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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.

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ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.


BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

19th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2021

PR Voting System


New Zealand PM Ardern wins historic re-election

      WHY IN NEWS:

Labour party set to win 64 of 120 seats



Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivered the biggest election victory for her centre-left Labour Party in half a century .

19th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

The mandate means Ms. Ardern, 40, could form the first single-party government in decades.

  • Labour was on track to win 64 of the 120 seats in the country’s unicameral Parliament, the highest by any party since

New Zealand adopted a proportional voting system in 1996.

  • Ms. Ardern promised supporters she would build an economy that works for everyone, create jobs, train people, protect the environment and address climate challenges and social inequalities.


  • The rationale underpinning all PR systems is to consciously reduce the disparity between a party’s share of the national vote and its share of the parliamentary seats.
  • If a major party wins 40 per cent of the votes, it should win approximately 40 per cent of the seats.
  • If a minor party with 10 per cent of the votes should also gain 10 per cent of the legislative seats.

This congruity between a party’s share of the vote and its share of the seats provides an incentive for all parties to support and participate in the system.

  • PR requires the use of electoral districts with more than one member.
  • It is not possible to divide a single seat elected on a single occasion proportionally.


There are two major types of PR system—List PR and Single Transferable Vote (STV).

  • Proportionality is often seen as being best achieved by the use of party lists, where political parties present lists of candidates to the voters on a national or regional basis, but preferential voting can work equally well.
  • The Single Transferable Vote, where voters rank-order candidates in multi-member districts, is another well-established proportional system.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • There are many important issues which can have a major impact on how a PR system works in practice.
  • The greater the number of representatives to be elected from a district, the more proportional the electoral system will be.
  • PR systems also differ in the range of choice given to the voter—whether the voter can choose between political parties, individual candidates, or both.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU | 19th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Zero waste city


CSIR-CMERI develops Sustainable Municipal Solid Waste Processing Facility

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB !

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Science & Technology
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Water : Solid waste management


“Besides achieving Decentralised Decimation of Solid Wastes, it also helps create value-added end-products”


  • Equipped with Advanced Segregation techniques, the Bio-Digestion process adopted has minimum pollution factor.

Ineffective processing of Wastes are the root of all diseases as the dumped Landfills become the Contamination Hubs for Pathogens, Bacteria and Viruses.

  • This CSIR-CMERI MSW Technology envisions a Zero-Landfill and a Zero Waste City in addition to developing Job-Creation opportunities


  • The changing ecological scenarios requires special attention to address the issue of Sustainable Processing of Municipal Solid Waste.
  • It is a necessary component of converting waste into useful end products.
  •  Also, it is used to maintain a cleaner environment and to safeguard contamination of soil, air and water.

Besides, they also become the cauldron for emission of Methane Gas, especially during Composting processes.

  • Composting also does not yield impactful economic returns for the entrepreneurs.
  • The primary focus of CSIR-CMERI is to unburden the common households from the segregation responsibilities through Advanced Segregation techniques.


  • The Bio-Digestion process adopted has minimum pollution factor.
  • The MSW facility has been equipped with a diverse range of waste including Masks, Sanitary Napkins, Diapers etc.

The MSW facility has been with special disinfection capabilities ; UV-C Lights and Hot-Air Convection methods.

  • To achieved optimum Energy Sufficiency in the MSW facility by adding the Solar energy technology.
  • The Institute developed Solid Waste Disposal using Plasma Arc converting wastes into plasma state for proper disposal.
  • The residues generated having good carbon content are used in agriculture as fertilizer and non-usable are utilized to make bricks for construction purposes.
  • Thus, it is creating wealth out of wastes through use of science.


  • Another solution provided by CSIR-CMERI which is more cost effective is Mechanized Segregation Process.

During the rainy season its management is difficult due to presence of moisture. The alternative solution is Bio-methanation Plant.

  • CSIR-CMERI has started an innovative technology of producing the Biogas from grass and weeds and Vermi-composting of Slurry of the plant process.
  • A mechanized system has been developed to utilize saw dust, shredded leaves, biogas slurry and produces briquettes.
  • The Smokeless Stove has also been developed to utilize these briquettes.
  • Such stoves have the benefits of Reduction in import of LPG and reduction in pollution.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Towards targeting a Zero landfill, the Pyrolysis process wherein conversion of plastics into gas and fuel are done.
  • This is an environment-friendly process and produces within permissible toxins as conversion happens in the anaerobic chamber.
  • Heavy oil, gas being used in pyrolysis helps in obtaining self-sustainability.

Through Plasma Gasification Process also eco-friendly disposal of solid wastes is processed without formation and reformation of toxic dioxins and furans.

  • The Decentralized Solid Waste Management Plant developed by CSIR-CMERI has all the potentials to managing any contaminants available in the wastes.
  • The technology pertains to the period 2013-16 and has some cost constraints.
     SOURCES: PIB | 19th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Zero Rajdhani


A ‘Zero Rajdhani’ skirts Guwahati, cuts travel short

      WHY IN NEWS:

Dibrugarh train via Bogibeel, India’s iconic rail-road bridge, saves 117 km from regular route to Delhi



Passengers are hoping that the special train will be turned into a regular service


  • Bogibeel, India’s longest rail-and-road bridge across the Brahmaputra.
  • In December 2018 it brought the two “emotionally connected” banks of eastern Assam closer by more than seven hours.
  • A ‘Zero Rajdhani’ train via this 4.94 km bridge has now brought the people of the two banks closer to New Delhi by more than 100 km.
  • Train number starts with 2 while those of mail, express trains start with 1.
  • The zero makes it a special train, usually operated temporarily.

The special ‘Rajdhani’ could be a first, deviating from the train definition, bypassing Guwahati, the original terminal for Rajdhani, by some 50 km.

