Daily Current Affairs : 16-Mar-2020

Major Topics Covered :

  1. SAARC EMERGENCY FUND

  2. CPCB’s COLOUR CODING

  3. FILM CERTIFICATION

  4. MODELS OF VIRUS TESTING IN INDIA AND ELSEWHERE

  5. MOTHERS FOR SPORT AND FITNESS

  6. KCR KITS – HEALTHCARE REFORM OF TELANGANA GOVERNMENT

  7. PETROL PRICING IN INDIA


SAARC EMERGENCY FUND

Why in news?

  • While addressing the first ever videoconference of the heads of the member countries of SAARC, PM Modi announced that SAARC should create a fund to fight the threat of COVID-19.


Highlights:

  • India extended 10 million dollar as India’s contribution to the fund.

  • The proposed fund will be based on voluntary contribution.

  • This shows that India is refocussing on SAARC and doesn’t see BIMSTEC as an alternative to SAARC.

Source : Hindu



CPCB’s COLOUR CODING

Why in news?

  • The Supreme Court has declined to interfere in an appeal filed by the Kerala chapter of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) against the National Green Tribunal’s rejection of its contention that the inclusion of constructions between 2,000 sq.m and 20,000 sq.m in the ‘orange category’ by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board was arbitrary.


Highlights:

  • CPCB colour codes industries based on their pollution levels. There are four categories – Red, Orange, Green and White.

  • Red category - Industries with Pollution Index score of 60 and above

  • Orange category - Industries with Pollution Index score of 41 to 59.

  • Green Category - Industries with Pollution Index score of 21 to 40

  • White category - Industries with Pollution Index score including and upto 20.

  • The case related to residential constructions being declared in the orange category while the coding is for industries.

Source : Hindu



FILM CERTIFICATION

Why in news?

  • A parliamentary panel pulled up the Union government for dragging its feet on overhauling the archaic film certification and censorship mechanism, bringing only incremental changes to the Cinematograph Act that was first introduced in 1952.


Highlights:

  • The Cinematograph Amendment Bill, 2019, is a belated measure by the government to tackle the issue of piracy. It seeks to introduce two Sections to the Cinematograph Act, 1952 — one, prohibiting illegal recording in cinema halls to make a “pirate copy” of the film, and the second, prescribing punishment of up to three years or a fine of up to ₹10 lakh for the said offence.

  • The bill was referred to a standing committee last year. The committee has found the scope of the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2019, limited.

  • Piracy can happen at various levels. The Bill only tackles illegal recording at cinema halls. Also, the punishment prescribed in the Bill is too little when compared with the losses that a pirated film can lead to.

Source : Hindu



MODELS OF VIRUS TESTING IN INDIA AND ELSEWHERE

Why in news?

  • On Friday, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) announced that it would start testing influenza patients without any travel history or contact with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) for signs of community transmission, terming it “inevitable”.


Highlights:

  • Among the countries where community transmission seems to have begun are China (over 80,000 cases), Italy (over 21,000) and South Korea (8,000). For the time being, India has chosen to follow the Italian model of lockdown, rather than the South Korean model of free testing.


  • Model of Lockdown - Italy has imposed a nationwide lockdown, especially given its ageing population. Stores and restaurants have been closed and restrictions put on individual movement. Spain too has announced plans to lock down its citizens, while France has shut down several places. Cases are still climbing in these countries.


  • Free testing model - South Korea has been testing lakhs of people and tracking potential carriers by using cell phone and satellite technology. Mass free testing and treatment, and identification of transmission sources, have brought down daily new cases, from 909 on February 29 to less than 100 on March 15.

Source : Indian Express



MOTHERS FOR SPORT AND FITNESS

Why in news?

  • Haryana Government plans to seek the assistance of young mothers in the state to encourage their children to take up some kind of sporting activity.


Highlights :

  • With a mere 2 per cent of India’s population and much less than 2 per cent of the country’s geographical area, Haryana secures almost one-third of India’s medals in international sports events.

  • The officials believe that if mothers take their children to the playgrounds, then the number of sportspersons may increase significantly in the coming years

  • To this end, the government will soon introduce an App — called “Mothers for Sports and Fitness” — which will have details of all playgrounds and the contact persons of these playgrounds. The App will show the locations of the playgrounds like a taxi app shows the location of the available taxies.

  • The government wants the popular discourse about the youth in Haryana to change from “drugs and crime” to “sports for fitness”.

Source : Indian Express



KCR KITS – HEALTHCARE REFORM OF TELANGANA GOVERNMENT

Why in news?

  • The healthcare reform of KCR Kit has been instrumental in increasing the institutional deliveries by 22%.


Highlights:

  • The kit, which has a baby mattress, baby soap, oil, talcum powder, mosquito net, toys, napkins, diapers, two pairs of clothes, and two handloom sarees for the mother, is given free of cost to new mothers.

  • It also comes with monetary help — Rs 13,000 (in four instalments) for a female child and Rs 12,000 in case of a male child.

  • Since its launch on June 2, 2017, 19,42,630 pregnant women have registered themselves to avail the benefits of the KCR Kit.

  • The scheme has helped reduce infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, and female foeticide while ensuring that mothers remain healthy and get nutritious food at the hospital.

Source : Indian Express



PETROL PRICING IN INDIA

Why in news?

  • Brent oil fell about 33 per cent between March 5 and March 14. But the prices of petrol and diesel have dropped just about 2 per cent over this period. What explains this wide gap?


Highlights:

  • Many factors such as pricing mechanism, currency movements and taxes influence passing on crude oil cost benefits to customers.

  • The prices of petrol and diesel in India are not determined by the actual costs incurred by refiners on crude oil sourcing, refining and marketing. Rather, a formula — trade parity price (TPP) — is the starting point for pricing these products.

  • TPP is the weighted average of import parity price (IPP) and export parity price (EPP), assuming that 80 per cent of the petrol and diesel is imported and 20 per cent is exported.

  • Essentially, the pricing of petrol and diesel in India is determined based on prices of petrol and diesel prevailing in the international market, and not on the basis of crude oil prices.

  • The TPP quoted in dollars is converted to rupees. To this are added other costs and margins of oil companies, the dealer commission and taxes levied by the Central and State governments.

  • Now, while international petrol and diesel prices generally move in line with crude oil prices, this need not always be the case. Demand and supply dynamics could be different for crude oil and petrol/diesel, and so could their price trajectory.

  • From mid-June 2017, the pricing of petrol and diesel is happening through a ‘daily pricing’ mechanism. But the price is based on a 15-day rolling average rate of the international benchmarks of petrol and diesel. So, international prices do not reflect immediately in India — this happens with a time lag.

Source : Business Line

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