Current Affairs Analysis

4th September 2020 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

Rice of diabetes; Entrepreneurs in Residence under NIDHI programme; National Academy of RUDSETI (NAR); suicides in farmers; Freedom of Navigation in Indian Ocean; G-20 principles on cross-border movement; UNSC 1267 sanctions committee; black holes merged; Red Bull’s plea rejected; National Management Games; Novichock; etc.
By IASToppers
September 04, 2020

Contents

Government Schemes & Policies

  • NIDHI-EIR Brochure featuring Entrepreneurs in Residence launched
  • National Training Academy for Rural Self-Employment Training Institutes

Issues related to Health & Education

  • The ‘rice of diabetes’: an undeniable link

Social Issues

  • 28 people in farming sector die by suicide every day in India

Bilateral & International Relations

  • Quad should ensure Freedom of Navigation in Indian Ocean
  • India proposes G-20 principles on cross-border movement
  • Pakistan failed to taint India at UNSC

Science & Technology

  • Two black holes merged billions of years ago
  • Red Bull’s plea for cancellation of Dr. Reddy’s trademark rejected

Key Facts for Prelims

  • AIMA Chanakya National Management Games
  • What is Novichock?

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Government Schemes & Policies

NIDHI-EIR Brochure featuring Entrepreneurs in Residence launched

A brochure featuring Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) under the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) programme was launched by Department of Science and Technology.

About NIDHI programme

  • National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) is an umbrella programme conceived and developed by the Innovation & Entrepreneurship division, Department of Science & Technology.
  • It would work in line with the national priorities and goals.
  • Its focus would be to build an innovation driven entrepreneurial ecosystem with an objective of socio-economic development through wealth and job creation.

Aim

  • To nurture ideas and innovations into successful startups through scouting, supporting and scaling of innovations.

Key components of NIDHI

  1. NIDHI-GCC – Grand Challenges and Competitions for scouting innovations
  2. (NIDHI-PRAYAS) -PRomotion and Acceleration of Young and Aspiring technology entrepreneurs – Support from Idea to Prototype
  3. NIDHI-Entrepreneur In Residence (NIDHI-EIR) – Support system to reduce risk
  4. Startup-NIDHI through Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centres (IEDCs) in academic institutions; encouraging Students to promote start-ups
  5. Start-up Centre in collaboration with MHRD; Inculcating a spirit of entrepreneurship in National Institutions of Higher Learning
  6. NIDHI-Technology Business Incubator (TBI) – Converting Innovations to start-ups
  7. NIDHI-Accelerator – Fast tracking a start-up through focused intervention
  8. NIDHI-Seed Support System (NIDHI-SSS)– Providing early stage investment
  9. NIDHI Centres of Excellence (NIDHI-CoE) – A World class facility to help startups go global

NIDHI-EIR programme

  • The NIDHI-EIR programme provides tremendous opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs to expand their networks and get critical feedback on their ventures in order to promote their entrepreneurial career goals and aspirations.
  • Two editions of the EIR program has shown overwhelming impacts and has resulted in 65% conversion into startups.

Objectives of NIDHI-EIR Programme

  • To encourage graduating student to take to entrepreneurship by providing support as a fellowship.
  • To provide a prestigious forum for deserving and budding entrepreneurs to pursue their ventures without any additional risks involved in technology based businesses.
  • To create, nurture and strengthen a pipeline of entrepreneurs for incubators.
  • To make pursuing entrepreneurship related to a technology business idea more attractive among options available career options.
  • To enable creation of new start-ups by entrepreneurs and significant progress towards raising funding or investment.

Expected Outcome of the NIDHI-EIR

  • Conversion of at least 30 % of the support recipient’s ideas into start-up companies.
  • At least 10% support recipient raising funds or investment for his or her company within 18 months of NIDHI-EIR support.
[Ref: PIB]

National Training Academy for Rural Self-Employment Training Institutes

Ministry of Rural Development laid e-Foundation stone laying ceremony of new training Institute of National Academy of RUDSETI (NAR) at Bengaluru.

  • The NAR undertakes monitoring, mentoring and capacity building of the Rural Self-Employment Training Institutes staff, State/UT Rural Livelihood Mission staff and the concerned Bank officials on behalf of the Ministry of Rural Development.
  • At present, these trainings are conducted in rented premises in Bengaluru or different premises in States/UTs.

Rural Development & Self-Employment Training Institute (RUDSETI)

  • It is society established jointly by three agencies i.e. Syndicate Bank, Canara Bank and SDME Trust (Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Education Trust) based at Ujire in Karnataka.
  • The initiative was taken way back in 1982.
  • Government of India, Ministry of Rural Development (MORD) has recognized RUDSETI approach of promoting micro enterprises as an effective model for addressing unemployment problem & creation of sustainable livelihood.

