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UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 23-April-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. Promulgation of an Ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 in the light of the pandemic situation of COVID-19

  2. Siberian crane: The species may vanish & why

  3. Giraffe

  4. VidyaDaan 2.0

  5. No 100% quota for tribal teachers: Supreme Court

  6. Global remittances will see a sharp fall: WB 

  7. Moonshot for Biology


Why in news?

  • During the current COVID-19 pandemic, there have been instances of the most critical service providers i.e. members of healthcare services being targeted and attacked by miscreants, thereby obstructing them from doing their duties. 


  • The current Ordinance is intended to ensure that during any situation akin to the current pandemic, there is zero tolerance to any form of violence against healthcare service personnel and damage to property. 

  • Violence as defined in the Ordinance will include harassment and physical injury and damage to property. 

  • Healthcare service personnel include public and clinical healthcare service providers such as doctors, nurses, paramedical workers and community health workers; any other persons empowered under the Act to take measures to prevent the outbreak of the disease or spread thereof; and any persons declared as such by the State Government, by notification in the Official Gazette. 

  • The penal provisions can be invoked in instances of damage to property including a clinical establishment, any facility identified for quarantine and isolation of patients, mobile medical units and any other property in which the healthcare service personnel have direct interest in relation to the epidemic.

  • The amendment makes acts of violence cognizable and non-bailable offences. 

  • Commission or abetment of such acts of violence shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of three months to five years, and with fine of Rs.50,000/- to Rs.2,00,000/-.  In case of causing grievous hurt, imprisonment shall be for a term six months to seven years and with fine of Rs.1,00,000/- to Rs.5,00,000/-.   In addition, the offender shall also be liable to pay compensation to the victim and twice the fair market value for damage of property.

  • Offences shall be investigated by an officer of the rank of Inspector within a period of 30 days, and trial has to be completed in one year, unless extended by the court for reasons to be recorded in writing.

Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1617327 )


Why in news?

  • This critically endangered species is now only found in one main population in East Asia, with a few birds remaining in the historic Western/Central population. 


  • Among cranes, its serrated bill makes it unique, and enables it to easily feed on underground roots and slippery prey items.

  • Easily recognisable, it has red skin on the forehead, face and sides of the head, and white plumage with black wingtips, reddish pink legs. 

  • The Eastern population breeds in northeastern Siberia and winters at Poyang Lake in the Lower Yangtze River Basin in China.

  • In the Western/Central population, a single crane named Omid (Hope) continues to winter along the south coast of the Caspian Sea in Iran. 

  • Omid’ is the last remaining bird from the western population which prefers to spend winter in Iran and, previously, Rajasthan. These birds have not been sighted in Bharatpur National Park of Rajasthan since 2001. 

  • There are only 3,200 Siberian cranes left in the world. 

  • These cranes feed and nest primarily in marshes, bogs and other wetlands where there are wide reaches of shallow fresh water with good visibility. 

  • Siberian cranes are not very social. During breeding and winter seasons individuals are territorial.

  • Family flocks number about 12 to 15 cranes.

  • They are aquatic birds, and use the wetlands for feeding, roosting, nesting and other behavioural displays.

Source : Times of India ( https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/siberian-crane-the-species-may-vanish-why/articleshow/75284736.cms )