Detail in relief | TH
- National Disaster Management Authority: Rs 50,000
- The Supreme Court of India’s order detailing the modalities for payment of ex gratia financial assistance to the families of those who died of COVID-19
- No State shall deny the benefit solely on the ground that a person’s death certificate did not specify the cause of death as due to the novel coronavirus disease
- Officially recorded: 4.49 lakh people
- If other documents are provided, the family shall be entitled to the ex gratia payment
- Co-morbidities rather than the infection
- It has now been made clear that deaths occurring within 30 days from the date of testing or from the date of being clinically determined a COVID-19 case shall be treated as eligible for the aid, “even if the death takes place outside the hospital/in-patient facility”.
- Of course, some documentary evidence will still be required to establish the cause, but once it is submitted, the payment should be disbursed within 30 days.
- Grievance Redressal Committees at the district level
- Recognition of their plight and immediate succour available
Some Dope On Law | TH
- Reopened the debate over criminalisation of cannabis
- India criminalised it under American pressure in 1985 through the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
- Even three decades hence, GoI surveys admit that ganja and charas usage remains high (1.3 crore consumers, and 2.2 crore for bhang).
- NDPS Act prescribes up to one year rigorous imprisonment for those involved in cannabis transactions of “small quantity”, 1-10 years for “quantity lesser than commercial quantity but greater than small quantity” and 10-20 years for “commercial quantity”.
- Instead, NDPS must evolve a three-tier gradation of offences where, first, cannabis should be decriminalised.
- Those involved in manufacture, trafficking and supply of hard drugs like meth, heroin, cocaine etc must face the most prohibitive punishment.
- And those consuming these banned substances should be tried under civil law, not criminal law – a steep fine would be an appropriate punishment.
- Raiding parties gets you headlines but not results that matter.
- Anti-narcotics investigators should, in fact, be the first ones to ask for such a change in law and priorities.
- It is their investigative resources that are wasted in pursuing charas-smoking partygoers.
With a bang | TH
- The southwest monsoon has officially ended in India with 87.4 cm of rainfall between June and September, or just 0.7% short of the historical average of 88 cm.
- In many ways this was an exceptional year.
- By August end, India was staring at an all India monsoon rainfall deficit of nearly 9%.
- August, usually the second rainiest month, being short by 24%
- September rainfall — 35% more than the monthly normal — was so munificent that it completely closed the deficit and was well beyond the IMD’s expectations.
- Normally, India gets about 17 cm of rain in September, but at 22.9 cm this year, it was more than the 19 cm in August.
- In 2020, India received 109% of the long period average (LPA) and in 2019, 110% of the LPA and not since 1996, 1997 and 1998 has India got three consecutive years of normal or above normal rain.
- Three years of good rains have boosted storage in India’s key reservoirs.
- The two key months for kharif crop sowing, July and August, were the ones when the monsoon failed and the excess September rains meant there are real fears of crop damage due to excessive moisture.
- There are record surpluses expected for rice, pulses and oilseeds.
The Met on the mat | TH
- The gruesome murder of a teacher, Sabina Nessa (28), when she was walking through a park in south-east London to meet her friend at a pub, has caused outrage.
- Many critics bemoan the fact that women are not being protected despite the Met being led by a woman Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick.
- What has added fuel to the fire is that a Met police officer, Wayne Couzens, was arrested for raping and murdering Everard.
- One is reminded of the senseless deaths of a father and son in Sattankulam in Tamil Nadu.
- One cannot forget how in May 2020, a black man, George Floyd, was pinned to the ground by three police officers in Minneapolis until he died of suffocation.
- Police organisations in several parts of the world are not trusted for civilised and lawful behaviour.
- The Chief Justice of India recently gave expression to his misgivings on police conduct.
- It is unfortunate that the whole force gets a bad name because of a few deviants.
- Enormous government funding for additional infrastructure — both manpower and technology — can help shape a sleek and humane police force.
- But only marginally.
Crackdown there, hope here | TH
- Last year, China stopped Ant Group’s blockbuster initial public offering.
- This came as a shock to the world as Ant Group, Alibaba’s fintech arm, was on track to raise $37 billion and its valuation was reportedly nearing more than $300 billion.
- This episode was perceived as an attempt to rein in the successful entrepreneur, Jack Ma.
- Prior to this incident, he had committed one of the cardinal sins in modern China, which was to publicly criticise the government’s tech policy for stifling innovation.
- China has foisted sweeping regulations, antitrust and anti-monopoly lawsuits, cyber security probes, and algorithm controls on the entire tech segment, ranging from e-commerce websites, search engines, ride sharing and food delivery apps to e-learning portals.
- These clampdowns are estimated to have wiped off over $1.5 trillion of value from Chinese tech stocks.
- China’s obsessive efforts to ensure that no private entity gains enough data to ever be in a position to even remotely challenge Chinese Communist Party-led state dominance, and that no competing country gains access to the citizen database through any unforeseen means, drive much of this overhaul.
- It would not be surprising to see more state-owned enterprises like ZTE and state-supported heavyweights like Huawei focus on strategic high technology and attempt to be pioneers in the global market.
- The rate of digitisation accelerated during the pandemic in India.
- Start-ups here raised a record $10.46 billion in the first half of this year alone.
- India’s tally of unicorns has crossed 60.
- This trajectory and India’s projected growth will make the country the first destination of the funds fleeing Chinese stocks during these crackdowns.
- The recently concluded Modi-Biden talks as well as the Quad summit emphasised technological cooperation.
- U.S. interests will more likely be inclined towards the possibilities of market entry and penetration of its firms.
- India should also remain open to partnerships with friendly nations, keeping the enhancement of its internal capacity as the objective.
- An example would be the ongoing talks with Taiwan to bring in a semiconductor chip manufacturing plant to India.
- If successful, this could drive next-generation industries, including 5G devices and electric vehicles.
- The strides India has made in sectors including biotech and space tech have shown that with the right political will and private participation, India could be self-sufficient and also reach global competitiveness.
- Similar concerted efforts to develop indigenous manufacturing and hard technology are vital if India is to retain its strategic autonomy and securely reach its stated goal of being among the largest three economies by the later stages of this decade.
- PM Modi to virtually distribute records of land right papers to beneficiaries in Madhya Pradesh today
- India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crosses 92 Crore mark
- Kerala witnesses considerable dip in new Covid cases
- Textiles Ministry approves continuation of Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme
- Nobel Prize for physics awarded to scientists from Japan, Germany, Italy
- Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya releases UNICEF’s publication ‘The State of the World’s Children 2021’
- 5th edition of India – Japan Maritime Bilateral Exercise to be held in Arabian Sea from today
- Prasar Bharati network to broadcast special shows, live coverages during forthcoming Navratri
- Objective of Modi govt at centre to empower all people of country: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
- ‘Peace’ prerequisite for progress in India especially North East States: VP M. Venkaiah Naidu
- Malaysia protests presence of Chinese vessels in its waters
- 8th edition of India-Sri Lanka bilateral joint exercise ‘Mitra Shakti’ commences in Sri Lanka
Q.) The first United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021 which was held in September this year, discussed the food system transformation. How many Sustainable Development Goals out of 17 are directly related to food systme?
Q.) The Nord Stream 2 underwater, which is 1224 km long and built at a cost of $11 billion, is a gas pipeline running from Russia to which country?