Rural Self-Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs)

  • RSETIs are unique initiative where State Governments, the Union Govt. and the commercial Banks are working together to address the issue of rural poverty.
  • The institutions designed as to ensure necessary skill training and skill up gradation of the rural BPL youth to mitigate the unemployment problem.
  • RSETI concept is based on RUDSETI (Rural Development and Self-Employment Training Institute).
  • One RSETI is established in every district in the country. Concerned bank is the lead bank in the district takes responsibility for creating and managing it.
  • Government of India will provide one – time grant assistance, up to a maximum of Rs. 1 crore for meeting the expenditure on construction of building and other infrastructure.

Objectives

  • Rural BPL youth will be identified and trained for self-employment.
  • The trainings offered will be demand driven.
  • Area in which training will be provided to the trainee will be decided after assessment the candidate’s aptitude.
  • Hand holding support will be provided for assured credit linkage with banks.
  • Escort services will be provided for at least for two years soon to ensure sustainability of micro enterprise trainees.
  • The trainees will be provided intensive short-term residential self-employment training programmes with free food and accommodation.

Programme Structure under RSETIs

  • Agricultural Programmes
  • Product Programmes
  • Process Programmes
  • General Programmes – Skill development programmes for women etc.
  • Other Programmes – related to sectors like leather, construction, hospitality and other
[Ref: PIB]

Issues related to Health & Education

The ‘rice of diabetes’: an undeniable link

A study shows that higher consumption of white rice regularly is associated with an increased risk of diabetes.

  • Higher risk was seen in South Asia, which had the highest consumption of white rice at 630gm a day.
  • In Southeast Asia, it was 239 gm a day, and in China, which the paper says has no significant association, 200 gm a day.

Contributing Factors

  • Eating white rice not the only cause for diabetes
  • Reduced physical activity which increase in obesity rates is a factor
  • Various other diabetogenic factors include family history
  • Combination of decreased physical activity and high consumption of carbohydrates doubles the risk of getting diabetes

Diabetes

  • Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
  • Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
  • Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.

Type-1 diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent) is characterized by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin.
  • Neither the cause of Type 1 diabetes nor the means to prevent it are known.
  • Symptoms include excessive excretion of urine, thirst, constant hunger, weight loss, vision changes, and fatigue.
  • Type-1 diabetesneeds lifelong insulin injections.

Type 2 diabetes:

  • Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent) results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin.
  • The majority of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
  • This type of diabetes is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity.
  • Until recently, this type of diabetes was seen only in adults but it is now also occurring increasingly frequently in children.
  • Type-2 diabetes often being managed with diet or tablet treatment.
[Ref: The Hindu]

Social Issues

Every day, 28 people dependent on farming die by suicide in India

The Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India report 2019 by the National Crime Records Bureau gave some figures showing the death ratio among Indian farmers/cultivators.

Highlights of the report

  • At least 10,281 persons involved in the farm sector ended their lives in 2019, accounting for 7.4 per cent of the total number of suicides in India.
  • In 2018, 10,348 people took their lives, amongst them, 5763 were farmers/cultivators.
  • A three per cent increase in 2019 with 5957 deaths of farmers/cultivators.
  • The top six states are Maharashtra (3927), Karnataka (1992), Andhra Pradesh (1029), Madhya Pradesh (541), Chhattisgarh (499) and Telangana (499); together account for 83 per cent of the deaths. 
  • The report defines farmers/cultivators as people farming either on their own land or on leased land, with or without the assistance of agricultural labourers.
  • Landed farmers accounted for 86 per cent of the suicides, while the remaining 14 per cent were landless farmers.
  • In 17 states, more farm laborers have committed suicides than farmers, while the reverse is true for seven states.
  • Yet, only 58 per cent of the total suicides committed by people employed in the sector are farmers.
  • West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry reported zero suicides of farmers and agricultural labourers.
  • Over 1,39,123 registered suicides, India recorded the highest suicide numbers in the past five years.
  • The 2019 suicide number was 3.4 per cent higher than 2018. In other words, 10.4 people committed suicides per 1,00,000 population.
[Ref: Down To Earth]

Bilateral & International Relations

Quad should ensure Freedom of Navigation in Indian Ocean

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of India said that India wants the Quad to become a system to “ensure Freedom of Navigation (FoN) and Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS)” in the Indian Ocean, while highlighting the threat of a combined challenge from Pakistan and China on two fronts.

Quad grouping

  • The full form of ‘Quad’ is Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.
  • It is an informal strategic dialogue between four countries i.e. United States, Japan, Australia and India.
  • The idea of Quad or Quadrilateral grouping was first proposed by Japanese prime minister in 2007.

Why the grouping stopped working and when?

