Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 7 July 2020

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1. Consider the following statements regarding the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
1. It is a not-for-profit Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India.
2. Its aim is to play a transformative and catalytic role in building a USD 100 billion Indian bioeconomy.
3. Sparsh (the Social Innovation programme for Products: Affordable & Relevant to Societal Health) programme is initiated by BIRAC.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer-d
Explanation-
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)
It is a not-for-profit Section 8, Schedule B, Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.
It is an industry-academia interface and implements its mandate through a wide range of impact initiatives, be it providing access to risk capital through targeted funding, technology transfer, IP management and handholding schemes that help bring innovation excellence to the biotech firms and make them globally competitive. In its Five years of existence, it has initiated several schemes, networks and platforms that help to bridge the existing gaps in the industry-academia Innovation research and facilitate novel, high quality affordable products development through cutting edge technologies.
It has initiated partnerships with several national and global partners to collaborate and deliver the salient features of its mandate.
Vision
To Stimulate, foster and enhance the strategic research and innovation capabilities of the Indian biotech industry, particularly start-ups and SME’s, for creation of affordable products addressing the needs of the largest section of society.
Key Strategies
 Foster innovation and entrepreneurship
 Promote affordable innovation in key social sectors
 Empowerment of start-ups & small and medium enterprises
 Contribute through partners for capability enhancement and diffusion of innovation
 Enable commercialization of discovery
 Ensure global competitiveness of Indian enterprises
Its aim is to play a transformative and catalytic role in building a US$ 100 billion Indian bioeconomy.
https://birac.nic.in/desc_new.php?id=89

2. Consider the following statements with respect to the Gig Economy.
1. It is based on flexible, temporary, freelance jobs, frequently involving connecting with clients or customers through an online platform.
2. The result of a gig economy is cheaper, more efficient services, such as Uber, Ola etc.
3. Software and technological changes taking away human efforts has contributed to the gig economy.
4. The emergence of it has created competition and efficiency among workers, while making the work environment uncertain for them.
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1, 4 and 4 only
(d) All of the above
Answer-d
Explanation-
The gig economy is based on flexible, temporary, or freelance jobs, often involving connecting with clients or customers through an online platform.
The gig economy can benefit workers, businesses, and consumers by making work more adaptable to the needs of the moment and demand for flexible lifestyles.
At the same time, the gig economy can have downsides due to the erosion of traditional economic relationships between workers, businesses, and clients.
The result of a gig economy is cheaper, more efficient services, such as Uber for those willing to use them.
Those who don’t engage in using technological services such as the Internet tend to be left behind by the benefits of the gig economy.
While not all employers lean toward hiring contracted employees, the gig economy trend can make it harder for full-time employees to develop fully in their careers since temporary employees are often cheaper to hire and more flexible in their availability.
Workers who prefer a traditional career path and the stability and security that come with it are being crowded out in some industries.
The trend of short term contract and the emergence of the gig economy have created competition and efficiency among workers, at the same time, making the work environment uncertain for them.
In the gig economy, through short-term engagements, firms benefit from several angles. As mentioned, labour welfare emoluments like pension, gratuity etc., can be avoided. Similarly, they save training time and related expenses. The future work situation will be that of the gig economy- business analysts predicts.
What promotes gig economy?
Main reason is the emergence of the digital age. Here, workforce is highly mobile and work can be done from anywhere, anytime. Second propellant factor for the gig economy is that firms, in the era of disruption, when they provide short term contract will be safe as it avoids long term obligations like pension and other emoluments.
Software and technological changes taking away human efforts also contributed to the gig economy.
https://www.indianeconomy.net/splclassroom/what-is-gig-economy/

