Daily Current Affairs : 16th and 17th October 2020

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1.  Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005
  2. National Authority for Recycling of Ships
  3. Comparison of India and Bangladesh’s GDP
  4. Adopt an Animal Scheme
  5. International Monetary Financial Committee
  6. Recovery Shapes – V shaped, W Shaped, U Shaped, Swoosh Shaped Recovery, L Shaped Recovery
  7. Hunger Index
  8. Solidarity Trial
  9. Facts for Prelims

 1 . Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005

Context : Though the judgment called a 2005 law against domestic harassment as a “milestone”, the Bench said domestic violence continued to be the least reported form of violence towards women.


  • The observations came in a judgment that held that the relief granting right to residence to a married woman under the domestic violence law by a criminal court was relevant and could be considered even in civil proceedings seeking her eviction from the matrimonial home

Key Observations made by the court

  • According to the Supreme Court crimes against women continued in a “never-ending cycle” in India.
  • Women in India faced violence and discrimination in one form or the other in their various roles as daughter, sister, wife, mother, partner or single woman. Though the judgment called a 2005 law against domestic harassment as a “milestone”, the Bench said domestic violence continued to be the least reported form of violence towards women.
  • Women continue to be vulnerable to these crimes because of non-retaliation, coupled with absence of laws addressing their rights and ignorance of the existing statutes. Societal attitude, stigma and conditioning also made women vulnerable to domestic violence
  • Also, relationships outside marriage were not recognised. This set of circumstances ensured that a majority of women preferred to suffer in silence, not out of choice but of compulsion
  • According to Judgemet the progress of any society depended on its ability to protect and promote the rights of women.

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005

  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to protect women from domestic violence. It was brought into force by the Indian government from 26 October 2006
  • The Act provides for the first time in Indian law a definition of “domestic violence”, with this definition being broad and including not only physical violence, but also other forms of violence such as emotional/verbal, sexual, and economic abuse.
  • It is a civil law meant primarily for protection orders and not for meant to be enforced criminally.
  • The definition of “aggrieved person” includes any woman who is or has been in a domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been subjected to domestic violence by them. (See Section 2(a) of the PWDVA)
  • The definition of “respondent” includes any adult male who has been or is in a domestic relationship with the aggrieved woman, and against whom the woman has sought a relief or any male or female relative of the husband or male partner of a married woman or a woman in a relationship in the nature of marriage.
  • The definition of “domestic relationship” is any relationship 2 persons have lived together in a shared household and these people are:
    • related by consanguinity (blood relations)
    • related by marriage.
    • Though a relationship in the nature of marriage (which would include live-in relationships)
    • Through adoption
    • Are family members living in a joint family.
  • Who can file a complaint : Any woman who alleges to have been subjected to any act of domestic violence by the offender or any person may file a complaint on her behalf. A child is also entitled to relief under the Domestic Violence Act. The mother of such a child can make an application on behalf of her minor child (whether male or female). In cases where the mother makes an application to the court for herself, the children can also be added as co-applicants.
  • Against whom can a complaint be filed :
    • Any adult male member who has been in a domestic relationship with the woman
    • Relatives of the husband or the male partner
    • Includes both male and female relatives of the male partner
  • Orders which a Magistrate may pass under the Act
    • Direct the respondent or the aggrieved person, either singly or jointly, to undergo counseling.
    • Direct that the woman shall not be evicted or excluded from the household or any part of it.
    • If considered necessary, the proceedings may be directed to be conducted in camera.
    • Issue Protection order, providing protection to the woman.
    • Grant monetary relief to meet the expenses incurred and losses suffered by the aggrieved person and any child of the aggrieved person as a result of the domestic violence.
    • Grant custody orders, i.e., temporary custody of any child or children to the aggrieved person.
    • Grant compensation/damages for the injuries. Including mental torture and emotional distress caused by the acts of domestic violence committed by that respondent.
    • Breach of any order of the Magistrate is an offence which is punishable under the law.
  • The Act is in addition to existing laws : Aggrieved person has the right to file a complaint simultaneously under Section 498A JPC. Reliefs under the Domestic Violence Act can also be asked for in other legal proceedings e.g. petition for divorce, maintenance, Section 498A IPC, etc

2 . National Authority for Recycling of Ships

Context : Central Government has notified the Directorate  General of Shipping as National Authority for Recycling of Ships under the section 3 of the Recycling of Ships Act, 2019.

