Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 1, 2018

Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

Meghalaya Milk Mission


  • Meghalaya Milk Mission will facilitate in achieving the Centre’s goal of doubling farmer’s income by 2022 through promotion of milk business in the state.
  • The government has sanctioned project of Rs 215 crores through National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC)
  • Integrated Cooperative Development Project (ICDP) project for the entire State, computerization of primary co-operatives and the possibilities of starting an integrated piggery value chain project are being explored.

Mission Sahakar-22

  • NCDC has started the Mission Sahakar-22 under which new employment opportunities are to be generated through cooperatives, strengthen the farmers economic condition by augmenting their income and fast track the pace of development in the State

Enlighten about National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC)

  • It was established by an Act of Parliament in 1963 as a statutory Corporation under Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.


  • Planning, promoting and financing programmes for production, processing, marketing, storage, export and import of agricultural produce
  • NCDC Act has been further amended which will broad base the area of operation of the Corporation to assist different types of cooperatives and to expand its financial base.
  • 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.
  • Loans and grants are advanced to State Governments for financing primary and secondary level cooperative societies and direct to the national level and other societies having objects extending beyond one State.
  • Now, the Corporation can also go in for direct funding of projects under its various schemes of assistance on fulfillment of stipulated conditions.

Science and Technology

Ban on oxytocin

  • The government’s decision to ban oxytocin and its formulations for the domestic market.
  • The move, which came into effect from July 1, was intended to curb the hormone injection’s misuse in cattle but the impact is being felt by pregnant women, who require the medication the most.

Enlighten about oxytocin

  • Known as a natural hormone, oxytocin helps in effective uterine contractions during labour and preventing post partum haemorrhage.
  • While there are alternatives that one can use to stop bleeding post delivery, if any, for effective contractions, oxytocin is the only option.
  • If we are not able to create uterine contractions, we are increasing the chances of C-section deliveries

Parliament Bills/Amendment

LS passes Bill on rape punishment It provides for death sentence for those convicted of raping girls under 12 It will replace the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018

  • The Lok Sabha passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018, to provide the death sentence for rape of girls aged under 12 and enhance the minimum punishment for rape of a woman from seven years to 10.
  • The Bill amends the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
  • The Bill, once passed by the Rajya Sabha, will replace the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance promulgated in April 2018, following an outcry over the Kathua rape case.

Enlighten about the bill

  • The minimum punishment for the rape of a girl under 12 will be 20 years of rigorous imprisonment, the maximum being the death sentence or life imprisonment.
  • Earlier, the punishment was rigorous imprisonment ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment
  • For gang rape of a girl below 12, the punishment will be life imprisonment or death.
  • The minimum punishment for rape of a girl under 16 will be 20 years of rigorous imprisonment, extendable to life imprisonment.
  • The punishment in such cases earlier was 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.
  • In the case of gang rape of a girl below 16, the punishment will be life imprisonment.
  • The minimum punishment under the Bill for the rape of a girl over 16 is 10 years, extendable to life (under Section 376, IPC).
  • The minimum punishment earlier was seven years and the maximum, life imprisonment.
  • The Bill also provides for investigation of rape cases within two months from the registration of an FIR
  • While there was no timeline earlier for disposal of an appeal after conviction in a lower court, this would now have to be done within six months.
  • There was no longer any provision for anticipatory bail in the case of rape of a girl below 16.

Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018

  • Passed by the Lok Sabha to replace Ordinance promulgated by President in May 2018.
  • This amends the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 which set up Central Council of Homoeopathy and regulate homoeopathic education and practice

Enlighten about the bill

  • The Bill amends 1973 Act to provide for supersession of Central Council
  • The Council will be reconstituted within 1 year from date of its supersession.
  • In the interim period, Board of Governors constituted by central government will exercise powers of Central Council.
  • Board of Governors: It will consist of up to seven members including person of eminence in field of homoeopathy education, eminent administrator appointed by Union Government.
  • The Central Government will select one of these members as Chairperson of Board.
  • With regard to policy decision directions of the central government will be final.
  • The Bill states that if an homoeopathy medical college has been established or if any established homoeopathy medical college has opened new courses or increased in admission capacity before ordinance was promulgated, then it will have to seek permission from Union Government within 1 year.
  • If homoeopath medical college fails to seek such permission, then medical qualification granted by it to student will not be recognised under this law.

