9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – July 11th, 2022

Dear Friends,

We have initiated some changes in the 9 PM Brief and other postings related to current affairs. What we sought to do:

  1. Ensure that all relevant facts, data, and arguments from today’s newspaper are readily available to you.
  2. We have widened the sources to provide you with content that is more than enough and adds value not just for GS but also for essay writing. Hence, the 9 PM brief now covers the following newspapers:
    1. The Hindu  
    2. Indian Express  
    3. Livemint  
    4. Business Standard  
    5. Times of India 
    6. Down To Earth
    7. PIB
  3. We have also introduced the relevance part to every article. This ensures that you know why a particular article is important.
  4. Since these changes are new, so initially the number of articles might increase, but they’ll go down over time.
  5. It is our endeavor to provide you with the best content and your feedback is essential for the same. We will be anticipating your feedback and ensure the blog serves as an optimal medium of learning for all the aspirants.
    • For previous editions of 9 PM BriefClick Here
    • For individual articles of 9 PM BriefClick Here

Current Affairs Compilations for UPSC IAS Prelims 2022

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

What ails the current approach to Ayurveda

Source: The post is based on the article “What ails the current approach to Ayurveda” published in The Hindu on 11th July 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.

Relevance: Issues associated with Ayurveda.

News: Ayurveda has been in practice for close to three millennia. Even today, India’s traditional medicine serves the healthcare needs of millions of Indians. But the Ayurveda faces a few challenges that need to be addressed.

What are the challenges associated with Ayurveda?

Has few obsolete treatises: Ayurveda’s ancient treatises contain useful portions alongside obsolete ones. Hence, valuable health promotion and illness management observations need to be carefully filtered from outdated theories and socio-religious superstitions.

Many experts admit that the anatomy and physiology contained in the Ayurvedic classics is mostly outdated and that the official approach to this subject is misguided.

For instance, On urine formation, the text posits that tiny ducts from the intestines carry urine to fill the bladder. This simplistic scheme of urine formation has no role for the kidneys at all.

Read more: Explained: Surgery as part of Ayurveda

Philosophical superiority: The belief in the philosophical superiority of Ayurveda has destroyed ancient medical writings from being revisable scientific treatises. The idea of Ayurveda being antithetical to the yukti-vyapashraya (reason-based) character of classical Ayurveda has made the reforms long overdue in Ayurveda. This is highlighted by Usman Committee (1923) and the Chopra Committee (1948).

Misinterpretations in practices: There is a flawed approach of making ancient concepts sound relevant by super-imposing current scientific findings upon them. This will lead to dangerously wrong clinical choices.

Read more: First of its kind phase 3 clinical trial in Ayurveda for Rheumatoid Arthritis
What should be done?

Revise Ayurvedic treatises: A century ago, P.S. Varier of the Arya Vaidya Sala Kottakkal noted that the “Sareerasthana (section on body structure and function in the Ayurvedic classics) must firstly be revised and made clearer and the remaining parts must be suited to it.

After this, the other important works should also be corrected. Further, necessary additions must be made either by translations or by collaboration with experts in portions still deficient.

As a medical system, Ayurveda is valuable immensely for its observations. Ministry of AYUSH must take cognisance actions to revive Ayurveda.

Read more: Making Ayurveda a real science

GS Paper 3


About Commute time in Cities: The road to productivity

Source: The post is based on the article “The road to productivity” published in The Hindu on 11th July 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Relevance: Challenges associated with commute time in cities.

News: The pandemic-induced lockdowns in cities played an important role in realising national and macroeconomic growth targets. But India’s progress toward a $5 trillion economy could be strangled due to pandemic-induced lockdowns.

Note: The nominal labour market of the city refers to all jobs created in the metropolitan area. The effective labour market refers to the jobs accessible within a certain commute.

What is the significance of Commute time in Cities?

The larger a city’s effective labour market, the greater its agglomeration economies and knowledge spillovers.

The longer the commute time in a city, the smaller is its effective labour market and vice-versa. The labour force in the workplace plays a very important role in determining productivity in cities.

Travel time in Indian cities: The travel time to work was one of the slowest in Indian cities in 2016: Bengaluru being the slowest at 22 km per hour, Delhi at 25 km per hour, and Chennai the highest at 33 km per hour.

