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IASbhai Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2020-21 is an initiative to dilute major articles from leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Hence we choose articles on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC PRELIMS 2021.

“The harder I work, the luckier I get.” – Gary Player

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

13th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2021

Rohanixalus – New frog genus

      HEADLINES:

In Andamans, scientists hit upon new frog genus(group)

      WHY IN NEWS:

Researchers said Rohanix-alus is the “20th recognised genus of the family Rhacopho-ridae and currently comprises eight out of the 422 known Old World treefrog species found in Asia and Africa”.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Fauna

      ISSUE: 

ROHANIX-ALUS

13th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

  • The new genus ‘Rohanixalus’ is named after Sri Lankan taxonomist Rohan Pethiyagoda.
  • A study led by Delhi University, along with researchers from India, Indonesia and China.
  • They have reported a new genus of the Old World treefrog family Rhacophoridae .

It is the first report of a tree frog species (Striped Bubble-nest frog) from the Andaman Islands.

  • Rohanix-alus is the 20th recognised genus of the family Rhacopho-ridae .
  • It is currently comprises eight out of the 422 known Old World treefrog species found in Asia and Africa.

FEATURES

  • They are characterised by a “rather small and slender body (2-3 cm long)

A pair of contrastingly coloured lateral lines on either side of the body

  • Minute brown speckles scattered throughout the upper body
  • Light green-coloured eggs laid in arboreal bubble-nests
  • Several unique behavioural traits including maternal egg attendance.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • This finding also uncovers an interesting new distribution pattern of treefrogs .
  • Study also provides evidence for faunal exchange between Andamans and the Indo-Burma region.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | 13th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Progress in vaccination coverage

      HEADLINES:

‘India makes progress in vaccination coverage’

      WHY IN NEWS:

Report cites measures taken by the country to prevent child pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Reports : Diseases

      ISSUE: 

India has made significant progress in its vaccination coverage to prevent child pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths.

REPORT TITLED

According to the latest annual Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report released by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC).

KEY POINTS

  • This year’s report finds that although overall the world’s health systems are falling short of ensuring that children have access to prevention and treatment services.

India has achieved the global target of 90% coverage for three of the five vaccines whose coverage is monitored in the report.

  • While India’s coverage of rotavirus vaccine increased by 18 percentage points (35% rotavirus coverage in 2018 expanded to 53% in 2019)
  • Coverage against pneumococcal pneumonia increased by 9 percentage points (6% PCV coverage in 2018 expanded to 15% in 2019).

13th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

These vaccines are :

  • Diphtheria
  • Pertussis and Tetanus (DPT) vaccine,
  • Measles-containing-vaccine first dose
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)
  • Rotavirus vaccine.

100-DAY AGENDA

In 2019, India completed the “100-day agenda” — an unprecedented national scale-up of rotavirus vaccine.

  • This landmark vaccine expansion will help protect 26 million children born each year against life-threatening cases of rotavirus diarrhoea.

The report tracked progress by analysing indicators from the latest available data on how countries are delivering key interventions —

  • Including breastfeeding
  • Immunisation
  • Care-seeking and antibiotics
  • Oral rehydration solution (ORS)
  • Zinc supplementation — shown to prevent pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths.

FOCUS AREAS

Of the 15 focus countries included in the report, India is one of just four countries that exceeded targets for exclusive breastfeeding.

  • However, nearly every country included in the report lagged in access to treatments against pneumonia and diarrhoea.
  • India failed to reach all four targets for treatment.
  • Treatment for diarrhoea had the lowest coverage, with only 51% of children receiving ORS and 20% getting zinc.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Although there was progress in India in 2019.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the hard-won gains because of disruptions caused in routine health services like immunisation and access to medical oxygen.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  IE   PIB  DownToEarth   | 13th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Cohesive, responsive ASEAN : PM

      HEADLINES:

Cohesive, responsive ASEAN must for security, growth in region: PM Modi

      WHY IN NEWS:

The India-ASEAN summit focuses on measures to recover from the economic turmoil triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and ways to further broad-base strategic ties.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : International Grouping

      ISSUE: 

We believe a cohesive and responsive ASEAN is needed for security and growth for all in the region- PM

KEY POINTS FROM THE MEETING

POLICY MAKING

  • Cementing the connect between India and ASEAN on all fronts, including economic, social, digital, financial, maritime, is an important priority area for us.
  • The Strategic Partnership between India and ASEAN is based on our shared historical, geographical and cultural heritage.
  • Since the beginning, the ASEAN Group has been at the centre of our Act East policy.

