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Daily Newsletter | TPS 20 Daily Current Affairs | 13th March 2020



Main Topics

Epidemic Disease Act, 1897

Why in news?

Govt invokes Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 to fight coronavirus.

Epidemic Disease Act, 1897:

  • The Epidemic Diseases Act is routinely enforced across the country for dealing with outbreaks of diseases such as swine flu, dengue, and cholera.


  • The colonial government introduced the Act to tackle the epidemic of bubonic plague that had spread in the erstwhile Bombay Presidency in the 1890s.

Provisions of the 1897 Epidemic Diseases Act

The Act consists of four sections:

  • The act aims to provide “for the better prevention of the spread of Dangerous Epidemic Diseases.”
  • The act empowers state governments/UTs to take special measures and formulate regulations for containing the outbreak.
  • It provides penalties for disobeying any regulation or order made under the Act. These are according to
  • section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
  • It gives legal protection to the implementing officers acting under the Act.
Sagarmala programme

Why in news?

The information regarding Sagarmala programme was given by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Shipping in a written reply to the Loksabha.

Sagarmala programme:

  • The Sagarmala programme is the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping.
  • To promote port-led development in the country through harnessing India's 7,500 km long coastline, 14500 km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes.
  • Increasing the share of coastal shipping and inland navigation in the transport modal mix is one of the key objectives of the Sagarmala Programme.   
  • The main vision of the Sagarmala Programme is to reduce logistics cost for EXIM and domestic trade with minimal infrastructure investment.
  • Sagarmala aspires to reduce carbon emissions from transportation sector by 5 MT/annum.

Three pillars of development under Sagarmala Project are:

  • Supporting and enabling Port-led Development
  • Port Infrastructure Enhancement, including modernization and setting up of new ports
  • Efficient Evacuation to and from hinterland. 

Components of Sagarmala Programme are:

  • Port Modernization & New Port Development: De-bottlenecking and capacity expansion of existing ports and development of new greenfield ports
  • Port Connectivity Enhancement: Enhancing the connectivity of the ports to the hinterland, optimizing cost and time of cargo movement through multi-modal logistics solutions including domestic waterways (inland water transport and coastal shipping)
  • Port-linked Industrialization: Developing port-proximate industrial clusters and Coastal Economic Zones to reduce logistics cost and time of EXIM and domestic cargo
  • Coastal Community Development: Promoting sustainable development of coastal communities through skill development & livelihood generation activities, fisheries development, coastal tourism etc.
  • Coastal Shipping & Inland Waterways Transport: Impetus to move cargo through the sustainable and environment-friendly coastal and inland waterways mode.
Bi-luminescent security ink

Why in news?

Government mulls special ink to crack down on fake currency notes and passports.

Bi-luminescent security ink:

  • Developed by scientists from the CSIR-National Physical Laboratory(NPL)
  • Bi-luminescent security ink is visible in red and green light when illuminated by two different sources at 254 nanometers (nm) and 365 nm.
  • The ink is found comparable to the standards that are in use.
  • The formulation can be used to check the authenticity of passports, Government documents, tamper evident labels, identity cards, etc.
  • The ink was given to Bank Note Press (BNP), Dewas, a unit of Security Printing Minting Corporation of India Ltd. (SPMCIL), New Delhi.

More about the ink:

  • The ink appears white in normal light.
  • However, when ultraviolet light is applied at a frequency of 254 nanometers, it emits a red colour.
  • Similarly, when ultraviolet light is switched off, it emits a green colour.
  • The emission of red colour is due to fluorescence and the emission of Green colour is due to phosphorescence effect.

Note- During 2018-19, out of the total Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICNs) detected in the banking sector, 5.6% were detected at RBI and 94.4% were detected by other banks, said RBI's annual report 2019.

To know more about Fluorescence and Phosphorescence, visit the link: 

To know more about Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR):


Why in news?

The report on train accidents &the impact of ‘Mission Zero accident’ were given by the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

More about

  • In the Railway Budget 2016-17, Mission Zero Accident was one of the Missions announced under umbrella mission Avataran.


