Daily Current Affairs | 23rd April 2020

Covid-19 fallout: Will Uddhav Thackeray have to resign?.

A constitutional crisis has occurred in Maharashtra that threatens the position of incumbent Chief Minister.

  • The current Chief Minister took the oath of his office on November 28, 2019 without being a member of either the State legislature or council.
    • Article 164(4) of the Constitution allows a person to become a Minister without being a member of either House of State legislature for the period of six months from the date of oath.
    • Therefore in this case, the last date to become a member of either House is May 24, 2020.
  • Election postponed: However, the Election Commission has postponed all elections due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Previous Instances

  • A political situation in Punjab in 1995 when Congress leader Tej Parkash Singh, who was then not a member of the Assembly, was appointed a minister in September 1995.
    •  In March 1996, before he could get elected within six months, the minister resigned but was subsequently appointed again as minister during the term of the same legislature.
    • When the appointment was challenged, the Punjab and Haryana HC dismissed the plea but the Supreme Court held that Singh’s second appointment without getting elected in the meanwhile was improper, undemocratic, invalid and unconstitutional”. The decision, however, was only an academic exercise as it came in 2001, well after the Assembly had completed its term.
  • J Jayalalithaa also briefly resigned as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister in 2001 despite winning a huge mandate owing to legal troubles. 
    • As she was convicted in corruption cases, Jayalalithaa was not allowed to contest elections but was elected party leader and became CM. 
    • Before her six-month window to get elected expired, the SC ruled that her appointment was unconstitutional. 
    • Jayalalithaa resigned, however, after the Madras High Court acquitted her, she contested and won a by-election in 2002 and returned as CM.
  • Governor’s quota: The state cabinet on April 9, 2020 recommended that the present Chief Minister be nominated to the Legislative Council from the Governor’s quota.
    • Article 171 of the Constitution mandates the Governor to nominate members to the Legislative Council who have special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service.
    • However, the Governor has not taken any decision yet, which has created trouble for Uddhav Thackeray’s CM post.
  • Other legal issue: The other legal issue is related to Uddhav Thackeray’s nomination to the Legislative Council on the vacant seats.
    • According to Section 151A of Representation of the People Act 1951, nomination to the post cannot be done if the remainder of the term of a member in relation to a vacancy is less than one year.
    • Currently, there are two vacancies in Council whose terms will end on June 6, 2020. Therefore, the term of these two vacancies is less than one year.
  • Bypoll: The time limit for a bypoll to fill vacancies is six months from the date of occurrence of vacancy. Provided that nothing contained in this section shall apply if —
    • The remainder of the term of a member in relation to a vacancy is less than one year; or
    • The Election Commission in consultation with the Central Government certifies that it is difficult to hold the by-election within the said period.
Article 164(4) of the Constitution Of India 
A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.
Nomination of Members to the Council
While it could be argued that the Governor’s nomination is reserved for persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as the following, namely: Literature, science, art, co-operative movement and social service under the Constitution, courts cannot interfere with the Governor’s decision even when a political appointment is made.

Govt cuts subsidy for non-urea fertilisers, to cost ₹22,186.55 crore for FY21

Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has cut the subsidy for non-urea fertilizers.

  • That is about 3% lower than the estimated expenditure on the nutrient based subsidies in 2019-20.
  • Reduced Prices:
    • Nitrogen (N) based fertilizers- Reduced to ₹18.78 per kg from ₹18.90 per kg.
    • Phosphorus (P) based fertilizers- Reduced to ₹14.88 per kg from ₹15.21 per kg.
    • Potash (K) based fertilizers– Reduced to ₹10.11 per kg from ₹11.12 per kg.
    • Sulphur (S) based fertilisers- Reduced to ₹2.37 per kg from ₹3.56 per kg.
  • The CCEA has also approved the inclusion of ammonium phosphate [(NH₄)₃PO₄] (a complex fertiliser) under the nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) scheme.

Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme

  • It is being implemented from April 2010 by the Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers.
  • Under NBS, a fixed amount of subsidy decided on an annual basis, is provided on each grade of subsidized Phosphatic & Potassic (P&K) fertilizers, except for Urea, based on the nutrient content present in them.
    • It is largely for secondary nutrients like N, P, K and S which are very important for crop growth and development..
  • It aims to ensure the availability of fertilizers to farmers at an affordable price, as the retail prices of such non-urea fertilisers are decontrolled and set by manufacturers.

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs

  • Chaired by the Prime Minister, CCEA lays down the priorities for public sector investment and considers specific proposals for investment of not less than specific levels as revised from time to time.
  • It has a mandate to review economic trends on a continuous basis, as well as the problems and prospects, with a view to evolving a consistent and integrated economic policy framework for the country.
  • It also directs and coordinates all policies and activities in the economic field including foreign investment that require policy decisions at the highest level.
  • Apart from CCEA, there are seven other cabinet committees:
    • Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
    • Cabinet Committee on Accommodation.
    • Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.
    • Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs.
    • Cabinet Committee on Security.
    • Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth.
    • Cabinet Committee on Employment & Skill Development.

India ranks 142nd on global press freedom index

India has dropped to two places on the World Press Freedom Index, 2020 to be ranked 142nd out of 180 countries.

  • Norway is ranked first in the Index for the fourth year running.
  • South Asia in general features poorly on the index, with Pakistan dropping three places to 145, and Bangladesh dropping one place to 151.
    • China at 177th position is just three places above North Korea, which is at 180th.
  • Impact of Covid-19 on Journalism: The coming decade will be decisive for the future of journalism, with the Covid-19 pandemic highlighting and amplifying the many crises that threaten the right to freely reported, independent, diverse and reliable information.
  • India’s Performance Analysis
    • Reasons Behind Decline in India’s Performance:
      • Pressure on the media to accept the nationalist government’s Hindu line.
      • The “coordinated hate campaigns” waged on social networks against journalists who dare to speak or write about subjects that annoy Hindutva followers. The campaigns are particularly severe when the targets are women.
    • Improved Security of Journalists: With no murders of journalists in India in 2019, as against six in 2018, the security situation for the country’s media might seem, on the face of it, to have improved.
    • Press Freedom Violations: There have been constant press freedom violations that include police violence against journalists, ambushes by political activists, and attacks instigated by criminal groups or corrupt local officials.

World Press Freedom Index

  • It has been published every year since 2002 by Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) or Reporters Without Borders.
  • Based in Paris, RSF is an independent NGO with consultative status with the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF).
    • OIF is a 54 french speaking nations collective.
  • The Index ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists.
  • The parameters include pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.

COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine design using Reverse Vaccinology

The Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University has developed a vaccine candidate (i.e. potential vaccine) against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) through ‘reverse vaccinology’.

The use of genomic information with the aid of computers for the preparation of vaccines without culturing microorganism is known as reverse vaccinology.

Reverse vaccinology helps in the examination of the genome of an organism in order to identify novel antigens and epitopes that might constitute vaccine candidates.
Antigen is a toxin or other foreign substance which induces an immune response in the body,

Epitope is a portion of a foreign protein, or antigen, that is capable of stimulating an immune response.

With the unwrapping of the entire genomic sequence, it is possible to know what molecules make the genomic sequence.

Reverse vaccinology has been used for developing vaccinations for meningococcal and staphylococcal infections all through the world.
Meningococcal meningitis is caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. It is a serious infection of the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.

Staphylococcal infections are caused by staphylococcus bacteria commonly found on the skin or in the nose of even healthy individuals.

The technique has been available for the last 10 to 15 years.

In reverse vaccinology identification of candidate antigens (potential target for vaccine preparation) is possible without the need to grow the pathogen in a shorter time.
Earlier, a viral culture had to be done in the laboratory to develop a vaccine which was time-consuming. It would take time to find out the protein in the virus.

