Factly articles for December 4, 2020

13 min read

Global Wage Report 2020

News: International Labour Organization(ILO) has released the Global Wage Report 2020.


  • Aim: The report looks at recent trends in wages, the global economic and labour market context and the impact that the pandemic has had on wages.

Key Takeaways:

  • During 2016-19, the global wage growth fluctuated between 1.6% and 2.2%.
  • In the first half of 2020, the average wages in two-third countries fell or grew more slowly due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • In the remaining one-third of countries — an increase in average wages was observed as the result of a large number of low-paid workers losing their jobs or leaving the labour market.
  • The report also found that not all workers were equally affected by the crisis. Those in lower-skilled occupations and mostly women lost more working hours than higher-paying managerial and professional jobs.

Additional Facts:

  • ILO: It was founded in 1919 to promote social justice and thereby contribute to universal and lasting peace.
    • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
    • Reports: a) World Employment and Social Outlook b) Global Wage Report and c) World Social Protection Report.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

News: International Day of Persons with Disabilities is being observed on 3 December.


  • The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • Objective: To promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development and to increase awareness.
  • Theme: “Building Back Better: Toward a Disability-Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post-COVID19 World”.

Additional Facts:

  • Persons with Disabilities in India: According to the National Statistical Office(NSO) Survey, the prevalence of disability (percentage of persons with disability in the population) was 2.2% with 2.3% in rural and 2.0% in urban areas.The prevalence was higher among males (2.4%) than females (1.9%).
  • United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy: It was launched by the UN Secretary-General in 2019.The strategy provides the foundation for sustainable and transformative progress on disability inclusion through all pillars of the work of the United Nations.
  • Accessible India Campaign: It was launched by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities(DEPwD) in 2015 with the aim to make a barrier-free and conducive environment for Divyangjans (Persons with Disabilities – PwDs) all over the country.
  • AICTE : Saksham Scholarship scheme for Students with Disabilities: It is a Ministry of Education Scheme being implemented by AICTE with the aim of providing encouragement and support to specially abled children to pursue Technical Education.

Arecibo Observatory telescope collapses

News:  Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has collapsed after decades of astronomical discoveries.


  • Arecibo Observatory, also known as the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center(NAIC) is an observatory in Arecibo,Puerto Rico.It is owned by the US National Science Foundation(NSF).
  • Purpose: The telescope which received radio waves from space had been used by scientists around the world to hunt for possible signatures of extraterrestrial life, study distant planets and find potentially hazardous asteroids
  • Significance: It was the largest single-unit radio telescope in the world until China’s Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) began operations in 2016.
  • Contributions: The observatory is responsible for groundbreaking discoveries in the field of astronomy.This includes discovering the first planets outside our solar system, ice on the poles of Mercury and even evidence of the very first binary pulsar that led to a Nobel Prize in Physics.

SHINE trial offers shorter course of TB treatment for children

News: The preliminary findings of the SHINE Trial have been released.


  • SHINE Trial: It stands for Shorter treatment for minimal tuberculosis(TB) in children(SHINE).
  • Purpose: It is the first randomised-controlled clinical trial designed specifically to test the efficacy of shortened treatments for children diagnosed with tuberculosis(TB).
  • Conducted by: The trial was sponsored by University College London (UCL) and funded by the UK Department of Health, Wellcome Trust with additional support from the TB Alliance.
  • What were the results? The trial has found no significant differences between children who received the shortened four-month long treatment compared to those who received the standard six-month treatment plan.

Additional Facts:

  • Tuberculosis(TB): It is an infectious airborne bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • TB Alliance: It is a not-for-profit product development partnership (PDP), uniquely positioned to leverage a global network of public and private partners to most efficiently advance TB drug development.

Health Ministry’s telemedicine service e Sanjeevani completes 9 lakh consultations

News: In a landmark achievement, eSanjeevani, Health Ministry’s national telemedicine initiative has completed 9 lakh consultations.


  • eSanjeevani: It is a digital platform that has enabled two types of telemedicine services:
    • eSanjeevani: It is a doctor to doctor telemedicine system being implemented under the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre(AB-HWCs) programme.It seeks to connect all 1,50,000 HWCs using the hub-and-spoke model by December 2022.
    • eSanjeevaniOPD: It was launched amid the Covid-19 pandemic to enable patient-to-doctor tele-consultation.

Additional Facts:

  • Telemedicine: It is the delivery of health care services where distance is a critical factor by all health care professionals using Information Technology(IT) for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, etc, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities.

IFSCA gets membership of International Association of Insurance Supervisors

News: International Financial Services Centres Authority(IFSCA) has obtained membership of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).


  • International Association of Insurance Supervisors(IAIS): It was established in 1994 as a voluntary membership organization of insurance supervisors from over 190 jurisdictions constituting 97% of the world’s insurance premiums.
  • Purpose: It is the international standard-setting body responsible for developing and assisting in the implementation of principles, standards, and other supporting material for the supervision of the insurance sector.
  • Significance: Indian Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) is among the leading members of IAIS.
  • Hosted by: Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
  • Headquarters: Basel, Switzerland.

Additional Facts:

  • International Financial Services Centres Authority(IFSCA): It has been established in 2020 under the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2019.It is headquartered at GIFT City, Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
    • Purpose: It is a unified authority for the development and regulation of financial products, financial services and financial institutions in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in India.

Explained: How NRIs could vote by post

News: Election Commission(EC) has approached the Law Ministry to permit NRIs to cast their votes from overseas through postal ballots.


  • Current Strength of NRI voters: According to a UN report of 2015, India’s diaspora population is the largest in the world at 16 million people.However, Registration of NRI voters in comparison has been very low: a little over one lakh overseas Indians registered as voters in India.
  • What is the current process of voting for NRIs? An NRI can vote in the constituency in which her place of residence as mentioned in the passport is located.She can only vote in person and will have to produce her passport in original at the polling station for establishing identity.
  • If approved, how will voting by postal ballots work for NRIs? According to the EC, any NRI interested in voting through the postal ballot in an election will have to inform the Returning Officer(RO) not later than five days after the notification of the election.On receiving such information, the RO will dispatch the ballot paper electronically.
    • The NRI voters will download the ballot paper mark their preference on the printout and send it back along with a declaration attested by an officer appointed by the diplomatic or consular representative of India in the country where the NRI is resident.

Additional Facts:

  • Postal Ballot: It is a type of voting in elections whereby Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot Papers(ETPB) are distributed to electors and returned by post.