Daily Current Affairs : 11th and 12th September

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. India-ASEAN Free trade pact in Goods
  2. Market Intervention Price Scheme (MISP) 
  3. Bombay Blood Group
  4. Sanjay Mitra Committee
  5. Belt and Road Initiative
  6. NAFED
  7. Pecuniary Interest of Rajya Sabha Members
  8. Eurasian Economic Union
  9. Facts for Prelims : Automatic Identification system, Cryodrakon Boreas, Buckwheat, Unicorn, Saharias , Mephedrone , Eurasian Economic Forum

1 . India-ASEAN Free Trade Pact in Goods

Context : India and 10-member bloc of South-East Asian nations have agreed to review their free trade agreement, signed in 2009, to make it more business-friendly and boost economic ties.

About India-ASEAN Free Trade Pact in Goods

  • The India-ASEAN trade in goods pact came into force from January 2010.
  • Under the pact, two trading partners set timelines for eliminating duties on the maximum number of goods traded between the two regions.
  • The 10 ASEAN members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam.
  • The bilateral trade between the two sides has increased to $80.8 billion in 2018 from $73.6 billion in 2017.

Issues with the current Pact

  • India has been seeking to renegotiate the terms of the FTA as there’s no review or exit clause in it.
  • As per an assessment, the FTA has led to a 250 per cent increase in India’s trade deficit with ASEAN nation

About the Review

  • India and 10-member bloc of South-East Asian nations have agreed to review their free trade agreement, signed in 2009, to make it more business-friendly and boost economic ties.
  • The two sides also decided to constitute a joint committee for this purpose, according to a statement.
  • The ministers agreed to initiate the review of the ASEAN-India trade in goods agreement to make it more user-friendly, simple, and trade facilitative for businesses,” a joint media statement issued after the meeting said.
  • After the ASEAN-India FTA, the trade deficit with these nations increased manifold and various sectors, including agriculture and industry, were badly hit. “Steel, glass, telecom and various other industries are the worst affected due to the pact. The review will help in going towards a more equitable and balanced trade

2 . Market Intervention Price Scheme (MISP) 

Context : Kashmir’s famed apple is battling to get exported outside the State this year. From suspected militants campaigning against the fruit’s export to the government’s inability to rope in enough trucks, the Centre’s Special Market Intervention Price Scheme (MISP) is now providing much-needed assistance to growers’ hopes of salvaging the ₹16,000 crore apple industry amid the continuous lockdown.

About Market Intervention Price Scheme

  • Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) is a price support mechanism implemented on the request of State Governments for procurement of perishable and horticultural commodities in the event of a fall in market prices.
  • The Scheme is implemented when there is at least 10% increase in production or 10% decrease in the ruling rates over the previous normal year.
  • Market Intervention Scheme works in a similar fashion to Minimum Support Price based procurement mechanism for food grains, but is an adhoc mechanism.


  • Its objective is to protect the growers of these horticultural/agricultural commodities from making distress sale in the event of bumper crop during the peak arrival period when prices fall to very low level. Thus it provides remunerative prices to the farmers in case of glut in production and fall in prices.

Financial Implication

  • Proposal of MIS is approved on the specific request of State/Union Territory (UT) Government, if the State/UT Government is ready to bear 50% loss (25% in case of North-Eastern States), if any, incurred on its implementation. Further, the extent of total amount of loss shared is restricted to 25% of the total procurement value which includes cost of the commodity procured plus permitted overhead expenses.


  • The Department of Agriculture & Cooperation is implementing the scheme. Under MIS, funds are not allocated to the States. Instead, central share of losses as per the guidelines of MIS is released to the State Governments/UTs, for which MIS has been approved, based on specific proposals received from them.
  • Under the Scheme, in accordance with MIS guidelines, a pre-determined quantity at a fixed Market Intervention Price (MIP) is procured by NAFED as the Central agency and the agencies designated by the state government for a fixed period or till the prices are stabilized above the MIP whichever is earlier. The area of operation is restricted to the concerned state only.
  • The MIS has been implemented in case of commodities like apples, kinnoo/malta, garlic, oranges, galgal, grapes, mushrooms, clove, black pepper, pineapple, ginger, red-chillies, coriander seed, isabgol, chicory, onions, potatoes, cabbage, mustard seed, castor seed, copra, palm oil etc.

3 . Bombay Blood Group

Context : Over the last two weeks, the “Bombay blood group”, a rare blood type, has been at the centre of attention in Mumbai’s healthcare scene. Demand for the blood type has coincidentally spiked at hospitals, but supply has been scarce.

