October 7, 2022

Lukmaan IAS

A Blog for IAS Examination

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS (JULY 14, 2022)

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THE HEALTH ISSUES

1.INDIA’S FIRST HPV VACCINE COULD MEAN FOR FIGHT AGAINST CERVICAL CANCER

THE CONTEXT:The Serum Institute of India (SII)’s vaccine Cervavac recently received the Drugs Controller General of India’s (DGCI) approval for market authorisation. Cervavac is India’s first quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV) and intended to protect women against cervical cancer.

THE EXPLANATION:

Experts see this as a real opportunity to eliminate cervical cancer and have expressed the hope that it will be rolled out in national HPV vaccination strategies and be available a cost more affordable than existing vaccines.

The disease

  • Cervical cancer is preventable but kills one woman every eight minutes in the country, according to reports. It is preventable as long as it is detected early and managed effectively.
  • Cervical cancer is a common sexually transmitted infection. Long-lasting infection with certain types of HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer.
  • Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer type and the second most common cause of cancer death in women of reproductive age (15–44). India accounts for about a fifth of the global burden, with 1.23 lakh cases and around 67,000 deaths per year according to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO).
  • “Screening and vaccination are two powerful tools that are available for preventive cervical cancer. Still there is little awareness among women for prevention of this cancer and less than 10% of Indian women get screened. All women aged 30-49 must get screened for cervical cancer even if they have no symptoms and get their adolescent daughters vaccinated with HPV vaccine”.

Existing vaccines

  • Two vaccines licensed globally are available in India — a quadrivalent vaccine (Gardasil, from Merck) and a bivalent vaccine (Cervarix, from GlaxoSmithKline). Each dose costs Rs 2,800 per dose (Gradasil) or Rs 3,299 (Cervarix).Although HPV vaccination was introduced in 2008, it has yet to be included in the national immunisation programme.
  • According to a report in the Indian Journal of Gynaecologic Oncology (December 2021), a vaccine delivery and demonstration project led by international non-profit organisation PATH was started in 2009 in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat but had to be suspended in 2010 as a result of public concern allegedly arising from the deaths of seven girls who received the vaccine.
  • In 2016, a multidisciplinary expert group of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) reviewed available evidence globally regarding immunogenicity and efficacy, adverse effects and cost effectiveness of HPV vaccines, and recommended that adolescent girls should be vaccinated with two doses.

The new vaccine

  • The vaccine is based on VLP (virus like particles), similar to the hepatitis B vaccine, and provides protection by generating antibodies against the HPV virus’s L1 protein.
  • Experts have expressed hope that the DGCI approval will allow the government to procure enough HPV vaccines at a special price to vaccinate nearly 50 million girls aged 9–14 years in India who are waiting to receive the vaccine. This will be a huge step to accelerate cervical cancer elimination in India and globally, a statement from IARC.

THE SOCIAL ISSUES AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

2.THE GLOBAL GENDER GAP INDEX 2022

THE CONTEXT:The Global Gender Gap Index for 2022 was released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and it ranks India at 135 out of 146 countries. In 2021, India was ranked 140 out of 156 countries.

THE EXPLANATION:

What is the Global Gender Gap Index?

  • The Global Gender Gap index “benchmarks the current state and evolution of gender parity across four key dimensions(Economic Participation and Opportunity,Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment)”. According to the WEF it is the longest-standing index, which tracks progress towards closing these gaps over time since its inception in 2006.
  • On each of the four sub-indices as well as on the overall index the GGG index provides scores between 0 and 1, where 1 shows full gender parity and 0 is complete imparity. “The cross-country comparisons aim to support the identification of the most effective policies to close gender gaps,” states the report.

How has India fared on different sub-indices?

  • India has approximately 662 million (or 66.2 crore) women. In 2022, India’s overall score has improved from 0.625 (in 2021) to 0.629. “India’s (135th) global gender gap score has oscillated between 0.593 and 0.683 since the index was first compiled. In 2022, India scored 0.629, which is its seventh-highest score in the last 16 years,” states the report.
  • The report notes that India’s score of 0.629 was its seventh-highest score in the last 16 years. India also “recovered” ground since 2021 in economic participation and opportunity though the report goes on to add that the labour force participation shrunk for both men (by -9.5 percentage points) and women (-3 percentage points).
  • The gender parity score for estimated earned income improved because even though the values for both men and women diminished, the decline was more for men. India recorded a declining score on political empowerment due to the diminishing share of years women have served as head of state for the past 50 years.

VALUE ADDITION:

ABOUT WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM:

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss nonprofit foundation established in 1971, based in Geneva, Switzerland. It is recognised by the Swiss authorities as an international institution for public-private cooperation

What is the mission of WEF?

WEF is committed to improving the situation of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.