Benefits of short commute: a) From the micro perspective, it will benefit the commuter who otherwise wastes time, health and productivity with the delays in traffic, b) From the macro, city-level perspective, it will enable a large effective labour market.

Read more: A road safety quartet and the road ahead
How ULBs can reduce commute time in Indian cities and improve themselves?

Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) can directly impact the city’s economic output through their infrastructure. In recent research in Karnataka, researchers found that road length has a positive effect on the city’s tax base. The estimate also indicated that for every one km increase in the road length of a ULB, there is an increase in the ULB’s own revenues by roughly ₹430 per capita.

With an increased tax base, the ULB can create roads that lead to easy access to jobs and increased economic activity. Further, it also gives the public more confidence and motivation to pay taxes.

Investing in roads not only reduces travel time and enlarges effective labour markets of cities and their economic output, but also improves access to schooling for children as well as healthcare, thereby upgrading human development. This is indeed the road to the $5 trillion economy along with improvement in human well-being.

Read more: India State Support Program for Road Safety: World Bank approves $250 mn loan for road safety

An uncertain transition: As GST compensation ends, state governments need to be provided certainty of revenues

Source: The post is based on the article “An uncertain transition: As GST compensation ends, state governments need to be provided certainty of revenues” published in Indian Express on 11th July 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources.

Relevance: About the impacts of GST Compensation.

News: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has completed its 5th year since its inception on 1 July 2017. With this, the era of GST compensation that the state governments were entitled to has also ended. Many state governments have asked for the compensation period to be extended by a few years.

The discontinuation would alter the revenue composition of some states adversely. Especially to those states with a relatively larger share of revenue receipts in their overall revenue streams.

Must read: Five Years of GST: Achievements, Challenges and Way Ahead – Explained, pointwise
How dependent States are on GST Compensation?

The indicative calendar of market borrowings by 23 state governments and two Union territories for the second quarter has pegged their total state development loan issuance at Rs 2.1 trillion.

Note: state development loan issuance is the primary source of financing state government deficits.

Of these 23 states, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Gujarat have indicated large increases in borrowings. Most of these states have an above-average dependence on GST compensation.

Read more: GST: Five years stronger
About the restriction on off-budget borrowings of states

The Centre had informed state governments that their off-budget borrowings for the past two years (2020-21 and 2021-22) would be adjusted from their borrowing ceiling this year. This requires the detailed data calculation of the adjusted borrowing should be submitted to the Centre. This will be followed by a thorough assessment of the same by the Centre.

Despite changes in off-budget borrowings, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Punjab were able to raise bonds in the first few weeks of the first quarter.

What are the remedial measures?

The tax devolution to states for 2021-22 was released in the fourth quarter. This may have allowed them to temporarily withstand the changes related to their borrowing permission.

If the government decides to increase tax devolution to the states, then it might reduce the size of state borrowings further. But such an increase in tax devolution may encourage states to ringfence their capital spending and provide a positive impulse to the economy.

Read more: Taking stock of five years of GST

Links between infra & growth

Source: The post is based on an article “Links between infra & growth” published in the Business Standard on 10th July 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 Indian Economy; Infrastructure; Investment models

Relevance: Issues in Infrastructure Investment in India

News: In the 1990s, India removed barriers to globalization and opened the country to the outside world. This unleashed the growth episode of 1991-2011.  However, in recent periods, the high infrastructure investment is not producing the same result.

In 1991, India left behind its policies around themes of autarky (Self-reliance) and hostility to the West. During 1991-2011, the performance of the Indian economy was good compared to the past. Many theories claim that infrastructure development was the sole factor behind this development and that India should continue to do so.

What are the past arguments for the link between infrastructure and economic growth?

Example: Most global production takes place in “global value chains”. Production takes place step by step at cost-efficient global locations, where Multi-National Companies (MNCs) set up their base.

In the case of India, low wages, are the attractive factor, thus, India has many companies in the hinterland. Now companies require ports/airports to deliver goods to India, and then roads to production sites with low wages.

Thus, the above example suggests that connectivity to remote locations with low-wage labor will create conditions for private investment and then sustained employment.

What are the issues in the above-mentioned theory?

