Daily IAS Current Affairs March 23 and 24, 2020 | PendulumIAS

2020-03-24 | 6 minutes

General Studies-II- Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation

1. Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters


The Union Cabinet has approved the Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0) Scheme.


  • The financial assistance will be provided for this scheme to develop world-class infrastructure along with facilities like ready-built factory sheds, common facility centres, etc. through Electronics Manufacturing Clusters.
  • Establishment of both the Electronics Manufacturing Clusters and Common Facility Centres will be supported under this scheme.
  • The scheme aims to attract large investments in the electronics sector and at job creation through manufacturing units.
  • The Cabinet also approved Production Incentive Scheme for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing to promote the domestic manufacturing of mobile and component in India.
  • The government will invest Rs 20 lakh crore in the electronics manufacturing sector that will provide employment to around 25 lakh people in the next 5 years.
  • EMC 2.0 Scheme is a continuation of EMC scheme.

Prelims Facts

Electronics Manufacturing Clusters Scheme: The scheme was notified in 2012 by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) to promote the creation of world-class infrastructure to attract investment in electronics systems design and manufacturing sector. The scheme provides financial assistance for the creation of both Greenfield and Brownfield EMCs.


General Studies-II- Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

2. Bulk Drugs Parks


The Union Cabinet has also approved the scheme on Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks to finance Common Infrastructure Facilities in three Bulk Drugs Parks for next 5 years.


  • The Cabinet also gave its nod for Production linked Incentive Scheme to boost domestic manufacturing of critical Key Starting Material/ Drug Intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs).
  • Four categories of medical devices under the Production Linked Incentive Scheme are Cancer care medical devices; radiology and imaging, and nuclear imaging devices; anesthetics and cardio-respiratory medical devices; all implants.
  • The move will attract large scale investments in the medical devices manufacturing sector.
  • In order to reduce the burden on secondary and tertiary health care facilities, Cabinet approved the inclusion of the AYUSH Health and Wellness Centres in National AYUSH Mission.

Prelims Facts

Scheme on Promotion of Bulk Drugs Parks:

The scheme aims to reduce the manufacturing cost of bulk drugs in India and enhance self-dependency for bulk drugs. The scheme will be implemented by the State Implementing Agency.


General Studies-III- Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.

3. Coronavirus- Various Stages of a pandemic


Majority of the states and UTs have declared lockdown to break the transmission chain of coronavirus infection.

Stages in a Pandemic

  • First Stage: Epidemic disease becomes pandemic and affects a large number of people of different nations where the infection did not originate.
  • Second Stage: Local transmission of infection and the path of transmission is clearly established.
  • Third Stage: Community Transmission- As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), the community transmission “is evidenced by the inability to relate confirmed cases through chains of transmission for a large number of cases, or by increasing positive tests through sentinel samples (routine systematic testing of respiratory samples from established laboratories)”.
  • In simple words, community transmission means when the source of infection is not known- one cannot trace how one got infected.
  • Community spread is worrying as it can infect people with no history.
  • Fourth Stage: The disease becomes endemic in some countries  (initially restricted to a particular region).
  • Currently, community transmission is operating in countries like China, Italy, South Korea, etc.
  • India can limit it through isolation; hence, the government move for lockdown is a right step in this direction.


General Studies – II- Parliament and State Legislatures—Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges and Issues Arising out of these.

4. Lok Sabha passed Finance Bill 2020


The Finance Bill 2020 has been passed in by the Parliament without any debate due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Prelims Facts

Finance Bill:

  • A bill that is related to finances, including taxes, revenues, government expenditure, etc.
  • It is introduced in Lok Sabha after the annual Budget is passed in the Parliament.
  • Article 110, Article 117 (1) and Article 117 (3) of the Indian Constitution deal with finance bills.
  • All Money Bills are financial bills, but all financial bills are not money bills.

Stages in passing Budget:

  • 1st Stage: The Finance Minister presents the budget.
  • 2nd Stage: General Discussion on the Budget
  • 3rd Stage: Departmental Standing Committees scrutinize the demand for grants
  • 4th Stage: Votes on Demands for Grants
  • 5th Stage: Appropriation Bill is passed
  • 6th Stage: Finance Bill is passed


General Studies – II- Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life.

5. ICMR recommends the use of Hydroxychloroquine


The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine for medical health providers to contain the spread of coronavirus.


  • Hydroxychloroquine shows antiviral activity in vitro against coronaviruses.
  • The drug is not suggested for children under 15 years of age.
  • Use of this drug, along with frequent hand washing, wearing masks, etc. will help in restricting the spread of coronavirus.

Prelims Facts

Hydroxychloroquine: It is an oral drug that is used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

ICMR: It is the apex body that formulates, coordinates, and promotes biomedical research in India. It is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.


Additional Facts

1. Carissa Kopilli:

It is a wild variety of fruit called berry and is closely related to Carissa Caranda. It is found in Assam and is threatened by the hydroelectric project on river Kopili and the acidic water due to coal mining in Meghalaya upstream. It has been in use as herbal medicine and has utilitarian purposes.

2. World Tuberculosis Day:

  • World Tuberculosis Day is observed every year on 24th March to raise public awareness about the ill consequences of Tuberculosis on health, society and economy.
  • In 1882, Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB.
  • Tuberculosis remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer. Each day, more than 4000 people lose their lives to tuberculosis.
  • WHO calls everyone to diagnose and treat 40 million with TB by 2022.
  • India aims to eliminate tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of the global target.
  • Theme: “It’s time” to End TB.

3. World Meteorological Day:

  • World Meteorological Day celebrated on 23rd March every year to commemorate the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization on this day in 1950.
  • World Meteorological Day attracts attention towards weather and climate for the safety and wellbeing of society.
  • Theme: “Climate and Water”
  • The theme of World Meteorological day reflects topical weather, climate and water-related issues.
  • The World Meteorological Organization is an intergovernmental organization with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • It has a membership of 193 members of states and territories.