About National Authority for Recycling of Ships

  • As an apex body, DG Shipping is authorized to administer, supervise and monitor all activities relating to Ship Recycling.
  • DG Shipping will look after the sustainable development of the Ship Recycling industry, monitoring the compliance to environment-friendly norms and safety and health measures for the stakeholders working in the ship recycling industry.
  • DG Shipping will be the final authority for the various approvals required by the Ship-Recycling yard owners and State Governments.
  • Under Ship Recycling Act, 2019, India has acceded to Hong Kong Convention for Ship Recycling under International Maritime Organization (IMO).
  • DG Shipping is a representative of India in IMO and all the conventions of IMO are being enforced by DG Shipping.
  • National Authority of Ship Recycling will be set up in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The location of the office will benefit the Ship Recycling yard owners situated in Alang, Gujarat which is home of Asia’s largest ship breaking and ship recycling industry in the world.

3 . Comparison of India and Bangladesh’s GDP

Context : According to the The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook estimation, in 2020, growth of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) will witness a contraction of over 10%. This more than doubles the level of contraction — from 4.5% — that the IMF had projected for India just a few months ago. But more than the sharp contraction, what has caught everyone’s attention is that in 2020, the per capita income of an average Bangladeshi citizen would be more than the per capita income of an average Indian citizen.

How did this happen? Isn’t India one of the world’s biggest economies?

  • Typically, countries are compared on the basis of GDP growth rate, or on absolute GDP. For the most part since Independence, on both these counts, India’s economy has been better than Bangladesh’s. GDP growth rates and absolute GDP — India’s economy has mostly been over 10 times the size of Bangladesh, and grown faster every year.
  • However, per capita income also involves another variable — the overall population — and is arrived at by dividing the total GDP by the total population. As a result, there are three reasons why India’s per capita income has fallen below Bangladesh this year.
    • Bangladesh’s economy has been clocking rapid GDP growth rates since 2004. However, this pace did not alter the relative positions of the two economies between 2004 and 2016 because India grew even faster than Bangladesh. But since 2017 onwards, India’s growth rate has decelerated sharply while Bangladesh’s has become even faster.
    • Secondly, over the same 15-year period, India’s population grew faster (around 21%) than Bangladesh’s population (just under 18%). The combined effect of these two factors have closed the per capita GDP gap considerably even before Covid-19 hit. Bangladesh’s per capita GDP was merely half of India’s in 2007 — but this was just before the global financial crisis. It was roughly 70% of India’s in 2014 and this gap closed rapidly in the last few years.
    • Lastly, the most immediate factor was the relative impact of Covid-19 on the two economies in 2020. While India’s GDP is set to reduce by 10%, Bangladesh’s is expected to grow by almost 4%. In other words, while India is one of the worst affected economies, Bangladesh is one of the bright spots.

Has this ever happened earlier?

  • In 1991, when India was undergoing a severe crisis and grew by just above 1%, Bangladesh’s per capita GDP surged ahead of India’s. Since then, India again took the lead.

Is India expected to regain the lead again?

  • The IMF’s projections show that India is likely to grow faster next year and in all likelihood again surge ahead. But, given Bangladesh’s lower population growth and faster economic growth, India and Bangladesh are likely to be neck and neck for the foreseeable future in terms of per capita income.

How has Bangladesh managed to grow so fast and so robustly?