Infrastructure investment is just a means to an end, that creates conditions in which private investment can create employment growth. Private investment is the key to domestic product growth, prosperity, and employment. Thus, Infrastructure investment is impactful when it is followed by private investment.

If we take an example of India, in the early years, many commendable steps were taken. The government ended state control and established institutional apparatus to improve infrastructure. It led to the constitution of the NHAI (National High Authority of India), Delhi Metro Rail Corporations, Cochin airport, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, etc. Thereafter, the government pushed significant capital into these mechanisms. It all resulted in the following developments:

  1. The metro cities like Bombay and Delhi have decent airports and some metro lines.
  2. Remarkable surge in highway commissioning in the last six years.
  3. As a result of airway infrastructure, the plane ticket prices have come down and the middle class is flying.
  4. The improvement in telecom infrastructure like decent bandwidth has led to the growth of IT and ITES industries.

In the 1990s, transportation was a constraint. The development of infra then created a new set of possibilities for private investment in global value chains. But, it is not the case today.

However, since 2011, infrastructure growth has not resulted in growing private investment. Instead, Pvt. Investment is on the decline, since 2011. Reduced cost of transportation is definitely one of the factors, but not the only factor behind the development of the private investment.

What are the factors that suggest against state-led infrastructure development?

First, if a private company feels that it can make money by building an asset, it can take the risk and build an asset.

Second, state-led infrastructure development in India is facing the Chinese problem of declining incremental capital-output ratio. It means each investment is giving a lesser return to the government. Furthermore, every Rs 1 spent by the government imposes a cost of perhaps Rs 3 upon the economy.

Third, the factors that are leading to the low private investment are the following:

  1. An interventionist state in India, which indulge in sudden policy change.
  2. Faults in the taxation system.
  3. Lack of rule of law followed by coercive state agencies, such as regulators.
  4. The wage remains high in many pockets of the population, probably because the labour supply has been distorted due to the welfare programs.
  5. Many non-economic factors like social issues hamper women’s labour supply in the labour market.

Thus, instead of state-led infra development, government should focus on other aspects that are hindering growth.


How Green Zone Dilution In Draft NCR Plan 2041 Defied Objections

Source: The post is based on an article “How green zone dilution in draft NCR plan 2041 defied objections” published in The Times of India on 11th July 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 Environment and Ecology

Relevance: Draft Delhi Master Plan 2041

News: Recently, the draft NCR Regional Plan 2041 plan, which sets the contours of how the region will develop over the next two decades, was put in the public domain after approval from the NCRPB, for 30 days for feedback. It has attracted several objections.

Arguments in favour of the NCR Planning Board (NCRPB’s) proposals in the plan?

It has been mentioned that necessary provisions related to Natural Zone (NZ) are already in line with the decisions held at the level of the Ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA).

What are the issues?

There are issues in balancing ecology and development because it proposes to alter ‘natural conservation zones (NCZ)’ to ‘natural zones (NZ)’

NZ doesn’t require mandatory conservation, like NCZs.  The NCZs are ecologically sensitive areas (ESZ) and restrict construction to only 0. 5% of the total area.

The Union environment and forest ministry have also flagged the shrinking of areas under NCZs. Therefore, it has suggested retaining the term ‘NCZ’ in the master plan 2041.

The Ministry also asked for the inclusion of a detailed land use plan, for NCZs and all of NCR, in the new plan.

Unlike, 2021 plan, where NCZ was clearly defined – “extension of Aravali ridge, forest areas, rivers, sanctuaries, major lakes and water bodies.”, the definition of NZs in the draft plan is generic, such as ‘mountains and hills’, and ‘rivers and water bodies created by nature’.

The draft plan does not mention a comparison of the change in land use, despite repeated insistence by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).  However, the Land-use maps, existing and proposed, have been an integral part of all previous NCR Regional Plans.

The scope of preservation of the NZs has also been restricted. The state governments would have greater discretion to decide on NZs at times when the state already defies the very concept of uniform development of NCR.

The Way Forward

The directions of the NCRPB in December 2017 regarding the definition of Aravalis (all areas recorded as ‘gair mumkin pahar’, etc in NCR) and identification of forests as per dictionary meaning in line with Supreme Court orders should be included in the 2041 plan.

The NCR Planning Board should seriously take into account the responses received during the feedback exercise.


