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The Hindu Newspaper 29th April 2020

1) The famous temples of Brihadeswara at Thanjavur, Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Darasuram were built during the reigns of the
a) Pallavas
b) Cholas
c) Chalukyas
d) Pandyas

2) Duncan Passage lies between
a) North Andaman and South Andaman
b) Little Andaman and Car Nicobar
c) South Andaman and Little Andaman
d) Car Nicobar and Little Nicobar

3)Consider the following Nuclear power plants:
Nuclear power plant Location
1. Tarapur:        Andhra Pradesh
2. Rawatbhata: Rajasthan
3. Kaiga:              Karnataka

4. Narora:           Gujarat

Which of the above pairs are correctly matched?
a) 1, 2, 4
b) 1, 4
c) 2, 3
d) 2, 3, 4

Solution:-

Tarapur – Maharashtra
Narora – Uttar Pradesh

Map of the Day :-

 

1) NewsMinistry does U-turn on plasma therapy 

Plasma therapy is not an approved treatment for COVID-19 and is only one of thes therapies being explored currently, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

The therapy is still at an experimental stagea the Indian Council forM Research (ICMR) isc studying its efficacy, it added.

Indian Red Cross Society:- The Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) is a voluntary humanitarian organization to protect human life and health based in India.

Founded: – 1920.

2) News:- $1.5 billion ADB loan to fundCOVID response 

About ADB:

  • It is a regional development bank
  • established on 19 December 1966.
  • headquartered — Manila, Philippines.
  • official United Nations Observer.

The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries.

Voting rights:

It is modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions.

3)Vikalp@Prithvi goes online with a 48 hour link:- Initiative for Showcasing the movie Manufacturing Consent.

Movie by :- Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonik

Starting this Friday noon, it will provide a 48­hour YouTube or Vimeo link.

Vikalp: Films for Freedom was born as a parallel film festival in Mumbai Films for Freedom was born as a parallel film festival in Mumbai in 2004 in the face of the censorship imposed on documentary filmmakers during the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF).

Curation is the all important factor and Vikalp@Prithvi’s idea is to showcase films, old or new, that are passionate  and relevant to the times we live in and address the socio-political and economic issues of the day.

4) Location based

Tripoli :- City in Lebanon

Tripoli :- Capital of Libya.

5) News:- BRICS should help entrepreneurs India 

BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Originally it had 4 members. The first four were grouped as “BRIC” (or “the BRICs”), before the induction of South Africa in 2010.

The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs; all are members of G20.

Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits. China hosted the 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen on September 2017,   Brazil the most recent 11th BRICS summit on 13-14 November 2019.

First summit: 16 June 2009 in Russia (Yekaterinburg)

Sixth BRICS Summit – Fortaleza Declaration

  • Agreement for setting up the New Development Bank (NDB) with $100 billion corpus which will distribute the funds equally among all the BRICS nations for mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS.
  • Pact for the setting up of the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) with an initial size of $100 billion to tackle short-term liquidity demands.

6) No great improvement in Ganga Water Quality in lockdown:- The dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration, a measure of the amount of free oxygen available in river systems,“rose only marginally” .

BOD: It is the amount of oxygen required by bacteria to carry out the decomposition of the
organic matter present in a certain volume of a sample of water. It gives us an idea of the amount of organic matter present in water.

Lesser the BOD in water, the more clean it would be. Clean water would have BOD value of less than 5 ppm, whereas highly polluted water would have a BOD value of 17 ppm or more.

COD: COD refers to the chemical oxygen demand, which measures the amount of DO, required by the decomposition of organic matter and the oxidation of inorganic chemicals like ammonia and nitrite.

Difference of BOD and COD:-
The main difference between BOD and COD is that

  • BOD is the amount of oxygen which is
    consumed by bacteria while decomposing organic matter under aerobic conditions
    whereas COD is the amount of oxygen required for the chemical oxidation of total organic matter in water.
  • BOD value is always lower than COD value.
  • COD analysis is a much faster and more accurate method.

7)Mid Day Meal:- Started in 1995.

 The National Programme of Mid-Day Meal in Schools is Centrally-Sponsored Scheme.

 It covers all school children studying in Classes I-VIII of Government, Government-Aided, Special Training Centers including Madrasas and Maqtabs.

8)USCIRF downgrades India in 2020 list

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has downgraded India to the lowest ranking, “countries of particular concern” (CPC) in its2020 report.

The report, released in Washington by the federal government commission that functions as an advisory body, placed India alongside countries, including China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. India was categorised as a “Tier 2country” in last year’s listing.

This is the first time since 2004 that India has been placed in this category.