IRGC puts Iran’s first military satellite “NOOR” into orbit

Iran has launched its first military satellite called Noor (meaning light) into orbit.

  • The satellite reached an orbit of 425km after being carried by a three-stage Ghased launcher.
  • This was a successful launch after months of failures. However, there was no immediate independent confirmation of the launch of the satellite.

Launch by the Paramilitary Force

The Satellite was launched by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The IRGC, which operates its own military infrastructure in parallel to Iran’s regular armed forces, is a hard-line force answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Previously unheard ‘Ghased’ or “Messenger” satellite launcher was used to put the device into space. It described the system as using both liquid and solid fuel.

Concern: Despite the fact that Iran has been one of the worst-affected in terms of the Covid-19 cases, it has been engaged in serious strategic competition heightening the tensions in the region.

Iran-US Tensions: The launch comes amid tensions between Iran and the US over the collapsed nuclear deal and after a U.S. drone strike in Iraq killed Iran’s most powerful military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January, 2020.

In 2015, Iran agreed a long-term deal on its nuclear programme with a group of world powers known as the P5+1 – the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany – Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

US Allegation:

The Trump administration has warned that the technology used to launch satellites could help Iran develop Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).

It has asserted that such launches therefore violate a UN Security Council resolution, which calls upon Iran not to “undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons”.

Iran’s Stand: It has not violated UN resolution on its ballistic missile program as the resolution only calls upon it to not conduct missile tests (not satellite tests). Although there is technological overlap between space launches and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), Iran denies that the aim of its space programme is to pursue ICBM technology.

Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles

  • These are land-based, generally nuclear-armed ballistic missiles with a range of more than 5,500 km. E.g. India’s Agni V.
  • There are also Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM). E.g. India’s Dhanush
  • Ballistic missiles are initially powered by rockets after which they follow an unpowered, free-falling trajectory toward their targets.
    They are classified by the maximum distance that they can travel, which is a function of how powerful the missile’s engines (rockets) are and the weight of the missile’s payload.
    • Established in April 1987, the voluntary Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) aims to limit the spread of ballistic missiles and other unmanned delivery systems that could be used for chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks. India is its member.

Central Vista: former top officers of MEA express concern

Recently, many former bureaucrats have opposed the Central Vista redevelopment project.

The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs proposed a Central Vista redevelopment project in 2019.

The project envisages

Constructing a triangular Parliament building next to the existing one.

Constructing Common Central Secretariat.

Revamping of the 3-km-long Rajpath — from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.

North and South Block to be repurposed as museums.

The government’s argument for revamping Central Vista:

The Parliament building’s facilities and infrastructure are inadequate to meet the current demand.

The offices of the Central Government are spread over different locations which affects inter-departmental coordination, and unnecessary travel leading to congestion and pollution.

Most of the existing buildings have outlived their structural lives.

Central Vista

  • Currently, the Central Vista of New Delhi houses Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament House, North and South Block, India Gate, National Archives among others.
  • In December, 1911, King George V made an announcement in Delhi Durbar (a grand assembly) to shift the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi.
    • Delhi Durbar was hosted to mark the coronation of King George V.
  • The task of constructing a new city was given to Edwin Lutyens, known for his strong adherence to European classism and Herbert Baker, a prominent architect in South Africa.
    • Herbert Baker is also the architect of the Union buildings at Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Parliament House building was designed by both Lutyens and Baker.
  • Rashtrapati Bhavan was designed by Edwin Lutyens.
  • The Secretariat which includes both north and south block was designed by Herbert Baker.

Amid pandemic, 1,300 pigs die of swine fever in Assam

Recently, few districts of eastern Assam have reported the death of more than 1,300 pigs within a week due to the classical swine fever (CSF).

It has added to the worries of the pig farmers who are already troubled due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Assam has the most farmed pigs in the country according to the 20th livestock census from 2012-2019.

The pork market in the region is more than $1 billion.

Data shows that the eight north-eastern States with Assam at its core consume more than 65% of the 4.26 lakh metric tonnes of pork produced in the country.

