GS PAPER II NEWS
Standard Workers Action Network Report (SWAN)
Why in News
According to the Report of SWAN, 92% of workers didn’t receive any money from their employer due to imposing lockdown in the amid of second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
Highlights of the Report
- The results are based on the data gathered from 1,396 workers group, adding up to 8,023 people who made distress call to the organisations in May 2021.
- 91% people said that their work had stopped due to imposition of local lockdown during second wave.
- It also showed that around 56% of workers reported that their work had stopped for more than a month.
- A majority of the workers who reached out with distress calls had less than Rs 200 left with them. By May 31st, there are 74% workers who had less than Rs 200.
- In the survey, 34% of the workers said that had not been paid their dues for work before the lockdown, while 15% of them stated that they had received it partially. But, after imposing lockdown, 92% people said that they didn’t receive any money from their employer.
- Advocating a holistic approach to deal with the humanitarian crisis inflicted due to the Covid lockdowns, SWAN said that beyond the necessary focus on vaccination and health systems, a rapid macroeconomic recovery requires an urgent response in the form of a national relief and recovery package to (a) protect life, (b) partially compensate for lost livelihoods and income, and (c) boost demand in the economy for faster overall recovery.
GS PAPER II
India-US Naval Exercise
Why in News
The Indian Navy and the Air Force began a two-day passage exercise with U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Ronald Reagan during its transit through the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- The Indian Naval warships along with aircraft from Indian Navy and Indian Air Force will be engaged in joint multi-domain operations with the Carrier Strike Group comprising Nimitz class aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer USS Halsey and Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser USS Shiloh.
- The two-day exercise aims to strengthen the bilateral relationship and cooperation by demonstrating the ability to integrate and coordinate comprehensively in maritime operations.
- High tempo operations during the exercise include advanced air defence exercises, cross deck helicopter operations and anti-submarine exercises.
- The participating forces will endeavor to hone their war-fighting skills and enhance their interoperability as an integrated force to promote peace, security and stability in the maritime domain.
- For the exercise, which is under the area of responsibility of the Southern Air Command, the IAF forces are operating from bases under four operational commands and include Jaguar and Su30 MKI fighters, Phalcon and Netra early warning aircraft and IL78 air to air refueller aircraft.
- Indian Navy and US Navy regularly undertake a host of bilateral and multilateral exercises which underscore the shared values as partner navies, in ensuring commitment to an open, inclusive and a rule-based international order.
GS PAPER II
Why in News
Goa became the first state in the country had not reported a single case of Rabies in last three years.
Mission Rabies Project
- The task of rabies control has been carried out by Mission Rabies project, which is being run through a central government grant.
- The Mission Rabies organization is doing a lot of work with all the political leaders, panchayats and because of awareness created, we were able to achieve this target.
- Goa achieved 5,40,593 vaccinations against rabies in dogs and educated nearly a lakh people in dog bite prevention across Goa as well as set up 24-hours rabies surveillance involving an emergency hotline and rapid response team for dog bite victims.
- Rabies is a viral infection that mainly spreads through a bite from an infected animal. It is an RNA virus of the rhabdovirus family.
- It is a viral zoonotic disease that causes progressive and fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
- Clinically, it has two forms:
- Furious rabies – characterized by hyperactivity and hallucinations.
- Paralytic rabies – characterized by paralysis and coma.
- Rabies is estimated to cause 59 000 human deaths annually in over 150 countries, with 95% of cases occurring in Africa and Asia. Due to underreporting and uncertain estimates, this number is likely a gross underestimate.
Common Symptoms of Rabies
- Incubation Period:
- The period between infection and the first symptoms is typically 1–3 months in humans.
- This period may be as short as four days or longer than six years, depending on the location and severity of the wound and the amount of virus introduced.
- Initial symptoms of rabies are often nonspecific such as fever and headache. As rabies progresses and causes inflammation of the brain and meninges, symptoms can include slight or partial paralysis, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, agitation, abnormal behaviour, paranoia, terror, and hallucinations.
- The person may also have fear of water.
- The symptoms eventually progress to delirium and coma. Death usually occurs 2 to 10 days after first symptoms.
