Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Jul 31, 2020

Current Affair 1:
SRS 2018 report on Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)

Sample Registration System survey 2018 report was released recently. It has many chapters. We will cover gradually every chapter. We have already covered correlation between Education level & Fertility Rate as per 2018 Sample Registration System Survey Report in our previous daily current affairs section. Today we will see Infant Mortality Rate of Rural and Urban Areas.

The recently released SRS 2018 data indicates that the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in Rural areas is 1.5 times the rate in Urban areas. Now see in detail.

Many of you might still don’t remember definition.

The ‘Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)’ is used to measure the death rate among infants or children less than one year old. IMR is defined as the number of deaths per 1,000 live births of children under one year of age.

Why it is important to know the Infant Mortality Rate?

Child mortality is an indicator of the overall physical health, social, economic, and environmental conditions in a community where a child is born. It is also indicative of the health facilities available, water and sanitation, nutrition, education, immunization, and even the health of the mother and is therefore, used widely as an important indicator in health planning. Such data is used by policy makers, demographers, epidemiologists, social scientists, etc. to better understand the issues and arrive at measures to address the same.

Deaths of Children in the 0-4 age group account for more than 11% of all the deaths

At the National level, such percentage is 11.5 and it varies from 12.8 in rural areas to 8.2 in urban areas. Among the bigger States/UTs, the variation is from 2.0 in Kerala to 20.0 in Madhya Pradesh. In rural areas, it varies from 2.1 in Kerala to 21.9 in Madhya Pradesh, and in urban areas, it is 1.9 in Kerala to 15.7 in Uttar Pradesh.

IMR in India has reduced from 129 in 1971 to 32 in 2018, as per SRS report

At the National level, IMR is reported to be 32 and varies from 36 in rural areas to 23 in urban areas. Among the bigger States/UTs, it varies from 7 in Kerala to 48 in Madhya Pradesh.

Female IMR is higher than that of Male infants

Gender wise data reveals that the IMR of female infants has always been higher than that of male infants. While in 2013, IMR for female infants was recorded as 42, the same for male infants was 39. The latest 2018 data shows that male IMR dropped to 32, and that for female infants is 33 indicating that the gap between the two has reduced over the years.

IMR in Rural areas is 50% more than the rate in Urban areas

Analysis of the infant mortality rates by residence, that is, in urban and rural areas also shows a decreasing trend in both urban and rural areas. While the rate has dropped from 27 to 23 in urban areas in six years between 2013 & 2018, the same in rural areas has decreased from 44 in 2013 to 36 in 2018.

The IMR in rural areas is 50% more than the rate in urban areas. This stark difference in IMR in the urban & rural areas is indicative of the difference in healthcare facilities, education, and other socio-economic factors.

Madhya Pradesh has the worst IMR of 48

State wise data shows that Madhya Pradesh continues to report the worst IMR among all the states. The IMR in Madhya Pradesh was recorded as 48 in 2018.

Implementation of child health schemes needs to be monitored

The data clearly indicates that IMR is higher in states with poor development. Further, the IMR is significantly higher in rural areas compared to urban areas. Despite multiple children & maternal health programs, the gap between states & rural/urban areas hasn’t decreased as expected. There needs to be a targeted mission mode approach to close this gap with special emphasis on the laggard states & regions.

UNICEF data reveals that India’s IMR is much higher than the global average

Even though India has made significant progress in reducing IMR over the last few decades, the number is still high. According to UNICEF data updated in September 2019, India’s IMR is higher than the global average. India ranks 141 out of 198 countries.


India still has a long way to go to improve on the global rankings. The sustainable development goals call for reducing the preventable deaths of new-born and children under 5 years of age, by bringing down neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1000 live births.

Targeted approach coupled with better healthcare facilities, immunization, education & awareness, water and sanitation, and other socio-economic development programs are a must if India is to reach these goals. 

Current Affair 2:
Maharashtra Government Approves ADB Funded Project for development of Agriculture in the State

Source Link

The Maharashtra government has approved a project that will boost fruit and vegetable production in the state. The project will be funded by the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB). The project is estimated to be worth Rs. 1000 crore out of which 700 crores will be provided by the ADB and the rest will be covered by the government of Maharashtra. The article also talks about two ordinances recently passed to ensure barrier-free trade for Agri products.

News is fine. But here, we will cover two very important topics in bit detail.

  1. Asian Development Bank
  2. Two ordinances recently passed by state to ensure barrier-free trade for Agri products.

Asian Development Bank:

Its very important to cover origin and History. In recent years, questions are asked about the origin directly or indirectly.


