25th April 2020 Current Affairs in English
25th April 2020 Current Affairs in English – Today Current affairs PDF link available below.
Dear Aspirants, we (Vetripadi.com team) have come with Daily Current affairs analysis. It is prepared to crack the various competitive exams. We are here to make sure your preparation easy. We will update the current affairs every day. It will help for both preliminary and mains (facts oriented with background information) for your preparation. We need you support.
VETRIPADI Daily Newsletter
வெற்றிப்படி.காம் | வெற்றிக்கு நீ படி!!!
Daily Current affairs for Competitive
Exams ( UPSC, TNPSC, SSC)
25th APRIL 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Coronavirus | Biggest message from COVID-19 is that India must be self-reliant, says Modi
- IIT researchers develop tool to predict spread of COVID-19
- No plan to ease fiscal deficit targets
- ICMR nod for coronavirus detection assay developed by IIT Delhi
- No 100% quota: On overzealous reservation
- Extra Information in News
1. Coronavirus | Biggest message from COVID-19 is that India must be self-reliant, says Modi
Information in News
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the biggest message arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic was for India to be self-reliant and self-sufficient for the majority of its needs, and that this was necessary for the country if it faced such a crisis again.
- He was addressing a video conference of sarpanches from across the country on Panchayati Raj Day, during which he also launched two programmes,
- e-GramSwaraj, for monitoring of rural infrastructure works and e-governance.
- Swamitva programme, which involves mapping of rural housing and land holdings via technology including drones. The Swamitva programme would help rural India leverage property for institutional credit and other benefits.
- The main focus of the interaction, however, remained on the challenge posed by COVID-19 and how the Panchayati Raj institutions were dealing with it.
- The global Coronavirus pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis but it has also given important messages with regard to the way we have lived so far.
- This self-reliance should be at the village, district, state and national level in terms of our needs and our ability to satisfy them within our own country.
- We should not look to other countries to satisfy our needs.
2. IIT researchers develop tool to predict spread of COVID-19
Information in News
- Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi have developed a web-based dashboard for predicting the spread of COVID-19 in India.
- The institute said that the mobile-friendly dashboard, PRACRITI (PRediction and Assessment of CoRona Infections and Transmission in India) gives detailed State-wise and district-wise predictions of COVID-19 cases in India for a three-week period, which is updated on a weekly basis.
- This platform will be highly useful for healthcare organisations as well as local and central authorities to efficiently plan for different future scenarios and resource allocation.
A key parameter of interest on COVID-19 is the basic reproduction number (R0), pronounced ‘R naught’ and its countrywide variability. R0 refers to the number of people to whom the disease spreads from a single infected person.
- For instance, if an active COVID-19 patient infects two uninfected persons, the R0 value is two.
- Reduction of R0 is key in controlling and mitigating COVID-19 in India, the researchers added.
- PRACRITI provides the R0 values of each district and State based on data available from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, National Disaster Management Authority, and the World Health Organization.
- Getting the district-wise R0 value is crucial as this will enable authorities to know the exact rate of spread in India locally.
- The three-week prediction provided by the dashboard can be of immense help to policymakers for planning strategic interventions for controlling COVID-19 spread.
- The model also accounts for the effect of different lockdown scenarios such as the effect of locking down district boundaries, and implementing different levels of lockdown within a district.
- The distinguishing feature of the model is the inclusion of the effect of movement of population across district/State boarders in the spread of COVID-19.
3. No plan to ease fiscal deficit targets
Information in News
- Despite the strain on government finances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no credible proposal to amend the legislation meant to control the fiscal deficit, Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission N.K. Singh said.
- After a two-day meeting of the Commission’s Economic Advisory Council, Mr. Singh said the government was currently looking to see how to ameliorate economic hardship while staying within the broad framework of the existing law.
- Singh said the government was currently looking to see how to ameliorate economic hardship while staying within the broad framework of the existing law.
