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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Reverse Osmosis ( RO) System

Reverse osmosis is a water purification process that uses a partially permeable membrane to remove ions, unwanted molecules and larger particles from drinking water.

  • Environment ministry issued a draft notification to prohibit use of reverse osmosis (RO) purifiers where total dissolved solids (TDS) in water are below 500 milligrams per liter.
  • The draft is based on NGT’s to ban RO purifiers in areas, which get potable drinking water.
  • It also said water from RO purification system for domestic use would be “used only for drinking purpose”.
  • Once the rules are finalized, RO machine manufacturers will have to tweak their designs to meet the new parameters so that the system does not discharge water beyond the prescribed limit during the purification process.
  • BIS will develop a system to monitor, assess and certify in consultation with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within six months of final notification.
  • Enforcement will largely be the responsibility of CPCB and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs).
  • Final notification on banning RO purifiers and parameters on design of such machines will be issued after examining the views of all stakeholders, including manufacturers.

About BIS

  • The Bureau of Indian Standards is the national Standards Body of India working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Government of India.
  • The Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986, establishes it.


Soil Health Card (SHC)

Why in News?

In the second phase of the scheme’s implementation, 11.69 crore Soil Health Cards were distributed to farmers in two years.

And the scheme has led to a decline of 8-10% in the use of chemical fertilizers and also raised productivity by 5-6%.

About the scheme:

Launched in 2015.

Under the scheme, the government plans to issue soil cards to farmers which will carry crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilisers required for the individual farms.

This will help farmers to improve productivity through judicious use of inputs.

About the Soil Health Card:

  1. A Soil Health Card is used to assess the current status of soil health and, when used over time, to determine changes in soil health that are affected by land management.
  2. It displays soil health indicators and associated descriptive terms. The indicators are typically based on farmers’ practical experience and knowledge of local natural resources.
  3. The card lists soil health indicators that can be assessed without the aid of technical or laboratory equipment.

What it contains?

It will contain the status of his soil with respect to 12 parameters, namely N,P,K (Macro-nutrients); S (Secondary- nutrient); Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Bo (Micro – nutrients); and pH, EC, OC (Physical parameters). Based on this, the SHC will also indicate fertilizer recommendations and soil amendment required for the farm.

International IP Index 2020

Why in News?

The International IP Index 2020 has been released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC).

What is IIP index?

Released by GIPC, the Index evaluates the IP infrastructure in each economy based on 45 unique indicators, which are critical to the growth of effective IP systems.

The indicators encompass 8 categories of IP protection: patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, commercialization of IP assets, enforcement, systemic efficiency, and membership and ratification of international treaties.

Performance of India:

  1. Ranked 40 out of 53 global economies.
  2. Last year India was ranked at 36th position out of 50 countries.
  3. India also continues to score well in the Systemic Efficiency indicator, scoring ahead of 28 other economies in these indicators.

Observations made on India:

  1. Since the release of the 2016 National IPR Policy, the Government of India has made a focused effort to support investments in innovation and creativity through increasingly robust IP protection and enforcement.
  2. Implementation of the policy has improved the speed of processing for patent and trademark applications, increased awareness of IP rights among Indian innovators and creators.
  3. India has made significant progress towards establishing stronger IP protections—but the “job is not yet done”.
  4. In 2019, the Delhi High Court used dynamic injunctions to disable access to copyright-infringing content online, resulting in an increase in India’s score on two of the copyright-related indicators. As a result, India scores ahead of 24 other economies in the copyright indicators.

Way ahead for India:

To continue this upward trajectory, much work remains to be done to introduce transformative changes to India’s overall IP framework and take serious steps to consistently implement strong IP standards.

GIPC has identified several challenges for India. Prominent among them being patentability requirements, patent enforcement, compulsory licensing, patent opposition, regulatory data protection, transparency in reporting seizures by customs, and Singapore Treaty of Law of TMs and Patent Law Treaty.

Global performance:

Top five economies: The US, the UK, Sweden, France and Germany.

The need for protection of IP rights:

  1. Intellectual Property Creates and Supports High-Paying Jobs.
  2. Intellectual Property Drives Economic Growth and Competitiveness.
  3. Strong and Enforced Intellectual Property Rights Protect Consumers and Families.
  4. Intellectual Property Helps Generate Breakthrough Solutions to Global Challenges.
  5. Intellectual Property Rights Encourage Innovation and Reward Entrepreneurs.


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