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Prelims Booster

20th October – Prelims Booster

Ayushman Sahakar Fund

Union Ministry of Agriculture has launched AYUSHMAN SAHAKAR, a unique scheme to assist cooperatives play an important role in creation of healthcare infrastructure in the country formulated by the apex autonomous development finance institution under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).

What does it intend to do?

  • NCDC would extend term loans to prospective cooperatives to the tune of Rs.10,000 Crore in the coming years. NCDC’s scheme will be a step towards strengthening farmers welfare activities by the Central Government.
  • Ayushman Sahakar scheme would revolutionise the way healthcare delivery takes place in rural areas.
  • There are about 52 hospitals across the country run by cooperatives. They have cumulative bed strength of more than 5,000. The NCDC fund would give a boost to provision of healthcare services by cooperatives.
  • Ayushman Sahakar scheme fund would also assist cooperative hospitals take up medical / Ayush education.

How will it help?

  • Any Cooperative Society with suitable provision in its bylaws to undertake healthcare related activities would be able to access the NCDC fund.
  • NCDC assistance will flow either through the State Governments/ UT Administrations or directly to the eligible cooperatives.
  • The scheme also provides working capital and margin money to meet operational requirements. The scheme provides interest subvention of one percent to women majority cooperatives.

About NCDC –

  • The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) is a statutory Corporation set up under an Act of Indian Parliament on 13 March 1963.
  • The objectives of NCDC are planning and promoting programmes for production, processing, marketing, storage, export and import of agricultural produce, foodstuffs, industrial goods, livestock and certain other notified commodities and services on cooperative principles and for matters concerned therewith or incidental thereto.
  • Functions – Planning, promoting and financing programmes for supply of consumer goods and collection, processing, marketing, storage and export of minor forest produce through cooperatives, besides income generating stream of activities such as poultry, dairy, fishery, sericulture, handloom etc.
  • NCDC will now be able to finance projects in the rural industrial cooperative sectors and for certain notified services in rural areas like water conservation, irrigation and micro irrigation, agri-insurance, agro-credit, rural sanitation, animal health, etc.

Malabar 2020 Naval Exercise

As India Seeks to increase cooperation with other countries in the maritime security domain and in the light of increased defence cooperation with Australia, Malabar 2020 will see the participation of the Australian Navy.

Background –

  • Naval exercises between India and the US (Malabar) has been an ongoing affair since 1992. After a brief interlude due to India’s 1998 nuclear tests and the imposition of sanctions, the exercise became an annual feature since 2002.
  • Initially pitched at a basic level of naval drills between the US and India, Malabar 2005 involved the participation of the aircraft carriers of both navies for the first time.
  • In June 2007, days before the first-ever official-level security consultation between the US, India, Japan and Australia, China issued demarches to each of the participants seeking to know the purpose behind their meeting.
  • In 2015, India took the bold move of including Japan as a permanent member of the Malabar exercises. The change proclaimed India’s readiness to stand its ground on security matters and was welcomed both by the US and Japan.
  • In January 2017, Australia requested that its naval assets be allowed to attend Malabar exercises as an ‘observer’. Though Australia was denied an observer status in Malabar-2017, participation of the country in future Malabar exercises was not foreclosed.

Significance –

  • With the recent actions by China in the Himalayas as well as in the South China Sea, it was time that a holistic view of the evolving security scenario in the Indo-Pacific region is taken to arrive at a pragmatic decision of expanding the Malabar exercise to include Australia and perhaps other like-minded countries.
  • The operationalisation of the Gwadar port, deployment of troops in the Chinese base at Djibouti, among other developments, indicate the enhanced Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Considering that Australia also shares similar security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region as India in the present context, its inclusion thereby upgrading the present trilateral format to a ‘quad of nations’ would be a pragmatic decision that we all as members of the QUAD have taken.

Conclusion –

Based on the platform provided by the Malabar exercises, a perceptible beginning to a peaceful Indo-Pacific region has been made as India seized this opportunity to take the lead in forming an overarching security quad of India, Australia, Japan and the US, thereby demonstrating a cooperative approach, greater coherence and a shared resolve to address maritime security issues in the Indo-Pacific.

Originalism

US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has described “originalism” – or interpreting the country’s Constitution as per the intentions of its 18th century founding leaders – as her legal philosophy.

What is ‘originalism’?

  • In legal philosophy, this theory prescribes that while resolving disputes, judges should interpret the constitution as it was understood at the time it was ratified, irrespective of whether they personally agree or disagree with the outcome of a case decided this way.
  • According to originalists, the meaning of the constitution is fixed at the time of its framing, either in the form of the meaning of the words used, or the intentions of the drafters. The job of the court is to stick to this original meaning.

Background

The word ‘originalism’ was coined in the 1980s, and has since been popular among US conservatives, who have sought to promote judicial restraint on the country’s federal courts. Adherents of originalism believe that social change should be brought about by new laws made by elected representatives, and not through judicial activism, in which judges make new interpretations of the constitution.

‘Living constitution’ theory –

The legal philosophy which is said to be the opposite of originalism is ‘living constitution’ or ‘modernism’. This theory, espoused by likes of the late Justice Ginsburg, believes that the constitution should be updated with times to encompass changing societal needs.

China’s national security law

China has passed a new law restricting sensitive exports to protect national security, a move that adds to policy tools it could wield against the U.S. as tensions — especially in technology — continue to rise.

