- India revokes Pak.’s MFN status day after terrorist strike in J&K
- India revokes Pakistan MFN status day after terrorist strike in J&K India and warned of more measures in response to its support for terrorist groups targeting India.
What does Most Favoured Nation mean?
- In international economic relations and international politics, “most favoured nation” (MFN) is a status or level of treatment accorded by one state to another in international trade.
- The term means the country which is the recipient of this treatment must nominally receive equal trade advantages as the “most favoured nation” by the country granting such treatment. (Trade advantages include low tariffs or high import quotas.)
- According to the World Trade Organisation rules, countries cannot normally discriminate between their trading partners. If one country is granted a trade concession such as, for example, lower import duties, then all WTO members must be extended the same concessions.
- This principle is known as the Most Favoured Nation treatment.
- Despite repeated promises, Pakistan has never granted MFN status to India.
What does revoking MFN mean?
- It means India can levy whatever import tariffs it wants. India can now make it very expensive for Pakistan to export its goods or services to India.
Will this hurt Pakistan?
- So far, India has only revoked the MFN status. It has not altered the import duties on Pakistan. However, if it does hike them, then this will likely have an impact on that country.
Note: India’s total trade with Pakistan stood at $2.4 billion in 2017-18, with just $488.56 million of this being imports from Pakistan, according to Commerce Ministry data.
- A lifetime of finding genes to counter heart disease : PCSK9
- Hobbs, who won the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, discovered a mutation in a gene called PCSK9, which particularly protects African-Americans against heart disease
- PCSK9 is a protein that prevents the bad cholesterol- low-density lipoprotein (LDL) from being removed from blood. PCSK9 inhibitors fight the PCSK9 protein.
- Geneticist Helen Hobbs work on coronary heart disease led to the development of PCSK9 inhibitors.
- PCSK9 inhibitors are the most powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs available after Statins.
- Statins are a class of drugs that help lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Antibiotic-resistant NDM-1 gene found in pristine Arctic
- The recent detection of the antibiotic resistant (AR) gene NDM-1, first isolated in India, in the Arctic region is a further indication of the globalisation of antimicrobial resistance, said a study.
New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1 (NDM-1)
- It is enzyme that makes bacteria resistant to broad range of beta-lactam antibiotics.
- It includes antibiotics of carbapenem family, which are used for treatment of AR bacterial infections.
- Its gene is one member of large gene family that encodes beta-lactamase enzymes called carbapenemases.
- Bacteria that produce carbapenemases are often referred as “superbugs” because infections caused by them are difficult to treat.
- NDM-1 was first detected in a Klebsiella pneumoniae isolate from Swedish patient of Indian origin in 2008 in New Delhi, so it is named after it.
- Most common bacteria that make this enzyme are gram-negative such as E-coli and Klebsiella pneumonia. Its gene can spread from one strain of bacteria to another by horizontal gene transfer.
- Inland Waterways Authority of India launches portal LADIS
- Inland Waterways Authority of India launches portal for real-time information on available depth on stretches of National Waterways.
About the Portal LADIS
- LADIS will ensure that real-time data on least available depths is disseminatedfor ship/barge and cargo owners so that they can undertake transportation on NWs in a more planned way.
- It will enhance credibility and efficiency of information sharing to achieve seamless operations on National Waterways, besides pre-empting problems that may occur during movement of vessels.
- Initially LAD information will be available for NW-1, NW-2, Indo-Bagladesh Protocol route and NW-3, along with the date of survey.
- Criticism without incitement to violence isn’t sedition : SC
- Under Section 124A of the IPC, the offence of sedition is committed when any person by words or otherwise brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the government established by law.
- Sedition is a cognisable, non-bailable and non-compoundable offence under the law, entailing life imprisonment as maximum punishment, with or without a fine.
The Supreme Court rule in the case (Kedar Nath case)
- The court examined whether the constitutionality of Section 124A could be protected as a reasonable restriction on the right to free speech, with particular reference to the security of the state and public order.
- Supreme Court ruled in the Kedar Nath case that any act that had the “effect of subverting the Government” by violent means or create public disorder would come within the definition of sedition.
- The court ruled that disapproval of the measures of government with a view to their improvement or alteration by lawful means is not sedition.
- It held that “comments, however strongly worded, expressing disapprobation of actions of the Government, without exciting those feelings which generate the inclination to cause public disorder by acts of violence” would not attract the penal offence.
Historical Backgorund of Section 124 A
- Sedition was not a part of the original IPC that was enacted in 1860.
- It was introduced in 1870 when it was said it had been dropped from the original IPC draft by mistake.
- The court faced two directly conflicting interpretations of Section 124A — one by the Federal Court in Niharendu Dutt’s case; the other by the Privy Council in the Sadashiv Narayan Bhalerao case.
- Tilak was sentenced to six years in jail after he was held guilty of sedition by the Privy Council for writing a piece in his newspaper, Kesari, under the heading “The misfortune of the country”.
- Dolphin numbers have shrunk in Odisha: Annual census of dolphins
- Odisha’s recent annual census of dolphins in its waters have thrown up some shocking numbers, with the aquatic mammals’ population declining from 469 in 2018 to 259 this year.
- The 2019 dolphin census report revealed that Gahirmatha is the home of the state’s largest dolphin population, having 126 animals.
Reasons for declining Population
- The reduction in the number of dolphins compared to last year could be due to the migration of species from the Chilika lake and other water bodies to the deep sea.
Position of Dolphin in protection list
- Dolphins have been included in Schedule I of the Indian Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972.
- It is in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
- In the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) it is in Appendix II
- IUCN Status – Endangered