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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.

Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

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 | 30th Nov 2020

New species of gecko found

      HEADLINES:

New species of gecko found in the Eastern Ghats

      WHY IN NEWS:

This is the twelfth species to be discovered outside the Western Ghats

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 : Flora and Fauna : Recent Findings

      ISSUE: 

This discovery suggests that the genus may be even more widely distributed than previously thought.

INDIAN GEKKONID

  • A new species of lizard, the smallest known Indian gekkonid, has been discovered in the Eastern Ghats.
  • Studies show that the species belonged to the genus Cnemaspis.
  • In India, 45 diverse species of Cnemaspis have been found, of which 34 are from the Western Ghats.

The newly discovered dwarf gecko – Cnemaspis avasabinae is the twelfth species to be discovered outside the Western Ghats.

  • It is also the first species reported from the Velikonda Range in Andhra Pradesh.

Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 30th Nov 2020

  • Cnemaspis is one of several groups of gecko that we now know are very diverse and widespread over much of peninsular India.

FEATURES

  • The new species was sighted in a dry evergreen forest among the rocks beneath a small stream at a height of less than 200 metres above sea level.
  • It is measured less than 2.9 cm (snout to vent length).
  • The dorsal colour of the head, body and tail of the reptile is grey-pink with six pairs of dark brown patches.

The team gave it a common name – Sabin’s Nellore dwarf gecko.
 

FEMORAL SPORES

  • The most interesting find was that the males of the species lacked femoral pores.

Most variants of lizards have femoral pores in both the sexes, and the secretions from these pores play a role in communication.

  • Lacking femoral pores doesn’t mean that a male gecko is not adequately supplied with chemical means of communication.
  • It may also be possible that geckos are able to release pheromones to attract or communicate with possible mates.
  • Cnemaspis also have good vision, so visual signalling may play a part in mate attraction in these geckos.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • For now there is ‘deficient data’ on its conservation status.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 30th Nov 2020

Green light for semi-high-speed train line

      HEADLINES:

Green light for semi-high-speed train line

      WHY IN NEWS:

Responding to NITI Aayog, Kerala lists measures to reduce cost

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Infrastructure

      ISSUE: 

The Kerala government has informed the NITI Aayog that the 529.45 km semi-high-speed rail SilverLine from Kochuveli to Kasaragod, estimated to cost ₹63,941 crore, is “viable and feasible”

  • The cost per kilometre of ₹120.77 crore for laying the corridor is “reasonable”.- Kerala Govt.
  • Public-private partnership component of the joint venture between the Indian Railways and Kerala would be “improved”.-Centre
  • The “equity cash contribution” of Railways had been brought down from ₹7,720 crore to ₹2,150 crore.

Terming the cost of SilverLine “realistic”, the government said 70% of the alignment traversed “at grade” (the same level) compared with the 100% alignment via viaduct and tunnels of other projects.

Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 30th Nov 2020

MEASURES ADOPTED TO REDUCE THE COST

  • Alignment through vacant land or least populated villages
  • 10 stations at the rate of 1.87 in 100 km
  • Stone ballast for 475 km of track
  • Modern technology for designing embankments on soft soil
  • Pre-cast construction for viaducts and bridges.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The detailed project report (DPR) had been prepared.

Maximum possible revenue generation would be explored and modes adopted by the Kochi Metro would be looked into.

  • The project was self-sustainable, the government submitted.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 30th Nov 2020

4th National Security trilateral Cooperation meeting

      HEADLINES:

Neighbours agree on intel sharing

      WHY IN NEWS:

India, Sri Lanka, Maldives deliberate on common security threats at trilateral

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Security : IR

      ISSUE: 

India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives on Saturday agreed to expand the scope of intelligence sharing, including terrorism and cyber security.

COMMON SECURITY THREATS

  • A meet named – “common security threats”.NSA , Sri Lankan Defence and Maldives Foreign Minister Mariya Didi met at a trilateral meeting in Colombo.
  • Mauritius and Seychelles were represented virtually at the senior officials’ level.

REVIVED AFTER SIX YEARS

The 4th National Security Adviser-level trilateral Maritime Security Cooperation meeting — the practice has been revived after a six-year gap.

  • It sought to promote meaningful cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • It with focus on common issues pertaining to maritime security.

BROAD COOPERATION

  • Members agreed to broad-base cooperation by expanding the scope to improve intelligence sharing.

This include issues like terrorism, radicalisation, extremism, drugs, arms and human trafficking.

  • Also, money laundering, cyber security and effect of climate change on maritime environment, according to the statement.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The three countries also exchanged views on common security threats.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 30th Nov 2020

China’s first domestically made nuclear reactor- Hualong One

      HEADLINES:

China’s first domestically made nuclear reactor goes online

      WHY IN NEWS:

Work on Hualong One began in 2015; 6 others in the works

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : 3 : Energy : IR

      ISSUE: 

China has powered up its first domestically developed nuclear reactor — the Hualong One.

