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UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 21-July-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. Consumer Protection Act, 2019

  2. Zoram Mega Food Park

  3. Reform is not only a Regulation, Reform is a Resolution

  4. Itolizumab

  5. Pakistan PM Imran Khan calls on people to fight climate change

  6. Indian, US navies conduct drills in Indian Ocean amid border row with China

  7. Oxford COVID-19 vaccine early trial shows positive result, India to start trial next month

  8. Iran: India is a partner in Chabahar-Zahedan Railway project


Why in news?

  • The Consumer Protection Act,2019 comes in to force from yesterday i.e. 20th July 2020. 


  1. This new Act will empower consumers and help them in protecting their rights through its various notified Rules and provisions like Consumer Protection Councils, Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions, Mediation, Product Liability and punishment for manufacture or sale of products containing adulterant / spurious goods.

  2. The Act includes establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers. 

  3. The CCPA will be empowered to conduct investigations into violations of

  4. Consumer rights and institute complaints / prosecution,

  5. Order recall of unsafe goods and services,

  6. Order discontinuance of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements,

  7. Impose penalties on manufacturers/endorsers/publishers of misleading advertisements.

  8. The rules for prevention of unfair trade practice by e-commerce platforms will also be covered under this Act. 

  9. Under this act every e-commerce entity is required to provide

  10. Information relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery and shipment, modes of payment, grievance redressal mechanism, payment methods, security of payment methods, charge-back options, etc.

  11. Including country of origin which are necessary for enabling the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage on its platform.

  12. E-commerce platforms have to acknowledge the receipt of any consumer complaint within forty-eight hours and redress the complaint within one month from the date of receipt under this Act.

  13. The New Act introduces the concept of product liability and brings within its scope, the product manufacturer, product service provider and product seller, for any claim for compensation.

  14. The new Act provides for simplifying the consumer dispute adjudication process in the consumer commissions, which include

  15. Empowerment of the State and District Commissions to review their own orders,

  16. Enabling a consumer to file complaints electronically and file complaints in consumer Commissions that have jurisdiction over the place of his residence,

  17. Videoconferencing for hearing and deemed admissibility of complaints if the question of admissibility is not decided within the specified period of 21 days.

  18. An Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism of Mediation has been provided in the new Act.  

  19.  A complaint will be referred by a Consumer Commission for mediation, wherever scope for early settlement exists and parties agree for it. 

  20. Mediation will be held in the Mediation Cells to be established under the aegis of the Consumer Commissions.  There will be no appeal against settlement through mediation.

  21. As per the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules, there will be no fee for filing cases upto Rs. 5 lakh.

  22. There are provisions for filing complaints electronically, credit of amount due to unidentifiable consumers to Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF). 

  23. The State Commissions will furnish information to Central Government on a quarterly basis on vacancies, disposal, pendency of cases and other matters. 

Source : PIB ( )


Why in news?

  • Union Minister of Food Processing Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal e-inaugurates Zoram Mega Food Park in Mizoram


  • Dr. Jitendra Singh says, Food Park will help in doubling farmer’s income in the region and will provide gainful employment to youth.

  • The Food Park built at a cost of Rs 75 crore and spread over 55 Acres of land will directly benefit over 25,000 farmers and will provide employment opportunities to over 5,000 people in the region.

  • In the last six years, 88 projects including 7 in Mizoram initiated for the entire North-Eastern Region with an outlay of Rs1000 crore by her Ministry which will directly benefit 3 lakh farmers and will provide job opportunities to 50,000 youth from the region.

  • Referring to nearly 40% wastage of fruits in the absence of any processing unit, the Minister said the rich and high variety of fruits could also be sold as pure packaged juice in major metropolitan cities in India.

  • The North-East Region has the potential to become the Organic Destination of the world due to its rich agricultural and horticultural produce. He informed that Sikkim has already been declared as an organic state.

Source : PIB ( )


Why in news?

  • Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi:“Reform is not only a Regulation”, “Reform is a Resolution” for betterment of the country and human being.


  • While addressing on “Role of Journalism, Media and Cinema in Nation and Generation Building” during inaugural session of Centre for Professional Development in Higher Education (CPDHE), University of Delhi, Shri Naqvi said that the government, politics, cinema and media are connected with each other with a sensitive thread of the society and courage, commitment and caution are tested, evaluated and essential mantra to strengthen these relations. 

  • In the time of crisis, the government, society, cinema, and media act as “one soul, four bodies”. 

  • Reforms don’t take place due to only regulations, they take place due to resolution. Today, in the Corona pandemic, every section has been witnessing drastic change in the work culture and lifestyle.

  • Print of newspapers remained closed for a long time, cinema moved from big screen to small screen and even online, several countries had become used to online news and information; but a large section of India’s population continued with its habit of reading newspaper before doing any work.

  • Even during the Corona pandemic, online news failed to satisfy most of the Indians.

  • The media not only creates awareness among the people through news and various information, it also makes the government system cautious through constructive criticism. 

Source : PIB ( )


Why in news?

