

Funds availed under the SLF-MF will be used by banks exclusively for meeting the liquidity requirements of MFs.

Banks can extend loans to mutual funds and undertake the outright purchase of and/or repos against the collateral of investment grade corporate bonds, commercial papers (CPs), debentures and certificates of Deposit (CDs) held by MFs.

Why has the RBI offered this facility?

Heightened volatility in capital markets in reaction to Covid-19 has imposed liquidity strains on mutual funds which have intensified in the wake of redemption pressures related to closure of six debt schemes of Franklin Templeton and potential contagious effects.

The stress is, however, confined to the high-risk debt funds segment at this stage while the larger industry remains liquid.

2)UN warns of a ‘human rights disaster

UN High Commissionerfor Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called on countries to refrain from violating fundamental rights “under theguise of exceptional or emergency measures”.

“Emergency powers should not be a weapon governments can wield to quash dissent, control the population, and even perpetuate their time in power,” she warned in a statement. “They should be used tocope effectively with the pandemic — nothing more, nothing less.”

About UNHRC :-

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) was a functional commission within the overall framework of the United Nations from 1946 until it was replaced by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2006.

It was a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and was also assisted in its work by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR). It was the UN’s principal mechanism and international forum concerned with the promotion and protection of human rights.

On 15 March 2006, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to replace UNCHR with the UN Human Rights Council.

3) About UGC:-

The UGC was established in 1953 and made into a statutory organisation with the UGC Act in 1956.

  • UGC is responsible for coordinating, determining and maintaining standards of higher education.
  • The University Grants Commission provides recognition to universities in India and disburses funds to such recognised universities and colleges.
  • The UGC has its Head Office in New Delhi and six regional offices:
    • Bengaluru
    • Bhopal
    • Guwahati
    • Hyderabad
    • Kolkata
    • Pune
  • In 2018, the Ministry of Human Resource Development announced its plans to repeal the UGC Act, 1956.
  • The bill also stipulates the formation of a new body, the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI).

4) News :- Chakmas and Hajongs need help: rights group

About the issue:- A Delhi based rights body has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in ensuring food for the Chakma and Hajong communities in Arunachal Pradesh who have allegedly not been included in the government relief economic package.

The Chakmas and Hajongs, displaced in the 1960s by violence and adam in erstwhile East Pakistan, were settled in parts ofArunachal Pradesh. “The Chakmas and Hajongs do not have ration cards as the State government had illegally and arbitrarily seized those through an order on October 25,1991.

About Chakma Tribe:-

Native to :- Eastern Most Indian Subcontinent

Population Found in :-

  • they are the largest ethnic group in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region in southeastern Bangladesh, and
  • in Mizoram, India (Chakma Autonomous District Council), they are the second largest ethnic group, and
  • in Tripura, India, they are the fourth largest ethnic group,
  • In Arunachal Pradesh, India, who migrated there in 1964 after the Kaptai dam tragedy, and
  • 20-30 thousand Chakmas are in Assam, India.

Hajong:- Have ST status in India

Area:-

  • In India, Hajongs are found in both the Garo and Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, largely along the South-West Garo Hills District of Meghalaya and Bangladesh border.
  • They also live in the Dhubri and Goalpara districts of lower Assam, Dhemaji and other districts of upper Assam and
  • in Arunachal Pradesh.

5)BTAD placed under Governor’s Rule :- Assam’s Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) wasplaced under the Governor’sRule on Monday after theexpiry of the 5 year term ofthe council that governs it. Itselection, scheduled on April4, had been deferred.

The BTAD, comprising 4 districts of Assam, falls under theBodoland Territorial Councilformed in 2003.

6)India among top 3 military spenders: report

The global military expenditure rose to $1917 billion in 2019 with India and China emerging among the top three spenders, according to a report by a Swedish think tank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Top 5:- In 2019, the top five largest spenders —

  1. U.S. ($732bn),
  2. China,
  3. India,
  4. Russia($65.1 bn) and
  5. Saudi Arabia($61.9 bn)

7) Editorial of the Day :-

A policy road map to tackle COVID-19

As per author:- Policies to address the world wide crisis broughtabout by COVID-19 must satisfy three criteria.

  1. First, they must aim to minimise the loss of life directly resulting from the disease
  2. Second, they must restore the elements of economic and social life assoon as possible
  3. Third, they must aim at a glide path out of the crisis, that can reasonably be projected to end it once and for all — not merely to manage it indefinitely through.

How to satisfy these three conditions?- Three directions for policy are suggested by these  three criteria.

  1. First, infections which do not lead to fatalities or lasting illness must be treated as on balance desirable, when determining the right balance of policies.

