Current Affairs

UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelims and Mains Exam 6th April 2020

Singapore Convention on Mediation

  • The Singapore Convention on Mediation is a United Nations (UN) treaty named after the country, will come into force on Sept 12 this year.
  • It is also known as the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation.
  • Qatar has ratified the international treaty, it is the third country to do so, following Singapore and Fiji.
  • According to the convention’s provisions, the treaty comes into force when at least three countries have ratified it.
  • The convention makes it easier for commercial parties in a dispute to seek enforcement of international mediated settlement agreements by applying directly to the courts of countries that have ratified the treaty.
  • Through mediation, parties in a cross-border dispute can attempt to negotiate a new deal, facilitated by a neutral third-party mediator, to salvage a commercial relationship which would otherwise disintegrate if the litigation or arbitration routes are taken.
  • Presently, because a settlement agreement made in one country has no legal force in another, a party seeking to enforce a mediated settlement agreement in another country or multiple countries will have to commence legal proceedings in each country.
  • This can potentially be costly and time-consuming, especially for international settlement agreements.
  • Under the convention, a party seeking enforcement of a mediated settlement agreement can apply directly to the courts of countries that have signed and ratified the treaty.
  • This allows businesses to easily enforce such settlement agreements across borders.
  • As of now 52 countries has signed the convention, including economic heavyweights the United States and China.
  • In recent years, Singapore plans to establish as an international dispute resolution center, including setting up the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and the Singapore International Commercial Court.

Cross-sectoral Dialogue

  • Union government is making a Cross-sectoral dialogue on production of health equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to fight pandemic COVID-19.
  • Committee has been setup in this regard, that include Principal Scientific Adviser and members from other ministers.
  • Since March 30, the panel has conducted six meetings, in which “all 3 groups have proactively pointed out the areas where they need support which the government is following up.
  • They have also been put in touch with other empowered groups for faster and more effective response and coordination”.
  • The committee has reached out to over 92,000 NGOs/civil society organizations, appealing to them to assist the government in identifying hotspots, deputing volunteers and care givers to deliver services to the elderly, persons with disabilities, children, transgender persons and other vulnerable groups and create awareness about prevention and combating stigma.
  • It also requested them to provide shelter to homeless, daily wage workers and urban poor families and set up community kitchens for migrants.
  •  The committee has opened up cross-sectoral dialogue within the private sector and startups to engender collaboration among them to produce health equipment and PPEs.

Jeevan Ventilators

  • Railways’ Rail Coach Factory (RCF) has invented a ventilator prototype that has an original design and will cost a fraction of what regular ventilators cost.
  • The prototype named Jeevan will now go for final testing at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) before being put to production to aid the country’s fight against COVID-19.
  • The cost will be under Rs.10,000 without the compressor.
  • It can be used as an emergency ventilator, its production is easy and can be done with locally sourced components.
  • The heart of the device is the Compressed Air Container to work the ambu bag with air without any moving parts like servo motor or piston or link mechanism.
  • It is very silent and it is not reverse engineering, this is an original design from scratch.
  • The intellectual property rights relating to the ventilator belong to the RCF.
  • The machine provides control on breathing rate, the Inspiratory: Expiratory ratio, and tidal volume — critical parameters in any ventilator.


  • A ventilator, also known as a respirator or breathing machine, is a medical device that provides a patient with oxygen when they are unable to breathe on their own.
  • The ventilator gently pushes air into the lungs and allows it to come back out like the lungs would typically do when they are able.
  • During any surgery that requires general anesthesia, a ventilator is necessary.
  • There are also times when a ventilator is required after surgery, as the patient may not be able to breathe on their own immediately after the procedure.

Source: Indian Express, the Hindu

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