  • In the initial years of its independence with Pakistan, Bangladesh struggled to grow fast. However, moving away from Pakistan also gave the country a chance to start afresh on its economic and political identity.
  • As such, its labour laws were not as stringent and its economy increasingly involved women in its labour force. This can be seen in higher female participation in the labour force. A key driver of growth was the garment industry where women workers gave Bangladesh the edge to corner the global export markets from which China retreated.
  • It also helps that the structure of Bangladesh’s economy is such that its GDP is led by the industrial sector, followed by the services sector. Both these sectors create a lot of jobs and are more remunerative than agriculture. India, on the other hand, has struggled to boost its industrial sector and has far too many people still dependent on agriculture.
  • Beyond the economics, a big reason for Bangladesh’s progressively faster growth rate is that, especially over the past two decades, it improved on several social and political metrics such as health, sanitation, financial inclusion, and women’s political representation.
  • For instance, despite a lower proportion of its population having access to basic sanitation, the mortality rate attributed to unsafe water and sanitation in Bangladesh is much lower than in India.
  • On financial inclusion, according to the World Bank’s Global Findex database, while a smaller proportion of its population has bank accounts, the proportion of dormant bank accounts is quite small when compared to India.
  • Bangladesh is also far ahead of India in the latest gender parity rankings. This measures differences in the political and economic opportunities as well as the educational attainment and health of men and women. Out of 154 countries mapped for it, Bangladesh is in the top 50 while India languishes at 112.
  • The same trend holds for the Global Hunger Index. The GHI goes beyond treating hunger in terms of calorie intake. It looks at four factors: Undernourishment (which reflects inadequate food availability), Child Wasting (which reflects acute undernutrition), Child Stunting (which reflects chronic undernutrition) and Child Mortality (which reflects both inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environment).

4 . Adopt an Animal Scheme

Context : The Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP) in Bhubaneswar, which suffered a huge loss following its closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has revived its innovative ‘Adopt-An-Animal’ programme to mobilise resources for animals.

About the Scheme

  • The zoo authorities came up with the scheme urging animal lovers to provide funds from ₹500 to ₹2.5 lakh. In lieu, a ‘Thank You’ in the form of an adoption certificate, a plaque in the zoo and income tax rebates are available to individuals and organisations.
  • The highest of ₹2.5 lakh per annum has been fixed to adopt an elephant, while ₹1.5 lakh is required for a melanistic tiger.
  • Similarly, people can adopt the Asiatic lion and the Royal Bengal Tiger for ₹1 lakh per annum.
  • When one adopts an animal or a bird, the contribution goes to its care, feeding, enclosure enrichment and renovation.


  • The adoption scheme would bring public, corporate bodies and institutions closer to the zoo and heighten their love and passion for captive animals and birds

About Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP)

  • The NZP is one of the leading zoos in the country in terms of its fauna population and species diversity. It had received a record 32 lakh footfall three years ago.
  • It is situated in Bhubaneswar
  • With resources drying up due to the closure for more than six months, the NZP authorities revived the ‘Adopt-An-Animal’ programme.

5 . International Monetary Financial Committee

Context : Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said V-shaped pattern of recovery is being seen in several high-frequency indicators, driven by various measures taken by the government to revive economic growth, hit hard by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. In her address to the plenary meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the ministerial-level committee of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), through video conference, she said several low-income and developing countries are confronted with the challenge to protect and ensure livelihood for millions slipping below the poverty line.

About IMFC

  • The IMFC advises and reports to the IMF Board of Governors on the supervision and management of the international monetary and financial system, including on responses to unfolding events that may disrupt the system.
  • It also considers proposals by the Executive Board to amend the Articles of Agreement and advises on any other matters that may be referred to it by the Board of Governors. Although the IMFC has no formal decision-making powers, in practice, it has become a key instrument for providing strategic direction to the work and policies of the Fund.
  • The IMFC usually meets twice a year, at the Bank-Fund Annual and Spring Meetings.
  • The size and the composition of the IMFC mirrors that of the Executive Board. The IMFC has 24 members who are central bank governors, ministers, or others of comparable rank and who are usually drawn from the governors of the Fund’s 189 member countries. Each member country and each group of member countries that elects an Executive Director appoints a member of the IMFC. The group is currently chaired by Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, who was selected to head the Committee in January 2018. The IMFC operates by consensus, including on the selection of its chairman. While there are no formal rules on term limits, since 2007 IMFC chairmen have been appointed for a term of three years. A number of international institutions, including the World Bank, participate as observers in the IMFC’s meetings.

