Current Affairs

UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelims and Mains Exam 24th May 2020

Kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai

  • The famous Kovilpatti kadalai mittai has been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
  • Kovilpatti kadalai mittai is a candy made of peanuts held together with glistening syrup, and topped with wisps of grated coconut dyed pink, green and yellow.
  • Kovilpatti kadalai mittai is produced by using both groundnuts and jaggery (organic jaggery), in carefully selected quantities from selected specific locations in Tamil Nadu.
  • The groundnuts are grown in the native black soil in and around Kovilpatti.
  • After sourcing, the groundnuts are shelled and roasted, this gives it an unique traditional flavour.
  • In Kovilpatti, it is sold as single rectangular chunks, or rather cuboids, sealed in packets.
  • It is made using all natural ingredients such as the traditional and special ‘vellam’ (jaggery) and groundnuts and water from the river Thamirabarani is used in the production, which enhances the taste naturally.
  • Kovilpatti kadalai mittai is manufactured in Kovilpatti and adjacent towns and villages in Thoothukudi district.
  • This product has a long shelf life and has a huge export potential.
  • The tag will now help this brand reach an international audience.

Geographical Indication

  • A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country).
  • The use of a geographical indication, as a type of indication of source, acts as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin.
  • Appellation of origin is a subtype of geographical indication where quality, method and reputation of a product strictly originate from the delineated area defined under its intellectual property right registration.
  • Three Important treaties related to Geographical Indication are as follows
  1. Paris Convention on trademarks (1883, still in force, 176 members).
  2. Lisbon Agreement on the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their Registration (1958).
  3. WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
  • India enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 2003.
  • The GI tag ensures that none other than those registered as authorized users (or at least those residing inside the geographic territory) are allowed to use the popular product name.
  • In 2004–05, Darjeeling tea became the first GI tagged product in India.

Indian Patent Office

  • The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) generally known as the Indian Patent Office, is an agency under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade which administers the Indian law of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks.
  • The CGPDTM reports to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and has six main administrative sections namely,
  1. Patent Office
  2. Designs Registry
  3. Trademarks Registry
  4. Geographical indications Registry
  5. Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Intellectual Property Management (NIIPM)
  6. Patent Information System

TRIPS Agreement

  • The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an international legal agreement between all the member nations of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • It sets down minimum standards for the regulation by national governments of many forms of intellectual property (IP) as applied to nationals of other WTO member nations.
  • TRIPS was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) between 1989 and 1990 and is administered by the WTO.
  • The TRIPS agreement introduced intellectual property law into the multilateral trading system for the first time and remains the most comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property to date.
  • TRIPS requires WTO members to
  1. Provide copyright rights, covering authors and other copyright holders, as well as holders of related rights, namely performers, sound recording producers and broadcasting organizations; geographical indications;
  2. Industrial designs;
  3. Integrated circuit layout-designs;
  4. Patents;
  5. New plant varieties;
  6. Trademarks;
  7. Trade names and undisclosed or confidential information.
  • TRIPS also specifies enforcement procedures, remedies, and dispute resolution procedures.


  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN).
  • Pursuant to the 1967 Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO was created to promote and protect intellectual property (IP) across the world by cooperating with countries as well as international organizations.
  • It began operations on 26 April 1970 when the convention entered into force.
  • WIPO works with governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and individuals to utilize IP for socioeconomic development.
  • WIPO administers 26 international treaties that concern a wide variety of IP issues, ranging from the protection of broadcasts to establishing international patent classification.
  • India is a member of WIPO.

Mutual Funds

  • A mutual fund is a type of financial vehicle made up of a pool of money collected from many investors to invest in securities like stocks, bonds, money market instruments, and other assets.
  • Mutual funds are operated by professional money managers, who allocate the fund’s assets and attempt to produce capital gains or income for the fund’s investors.
  • A mutual fund’s portfolio is structured and maintained to match the investment objectives stated in its prospectus.
  • Mutual funds give small or individual investors access to professionally managed portfolios of equities, bonds, and other securities.
  • Each shareholder, therefore, participates proportionally in the gains or losses of the fund.
  • Mutual funds invest in a vast number of securities, and performance is usually tracked as the change in the total market cap of the fund—derived by the aggregating performance of the underlying investments.

Special Liquidity Facility for Mutual Funds

  • Reserve Bank of India has announced special liquidity facility for mutual funds (SLF-MF) Scheme worth Rs 50,000 crore.
  • It aims to ease liquidity in the segment and helps bailout, which intensified in the wake of redemption pressures related to closure of some debt MFs and potential contagious effects.
  • The scheme was announced in the backdrop of Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund deciding to shut several schemes.
  • The regulatory benefits announced under the SLF-MF scheme will be extended to all banks, irrespective of whether they avail funding from the Reserve Bank or deploy their own resources under the SLF-MF scheme.
  • Banks meeting the liquidity requirements of MFs by extending loans and undertaking outright purchase of and/or repos against the collateral of investment grade corporate bonds, commercial paper , debentures and certificates of deposit held by MFs, will be eligible to claim all the regulatory benefits available under the scheme.

MSME Ideas Portal

  • Union Ministry MSME launched Bank of Schemes, Ideas, Innovation and Research portal ( on MSMEs.
  • The Portal gives access to all Schemes of Union, State and UT Governments.
  • It has the provision for uploading Ideas, Innovations & Researches in the sector.
  • The portal has unique features of not only crowd sourcing of Ideas, but also evaluation and rating the ideas by crowd sourcing.
  • It can also facilitate inflow of venture capital, foreign collaboration etc.
  • The portal will help the MSMEs in a big way through information sharing.
  • Similarly it can assist the farmers in planning, production, storage and marketing of their produce.
  • The portal has the facility to indicate the stage of Idea (Concept, Prototype or Commercialized) to make more user friendly.
  • The portal will benefit the potential entrepreneurs as one stop compendium of Ideas, innovation and research ready for commercialization.
  • The Rating of Ideas can be seen publicly which will help in decision making.
  •  Venture capitalists can interact with Person and MSME having Idea or innovation.
  • Similarly options are available for adding Banks, Government Labs, Incubators, Accelerators, Foreign collaboration in future.

Global Report on Internal Displacement

  • Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID 2020) has been released by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).
  • According to the report globally around 4 million people faced new internal displacements because of conflicts and disasters in about 145 countries in 2019.
  • A majority of conflict displacements took place due to armed conflict; communal violence accounted for significant portion of the global total of 8.5 million displacements.
  • Disaster displacement was recorded in low and high-income countries
  • Most of the disaster displacements were triggered by tropical storms and monsoon rains in South Asia and East Asia and Pacific.
  • Nearly five million people were displaced in India in 2019 , the highest in the world so far.
  • The displacements in India were prompted by increased hazard intensity, high population and social and economic vulnerability.
  • More than 2.6 million people suffered displacement due to the southwest monsoon.
  • 2019 was the seventh warmest year since 1901 in India, its monsoon was the wettest in 25 years.
  • Eight tropical storms hit in the year fueling further destruction, these include Maha and Bulbul.
  • In addition to displacement due to natural disasters, over 19,000 conflicts and violence also prompted the phenomenon.

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)

  • IDMC based in Geneva, Switzerland, is the world’s authoritative source  of data and analysis on internal displacement.
  • Since its establishment in 1998 as part of the Norwegian Refugee Council, IDMC has offered a rigorous, independent and trusted service to the international community.
  • The work of IDMC informs policy and operational decisions that improve the lives of the millions of people living in internal displacement, or at risk of becoming displaced in the future.

Source: PIB, New on Air, the Hindu, Down to Earth

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