Apart From the Foreign Hand

Source: The post is based on an article “Apart from the foreign hand” published in the Times of India on 11th July 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 Indian Economy

Relevance: Macroeconomic Conditions; Inflation

News: In recent months, India first offered to export wheat to a hungry world. However, later on, it suddenly reversed its position because the spectre of inflation has been haunting the world, including India.

What are the causes behind high inflation?

Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, OPEC had squeezed supplies of crude oil. This has fuelled the oil prices.

Geopolitical Reasons: It has caused an increase in the prices of oil, other energy products, and food worldwide.

The Russia-Ukraine war further hiked the price of crude spike and other energy prices. For example, the Western countries have imposed sanctions on Russian produce.

Natural gas is not easy to either source or sell. Its transport infrastructure – pipelines, plants, special terminals for LNG tankers, LNG tankers, regasification facilities at import terminals, etc. are limited. It takes time and money to expand.

The West has cut back its purchase of gas and oil from Russia. Now, it is sourcing gas and coal from other sources, which has lifted all energy prices like ethanol.

This has hiked the prices of other commodities. For example, For Ethanol, the corn is diverted, pushing up the prices of chicken feed and chicken.

The West has put a ban on imports of Russian grain, fertiliser, and oilseeds. Russia is one of the largest exporters of wheat to the global wheat markets.

The war has also squeezed the global wheat supplies from Ukraine, which is the fifth-largest wheat exporter.

Implications of inflation

Inflation has a differential impact on different sections. The capitalists receive benefits out of it. For example, when wages and salaries shrink in real terms, the income distribution shifts in favor of gross profits, which means capitalists get more money.

The real cost of servicing debt falls – except when the debt is owed to foreigners. For example, Inflation induces currency depreciation, and a lower rupee increases the cost of servicing dollar debt.

Further, inflation also divides capitalists into two classes.

How is the RBI response correct?

RBI’s approach has been prudent and appropriate. Its decision to not make sharp and pre-emptive interest rate increases is spot on.

The Higher rates squeeze the second-round effects of inflation. For example, when the demand for higher wages and resultant higher wages lead to the spread of the initial price rises to all sectors.

What are the issues in the RBI actions?

Inflation-squeezing rate rises hurt growth. Growth helps the poor, creating new incomes, even as inflation crimps their consumption.

In recent years, the RBI easy money policies have also failed to create excess demand. Inf act, free food has ensured the survival of people.


A make-or-break ban

Source: The post is based on an article “A make or break ban” published in the Business Standard on 10th July 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 Ecology and Environment

Relevance: Plastic Ban

News: Recently, India’s ban on certain single-use plastic has come into effect from July 1, to control the menace of plastic pollution.

The banned items include earbuds, cutlery, straws, and carry bags. And items of thickness less than 120 microns will be banned by December 2022.

Other laws for single-use plastic like multi-layered packaging

The extended producer responsibility (EPR) notification applies to all the packaging material. The companies that manufacture or consume this material are required to take it back and send it for reprocessing.

What are the limitations of the legal regime for plastic ban?

The current ban

The current ban is limited in sense because the plastic items that are difficult to collect or recycle are required to be eliminated from use. But it is difficult. For example, according to the latest report of the CPCB, 25 states and UTs have already banned such plastic. But these states say that it is difficult to regulate these items based on plastic thickness.

It has been found that the enforcement of the plastic rules remains inadequate in India.

The current list of banned items is not comprehensive. In order to get rid of the items that are difficult to collect or are single-use, then the list should have included multi-layered packaging, used from chips to shampoos to gutka pouches.

Issues with EPR

The EPR has been poorly designed and is being poorly implemented. There is no information on the quantity of the plastic material generated. The companies are not required to self-declare. There is a lack of information in the public domain to assess the implementation of the EPR regime.

The companies are required to recycle or reprocess the material they collect only by 2024.

There is no adequate information on whether the plastic waste that is being collected is being stored or dumped?

The Producer Responsibility Organisations (PRO) which fulfil the EPR targets on the behalf of the companies, sort the waste collected from municipal bodies. The PROs sort the items and simply store the items that could not be recycled, in the warehouse. These items are not processed but dumped into the yard.

What should be done?

