World Pneumonia Day 2020

World Pneumonia Day:

World Pneumonia Day is celebrated on 12th November for the awareness among the general public about the Pneumonia. It was first celebrated by the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia on 12th November 2009. It was established by the Stop Pneumonia initiative.

The theme of World Pneumonia Day of this year is “Every Breath Counts”.

Stop Pneumonia Initiative:

The International Vaccine Access Centre, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, spearheaded the initiative of Stop Pneumonia. It creates awareness among the communities and provides an opportunity for the sufferers.

Every Breath Counts Coalition:

Every Breath Counts Coalition is a public-private partnership supporting the government to stop preventable child Pneumonia deaths with the target till 2030. It is committed to supporting 10 countries to solve this burden.

Recent Notice:

Every Breath Counts Coalition and Stop Pneumonia initiative have partnered to take action about Pneumonia with more focus.

Key points:

A covid-19 pandemic can add around 1.9 million to the death rules of 2020, and even it is increasing the number of causing factors of pneumonia deaths by 75%. The description in the healthcare services includes 20% of deaths from pneumonia and newborn sepsis.

What is Pneumonia?

It is a fatal respiratory infection affecting the alveoli of the lungs by filling it with fluids and pus. It causes breathing difficulties.


It is caused by viruses, fungi, and bacteria.

Preventive actions:

Methods of prevention are sufficient nutrition, avoiding smoking near children, immunisation, reduced exposure to indoor air pollution and improved housing conditions.



Inauguration of Australia-India Water Centre by the Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister for Jal Shakti has virtually inaugurated the Australia-India water centre. IIT Guwahati and the University of Western Sydney will lead the centre along with 21 partners from Australia and India.


Prime Ministers of India and Australia during the virtual Summit stated the water security as a critical challenge. Thereby, they signed the MoU for the establishment of AIWC.

About the signed MoU:

The MoU is signed for 5 years. It proposes for taking future water and food security challenges and joint development of tools and techniques.


Its objectives include that AIWC will be promoting training, teaching, and water-related research. It will also focus on capacity-building knowledge and technology transfer and water, water research and food security. It aims to enable both countries for safe drinking water supplies, water for livable cities, river health, and water-energy-food nexus.



Launching of IBSA Report “Deepening Cooperation in IBSA: Perspectives from Key Sectors” by Rahul Chhabra

Secretary of Economic Relations and Ministry of External Affairs, Rahul Chhabra has launched India-Brazil-South Africa report on “Deepening Cooperation in IBSA: perspectives from key sectors from New Delhi, India through a virtual platform.

About the report:

The second batch of fellows under the IBSA Visiting Fellowship Programme prepared the report. The fellows on cooperation at the United Nations, Financial Sector Cooperation and Trade in Banking Services and Energy, Traditional Medicine, and Intellectual Property Rights undertook the research.

About the IBSA Visiting Fellowship Programme:

The IBSA Visiting Fellowship Programme was instituted at Research and Information System for Developing Countries to renew the IBSA partnership with the support of the Ministry of External Affairs. It aims to promote the academic exchange of young scholars for the reinforcement of the researcher collaboration among Brazil, India, and South Africa. It focuses on Trade and Development, collaborative research in the fields of the macroeconomy and multilateral institutional frameworks.

Important issues:

Important issues selected by IBSA scholars include trade and investment, agriculture, global production networks, South-South cooperation and IBSA Fund.

Approval to the International Financial Services Centres Authority (Banking) Regulations 2020 by IFSCA

International Financial Services Centres Authority in a meeting has approved the International Financial Services Centres Authority (Banking) Regulations 2020 on November 11. Its purpose is to formulate the rules for banking operations.


iIs aspects include the requirements to establish IFSC Banking Units. It permits non-resident Indians as well as Indian residents having net worth at least USD 1 million to open foreign currency accounts. Also, it includes laying down activities of IBUs.

It is the subject of the settlement of the financial transaction.

Main recommendations for Insurance:

They include that Net Owned Funds requirement can be reduced to INR 5 billion. IFSC also needs to emerge as a reinsurance hub for Africa and Asia.

It permits NRIs to purchase Life Insurance policies.

