Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 16 October 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 16 October 2020


Supreme court quizzes government over crimes against women

  • The Supreme Court on Thursday said crimes against women continued in a “never-ending cycle” in India.
  • In a 151-page judgment, a Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan said women in India faced violence and discrimination in one form or the other in their various roles as daughter, sister, wife, mother, partner or single woman.
  • Though the judgment called a 2005 law against domestic harassment as a “milestone”, the Bench said domestic violence continued to be the least reported form of violence towards women.
  • Women continue to be vulnerable to these crimes because of non-retaliation, coupled with absence of laws addressing their rights and ignorance of the existing statutes. Societal attitude, stigma and conditioning also made women vulnerable to domestic violence, the court said.
  • Also, relationships outside marriage were not recognised. This set of circumstances ensured that a majority of women preferred to suffer in silence, not out of choice but of compulsion, the Bench, which included R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah, said.
  • It said the progress of any society depended on its ability to protect and promote the rights of women.
  • The observations came in a judgment that held that the relief granting right to residence to a married woman under the domestic violence law by a criminal court was relevant and could be considered even in civil proceedings seeking her eviction from the matrimonial home.

Government urges citizens to contribute towards armed forces flag day fund

  • Government has requested all citizens to connect with the cause of war-widows, Ex-Servicemen, wards of the martyred soldiers and contribute generously to Armed Forces Flag Day Fund in solidarity with the soldiers and their next of Kin or dependents.
  • Contributions to Armed Forces Flag Day Fund are exempt from Income Tax under Section 80G(5)(vi) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
  • The Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare in Ministry of Defence has been working for the welfare and rehabilitation of war widows, wards of martyred soldiers and Ex-Servicemen, including disabled by providing financial assistance for their identified personal needs such as penury grant, children’s education grant, funeral grant, medical grant and orphanor disabled children grant.



Centre agrees to borrow for states for compensating GST shortfall

  • The Centre on Thursday appeared to make a departure from its stance that the States should undertake market borrowings to bridge the ?1.1 lakh crore of GST compensation shortfall this year, stating that the Government of India (GOI) will now undertake the required borrowings in tranches and pass them on to the States as “back-to-back loans” that will reflect on their own books.
  • The move may help break the impasse between the Centre and the States over the issue of borrowings to recompense the latter, with consensus remaining elusive despite extensive talks over three GST Council meetings.
  • States such as Kerala and West Bengal, which had been insistent on the Centre undertaking the borrowing, had begun preparing to move the Supreme Court over the matter.
  • Opposition leaders termed Thursday’s announcement as a change of stance by the Centre, while economists welcomed it as a cleaner way of raising the necessary funds swiftly and bringing the focus back to fighting the pandemic.
  • Asserting that this borrowing, to be conducted through a Special Window, would not affect the Centre’s fiscal deficit or expand general government debt, the Finance Ministry said it was being done to ensure that States would not have to pay different interest rates for these borrowings.

IRDAI urges insurance providers to develop disease specific products

  • Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) Chairman SubhashKhuntia has urged health insurance providers to develop disease-specific products which could help policy holders in preventing different ailments.
  • Speaking at a health insurance summit organised by CII in Mumbai, Mr.Khuntia said under such focussed products, insurance companies can bring together medical experts to make aware policy holders on steps to be taken to prevent various diseases.


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India designated vice-chair of OECD GLP working group

  • India has been designated the Vice-Chair of Good Laboratory Practice, GLP Working Group of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), recognising the contribution of the Indian GLP programme.
  • Good Laboratory Practice is a quality system, which has been evolved by OECD to ensure that safety data generated on various chemicals like industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetic products and medical devices can be relied upon by regulatory authorities.
  • The Department of Science and Technology had established the National GLP Compliance Monitoring Authority (NGCMA) with the approval of the Union Cabinet on April, 2002. 
  • NGCMA is the National body which grants GLP certification to test facilities conducting safety studies on new chemicals of the mentioned categories in accordance with OECD Council norms.
  • Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Prof. Ashutosh Sharma said, India's leadership in GLP brings a greater recognition of the certification of quality for global businesses. He said, this is also a link in the chain to Atamnirbharta, which is to have structures and processes that are adhered to global standards.

Kyrgyzstan President resigns to end post-poll crises

  • Protests erupted after the October 4 election was won by parties loyal to Mr.Jeenbekov, with opponents disputing the results, alleging vote-buying. The vote was later annulled but this did not quell the tensions.
  • During the unrest, protesters met little resistance as they sprang prominent figures from jail, including populist figurehead SadyrJaparov.
  • Mr.Japarov had been serving jail time for hostage-taking, but was named Prime Minister soon after his release.
  • In a growing power struggle, Mr.Japarov’s supporters gathered once more on Thursday to demand Mr.Jeenbekov’s immediate resignation.
  • The President had on Wednesday finally affirmed Mr.Japarov as Prime Minister, in a move seen as the first step towards calming the crisis. Mr.Jeenbekov had previously pledged to resign after overseeing fresh parliamentary elections in the country. But Mr.Japarov insisted that the President should step down without delay.
  • Kyrgyzstan’s President SooronbayJeenbekov resigned on Thursday, saying he wanted to bring an end to the crisis sparked by disputed parliamentary elections earlier this month and avoid any further bloodshed.


U.S approves first treatment for Ebola virus

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA) has approved the first Ebola Virus treatment drug named Inmazeb on October 14, 2020. It is a mixture of three monoclonal antibodies namely- atoltivimab, maftivimab, and odesivimab-ebgn.
  • This is the first FDA-approved treatment for Zaire ebolavirus (Ebola virus) infection in adult and pediatric patients.
  • The virus is commonly known as Ebola virus. It is among one of four Ebolavirus species that cause a fatal human disease. This virus is transmitted through direct contact with blood, body fluids and tissues of infected people or wild animals. 
  • It can also spread through the  surfaces and materials including the bedding and clothing that have been contaminated with these fluids.
  • Some of the symptoms visualised during the treatment with Inmazeb included- fever, tachycardia (fast heart rate), chills, tachypnea (fast breathing) and vomiting.
  • These symptoms are also the common symptoms of Ebola virus infection.  Hypersensitivity can also occur in patients taking Inmazeb.
  • Testing was done in one clinical trial or the PALM trial. It was a part of an expanded access program conducted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2018-2019 during an Ebola virus outbreak.


Mbappe’s late score puts France ahead of Croatia

  • KylianMbappe scored late as France beat Croatia in a closely-contested UEFA Nations League match 2-1 to stay level on points with group leader Portugal.
  • The results: Nations League: League A: Group 1: Poland 3 (Lewandowski 40, 52 Linetty 45+1) bt Bosnia and Herzegovina 0; Italy 1 (Lorenzo Pellegrini 16) drew with the Netherlands 1 (Van de Beek 25).


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