Details of the law –

  • The law, which China’s top legislature passed recently, allows Beijing to “take reciprocal measures” against countries that abuse export controls and pose a threat to national security.
  • Technical data related to items covered will also be subject to export controls, according to the published text of the law.
  • Beijing’s measure gives it more room to hit back in U.S. President Donald Trump’s war on Chinese tech firms, with the White House moving against popular platforms and major companies — including apps TikTok and WeChat, tech giant Huawei and chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.
  • The new law, “formulated to safeguard national security and interests”, adds to China’s regulatory toolkit which also involves a restriction catalogue of tech exports and an unreliable entity list.
  • Where any country or region abuses export control measures to endanger the national security and interests of the People’s Republic of China, (it) may take reciprocal measures.
  • It adds that Chinese authorities will formulate and adjust an export control list of items to be published in a “timely manner”.
  • Foreign individuals and groups can also be found liable for violating export control rules.

Background –

  • In September, China launched a long-expected “unreliable entities list”, widely seen as a weapon to retaliate against the US which has used its own “entity list” to shut Huawei out of the U.S. market.
  • The month before that, China’s Commerce Ministry stepped up rules on technologies restricted for export, adding “civilian use” to the list.

MCQs

1. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘National Cooperative Development Corporation’?

  1. It is an autonomous organisation under the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
  2. Apart from the agricultural produce, it also deals with minor forest produce.
  3. It can also finance projects in the rural industrial cooperative sectors like water conservation, irrigation and micro-irrigation.

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 – D

Explanation – The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) is a statutory Corporation set up under an Act of Indian Parliament on 13 March 1963 working under its parent Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. The objectives of NCDC are planning and promoting programmes for production, processing, marketing, storage, export and import of agricultural produce, foodstuffs, industrial goods, livestock and certain other notified commodities and services on cooperative principles and for matters concerned therewith or incidental thereto. Functions – Planning, promoting and financing programmes for supply of consumer goods and collection, processing, marketing, storage and export of minor forest produce through cooperatives, besides income generating stream of activities such as poultry, dairy, fishery, sericulture, handloom etc. NCDC will now be able to finance projects in the rural industrial cooperative sectors and for certain notified services in rural areas like water conservation, irrigation and micro irrigation, agri-insurance, agro-credit, rural sanitation, animal health, etc.

2. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘Ayushman Sahakar Fund’?

  1. It has been launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to help the urban poor and daily wage workers to access the benefits of Ayushman Bharat scheme through hospitals run by cooperatives.
  2. NCDC has been chosen as the nodal agency to extend term loans to prospective cooperatives to the tune of Rs 10,000 crores.
  3. Apart from the health benefits, the scheme also envisages assisting cooperative hospitals to take up medical/Ayush education.

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 Ministry of Agriculture has launched AYUSHMAN SAHAKAR, a unique scheme to assist cooperatives play an important role in creation of healthcare infrastructure in the country formulated by the apex autonomous development finance institution under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC). NCDC would extend term loans to prospective cooperatives to the tune of Rs.10,000 Crore in the coming years. NCDC’s scheme will be a step towards strengthening farmers welfare activities by the Central Government. Ayushman Sahakar scheme would revolutionise the way healthcare delivery takes place in rural areas. There are about 52 hospitals across the country run by cooperatives. They have cumulative bed strength of more than 5,000. The NCDC fund would give a boost to provision of healthcare services by cooperatives. Ayushman Sahakar scheme fund would also assist cooperative hospitals take up medical / Ayush education.

3. Which of the following countries have been recently invited to the Malabar Naval Exercise in the year 2020?

  1. USA
  2. Japan
  3. Australia
  4. All of them were members in the 2019 edition itself

Answer – C

Explanation – Australia has been invited to participate in the Malabar 2020 Naval Exercise.

4. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘Malabar Naval Exercise’?

  1. It started as a bilateral naval exercise between India and the US in the year 1992.
  2. In the year 2015, Japan was invited to be a part of the Malabar Naval Exercise.
  3. Australia has been a part of the Malabar Naval Exercises in 2007 but it opted out later due to resistance from China.

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 – A

Explanation – Naval exercises between India and the US (Malabar) has been an ongoing affair since 1992. After a brief interlude due to India’s 1998 nuclear tests and the imposition of sanctions, the exercise became an annual feature since 2002. Initially pitched at a basic level of naval drills between the US and India, Malabar 2005 involved the participation of the aircraft carriers of both navies for the first time. In June 2007, days before the first-ever official-level security consultation between the US, India, Japan and Australia, China issued demarches to each of the participants seeking to know the purpose behind their meeting. In 2015, India took the bold move of including Japan as a permanent member of the Malabar exercises. The change proclaimed India’s readiness to stand its ground on security matters and was welcomed both by the US and Japan. In January 2017, Australia requested that its naval assets be allowed to attend Malabar exercises as an ‘observer’. Though Australia was denied an observer status in Malabar-2017, participation of the country in future Malabar exercises was not foreclosed.

5. The term ‘originalism’ in the matter of constitutionalism refers to the –

  1. Due process of law
  2. Original understanding of the Constitution “at the time it was adopted” 
  3. Upholding the constitutional values as sacrosanct
  4. Both b and c

Answer – B

Explanation – Even though the option C may look close to the option B, it is not the exact definition of ‘originalism’ per se. In legal philosophy, the theory of ‘originalism’ prescribes that while resolving disputes, judges should interpret the constitution as it was understood at the time it was ratified, irrespective of whether they personally agree or disagree with the outcome of a case decided this way. According to originalists, the meaning of the constitution is fixed at the time of its framing, either in the form of the meaning of the words used, or the intentions of the drafters. The job of the court is to stick to this original meaning.

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