What is ‘essential commodity’?
- It has since been used by the Government to regulate the production, supply and distribution of a whole host of commodities it declares ‘essential’ in order to make them available to consumers at fair prices.
- Essential Commodities Act
- The Lok Sabha passed the Essential Commodities Amendment Bill by a voice vote.
- There is no specific definition of essential commodities in The Essential Commodities Act.
- To stop the hoarding and black marketing of foodstuffs, The Essential Commodities Act was enacted in 1955.
- Section 2(A) of the act states that an “essential commodity” means a commodity specified in the “Schedule” of this Act.
- Key provisions
- The Bill is meant to replace an ordinance promulgated in June, in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown.
- The Bill seeks to amend the Essential Commodities Act, 1955
- The Bill provides a mechanism for the “regulation” of agricultural foodstuffs, namely cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, potato, and supplies which can only be regulated under extraordinary circumstances such as war, famine, extraordinary price rise, and natural calamity.
- Stock limit: The Ordinance requires that imposition of any stock limit on agricultural produce must be based on price rise.
- The bill empowers the central government to designate certain commodities including food items, fertilizers, and petroleum products as essential commodities.
Human Capital Index
- The World Bank released the annual Human Capital Index.
- India has been ranked 116 in the list of 174 countries.
- India has scored 0.49
- Last year, India was ranked 115 in the list of 157 countries.
- This index evaluates the major components of Human Capital in countries.
- Health and education data for 174 countries were included in the Human Capital Index 2020.
- The report highlights that, there has been a major decline in remittances.
- It also reports that total income has declined by 11% to 12%.
- According to the report, more than 1 billion children are out of school amid the covid-19.
- The index is based on three pillars namely:
- Survival under which share of children surviving till the age of 5 is calculated.
- School under which quantity and quality of education is included.
- Health under which survival rates and healthy growing among children are included.
Kosi Mahasetu Bridge
- The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi shall dedicate to the nation the historic Kosi Rail Mahasetu (mega bridge) to the Nation through video-conference today.
- Apart from this the Prime Minister shall also inaugurate 12 rail projects related to passenger facilities for the benefit of the Bihar State.
- The Kosi Rail Mahasetu is 1.9 KM long.
- The dedication of the Kosi Rail Mahasetu is a watershed moment in the history of Bihar and the entire region connecting to the North East.
- The Kosi Mega Bridge line project was sanctioned by Government of India during 2003-04.
- This bridge is of strategic importance along the India-Nepal border.
- In 1887, a meter gauge link was built in between Nirmali and Bhaptiahi (Saraigarh).
- During the heavy flood and severe Indo Nepal earthquake in 1934, the rail link was washed away and thereafter due to meandering nature of river Kosi
- Kosi River
- The Kosi is a trans-boundary river which flows through Tibet, Nepal and India.
- It emerges on the great plain of northern Bihar on its way to the Ganges River.
- It drains the northern slopes of the Himalayas in Tibet and the southern slopes in Nepal.
- The Kosi River is also known as Saptakoshi for its seven upper tributaries.
Draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020
- Power Ministry has drafted rules providing for Rights of Electricity Consumers for the First Time.
- State Electricity Regulatory Commissions, SERCs will fix average number and duration of outages per Electricity consumer per year for DISCOMs.
- Timely and simplified procedure for connection.
- Only two documents will be required for connection up to load of 10 KW and no estimation of demand charges will be required for loads up to 150 KW to expedite giving connection.
- There will be a time period of not more than seven days in metro cities, 15 days in other municipal areas and 30 days in rural areas, to provide new connection and modify existing connection.
- Push to online payment
Global initiative to reduce land degradation and coral reef program
- Recently, The Environment Ministerial Meeting (EMM) of the G20 countries took place.
- The Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation was launched.
- It aims to strengthen the implementation of existing frameworks to prevent, halt, and reverse land degradation within G20 member states
- Globally, considering possible implications on the achievement of other SDGs and adhering to the principle of doing no harm.
- The Global Coral Reef R&D Accelerator Platform
- It is an innovative action-oriented initiative
- Aimed at creating a global research and development (R&D) program to advance research, innovation and capacity building to enhance coral reefs conservation.
Current COVID19 Situation in India
What is India’s ranking in Human Capital Index 2020?
Answer – D
Kosi Mahasetu Bridge is located in:
- Uttar Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
Answer – B
The Environment Ministerial Meeting (EMM) of the G20 was presided by:
- Saudi Arabia
Answer – B
Question of the Day
What is serial interval?
Answer in next session…