IFSC International Retail Business Development Committee:

IFSCA appointed it on August 3 to submit a report within three months. It aims to suggest ways for the enhancement of International Retail Business in IFSC.

Launching of “Project Air Care” in Gurgaon to fight Air Pollution by Haryana CM

Manohar Lal Khattar, Haryana Chief Minister launched “Project Air Care” to fight air pollution in Gurgaon on November 11, 2020.

About the project:

The project is a result of a public-private partnership between GSK Consumer Healthcare and Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority.


65 Wing Augmentation Air Purifying Units will be set up with high Air Quality Indices to improve the air quality in the region. The Air Purifiers have been developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, IIT Bombay.

Indian Pollution Control Association will be installing and maintaining them.

Other launchings:

The CM has also inaugurated two other projects to beautify Gateway of Gurugram of Gurugram-Mehrauli Road. Moreover, he has proposed for new Municipal Corporation in Manesar and developing a new Gurugram city.

Expansion of Saffron Bowl to North-eastern region

The saffron bowl, which had so far been limited to Kashmir, could soon be spread to the North Eastern of India. Plants from seedlings brought through Kashmir to Sikkim and acclimatised there have been blooming in Yangyang in the south side of the north-eastern province.

More about this:

  • For a long time, the production of saffron has been confined to a small geographical region in the territories of the Union of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Pampore area, in India, widely known as the Kashmir Saffron Cup, is the major contributor to the development of saffron, accompanied by the districts of Budgam, Srinagar and Kishtiwar.
  • While the Saffron National Mission concentrated on many initiatives to develop its agriculture, the measures were only restricted to the particular areas of Kashmir.
  • The NECTAR, an autonomous entity under the Dept. of Science & Technology, Government of India, sponsored a pilot scheme to examine the viability of rising saffron in the North Eastern area of India, with much the same performance and increased quantity.
  • The Botany and Horticulture Department of Sikkim Central University conducted experiments to consider the soil and real pH conditions of Yangyang Sikkim and considered it similar to the saffron increasing areas of Kashmir.



OTT Platforms in India to be governed

The govt has brought “Over the Top” (OTT) channels or online streaming content providers to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

According to the Notice of the Gazette:

  1. Internet films, electronic news as well as current affairs material are all under the jurisdiction of the I&B Ministry, led by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.
  2. This will allow the government leverage over the OTT sites that have been unchecked so far.

How has this sector been controlled so far?

There is currently no regulation or independent entity regulating digital information.

But, from period to period, the govt. has suggested the need to track these channels.

  1. In October last year, the govt. declared that it would release a “bad” collection of don’ts for streaming media platforms such as Netflix as well as Hotstar.
  2. It also required the networks to set up a self-regulatory body on the basis of the News Broadcasting Quality Authority.

Self-regulation code:

In January 2019, eight video streaming providers had signed a self-regulatory code setting out a series of guiding principles for content on these sites.

  1. The code introduced by the OTTs last January banned five categories of content, including content that knowingly and maliciously abuses the national symbol or flag and any visual or plotline that encourages child pornography.

What’s the matter?

  1. The over-the-top video service is every internet entertainment provider that provides streaming media as a stand-alone device.
  2. The word is widely used for video-on-demand services but also applies to audio recording, email or internet-based voice calling solutions.
  3. OTT systems bypass conventional media delivery outlets, such as telephone networks or cable tv content providers.
  4. As conveniently as possible you’ve access to a stable Internet connection — either locally or from a mobile network — you can use the entire service at your leisure.

Why are they growing rapidly?

  1. Highly valuable product at low prices.
  2. Initial material like Netflix and Amazon Premium.
  3. Multiple application availability.



Centre takes steps to increase manufacturing

On Wednesday, the Government launched a production-linked reward scheme to promote domestic manufacturing activity in ten more industries, with an expected outlay of approximately 1.46 lakh crore over the next five years.

The Matter:

The ten sectors listed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the basis of their ability to build employment and make India self-reliant include food processing, telecommunications, electronics, textiles, speciality steel, automotive and auto parts, solar photovoltaic modules and white goods such as air conditioners and LEDs.

