Daily Current Affairs : 13-Feb-2020

Updated: Feb 21

Major Topics Covered :


  1. COVID-19

  2. QAnon

  3. INTEGRATED AIR DEFENCE WEAPON SYSTEM

  4. CLEANING OF DRAINS & SEPTIC TANKS- MANUAL SCAVENGING

  5. YARAVIRUS

  6. MEDICAL DEVICES (AMENDMENT) RULES, 2020

  7. KOTA RANI

  8. NO RIGHT TO DETAIN CHILDREN IN JAILS, LOCKUPS: SUPREME COURT

  9. NEW PAN-INDIA NEW UMBRELLA ENTITY (NUE)


COVID-19

Part of GS- Health


Why in news?

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) gave an official name to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.


Highlights:

  • The disease will be called “COVID-19”; the “CO” stands for coronavirus, “VI” for virus and “D” for disease. The coronavirus itself is called “nCoV-2019”.

  • The death toll from the virus has now crossed 1,000 and the disease has infected tens of thousands of people, the majority of them in China.


WHO names what?

  • The WHO, in consultation with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has identified best practices for naming new human diseases.

These best practices apply to a new disease:

  • That is an infection, syndrome, or disease of humans;

  • That has never been recognised before in humans;

  • That has potential public health impact; and

  • Where no disease name is yet established in common usage

  • Names that are assigned by the WHO may or may not be approved by the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) at a later stage.

  • The ICD, which is also managed by the WHO, provides a final standard name for each human disease according to standard guidelines that are aimed at reducing the negative impact from names while balancing science, communication and policy.


Source: Indian Express


QAnon

Part of GS- 2 IR


Why in news?

  • A city council member in California took the dais and quoted from QAnon, a pro-Trump conspiracy theory about “deep state” traitors plotting against the president, concluding her remarks, “God bless Q.”


Highlights:

  • A man spouting QAnon beliefs about child sex trafficking swung a crowbar inside a historic Catholic chapel in Arizona, damaging the altar and then fleeing before being arrested.

  • And outside a Trump campaign rally in Florida, people in “Q” T-shirts stopped by a tent to hear outlandish tales of Democrats’ secretly torturing and killing children to extract a life-extending chemical from their blood.

  • QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory detailing a supposed secret plot by an alleged "deep state" against U.S. President Donald Trump and his supporters.

  • The theory began with an October 2017 post on the anonymous imageboard 4chan by someone using the name Q, a presumably American individual that may have later grown to include multiple people.

  • "Q" is a reference to the top-secret Q clearance. QAnon believers commonly tag their social media posts with the hashtag #WWG1WGA, signifying the motto "where we go one, we go all."

  • What began online more than two years ago as an intricate, if baseless, conspiracy theory that quickly attracted thousands of followers has since found footholds in the offline world.

  • QAnon has surfaced in political campaigns, criminal cases, merchandising and at least one college class. Last month, hundreds of QAnon enthusiasts gathered in a Tampa, Fla., park to listen to speakers and pick up literature, and in England, a supporter of President Trump and the Brexit leader Nigel Farage raised a “Q” flag over a Cornish castle.


Source: Indian Express


INTEGRATED AIR DEFENCE WEAPON SYSTEM

Part of GS- 3 Defence & Security


Why in news?

  • The U.S. Department of State has approved the potential sale of a $1.867 billion Integrated Air Defence Weapon System (IADWS) to India.


Highlights:

  • The IADWS system includes radar, launchers, targeting, and guidance systems, advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) and Stinger missiles, and related equipment and support.

  • The Integrated Air Defence Weapon System, also known as the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS), provides integrated air missile defence and is currently deployed around Washington, DC.

  • The potential sale, which is being processed via the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route, is now before the U.S. Congress for consideration, with a 30-day window for Congress to raise any objections to the sale.


Source : The Hindu


CLEANING OF DRAINS & SEPTIC TANKS- MANUAL SCAVENGING

Part of GS- 1 Social issue


Why in news?

  • The number of people who died while cleaning sewers and septic tanks in the country increased by almost 62% from 68 in 2018 to 110 in 2019, according to a reply given by the Social Justice and Empowerment (SJE) Ministry to the Lok Sabha on 11th February, 2020.


Highlights:

  • SJE Minister of State Ramdas Athawale replied to the question asked by Bharatiya Janata Party MPs Anil Firojiya, Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya and Lallu Singh about the incidents of manual scavenging, which is banned under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.

  • The reply said a total of 14,559 manual scavengers had been identified by Municipalities and Gram Panchayats in 13 States from 2013-2014 till January 31, 2020. Apart from that, a national survey was conducted in 194 districts in 18 States where 48,345 manual scavengers were identified till January 31, taking the total to 62,904.

  • While saying “there have been no reports regarding death of persons due to manual scavenging”, the Minister’s reply stated that the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis had received reports about the death of people cleaning sewers and septic tanks.

  • These cases were reported from 18 States and Union Territories, while 13 States and UTs submitted “nil reports”.


PEMSR ACT, 2013:

  • The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (PEMSR) Act came into force in 2013.

  • The law prohibits employing manual scavengers, manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks without protective equipment and construction of insanitary latrines.

  • Those violating the law and getting sewers and septic tanks cleaned without protective equipment can face imprisonment of up to two years or a fine of up to Rs 2 lakh, or both. Repeat offenders will face imprisonment of up to five years or a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh, or both.


Source: The Hindu



YARAVIRUS

Part of GS- 3 S&T


Why in news?