6 . Recovery Shapes – V shaped, W Shaped, U Shaped, Swoosh Shaped Recovery, L Shaped Recovery

V shaped Recovery

  • A V-shaped recovery means that the economy bounces back quickly to its baseline before the crisis, with no hiccups along the way. Growth continues at the same rate as before.
  • This is one of the most optimistic recovery patterns because it implies that the downturn did not cause any lasting damage to the economy. 

U Shaped Recovery

  • Under this scenario, the economic damage lasts for a longer period of time before eventually reaching the baseline level of growth again. The economy bounces back, but the damage at the bottom lingers for a while.

W Shaped Recovery

  • In a W-shaped recession, also called a double dip, the economy moves beyond a recession into a period of recovery before falling back down again into another recession. The initial recovery is sometimes known as a bear market rally.
  • One example: After the oil and inflation crises in 1979, the U.S. fell into two back-to-back recessions in 1980 and 1981. 

Swoosh Shaped Recovery

  • A recovery scenario resembling the Nike “swoosh” logo is characterized by a steep drop and a gradual recovery, meaning that it takes much longer to return to pre-crisis growth levels than it took to fall into recession. 
  • A variant of this is a square root-shaped recession where growth recovers but then plateaus before reaching pre-crisis levels.
  • This is not going to be a quick recovery. This is going to be a several-quarter, if not several-year kind of process.

L shaped Recovery

  • An L-shaped recovery is the most pessimistic scenario. In this shape, the economy recovers to a certain degree from a steep drop, but growth never reaches pre-crisis levels for years, if at all. A period of economic stagnation follows. 
  • This is what the 2008 Great Recession looked like: it took years after that crisis for GDP to return to 2007 levels

7 . Hunger Index

Context : India has the highest prevalence of wasted children under five years in the world, which reflects acute undernutrition, according to the Global Hunger Index 2020.

About the Index

About Global Hunger Index

  • Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels.
  • GHI scores are calculated each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger.
  • The GHI is designed to raise awareness and understanding of the struggle against hunger, provide a way to compare levels of hunger between countries and regions, and call attention to those areas of the world where hunger levels are highest and where the need for additional efforts to eliminate hunger is greatest.
  • A low score gets a country a higher ranking and implies a better performance. The reason for mapping hunger is to ensure that the world achieves “Zero Hunger by 2030” — one of the Sustainable Development Goals laid out by the United Nations. It is for this reason that GHI scores are not calculated for certain high-income countries.
  • Seventeen countries, including Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey, Cuba and Kuwait, shared the top rank with GHI scores of less than five
  • The report, prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe termed the level of hunger in India serious

How GHI Scores are complicated

GHI scores are calculated using a three-step process that draws on available data from various sources to capture the multidimensional nature of hunger

First Step – For each country, values are determined for four indicators:

  1. UNDERNOURISHMENT: the share of the population that is undernourished (that is, whose caloric intake is insufficient);
  2. CHILD WASTING: the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition);
  3. CHILD STUNTING: the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition); and
  4. CHILD MORTALITY: the mortality rate of children under the age of five (in part, a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments

Second Step – Each of the four component indicators is given a standardized score on a 100-point scale based on the highest observed level for the indicator on a global scale in recent decades.

Third Step – Standardized scores are aggregated to calculate the GHI score for each country, with each of the three dimensions (inadequate food supply; child mortality; and child undernutrition, which is composed equally of child stunting and child wasting) given equal weight

This three-step process results in GHI scores on a 100-point GHI Severity Scale, where 0 is the best score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst. The GHI Severity Scale shows the severity of hunger – from low to extremely alarming – associated with the range of possible GHI scores

