National Sero-Survey

#GS3 #Health

  • Nearly one in five Indians had been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus until December 2020, the third round of the serological survey by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has found.
  • The message is that a large proportion of the population remains vulnerable. Vaccines are necessary and there can be no complacency with regards to masks, social distancing, and hand hygiene. 

National Sero-Survey

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.

ICMR

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination, and promotion of biomedical research. 
  • It is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.
  • HQ: New Delhi
  • Objective:  control and management of: 
  1. communicable diseases, 
  2. fertility control, 
  3. maternal and child health
  4. control of nutritional disorders 
  5. developing alternative strategies for health care delivery 
  6. containment within safety limits of environmental and occupational health problems 
  7. research on major non-communicable diseases like cancer 
  8. cardiovascular diseases 
  9. blindness 
  10. diabetes and other metabolic and haematological disorders 
  11. mental health research and drug research (including traditional remedies)
  • All these efforts are undertaken with a view to reduce the total burden of disease and to promote health and well-being of the population.
  • The Governing Body of the Council is presided over by the Union Health Minister. 
  • A Scientific Advisory Board comprising eminent experts in different biomedical disciplines assists in scientific and technical matters. 
  • The Council promotes biomedical research in the country through intramural as well as extramural research. Over the decades, the base of extramural research and its strategies have been expanded by the Council.

 

 

Employees’ Provident Fund

#GS3 #Economy

  • More than 1.23 lakh “high net worth individuals” (HNIs) deposited more than ₹62,500 crore into their Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) accounts in 2018-19 alone, and the largest EPF account has a staggering ₹103 crore balance, sources in the Department of Revenue said, defending the Budget move to tax the income on employees’ PF contributions over ₹2.5 lakh a year.

Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation: 

  • EPFO is a government organization that manages provident fund and pension accounts of member employees. 
  • They implement the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, which is applicable to whole of India with exemption given only to Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The Act which came into existence in 1952 contains provisions for establishing the institution of provident funds for employees in factories and other establishments.
  • EPF comes under the Ministry of Labour & Employment.

Employees’ Pension Scheme: 

  • EPS is a social security scheme that provided by EPFO, makes provisions for pensions for the employees in the organized sector after the retirement at the age of 58 years. 
  • This scheme came into existence in 1995.
  • According to the scheme, members employees of EPF automatically become members of EPS.
  • Both employer and employee contribute 12% of employee’s monthly salary (basic wages plus dearness allowance) to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) scheme.
  • EPF scheme is mandatory for employees who draw a basic wage of Rs. 15,000 per month.
  • Of the employer's share of 12 %, 8.33 % is diverted towards the EPS.
  • Central Govt. also contributes 1.16% of employees’ monthly salary. 

 

 

Right to protest

#GS2 #Constitution

  • Following expressions of support on social media to the farmers’ protest by several well-known personalities and celebrities, including pop icon Rihanna, youth climate activist Greta Thunberg and others, the U.S. government has also spoken, encouraging dialogue, and supporting the right to peaceful protest. 
  • “Citizens have a fundamental right to assembly and peaceful protest which cannot be taken away by an arbitrary executive or legislative action.” – Supreme Court in the Ramlila Maidan Incident Dt.4/5.06.2011 vs Home Secretary, Union of India & Ors case. 
  • The Indian Constitution guarantees the right to protest and express dissent, but with certain restrictions regarding mutual respect and co-existence.

Article 19 

  • The right to assemble peacefully without arms is provided in the constitution under Article 19(1)(b). 
  • This article provides every citizen with the right to assemble peacefully and protest against action or inaction of the State.
  • The right to peaceful protest and free speech are intrinsic to a democracy. Hence, it must be encouraged and respected.
  • But there exists reasonable restrictions under Article 19(2), under certain conditions: 
  1. sovereignty & integrity of India 
  2. the security of the State 
  3. friendly relations with foreign States 
  4. public order 
  5. decency or morality 
  6. in relation to contempt of court 
  7. defamation 
  8. incitement to an offence. 

 

 

Powers of Lt. Governor

#GS2 #Governance #Constitution

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is all set to introduce a legislation in the Budget session of the Parliament to amend a 1991 Act pertaining to the powers and functions of the Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor.

Legal Controversy Between LG & Delhi Government

  • Confusions arising out of co-existence of Article 239 and 239AA, made way for jurisdictional conflict between the government of National Capital Territory and the Lieutenant Governor (Union Government). 
  • In the Central government’s perspective, as New Delhi is a Union Territory, Article 239 lets the Lieutenant Governor to act independently of the Council of Ministers.
  • But, according to the Legislative Assembly of Delhi, Article 239AA of the Constitution provides special status to Delhi for having its own legislatively elected government. Hence Lt. Governor should abide by the CoM.