The Hindu Newspaper 08/05/2020

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1)Why ‘Indirect Tax’ is considered as regressive taxation

  •  a) They are not charged for Rich people
  •  b) They are charged at higher rates than direct taxes
  •  c) They are charged at lower rates than direct taxes
  •  d) None of the above

2)Which of the following statements best describes ‘Hard Currency

  •  a) It is a currency used during the balance of payment crisis.
  •  b) It is a currency having wide circulation in international market.
  •  c) It is a currency widely accepted around the world as a form of payment for goods and services.
  •  d) None of the above are correct.

3)Consider the following events during India’s freedom struggle

  1. Chauri-Chaura Outrage
  2. Minto-Morley Reforms
  3. Dandi March
  4. Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms

Which one of the following is the correct chronological order of the events above?

  •  a) 1, 3, 2, 4
  •  b) 2, 4, 1, 3
  •  c) 1, 4, 2, 3
  •  d) 2, 3, 1, 4

Map of the Day :- Major Industrial Regions Of India

Major Industrial Regions (8)

  1. Mumabi-Pune Region,
  2. Hugli Region,
  3. Bengaluru-Tamil Nadu Region,
  4. Gujarat Region,
  5. Chotanagpur Region,
  6. Vishakhapatnam-Guntur Region,
  7. Gurugram-Delhi-Meerut Region, and
  8. Kollam-Thiruvananthapuram Region.

News:- Vizag gas leak claims 11 lives

Cause : Styrene monomer gas leaked from a  chemical plant belonging to LG Polymers India.

2)‘Vande Bharat Mission’ begins, first batch  of evacuees arrives:- The ‘Vande Bharat Mission’to bring stranded NonResident Keralites back home got off to a firm  start, with two flights from the Gulf carrying  363 passengers touching down at the Cochin and Karipur airports.

The Vandhe Bharat Mission aims at bringing stranded Indians from all over the world.

Editorial of the Day :- Conducting elections during a pandemic

What’s the Crisis:- Mr. Thackeray, who took oath as Chief Minister  on November 28, 2019, has to become a  member of the legislature within six months, which ends on May 27.

Consequently, the Chief Minister was left to take the nomination route. In pursuance of this,  the Cabinet, headed by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, submitted a proposal to the Governor to nominate Mr. Thackeray to the  Legislative Council. 

Article 171(3)(e) coupled with Article 171(5)  empowers the Governor to nominate an  individual with “special knowledge or practical experience”. The Governor, however,. put  the proposal in limbo for over a fortnight.

The Prime Minister’s intervention and the EC’s prompt action averted the political  impasse — polls to nine legislative council seats inMaharashtra will now be held on May 21.

Central Theme :- The Election Commission could consider the measures that South Korea took to prepare a foolproof plan for conducting upcoming election.

Lets see first how far can elections be averted:- EC, which used its powers under Article 324 of the Constitution, along with Section 153 of the  Representation of the People Act, 1951 for postponement of election.

How can it be Postponed Further :- A double application of Article 164 (4) to extend this period for another six months was out of  the  question as the Supreme Court, in S.R. Chaudhuri v. State of Punjab and Ors (August 17, 2001), had declared that it would be  tantamount to a subversion of theprinciple of representative government. 

Bigger Cause of Concern : is upcoming Assembly  elections for Bihar, West Bengal , Assam, Kerala,  Tamil Nadu and  Puducherry. Unlike the Rajya  Sabha/Legislative Council elections which can be postponed indefinitely, the EC can  postpone elections to the Lok Sabha and  State  Legislative Assemblies for a  period of only six months which is the Constitution defined limit  between two sessions of the House/Assembly (Article 85(1) and Article 174(1) of the Constitution, respectively).

Further Provisions:- The first is proviso to Article 172(1) where by during a state of Emergency, an election can be postponed for one year in addition to a period of six months after Emergency is lifted. 

The rider, however, is that a state of Emergency can be declared only if there is a threat to the  security and sovereignty of the nation, not if there isan epidemic or a pandemic. The second option  is to declare President’s rule in the State, enabled byArticle 356(1) of the Constitution. But its limits have been repeatedly defined by the  Supreme Court.

Lessons from South Korea: -According to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, nine countries have  already held national elections and  referendums  during this public health crisis. 

Among them is South Korea, which, under strict  guidelines,managed to pull off a nearperfectnational election recording the highest voter turnout  of 66.2% in28 years.

What did South Korea Do:-

  • South Korea disinfected polling centres,  and 
  • mandated that voters practise physical  distancing, 
  • wear gloves and masks and use hand sanitiser. 
  • Voters had their temperatures checked on arrival at the booths. 
  • Those who had a temperature above 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit were sent to booths in secluded areas.

Discussion:- Should healthcare be a fundamental right?