Classical Swine Fever is also known as hog cholera and is a contagious viral disease of domestic and wild swine.

Unlike Swine Flu (H1N1) that attacks humans, classical swine fever is a viral disease that affects pigs only. It can be controlled by proper vaccination of pigs in time.

African Swine Fever is another kind of swine fever.

Prevention and Control:

Treatment is not attempted.

Affected pigs must be slaughtered and the carcass buried or burnt.

The first barrier to prevent an outbreak of the CSF is to apply strict and rigorous sanitary treatment.

Vaccination can prevent the spread of the disease.

The OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code defines the requirements for a country or a zone to be considered free of the disease.

World Organisation for Animal Health

  • OIE is an intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide.
  • In 2018, it had a total of 182 Member Countries. India is one of the member countries.
  • OIE standards are recognised by the World Trade Organization as reference international sanitary rules.
  • It is headquartered in Paris, France.

IGIB scientists develop low-cost COVID-19 test; name it after detective character ‘Feluda’

Scientists at the CSIR’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology have come up with a low-cost coronavirus test that will not require any expensive machines for detection of the pathogen. Named after ‘Feluda‘, the detective character in legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s stories, the test has been developed by Debojyoti Chakraborty and Souvik Maiti as a simpler way of detecting SARS-coV2 presence in clinical samples, IGIB Director Anurag Agarwal said. CSIR is a department under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology. 

  • It starts the same way as a normal real time reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), which is extraction of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and its conversion to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
  • It then differs by using a specifically designed PCR reaction to amplify a part of the viral nucleic acid sequence. Then a highly specific CRISPR, FnCAS9, developed at IGIB, binds to that sequence.
  • Using the innovative chemistry on a paper strip, the CRISPR complex, bound to that specific sequence, can be visualised as a positive band – like one sees in simple pregnancy tests. The total time required for the test is less than one hour.
  • In the RT-PCR tests, the RNA is converted to DNA by using specific primers and probes, with fluorescent reporters, to amplify and detect viral nucleic acid presence. It requires expensive Real Time PCR machines which are available at specialised sites.
  • If successfully commercialised, which depends upon all its components being available at scale and the commercial product being successfully validated by regulatory agencies, it would allow the test to be done in local path-labs that do not have expensive real time PCR machines, but simple cheap thermo-blocks used for conventional PCR.
  • When asked why the test was named after Feluda, Agarwal said the researchers at MIT and University of California, Berkeley also use CRSIPR, but different technologies.
  • They have named the tests as ‘Detector’ and ‘Sherlock’, so Feluda was an Indian version.

President approves ordinance to protect healthcare workers

  • The President has given his assent to an ordinance passed to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

  • Wider Inclusion: The amendments intend to protect the health workers from harassment by the public. The amendments will also apply to harassment by landlords and neighbours.
  • Cognizable and Non-bailable: Violence against medical staff has been made a cognizable and non-bailable offence.
  • Compensation: Provision for compensation for injury to healthcare personnel or for damage or loss to property.
    • If damage was done to vehicles or clinics of healthcare workers, a compensation amounting to twice the market value of the damaged property would be charged from the accused.
  • Timely Investigation: In cases of attacks on healthcare workers, the investigation will be completed within 30 days and the final decision arrived within one year.
  • Umbrella Protection: The ordinance will protect the whole healthcare fraternity, including doctors, nurses and ASHA workers from violence during epidemics.
  • Punishment : The punishment for such attacks will be 3 months to 5 years and the fine ₹50,000 to ₹2 lakh.
  • In severe cases, where there are grievous injuries, the punishment will be 6 months to 7 years and the fine ₹1 lakh to ₹5 lakh.

