Samajho’s Telegram Compilation: Part 2

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Telegram Compilation: Part 2

This is a compilation of various Articles / Solutions to MCQs that we regularly post on our Telegram Channel.
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New Agro MSME Policy 

  • Context
    • The Government of India is to implement a new Agro MSME policy. The policy is to focus entrepreneurship in rural, tribal, forest, and agricultural areas.
  • Highlights
    • The Union Minister Nitin Gadkari recently announced that the central government is working on agro MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise) policy.
    • It aims to encourage manufacturing products with the help of locally available raw materials.
    • The announcement was made during a meeting of the minister with the Export Promotion Council. The meeting was conducted to discuss the impact of COVID-19 over the MSME sector.
  • Objectives of the new policy
    • The new policy will focus on the following things
    • The policy will try to replace foreign imports with domestic production.
    • The industries will be encouraged to focus more on science and technology, innovation, research skills, entrepreneurship. 
    • This will help to convert knowledge to wealth. It is to be noted that this year the budget was presented by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman under the theme “Creation of Wealth”. 
    • The GoI has already launched several initiatives in order to achieve this. For instance, 100 lakh crores have been allocated to improve the infrastructure sector.
    • The Japanese Government is currently offering special packages to the industries to take out Japanese investments from China and move somewhere else. The policy will utilize this opportunity to divert those investments towards India.
    • The policy will encourage investors to invest in other cities other than Delhi and Mumbai.

PRINCIPLE OF ‘STRICT LIABILITY’ VS ‘ABSOLUTE LIABILITY’

  • About
    • The National Green Tribunal's order in the Visakhapatnam gas tragedy found LG Polymers prima facie liable under the 19th century English law, Principle of “strict liability”, which was made redundant in India by the Supreme Court in 1986.
  • Strict liability principle
    • Under the “strict liability principle”, a party is not liable and needs not pay compensation if a hazardous substance escapes his premises by accident or by an “act of God’” among other circumstances.
    • The strict liability, evolved in an 1868 English case called Rylands versus Fletcher, provided companies with several exemptions from assuming liability.
    • In the Visakhapatnam gas tragedy, even though the NGT directed the company to deposit an initial amount of ₹50 crores and formed a fact-finding committee, its use of the term “strict liability” has been questioned. Lawyers say the term “absolute liability” should have been used instead. 
  • Absolute Liability Principle
    • The Supreme Court, while deciding the Oleum gas leak case of Delhi in 1986, found strict liability woefully inadequate to protect citizens’ rights in an industrialized economy like India and replaced it with the ‘absolute liability principle’.
    • Under the absolute liability principle, the apex court held that a company in a hazardous industry cannot claim any exemption.
    • It has to mandatorily pay compensation, whether or not the disaster was caused by its negligence. The court said a hazardous enterprise has an “absolute non-delegable duty to the community”.
    • The principle of absolute liability is part of Article 21 (right to life).

Project CARD

  • NITI Aayog and the Department of Biotechnology have launched the Consortium for Affordable & Rapid Diagnostics (CARD) to scale up India’s capacity to make coronavirus testing kits.
  • The move comes after India faced quality issues with Chinese-made antibody testing kits, which are used for disease surveillance and to find out how many people have developed immunity to a disease.
  • Project CARD’s first goal is to roll out at least 10 million rapid antibody tests for Covid-19 by July.
  • Additionally, capacity will be expanded to make reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and other paper-based tests for Covid-19 in the country.

Urban Ozone

  • The photochemical production of ozone may become more important in urban areas during summertime in these low conditions of oxides of nitrogen.
  • As nitrogen oxides reduce, photochemical production may become more efficient and can lead to higher ozone concentrations in the summertime.
  • The higher summer temperatures increase emissions of biogenic hydrocarbon from natural sources such as trees. These biogenic hydrocarbons significantly affect urban ozone levels.
  • While ozone is important for screening harmful solar UV radiation when present higher up in the atmosphere, it can be a danger at the Earth’s surface and can react to destroy or alter many biological molecules.

Styrene

  • About
    • It is a flammable liquid that is used in the manufacturing of polystyrene plastics, fiberglass, rubber, and latex.
    • It is also found in vehicle exhaust, cigarette smoke, and in natural foods like fruits and vegetables.
  • What happens when exposed to styrene?
    • Short-term exposure to the substance can result in respiratory problems, irritation in the eyes, irritation in the mucous membrane, and gastrointestinal issues.
    • Long-term exposure could drastically affect the central nervous system and lead to other related problems like peripheral neuropathy. It could also lead to cancer and depression in some cases.
  • What are the symptoms?
    • Symptoms include headache, hearing loss, fatigue, weakness, difficulty in concentrating, etc.
    • Animal studies, according to the EPA, have reported effects on the CNS, liver, kidney, and eye and nasal irritation from inhalation exposure to styrene.

Shekatkar Committee

  • About:
    • It was an 11-member committee, appointed by the erstwhile Defence Minister in mid-2016.
    • It was headed by Lt. Gen. D.B. Shekatkar (Retd).
    • It had the mandate to suggest measures to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces.
  • Recommendations:
    • It made about 99 recommendations from optimising defence budget to the need for a Chief of the Defence Staff.
    • It recommended that India’s defence budget should be in the range of 2.5-3% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product), in view of current and future threats.
    • It had also suggested the establishment of a Joint Services War College for the training of middle-level officers, with three separate war colleges at Mhow (Madhya Pradesh), Secunderabad (Telangana), and Goa, focusing on training younger officers.
    • The committee had also mooted for the Military Intelligence School at Pune to be converted to a tri-service intelligence training establishment.
    • The recommendations on the creation of the Chief of Defence Staff post and a Department of Military Affairs have been already implemented.
  • Restructuring of Army headquarters
    • The Army headquarters had instituted 4 studies with an overall aim to enhance the operational and functional efficiency of the force, optimize budget expenditure, facilitate modernization, and address aspirations.
    • These studies are Re-organisation and right-sizing of the Indian Army, Re-organisation of the Army Headquarters, Cadre review of officers, and Review of terms of engagement of rank and file.
  • Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) Model
    • In the model, the assets owned by the government are operated by the private industries.
    • The main advantage of the model is that it is efficient and will boost competitiveness among private entities.
    • Closure of Military Farms and Army Postal Establishments in peace locations.
    • Other recommendations that have been implemented include optimisation of signals establishments, restructuring of repair units, redeployment of ordnance echelons, better utilization of supply and transportation units and animal transport entities, etc.
Detailed Coverage:https://samajho.com/upsc/abolition-of-posts-in-mes-shekatkar-committee/



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