We can adopt a three-pronged strategy to ensure plastic items are recycled or disposed of safely:

First, all the plastic produced and used should be collected for disposal.

Second, the waste plastic material must be recycled or incinerated. And, it should not reach landfills or choke the water bodies at any cost.

Third, further the reuse or disposal of the plastic materials has to be in a manner that is environmentally friendly and does not end up creating more pollution or health hazard for workers.

The solution for those items that are difficult to collect and process can be to send them to cement plants for incineration.

We should become responsible for our own waste and not use the banned items.

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Twitter’s petition on Section 69A of the IT Act

Source: The post is based on the article “Twitter’s petition on Section 69A of the IT Actpublished in The Hindu on 11th July 2022

What is the News?

Twitter has moved the Karnataka High Court seeking to set aside multiple blocking orders of the Central government.

According to Twitter, blocking orders were procedurally and substantially non-compliant with Section 69A of the Information Technology Act(IT Act).

What is Section 69A of the Information Technology Act(IT Act)?

Click here to read about it

What is the procedure for executing the order under Section 69A of the IT Act?

The procedures for executing the provisions of the act are enlisted in the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009. 

It entails that a government-designated officer along with an examination committee assesses the content in question within 48 hours of receiving the takedown request. 

It must enable an opportunity for the author or originator of the content to provide clarifications. 

The recommendations are then sent to the Secretary of the Dept of Information Technology for approval to forward a request to the social media intermediary for restricting access. 

Emergency provisions stipulate that clarification be sought after the content has been blocked for specific reasons but within 48 hours. They can be revoked after due Examination.

Why has Twitter moved the Karnataka High Court against blocking orders?

Twitter has moved the court due to following reasons: 

Firstly, Absence of a case-specific rationale for blocking content and accounts: Twitter holds that the government has been merely reproducing the words of Section 69A as reasons for blocking URLs and accounts. The government has allegedly not shown why the restrictions were necessary in the interest of public order or for any other reason. 

– For instance, the Supreme Court’s ruling in The Superintendent, Central Prison, Fatehgarh vs Ram Manohar Lohia(1960) held that restrictions made in the public interest must possess a reasonable connection to the objective being achieved. They need to be set aside should the co-relation be far-fetched, hypothetical or too remote in other words, bearing no proximity to public order.

Secondly, Not according to the originators of the content the mandatory hearing: The Supreme Court had upheld the constitutionality of Section 69A in Shreya Singhal vs Union of India(2012) because of its adherence to accord a hearing to the author of the content as well as the intermediary. 

– This hearing is guaranteed under Rule 8 of the procedural norms but Twitter stated that the government has neither provided any notice nor any hearing.


Explained: What are cloudbursts, and why they occur more in places like Amarnath

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: What are cloudbursts, and why they occur more in places like Amarnath” published in Indian Express on 11th July 2022

What is the News?

Sudden highly-localized rains in Amarnath, Jammu and Kashmir have caused flooding and led to the deaths of at least 16 people. People called this as a cloudburst.

However, the Indian Meteorological Department(IMD) has said that a cloudburst may not have actually occurred.

What is Cloudburst?

A cloudburst refers to an extreme amount of rain that happens in a short period, sometimes accompanied by hail and thunder.

Criteria: The India Meteorological Department(IMD) defines a Cloudburst as unexpected precipitation exceeding 100 mm (or 10 cm) per hour over a geographical region of approximately 20 to 30 square km. 

Note: All instances of cloudbursts involve heavy rain in a short period but all instances of heavy rain in a short period are not cloudbursts if they do not fit this criterion.

Conditions during Cloudburst: The relative humidity and cloud cover are at the maximum level with low temperature and slow winds because of which a high amount of clouds may get condensed at a very rapid rate and result in a cloudburst.

Why do Cloudbursts occur in Hilly areas?

Experts have said it is difficult to predict when exactly a cloudburst will occur. But they are more likely to occur in mountainous zones mainly because of terrain and elevation.

This is because, in hilly areas, sometimes saturated clouds ready to condense into rain cannot produce rain due to the upward movement of the very warm current of air. 

Instead of falling downwards, raindrops are carried upwards by the air current. New drops are formed and existing raindrops increase in size. 

After a point, the raindrops become too heavy for the cloud to hold on to, and they drop down together in a quick flash.


Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant

Source: The post is based on the article “Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrantpublished in PIB on 10th July 2022

What is the News?

India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-1), INS Vikrant has successfully completed the fourth and final phase of sea trials.

What is INS Vikrant?

INS Vikrant is India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier(IAC-1).

Designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited(CSL).

Named After: Vikrant is named after the Majestic-class aircraft carrier, which was operated by the Indian Navy from 1961 to 1997.

Features:

Read here: INS Vikrant, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, heads out to sea

Significance: With INS Vikrant, the Indian Navy will have two functional aircraft carriers– the other being INS Vikramaditya.

– Moreover, with this launch, India has joined a select band of countries such as the USA, UK, France, Russia, Italy and China that have niche capabilities in designing and building an Aircraft Carrier.


Union Minister inaugurates India’s first ever Animal Health Summit

Source: The post is based on the article Union Minister inaugurates India’s first ever Animal Health Summit” published in PIB on 9th July 2022

What is the News?

Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has inaugurated the first India Animal Health Summit 2022.

What is the India Animal Health Summit 2022?

Organized by: Indian Chamber of Food and Agriculture(ICFA) and the Agriculture Today Group.

Aim: To understand the importance of animal health towards the broader objective of the country’s food and nutrition security, rural incomes and prosperity and overall economic development.

Why is Animal Health important?

Animals and animal products are critical components of the country’s development in terms of food security, nutrition, and overall sustainability. 

For instance, India has the world’s largest cattle population and produces the most milk, yet per-animal productivity remains low. 

Low productivity is due to multiple factors, the most important being animal health which has a serious bearing on productivity.

Zoonotic illnesses have evolved as worldwide health hazards due to the intricate interactions among humans, animals, and the environment. 

Furthermore, food-borne infections and antimicrobial resistance(AMR) have increased the strain on the country’s health system and economy. 

Hence, given the re-emergence of old diseases as well as the emergence of new diseases, a call for a comprehensive national animal health strategy is essential. 


Regulation of medical devices: Draft Bill suggests separate expert group, check on online pharmacies

Source: The post is based on the articleRegulation of medical devices: Draft Bill suggests separate expert group, check on online pharmaciespublished in Indian Express on 10th July 2022

What is the News?

The Union Health Ministry has released the new draft ‘Drug, Medical Devices, and Cosmetics Bill-2022’.

What is the Draft ‘Drug, Medical Devices, and Cosmetics Bill-2022’?

Purpose: The Bill seeks to replace the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940 with an updated law laying down strict regulatory guidelines to keep pace with changing needs and technology.

Salient Provisions

Separate Definition of Medical Devices: The Bill has a separate definition for medical devices that bring under its ambit diagnostic equipment, its software, implants, devices for assistance with disabilities, life support, instruments used for disinfection, and any reagents or kits. The previous 1940 Act regulated medical devices as one of the four categories of “drugs”.

Medical Technical advisory board: The Bill proposes a medical technical advisory board along the lines of the existing drugs technical advisory board. This board will not only include medical professionals, but also people with technical knowledge of the devices.

Medical Devices Testing Centre: The Bill proposes medical device testing centres on the lines of drug laboratories in states and at the central level.

Clinical Trials: The Bill proposes compulsory permission of the central licensing authority for clinical trials or clinical investigation of drugs and medical devices. Although companies at present also have to seek permission from the apex drug regulator to conduct trials, it was never mentioned in the previous law.

– The Bill also says that medical management and compensation have to be provided to persons who are injured while participating in clinical trials. And, in case of death, the legal heir of the participant should be awarded compensation.

Regulation of e-pharmacies: The Bill specifically states that the Central government must come up with rules to regulate the online sale of drugs and for online pharmacies to operate “in accordance with a licence or permission issued”.

Read more: Drug Regulations in India – Explained, pointwise

Ministry of Women and Child Development issues Guidelines for Mission Vatsalya Scheme

Source: The post is based on the articleMinistry of Women and Child Development issues Guidelines for Mission Vatsalya Schemepublished in PIB on 7th July 2022

What is the News?

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has issued Guidelines for Mission Vatsalya Scheme.

What is Mission Vatsalya?