Blood types, common & rare

  • The four most common blood groups are A, B, AB and O.
  • The rare, Bombay blood group was first discovered in Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1952 by Dr Y M Bhende.
  • Each red blood cell has antigen over its surface, which helps determine which group it belongs to.
  • When we say someone has blood group A, it means that the person has antigen of type ‘A’ and antibody of type ‘B’ in his/her blood. People with AB have both antigen A and B in their blood and no antibodies. People with O blood group have only antibodies A and B and no antigens.
  • However what is not generally known is that all these groups have an antigen H in the blood as well. There are very few people who do not have this antigen H also in their blood. Instead they have antibody H because of which no other blood can be given to them.
  • The Bombay blood group, also called hh, is deficient in expressing antigen H, meaning the RBC has no antigen H
Blood GroupAntigensAntibodies
Bombay Blood GroupA,B,H

Rare in India, rarer globally

  • Globally, the hh blood type has an incidence of one in four million. It has a higher incidence in South Asia; in India, one in 7,600 to 10,000 are born with this type.
  • This blood type is more common in South Asia than anywhere else because of inbreeding and close community marriages. “It is genetically passed. Shared common ancestry among Indians, Sri Lankans, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis has led to more cases of hh blood phenotype in this region.

Testing for the Group

  • To test for hh blood, an Antigen H blood test is required. Often the hh blood group is confused with the O group. The difference is that the O group has Antigen H, while the hh group does not.
  • If anyone lacks Antigen H, it does not mean he or she suffers from poor immunity or may be more prone to diseases. Their counts for haemoglobin, platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells are similar to the count of others based on their health index. Because of rarity, however, they do face problems during blood transfusion.


  • The individuals with Bombay blood group can only be transfused autologous blood or blood from individuals of Bombay hh phenotype only which is very rare.
  • Rejection may occur if they receive blood from A, B, AB or O blood group. In contrast, hh blood group can donate their blood to ABO blood types.
  • An unofficial registry for Bombay blood group lists over 350 donors across India. “But at any time there are only 30 active donors available
  • This group is generally not stored in blood banks, mainly because it is rare and the shelf life of blood is 35-42 days. So, whenever there is a demand for a Bombay blood group patient, a donor is required very urgently. Sometimes, facilities need to be created for transporting the donated blood from one city to another.

4 . Sanjay Mitra Committee

About Sanjay Mitra Committee

  • In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 84 and Section 85 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the central government constituted an advisory committee under Sanjay Mitra who will act as chairman of the committee, retired IAS officer Arun Goyal and retired Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) officer Giriraj Prasad Gupta will be its members.
  • As per Section 84 of the Act, the assets and liabilities of the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir have to be apportioned between the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
  • The apportionment of the assets and liabilities of the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir shall be subject to the recommendations of the committee constituted by the central government,
  • According to Section 85 of the Act, the central government, by an order, can establish one or more advisory committees for apportionment of assets, rights and liabilities of the companies and corporations constituted for the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir between the two Union territories.

5 . Belt & Road Initiative

About Belt and Road Initiative

  • The BRI is a mammoth infrastructure project unveiled by China in 2017, which plans to connect the three continents of Asia, Europe, and Africa.
  • The ‘Belt’ part refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt, consisting of three overland routes. First, a link between China, Central Asia, Russia and Europe. Second, a link through Central Asia and West Asia linking China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea. And third, a connection from China to Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Indian Ocean.
  • The ‘Road’ part refers to the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, creating maritime trade channels from China through the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the South Pacific.
  • The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, an important part of the BRI, passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Stance of India

  • India strongly opposed the BRI as the project ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • Since the BRI’s launch in 2017, India has remained firm on not singing it off at the SCO’s annual summits in 2018 and 2019. The summit’s declarations of both years reflected the endorsement of the controversial project by all members but India.



  • National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd.(NAFED) was established in 1958.
  • Nafed is registered under the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act.
  • Nafed was setup with the aim to promote Co-operative marketing of agricultural produce to benefit the farmers.
  • Agricultural farmers are the main members of Nafed, who have the authority to say in the form of members of the General Body in the working of Nafed.


  • The objectives of the NAFED shall be to organize, promote and develop marketing, processing and storage of agricultural, horticultural and forest produce, distribution of agricultural machinery, implements and other inputs, undertake inter-state, import and export trade, wholesale or retail as the case may be and to act and assist for technical advice in agricultural, production for the promotion and the working of its members, partners, associates and cooperative marketing, processing and supply societies in India. They also advance loans to members.

