16th June 2021
Delta variant and Delta variant
India’s exports in May
DELTA AND DELTA PLUS VARIANT OF COVID-19
News: Delta variant also known as B.1.617.2 got mutated into Delta plus variant also known as AY.1, or B.1.617.2.1.
About the Delta variant:
This delta variant was largely reposmnibelf or the second wave of pandemic in India.
It had a mutation called T478K which has a role to play in allowing the coronavirus to better infiltrate human cellsThe World Health Organisation (WHO) had earlier categorised Delta variant as a 'variant of concern' (VOC).
It said that it was more dominant than the Alpha variant, the COVID strain first detected in Kent, United Kingdom.
Further as per a research conducted , this delta avraint was responsible for 3/ 4 Breakthrough infections.
Breakthrough infections are the infections which occur after a vaccine intake.
About Delta plus variant:
Delta plus has a mutation called K417N that is linked to high infectivity and has been associated with the Beta variant which was first identified in South Africa.
However the Indian government has submitted the data to GSAID saying it is not a variant of Concern as of now.
UAPA: Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act
News: Delhi High Court granted bail to Jawaharlal Nehru University students Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal and Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha who were arrested under UAPA, saying right to protest is not equal to terror activity.
Origin of UAPA
TADA , Terrorist & Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act the act which initially dealt with the terror related crime was repealed in the year 1995 and POTA was introduced.
Parliament in 2004, repealed the Prevention of Terrorist Act (POTA) and brought all ‘terrorist acts’, including conspiracy and act preparatory to the commission of a terrorist act, within the purview of UAPA.
Definition of terrorism:
Hitendra Vishnu Thakur versus State of Maharashtra case, the supreme court defined terrorism as “Terrorism is one of the manifestations of increased lawlessness and cult of violence... A ‘terrorist’ activity does not merely arise by causing disturbance of law and order or of public order. The fallout of the intended activity must be such that it travels beyond the capacity of the ordinary law enforcement agencies to tackle it under the ordinary penal law,”
The court further said “Every ‘terrorist’ may be a criminal but every criminal cannot be given the label of a ‘terrorist’
Court suggests that the meaning of the Terrorist act should be described under UAPA as it was done in previous TADA and POTA acts.
Delhi High court said that definition of terrorist act is slight vague under the UAPA.
It said thus, terrorist act cannot be permitted to be casually applied to criminal acts that fall within the definition of conventional offences.
India’s exports in May
News: India’s exports rose by 69% to $32.3 billion in the month of May.
About the Exports:
The rise in exports is driven by increased exports in sectors such as engineering, petroleum products and gems and jewellery.
Despite the rise in exports,the trade deficit still widened to $6.3 billion as the to Imports also grew by almost 74% to $38.6 billion — leaving a trade deficit for the month at $6.3 billion.
The trade deficit came in at $21.4 billion, as against $9.9 billion last year.
News: The Union government has allocated 78,000 tonnes of FCI rice for ethanol production.
About the Decision:
The rice procured by the Food corporation of India to ensure food security will be diverted for the production of ethanol.
The Minister said rice share will be less and maize will primarily be used for grain- based ethanol.
This is part of the government’s plan to double distilling capacities by 2025, aiming at shifting ethanol production from molasses based to grain based production.
Achieve 20% blending of ethanol in petrol by 2025. At present the blending is 8.5%.
Achieve 50% of ethanol production from grain- based distilleries and remaining from sugar based distilleries.
At present 1/3rd (710 crore litre) ethanol production comes from grains and only 38 crore is used in fuel.
NEWS: Amika George (21 year old) received an MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to education, for her campaign related to free menstrual products
She hails from Edgware in North West London, studying at Cambridge university.
She crusades for free hygiene products for girls living in poverty with no access to menstrual products.
Her extended family belongs to Kerala