  • For people in Dibrugarh and eastern Arunachal Pradesh, what matters more is the option of reaching Delhi or other stations on the ‘normal’ Rajdhani route faster.
  • The track via Bogibeel is 117 km shorter.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 


  • Lakhimpur and Dibrugarh districts had always been psychologically, economically and culturally linked but the river forced residents to maintain distance.

The alternative was a 12-hour road trip via Kaliabhomora bridge or a time-consuming river ferry service.

  • The special ‘Rajdhani’ service offers the fourth pair of trains connecting North Lakhimpur and Dibrugarh, after the Tinsukia-Naharlagun Express was introduced in 2018.
  • Faster trains are an alternative to Lilabari Airport, where flights have reduced drastically.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU | 19th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

‘76% of rural Indians can’t afford nutritious diet’


‘76% of rural Indians can’t afford nutritious diet’

      WHY IN NEWS:

If they set aside just a third of their income for non-food expenses, 76% of rural Indians would not be able to afford the recommended diet.



Three out of four rural Indians cannot afford a nutritious diet, according to a paper recently published in journal Food Policy.



  • The study uses the latest available food price and wage information from the National Sample Survey’s 2011 dataset.
  • The findings are significant in the light of the fact that India performs abysmally on many nutrition indicators.

While the country claims to have achieved food security. GHI showed that India has the world’s highest prevalence of child wasting.


  • ‘76% of rural Indians can’t afford nutritious diet’
  • The National Institute for Nutrition’s guidelines for a nutritionally adequate diet call for adult women to eat 330 gm of cereals and 75 gm of pulses a day, along with 300 gm of dairy, 100 gm of fruit, and 300 gm of vegetables.
  • This should include at least 100 gm of dark green leafy vegetables too.

Selecting the cheapest options from actual Indian diets — wheat, rice, bajra, milk, curd, onions, radish, spinach, bananas — the study calculated that a day’s meals would cost ₹45 (or ₹51 for an adult man).

  • Even if they spent all their income on food, 63.3% of the rural population or more than 52 crore Indians would not be able to afford that nutritious meal.
  • This does not even account for the meals of non-earning members of a household, such as children or older adults.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

These numbers are somewhat speculative, but they do reveal the scale of the dietary affordability problem in rural India: nutritious diets are too expensive, and incomes far too low.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU | 19th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Global warming might affect food security


How global warming might affect food security

      WHY IN NEWS:

It would be useful to do lab experiments on model plants

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : Global warming


Scientists warn higher temperatures during the ‘growing season’ in the tropics and sub-tropic regions will greatly affect crop productivity


The rise in CO2 levels has also acidified the ocean, leading to weakening the shells and skeletons of animals living in the sea.

  • On land, the rise in CO2 levels has both positive and negative effects.
  • This being a ‘Green House Gas’, it traps the Sun’s heat from the atmosphere and warms the temperature, aids in the photosynthesis of plants, making them grow more.
  • But at the same time restricts the plant’s ability to absorb nitrogen, thus restricting crop growth.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Between the year 1870 (the first industrial revolution) and today, the global temperature has risen by almost 2 degrees Celsius.
  • This has come about due to more fossil burning (oil, natural gas, coal), which has also increased the carbon dioxide ( CO2) levels from 280 ppm to 400 ppm.
  • This heating has caused glaciers to melt and the sea level to rise.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU  | 19th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Celebrating skinks, ZSI lists 62 species in India


Celebrating skinks, ZSI lists 62 species in India

      WHY IN NEWS:

The harmless, insectivorous lizards are found across the country in every bio-geographic zone

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Biodiversity


With long bodies, relatively small or no legs, no pronounced neck and glossy scales, skinks are common reptiles


  • They are around homes, garages, and open spaces such as parks and school playgrounds, and around lakes.
  • Although they are common reptiles and have a prominent role in maintaining ecosystems.Not much is known about their breeding habits.
  • The identification of these species can be confusing.


  • Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) reveals that India is home to 62 species of skinks .

It says about 57% of all the skinks found in India (33 species) are endemic.

  • The publication, Skinks of India, was released earlier this month by Union Minister of State, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change.
  • It is the first monograph on this group of lizards, which are found in all kinds of habitats in the country.
  • While a lot of work is done on other groups of reptiles like snakes or geckos, skinks are an ignored species.


  • Skinks are highly alert, agile and fast moving and actively forage for a variety of insects and small invertebrates.

The reduced limbs of certain skink species or the complete lack of them make their slithering movements

  • It resembles snake, leading people to have incorrect notion that they are venomous.
  • This results in several of these harmless creatures being killed.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The publication is a result of four years of work and study of over 4,000 specimens in all 16 regional centres of ZSI and also at the Bombay Natural History Society, Indian Institute of Science, Wildlife Institute of India, and the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology & Natural History.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU | 19th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

GST cess will stay


GST cess will stay: finance panel chief

      WHY IN NEWS:

It will continue till States’ dues are paid

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Finance Commission


The Commission’s report on the devolution of funds between the Centre and the States for the five-year period of 2021-22 till 2025-2026, will be submitted to the government soon.

19th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis


  • It will factor in unpaid compensation dues while working out States’ revenue flow calculations beyond 2022.

The levy of compensation cess on Goods and Services Tax (GST) may have to be extended for quite a few years.

  • Perhaps it can be extended till as late as 2025-26, to pay off the States’ GST dues.
  • Both the States and the Centre are recalibrating the contours of a consensus within the GST Council.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Asserting that the Centre has at no point backtracked from the fact that the States will get compensation for the first five years.
  • A lot of misgivings about the fiscal compact having been broken and there being a trust deficit” in negotiations over the GST compensation cess were “somewhat exaggerated”.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | 19th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

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