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Women and Child Development 

Type: Centrally Sponsored Scheme

Erstwhile Scheme: This scheme replaces the Child Protection Services(CPS) Scheme implemented since 2009-10.

Objectives: 1) To secure a healthy and happy childhood for each and every child in India, 2) To ensure opportunities to enable them to discover their full potential, 3) To assist States/UTs in delivering the mandate of the Juvenile Justice Act 2015 and achieve the SDG goals and 4) To promote family-based non-institutional care of children in difficult circumstances.

Components: 1) Improve the functioning of statutory bodies, 2) Strengthen service delivery structures, 3) Upscale institutional care/services, 4) Encourage non-institutional community-based care, 5) emergency outreach services and 6) Training and capacity building.

Funding: Funds to states will be approved through the Mission Vatsalya Project Approval Board (PAB) which will be chaired by the Ministry of Women and Child Development Secretary.

Monitoring Mechanism: At the state level, there will be a committee headed by the Chief Secretary to monitor, review and promote convergence in the implementation of the scheme. There will also be a district-level committee.

Key Activities under the Mission: The Mission in partnership with states and districts will execute a 24×7 helpline service for children as defined under Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.

It will support State Adoption Resource Agencies (SARA), which will further support the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) in promoting in-country adoption and regulating inter-country adoption.

The Mission also plans to establish cradle baby reception centres in at least one specialized adoption agency in each area for receiving abandoned and trafficked children.


Explained: What is ARYABHAT-1, Developed-In-India chipsets that help AI apps run better and faster

Source: The post is based on the articleExplained: What is ARYABHAT-1, Developed-In-India chipsets that help AI apps run better and fasterpublished in Firstpost on 7th July 2022

What is the News?

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science or IISc have developed an analogue chipset called ARYABHAT-1.

What is ARYABHAT-1?

Full-Form: ARYABHAT-1 stands for Analog Reconfigurable Technology and Bias-scalable Hardware for AI Tasks.

Purpose: It is an analog chipset that will allow Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning apps to perform much better and faster.

Uses: This chipset is especially helpful for AI-based applications which deal with object or speech recognition systems, like Alexa or Siri.They are also very useful in operations that require massive parallel computing at high speeds.

What is the significance of this development?

Most computing devices, be it cellphones, laptops or desktop computers use digital chips because the design process is simple and easily scalable. 

However, the advantage of analogue is huge. For instance, in applications that don’t require precise calculations, analogue computing has the potential to outperform digital computing as the former is more energy-efficient.


Explained: What is a derecho, a storm that turned the sky green in the US?

Source: The post is based on the article “India still among countries with poor access to banking: Report” published in Indian Express on 7th July 2022.

What is the News?

States in the US were hit by a storm system called a Derecho storm. As the storm hit these states, it turned the skies green with many experienced storm chasers claiming to have never witnessed such atmospheric optics.

What is Derecho?

A derecho is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.

Origin of Name: The name comes from the Spanish word ‘la derecha’ which means ‘straight’. 

Note: Straight-line storms are those in which thunderstorm winds have no rotation, unlike a tornado. These storms travel hundreds of miles and cover a vast area.

Occurrence Period: Being a warm-weather phenomenon, a derecho generally occurs during summertime beginning in May with most hitting in June and July. However, they are a rare occurrence as compared to other storm systems like tornadoes or hurricanes.

Types of Derecho: They fall into three categories – progressive, serial and hybrid. 

– Progressive Derecho: It is associated with a short line of thunderstorms that may travel for hundreds of miles along a relatively narrow path. It is a summer phenomenon.

– Serial Derecho: It has an extensive squall line – wide and long – sweeping across a large area. It usually occurs during spring or fall.

– Hybrid Derecho: They are the ones that have the features of both progressive and serial derechos.

Where does Derecho occur? ​​They mostly occur across central and eastern parts of the United States. However, Derechos have also been documented elsewhere across the world such as in Germany, and Russia.

Why did the sky turn Green during Derecho in the US?

Severe thunderstorms result in a ‘green sky’ due to light interacting with the huge amount of water they hold. 

It is believed that the big raindrops and hail scatter away all but the blue wavelengths due to which primarily blue light penetrates below the storm cloud. This blue then combines with the red-yellow of the afternoon or the evening sun to produce green.


Mains Answer Writing

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