3. Consider the following statements regarding the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019.
1. This provides for the regulation of use of DNA technology for establishing the identity of certain persons.
2. This provides for the establishment of a National DNA Data Bank and Regional DNA Data Banks, for every state, or two or more states.
3. This provides for the establishment of a DNA Regulatory Board, which will supervise the DNA Data Banks and DNA laboratories.
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer-d
Explanation-
The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019
This provides for the regulation of use of DNA technology for establishing the identity of certain persons.
Use of DNA Data
Under this, DNA testing is allowed only in respect of matters listed in the Schedule to the Bill.
These include offences under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and for civil matters such as paternity suits. Further, the Schedule includes DNA testing for matters related to establishment of individual identity.
Collection of DNA
While preparing a DNA profile, bodily substances of persons may be collected by the investigating authorities. Authorities are required to obtain consent for collection in certain situations.
For arrested persons, authorities are required to obtain written consent if the offence carries a punishment of up to seven years. If the offence carries more than seven years of imprisonment or death, consent is not required.
Further, if the person is a victim, or relative of a missing person, or a minor or disabled person, the authorities are required to obtain the written consent of such victim, or relative, or parent or guardian of the minor or disabled person. If consent is not given in these cases, the authorities can approach a Magistrate who may order the taking of bodily substances of such persons.
DNA Data Bank
This provides for the establishment of a National DNA Data Bank and Regional DNA Data Banks, for every state, or two or more states.
DNA laboratories are required to share DNA data prepared by them with the National and Regional DNA Data Banks. Every Data Bank will be required to maintain indices for the following categories of data:
(i) A crime scene index,
(ii) A suspects’ or undertrials’ index,
(iii) An offenders’ index,
(iv) A missing persons’ index, and
(v) An unknown deceased persons’ index.
Removal of DNA profiles
The Bill states that the criteria for entry, retention, or removal of the DNA profile will be specified by regulations. However, the Bill provides for removal of the DNA profiles of the following persons:
(i) Of a suspect if a police report is filed or court order given,
(ii) Of an undertrial if a court order is given, and (iii) on written request, for persons who are not a suspect, offender or undertrial, from the crime scene or missing persons’ index.
DNA Regulatory Board
The Bill provides for the establishment of a DNA Regulatory Board, which will supervise the DNA Data Banks and DNA laboratories. The Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, will be the ex officio Chairperson of the Board. The Board will comprise additional members including:
(i) Experts in the field of biological sciences, and (ii) Director General of the National Investigation Agency and the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Functions of the Board
The functions of the Board include:
(i) Advising governments on all issues related to establishing DNA laboratories or Data Banks, and (ii) granting accreditation to DNA laboratories. Further, the Board is required to ensure that all information relating to DNA profiles with the Data Banks, laboratories, and other persons are kept confidential.
DNA laboratories
Any laboratory undertaking DNA testing is required to obtain accreditation from the Board. The Board may revoke the accreditation for reasons including, failure to:
(i) Undertake DNA testing, or
(ii) Comply with the conditions attached to the accreditation.
If the accreditation is revoked, an appeal will lie before the central government or any other authority notified by the central government. Further, every DNA laboratory is required to follow standards for quality assurance in collection, storing, and analysis of DNA samples. After depositing the DNA profile for criminal cases, the laboratory is required to return the biological sample to the investigating officer. In all other cases, the sample must be destroyed.
Offences: The Bill specifies penalties for various offences, including:
(i) For disclosure of DNA information, or
(ii) Using DNA sample without authorization. For instance, disclosure of DNA information will be punishable with imprisonment of up to three years and fine of up to one lakh rupees.
https://prsindia.org/billtrack/dna-technology-use-and-application-regulation-bill-2019

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Standing Liquidity Facilities.
1. This facility is provided to scheduled commercial banks and also primary dealers (PDs) by the RBI.
2. All SCBs who have extended export credit are eligible to avail the facility.
3. On the basis of banks’ eligible outstanding rupee export credit, the RBI provides ECR facility to banks.
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer-d
Explanation-
Eastern Ghats
Standing Liquidity Facilities
The Reserve Bank provides Standing Liquidity Facilities to the Scheduled commercial banks (excluding RRBs) under the Export Credit Refinance Facility (ECR) and to the stand-alone Primary Dealers.
On the basis of banks’ eligible outstanding rupee export credit (pre-shipment and post-shipment), the Reserve Bank provides ECR facility to banks. All SCBs (excluding RRBs) who have extended export credit are eligible to avail the facility. Banks submit the ECR return to the Reserve Bank on fortnightly basis.
The export credit refinance limit is computed for each bank, based on their outstanding export credit eligible for refinance as at the end of the second preceding fortnight.
ECR is provided at the Repo rate. The ECR is repayable on demand or on the expiry of fixed periods not exceeding one hundred and eighty days.

5. Consider the following statements regarding the Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA).
1. It was founded in 1950, is the oldest premier association of pharmaceutical professionals in India.
2. As a member of the Drug Technical Advisory Board, it is actively involved in advising the government on matters of professional importance.
3. Its major objective is to position pharmacists as one of the important healthcare providers in our country.
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer-a
Explanation-
Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA)
IPA founded in 1939, is the oldest premier association of pharmaceutical professionals in India, with a member base of over 13,000, spread across the length and breadth of the nation.
IPA operates in India through 20 state branches and more than 46 local branches.
The members represent various facets of pharmaceutical profession viz., industry, regulatory, community and hospital pharmacy practices and education.
As a member of the Drug Technical Advisory Board, India, IPA is actively involved in advising the government on matters of professional importance.
IPA is affiliated with international pharma associations like FIP, FAPA, CPA, AAPS, and AAiPS and is working with international bodies such as WHO and WHPA for carrying out various collaborative professional activities that include organizing training programmes for professionals from industry, academics, regulatory and practice. IPA makes representations to the authorities on matters of professional interest and works constantly towards upgrading the standards of pharmacy professional services offered by the pharmacists.
IPA’s major objective is to position pharmacists as one of the important healthcare providers in our country.
https://ipapharma.org/