Facts in News

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    Facts in News

    Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund

    • It is a dedicated fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation.
    • It has been registered as a Public Charitable Trust & its trust deed has been registered under the Registration Act, 1908 at New Delhi on 27th March 2020.
    • PM CARES conforms to being a “public account” and as vast sums of money have been collected manifestly at the behest of the government of India, allowing the CAG to audit it.
    • It is not a ‘Public Authority’ Under RTI Act.
    • Objective
      • To undertake & support relief or assistance of any kind relating to a public health emergency, calamity or distress, etc.
      • To render financial assistance, provide grants of payments of money or take such other steps.
    • Constitution of Trust
      • PM is the ex-officio Chairman.
      • The Ministers of Defence, Home Affairs & Finance are ex-officio Trustees.
      • The Chairperson has the power to nominate 3 trustees (eminent persons in field of research, health, science, social work, law, public administration & philanthropy).
      • Appointees shall act in a pro bono (for the public good) capacity.
    • Financing
      • Consists entirely of voluntary contributions from individuals/organisations & does not get any budgetary support.
      • Qualifies for 80G benefits for 100% exemption under the Income Tax Act, 1961 & donations qualify as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure under the Companies Act, 2013.
      • Exempted under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) and accepts donations from foreign individuals & organizations.

    Zhurong Rover

    • It is China’s first Mars rover & has been named after a traditional fire god.
    • It is aboard the Tianwen-1 probe which will land on Mars in May 2021.
      • Tianwen-1 will analyse & map Martian surface & geology, looking for water ice and will study the climate & surface environment.
    • China would become the third country after the former USSR and the US to put a robot rover on Mars.
    • The top candidate for the landing site is Utopia Planitia, a rock-strewn plain on Mars where the US lander Viking 2 touched down in 1976.

    (Image Courtesy: SCMP)

    Chandler Good Government Index (CGGI)

    • It is released by Singaporean non-profit group, Chandler Institute of Governance, and classifies 104 countries in terms of government capabilities and outcomes.
    • The index uses 34 indicators, which are organised into 7 pillars: leadership & foresight, robust laws & policies, strong institutions, financial stewardship, attractive marketplace, global influence & reputation and helping people rise.
    • It taps over 50 publicly available global data sources such as the World Trade Organisation, United Nations and World Bank.
    • Finland has topped the list and Venezuela is at bottom with 104th position.
    • India has been ranked 49th.
    • It shows the importance of measuring and investing in governance capabilities that matter and highlights a key need for ‘pracademics (someone who is both an academic and an active practitioner in their subject area) in government.

    TRIPS

    • The TRIPS Agreement came into effect on 1 January 1995.
      • The TRIPS agreement was negotiated in 1986-94 during the Uruguay round of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
      • India is a member of the World Trade Organisation and committed to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS Agreement).
    • It is  the most comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property.
    • The areas of intellectual property that it covers are: 
      • Copyright and related rights (i.e. the rights of performers, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organizations)
      • Trademarks including service marks
      • Geographical indications including appellations of origin
      • Industrial designs
      • Patents including the protection of new varieties of plants
      • The layout-designs of integrated circuits
      • Undisclosed information including trade secrets and test data.
    • The TRIPS Agreement introduced global minimum standards for protecting and enforcing nearly all forms of intellectual property rights (IPR), including those for patents.
    • The Agreement lays down certain general principles applicable to all IPR enforcement procedures.
    • In addition, it contains provisions on civil and administrative procedures and remedies, provisional measures, special requirements related to border measures and criminal procedures.

    Compulsory Licensing

    • Compulsory licensing is when a government allows someone else to produce a patented product or process without the consent of the patent owner or plans to use the patent-protected invention itself.
    • It is one of the flexibilities in the field of patent protection included in the WTO’s agreement on intellectual property — the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement.
    • The Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) does not specifically list the reasons that might be used to justify compulsory licensing. 
    • However, the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health confirms that countries are free to determine the grounds for granting compulsory licences, and to determine what constitutes a national emergency.
    • Compulsory Licencing is regulated under the Indian Patent Act, 1970.
      • As per Clause 92 of the Patent Act, compulsory licenses can also be issued suo motu by the Controller of Patents pursuant to a notification issued by the Central Government in cases of national emergency, extreme urgency, public non-commercial use.

    Breakthrough Infections

    • Breakthrough infections happens when vaccinated people even those who have received both doses, testing positive for the virus
      • It is indicating that the virus has been able to break through the defences created by the vaccine.
    • Cases of breakthrough infections have led to some doubts being expressed about the effectiveness of the vaccine, and contributed to the already prevailing vaccine hesitancy.
    • Earlier, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) released data that showed breakthrough infections were extremely rare in India’s vaccinated population, with an incidence rate of less than 0.05%.
    • They point out that immune escape variants of SARS-CoV2 can also contribute to an increase in reinfections and potentially have an adverse effect on the efficacy of vaccines, leading to breakthrough infections.
    • Also, it typically takes about two weeks for the body to build immunity after being vaccinated, so the chances of a person falling sick during this period are as high — or as low — as the chances for any person who has not been vaccinated.