Author Further Suggests :- Widespread testing and contact tracing can help to manage the flow of infections and reduce the danger to those especially at risk, but would have to be continued indefinitely until a vaccine is developed, and demands adequate public health infrastructure.

Testing on a mass scale is far frombeing achieved even in the most advanced countries, let alone others.

Second, policies must make a link between restoration of economic output and adequate investment in containing, indeed ending, the disease.

This means that costs of vaccine development, mass testing and other measures attacking the disease must be viewed as enjoying a healthy societal return.

Third, ‘smart’ design of policies can permit restoration of economic andsocial life. Such policies should be designed and targeted to allow lowerrisk segments of the population to return to daily activities, while protecting higher risk ones.

Lead Editorial :-

The script of disruption and a new order

Author Point outs serious fallouts of the Covid-19

Author says existing international institutions such as the United Nations, the United Nations Security Council and the World Health Organization (WHO) areseen to have failed to measure upto the grave challenge posed bythe pandemic.

Be it UNSC, WHO all have failed to live upto expectation.

There are many other aspects of the COVID-19 crisis that will drastically impact the globe.

On the aw, the World Bank has already predicted negative growth for most nations.

India’s growth forecast for the current fiscal year has been put at 1.5% to 2.8%.

Contraction of the economy and the loss of millions of jobs across all segments will further complicate this situation.

Loss of Liberty :- Post COVID-19, the world may have to pay a heavy price in terms of loss of liberty. An omnipotent state could well become a reality.

China in limelight:- Theworld needs to prepare for a sea change. One nation, viz. China, is presently seeking to take advantage ofand benefit from the problems faced by the rest of the world in the wake of the epidemic.

Already indispensable as the world’s supplier of manufactured goods, China now seeks to benefit from the fact of its ‘early recovery’ to take advantage of the travails of the rest of the world, by using its manufacturing capability to its geo-economic advantage.

Simultaneously, it seeks to shift from being a Black Swan (responsible forthe pandemic), to masquerade as a White one, by offering medical aid and other palliatives to several Asian and African countries to meet their current pandemic threat.

Impact on various Countries and Regions:-The existing world order since 1940s is bound to change.

  • USA:The United States which is already being touted in some circles as a ‘failing’ state, will be compelled to cede ground. Weakened economically and politically after COVID-19has ravaged the nation, the U.S.’scapacity to play a critical role inworld affairs is certain to diminish.
  • China:- The main beneficiary of this geo-political turn around is likely to be China,a country that does not quite believe in playing by therules of international conduct.
  • Europe, in the short and medium term, will prove incapable of defining and defending its common interests, let alone having any influence in world affairs.
  • Germany,which may still retain some of its present strength, is already turning insular, while
  • both France and a post Brexit United Kingdom will be out of the reckoning as of now.
  • Saudi Arabia and Iran are set to face difficult times. The oil price meltdown will aggravate an already difficultbsituation across the region.There may be no victors, but Israel maybe one country that is in a position to exploit this situation to its advantage.

India :-

  • In South Asia, it faces the prospect of being isolated, with the Chinese juggernaut winning Beijing new friends and contacts across a region deeply impacted by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Likewise, India’s leverage in West Asia — already greatly diminished — will suffer further, with oil prices going down and the Indian expatriate community (who are among the hardest hit by this downturn) out on a limb. Many of the latter may seek repatriation back to the host country, substantially reducing the inflow of foreign funds to India from the region.

Amazing article !!

Editorial 3:Virtual, yet open

Central Question in the article:- Amidst the national lockdown, the Supreme Courtand several other courts have been holding virtual proceedings.

A question of concern to the Bar is whether virtual courts have become the “new normal” and whether it means a move away from the idea of open courts towards technology based administration of justice without the physical presence of lawyers and litigants.

View of CJI :- Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde emphasises that virtual courts are open courts too; and that one can not describe them as closed or in camera proceedings.

Why Virtual Courts going on:

  • the vital necessity to keep the courts open even during a national lockdown so that access to justice is not denied to anyone; and
  • second, the need to maintain physical distancing.

View of SCBA(Supreme Court Bar Association):- SCBA has requested that the use of video conferencing should be limited to the duration of the current crisis, and not become the “new normal” or go on to replace open court hearings.

How can this be used as an opportunity:- As the use of technology is stepped up, courts should consider other steps that will speed up the judicial process andnreduce courtroom crowding.

  • In the lower courts, evidence could be recorded, with the consent of parties, by virtual means.
  • In the higher courts, a system based on advance submission of written briefs and allocation of time slots for oral arguments can be put in place. It may even lead to more concise judgments.
  • Despite thepossibility of technical and connectivity issues affecting the process, one must recognise that virtual hearings are no different from open court conversations, provided access is not limited.
  • The opportunity now to improve the judicial process must be utilised well.

 

 

 

 

 

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