  • Quad was ceased following the withdrawal of Australia. However, during the 2017 ASEAN Summits, all four former members rejoined in negotiations to revive the quadrilateral alliance.

Significance of Quad

  • It underlines the rising significance of maritime geopolitics in an increasingly integrated world.
  • The Quad grouping is regarded as an answer to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is establishing a China-centric trade route.
  • All the four countries share a vision for increased prosperity and security in the Indo-Pacific region and wants to work together to ensure that the Indo- Pacific remains free and open.
[Ref: The Hindu]

India proposes G-20 principles on cross-border movement

As Saudi Arabia hosted the G-20 foreign ministers’ meeting with focus on cross-border movement amid the pandemic, India proposed development of voluntary ‘G-20 Principles on Coordinated Cross-Border Movement of People’.

The Principles will consist of three elements:

  1. Standardisation of testing procedures and universal acceptability of test results
  2. Standardisation of ‘Quarantine procedures’
  3. Standardisation of ‘movement and transit’ protocols

Group of Twenty (G20)

  • The G20 countries are a group of 20 countries established in September 1999 by the finance ministers of the G7 countries as an international forum which would help preserve international financial stability.
  • 20 nations of the worldcomprising:
    • G-7 Nations-Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States
    • Plus 11 emerging market and smaller industrialized countries—Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey.
    • The EU is also a member of the G-20.
  • Members represent two-thirds of the world’s people and 85% of its economy.
  • The G-20’s primary mandate is to prevent future international financial crises and shape the global economic agenda.
  • The finance ministers and central bank governors of the G-20 countries meet twice a year and at the same time as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
  • The fifteenth G20 summit or ‘Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy’ will be held in the capital city of Riyadh in November 2020.
  • Summit will be carried out under the theme of ‘Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All’.
[Ref: Indian Express, India Today]

Pakistan failed to taint India at UN Security Council

The UNSC threw out a Pakistani attempt to get two Indians designated as terrorists under Resolution 1267.

  • Five permanent and non-permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, UK, France, Germany, and Belgium — blocked this attempt of Pakistan targeting international terrorism.
  • It was the third time this year that Pakistan’s efforts have been thwarted.
  • The 1267 list of terrorists is a global list, with a UNSC stamp.

Background

  • Pakistan has been trying for a year to get four Indians, who had been working in Afghanistan, sanctioned under the UN’s 1267 regime.
  • It moved separate proposals against them between September and November 2019.

UNSC 1267 sanctions committee

  • The 1267 Committee was established pursuant to resolution 1267 in 1999 and strengthened by a series of resolutions in the months and years after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
  • It is now known as the Da’esh and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
  • The Committee comprises all 15 members of the Security Council and makes its decision by consensus.

The Committee is mandated to

  • Oversee the implementation of the sanctions measures
  • Designate individuals and entities who meet the listing criteria set out in the relevant resolutions
  • Consider and decide upon notifications and requests for exemptions from the sanctions measures
  • Consider and decide upon requests to remove a name from the ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions List
  • Conduct periodic and specialised reviews of the entries on the ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions List
  • Examine the reports presented by the Monitoring Team
  • Report annually to the Security Council on the implementation of the sanctions measures
  • Conduct outreach activities

What is the process by which people are listed under UNSC 1267?

  • Any member state can submit a proposal for listing an individual, group, or entity.
  • The 1267 Committee meets and decisions on listing and de-listing are adopted by consensus.
  • Any proposal for listing must meet set criteria.
  • The proposal must include acts or activities indicating the proposed individual/group/entity had participated “in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities” linked to “ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida or any cell, affiliate, splinter group or derivative thereof”.
  • Detailed statement of case in support of the proposed listing should provide for the listing.
  • The proposal is sent to all the members, and if no member objects within five working days, the proposal is adopted.
  • Any member of the Committee may also put a “technical hold” on the proposal, and ask for more information from the proposing member state.
  • The matter remains on the “pending” list of the Committee until the member state that has placed the hold decides to turn its decision into an “objection”.
  • Pending issues must be resolved in six months, the state may ask for an additional three months.
  • At the end of this period, if an objection is not placed, the matter is considered approved.
[Ref: Indian Express]

Science & Technology

Two black holes merged billions of years ago

Billions of years ago, a collision between two black holes sent gravitational waves rippling through the universe. In 2019, signals from these waves were detected at the gravitational wave observatory LIGO (United States) and the detector Virgo (Italy).

  • The signal detected at LIGO and Virgo resembled “about four short wiggles” and lasted less than one-tenth of a second.
  • It was in 2015, the first gravitational wave was actually detected — by LIGO. Since then, there have been a number of subsequent detections of gravitational waves.

Where did it come from?

