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Prelims Booster

1st October – Prelims Booster

ASIIM

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot has launched the ‘Ambedkar Social Innovation and Incubation Mission’ (ASIIM) under Venture Capital Fund for SC’s with a view to promote innovation and enterprise among SC students studying in higher educational institutions.

About the scheme –

  • ASIIM will be set up through the Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes (VCFSC).
  • It’s objective is to include –
    • To promote entrepreneurship among the SC Youth with special preference to Divyangs;
    • To support (1,000) innovative ideas till 2024 through a synergetic work with the Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) set up by Department of Science and Technology;
    • To support, promote, hand-hold the start-up ideas till they reach commercial stage by providing liberal equity support; and
    • To incentivise students with innovative mind-set to take to entrepreneurship with confidence.
  • The ASIIM initiative will be implemented by the Venture Capital Fund for SCs (VCF-SCs) which was set up in 2016 with the Fund size of Rs. 500 crores.
  • Under this initiative VCF-SC shall target SC students / young entrepreneurs working in Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) supported by Department of Science and Technology (DST) in higher education and technology institution including Business / Management schools. The VCF-SC shall extend all support in the form of hand-holding, guidance, mentoring, besides providing equity support up to Rs 30 lakh over a period of three (3) years to each entity of young SC students / entrepreneurs. The budget of ASIIM for the next four years has been kept at Rs 19320lakhs.

National Sero-Survey

The national level sero-survey by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has found that around 7 percent of India’s adult population may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus till the last fortnight of August.

Details –

  • This is roughly a 10-fold jump in numbers from the first sero-survey conducted by the Council across 70 districts in 21 States that sought to estimate the likely number of infected until early May.
  • The people tested in the second survey were drawn from the same villages and clusters as the first, in which the scientists said that 0.73% of adults — or about 6.4 million — across the country were likely infected.
  • The average prevalence in major cities ranged from 50% in Mumbai to 29% in New Delhi, 22% in Chennai and 7.8% in Indore. 

What is a serological survey?

  • A serological survey is done to detect the presence of specific antibodies, and is used to assess the prevalence of a disease in the population.
  • The test indicates past infections (and which triggered an immune response), and is not used to detect active infections.
  • A serological test is performed to diagnose infections and autoimmune illnesses. It can also be conducted to check if a person has developed immunity to certain diseases.
  • Sero-surveys are conducted by drawing blood samples and checking for a specific class of antibodies called IgG that appear within two weeks of an infection. Because it is yet unclear how long antibodies detectably persist in the body, their presence only indicates past exposure to — and not presence of — the virus.

Self-incrimination

Recently, a case of self-incrimination has come to light in which the accused was allegedly forced by the investigating authorities to make a particular statement.

What is ‘self incrimination’?

  • One of the methods employed by investigating agencies to collect evidence in a criminal investigation is interrogation of the accused. However, a safeguard in criminal law across the world, specified also in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, states that no person charged with a criminal offence can be compelled to testify against herself, or to confess guilt. This is often referred to as the right to remain silent or the right against self-incrimination.
  • A common reference about this in popular culture is the “Miranda rights” or “Miranda warning”. It refers to the law in the United States after a 1966 Supreme Court case ‘Miranda vs Arizona’, which makes it obligatory for police to inform a person in custody that they have the right to remain silent, and that anything they say can be used against them in court.
  • In India, Article 20(3) of the Constitution states: “No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.”
  • This means that an accused cannot be forced by an investigating agency to give a confession or any information which may establish their involvement in an offence, or that of others.

What is the law in India on confessions by accused?

  • The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, states that confessions obtained through inducement, threat, or promise are irrelevant in a criminal proceeding.
  • Any statement made before the police is inadmissible as evidence as per the Act.
  • A voluntary confession by an accused can be given only before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code. This is to ensure that police do not force statements out of accused in their custody through threats, violence, and harassment.
  • The magistrate who records the confession is expected to inform the accused beforehand that she is not bound to give the statement, and that it could be used against her. The magistrate has to ensure that the statement is being given with free will, and that no police officer is present during its recording.
  • If a statement is retracted subsequently, the courts may rely on them as long as there is other evidence which corroborates the statements.

Is there any exception?

  • Some special Acts, including the now repealed Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), as well as the existing Control of Organised Crime Acts in Maharashtra and Gujarat, permit confessions to be recorded by a police officer above a specified rank.
  • Section 67 of the Narcotic Substances and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act gives an officer the power to call for information from any person or examine him during an inquiry. However, the provision has seen differing judgments and opinions over the years.
  • One argument is that the official given this power under the NDPS Act should be treated as a ‘police officer’, and such statements should not be admissible as evidence.
  • The contrary opinion is that Section 67 does not state that the officer is a ‘police officer’; hence the statement can be treated as a confession and be relied upon as evidence.
  • In 2013, the Supreme Court in ‘Tofan Singh vs State of Tamil Nadu’ considered these arguments. The court said that the term ‘police officer’ is not defined under the Evidence Act or the Criminal Procedure Code, and its meaning ought to be assessed from the “perception of the common public”, and from whether the person concerned “is capable of exercising influence or authority over a person from whom a confession is obtained”.
  • The court referred the case to a larger Bench for consideration of these issues. Arguments before a Bench of Justices R F Nariman, Navin Sinha, and Indira Banerjee were concluded on September 16, and the order has been reserved.