  • In a lake in Brazil, researchers have discovered a virus that they find unusual and intriguing. Called Yaravirus, it has a “puzzling origin and phylogeny”, they report in a study on the pre-print server bioRxiv.


Highlights:

  • The Yaravirus infects amoeba and has genes that have not been described before, something that could challenge how DNA viruses are classified.

  • The researchers found the Yaravirus while looking in the lake for giant viruses that infect amoeba.

  • Because of the Yaravirus’s small size, it was unlike other viruses that infect amoeba and they named it as a tribute to Yara, the “mother of waters” in the mythological stories of the Tupi-Guarani indigenous tribes.

  • Over 90% of the Yaravirus’s genome has not been observed before, the researchers have reported, after using standard protocols for genetic analysis and being unable to find any “classical viral genes”.

  • In other viruses that affect amoeba, the researchers say that there are some similarities in their characteristics that are missing in the Yaravirus.

  • “The amount of unknown proteins composing the Yaravirus particles reflects the variability existing in the viral world and how much potential of new viral genomes are still to be discovered,” they have written.

  • The virus does not infect human cells, according to the researchers.


Source: Indian Express


MEDICAL DEVICES (AMENDMENT) RULES, 2020

Part of GS- Health


Why in news?

  • ON 11th February, 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare notified changes in the Medical Devices Rules, 2017 to regulate medical devices on the same lines as drugs under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.


Highlights:

  • The Medical Devices (Amendment) Rules, 2020, these are applicable to devices “intended for internal or external use in the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of disease or disorder in human beings or animals” (as notified by the ministry) and require online registration of these devices “with the Central Licensing Authority through an identified online portal established by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation for this purpose”.

  • The notification calls for a voluntary registration within a period of 18 months from April 2020 and obtaining manufacturing/import licence under the Medical Device Rules within 36 months for some devices and 42 months for others.

  • Among the information that the manufacturer has to upload are “name & address of the company or firm or any other entity manufacturing the medical device along with name and address of manufacturing site of medical device (and) certificate of compliance with respect to ISO 13485 standard accredited by National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies or International Accreditation Forum in respect of such medical device”.

  • This would mean that every medical device, either manufactured in India or imported, will have to have quality assurance before they can be sold anywhere in the country.

  • “After furnishing of the above information on the ‘Online System for Medical Devices’ established by Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation for this purpose by the applicant’s, registration number will be generated. Manufacturer shall mention the registration number on the label of the medical device,” reads the gazette notification.


Source: Indian Express


KOTA RANI

Part of GS- 1 History


Why in news?

  • According to reports, the dossier states that people refer to Mehbooba as “Kota Rani” for her “dangerous and insidious machination and usurping nature”.


Highlights:

  • It has been reported that that among several other reasons why the government believed Mehbooba Mufti, the former chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir, should be detained under the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA) last week was a reference to her being likened to Kota Rani.


About Kota Rani:

  • Kota Rani is remembered as the last ruler belonging to the Hindu Lohara dynasty in Kashmir. She died in 1339.

  • She was the daughter of Ramchandra, the commander-in-chief of Suhadev, who was the king of Kashmir belonging to the Lohara dynasty.

  • Ramchandra was tricked and defeated by one of his administrators, Rinchan, who was a Ladhaki prince. Rinchan was ambitious and wanted to the throne.

  • To gain the trust of the locals, he married Kota rani and took Ramachandra’s son, Rawanchandra, in his confidence by making him his commander-in-chief.

  • Rinchan ascended the throne in 1320 but died after quelling a rebellion by a former minister in 1323. In between, Rinchan converted to Islam after coming in contact with the Sufis of the Suharawardy order. He took the title of Sadr-ud-din.

  • After his death, his minor son from Kota Rani, Hydar, became the king. But since Hydar was a minor, Kota Rani acted as Regent.


Source: Indian Express


NO RIGHT TO DETAIN CHILDREN IN JAILS, LOCKUPS: SUPREME COURT

Part of GS- 1 Social Issue


Why in news?

  • The Supreme Court has made it clear that the police have no right to detain children in conflict with law in a lockup or a jail.


Highlights:

  • A juvenile in conflict with law, if apprehended, has to be placed immediately under the care of the special juvenile police unit or a designated child welfare officer.

  • The child has to be produced before the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB).

  • The law is meant to protect children and not detain them in jail or keep them in police custody.

  • The police cannot torture children.


Source: The Hindu


NEW PAN-INDIA NEW UMBRELLA ENTITY (NUE)

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed to set up a new pan-India new umbrella entity (NUE) or entities focussing on retail payment systems with a minimum paid-up capital of Rs 500 crore.


Highlights:

  • The proposed entity will set up, manage and operate new payment systems especially in the retail space comprising of ATMs, white label PoS, Aadhaar-based payments and remittance services, develop payment methods, standards and technologies, monitor related issues etc.

  • No single promoter or promoter group should have more than 40 per cent investment in the capital of the entity.

  • The promoters should upfront demonstrate capital contribution of not less than 10 per cent — Rs 50 crore at the time of making an application for setting up of the entity.

  • The promoter or the promoter group shareholding should be diluted to a minimum of 25 per cent after 5 years of the commencement of business.

  • A minimum net worth of Rs 300 crore should be maintained.

  • The entity eligible to apply as promoter or the promoter group for the NUE should be ‘owned and controlled by residents’ with 3 years’ experience in the payments ecosystem as Payment System Operator (PSO) or Payment Service Provider (PSP) or Technology Service Provider (TSP).


Source: Indian Express

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