Covid – 19 opened the eyes of people to the  importance of universal and robust public health  services and the need for everybody to be  covered by quality healthcare, or for health  services to be accessible to everyone. And this epidemic, because it has been concentrated in large cities and has also  affected  the middle class, has become a matter of high priority.

Problem is India has never spent more than 2% of its GDP on healthcare. And healthcare  facilities  across the country straddle different  levels of efficiency and sufficiency. 

We need very good disease surveillance, we need an integrated primary care system that can  deliver in the field. We need tertiary carewith the most sophisticated of ventilators.

And we need surge capacity, meaning we need an  excess redundant capacity that can take care of any health emergency that happens. Otherwise the Cost of Low preparedness in Health is not only on Health but on all the sectors of economy.

How to Start For a Robust Health System: –And, as for a budget, around 3-4% of the GDP  for public healthcare, and  publicly organised healthcare, would be a good starting point for putting in place at least a basic kind of universal  healthcare (UHC) system.

About the issue of universal healthcare, we need  a system for universal healthcare, which is a complement to the right to healthcare kind of scenario. 

What is needed for such a System :-

  • political will
  • Public investment

Few constraints which we need to overcome

Right now, we have a fragmented health system. We have one health system for the poor, another for the middleclass and  another for the rich and the super rich.  What we need to do is to move from this  fractured system towards a  single healthcare  system for everyone. 

Editorial 3:- Water wisdom during a pandemic

World Water Day : 22nd March

Theme this year :- Water and climate change.

Relation between Climate change and Water :- climate change and water are inextricably  linked. 

  • Growing populations and their demand forwater increases the need for energy intensive water pumping, transportation,  and treatment. 
  • It contributes to the degradation of  critical water dependent carbon  sinks such as peatlands. 
  • Due to climate change, water cycles  experience significant change,which  reflects in water availability and quality. 
  • A warmer climate causes more water to  evaporate from both land and oceans;  in turn, a warmer atmosphere can hold  more water, roughly 4% more water  for every 1 degree Fahrenheit rise in  temperature.
  • Wet areas becoming wetter and dry areas becoming drier.

This influences almost all aspects of the economy  including drinking water, sanitation, health, food production, energy generation, in dustrial manufacturing, and environmental  sustainability and ultimately the achievement  of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  In coastal areas when more freshwater is  removed from rivers and aquifers,  saltwater  will move farther upstream into the river mouth and the aquifer, which will put pressure on  the limited freshwater  available on the coast, forcing water managers to seek costly alternatives like desalination plants.

India has come up with climate change  adaptation and mitigation strategies and  appropriate policy measures. The government  is implementing the  ‘National Action Plan on Climate Change’ through eight National Missions, including the Water Mission

What else is needed :-

  • More public awareness on the need for climate resilient actions,  including protecting carbon sinks like oceans, wetlands, peatlands, and mangroves, 
  • adopting climate smart agricultural  techniques, rainwater harvesting,  waste water reuse, and judicious use of water,  should be generated and inculcated in each citizen.

News:- IMD includes PoK in weather forecasts

The India Meteorological Department’s Regional  Meteorological Centre has started including cities  in Pakistan occupied  Kashmir (PoK) in its  forecasts, a  departure  from its previous format.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India. It is the principal organization responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology.

Formed in 1875.

News :- About CSIR :- The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), known for its cutting edge R&D knowledge base in diverse S&T areas, is a contemporary R&D organization. Having a pan-India presence, CSIR has a dynamic network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Complexes and 5 units.

CSIR was established by the Government of India in September 1942 as an autonomous body that has emerged as the largest research and development organisation in India .

The CSIR’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi, the Centre for Cellular and  Molecular Biology(CCMB), Hyderabad, and the Institute ofMicrobial Technology, Chandigarh, are currently sequencing the genomes of thenovel coronavirus. 

News:- Tiger population in Sunderbans rises to 96

Estimation of the numberof tigers in the Sunderbans, aworld heritage as well as a Ramsar site, has  always been a challenge because of the difficult terrain that comprises dense mangrove forests, with creeks and rivulets, and floods twice a day during the high tides.

News:- ‘Save The Frog ‘ Campaign:- Goa State

News:-Band-like clouds seen over Sun’s neighbour

Agroup of international astrophysicists have identified cloud bands on the surface of Luhman 16A,  one of a pair of binary brown dwarfs in the Vela constellation. 

Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru.

Luhman 16 is a binary star system, the third  closest system to the Sun after Alpha Centauri  and Barnard’s star.

 This pair of brown dwarfs referred to as  Luhman 16A and Luhman 16B orbit each other,  casting a dim light. 

Brown dwarfs are also called failed stars, because their masses are intermediate  to the largest planets and the smallest main sequence  stars.  Their masses being too  small, they are  unable to  sustain fusion of their  hydrogen to  produce energy.

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