  • The Drug Controller General of India recently approved Itolizumab as a novel biologic therapy for restricted emergency use. The decision has also sparked controversy because of the small size of the clinical trials, and because exemption has been granted from phase-III trials.


  • A repurposed drug, Itolizumab, is one of the newest treatments for Covid-19 approved in India.

  • The Drug Controller General of India recently approved it as a novel biologic therapy for restricted emergency use.

  • The decision has also sparked controversy because of the small size of the clinical trials, and because exemption has been granted from phase-III trials.

  • Itolizumab is an existing drug used for psoriasis, a chronic skin disease involving unregulated growth of some skin cells that develop into red patches mostly on knees and elbows, but also on some other parts of the body.

  • The drug, developed by Bengaluru- based Biocon, was approved in 2013. It is considered safe and effective for the treatment of psoriasis.

Source : Indian Expresss ( itolizumab-newly-cleared-for-covid-6514124/ )


Why in news?

  • Expressing concern over the alarming pollution levels in Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan called on the people to join hands to fight climate change and warned that the country's rapidly depleting forest cover can lead to serious health issues. 


  • Khan was speaking at the launch of the monsoon plantation drive 2020 in Punjab province's Kahuta city on Friday.

  • The government had launched a drive to plant 10 billion trees across the country, state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported. 

  • The forest cover in Pakistan had rapidly depleted over the years, he said that the number of trees in the country at the time of its partition from the Indian sub-continent had decreased to an alarming level.

  • He urged the people to join hands in achieving the target of 10 billion trees to fight climate change and environmental pollution. 

  • Khan said that in the past two years, his government had planted 30 million trees, while new nurseries were working at top speed to increase this number to one billion by June next year. 

Source : TOI ( )


Why in news?

  • A US Navy carrier strike group, led by USS Nimitz, on Monday conducted maritime drills with Indian warships in the Indian Ocean region (IOR), against the backdrop of the India-China border standoff in Ladakh, people familiar with developments said on Monday.


  • The passage exercise involved a total of eight Indian and US warships, said an official.

  • The drills also came at a time when tensions have mounted over China’s activities in South China Sea, where the US Navy just conducted a major exercise that involved two carrier strike groups.

  • The Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy is currently carrying out manoeuvres near Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the warships that took part in the exercise were from that fleet, said a second official. 

  • The Indian Air Force has deployed half a squadron (eight to 10) of its Jaguar fighters at the Car Nicobar air base, in a show of strength amidst the tense confrontation between Indian and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, said a third official.

  • The navy has been on an operational alert in the Indian Ocean where scores of warships are ready for any task in the aftermath of the border row. It has positioned warships along critical sea lanes of communications and choke points under its mission-based deployment and the vessels could be diverted for any mission.

  • Indian warships are deployed from as far as the Persian Gulf to the Malacca Strait and northern Bay of Bengal to the southeast coast of Africa.

Source : Hindustan Times ( )



Why in news?

  • The COVID-19 vaccine candidate produced by the University of Oxford along with AstraZeneca Plc showed promising results in early human testing, the news agency Bloomberg reported.


  • In research published Monday in the journal Lancet, scientists said that they found their experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a dual immune response in people aged 18 to 55.

  • The vaccine triggers both arms of the immune system.

  • Hill said that neutralizing antibodies are produced — molecules which are key to blocking infection. In addition, the vaccine also causes a reaction in the body's T-cells which help to fight off the coronavirus.

  • The vaccine uses a weakened version of chimpanzee adenovirus as a vector, infused with the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

  • Adenovirus is a benign virus that causes the common cold, and so the safety of the vaccine is assured.

  • The potential vaccine is already in large-scale phase III human trials to assess whether it can protect against COVID-19. In phase-3, it will be tested on roughly 30,000 people in the US alone.

Source : Livemint ( )

Iran: India is a partner in Chabahar-Zahedan Railway project

Why in news?

  • The Indian Embassy confirmed that Rasouli stated that "vested interests were behind recent reports that Iran excluded India from Chabahar-Zahedan railway project.


  • Last week, a report had surfaced claiming that the Hassan Rouhani government in Iran has decided to exclude India from the construction project of Zahedan, a railway line linking the Chabahar port with Afghanistan because of delays from India in funding the project.

  • The report further stated that the Iranian Railways will proceed without India’s assistance, using approximately $400 million from the Iranian National Development Fund.

  • The Modi government was quick to deny the report arguing that Tehran is yet to nominate an authorised entity to finalise the technical and financial issues related to the venture.

  • Days after a report claimed that Iran has dropped India from the Chabahar rail project, Iran on Monday denied the report blaming "vested interests" behind it and reassured India's active participation in the mega project.

About the Rail project :

  1. Back in 2016, India had signed an agreement with Iran to construct a rail line from Chabahar port to Zahedan, along the border with Afghanistan.

  2. The Chabahar port is being jointly developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan. The three countries consider the port, located on the Indian Ocean in the Sistan and Baluchistan province of Iran, a gateway to opportunities for trade with central Asian nations.

  3. Easily accessible from India's western coast, the Chabahar port is increasingly seen as a counter to Pakistan's Gwadar Port, which is being developed with Chinese investment.

Source : Times now news ( )

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