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03rd October Current Affairs

Cat que virus

In News:

Scientists have warned India of another virus — cat que virus — largely reported in China and having the potential to cause disease in India.

The presence of this virus in culex mosquitoes and pigs has been reported in China and Vietnam.

What is Cat Que virus?

It is one of the arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses).

Spread:

  • Its natural host is a mosquito.
  • Domestic pigs are the primary mammalian host of CQV.

Why India is more vulnerable?

Availability of vector, primary mammalian host (swine) and confirmation of CQV from jungle myna.

Besides, National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune researchers have found antibodies for the virus in two out of the 883 human serum samples which were taken from various Indian states, indicating that people at some point contracted the virus.

Effects on Humans:

It can cause febrile illnesses, meningitis and paediatric encephalitis in humans.

New Defence Acquisition Procedure of 2020 (DAP 2020)

In News:

DAP 2020, which will govern the procurement of defence equipment from the capital budget, was recently unveiled.

The new policy will supersede the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016 from October 1.

Highlights of the new policy:

Reservations for Indigenous firms:

The policy reserves several procurement categories for indigenous firms.

DAP 2020 defines an “Indian vendor” as a company that is owned and controlled by resident Indian citizens, with foreign direct investment (FDI) not more than 49 per cent.

New Buy (Global–Manufacture in India) category:

This stipulates indigenisation of at least 50 per cent of the overall contract value of a foreign purchase bought with the intention of subsequently building it in India with technology transfer.

Meeting the difficult indigenisation requirement would force the vendor to build the equipment in India, rather than supply most of it ready-built from abroad.

Greater indigenous content:

It promotes greater indigenous content in arms and equipment of the military procures, including equipment manufactured in India under licence. In most acquisition categories, DAP-2020 stipulates 10 per cent higher indigenisation than DPP 2016.

Measuring indigenous content:

Indigenous content will now be calculated on ‘Base Contract Price’, that is Total Contract Price, less taxes and duties.

Import embargo list:

The “import embargo list” of 101 items that the government promulgated last month has been specifically incorporated into DAP 2020. (An embargo is a government order that restricts commerce with a specified country or the exchange of specific goods.)

Offset liability:

The government has decided not to have an offset clause in procurement of defence equipment if the deal is done through inter-government agreement (IGA), government-to-government or an ab initio single vendor.

The offset clause requires a foreign vendor to invest a part of the contract value in India.

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

In News:

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde has questioned the infallibility of a land acquisition judgment delivered by a Constitution Bench, led by his former colleague, Justice Arun Mishra, saying the verdict had left things “unsaid”.

Important observations made by CJI:

The order gifted the government “laxity” in several aspects, which even Parliament did not bother to provide under the Act of 2013.

The verdict did not specify for how long the government could possess a land acquired without paying compensation.

Background:

In March this year, the Supreme Court Constitution Bench had reaffirmed the February 2018 ruling on Section 24 on land acquisition compensation awards in the Indore Development Authority case.

What’s the issue?

The judgment of the Constitution Bench was interpreting Section 24 (2) of the 2013 Act, which dealt with payment of compensation for land acquired by the government.

It said acquisition would not lapse as long as the government earmarked the compensation money by paying it into the treasury. In short, the money need not actually reach the farmer or the landowner.

Acquisition would also not lapse just because the farmer refused the compensation and claimed higher.

Similarly, there was no lapse in acquisition if the compensation had been paid but possession not taken of the land.

When would it lapse then?

The judgment had declared that acquisition would only lapse if the government had neither taken possession nor paid the compensation due to the landowner for five or more years prior to January 1, 2014.

RBI extends enhanced borrowing limit for banks

In News:

Because of economic woes created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Reserve Bank has decided to extend by six months the enhanced borrowing facility provided to banks to meet the shortage of liquidity till March 31, 2021.

These measures include:

Borrowing limit for scheduled banks under the marginal standing facility (MSF) scheme was increased from 2% to 3% of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) with effect from March 27, 2020.

Implications:

This dispensation provides increased access to funds to the extent of ₹1.49 lakh crore, and also qualifies as high-quality liquid assets (HQLA) for the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR).

What is MSF?

Under the MSF, banks can borrow overnight at their discretion by dipping into the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR).

It is a window for scheduled banks to borrow overnight from the RBI in an emergency situation when interbank liquidity dries up completely.

This scheme was launched by RBI while reforming the monetary policy in 2011-12.

It is a penal rate at which banks can borrow money from RBI when they are completely exhausted of all borrowing assistance.

Key terms:

Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL):

NDTL refers to the total demand and time liabilities (deposits) of the public that are held by the banks with other banks.

The high-quality liquid assets include only those with a high potential to be converted easily and quickly into cash.