Dear Aspirants
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.

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass

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.

Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 24th Nov 2020

Today's Must Read Articles : Today's Must Read Articles :

Oxford vaccine is 70% effective

      HEADLINES:

Oxford vaccine is 70% effective

      WHY IN NEWS:

200 million doses will be ready by year-end, says pharma major

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      ISSUE: 

Pharma major AstraZeneca said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine could be as much as 90% effective.

ASTRAZENECA

Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 24th Nov 2020

SOURCES : THE HINDU

The British drugmaker said it will have as many as 200 million doses by the end of 2020, around four times as many as U.S. competitor Pfizer.

  • This will give the world’s fight against the global pandemic a new weapon, cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than rivals.
  • Seven hundred million doses could be ready globally as early as the end of the first quarter of 2021.
  • The vaccine on average prevented 70% of COVID-19 cases in late-stage trials in Britain and Brazil.

The success rate rose to 90% if the vaccine was administered as a half dose followed by a full dose.

  • The efficacy was 62% if the full dose was given twice, as it was for most study participants.
  • No serious safety events were confirmed, the company said.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • However, AstraZeneca’s shares fell 4%, , as investors perceived the efficacy data as disappointing compared with rivals.
  • Pfizer and Moderna, which reported that their vaccines prevented around 95% of cases, had set the bar for success sky-high.

The drug’s cost to governments works out at just a few dollars a shot from Pfizer and Moderna, which use a more unconventional technology.

  • The AstraZeneca shot does, however, have some advantages over offerings from U.S. rivals.
SUGGESTED READING : ALL ABOUT PFIZER 
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 24th Nov 2020

Bhutan border village on disputed land

      HEADLINES:

Bhutan border village on disputed land

      WHY IN NEWS:

Media claims it is on Chinese territory

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR

      ISSUE: 

Chinese media on Monday claimed that a new border village built by China near Bhutan was on Chinese territory

PANGDA VILLAGE

  • The released images of the village show its location on territory disputed by the two countries.

The Global Times confirmed that the village of Pangda had been newly built and residents moved there in September.

  • The newspaper placed the village in disputed territory, a couple of kilometres inside what Bhutan sees as its territory.

Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 24th Nov 2020

BHUTAN’S DENIAL

  • Last week, however, Bhutan’s officials denied the village was on their territory.

“There is no Chinese village inside Bhutan.”-Bhutan’s Ambassador in India

  • 27 households voluntarily moved from Shangdui village of Duina prefecture of Yadong county to Pangda village in September 2020.-Global Times

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Chinese media reported there were 27 households, and the village was covered by asphalt roads .
  • It also has a public square, village committee, health room, police room, kindergarten, supermarket and plastic runway.

China in the past, bolstered its territorial claims in disputed areas by building civilian settlements on disputed South China Sea islands.

SUGGESTED READING : LESSONS FROM SINO-INDIA WAR 1962  
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 24th Nov 2020

Kerala puts new libel law on hold

      HEADLINES:

Kerala puts new libel law on hold

      WHY IN NEWS:

We will seek debate on amendment: CM

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Fundamental Rights

      ISSUE: 

The Kerala government put a hold on the ordinance that sought to empower the police to prosecute persons disseminating defamatory content.

  • Various quarters had aired scepticism about the recent revision to the Kerala Police Act, 2011.
  • The government had decided not to implement the ordinance signed into law by Kerala Governor Arif Muhammad Khan.

Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 24th Nov 2020

CRITICISM

  • The government had come under criticism for promulgating a “black law” that threatened free speech and the freedom of the press.

The misuse of social media as a potent vehicle for slander targeting women, children and families had necessitated the law.

  • However, the scope of potential abuse of the law prompted its abandonment.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Alternatively, the government would seek a consensus by placing the amendment for debate in the Assembly.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 24th Nov 2020

“Padharo Mhare Des”

      HEADLINES:

Digital concert series supports folk artistes during pandemic

      WHY IN NEWS:

Initiative will present some renowned performers

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : Art and Culture : Art Forms

      ISSUE: 

A digital COVID-19 relief concert series, titled “Padharo Mhare Des”, has been launched here to support folk artistes.