HUALONG ONE REACTOR

It a significant step in Beijing’s attempts to become less dependent on Western allies for energy security and critical technology.

  • The reactor, can generate 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.
  • This will and carbon emissions by 8.16 million tons -China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

SIGNIFICANCE

  • This marks China breaking the monopoly of foreign nuclear power technology.
  • Nuclear plants supplied less than five percent of China’s annual electricity needs in 2019.

This share is expected to grow as Beijing attempts to become carbon neutral by 2060.

  • Reducing its dependence on Western allies in critical high-tech sectors such as power generation is a key goal in Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” plan.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

China has 47 nuclear plants with a total generation capacity of 48.75 million kilowatts — the world’s third highest after the U.S. and France.

  • Beijing has invested billions of dollars to develop its nuclear energy sector in recent years as it struggles to wean its economy from coal.
  • Thirteen nuclear plants are under construction, more than in any other country.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 30th Nov 2020

Lifetime risk of diabetes

      HEADLINES:

Lifetime risk of diabetes in metros alarming: study

      WHY IN NEWS:

  • 55% of men and 65% of women aged 20 are likely to develop the disease, it says
  • Disturbing new research published this in Diabetologia (journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) 
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Diseases

      ISSUE: 

More than half of men (55%) and some two-thirds (65%) of women aged 20 years in India will likely develop diabetes

DIABETES : HIDDEN EPIDEMIC

Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 30th Nov 2020

SOURCES : THE HINDU

RESEARCH TITLE

  • Lifetime risk of diabetes in metropolitan cities in India

KEY OBSERVATIONS

  • Around 77 million adults have diabetes and this is expected to almost double to 134 million by 2045.

Such high probabilities of developing diabetes will have severely negative implications for India’s already strained health system

  • Also out-of-pocket expenditure on diabetes treatment by patients will cause economic burden.
  • [wc_highlight color=”yellow” class=””]ALSO READ : DIABETES DAY 2020  [/wc_highlight]

VARIOUS FACTORS

  • Urbanisation, decreasing diet quality and decreased levels of physical activity — are all contributing to this hidden epidemic.

Women generally had a higher lifetime risk across the lifespan.

  • Remaining lifetime risk of developing diabetes declined with age.
  • Around 38% of women and 28% of men would develop diabetes.
  • Obesity had a substantial impact on these projections.
  • The risk was highest among obese metropolitan Indians — 86% among 20-year-old women and 87% among men.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

“Despite these very high predicted lifetime risks of diabetes, it is possible to prevent or postpone diabetes by effective lifestyle modification.”

  • Diabetes must be immediately acknowledged for what it is: one of the most important threats to public health in India.
SUGGESTED READING : WORLD DIABETES DAY 
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 30th Nov 2020

China nod for downstream dam on Brahmaputra

      HEADLINES:

China nod for downstream dam on Brahmaputra

      WHY IN NEWS:

Project marks a new phase in the exploitation of the river, with potential ramifications for India

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR

      ISSUE: 

A dam at the Great Bend would raise fresh concerns considering its location just across the border from Arunachal Pradesh.

CHINESE FIRST DOWNSTREAM DAM NEAR ARUNACHAL PRADESH

  • It will be first downstream dam on the lower reaches of the Brahmaputra river, or Yarlung Zangbo as it is known in Tibet.

This is marking a new phase in China’s hydropower exploitation of the river with potential ramifications for India.

  • Chinese media said the state-owned hydropower company POWERCHINA had last month signed “a strategic cooperation agreement” with the Tibet Autonomous Region.
  • The company will “implement hydropower exploitation in the downstream of the Yarlung Zangbo River” as part of the new Five-Year Plan (2021-2025).

OTHER PROJECTS

  • China in 2015 operationalised its first hydropower project at Zangmu in Tibet.(MAP THEM)

While three other dams at Dagu, Jiexu and Jiacha are being developed, all on the upper and middle reaches of the river.

  • The report said this will be the first time the downstream sections of the river will be tapped.
  • [wc_highlight color=”yellow” class=””]ALSO READ : SICHUAN-TIBET RAILWAYS [/wc_highlight]

POTENTIAL SPOT

  • No official statement yet has been made by China on location of this project yet.

The particular potential offered is at the “Great Bend” of the Brahmaputra and at the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon in Medog county.

  • The river falls spectacularly over a 2,000 metre-drop and turns sharply to flow across the border into Arunachal Pradesh.
  • This 50-km section alone offered the potential of developing 70 million kWh “which equals more than Three Gorges power stations”.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • A dam at the Great Bend, if approved, would raise fresh concerns, considering its location downstream and just across the border from Arunachal Pradesh.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 30th Nov 2020

 

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