Prelims Booster

24th April – Prelims Booster

Amendment to Epidemic Diseases Act, 1987

To protect healthcare service personnel and property including their living/working premises against violence during epidemics, the Union Cabinet has approved the promulgation of an Ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

Details –

  • The Ordinance provides for making such acts of violence cognizable and non-bailable offences and for compensation for injury to healthcare service personnel or for causing damage or loss to the property in which healthcare service personnel may have a direct interest in relation to the epidemic.
  • Violence as defined in the Ordinance will include harassment and physical injury and damage to property. Healthcare service personnel include public and clinical healthcare service providers such as doctors, nurses, paramedical workers and community health workers; any other persons empowered under the Act to take measures to prevent the outbreak of the disease or spread thereof; and any persons declared as such by the State Government.

Procedure of punishment –

  • The amendment makes acts of violence cognizable and non-bailable offences.
  • Commission or abetment of such acts of violence shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of three months to five years, and with fine of Rs.50,000/- to Rs.2,00,000/-.
  • In case of causing grievous hurt, imprisonment shall be for a term six months to seven years and with fine of Rs.1,00,000/- to Rs.5,00,000/-.
  • In addition, the offender shall also be liable to pay compensation to the victim and twice the fair market value for damage of property.
  • Offences shall be investigated by an officer of the rank of Inspector within a period of 30 days, and trial has to be completed in one year, unless extended by the court for reasons to be recorded in writing.

About Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 –

  • It was enacted by the British, for the first time in the then state of Bombay during the Bubonic Plague.
  • It is a state government Act. The Act strives to protect the common citizens in a particular area during the outbreak of an epidemic or a dangerous disease.
  • Section 2 empowers state governments and Union Territories to formulate regulations to contain the outbreak. When the State government is satisfied that the state is threatened with an outbreak of any dangerous epidemic disease, and if it thinks that the ordinary provisions of the law are insufficient, for the purpose, then, the state may take or require or empower any person to take some measures and by public notice prescribe such temporary regulations to be observed by the public. The state government may prescribe regulations for the inspection of persons travelling by railway or otherwise, segregation in hospitals, temporary accommodation or otherwise, of persons suspected by the inspecting officer, of being infected with any such disease.
  • Section 3 provides penalties for disobeying any regulation made under the Act. IPC Section 188 states that in case a person does not honour or refuses to honour the public order issued by a public servant, the punishment in such a case is upto 1 month in jail or a fine upto Rs. 200 or both. In case the general public suffers due to the refusal of the person to follow the public order, the punishment is upto 6 months of Jail and/or fine or Rs. 2000.
  • Section 4 deals with legal protection to implementing officers acting under the Act.
  • The Act provides for six months’ imprisonment or Rs. 1000 fine or both on person disobeying the Act.


D Vasini Bai, a women innovator from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, has developed ten varieties of Anthurium, a flower with high market value, by cross-pollination.

Details –

The uniqueness of these varieties developed by D Vasini Baiare large and medium-size flowers with uncommon colour combinations of spathe and spadix (viz. light and dark orange, magenta, green and rose colour combination, dark red and white colours)

What is Anthurium?

  • Anthurium (Anthurium spp.) is a vast group of beautiful blooming plants available in a wide range of colours. The plants of the varieties are having high demands due to its use as indoor decorative plants.
  • Anthurium is one of the best domestic flowering plants in the world. They are beautiful but also purify the surrounding air and remove harmful airborne chemicals like formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene, xylene, and allergens.
  • Its importance of removing toxic substances from the air, NASA has placed it in the list of air purifier plants.
  • Anthurium has larger economic importance because of its eye-catching and beautiful inflorescence and fetches a good market price.

VidyaDaan 2.0

Union Ministry of Human Resources and Development has e-launched VidyaDaan 2.0 program for inviting e-learning content contributions.