PADHARO MHARE DES

AIM

The aim is to support artists deprived of regular livelihood for several months, in the remote areas of Rajasthan.

  • The fund-raising series will present some renowned performers and promote virtual tourism during the pandemic.

SIGNIFICANCE

  • The initiative would play a crucial role in the growth of art forms in the State and extend support to the artistes solely dependent on their performances for livelihood.
  • The series has been planned and organised by Jaipur-based Arpan Foundation.

The series will feature about 70 folk artistes from the interiors of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Barmer districts in western Rajasthan.

  • This will highlight the rich heritage of traditional music and dance forms of the Thar desert.
  • The teams of entertainment professionals have reached out to far-off regions and recorded performances of artistes at their native places.

MOHUN VEENA RECITAL

  • “Padharo Mhare Des” will have special episode on  Grammy Award winner Vishwa Mohan Bhatt on his iconic Mohan Veena.

This was followed by the folk music performances and dance by the Langas and Kalbeliyas from Jodhpur and Manganiyars from Barmer.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

DATABASE DRIVE

  • State government will prepare a database of artistes practising in different spheres of crafts and techniques to help in with crowdsourcing.

The database includes basic details along with genre of art forms, such as performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, dying arts etc.

  • Folk artistes who formed an integral part of the State’s cultural fabric had been badly hit during the pandemic.
  • Tourism, cultural performances, events and celebrations having been scaled down.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 24th Nov 2020

Govt. to fast-track green nod

      HEADLINES:

Govt. to fast-track green nod

      WHY IN NEWS:

MoEF issues fresh guidelines to accelerate environmental appraisal of projects

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Environment and Ecology : EIA : EAC

      ISSUE: 

The recommendations include ensuring that expert panel meetings are held at least once in 15 days.

RAPID RESULTS

  • The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) wants to expedite the environment appraisal of industrial projects.

These appraisal committee has independent panels of experts that have representatives from the government as well as from outside.

  • They are trained in matters of ecology, wildlife and habitat preservation.

EXPERT APPRAISAL COMMITTEES (EACS)

  • The Expert Appraisal Committees (EACs) opine on whether a proposed project beyond a certain size ought to be commissioned and recommend ways to mitigate the potential environmental impact.

Their advice is critical to the MoEF’s eventual decision to either clear or red flag a project.

  • Ministry’s EIA division, that coordinates EAC meetings, issued fresh guidelines to accelerate the appraisal process.

‘AVOID DELAYS’

  • The recommendations include ensuring that EAC meetings are held at least once in 15 days.
  • All proposals that were placed for approval 10 days before a meeting ought to be considered (It is 15 days now).

The queries or issues, which the division may have, should be raised during the EAC meeting only.

  • It was legally contentious if an office order could curtail the role of the EAC that requires detailed scrutiny of applications seeking environmental clearance.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Accelerated approvals definitely don’t allow for good environmental decisions.
  • Also, they do not necessitate that projects will be up and running to support an already sluggish economy.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 24th Nov 2020

Aviation Safety Awareness Week 2020

      HEADLINES:

AAI observes Aviation Safety Awareness Week 2020

      WHY IN NEWS:

Airports Authority of India (AAI) commenced Aviation Safety Awareness Week 2020 (23rd November to 27th November 2020).

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Civil Aviation
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 : Transport : Airports

      ISSUE: 

The week-long celebration is being observed at all airports and ANS locations managed by AAI across India.

AVIATION SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK 2020

AIM

  • AAI, requested all Regional Executive Directors & Airport Directors to be proactive.

The focus will be to devote time personally for monitoring safety performance of their respective region/station.

  •  Covid-19 situation in spite of reduced flight movements, it has been observed that wildlife/bird menace has increased at airports.

EVENTS

  • AAI will undertake various employee engagement programs at the airports and ANS stations .

EXAMPLE
Reviewing of documents and facilities, Mock exercises, preventive maintenance etc.

  • Various social campaigns too will be rolled out to raise awareness on the issue.
  • Banners and posters are being displayed across AAI offices and operational centres.