- While presenting the Union Budget in February,
- The Finance Minister had invoked the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act’s escape clause to relax the fiscal deficit target for 2020-21 by 0.5% percentage points to 3.5% of the GDP. If the government wishes to increase spending further in light of the current crisis, as many economists have recommended, it may need to amend the Act.
- The State governments have been demanding that their own 3% fiscal deficit targets be relaxed to 4% or even 5%, to give them elbow room in dealing with the impact of the lockdown.
Need for new law
- Singh said,
- that change would not be possible without fresh legislation being enacted by the States.
- A more expeditious method would be for the States to first trigger their own escape clauses.
- And also cautioned that the States need to weigh the cost of borrowing from the market, and whether there would be appetite for their bonds.
- Escape clause’ generally refers to a contract provision that specifies the conditions under which a party can be freed from an obligation.
- The escape clause under the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) Act details a set of events in which the Central government can deviate from fiscal deficit targets.
- The fiscal deficit is the total amount by which the government’s expenses for a year exceed its revenues.
- Escape clauses provide flexibility to governments to overshoot fiscal deficit targets in times of need, enabling them to respond to economic shocks.
- To ensure escape clauses are not misused, they are generally allowed only in exceptional circumstances, and with a check on the quantum of deviation.
4. ICMR nod for coronavirus detection assay developed by IIT Delhi
Information in News
- First academic institute IIT Delhi to get approval from ICMR for a probe-free coronavirus detection assay developed , a real-time polymerase chain reaction-based model.
- The assay was developed by researchers at IIT Delhi’s Kusuma School of Biological Sciences (KSBS).
Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based diagnostic assay
- Using comparative sequence analyses, the team identified unique regions (short stretches of RNA sequences) in the COVID-19/SARS COV-2 genome.
- These regions are not present in other human coronaviruses, providing an opportunity to specifically detect COVID-19.
- The method used primers targeting unique regions of COVID-19 that were designed and tested using real-time PCR.
- These primers specifically bind to regions conserved in over 400 fully sequenced COVID-19 genomes.
- This highly sensitive assay was developed by extensive optimization using synthetic DNA constructs followed by in-vitro generated RNA fragments.
- The assay would be useful for specific and affordable high throughput testing.
- This assay can be easily scaled up as it does not require fluorescent probes.
5. No 100% quota: On overzealous reservation
Information in News
- The Supreme Court is right in considering cent per cent reservation as anathema to the constitutional scheme of equality even if it is for the laudable objective of providing representation to historically deprived sections.
- The verdict quashing the reservation of 100% of all teaching posts in ‘Scheduled Areas’ of Andhra Pradesh for local Scheduled Tribes is not against affirmative programmes as such, but a caution against implementing them in a manner detrimental to the rest of society.
- A five-judge Constitution Bench found that earmarking teacher posts in areas notified under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution adversely affected the interests of other candidates not only from Scheduled Castes and other backward communities but also other ST communities not native to those areas.
- Of course, what the State government did, in its original orders of 1986, and thereafter, in a subsequent order in 2000, was not without its own rationale.
- It found that there was chronic absenteeism among teachers who did not belong to those remote areas where the schools were located.
- However, its solution of drafting only members of the local tribes was not a viable solution.
- As the Bench noted, it could have come up with other incentives to ensure the attendance of teachers.
- Another aspect that the court took into account was that Andhra Pradesh has a local area system of recruitment to public services.
- The President, under Article 371D, has issued orders that a resident of a district/zone cannot apply to another district/zone for appointment.
- Thus, the 100% quota deprived residents of the Scheduled Areas of any opportunity to apply for teaching posts.
- Affirmative action loses its meaning if it does not leave the door slightly ajar for open competition.
- B.R. Ambedkar observed during the debate in the Constituent Assembly on the equality clause, that any reservation normally ought to be for a “minority of seats”.