- Vaccinating dogs is the most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people, and human rabies vaccines exist for pre-exposure immunization.
- If anyone bitten or scratched by an animal, particularly a dog, they should:
- Wash the wound immediately with soap or detergent.
- Flush the wound thoroughly for about 15 minutes with copious amounts of water.
- Apply an iodine-containing or anti-viral medication to the wound 15 minutes after it has been washed and flushed.
- Avoid applying irritants to the wounds such as chili powder, plant juices, acids and alkalis.
- Avoid covering the wound with dressings or bandages.
- Seek transportation to a health care facility for further assessment and treatment by a healthcare professional.
GS PAPER III
Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary
Why in News
Recently, India got its 52nd Tiger Reserve, the Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary of Ramgarh, Rajasthan.
- India added another feather to its cap in tiger conservation efforts by adding ‘Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary’ in Rajasthan from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
- With the addition of this tiger reserve, Rajasthan gets its fourth one after Ranthambore, Sariska and Mukundra tiger reserves.
Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary
- In 1982, a part of forest in Bundi was declared as Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary under Section 5 of the Rajasthan Wild Life and Bird Protection Act, 1951.
- It is like a buffer for the Ranthambore National Park, one of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries in India.
- The Sanctuary covers an area of around 252 square kilometers and rich in biodiversity and wild animals.
- It is the hub of variety of wild animals like the Indian wolf, leopard, striped hyena, sloth bear, golden jackal, chinkara, nilgai among other animals at the Ramgarh Wildlife Sanctuary.
Tiger Sanctuary in India
- Tigers or Panthera Tigris are icons of beauty, power, and the importance of conservation of nature.
- India has always valued the importance of nature and it is in the country’s tradition to conserve animals and to give them their natural habitat to thrive.
- In the year 1973, ‘Project Tiger’ was launched by the Government of India to save the endangered species of Tiger in the country.
- Starting from nine reserves in 1973-2021, the number is grown up to 52, administered under National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
- Currently, India has 2,967 tigers, a third more than in 2014, according to results of a census made public on July 29 last year.
- The present survey is a more granular estimate of these numbers. Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of tigers at 526, closely followed by Karnataka (524) and Uttarakhand (442).
NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority)
- The NTCA was created to strengthen tiger conservation in the nation.
- It is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change constituted under enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006.
- The objectives of NTCA are:
- Providing statutory authority to Project Tiger.
- Fostering accountability of Centre-State in management of Tiger Reserves, by providing a basis for MoU with States within our federal structure.
- Providing for oversight by Parliament.
- Addressing livelihood interests of local people in areas surrounding Tiger Reserves.
Importance of Tiger Wildlife Sanctuary
- Around 200 years ago, approximately 58,000 tigers roamed nonchalantly across India’s diverse forests.
- Centuries of rapid habitat destruction and hunting significantly depleted the tiger population to only 2,000 by the1970s.
- A major cause of habitat destruction of animals is Human-wildlife conflict.
- It refers to the negative interaction between the wildlife animals and humans, which caused undesirable consequences for both people and their resources and wildlife and their habitats.
- So, to bridge the gap between Humans and animals Biosphere reserves, National Parks, and Wildlife Sanctuaries are placed.
Wildlife Sanctuary, National Park and Biosphere Reserves
- Biosphere reserves:
- These are the specific regions that are meant for the conservation of flora and fauna in its local ecosystem.
- The reserves also the restore the traditional life of tribal people living in that region.
- It also protects the biodiversity of that area. At present, there are 18 Biosphere reserves in India.
- National Parks:
- These are the region that is set aside by a national government for the protection of the natural habitats of animals and plants.
- The boundaries are also set for a National Park. There are 104 National Parks in India which cover around 1.33% of the geographical area of the nation.
- Wildlife Sanctuary:
- It is the region where animals and plants are protected under their natural habitat and are protected from any sort of disturbance is termed a Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Killing, poaching, and capturing animals are strictly prohibited in these areas.
- There are 553 wildlife sanctuaries in India covering an area of 119776.00 km2.
GS PAPER III
New approach to Defence
Why in News
Understanding the theaterisation of the Indian armed forces that will be a significant departure from the current arrangement – a change experts say is integral to fighting future wars.