SIGNIFICANE

  • Safety preventive measures should continue unabated irrespective of traffic volume.
  • The event is to educate both external and internal stakeholders on the significance of the Safety Awareness Week.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

DGCA has emphasized to achieve long term objective of Zero fatality by the year 2030 as envisaged by ICAO in its Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP-2020-22)

     SOURCES:  PIB  | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 24th Nov 2020

ATAL Faculty Development Programmes (FDPs)-AICTE

      HEADLINES:

Union Minister of Education inaugurates 46 online ATAL Faculty Development Programmes (FDPs) organised by AICTE

      WHY IN NEWS:

Book of World Records, London acknowledges the training of over one lakh people in 1,000 programs under ‘FDP’ as a world record

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Education
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Education

      CONTEXT: 

Moment of pride for ATAL Academy to be included in Book of World Records – Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’

ATAL – FACULTY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES (FDPs)

  • Union Education Minister, inaugurated 46 online AICTE Training and Learning (ATAL) Academy Faculty Development Programmes (FDPs) .

AIM

  • The main objective of ATAL Academy is to provide quality technical education in the country and to promote research and entrepreneurship.

FDPs are to train teachers of higher education institutions associated with All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) in thrust and emerging areas in technology.

  • The FDPs will be conducted in 22 Indian states.

FUNDING

  • This year the online FDP program will cost Rs 10 crores.

SIGNIFICANCE

Digital learning and the increasing use of smart devices such as computers, smart phones, and tablets have enhanced student learning.

  • CBSE teachers have been trained under the ‘Flipped Classroom‘ and ‘Blended Learning‘ concept.

TRAINING AND BENEFICIARIES

  • FDPs in over 100 emerging areas will benefit one lakh faculty members across premier institutions like IITs, NITs, and IIITs.

ATAL Academy is conducting FDPs in online mode, including the process of registration till certificate disbursal mechanism.

  • In the year 2020-21, new thrust areas in the field of Engineering, Management, Life Skills, Design & Media have been incorporated.
  • Out of 1000, 499 FDPs have already been completed with more than 70,000 faculty members already trained.

KEY FOCUS AREAS

FDPs in nine thrust areas —

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Internet of Things
  • Block-chain, Robotics
  • Quantum Computing
  • Data Sciences
  • Cyber Security
  • 3D Printing & Design
  • Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • In the flipped classroom model, students can take online lectures at home as per their convenience and the next day in class, they do assignments related to that lecture.
  • This method not only improves learning ability, but also students’ scores.
  • Under this, teachers record their lectures and post videos online, which can be accessed by students.
  • Students watch these videos and study at home and when they come to class they are ready with that lecture.
  • The next day, teachers in classrooms provide activities related to the post lecture and students participate.
     SOURCES: PIB  | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 24th Nov 2020

Corporates into Indian banking sector

      HEADLINES:

S&P sceptical of allowing corporates into Indian banking sector

      WHY IN NEWS:

Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, and former deputy governor Viral Acharya also criticised the proposal, calling it a “bad” idea.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: RBI

      ISSUE: 

S&P Global Ratings said on Monday a recommendation from an Indian central bank committee to allow industrial conglomerates to set up banks as part of proposed changes to the banking sector, is fraught with risk.

CORPORATES INTO INDIAN BANKING SECTOR

  • A working group at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recommended a series of changes, details of which were made public last week.
  • It includes allowing industrial houses to act as so-called bank promoters, meaning they could take a major stake in a lender.

CONCERNS

The working group’s concerns regarding

  • Conflict of interest
  • Concentration of economic power
  • Financial stability in allowing corporates to own banks are potential risks

Corporate ownership of banks raises the risk of inter-group lending, diversion of funds and reputational exposure.

  • Adding that contagion risk from corporate defaults would also rise significantly if industrial houses were at the helm of a bank.

India placed a private lender under moratorium for a month due to a “serious deterioration” in its finances.

  • Non-performing assets (NPA) within the corporate sector remain elevated even though they came down from 18% in March 2018 to 13% in March 2020.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Former RBI governor, Raghuram Rajan, and a former deputy governor, Viral Acharya, also criticised the proposal, calling it a “bad” idea.
  • It will further exacerbate the concentration of economic (and political) power in certain business houses
     SOURCES:   IE  | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 24th Nov 2020

 

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