- This is one of the points often urged in favour of the 50% cap imposed by the Court on total reservation, albeit with some allowance for relaxation in special circumstances.
- It is still a matter of debate whether the ceiling has innate sanctity, but it is clear that wherever it is imperative that the cap be breached, a special case must be made for it.
- Such a debate should not divert attention from the fact that there is a continuing need for a significant quota for STs, especially those living in areas under the Fifth Schedule special dispensation.
- In this backdrop, it is somewhat disappointing that courts tend to record obiter dicta advocating a revision of the list of SCs and STs.
- While the power to amend the lists notified by the President is not in dispute, it is somewhat uncharitable to say that the advanced and “affluent” sections within SCs and STs are cornering all benefits and do not permit any trickle-down.
- Indian society is still some distance from reaching that point.
6. Extra Information in News
National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)
- The National Company Law Tribunal is a quasi-judicial body in India that adjudicates issues relating to Indian companies.
- The tribunal was established under the Companies Act 2013 and was constituted on 1 June 2016 by the government of India
- It is based on the recommendation of the Balakrishna Eradi committee on law relating to the insolvency and the winding up of companies.
- All proceedings under the Companies Act, including proceedings relating to arbitration, compromise, arrangements, reconstructions and the winding up of companies shall be disposed off by the National Company Law Tribunal.
- The NCLT bench is chaired by a Judicial member who is supposed to be a retired or a serving High Court Judge and a Technical member who must be from the Indian Corporate Law Service, ICLS Cadre.
- The National Company Law Tribunal is the adjudicating authority for the insolvency resolution process of companies and limited liability partnerships under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
- No criminal court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any matter which the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal is empowered to determine by or under this Act or any other law for the time being in force and no injunction shall be granted by any court or other authority in respect of any action taken or to be taken in pursuance of any power conferred by or under this Act or any other law for the time being in force, by the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal.
- The tribunal has sixteen benches, six at New Delhi (one being the principal bench) and two at Ahmedabad, one at Allahabad, one at Bengaluru, one at Chandigarh, two at Chennai, one at Cuttack, one at Guwahati, three at Hyderabad of which one is at Amaravathi, one at Jaipur, one at Kochi, two at Kolkata and five at Mumbai.
- Of the two new benches approved to be set up, one each in Indore and Amaravathi, the Indore bench is yet to be notified.
- Except the Bench at Amaravathi, all the benches have been notified as division benches.
- Decisions of the tribunal may be appealed to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, the decisions of which may further be appealed to the Supreme Court of India on a point of law.
- The Supreme Court of India has upheld the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in its entirety.
- The National Company Law Tribunal has the power under the Companies Act to adjudicate proceedings:
- Initiated before the Company Law Board under the previous act (the Companies Act 1956)
- Pending before the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction, including those pending under the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985
- Pending before the Appellate Authority for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction; and
- Pertaining to claims of oppression and mismanagement of a company, winding up of companies and all other powers prescribed under the Companies
2. National Wildlife Board of India (NWBI)
- NBWL is a statutory body as it has been constituted under Section 5 A the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
- It is the apex body to review all wildlife-related matters and approve projects in and around national parks and sanctuaries i.e. Protected Areas.
- In 2003, NBWL was constituted. Its term lapsed in 2013. In 2014, it was reconstituted (was notified on July 22, 2014).
- It is a 47-member board (including the chairman) which usually meets once a year. It is chaired by Prime minister.
- The environment ministry has delegated all powers of the NBWL to a compliant Standing Committee which regularly meets and clears projects in Protected Areas.
- The National Board may, at its discretion, constitute a Standing Committee under sub-section (1) of Section 5B to be chaired by Union Minister in charge of Forests and Wildlife.
- The WLPA (Wildlife Protection Act) mandates that without the approval /recommendation of the NBWL, construction of tourist lodges, alteration of the boundaries of PAs, destruction or diversion of wildlife habitat and de-notification of Tiger Reserves, cannot be done.