- It is concept that seeks to integrate the capabilities of the three services and optimally utilise their resources for future wars and operations.
- It refers to placing specific units of the army, the navy and the air force under a Theatre Commander.
- Such commands are expected to come under the operational control of an officer from any of the three services, depending on the function assigned to that command.
Commands under armed forces
- There are 17 single-service commands currently spread across the country’s geography.
- These 17 are divided as follows:
- Army – 7 commands
- Air Force – 7 commands
- Navy – 3 commands
- Creating theatres would involve merging existing commands. The Port Blair-based Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) and Strategic Forces Command are the two tri service commands.
- The ANC command will come under the
- proposed Maritime Theatre Command and SFC will be under National Security Council.
What will theaterisation entail
- The current theaterisation model under consideration seeks to set up at least six new integrated commands.
- The first phase involves creation of:
- Air Defence Command:
- This will control air defence resources of all three services and will be tasked with protecting military assets from airborne enemies.
- Headed by: A top three-star Indian Air Force officer.
- Based in: Prayagraj
- Maritime Theatre Command:
- This will be responsible for securing India from seaborne threats and will have army and air force elements under it.
- Headed by: A top three-star Indian Navy officer.
- Based in: Karwar, Karnataka.
- Ultimately, India is expected to have three other integrated land commands to secure its western, northern and eastern fronts.
- The northern command will have the entire jurisdiction of J&K and Ladakh, and has been kept separate as it faces adversaries on LoC and LAC.
- Additionally, a logistics command is in the works to avoid duplication of efforts and resources.
Who is responsible for theaterisation?
- India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat has been given the mandate to steer the theaterisation drive.
- He is expected to bring about the integration of the three services in a three-year timeframe.
Lack of Consensus
- A lack of consensus on the military’s theaterisation model emerged during a key meeting of top government officials reviewing a draft cabinet note on the new joint structures.
- While the army and navy are in favour of theatre commands, the Air Force has concerns. Its concerns are over:
- Division of air assets,
- Nomenclature and jurisdiction of commands,
- Leadership of theatre commands, and
- Dilution of powers of chiefs.
- The expert committee is expected to hold more discussions to iron out the details of the theaterisation plan and bring all stakeholders, particularly the IAF, on board.
- Deliberations on the proposal are likely to take more time and previous timelines may need to be revised.
GS PAPER III
Why in News
Recently, the Cabinet approved an agreement between India and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for the exchange of tax information and assistance in the collection.
- Through this agreement, the Union Cabinet has approved the merger of the Central Rail side Warehouse Company (CRWC) and Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) to integrate similar functions of both companies with the aim to improve efficiency and increase financial savings.
- It will facilitate setting up of at least 50 more Rail side warehouses near goods-shed locations.
- There was no such agreement with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the past and India was negotiating this agreement for a long time.
Significance of pact
- This agreement will help in facilitating the exchange of information between the two countries, including sharing of information held by the banks and other financial institutions encompassing the information regarding the legal and beneficial ownership.
- It will also facilitate the assistance in the collection of the tax claims between the two countries.
- It will strengthen India’s commitment to fighting offshore tax evasion and tax avoidance practices, leading to the generation of unaccounted black money.
- The agreement contains tax examination abroad provisions, which provide that a country may allow the representatives of the other country to enter its territory to interview individuals and examine records for tax purposes.
- It will also promote tax cooperation between the two countries through the exchange of information and assistance in the collection of outstanding tax claims between the two countries.
- Tax evasion is illegal action in which individual or company to avoid paying tax liability.
- It involves hiding or false income, without proof of inflating deductions, not reporting cash transaction etc.
- Tax evasion is serious offense comes under criminal charges and substantial penalties.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island country in the Caribbean. It is located in the southeast Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, which lie in the West Indies at the southern end of the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea.
- It consists of the main island of Saint Vincent and the northern two-thirds of the Grenadines, a chain of 32 smaller islands.
- Some of the Grenadines are inhabited: Bequia, Mustique, Union Island, Canouan, Petit Saint Vincent, Palm Island, Mayreau, Young Island.