Daily Current affairs and Questions from The Hindu & PIB - June 1

PM CARES not within the ambit of RTI Act: PMO

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has refused to disclose details on the creation and operation of the PM CARES Fund, telling an RTI applicant that the fund is “not a public authority” within the ambit of the RTI Act, 2005.

ABOUT PM CARES FUND

The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund accepts donations and provides relief during the COVID19 pandemic, and other similar emergencies.
Objectives :
  • To undertake and support relief or assistance of any kind relating to a public health emergency or any other kind of emergency, calamity or distress, either man-made or natural, including the creation or upgradation of healthcare or pharmaceutical facilities, other necessary infrastructure, funding relevant research or any other type of support.
  • To render financial assistance, provide grants of payments of money or take such other steps as may be deemed necessary by the Board of Trustees to the affected population.
  • To undertake any other activity, which is not inconsistent with the above Objects.
Constitution of the Trust :
  • Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of the PM CARES Fund and Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance, Government of India are ex-officio Trustees of the Fund.
  • The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees (Prime Minister) shall have the power to nominate three trustees to the Board of Trustees who shall be eminent persons in the field of research, health, science, social work, law, public administration and philanthropy.
  • Any person appointed a Trustee shall act in a pro bono capacity.
Other details :
  • The fund consists entirely of voluntary contributions from individuals/organizations and does not get any budgetary support. The fund will be utilised in meeting the objectives as stated above.
  • Donations to PM CARES Fund would qualify for 80G benefits for 100% exemption under the Income Tax Act, 1961. Donations to PM CARES Fund will also qualify to be counted as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure under the Companies Act, 2013
  • PM CARES Fund has also got exemption under the FCRA and a separate account for receiving foreign donations has been opened. This enables PM CARES Fund to accept donations and contributions from individuals and organizations based in foreign countries. This is consistent with respect to Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF). PMNRF has also received foreign contributions as a public trust since 2011.
  • PM CARES Fund is not a Public Authority under the ambit of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, 2005.

WHO and Costa Rica launch landmark COVID-19 Technology Access Pool

  • Thirty countries and multiple international partners and institutions have signed up to support the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) an initiative aimed at making vaccines, tests, treatments and other health technologies to fight COVID-19 accessible to all.
  • The Pool was first proposed in March by President Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica, who joined WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today at the official launch of the initiative.
  • The COVID-19 (Technology) Access Pool will be voluntary and based on social solidarity. It will provide a one-stop shop for scientific knowledge, data and intellectual property to be shared equitably by the global community.
  • The aim is to accelerate the discovery of vaccines, medicines and other technologies through open-science research, and to fast-track product development by mobilizing additional manufacturing capacity.
  • This will help ensure faster and more equitable access to existing and new COVID-19 health products.

NASA Astronauts Behnken, Hurley Head for ISS on Historic SpaceX Flight

  • Two veteran NASA astronauts were headed for the International Space Station on Saturday after Elon Musk's SpaceX became the first commercial company to launch a rocket carrying humans into orbit, ushering in a new era in space travel.
  • The SpaceX launch is the first of American astronauts from US soil since the space shuttle program ended in 2011 and the first crewed flight ever by a private company.
  • The Crew Dragon mission is a defining moment for SpaceX, which Musk founded in 2002 with the goal of producing a lower-cost alternative to human spaceflight.
  • The US space agency paid more than $3 billion for SpaceX to design, build, test and operate its reusable Dragon capsule for six future space round trips.
  • NASA has had to pay Russia for its Soyuz rockets to take US astronauts to space ever since the shuttle program ended.The project has experienced delays, explosions, and parachute problems -- but even so, SpaceX has beaten its giant competitor Boeing to the punch.

Prime Minister announces "My Life My Yoga" Video Blogging contest in Mann Ki Baat

  • My Life – My Yoga”(also called “Jeevan Yoga”) Video Blogging Contest, a joint effort by the Ministry of AYUSH and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), monthly Mann Ki Baat . The contest focuses on the transformative impact of Yoga on the lives of individuals, and comes as one of the activities related to the observation of the sixth International Day of Yoga (IDY) coming up on 21st June 2020. 
  • The contest has gone live on the social media handles of the Ministry of AYUSH .
  • Through the My Life – My Yoga video blogging competition, the Ministry of AYUSH and ICCR seek to raise awareness about Yoga and to inspire people to prepare for and become active participants in the observation of IDY 2020.
  • The contest will support participation via the social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Video contest will be open to participants from all countries.
  • The contest will run in two legs. First leg consisting of an international video blogging contest, wherein the winners will be picked within a country. This will be followed by global prize winners who will be selected from winners from different countries.

Trump’s executive order targeting social media platforms



What is an executive order?
An executive order is a written directive issued by the President and is one of the most common presidential documents. Such orders are not legislations and don’t require the approval of the Congress, which also means that the Congress cannot overturn them.

What changes with the order?
  • Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) provides immunity to online platforms and protects them from being liable for the content billions of people post on their platform every day.
  • Under this section, providers of “interactive computer services” are free from being treated as the publisher or speaker of any information posted by the users, rendering these platforms “unfettered by Federal or State regulation”.
  • Significantly, the Act also protects online platforms from civil liability, which means that they may not be liable for restricting access to certain content that platforms may consider being, “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable” and when such content is removed in “good faith”.
  • The  executive order seeks to revoke the liability shield offered to platforms and exposes them to liability “like any traditional editor and publisher that is not an online provider.” 
  • Further, the order directs the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to file a petition for making rules with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) along with the Attorney General to clarify the conditions under which an action taken by an online platform to restrict access or availability of certain content is not “taken in good faith” and therefore such action is excluded from being protected under Section 230.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 is a piece of Internet legislation in the United States. It provides immunity from liability for providers and users of an "interactive computer service" who publish information provided by third-party users.
                                                               
                                                                           MCQ
1) The Dampier-Hodges line is related to which of the following?
a) Bay of Cambay
b) Palk Strait
c) Andaman and Nicobar Islands
d) Sundarbans

                                         Answer
1-d

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