About India’s Ranking

  • Overall, India ranks 94 out of 107 countries in the Index, lower than neighbours such as Bangladesh (75) and Pakistan (88). 2020 scores reflect data from 2015-19.
  • The Index, which was released, is a peer-reviewed report released annually by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.
  • India fares worst in child wasting (low weight for height, reflecting acute undernutrition) and child stunting (low height for age, reflecting chronic undernutrition), which together make up a third of the total score.
  • Although it is still in the poorest category, however, child stunting has actually improved significantly, from 54% in 2000 to less than 35% now. Child wasting, on the other hand, has not improved in the last two decades, and is rather worse than it was decade ago.
  • India has improved in both child mortality rates, which are now at 3.7%, and in terms of undernourishment, with about 14% of the total population which gets an insufficient caloric intake.
  • In the region of south, east and south-eastern Asia, the only countries which fare worse than India are Timor-Leste, Afghanistan and North Korea.

Pandemic effect

  • Globally, nearly 690 million people are undernourished, according to the report, which warns that the COVID-19 pandemic could have affected the progress made on reducing hunger and poverty.
  • The world is not on track to achieve the second Sustainable Development Goal — known as Zero Hunger for short — by 2030.
  • At the current pace, approximately 37 countries will fail even to reach low hunger, as defined by the Global Hunger Index Severity Scale, by 2030,” says the report.
  • These projections do not account for the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which may worsen hunger and undernutrition in the near term and affect countries’ trajectories into the future COVID-19 has made it clearer than ever that our food systems, as they stand, are inadequate to the task of achieving Zero Hunger.

8 . Solidarity Trial

Context : The World Health Organization (WHO) made available interim results from the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial — a large-scale global trial studying the effectiveness of various repurposed therapies in Covid-19 treatment. The findings put a dampener on expectations from these therapies — including remdesivir, once seen as promising.

What is the Solidarity Trial?

  • The world’s “largest” multinational human trials on Covid-19 therapeutics, was initiated by WHO and its partners in March to help find an effective treatment for Covid-19.
  • It covers four repurposed drugs or drug combinations — remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon (in combination with rotinavir and lopinavir).
  • The study spans over 400 hospitals in more than 30 countries and looks into the effects of these treatments on various indicators, including their ability to prevent deaths and shorten hospital stays. The trial involved more than 11,300 participants.
  • The main aim was to help determine whether any of these repurposed therapies could at least moderately affect in-hospital mortality, and whether any effects differed between moderate and severe disease
  • The initiative included 26 trials in parts of India with a high burden of cases.

What have the trials found?

  • None of the drugs was able to prove benefits across the parameters studied, especially in reducing mortality among hospitalised patients. The interim results, made available on a pre-print server, said these drugs had “little or no effect” on hospitalised Covid-19 patients “as indicated by overall mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospital stay.
  • Drugs like hyrdoxychloroquine and lopinavir, in fact, had already been dropped over the course of the last six months for not showing much promise.

9 . Facts for Prelims

Internet Freedom Foundation

  • The IFF is an Indian digital liberties organisation that seeks to ensure that technology respects fundamental rights.
  • Goal of IFF is to ensure that Indian citizens can use the Internet with liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.
  • It is incorporated as a public charitable trust registered in New Delhi
  • Recently India joined six other nations in demanding that tech firms build backdoors to deal with ‘significant challenges to public safety’ posed by end-to-end encryption

Global Handwashing Day

  • October 15 is celebrated as global handwashing day

Bhanu Athaiya

  • Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya is India’s first Oscar winner
  • She won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi , with Ben Kingsley as the Mahatma, along with John Mollo. The lavish biopic of Mahatma Gandhi swept the Oscars with eight awards.

Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study

  • Global Burden of Disease (GBD) is published by The Lancet . Researchers have analysed 286 causes of death, 369 diseases and injuries, and 87 risk factors in 204 countries and the latest estimates indicate how vulnerable countries were to the covid
  • IN 2019, the top five risk factors for death in India were air pollution (contributing to an estimated 1.67 million deaths), high blood pressure (1.47 million), tobacco use (1.23 million), poor diet (1.18 million), and high blood sugar (1.12 million).

 Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA)

  • SEA is the apex body of the Indian vegetable oil industry.

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