There are many similarities between India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and ASEAN’s Outlook on Indo-Pacific.

  • The India-ASEAN summit focuses on measures to recover from the economic turmoil and ways to further broad-base strategic ties.
  • There is a need of strengthening convergence between India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific .
  • This will ensure a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region.

INITIAITIVES

  • He welcomed ASEAN’s initiatives to fight the pandemic and announced a contribution of $1 million to Covid-19 ASEAN Response Fund.
  • PM underlined the importance of cooperation and regular exchanges in the field of traditional medicines as a source of healthy and holistic living.

On trade and investment, the review of ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) is pending for long.

  • The importance of diversification and resilience of supply chains for post-Covid economic recovery was stressed.

The ASEAN leaders also welcomed adoption of the new ASEAN-India Plan of Action for 2021-2025.

  • The discussions also covered regional and international issues of common interest and concern, including South China Sea and terrorism.
  • Both sides noted the importance of promoting a rules-based order in the region, including through upholding adherence to international law, especially UNCLOS.

RCEP

  • India and ASEAN countries said they would explore ways to increase trade between them despite India’s exit from the 15-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

The RCEP free trade agreement, which India walked out from a year ago, is expected to be signed on November 15.

  • This ratification will be in between China, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and 10 Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) nations.
  • However, they are expected to leave in a clause allowing India to rejoin at a later date.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership stands on a strong foundation of shared geographical, historical and civilisational ties.

     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | 13th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Biden : Indo-Pacific plans

      HEADLINES:

Biden speaks to Indo-Pacific leaders

      WHY IN NEWS:

President-elect reassures countries of America’s commitment

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR

      ISSUE: 

Leaders of Japan, South Korea and Australia held congratulatory phone calls with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Mr. Biden discussed the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery tackling climate change and strengthening democracy.

Mr. Biden told Mr. Morrison that he looks forward to “maintaining a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region”.

  • The Quad grouping of countries — India, the U.S., Japan and Australia — was strengthened during the Trump administration.
  • It was largely as a response to China’s growing assertiveness and adventurism in the region, including along the Line of Actual Control with India.

SECURITY AND PROSPERITY

  • Mr. Biden referred to the U.S.-South Korea alliance as “the linchpin of security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region”, as per his transition team.

South Korea is looking to the U.S. for assistance with ways to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula .

  • South Korea also wants to resolve issues around the presence of 28,500 American troops in the country.
  • Mr. Trump had asked South Korea to pay more towards the troops and a cost-sharing agreement that expired in 2019 has not been renewed.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The Biden administration’s approach towards this informal grouping, as well as with China, will be closely watched by India.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | 13th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Retail inflation

      HEADLINES:

Oct. retail inflation accelerates to 7.61%

      WHY IN NEWS:

India’s economy is likely to enter a technical recession for the first time in its post-independence history.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:RBI

      ISSUE: 

Elevated vegetable prices keep price gains above 7% for a second straight month

  • India’s retail inflation remained above 7% in October for a second straight month as vegetable prices stayed at elevated levels.
  • October’s retail inflation of 7.61% was higher than the forecast of 7.3% in a Reuters’ poll of economists.

Retail inflation has remained above 4%, the middle-point of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) target of 2%-6%, for more than a year, giving it little room to cut interest rates.

  • The country reported a 23.9% contraction in the April-June quarter.
  • Two consecutive quarters of contraction are described as a recession.
  • The main factor leading to higher inflation was elevated food inflation, which stood at 11.07% in October compared with 10.68% in the previous month.

INFLATION

  • Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising and, consequently, the purchasing power of currency is falling.
  • Inflation is classified into three types: Demand-Pull inflation, Cost-Push inflation, and Built-In inflation.
  • Most commonly used inflation indexes are the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Wholesale Price Index (WPI).

Inflation can be viewed positively or negatively depending on the individual viewpoint and rate of change.

  • Those with tangible assets, like property or stocked commodities, may like to see some inflation as that raises the value of their assets.
  • People holding cash may not like inflation, as it erodes the value of their cash holdings.
  • Ideally, an optimum level of inflation is required to promote spending to a certain extent instead of saving, thereby nurturing economic growth.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

‘LIKELY TO PERSIST’

  • High food inflation despite easing restrictions and improving mobility numbers indicates the problem is more complex and likely to persist in the near future.

Disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic and excessive rainfall in States such as Maharashtra, Karnataka damaged and delayed the harvesting of onions.

  • October’s core inflation was in the range of 5.5% to 5.8%, according to four analysts, compared with 5.7% in September.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | 13th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

 

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