Draft e-commerce policy It will be in line with Srikrishna panel proposals

  • The draft e-commerce policy being formulated by the government will be in keeping with the recommendations of the Justice Srikrishna Committee report on data privacy
  • The draft personal data protection Bill 2018, submitted by the Justice B.N. Srikrishna-headed expert proposed that critical personal data of Indian citizens be processed in centres located within the country.
  • It will come up with a policy that will promote the free flow of business as well as address security and privacy concerns.
  • The policy will be in line with the Srikrishna Committee recommendations.”

A copy of critical data

  • The draft law recommended by the Srikrishna Committee has left it to the Central government to notify categories of personal data that will be considered as critical, and hence necessarily be located in India.
  • Other personal data can be transferred out of the country, but a copy must be retained in India.
  • The working groups and think tanks made comprehensive recommendations on the draft e-commerce policy on issues ranging from data flow to protection, grievance redressal, and data localisation

Science and Technology

Stem cells will now fight Parkinson’s Researchers plan to inject 5 million iPS cells into a patient’s brain


  • Japanese scientists announced that the first human trial to treat Parkinson’s disease by injecting stem cells into brain, building on an earlier trial on primates.
  • The research team at Kyoto University plans to inject five million induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells, which have the potential to develop into any cell in the body, into a patient’s brain
  • The iPS cells from healthy donors will be developed into dopamine-producing brain cells, which are no longer present in people with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects the body’s motor system, often causing shaking and other difficulties in movement.
  • The clinical trials come after the researchers successfully used iPS cells to restore functioning brain cells in monkeys last year.
  • They announced last year that primates with Parkinson’s symptoms regained significant mobility after iPS cells were inserted into their brains.

Enlighten about iPS cells

  • iPS cells are created by stimulating mature, already specialised, cells back into a juvenile state — basically cloning without the need for an embryo.
  • These can be derived from the patient, making them less likely to be rejected, while also sidestepping ethical qualms about taking cells from embryos.
  • iPS cells are created by stimulating mature, already specialised, cells back into a juvenile state — basically cloning without the need for an embryo.
  • These can be derived from the patient, making them less likely to be rejected, while also sidestepping ethical qualms about taking cells from embryos. The cells can be transformed into a range of different types of cells, and their use is a key sector of medical research.


India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) India Post Payments Bank to start operations soon with 650 branches

  • IPPB is expected to go live with 650 branches in addition to 3,250 access points co-located at post offices in August, 2018 following final clearance from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to start.
  • RBI has given approval to IPPB after testing its entire system

Enlighten about IPPB

  • It was incorporated on August 17, 2016 under Companies Act, 2013 as a public limited company with 100% Government of India equity under Department of Posts (Ministry of Communication & Technology).
  • It was the third entity to receive payments bank permit after Airtel and Paytm.
  • Around 11,000 gramin dak sevaks (in rural area) and postmen (in urban area) will provide doorstep banking services.
  • IPPB also has been given permission to link around 170 million postal savings bank (PSB) account with its account.
  • It will also carry out RTGS, NEFT, IMPS transaction that will enable IPPB customers to transfer and receive money from any bank account.

Enlighten about Payments bank

  • Payments banks is a new model of banks conceptualised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • These banks can accept a restricted deposit, which is currently limited to ₹1 lakh per customer and may be increased further.
  • These banks cannot issue loans and credit cards.
  • Both current account and savings accounts can be operated by such banks. Payments banks can issue services like ATM cards, debit cards, net-banking and mobile-banking.
  • Bharti Airtel set up India's first live payments bank.
  • It includes activities to acceptance of demand deposits, remittance services, internet banking and other specified services but cannot undertake lending services.
  • Payments bank can accept deposits maximum up to Rs 100,000 per account from individuals and small businesses.
  • They can issue ATM/debit cards but not credit cards and can also issue other prepaid payment instruments. They also can distribute non-risk sharing simple financial products like mutual funds and insurance products.

Sources – PIB , The Hindu , Indian Express