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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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Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 29th Dec 2020

Consortia for Medicinal Plants


National Medicinal Plants Board Launches Consortia for Medicinal Plants

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB !

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of AYUSH


National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Ministry of AYUSH envisages the necessity of connectivity between stakeholders in the supply chain and value chain of Medicinal Plants.


  • NMPB Consortia will address/deliberate on Quality Planting Material, Research & Development, Cultivation, Trade of medicinal plants/market linkage etc.

To establish the linkage between the farmers and manufacturers, a ‘Seed to Shelf’ approach is being introduced

  • Wherein, aspects related to Quality Planting Materials (QPM), Good Agriculture Practices (GAP’s), Good Post Harvest Practices (GPHP’s) would be addressed.

NMPB consortia is proposed for medicinal plant species – Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Pippali (Piper longum), Aonla (Phyllanthus emblica), Guggulu (Commiphora wightii), Satavari (Asparagus racemosus).

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Eligible organizations are : Farmers/ FPOs/ FPCs/QPM centres/ Seed banks/ Nurseries/ SHGs/ NGOs/ Traders/manufactures/Exporters/Pharma/Research institutes / Agriculture Universities can register to be part of consortia.
     SOURCES:   PIB   | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 29th Dec 2020 

Malayali Tribes of Tamil Nadu


Giant Rock Bee Honey, a Unique Variant of Honey Sourced From Malayali Tribes of Tamil Nadu Added to Tribes India Collection

      WHY IN NEWS:

More than 35 new, attractive, immunity-boosting tribal products have found a new home in Tribes India outlets and website in the 8th edition of “From Our Home to your Home”’ campaign.

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Tribal Affairs


The campaign had been launched 8 weeks back by TRIFED in order to source as many effective, natural, and attractive products from diverse indigenous tribes across the country


  • Key products this week are the natural, fresh, organic produce from the Malayali tribes of Tamil Nadu, such as Giant Rock Bee Honey, honey, variants of millet rice, tamarind and black pepper.

Malayali is a tribal group from the Eastern Ghats in North Tamil Nadu

  • With a population of around 3,58,000 people they are the largest Scheduled tribes in that region.
  • The tribals are usually hill farmers and they cultivate different types of millet.
  • Among the other products sourced include vibrant and eye-catching micro-beaded jewelry (mainly neckpieces) from the Patelia tribe from Madhya Pradesh.

Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 29th Dec 2020

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • With a variety of natural and sustainable produce and products, the Tribes India e-marketplace offers a glimpse into the age-old traditions of our tribal brethren.
     SOURCES:  PIB  | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 29th Dec 2020 

China defends progress of Pak.corridor


China defends progress of Pak.corridor

      WHY IN NEWS:

It rejects reports of seeking additional guarantees from Islamabad before sanctioning a loan for CPEC



Beijing defended the progress of the CPEC plan, following reports in the Pakistani press last week that concerns over Pakistan’s ability to pay back loans as it grapples with the impact of the pandemic had emerged in recent negotiations.


  • China had sought additional guarantees before sanctioning a $6 billion loan for Main Line-1 (ML-1) project.
  • It includes upgrading an 1,872-km rail line from Peshawar to Karachi.
  • Due to the “weakening financial position of Pakistan” and had “proposed a mix of commercial and concessional loans against Islamabad’s desire to secure the cheapest lending”.


  • The statement also hit out at criticism from the U.S. that said Chinese projects were leaving huge debt burdens.
  • Regarding the so-called debt issue, according to statistics from the State Bank of Pakistan, the total foreign debt of Pakistan is $110 billion .

Loans from CPEC were about $5.8 billion, accounting for 5.3% of Pakistan’s total foreign debt, with a repayment period of 20-25 years and an interest rate of approximately 2%

  • With repayments to start in 2021 of around $300 million annually.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • However, the ML-1 project loan is currently being negotiated for the estimated $6.8 billion project.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 29th Dec 2020 

How to measure aerosols with a particle counter?


How to measure aerosols with a particle counter, after accounting for dust

      WHY IN NEWS:

The concentration of aerosols in public spaces can give a measure of infection risk.



The study is published in Physics of Fluids, a journal from the American Institute of Physics.

  • Now, scientists have demonstrated a simpler alternative: use a commercially available particle counter.
  • Many particle counters are available in the market.
  • The reading you get from such handheld particle counters, however, will include background dust besides the aerosols.
  • We can measure the amount of dust particles when there are no aerosols and then take the difference with when people do generate aerosols by speaking or coughing

It’s just a simple subtracting of the background.


  • While the device used comes with six different size channels0.3, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 5.0, and 10.0 microns ( 1 micron is a millionth part of a metre).

A lot of the dust is so fine that aerosols in that range cannot really be measured

  • More than 98% of the dust, in fact, is contained in the first two channels (smallest particles) of size 0.3 and 0.5 microns.


  • Aerosol concentration is often measured using a technique called laser diffraction, in which a laser beam passing through a sample lights up different-sized particles differently.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Ventilation, therefore, plays a large role in indoor spaces.
     SOURCES:   IE  | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 29th Dec 2020 

What is Pneumosil ?


What is Pneumosil, India’s first indigenously created vaccine against pneumococcal disease?

      WHY IN NEWS:

Pneumococcal disease is a significant contributor under-five mortality rate worldwide.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases


The vaccine, Pneumosil, will be available shortly. -Serum Institute of India


  • Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) unveiled India’s first indigenously developed pneumococcal vaccine.
  • The world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by doses, SII is also the maker of Covaxin, the Indian version of the AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus vaccine.


SII’s pneumococcal vaccine, Pneumosil, was developed through a collaboration spanning over a decade with the health organisation PATH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


  • The vaccine targets the pneumococcal bacterium, which causes pneumonia and other serious life-threatening diseases such as meningitis and sepsis.


  • Pneumococcal disease is a significant contributor under-five mortality rate worldwide.
  • In view of its widespread fatality, the World Health Organization in 2018 recommended the inclusion of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in routine childhood immunisation programmes in all countries.

Serum’s first indigenous PCV will be available in the market at an affordable price in single dose (vial and prefilled syringe) and multidose (vial) presentations 

  • While PCVs have helped reduce pneumococcal deaths, they are difficult for many countries to afford.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The unique feature of the WHO pre-qualified PCV is its composition which is specially tailored to the serotype of the bacterium, S penumoniae, in India and other regions of the world.

Based on the trials, Pneumosil was licensed by the Drugs Controller General (India) in July 2020

  • The vaccine also makes SII the world’s third supplier of PCVs under the pneumococcal Advance Market Commitment, and the first developing country vaccine manufacturer to access the global PCV market
     SOURCES:  IE   | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 29th Dec 2020 

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