7 . Pecuniary Interest of Rajya Sabha Members

About the Rule

  • Under Rule 3 of the Members of the Rajya Sabha (Declaration of Assets and Liabilities) Rules, 2004, every elected member of Rajya Sabha is required to furnish the following information to the Chairman, Rajya Sabha within 90 days from the date of his taking oath/affirmation –
    • the movable and immovable property of which he, his spouse and his dependent children are jointly or severally owners or beneficiaries;
    • his liabilities to any public financial institution; and
    • his liabilities to the Central Government or to the State Governments
  • Pecuniary interests and the ingredients thereof, identified by the Committee on Ethics, in respect of which information is to be furnished by Members are :
    • Remunerative Directorship
    • Regular Remunerated Activity
    • Shareholding of Controlling Nature
    • Professional Engagement
  • Under the said Rule Members has to furnish their pecuniary interests, whether held within the country or outside.

8 . Eurasian Economic Union

About Eurasian Economic Union

  • The Eurasian Economic Union is an international organization for regional economic integration. It has international legal personality and is established by the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union.
  • The EAEU provides for free movement of goods, services, capital and labor, pursues coordinated, harmonized and single policy in the sectors determined by the Treaty and international agreements within the Union.
  • The Member-States of the Eurasian Economic Union are the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation.
  • The Union is being created to comprehensively upgrade, raise the competitiveness of and cooperation between the national economies, and to promote stable development in order to raise the living standards of the nations of the Member-States.


  • The Supreme Council is the Union’s supreme authority. The Heads of the Member-States form the Supreme Council.
  • The Intergovernmental Council is a Union’s body consisting of the Heads of the Member-States Governments.
  • Eurasian Economic Commission is a permanent supranational regulatory body of the Union, with its members appointed by the Council of the Commission and the Board of the Commission. The core tasks of the Commission are fostering the conditions to support the operation and development of the Union, and drafting proposals in the field of economic integration within the Union.
  • The Court of the Eurasian Economic Union is the court of justice of the Eurasian Economic Union, which ensures the uniform application of the EAEU Treaty and other Union treaties by the Union Member-States and bodies.

9 . Facts for Prelims

Automatic Identification system

  • Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an automated tracking system for ships / trawlers that displays other vessels in the vicinity.
  • It is a broadcast transponder system which operates in the VHF mobile maritime band. Your own ship also shows on the screens of other vessels in the vicinity, provided your vessel is fitted with AIS.
  • If AIS is not fitted or not switched on, there is no exchange of information on ships via AIS. 

Cryodrakon Boreas

  • Paleontologists have identified a new species, named it Cryodrakon boreas, and declared that it could be one of the largest flying animals.
  • With a wingspan of over 10 metres, it is believed to have flown over the heads of dinosaurs. The reptile lived over 77 million years ago in what is western Canada today.
  • Its remains were, in fact, discovered 30 years ago from the Dinosaur Park Formation located in Alberta. Then, paleontologists had assumed that it belonged to an already known species of pterosaur, Quetzalcoatlus.
  • A new study by reseachers from the Queen Mary University of London, published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, has concluded that the remains belong to a new species, which is also the first pterosaur to be discovered in Canada.


  • Buckwheat is a wheat crop. It is a pseudocereal as it shares many similar properties to cereals but does not come from grass as most other cereals do.
  • Flour of buckwheat can be used either as food or as medicine. As a medicine, buckwheat is used to improve blood flow by strengthening veins and small blood vessels; to treat varicose veins and poor circulation in the legs, and to prevent hardening of the arteries. 
  • Buckwheat is also used widely as a cover crop to smother weeds and improve the soil. The crop seems to improve soil tilth and is reported to make phosphorous more available as a soil nutrient, possible through root-associated mycorrhizae. 
  • Buckwheat suppresses weeds and attracts beneficial insects and pollinators with its abundant blossoms.
  • It extracts soil phosphorus from soil better than most grain-type cover crops. Buckwheat thrives in cool, moist conditions but it is not frosted tolerant. 
  • Buckwheat is a relatively low input crop that has relatively high yields even in marginal soil. Since it adds nutrients to the soil, it makes a good cover crop or rotational crop.

Unicorn (Finance)

  • A unicorn is a privately held startup company valued at over $1 billion.


  • Saharias are ethnic group in the state of Madhya Pradesh
  • They are included in the list of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal groups
  • PVTG of Sahariyas has the highest population of 4,50,217,

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