Some of the major reports published by WEF are:

  • Energy Transition Index,
  • Global Competitiveness Report,
  • Global IT Report (WEF along with INSEAD, and Cornell University publishes this report),
  • Global Gender Gap Report,
  • Global Risk Report
  • Global Travel and Tourism Report

THE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

3.EXPLAINED: WHAT IS I2U2 THAT IS HOLDING ITS FIRST-EVER LEADER’S SUMMIT

THE CONTEXT:Prime Minister will participate in the first-ever I2U2 Virtual Summit along with the heads of state of Israel, the UAE, and the US according to a press release by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

THE EXPLANATION:

What does I2U2 stand for?

  • I2U2 stands for India, Israel, the UAE, and the US, and was also referred to as the ‘West Asian Quad’. Back in October 2021, a meeting of the foreign ministers of the four countries had taken place when External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was visiting Israel. At that time, the grouping was called the ‘International Forum for Economic Cooperation’.
  • The MEA said in its press release that the countries have had sherpa-level interactions regularly to discuss the possible areas of cooperation.

What is the aim of I2U2 grouping?

  • Its stated aim is to discuss “common areas of mutual interest, to strengthen the economic partnership in trade and investment in our respective regions and beyond”.
  • Six areas of cooperation have been identified by the countries mutually, and the aim is to encourage joint investments in water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security. The press release added that with the help of “private sector capital and expertise”, the countries will look to modernise infrastructure, explore low carbon development avenues for industries, improve public health, and promote the development of critical emerging and green technologies.

Significance of the initiative

  • I2U2 seeks to empower the partners and encourages them to collaborate more closely, resulting in a more stable region.
  • India is seen as a large consumer market as well as a large producer of high-tech and highly sought-after items in the United States.
  • This has led India to enhance its relationship with Israel without jeopardising its ties with the UAE and other Arab states.

VALUE ADDITION:

ABRAHAM ACCORDS

  • The Israel–UAE normalization agreement is officially called the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement.
  • It was initially agreed to in a joint statement by the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on August 13, 2020.
  • The UAE thus became the third Arab country, after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, to agree to formally normalize its relationship with Israel as well as the first Persian Gulf country to do so.
  • Concurrently, Israel agreed to suspend plans for annexing parts of the West Bank. The agreement normalized what had long been informal but robust foreign relations between the two countries.

THE ENVIRONMENT, ECOLOGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

4.CAQM FORMULATES COMPREHENSIVE POLICY TO ABATE THE MENACE OF AIR POLLUTION IN DELHI-NCR

THE CONTEXT:The Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR & Adjoining Areas (CAQM) has formulated a Comprehensive Policy to abate the menace of air pollution in Delhi-NCR, in a crucial step towards overall amelioration of the air quality of the National Capital Region (NCR) through differentiated geographical approach and timelines of action.

THE EXPLANATION:

  • This policy contains sector-wise recommendations for Agencies and Departments of Central Government, NCR State Governments and GNCTD along with Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and State Pollution Control Boards (PCBs) of NCR to prevent, control and abate air pollution in the NCR including industries, vehicles/ transport, construction and demolition (C&D), dust from roads and open areas, municipal solid waste burning, crop residue burning etc.
  • The policy framed by CAQM also deals with thermal power plants (TPPs), clean fuels & electric mobility, public transportation, road traffic management, diesel generators (DGs), bursting of firecrackers and abating air pollution through greening and plantation.

The scope of this comprehensive plan by CAQM is to abate air pollution primarily in Delhi and NCR. Owing to a deficit in infrastructure and systems across sub-regions of the NCR, wide variations in baseline actions, and varying levels of urbanization, a differentiated approach and timelines have been suggested for various sub-regions. These sub-regions include:

WHAT IS THE NEW POLICY?

  • According to the policy, all thermal power plants located within 300 kilometer radius of Delhi will have to ensure compliance with emission standards as per the deadline set by the Union environment ministry.
  • The policy talks about phasing out diesel-run auto-rickshaws in Gurugram, Faridabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad by December 31, 2024 and the remaining districts in the National Capital Region (NCR) by December 31, 2026.
  • Only Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and electric autos will be registered in NCR from January 1, 2023.
  • Fuels pumps in Delhi-NCR will not give fuel to vehicles not having a valid pollution-under-check certificate from January 1, 2023.
  • State governments have been asked to implement scrappage policy for the end-of-life vehicles that cannot be used any more.
  • Delhi and all NCR states will have to develop a plan to create a CNG and LNG fuelling network in NCR and on highways to shift long-haul trucking and other commercial vehicles to gas.
  • The use of coal in industrial application will be banned from January 1, 2023.
  • To prevent stubble burning, Punjab and Haryana will have to utilise 6 million tonnes and 2 million tonnes of paddy straw industrial applications, respectively as well as thermal power plants, biomass power and production of bio-fuels by December 31, 2026.
  • The policy also stressed the need to upscale the application of bio-decomposer solution, which decomposes paddy straw, in the harvest season this year.
  • For effective traffic management, the policy mandates the development of early warning systems to inform commuters and plan route diversions in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad districts.
  • It also focuses on strengthening the quality of air pollution data and filling gaps through sensor-based monitoring to cover rural and peri-urban areas.

