M.I.C.S. CURRENT AFFAIRS MCQ 19th AUG, 2020

Q 1 . Consider the following statements :
1 . Mali is a coastal country in West Africa.
2 . Mali is known for its vast oil reserves.
Which among the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 & 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution (d)

Explanation

Why in news?

Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has announced his resignation amid a military coup.

About Mali

Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa, located southwest of Algeria.

Its capital is Bamako.

Mali borders Algeria to the north-northeast, Niger to the east, Burkina Faso to the south-east, Ivory Coast to the south, Guinea to the south-west, and Senegal to the west and Mauritania to the north-west

Mali lies in the torrid zone and is among the hottest countries in the world. The thermal equator, which matches the hottest spots year-round on the planet based on the mean daily annual temperature, crosses the country.

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world.

Gold is mined in the southern region and Mali has the third highest gold production in Africa (after South Africa and Ghana).

SOURCE :  NEWS ON AIR   Aug 19, 2020  &  WIKIPEDIA

Q 2 . Consider the following statements:
1 . Thalassemia is an  inherited disorder of red blood cells. 
2 . The only cure available for thalassemia is bone marrow transplantation (BMT).
Which among the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 & 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution (c)

Explanation

Why in news?

Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare inaugurated a Thalassemia Screening and Counselling Centre at Indian Red Cross Society’s National Headquarters (IRCS NHQ) Blood Bank.

About Thalassemia

Thalassemias are inherited blood disorders characterized by decreased hemoglobin production.  Often there is mild to severe anemia.

Thalassemias are genetic disorders inherited from a person’s parents. The thalassemia syndromes are caused by inheritance of abnormal (beta) thalassemia genes from both parents or abnormal beta-thalassemia gene from one parent and abnormal variant haemoglobin gene (HbE, HbD) from the other parent.

There are two main types, alpha thalassemia and beta thalassemia.

There are around 270 million thalassemia patients in the world. India has the largest number of children with thalassemia major in the world, about 1 to 1.5 lakhs, and about 10,000 -15,000 children having Thalassemia major are born every year.

The only cure available for such children is bone marrow transplantation (BMT). However, BMT is difficult and not affordable by the parents of all these children. Therefore, the mainstay of treatment is repeated blood transfusions, followed by regular iron chelation therapy to remove the excessive iron overload, consequent to the multiple blood transfusions.

Haemoglobinopathies, such as thalassemia and sickle cell disease are inherited disorders of red blood cells and are preventable. These illnesses are chronic, life impairing and in some cases, life threatening and impose a heavy emotional and financial burden on families.

In India, Thalassemia Major (TM) and the severe form of Thalassemia Intermedia (TI) constitute the major burden of disease. Both are commonly managed by regular lifelong blood transfusions and regular iron chelation.

SOURCE : 18 AUG 2020 PIB  & WIKIPEDIA

Q 3 . Consider the following statements:
1 .  World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is observed  on August 19 every year.
2 . It is observed to commemorate humanitarian workers killed and injured in the course of their work.
Which among the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 & 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution (c)

Explanation

Why in news?

On August 19, the World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is being observed to commemorate humanitarian workers killed and injured in the course of their work.

About World Humanitarian Day, August 19

World Humanitarian Day is an international day dedicated to recognize humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes.

It marks the day on which the then Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his colleagues were killed in the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad.

In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly formalized the day as World Humanitarian Day.

SOURCE : WIKIPEDIA

Q 4 . Which among the following are the sources of fund in PM-CARES 
1 .  Voluntary contributions from individuals/ organizations. 
2 .  Budgetary support.
Which among the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 & 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution (a)

Explanation

Why in news?

The Supreme Court recently endorsed the PM CARES Fund as a “public charitable trust” to which donors contribute voluntarily.

NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation, represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, had argued that the PM-CARES Fund:
1 . Was not subject to CAG audit.
2 . It was not under “public scrutiny”.
3 . Contributions to it were “100% tax-free”.
4 . It is alleged that PM CARES was constituted to “circumvent” the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). NDRF is a statutory fund already in existence under the Disaster Management Act of 2005 to receive contributions to finance the fight against a calamity.

The need for a fresh national disaster management plan to take on the COVID-19 challenge was also presented.

Observations made by the Supreme Court

There is “no occasion” for the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to audit a public charitable trust independent of budgetary support or government money.

The SC said that it is “not open” for a PIL petitioner to question the “wisdom” that created the fund in an hour of need. Therefore, no exception can be taken to the constitution of a public charitable trust, namely, PM CARES Fund.

The SC dismissed the idea that the PM CARES was constituted to “circumvent” the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). It reasoned that the outbreak of COVID-19 in India, as well as worldwide, required immediate enhancement in the infrastructure of medical health and the creation of a fund to contain COVID-19.

The SC Bench refused to direct the transfer of funds from the PM CARES Fund to the NDRF as any contribution of any individual or institution is not prohibited to be credited into the NDRF.

About PM-CARES Fund

It is a PM-Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund set up to support the government in its fight against the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund consists entirely of voluntary contributions from individuals/organizations and does not get any budgetary support.

PM CARES is a donation-based fund and the legislative hurdles for withdrawal from the funds are absent.

Differences between Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund(PMNRF) and PM-CARES 

Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund is for all kinds of natural disasters, while the PM CARES fund is specially meant for COVID-19 similar pandemic situations.

The PM CARES Fund tries to differentiate itself from PMNRF by enabling micro-donations. One can donate as low as Rs 10 in the PM CARES Fund, while the minimum one can donate in PM National Relief Fund is Rs 100.

Benefits of donating in PM CARES fund

1 . Donations have been made tax-exempt.
2 . Contributions towards PM CARES Fund will be an eligible expenditure under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligations.
3 . Donations are also exempt from the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.

PM CARES as a public charitable trust

Board of trustees: The Prime Minister chairs the fund in his official capacity, and can nominate three eminent persons in relevant fields to the Board of Trustees. The Ministers of Defence, Home Affairs and Finance are ex-officio Trustees of the Fund.

Q 5 . Consider the following statements about differences between Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund(PMNRF) and PM-CARES :
1 . Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund is for all kinds of natural disasters, while the PM CARES fund is specially meant for COVID-19 similar pandemic situations. 
2 . The PM CARES Fund tries to differentiate itself from PMNRF by enabling micro-donations. 
Which among the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 & 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution (c)

Explanation

Refer to the previous question.