Cognisable Offences

  • In cognisable offences, an officer can take cognizance of and arrest a suspect without seeking a court’s warrant to do so, if she has “reason to believe” that the person has committed the offence and is satisfied that the arrest is necessary on certain enumerated bases.
  • According to the 177th Law Commission Report, cognisable offences are those that require an immediate arrest.
  • Within 24 hours of the arrest, the officer must have detention ratified by a judicial magistrate.
  • Cognizable offences are generally heinous or serious in nature such as murder, rape, kidnapping, theft, dowry death etc.
  • The first information report (FIR) is registered only in cognizable crimes.

Non-Cognizable Offences

  • In case of a non-cognizable offence, the police cannot arrest the accused without a warrant as well as cannot start an investigation without the permission of the court.
  • The crimes of forgery, cheating, defamation, public nuisance, etc., fall in the category of non-cognizable crimes.

Need: Healthcare workers are being portrayed as potential spreaders of Covid-19 pandemic. Public venting of angst against healthcare service personnel leading to harassment assault and damage to property is being highlighted daily. Therefore, the medical community has been demanding protection.

Unique Challenge: The Covid-19 outbreak has posed a unique situation where harassment of the healthcare workforce and others working to contain the spread of the disease has been taking place at all fronts, in various places, including in cremation grounds.

Deficiency in State laws:

Several States had enacted special laws to offer protection to doctors and other medical personnel in the past. However, these existing State laws do not have such a wide ambit.

They generally do not cover harassment at home and workplace and are focussed more on physical violence.

The penal provisions contained in these laws are not stringent enough to deter mischief-mongering.

Ordinance

  • Ordinance is a decree or law promulgated by a state or national government without the consent of the legislature.
  • Article 123 of the Constitution of India grants the President certain law-making powers to promulgate ordinances when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session.
  • Similar powers are given to the Governor of a state to issue ordinances under Article 213 of the Constitution.
  • There are three limitations with regard to the ordinance making power of the executive. They are:
    • The President can only promulgate an ordinance when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session.
    • The President cannot promulgate an ordinance unless he is satisfied that there are circumstances that require taking ‘immediate action’.
    • Ordinances must be approved by Parliament within six weeks of reassembling or they shall cease to operate. They will also cease to operate in case resolutions disapproving the ordinance are passed by both the Houses.

Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897

  • The Epidemic Diseases Act initially was passed in February 1897 in the wake of the outbreak of the bubonic plague in India (particularly in the Bombay presidency).
  • The Act aims to provide for the better prevention of the spread of Dangerous Epidemic Diseases.
  • It empowers the state and central government to take special measures and prescribe regulations that are to be observed by the public to contain the spread of disease.
  • It also makes disobedience of any regulation or order made under this Act a punishable offence.
  • It provides for the protection of persons or officials acting under this Act as no suit or other legal proceeding can be initiated against any person for anything done or in good faith intended to be done under this Act.

Govt ‘Duty-Bound’ To Review Reservation Process: SC

Recently, the Supreme Court of India has ruled the January 2000 order of the Governor of the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh which provided 100% reservation to Scheduled Tribes (ST) candidates in posts of school teachers in Scheduled Areas, unconstitutional.

  • It also highlighted that within the Other Backward Castes (OBCs) and the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and STs, reservation benefits are not reaching the truly deserving.
  • The apex court said that 100% reservation is not permissible under the Constitution as the outer limit is 50% as specified in Indra Sawhney case, 1992.
  • A 100% reservation would become discriminatory and impermissible. The citizens have equal rights and the total exclusion of others by creating an opportunity for one class is not contemplated by the Constitution.
  • It also deprives SCs and OBCs of their due representation.
  • The opportunity of public employment cannot be denied unjustly to the incumbents and it is not the prerogative of few.
  • Equality of opportunity and pursuit of choice under Article 51­A cannot be deprived of unjustly and arbitrarily.
  • It is arbitrary and violative of provisions of Articles 14 (equality before law), 15(1) (discrimination against citizens) and 16 (equal opportunity) of the Constitution.
  • It also impinges upon the right of open category because only STs will fill all the vacant posts leaving SCs and OBCs far behind.
    • Open Category: It means for all castes. The 50% unreserved seats are not entitled to the General category. They can be filled by reserved categories as well in case all seats are not occupied by the general category.
  • The SC has allowed the request not to quash the appointments already made under the 2000 order. However, it has warned Andhra Pradesh and Telangana against making such provisions in the future.
    • In case they do so, exceeding the limit of reservation, the appointments which have not been quashed now, will also be considered null and void.