VALUE ADDITION:

Why Delhi air pollution rises in October?

Natural factors

  • Northwesterly Winds: Month of October marks the withdrawal of Monsoon winds (South-West) from North India, leading to the arrival of North-Easterly winds.
    • Monsoon winds carry Moisture and rainfall all over the country, whereas northwesterly winds carry dust from dust storms originating in Rajasthan and sometimes Pakistan and Afghanistan.
    • As per the study conducted by scientists at the National Physical Laboratory, 72 per cent of Delhi’s wind in winters comes from the northwest, while the remaining 28 per cent comes from the Indo-Gangetic plains.
    • One of such examples is a storm of 2017, originated from Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait that led to a drastic dip in Delhi’s air quality in a couple of days.
  • Low-level inversion: Another factor is the temperature dip in the month of October. Low-temperature results in low-level inversion i.e. the layer that stops the upward movement of air from the layers below. It leads to the concentration of pollutants in the air at the lower heights.
  • Wind speed: High wind speed in summers facilitates the faster movement of particulate matters in the air. As the wind speed decreases in winters, the air is not able to draw the pollutant away from a region.
  • Landlocked Geography of Delhi: Geography of Delhi and the region around in the northern plains is landlocked. On the one hand source wind from North-West is already having pollutants, on the other, the Himalayas obstruct the escape route of air. Moreover, large buildings and other structures in Delhi also reduce airspeed.
    • It is the reason that Chennai with the third-highest number of automobiles in India faces far less pollution in the city in comparison as coastal reason provides air with an effective route to enter and exit.

THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS

5.EXPLAINED: WHAT IS FCRA, THE LAW RELATED TO NGO FUNDING?

THE CONTEXT:The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has removed some crucial data from the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) website.

THE EXPLANATION:

  • The information removed includes the annual returns of NGOs and a list of NGOs whose licences have been cancelled.
  • The FCRA website used to maintain detailed data on NGOs granted licences; NGOs granted prior permission for receiving foreign contribution; NGOs whose licences have been cancelled, and the ones whose licences are deemed to have expired. It also had the annual returns of NGOs.

FOREIGN CONTRIBUTION (REGULATION) ACT:

  • It is an act of Parliament enacted in 1976 and amended in 2010. It was to regulate foreign donations and to ensure that such contributions do not adversely affect internal security.
  • Coverage: It is applicable to all associations, groups, and NGOs which intend to receive foreign donations.
  • Registration: It is mandatory for all such NGOs to register themselves under the FCRA. The registration is initially valid for five years. Further, it can be renewed subsequently if they comply with all norms.
  • Registered NGOs can receive foreign contributions for five purposes — social, educational, religious, economic, and cultural. There are 22,591 FCRA registered NGOs.

For how long is approval granted?

  • Once granted, FCRA registration is valid for five years. NGOs are expected to apply for renewal within six months of the date of expiry of registration. In case of failure to apply for renewal, the registration is deemed to have expired, and the NGO is no longer entitled to receive foreign funds or utilise its existing funds without permission from the ministry.
  • The FCRA registration of close to 5,900 NGOs, including Oxfam India Trust and Indian Medical Association, lapsed on December 31 last year. According to sources, the registration of as many as 5,789 NGOs had lapsed after they failed to apply for renewal before the due date. The rest, who had applied for renewal, were refused as the MHA found their operations or accounts to be in violation of the FCRA, sources had said at the time.
  • According to the MHA, NGOs failing to apply before the due date can petition the ministry with cogent reasons within four months of the expiry of registration, following which their applications can be reconsidered.

On what basis is approval cancelled?

  • The government reserves the right to cancel the FCRA registration of any NGO if it finds it to be in violation of the Act.
  • Registration can be cancelled if an inquiry finds a false statement in the application; if the NGO is found to have violated any of the terms and conditions of the certificate or renewal; if it has not been engaged in any reasonable activity in its chosen field for the benefit of society for two consecutive years; or if it has become defunct.
  • It can also be cancelled if “in the opinion of the Central Government, it is necessary in the public interest to cancel the certificate,” the FCRA says.
  • Registrations are also cancelled when an audit finds irregularities in the finances of an NGO in terms of misutilisation of foreign funds.
FOREIGN CONTRIBUTION REGULATION (AMENDMENT) RULES 2020:

  • New rules require any organization that wants to register itself under the FCRA to have existed for at least three years. Further, it should have spent a minimum of Rs. 15 lakh on its core activities during the last three financial years for the benefit of society.
  • Office bearers of the NGOs seeking registration under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act must submit a specific commitment letter from the donor. It should indicate the amount of foreign contribution and the purpose for which it is proposed to be given.
  • Any NGO or person making an application for obtaining prior permission to receive foreign funds shall have an FCRA Account.