  1. ADB was conceived in the early 1960s as a financial institution that would be Asian in character and foster economic growth and cooperation in one of the poorest regions in the world.
  2. A resolution passed at the first Ministerial Conference on Asian Economic Cooperation held by the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East in 1963 set that vision on the way to becoming reality.
  3. The Philippines capital of Manila was chosen to host the new institution, which opened on 19 December 1966, with 31 members that came together to serve a predominantly agricultural region.
  4. When the world suffered its first oil price shock, ADB increased its support for energy projects, especially those promoting the development of domestic energy sources in member countries.
  5. A major landmark was the establishment in 1974 of the Asian Development Fund to provide low-interest loans to ADB's poorest members.

HQ: Manila, Philippines


From 31 members at its establishment in 1966, ADB has grown to encompass 68 members—of which 49 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside. India is one of the members.

India and ADB

India was a founding member of ADB in 1966 and is now the bank’s fourth-largest shareholder. ADB’s operations in India commenced in 1986, and the bank remains committed to helping the country achieve its aspiration of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025. India has been ADB’s top borrower since 2010.

ADB’s country partnership strategy, 2018–2022 for India aims to accelerate the country’s inclusive economic transformation. The strategy focuses on building industrial competitiveness to create more jobs, extending infrastructure and services to low-income states, and addressing environmental and climate change concerns.

As of 31 December 2019, ADB's shareholders consist of 49 developing and developed members within Asia and the Pacific region, and 19 members from outside the region.

Don’t get into confusion about Borrowing and Non-Borrowing shareholders from below image. Just remember in sequence, Japan and US, China, then India.


Now, we will learn ordinances:

The President of India promulgated two ordinances related to Agriculture on 05 June 2020. These were earlier approved by the Union Cabinet on 03 June 2020. The government has highlighted that the aim of these ordinances is to provide a boost to rural India for farmers engaged in Agriculture and allied activities. These are part of the reforms announced under ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’.

The two ordinances promulgated are:

  1. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020
  2. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance 2020

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020:


The purpose of this ordinance as per the government is to create an ecosystem where:

  1. The farmers and traders have the freedom of choice in terms of sale and purchase of agricultural produce.
  2. Facilitates better remunerative prices through the creation of alternative trading channels.
  3. Promote efficient, transparent and barrier-free, Inter-state and Intra-State trade beyond the existing physical marketplaces.
  4. Provide framework for electronic trading of the produce.
  5. The ordinance also provides the framework for resolution of any dispute which may arise between the farmer and the trader.

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance 2020

This ordinance provides for the farmers to get into agreements with others like agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters, retailers etc. for any of the farm services or future farming produce. A national framework is laid out to safeguard the farmers’ interest and enable them to get into these contracts.

The ordinance lays down the provision for Dispute Settlement. Detail not needed, just simply we have given image below.


Current Affair 3:
The Bank Nationalization Ordinance: A Remembrance on Its 51st Anniversary

Source Link

It was 51 years ago, on 19th July ,1969, that the nation heard the news of an unanticipated ordinance that nationalised the entire banking sector of India.

India at that time was ruled by Indira Gandhi and she presented the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking) Ordinance 1969 (whenever Act is used below, remember this Act only) to the public through a radio broadcast. The ordinance ensured unmatched dominance of state's control in the entire banking sector of the nation. Promulgation of the Banking Ordinance invited severe criticisms.

According to Sorabjee, “The ordinance was a closely guarded secret and, at one stroke, more than 75% of the banking sector came under state control. The entire paid -up capital, all assets and liabilities, contracts, and agreements were to vest with the central government. All directors of the fourteen nationalised banks would vacate their respective offices but services of other employees were to continue with the nationalised banks. The most shocking part of the ordinance was the second schedule which spelt out the compensation that was to be paid."

The "tricky" conditions that determines the compensation under the ordinance acted as a matter of suspicion and disbelief to many. The ordinance had fixed two major conditions for the calculation of the compensation and they are:

  1. There must be an agreement to fix the amount of compensation.
  2. In the absence of any such agreement, the central government is under the duty to refer the matter before a tribunal within a period of three months from the date on which the central government and the existing bank failed to reach an agreement regarding the amount of compensation.

The aspect of compensation and its fixation invited serious criticisms. The ordinance prescribed for an atypical mode of calculation and distribution of compensation to the aggrieved person. The ordinance prescribed that the compensation will be determined through an agreement and shall be distributed in the form of marketable central government securities and the tenure for such payments will be ten years.