Intranasal vaccine

Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has said it would be manufacturing up to a billion doses of a single-dose intranasal Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri.

What is ‘intranasal vaccine’?

  • Vaccines are delivered through different routes, with the most common being injectable shots delivered into the muscles (intramuscular) or the tissue just between the skin and the muscles (subcutaneous).
  • Other routes of delivery, especially in some vaccines for infants, include administering the liquid solution orally instead of injecting.
  • In the intranasal route, the vaccine is sprayed into the nostrils and inhaled.

MCQs

1. What is an ‘intranasal vaccine’?

  1. A vaccine dosage which is sprayed into the nostrils and inhaled.
  2. A vaccine dosage which is administered through the nasal route via a nasal swab.
  3. A vaccine dosage originally meant to be given through oral route but also given through a nasal route.
  4. None of the above

Answer – A

Explanation – Vaccines are delivered through different routes, with the most common being injectable shots delivered into the muscles (intramuscular) or the tissue just between the skin and the muscles (subcutaneous). Other routes of delivery, especially in some vaccines for infants, include administering the liquid solution orally instead of injecting. In the intranasal route, the vaccine is sprayed into the nostrils and inhaled.

2. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about ‘self-incrimination’?

  1. The Constitution of India prohibits any accused of any offence to be compelled to be a witness against himself.
  2. The police is prohibited to obtain confession from any accused under any criminal or civil law in India during investigations.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer – A

Explanation – In India, Article 20(3) of the Constitution states: “No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.” This means that an accused cannot be forced by an investigating agency to give a confession or any information which may establish their involvement in an offence, or that of others. The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, states that confessions obtained through inducement, threat, or promise are irrelevant in a criminal proceeding. Any statement made before the police is inadmissible as evidence as per the Act. A voluntary confession by an accused can be given only before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code. This is to ensure that police do not force statements out of accused in their custody through threats, violence, and harassment. Some special Acts, including the now repealed Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), as well as the existing Control of Organised Crime Acts in Maharashtra and Gujarat, permit confessions to be recorded by a police officer above a specified rank.

3. ‘Miranda Rights’ is related to –

  1. Right to freedom of speech and expression
  2. Right to remain silent or self-incrimination
  3. Right to worship
  4. None of the above

Answer – B

Explanation – One of the methods employed by investigating agencies to collect evidence in a criminal investigation is interrogation of the accused. However, a safeguard in criminal law across the world, specified also in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, states that no person charged with a criminal offence can be compelled to testify against herself, or to confess guilt. This is often referred to as the right to remain silent or the right against self-incrimination. A common reference about this in popular culture is the “Miranda rights” or “Miranda warning”. It refers to the law in the United States after a 1966 Supreme Court case ‘Miranda vs Arizona’, which makes it obligatory for police to inform a person in custody that they have the right to remain silent, and that anything they say can be used against them in court.

4. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about a ‘serological survey’?

  1. It is done to detect the presence of specific antibodies and is used to assess the prevalence of a disease in the population.
  2. A serological survey is conducted by a mixture of blood samples and contact tracing techniques to find out the prevalence of a disease in the population.
  3. It can be used to detect only the past exposures of a disease in a population and not the active infections.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. None of the above

Answer – C

Explanation – A serological survey is done to detect the presence of specific antibodies, and is used to assess the prevalence of a disease in the population. The test indicates past infections (and which triggered an immune response), and is not used to detect active infections. A serological test is performed to diagnose infections and autoimmune illnesses. It can also be conducted to check if a person has developed immunity to certain diseases. Sero-surveys are conducted by drawing blood samples and checking for a specific class of antibodies called IgG that appear within two weeks of an infection. Because it is yet unclear how long antibodies detectably persist in the body, their presence only indicates past exposure to — and not presence of — the virus.

5. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘ASIIM” scheme?

  1. It aims to promote entrepreneurship among the minority youth with special preference to Divyangs.
  2. It will support innovative ideas till 2024 through a synergetic work with the Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) set up by the Department of Science and Technology.
  3. It will incentivise students with innovative mind-set to take to entrepreneurship with confidence.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. All of the above

Answer – B

Explanation – Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot has launched the ‘Ambedkar Social Innovation and Incubation Mission’ (ASIIM) under Venture Capital Fund for SC’s with a view to promote innovation and enterprise among SC students studying in higher educational institutions. ASIIM will be set up through the Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes (VCFSC). It’s objective is to include – To promote entrepreneurship among the SC Youth with special preference to Divyangs; To support (1,000) innovative ideas till 2024 through a synergetic work with the Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) set up by Department of Science and Technology; To support, promote, hand-hold the start-up ideas till they reach commercial stage by providing liberal equity support; and To incentivise students with innovative mind-set to take to entrepreneurship with confidence. The ASIIM initiative will be implemented by the Venture Capital Fund for SCs (VCF-SCs) which was set up in 2016 with the Fund size of Rs. 500 crores.

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