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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Nov 15, 2021

Current Affair 1:
National Mission of Clean Ganga.

 

After you read this, please make sure whenever you see this Mission again, you will remember all the points we are going to mention now. Don’t start learning from new source again. This is a big problem when we you read so many things again and again.

Ok. Before proceeding: Ministry of Jal Shakti is a ministry under Government of India which was formed in May 2019. This was formed by merging of two ministries: Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. So, in explanation given below, replace given ministry by Ministry of Jal Shakti.

Read Now.

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was registered as a society on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act 1860. It acted as implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority(NGRBA) which was constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA),1986.

But, NGRBA has since been dissolved, consequent to constitution of National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga (referred as National Ganga Council).

So, from now,

National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga = National Ganga Council).  NO CONFUSION.

So, now we will study National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga. We go through all provisions of the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016.  See below. Everything will be clear.

Function of Empowered Committee: The Empowered Task Force on River Ganga shall co-ordinate and advise on matters relating to rejuvenation, protection and management of River Ganga and its tributaries.

There are also provisions of State Ganga Committees and District Ganga Committees in every specified district.

Current Affair 2:
RBI - Retail Direct Scheme launched

 

  1. Retail individual investors will be able to open a Retail Direct Gilt (RDG) Account with the Reserve Bank of India without any cost, using an online portal (https://rbiretaildirect.org.in).
  2. Retail individual investors will be able to purchase/sell Govt. securities in the primary as well as secondary market directly (Negotiated Dealing System - Order Matching). [earlier they can do only through banks and other financial institutions]
  3. They will be able to make payment through internet banking and the UPI using their savings bank accounts.
  4. Retail investors can purchase Central Government Securities (Treasury Bills and Dated Securities), State Govt. Securities (State Development Loans) and Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB)
  5. It will expand investment opportunities in the country and ensure easier access to capital markets with simple and secure mechanism.
  6. The scheme will give strength to the inclusion of everyone in the economy as it will bring in the middle class, employees, small businessmen and senior citizens with their small savings directly and securely  in government securities.
  7. Govt. securities have the provision of guaranteed settlement, this gives assurance of safety to the small investors.

 

Current Affair 3:
Permanent Court of Arbitration

 

The PCA was established by the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, concluded at The Hague in 1899 during the first Hague Peace Conference. The Conference had been convened at the initiative of Czar Nicolas II of Russia “with the object of seeking the most objective means of ensuring to all peoples the benefits of a real and lasting peace, and above all, of limiting the progressive development of existing armaments.”

It is an intergovernmental organization providing a variety of dispute resolution services to the international community.

The PCA provides administrative support in international arbitrations involving various combinations of states, state entities, international organizations and private parties. The PCA has experience in administering international arbitrations concerning disputes arising out of treaties, including bilateral investment treaties and multilateral treaties, and other instruments. The PCA also plays an important role under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Rules.

Current Affair 4:
What Moral Philosophy Teaches Us About Eliminating Drug Tests on Animals in India?

 

Important for ethics Paper and also animal lovers will like this article.

Many drug and cosmetics manufacturers across the world currently test the safety and potency of their products on animals. As a result, thousands of animals like rabbits, rats, mice, monkeys and dogs are frequently kept in subpar conditions in laboratories and suffer physical and psychological trauma.

India was the first South Asian country to ban animal testing for cosmetics.

Why law is impotent in India?

In India, the legal position on experimentation on animals is captured under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act 1960 and its regulations.

Under the PCA, a statutory body to control and supervise experiments on animals has been set up. Its main objective is to ensure judicious use of animals in research. It also makes sure persons and establishments that experiment on animals are properly registered and oversees housing and feeding provisions. This body can also direct persons and institutions to not perform certain experiments.

However, contravening any decision by this body invites a fine of only Rs 200. Similarly, a person violating the PCA is liable to be punished but the extent of punishment hasn’t been specified. So, the PCA is effectively impotent.

What other steps India has taken?

At the same time, India has taken a few steps to reduce animal testing for drugs.

  1. A 2016 amendment to the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules allows animal toxicity tests for a drug conducted in other countries to simply be resubmitted in India when registering the same drug.
  2. The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission also has guidelines on drug tests by Indian manufacturers, enforced by regulatory authorities.
  3.  In 2018, the commission approved two animal-free tests for drug makers: the pyrogen test to confirm the impurity of a drug or potential side-effects, and the abnormal toxicity test to confirm vaccines are free of biological contamination.

So, the Indian animal rights movement towards securing the rights of animals used in labs has achieved some victories. Even if animal testing hasn’t been eliminated altogether, the activism has helped erode the importance of animal-testing for drugs.

A way Forward: What scientists have to say

  1. Within the scientific community, some have said the importance of animals to medical or scientific knowledge has been overstated. There have also been instances where animal testing has in fact had a detrimental impact on humans.
  2. Scientists found that the absence of toxicity in animals, including monkeys, provides no significant or additional insight into whether a new drug will also be safe for humans.
  3. importance of animal testing to breakthroughs in medicine have been exaggerated and that the inter-species variability is too high to draw sensible parallels.
  4. Finally, the manner in which animals are kept captive in labs often leaves them bereft of fresh air, natural light, free movement and company.
  5. This may cause animals to exhibit abnormal or unnatural behaviour, and potentially exposes them to lab-generated diseases and distresses. Animals have also been known to experience contagious anxiety, stress and high blood pressure if they can see, hear or in any way sense that their kin are hurt.

Research going on reduce animal testing.

  1. Some scientists are developing sophisticated non-animal testing techniques that have proven to be more effective, faster, more accurate, more economical and, most of all, more empathetic.
  2. Many organizations such as the UK’s National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research, funds research into alternative technologies.
  3. Some related technologies include stem cell platforms, 3D tissue and organ cultures and ‘organs on a chip‘. Some experiments performed with the last item have proved to be more accurate than those performed on animals.

Conclusion: In a society that currently doesn’t recognize the inherent worth of all animals, lobbying for laws to protect animal rights warrants a piecemeal rather than absolutist approach. Indian laws on animal testing are relative more progressive than those in other countries (but the PCA specifically also has no teeth), thanks in part to the Indian animal rights movement’s cautious approach. Let’s hope that they continue with similar success until the endgame: to replace animal testing with more sustainable, empathetic and fool-proof solutions.

Current Affair 5:
What are Landraces ?

 

Landraces are defined as dynamic populations of a cultivated plant with a historical origin, distinct identity, often genetically diverse and locally adapted, and associated with a set of farmers’ practices of seed selection and field management as well as with a farmers’ knowledge base.

Landraces refers to naturally occurring variants of commonly cultivated crops.

These are as opposed to commercially grown crops, which are developed by selective breeding (hybrids) or through genetic engineering to express a certain trait over others.

Naturally occurring landraces have a large pool of still untapped genetic material, which can provide solutions to the threat of climate change. Genetic diversity is nature’s survival mechanism. The wider the gene pool, the more the chance of developing a trait that can help in surviving extreme climate events. Biodiversity allows a natural mechanism for crops to develop traits to face challenging situations. However, given the large-scale human interference in crop selection, that ability is now lost in most commercially crops.

There is a misconception that landraces have lower yields than hybrids. But this is not true as with proper agricultural practices, landraces can give better yield with lower input costs.

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