THE PRELIMS PERSPECTIVE

6.THE DHAMMACAKKA DAY 2022-13TH JULY 2022

THE CONTEXT:The President of India, addressed the Dhammacakka Day 2022 celebrations at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh.

THE EXPLANATION:

  • Dhammacakka Day 2022, Ashaḍha Purṇima is the second most important sacred day of observance for Buddhists after Vaishakha Buddha Purṇima.
  • It commemorates Buddha’s First Sermon or the First Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma, when he taught the Dhammacakka-pavattana Sutta (Pāli) or Dharmacakra pravartana Sūtra (Sanskrit).”
  • “Seven weeks after his enlightenment, he gave this discourse to pancavargiya – the first five ascetic disciples- at the ‘Deer Park’, Ṛṣipatana Mrigadaya in the current day Sarnath, which is in Varanasi. It is here that the Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Paths and the Middle Path: avoiding the two extremes, i.e., life of extreme indulgence and the life of extreme penance”.

VALUE ADDITION:

First Buddhist Council

  • Venue: In Sattaparnaguha Cave situated outside Rajgriha (the modern city of Rajgir).
  • Year: 486 BC.
  • King: Ajatasatru, son of King Bimbisara (Haryanka Dynasty).
  • Presiding Priest: Venerable Maha Kasyapa with 500 monks.

Resulted in:

  • Vinaya Pitaka which mainly contains the rules of the Buddhist order. This was recited by Upali.
  • Suttapitaka was recited by Ananda. It contains the great collections of Buddha’s sermons on matters of doctrine and ethical beliefs.

Second Buddhist Council

  • Venue: Vaishali.
  • Year: 386 BC
  • King: Kalasoka (Shisunaga Dynasty).
  • Presiding Priest: Sabakami.

Resulted in:

  • The split of the Buddhist order into Sthaviravadinis(Theravada) and Mahasanghikas. The split was over small points of monastic discipline.
  • The Second Buddhist Council made the unanimous decision not to relax any of the rules and censured the behaviour of the monks who were accused of violating the ten points.

Third Buddhist Council

  • Venue: Pataliputra (today’s Patna).
  • Year: 250 BC.
  • King: Ashoka (Maurya Dynasty).
  • Presiding priest: Mogaliputta Tissa (Upagupta).
  • Its objective was to reconcile the different schools of Buddhism and to purify the Buddhist movement, particularly from opportunistic factions which had been attracted by the royal patronage.
  • The responses to doctrinal questions and disputes formulated at the Third Council were recorded by Moggaliputta Tissa in the Kathavatthu, one of the books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka.

Resulted in:

  • Made Sthaviravada School as an orthodox school – believed that the past, present, and future are all simultaneous. They may have contributed some formative influence to Mahayana.
  • Codification of Abhidhamma Pitaka, dealing with Buddhist philosophy written in Pali.

THE PRELIMS PRACTICE QUESTIONS

QUESTION OF THE DAY

Q.Consider the following statements in the context of World Economic Forum:

  1. It is an intergovernmental organization based in Geneva.
  2. Global Gender Gap Report released by World Economic Forum.

Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

a)1 only

b)2 only

c)Both 1 and 2

d)Neither 1 nor 2

 

ANSWER FOR 13TH JULY 2022

ANSWER: D

EXPLANATION:

  • All the Statements are Correct

 

 Types of Bail in India

Depending upon the sage of the criminal matter, there are commonly three types of bail in India:

Regular bail- A regular bail is generally granted to a person who has been arrested or is in

  1. police custody. A bail application can be filed for the regular bail under sections 437 and 439 of CrPC.
  2. Interim bail– This type of bail is granted for a short period of time and it is granted before the hearing for the grant of regular bail or anticipatory bail.
  3. Anticipatory bail– Anticipatory bail is granted under section 438 of CrPC either by session court or High Court. An application for the grant of anticipatory bail can be filed by the person who discerns that he may be arrested by the police for a non-bailable offence.

What is default bail?

  • Also known as statutory bail, this is a right to bail that accrues when the police fail to complete the investigation within a specified period in respect of a person in judicial custody. This is enshrined in Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure where it is not possible for the police to complete an investigation in 24 hours, the police produce the suspect in court and seek orders for either police or judicial custody. This section concerns the total period up to which a person may be remanded in custody prior to the filing of the charge sheet.
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