The Andhra Pradesh government came out with a similar order in 1986 which was quashed by the State Administrative Tribunal and an appeal before the Supreme Court was dismissed in 1998.

However, in 2000, the State issued an order providing for 100% reservation to STs candidates on teacher posts in Schedules areas.

The State’s High Court upheld the order but its decision was later on challenged in the Supreme court leading to this order.

On Reservation

  • Failure of trickle down approach: The SC highlighted the struggles of people from the OBCs, SCs and STs who could not benefit from the trickle down approach of the reservation.
    • By now, there are affluent and socially and economically advanced classes within the reserved communities who do not permit benefits to trickle down to the ones who actually need them.
  • Revision of reservation: The apex court suggested the government to revise the lists of those entitled to reservation, from time to time.
    • Suggestion: It can be done without disturbing the percentage of reservation so that the benefits trickle down to the needy and are not hindered by those who have been obtaining benefits for the last 70 years or after their inclusion in the list.

Indra Sawhney & Others vs Union of India, 1992The Supreme Court while upholding the 27% quota for backward classes, struck down the government notification reserving 10% government jobs for economically backward classes among the higher castes.

SC in the same case also upheld the principle that the combined reservation beneficiaries should not exceed 50% of India’s population.

The concept of ‘creamy layer’ also gained currency through this judgment and provision that reservation for backward classes should be confined to initial appointments only and not extend to promotions.

The Constitutional (103rd Amendment) Act of 2019 provided for 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for the “economically backward” in the unreserved category.

The Act amended the Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution by adding clauses empowering the government to provide reservation on the basis of economic backwardness.

This 10% economic reservation is over and above the 50% reservation cap.

However, it should be noted that a constitution bench of the SC has reserved orders whether a bunch of writ petitions challenging the economic reservation law should be referred to a Constitution Bench or not.

That is why the court had refused to pass any interim order to stay or hamper the implementation of the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019.

Remittances to India likely to decline by 23% in 2020 due to COVID-19: World Bank

Recently, the World Bank released a report on the impact of Covid-19 on migration and remittances.

According to the report, India’s remittances are projected to fall by about 23% in 2020.

Globally remittances are projected to decline by about 20% in 2020.

The projected fall is largely due to a fall in the wages and employment of migrant workers due to the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The migrant workers are vulnerable to loss of employment and wages during an economic crisis in a host country.

The sharp decline in crude prices will also hurt remittances from oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

This will lead to loss of income for expatriate Indians working in the Gulf and elsewhere across the world.

Remittance

  • A remittance is money sent to another party, usually one in another country.
  • The sender is typically an immigrant and the recipient a relative back home.
  • Remittances represent one of the largest sources of income for people in low-income and developing nations. It often exceeds the amount of direct investment and official development assistance.
  • Remittances help families afford food, healthcare, and basic needs.
  • India is the world’s biggest recipient of remittances. Remittances bolsters India’s foreign exchange reserves and helps fund its current account deficit.

World Bank

  • The Bretton Woods Conference held in 1944, created the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • The IBRD later became the World Bank.
  • The World Bank Group is a unique global partnership of five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.
  • It has 189 member countries.
  • Few important reports released by the World Bank are:
    • Ease of Doing Business,
    • Human Capital Index and
    • World Development Report
  • The five development institutions of the World Bank are.
    • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD): provides loans, credits, and grants.
    • International Development Association (IDA): provides low- or no-interest loans to low-income countries.
    • International Finance Corporation (IFC): provides investment, advice, and asset management to companies and governments.
    • Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA): insures lenders and investors against political risk such as war.

International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID): settles investment-disputes between investors and countries.

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