About USCIRF:- The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom is a U.S. federal government commission created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

9)Anti-Graft Law covers Deemed universities:- In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court has held that bribery and corruptionin a deemed university can be tried under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Deemed universities come within the ambit of the term ‘university’ in Section 2(c)(xi) of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act,1988.

A deemed institution under the University Grants Commission Act of 1956 has the same common public duty like a university to confer academic degrees, which are recognised in the society.

Individuals, authorities or officials connected to a deemed university, whatever be their role or designation, come under the definition of a ‘public servant’.

They can be tried and punished under the anti corruption law, the court said.

Editorial of the Day :-

Signalling support 

Central Theme:- RBI’s liquidity facility for mutual funds still hinges on banks’ willingness to lend

Why has RBI started the Facility :- The proximate trigger for the central bank’s move was last week’s announcement by Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund that it was winding up six debt funds — funds that collectively had assets under management (AUM) amounting to about ₹26,000 crore.

While the facility is a straight forward 90 day repo-based lending window from which banks can avail credit to provide loans to mutual funds, there are concerns about the banking industry’s willingness to expose itself to the credit risk involved in making these freshloans.

Issue of dependence on Banks:- Still, if the recent experience of getting lenders to support the non-banking financial companies through a targeted long term repo operation backed by ₹50,000 crore is any pointer, banks are already suffering from Bad loans , why would they lend to someone with risky state.

Editorial 2:- The outline of another pandemic combat strategy

Central Theme:- A way out is to lift restrictions in a graded way, with reverse quarantine for the elderly and those with co-morbidities.

About Elderly, co-morbidities, Young:- While these two categories of people who may experience serious symptoms and even death can protect themselves by self isolation — also called as reverse quarantine

The young, who mostly  exhibit only mild symptoms, can go out by following containment measures together with universal mask wearing, physical distancing and hand hygiene.

Herd immunity:-  Herd immunity arises when a sizeable population gets naturally infected over a period of time so that the virus does not easily find a susceptible host to infect, thus bringing the epidemic to a halt.

In the case of H1N1, in 2009, the  swine  flu pandemic died out in two years when 40% of the population where the virus was spreading had been naturally infected.

Dr. Jacob John expects at least one year for herd immunity to develop naturally for the novel coronavirus, provided shutdowns are eased.

Editorial 3:- Vividly imagining the life of migrant workers 

The current pandemic has forced us to think about the plight of workers in our country.

Author says :- A regime of social policy must be installed to meet the basic needs of all citizens at all times – not only during pandemics.

What are the basic things that People need ?

Work

Home

Food

Dignity.

Author suggests:-  While no state can build a home — which needs personal care and must be our own handiwork — the right to housing can certainly be guaranteed for it  is  implicit in the article enjoining the state to provide a decent standard of living.

Us vs Them:- We need quality time withour children, and leisure for ourselves; companionship and friendship, a flourishing social life; music, literature, art, poetry; time to fulfil our obligations in the public domain. And of course, we need our privacy, hours of solitude,space for self reflection.

Our suffering too is different: we have anxieties and phobias, inner turmoil, loss of a sense of self.

Assuming these profound differences between them and us, it does not cross our minds that the poor have multiple deprivations —not only material but social, cultural, familial, spiritual.

Policymakers should think of these.

Editorial 4:- Privacy concerns during a pandemic 

Justice H.R.Khanna, invoking Justice Brandeis of  theU.S. Supreme Court, wrote that “[the] greatest danger to liberty lies in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well  meaning but lacking in due deference for the rule of law.

He was concerned, rather, about situations where the government used the excuse of a catastrophe to ignore the rule of law.

Technology in this Pandemic:- 

Broadly, technology has been invoked at three levels. 

First in creating a list of persons suspected to be infected with COVID-19;

Second in deploying geo-fencing and drone imagery to monitor compliance by quarantined individuals; and

third, through the use of contact tracing smartphone applications, such as AarogyaSetu.

Each of these measures has induced a miasma of despair.  Let’s see one by one

In creating a list of infected persons, Stategovernments have channelled the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897. But this law scarcely accords the state power to publicise this information. This attaches a stigma.

The use of geofencing and drone  technologies is similarly unsanctioned. While cellphone based surveillance might be plausible under the Telegraph Act of 1885, until now the orders authorising surveillance have not been published.

The detail of the application’s technical architecture and its source code have not been made public. The programme also shares worrying parallels with the Aadhaar project in that its institution is not backed by legislation.

A pandemic cannot be a pretext to abnegate the Constitution. Inter arma silent leges, said Cicero: “For among [times of] arms, the laws fall mute”.

 

 

 

 

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