Birth of R.C. Cooper V. Union of India: Bank Nationalization Case.

The unexpected move of nationalization resulted in the extreme loss of position and investments for the shareholders of the banks, which are nationalized. R.C. Cooper, who was the director of the Central Bank of Indian, Ltd. approached the Apex Court and challenged the validity of the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking) Ordinance 1969.

What R.C. Cooper challenged?

R.C Cooper filed the challenge before the court as a shareholder of the bank, which was subsequently nationalized by the ordinance. Cooper took the stand that he has every right to approach the court as the impugned ordinance had stopped his right to receive the profit and dividend of the shares that he held as a share holder of the bank. The impugned ordinance acted created a grave violation of his rights to carry on business as the shareholder of the bank, contended by Cooper. The Constitutional provision that the petitioner had utilized in establishing his case was under Article 31. Article 31 was later repealed.

Article 31(2), prior to its repeal, stated that, "No property shall be compulsorily acquired or requisitioned save for a public purpose and save by authority of a law which provides for acquisition or requisitioning of the property for an amount which may be fixed by such law or which may be determined in accordance with such principles and given in such manner as may be specified in such law; and no such law shall be called in question in any court on the ground that the amount so fixed or determined is not adequate or that the whole or any part of such amount is to be given otherwise than in cash."

The central government, though the Attorney General opposed this contention of Cooper by stating that there is no locus standi for Cooper since a shareholder, depositor or director was not entitled to approach the court for the violation of the rights of a company.

The other major Challenges involved were:

  1. Whether the parliament possesses adequate competence to promulgate the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking) Act 1969?
  2. The legal rationale behind the compensation scheme as fixed under the act and its validity.
  3. The Violation of Constitutional Provisions, especially the violations of the rights mentioned under Article 19(1)(f), 31(2) of the Constitution.

Nationalization legally sustained.

The final outcome of the decision in R. Cooper was a partial relief to the government. The court upheld the rights of the government to nationalize banks. But in full context, the decision never fully favors the government. The court struck down the scheme of the compensation laid under the Act on the ground that, the compensation is not provided based on relevant principles. The Court held that

  1. the Constitution guarantees the right to compensation, that is, the equivalent money of the property compulsorily acquired.
  2. The Court also held that a law which seeks to acquire or requisition property for public purposes must satisfy the requirement of Article19(1)(f).

To overcome this limitation imposed by judgement, government brought out an amendment “the 25th Amendment” which sought to overcome those restrictions as imposed by the judgement.

In the aftermath of the R.C.Cooper decision,  the 25th Constitutional (Amendment) Act,1971 came in to force which cut down the right to property under Article 31 and justified the acquisition of private assets and property under the label of "public use”. The amendment replaced the word 'compensation' under article 31(2) with "amount" and this favoured the government to fix an "amount" based on their vested agendas.

Later, Article 31 itself was repealed by 44th Constitution Amendment.

To conclude:

  1. Cooper challenged the court invoking Article 31.
  2. The court allowed nationalization but said compensation to be paid and should fulfil criteria to acquire property.
  3. The government liked decision of SC on nationalization but doesn’t like that acquisition of property should be based on some criteria.
  4. It bought new amendment to overcome judgement, which allowed government to acquire land for public interest.
  5. Later Article 31 was also repealed by 44th CAA.

Current Affair 4:
Operation Breathing Space: India-Israel

Source Link

Recently, an Israeli team arrived in India with a multi-pronged mission, codenamed Operation Breathing Space to work with Indian authorities on the Covid-19 response.

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel’s defence ministry research and development team are working together to develop four different kinds of rapid testing kit for Covid-19 which can give the result within 30 seconds.

The tests that the Israeli teams will be conducting trials for include an audio test, a breath test, thermal testing, and a polyamino test which seeks to isolate proteins related to COVID-19. What scientists have to say:

Current Affair 5:
Initiative Under Gramodyog Vikas Yojana

Source Link

Recently, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has approved a programme for the benefit of artisans involved in manufacturing of Agarbatti under the Gramodyog Vikas Yojana.

Key points:

  1. Initially four Pilot Projects will be started, including one in North Eastern part of the country.
  2. Each targeted cluster of artisans will be supported with about 50 Automatic Agarbatti making machines and 10 Mixing machines.
  3. Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) will provide training, and assist artisans working in this area.


The programme aims to enhance the production of ‘Agarbatti’ in the country and create sustainable employment for the traditional Artisans, by providing them regular employment and increase in their wages. This will give a boost to the domestic Agarbatti Industry in the country and will reduce imports of Agarbatti.

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