  • It was introduced by Ministry of Railways in Railway Budget 2016-17.
  • It is an umbrella mission to transform Indian Railways through seven Mission activities – Avataran. These missions are:
  • Mission 25 Tonne
  • It aims to increase revenue by augmenting carrying capacity.
  • Mission Zero Accident: It comprises of two sub missions
  • Elimination of unmanned level crossings: The goal is eliminate all unmanned level crossings on Broad Gauge in the next 3-4 years through innovative financing mechanisms.
  • TCAS (Train Collision Avoidance System): An indigenous technology has been developed to equip 100% of the High Density Network with TCAS in the next 3 years.
  • Mission PACE (Procurement and Consumption Efficiency):
  • This mission aims to improve our procurement and consumption practices to improve the quality of goods and services.
  • Mission Raftaar:
  • It targets doubling of average speeds of freights trains and increasing the average speed of superfast mail/express trains by 25 kmph in the next 5 years.
  • Loco hauled passenger trains will be replaced by DEMU/MEMU over the next five years.
  • It will complement Mission 25 Tonne to increase throughput of the railway system.
  • Mission Hundred:
  • Under this mission, at least a hundred sidings will be commissioned in the next 2 years. Siding refers to low-speed track section / track branch distinct from a running line.
  • Mission beyond book-keeping:
  • It will establish an accounting system where outcomes can be tracked to inputs. .
  • Mission Capacity Utilization:
  • It proposes to prepare a blueprint for making full use of the huge new capacity that will be created through two Dedicated Freight Corridors
Schemes for Minority Communities

Why in news?

The details of the schemes being implemented by the union Ministry Of Minority Affairs was given by the Union Minister for Minority Affairs, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

More about the schemes

  • The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs implements programmes/schemes for the six (6) centrally notified minority communities namely, Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Muslims, Parsis and Sikhs as under:-
  • Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme, Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme, and Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship Scheme - For educational empowerment of students.
  • Maulana Azad National Fellowship Scheme - Provide fellowships in the form of financial assistance.
  • Naya Savera - Free Coaching and Allied Scheme - The Scheme aims to provide free coaching to students/candidates belonging to minority communities for qualifying in entrance examinations of technical/ professional courses and Competitive examinations. 
  • Padho Pardesh - Scheme of interest subsidy to students of minority communities on educational loans for overseas higher studies.
  • Nai Udaan - Support for students clearing Prelims conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), State Public Service Commission (PSC) Staff Selection Commission (SSC) etc.
  • Nai Roshni - Leadership development of women belonging to minority communities.
  • Seekho Aur Kamao - Skill development scheme for youth of 14 - 35 years age group and aiming at improving the employability of existing workers, school dropouts etc.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) -Implemented for the benefit of the people from all sections of the society in identified Minority Concentration Areas for creation of assets in education, skill and health sectors.
  • Jiyo Parsi - Scheme for containing population decline of Parsis in India.
  • USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) launched in May 2015.
  • Nai Manzil - A scheme for formal school education & skilling of school dropouts launched in Aug. 2015.
  • Hamari Dharohar- A scheme to preserve rich heritage of minority communities of India under the overall concept of Indian culture implemented since 2014-15.

Why in news?

Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune has isolated 45 different strains of methanotrophic bacteria which have been found to be capable of reducing methane emissions from rice plants.

More about

  • Rice fields are human-made wetlands and are waterlogged for a considerable period.
  • Anaerobic degradation of organic matter results in the generation of methane.
  • Rice fields contribute to nearly 10% of global methane emissions.
  • The research found that there was a decrease in methane emissions in inoculated plants with a positive or neutral effect on the growth of the rice.
  • Inoculation may be defined as the process of adding effective bacteria to the host plant seed before planting.


  • Methanotrophs are prokaryotes that metabolize methane as their only source of carbon and energy.
  • They can be either bacteria or archaea and can grow aerobically or anaerobically, and require single-carbon compounds to survive.
  • Methanotroph metabolize and convert methane into carbon-di-oxide.
  • They can effectively reduce the emission of methane, which is the second most important greenhouse gas (GHG) and 26 times more potent as compared to carbon-di-oxide.
  • In rice fields, Methanotroph are active near the roots or soil-water interfaces.
  • Methanotroph can also be used in methane value addition (valorization) studies.
  • Bio-methane generated from waste can be used by the methanotrophs and can be converted to value-added products such as single-cell proteins, carotenoids, biodiesel, and so on.

Current Affairs Capsules

National Archives of India (NAI)
  • The National Archives of India (NAI) is a repository of the non-current records of the Government of India and holds them in trust for the use of administrators and scholars.
  • Originally established as the Imperial Record Department in 1891, in Calcutta, the capital of British India, the NAI is situated at the intersection of Janpath and Rajpath, in Delhi.
  • It functions as an Attached Office of the Department of Culture under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.