While the Minister, as well as the other Cabinet Ministers, tagged the projected price of the PLI system to a maximum of 2 lakh crore, the formal Cabinet report posted an amount of 1,45,980 crore, with the largest share of more than 57,000 crores assigned to the manufacture of automobiles and auto parts.

The Finance Minister said that the different ministries in charge of these sectors are happy to introduce the scheme immediately. Applications to make use of the incentives will be assessed by the Empowered Finance Committee, after which they will be submitted to the Cabinet for final approval. A window has still been left open for new industries to be included in the PLI system until the new Cabinet approval has been secured.


Previously, the government declared a production-linked reward or PLI scheme for medical devices, cell phones and specified active pharmaceutical ingredients, with a projected outlay of 51,311 crores. Several more prescription products have now been taken under the aegis of the PLI programme, including complex generics, anti-cancer and diabetic medications, in vitro diagnostic instruments and special empty capsules.



Amendment of FCRA rules by Home Ministry

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently relaxed the requirements for farmers, teachers, religious and other organisations that are not explicitly affiliated with any political party to obtain foreign funds provided the groups are not interested in “active politics.”


FCRA Laws, 2011 dealt with “Guidelines for the declaration of an association to be of a political nature, not a political party,” and the Central Government could classify the entity as being of a political nature on the basis of six parameters.

Latest changes:

The Ministry has recently notified new regulations under the International Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) 2010 to update the rules of the FCRA in 2011.

Provisions under the new rule: the stated organisations shall be found to be of a political type whether they engage, as the case could be, in active politics or party politics.

-Clause V under Rule 3 (FCRA 2011) describes a political association as ‘organizations of farmers, workers, students, youth-focused on caste, culture, faith, language or otherwise, which are not specifically affiliated with any political party.

-Clause (VI) qualified a party as political if the entity, whatever its name, typically participates in or uses traditional methods of political action such as rasta roko, jail bharo, rail roko, bandh, or hartal in favour of the public cause.

Stringent Registration: Any entity that wishes to register under FCRA “must have been in existence for three years.”

-It might also have “spent a min number of 15 lakh in its key operations for the good of society over the last three financial years.”

-Exceptions: exceptions, however, can be given “provided that the Central Government may waive the requirements in extraordinary situations or in cases where an individual is supervised by the Central Government or the Government of the State.”

PM Modi in ASEAN summit for Economy and Trade

Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi along with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc would be co-chairing the 17th ASEAN-India virtual summit on Thursday including India and the 10-nation ASEAN.

Leaders from all ten ASEAN member states will take part in today’s summit.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that the summit would review the position of the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership and take stock of progress achieved in critical places including cooperation, maritime cooperation, exchange and trade, education and capacity building.

The summit will take place in the background of China’s hostile actions both in the contested South China Sea and in East Ladakh. Several ASEAN countries have border disputes with China in the South China Sea.

ASEAN-India Action Plan (2021-2025):

ASEAN-India Action Plan (2021-2025) would also be implemented during the conference. COVID-19, post-pandemic economic growth and new regions as well as global trends will also be addressed at the summit.

With Indo-Pacific making headway in the global debate, the relationship between India and ASEAN is primed to develop new capabilities.

PM Modi, in his address at the Shangri-La Dialog in June 2018, illustrated ASEAN’s centrality and solidarity as an important cornerstone of India’s Indo-Pacific vision.



The Rise of Household Financial Savings

India’s household financial savings rose to 21.4 per cent of GDP in the June quarter from 7.9 per cent in the previous year, according to preliminary data reported by the Indian Reserve Bank’s November bulletin on Wednesday.

Reasons for Increase in Household Savings:

The sharp rise in household savings can be due to a pandemic decrease in disposable expenditure and a spike in precautionary saving amid stagnating or decreasing incomes.

The central bank said that although the main determinants of household financial savings – in specific income and interest rates – worsened dramatically during the June quarter, the trend of consumption of non-essential goods also shifted. What the extra savings do is allow people enough space to invest until the economic conditions and, most importantly, the feeling is restored.

This is also expressed in the continuing inflow of deposit accounts amid lower interest rates on these tools for lenders. In India, bank deposits as well as bank loans represent a commanding share of almost 56% and 80% of household financial assets as well as liabilities, collectively.