  • Analysis suggested that GW190521 had most likely been generated by a merger of two black holes.
  • It was calculated to have come from roughly 17 billion light years away, and from a time when the universe was about half its age.
  • One of the two merging black holes falls in an “intermediate mass” range, which misfit and cannot be explained by traditional knowledge.

Why is it unusual?

  • In the merger leading to the GW190521 signal, the larger black hole was of 85 solar masses.
  • It is the first “intermediate mass” black hole ever observed.
  • Stars that could give birth to black holes are between 65 and 120 solar masses. Stars in this range blow themselves apart when they die, without collapsing into a black hole.
  • The smaller black hole too is borderline, at 66 solar masses.
  • Merger create a new black hole of about 142 solar masses. Energy equivalent to eight solar masses was released in the form of gravitational waves, leading to the strongest ever wave detected.

Gravitational waves

  • Gravitational waves are invisible ripples that form when a star explodes in a supernova; when two big stars orbit each other; and when two black holes merge.
  • Travelling at the speed of light, gravitational waves squeeze and stretch anything in their path.
  • Gravitational waves were proposed by Albert Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity over a century ago.
  • Massive accelerating objects would disrupt space-time in such a way that ‘waves’ of undulating space-time would propagate in all directions away from the source.
  • These cosmic ripples would carry information about their origins, as well as clues to the nature of gravity itself.
  • The strongest gravitational waves are produced by cataclysmic events such as colliding black holes, supernovae and colliding neutron stars.
[Ref: Indian Express]

Red Bull’s plea for cancellation of Dr. Reddy’s trademark rejected

The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has rejected Red Bull’s plea for the removal of trademark registered in the name of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Limited.

Petition by Red Bull

  • Petition said that Red Bull has adopted a trademark with the tagline ‘Gives You Wings’ and claimed it is a pioneer in using such a unique concept for its promotional and advertising material.
  • Due to the extensive publicity, the concept of an animal/human acquiring wings after consumption of the Red Bull Energy Drink has become exclusively associated with it.
  • It said in India it is the registered proprietor of the mark ‘Gives You Wings.’.
  • The attention was drawn to the trademark registered in November 2001 with the tagline ‘Your Wings to Life’, in the name of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Limited.

What is a trademark?

  • A trademark (popularly- brand name) in layman’s language is a visual symbol which may be a word signature, name, device, label, numerals or combination of colours used by one undertaking on goods or services or other articles of commerce to distinguish it from other similar goods or services originating from a different undertaking.
  • The legal requirements to register a trademark under the Act are:
    • The selected mark should be capable of being represented graphically.
    • It should be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.
    • It should be used or proposed to be used mark in relation to goods or services for the purpose of indicating or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services and some person have the right to use the mark with or without identity of that person.

What are the benefits of registering a trademark?

  • The registration of a trademark confers owner the exclusive right to the use the trademark in relation to the goods or services.
  • Right is indicated by using the symbol (R), and seek the relief of infringement in appropriate courts in the country.
  • The exclusive right is however subject to any conditions entered on the register such as limitation of area of use etc.
  • Also, where two or more persons have registered identical or nearly similar marks due to special circumstances, such exclusive right does not operate against each other.

What are different types of trademarks that may be registered in India?

  • Any name (including personal or surname of the applicant or predecessor in business or the signature of the person), which is not unusual for trade to adopt as a mark.
  • An invented word or any arbitrary dictionary word or words, not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of the goods/service.
  • Letters or numerals or any combination thereof.
  • The right to proprietorship of a trademark may be acquired by either registration under the Act or by use in relation to particular goods or service.
  • Devices, including fancy devices or symbols
  • Monograms
  • Combination of colors or even a single color in combination with a word or device
  • Shape of goods or their packaging
  • Marks constituting a 3- dimensional sign.
  • Sound marks when represented in conventional notation or described in words by being graphically represented.
[Ref: The Hindu]

Key Facts for Prelims

AIMA Chanakya National Management Games

  • It is an online Business Simulation Game conducted every year.
  • Is aimed at ensuring that participating executives from various industries get an introduction to the complexities of running an organisation and gain expertise and skills from this event.
  • Team NTPC won the Games for the first time in five years.
  • NTPC Limited is a Central PSU under Ministry of Power.

National Management Games (NMG)

  • NMG is one of its kind platform for Corporate Managers to face the thrill of Managing Business in a competitive mode.
  • It is one of the most anticipated and reputable annual events based on Business Management Simulation, conducted by AIMA (All India Management Association).

What is Novichock?

  • The first chemical weapon developed during the Cold War.
  • It was given the code name ‘Novichok’ meaning ‘newcomer’ in Russian.
  • Novichok interferes with the functions of neurotransmitters, leading to paralysis.
  • It can also turn fatal when paralysis extends to the cardiac and respiratory muscles.
  • The German government said that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned by a Soviet-era nerve agent– Novichok.
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