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Prelim Bits 20-01-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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January 20, 2022

Frontrunning

  • Front-running is trading stock or any other financial asset by a broker who has inside knowledge of a future transaction that is about to affect its price substantially.
  • It is when a person takes a ‘buy or sell’ position in any stock based on exclusive knowledge that the recommendations being issued by them will certainly lead to price variation in the particular stock in the near future.
  • Working - Stock market operators give ‘buy or sell’ recommendations in closed or private groups that have a higher subscriber base.
  • Most of such recommendations are given on stocks where the liquidity is less and even a small amount of buying or selling can impact share prices.
  • Legality - Giving investment advice in ‘closed groups’ on social media by those who are not registered with SEBI is considered illegal as per investment advisor rules.
  • Still, talking about macro ideas and stock market patterns or giving ideas on wide public platforms like TV channels, online or newspapers is allowed.
  • In any case, those giving stock tips even on TV channels cannot indulge in frontrunning.
  • Unless Registered with SEBI, a person cannot portray himself as an investment advisor.
  • But, any investment advice given through any electronic or broadcasting or telecommunications medium, which is widely available to the public will not be considered as investment advice under the SEBI Regulations.
  • General market comments in good faith in regard to trends or economic situations, which do not specify stock tips or investment products are exempt from SEBI rules.
  • Also, brokers, distributors of mutual funds, fund managers and other SEBI registered intermediaries are exempt from investment advisor norms.
  • There is a thin difference between the frontrunning and insider trading.

Insider trading is when a person, who fits in the definition of a company insider as per SEBI rules, buys and sells stocks based on unpublished price sensitive information (USPI).

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/blexplainer/what-is-frontrunning/article64907024.ece
  2. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/frontrunning.asp

National Commission for Safai Karamcharis

The Union Cabinet approves the extension of tenure of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis for three years.

  • The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) was established as a statutory body in 1994 as per the provisions of the NCSK Act 1993.
  • It was initially established for the period upto 1997. Later the validity of the Act was extended upto 2004.
  • The NCSK Act ceased to have effect from 2004.
  • After that the tenure of the NCSK has been extended as a non-statutory body from time to time through resolutions.
  • Now, the Commission acts as a Non-Statutory body of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • NCSK is mandated to monitor the implementation of the Prohibition of employment as manual scavengers and their rehabilitation Act, 2013.
  • It also receives complaints/petitions from Manual Scavengers (Safai Karamcharis) from all over the Country.
  • It calls for the factual reports in connection with these complaints/petitions from the concerned authorities and impress upon them to redress the grievances of the affected Safai Karamcharis.
  • Based on the information received through print or electronic media, the Commission suo motu takes cognizance of problems of Safai Karamcharis and try to resolve them by playing a pro active role.

The number of Manual Scavengers (Safai Karamcharis) identified under the Manual Scavengers Act Survey as on 31.12.2021 is 58098.

Reference

  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1790939
  2. https://ncsk.nic.in/about-us/about-ncsk

Spot Rubber

Spot rubber has regained strength in tandem with the global gains.

  • Spot Rubber is an example of the Spot commodities.
  • A commodity market involves buying, selling, or trading a raw product.
  • There are hard commodities, which are generally natural resources, and soft commodities, which are livestock or agricultural goods.
  • Spot commodities market is where financial instruments, such as commodities, currencies, and securities, are traded for immediate delivery, while derivatives markets entail delivery in the future.
  • Delivery in the Spot commodities market is the exchange of cash for the financial instrument.

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/global-cues-lift-spot-rubber/article64910545.ece
  2. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/commodity-market.asp
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/spotmarket.asp

Eastern Swamp Deer

The population of the vulnerable eastern swamp deer, extinct elsewhere in South Asia, has dipped in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.

  • Barasingha, (Cervus duvauceli), also called swamp deer, graceful deer, dolhorina belongs to the family Cervidae (order Artiodactyla).
  • Swamp Deer Stags have 10 to 14-tine antlers, which explains their Hindi name, barasingha, or twelve-horned.
  • Habitat - Barasingha are found in open forests and grasslands of India and Nepal.
  • Formerly more widespread, the barasingha is now found only in scattered areas and in national parks and reserves.
  • Subspecies - There are three subspecies of Barasingha found in India –
    1. Wetland Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii duvacelii) - The largest among all the swamp deer of India.
    2. Hard-ground Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii branderi)
    3. Eastern Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii ranjitsinhii) - The smallest of Barasinghas
  • Eastern swamp deer is the smallest of Barasinghas. It has smaller tail and antlers compared to other sub-species.
  • Eastern Barasingha is endemic to Kaziranga and is not the primary prey of the park’s carnivores, primarily the tiger.
  • But its population is crucial for the ecological health of the tiger reserve.
  • The encouraging sign is the animal has now moved to other areas such as Orang National Park and Laokhowa-Burachapori wildlife sanctuaries.
  • It is listed in the IUCN Red Data Book as an endangered species.

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/dip-in-eastern-swamp-deer-population-in-kaziranga/article38291068.ece
  2. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/survival-skills-of-the-swamp-deer/article3600078ece
  3. https://www.britannica.com/animal/barasingha
  4. https://www.pugdundeesafaris.com/blog/barasingha/

GRAM Report

The Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance (GRAM) report has used statistical modelling to estimate deaths linked to 23 pathogens and 88 pathogen-drug combinations.

  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) refers to a condition of antibiotics becoming inefficient against a wide range of pathogenic bacteria.
  • A comprehensive estimate of the global impact of AMR, covering 204 countries and territories, has found that 1.27 million people died in 2019 as a direct result of AMR.
  • Now, AMR is a leading cause of death worldwide, higher than HIV/AIDS or malaria.
  • The GRAM report has found that
    1. 12.7 lakh deaths caused directly by AMR (these would not have occurred had the infections been drug-susceptible),
    2. 49.5 lakh deaths were associated with AMR (a drug-resistant infection was implicated, but resistance itself may or may not have been the direct cause of death).
  • Of the 23 pathogens studied, drug resistance in six (E coli, S aureus, K pneumoniae, S pneumoniae, A baumannii, and P aeruginosa) led directly to 9.29 lakh deaths and was associated with 3.57 million.
  • One pathogen-drug combination (methicillin-resistant S aureus or MRSA) directly caused more than 1 lakh deaths.
  • Resistance to 2 classes of antibiotics (fluoroquinolones and beta-lactam antibiotics) often considered the first line of defence against severe infections accounted for more than 70% of deaths caused by AMR.
  • Related Links - National Action Plan to Combat Anti-Microbial Resistance

There is a lot of improper use of antibiotics happening in Covid too. A study reported by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) from 10 hospitals showed that when Covid patients acquire drug-resistant infections in hospitals, the mortality is almost 50-60%. 

Reference

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global-toll-bacterial-resistance-to-drugs-7732479/

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