Need –

  • The programme has been launched due to the increasing requirement  for  e-learning content for students(both school and higher education) especially  in the  backdrop of situation arising out of COVID-19 and also due to  the urgent need to integrate digital education with schooling to augment learning.
  • With the unprecedented crisis due to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus and Covid-19 impacting upon school and higher education in many different ways, it is the right time and opportunity for all user states/UTs to strengthen their e- learning content for school and higher education on DIKSHA and leverage its potential use by students and teachers of your states/UTs.

About DIKSHA Platform –

  • The DIKSHA Platform of MHRD has been operating since September 2017 with 30+ States/UTs leveraging DIKSHA for augmenting teaching and learning processes.
  • Ministry of HRD and National Council for Teacher Education collaborated to build Diksha portal.
  • DIKSHA will serve as National Digital Infrastructure for Teachers.
  • It will aid teachers to learn and train themselves for which assessment resources will be available.
  • It will help teachers to create training content, profile, in-class resources, assessment aids, news and announcement and connect with teacher community.
  • States, government bodies and even private organisations, can integrate DIKSHA into their respective teacher initiatives.

Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for fixation of Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) Fertilisers for the year 2020-21.

Details –

  • The subsidy rates (per kg in Rs) for Nitrogen (N) – 18.79, Phosphorous (P)- 14.88, Potassium (K) – 10.116, Sulphur (S) – 2.374.
  • The CCEA also approved the inclusion of a complex fertiliser namely Ammonium Phosphate (NP 14:28:0:0) under the NBS Scheme.

About Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme –

  • Government provides fertilisers, Urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilisers to farmers at subsidised prices through fertiliser manufacturers/importers. The subsidy on P&K fertilisers is being governed by NBS Scheme from 2010.
  • It is being implemented from April 2010 by the Department of Fertilisers, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilisers.
  • Under NBS, a fixed amount of subsidy decided on an annual basis, is provided on each grade of subsidised Phosphatic & Potassic (P&K) fertilisers depending on its nutrient content.
  • The NBS scheme sought to deregulate subsidy on non-urea fertilisers and expected to reduce the subsidy burden substantially.

Jagtial Mangoes

The ‘Benishan’ or Banganapalli variety of the king of fruits, which is widely grown in Jagtial district (Telangana), is witnessing a slump in sales due to the nationwide lockdown.

Details –

  • Marketed as “Jagtial mango – Telangana” in Delhi, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Gwalior and Srinagar, the mangoes are popular for their quality, taste and long shelf-life.
  • Baneshan or Dasheri, varieties of mango are of high quality and soluble sugar in them is higher as compared to the varieties from other places in the state.
  • Due to the particular climatic conditions and temperatures here these mangoes are delicious. Due to high temperature the water content in the fruit gets reduced and its quality improves.

Matterhorn Mountain

Indian Tricolour of more than 1,000 meters in size was projected on Matterhorn Mountain, Zermatt, Switzerland to express solidarity to all Indians in the fight against COVID-19.

Matterhorn Mountain –

  • Matterhorn is a mountain of the Alps.
  • It is situated in the Pennine Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy.
  • Its summit is 4,478 metres (14,692 feet) high, making it one of the highest summits in the Alps and Europe.
  • The Matterhorn is mainly composed of gneisses from the Dent Blanche nappe, lying over ophiolites and sedimentary rocks of the Penninic nappes.
  • Sometimes referred to as the Mountain of Mountains, the Matterhorn has become an iconic emblem of the Alps in general.

Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyaan

Gujarat government has given the green signal for the third edition ”Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan’‘, a conservation plan to deepen water bodies in the state before monsoon.

Details –

The scheme, which will continue till June 10, will see the deepening of lakes, check dams and rivers by removing silt, and it will be done with people”s participation as well as under MNREGA.

About Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan –

  • Launched in 2018, the scheme aims to deepen water bodies in the state to increase storage of rainwater to be used during times of scarcity.
  • It involves cleaning and desilting of riverfronts, sprucing up of Irrigation canals.
  • It also involves deepening of lakes, tanks and reservoirs.
  • The drive runs on a Public Private Partnership mode and contribution from the government shall remain 60% of the expenditure of the work while 40% share will be from people’s contribution.

Daily MCQs

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