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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 walking from failure to failure with no loss of 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 | 4th Jan 2021

Nendran Banana’s

      HEADLINES:

Banana grit for that good gut feeling

      WHY IN NEWS:

Developed by NIIST scientists, the product can be used to make wide range of dishes

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 : Miscellaneous

      ISSUE: 

Developing new uses for Nendran also comes as a boon to farmers who have often been struggling against falling prices.Banana grit is set to hit the market soon. 

  • Scientists at the CSIR in Kerala have come up with a new product, banana grit or granules, developed from raw Nendran bananas.
  • Billed as an ideal ingredient for a healthy diet, banana grit can be used for making a wide range of dishes.
  • The product resembles to ‘rava’ and broken wheat.

NENDRAN BANANA

The concept was introduced to utilise the presence of resistant starch in bananas, which is reported to improve gut health

  • Generally consumed ripe, Nendran banana also finds use in typical Kerala dishes such as avial and thoran.
  • The granules can be used for making upma, or it can be mixed with banana powder for porridge, with milk or coconut milk for use as a health drink.
  • Banana powder can be used for making cakes and breads, along with refined wheat flour.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The technology had been transferred to Kochi-based Moza Organic and the product is expected to be in the market soon.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | Current Affairs News Analysis For UPSC | 4th Jan 2021

FSSAI slashes limit for transfat levels

      HEADLINES:

FSSAI slashes limit for transfat levels in foods

      WHY IN NEWS:

5.4 lakh deaths a year globally from its intake, says WHO

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : FSSAI

      ISSUE: 

The regulation applies to edible refined oils, vanaspati, margarine and bakery shortenings.

REGULATING TRANSFATS

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has capped the amount of trans fatty acids (TFA) in oils and fats to 3% for 2021 and 2% by 2022.

The current permissible limit is of 5% through an amendment to the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations

  • The FSSAI notified the amendment on December 29, more than a year after it issued a draft on the subject for consultation with stakeholders.

BROAD SPREAD

  • Transfats are associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and death from coronary heart disease.

The WHO has also called for the global elimination of transfats by 2023

  • The FSSAI rule comes at the time of a pandemic where the burden of non-communicable diseases has risen.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • It was in 2011 that India first passed a regulation that set a TFA limit of 10% in oils and fats, which was further reduced to 5% in 2015.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | Current Affairs News Analysis For UPSC | 4th Jan 2021

Chalking out an effective COVID-19 vaccination plan

      HEADLINES:

Chalking out an effective COVID-19 vaccination plan

      WHY IN NEWS:

In how many districts of the country was a dry run held and will vaccines be rolled out soon?

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      ISSUE: 

Covishield from the Pune-based Serum Institute of India and Covaxin of Bharat Biotech — at final stages of emergency use authorisation (EUA) in India.

COVID-19 VACCINATION PROGRAMME

  • Several States and Union Territories conducted a dry run for a COVID-19 vaccination programme.
  • Four States — Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat and Punjab — had done a pilot dry run on December 28-29.

WHY WAS IT NECESSARY?

  • Under India’s ‘Expanded Programme on Immunization’, which was initiated in 1978, the country has gathered experience in administering essential vaccines to children and pregnant women.
  • In 1985, the programme was renamed ‘Universal Immunisation Programme’, under which about 12 different vaccines are provided through the government health system.
  • Other than inoculation, there is a three-tier system at the district, State and national levels to monitor coverage and adverse events and to ensure that the vaccines adhere to quality norms.
  • Roughly 9 million immunisation sessions are conducted annually in India, according to the UNICEF.
  • Despite that, only about 60% of eligible children are fully immunised, with wide variations among States.

DRY RUN

  • The dry run was carried out in one or two districts of the States.
  • Sessions were organised at district hospitals or medical colleges, community or primary healthcare centres, private health facilities, and at outreach sites in urban and rural areas.
  • The dry run tested all the key steps in the COVID-19 vaccination process in a field environment.

The programme involved State administrators generating a ‘user ID

  • These ‘IDs’ were sent as a phone message to 25 volunteers at each session site.
  • There are five such sites in each district.
  • Each site is manned by a medical officer, who is entrusted with ensuring that these groups of 25 people are inoculated.

Though no actual shots were administered, details of every person who is to get the jab are being punched into the Co-WIN application, which is part of the database that will keep track of every inoculation

  • The dry run involved dummy boxes of vaccines being brought to the centre.
  • Cold storage points were also checked to ensure coordination with the actual points of vaccine delivery.
  • Once the session was completed, all data and feedback were relayed back to district, State, and eventually Central centres for feedback and analysis.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The dummy runs are useful as a warm-up exercise, but they will reveal little about the toughest parts of the vaccination process, namely the actual inoculation, reactions, severe adverse reactions and potential hospitalisation.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | Current Affairs News Analysis For UPSC | 4th Jan 2021

The UK-Spain pact that saves Gibraltar

      HEADLINES:

The UK-Spain pact that saves Gibraltar from a hard Brexit

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hours before the Brexit transition period ended on New Year’s Eve, Spain announced it had struck a deal with the UK to maintain free movement to and from Gibraltar.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR

      ISSUE: 

Gibraltar, with an area of just 6.8 sq km and a population of around 34,000 people, has been the subject of intense dispute between Spain and Britain for centuries.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • It remains strategically important, with half the world’s seaborne trade passing through the strait.
  • It is also an important Tourist and cargo ship refuelling centre.
     SOURCES:    IE   | Current Affairs News Analysis For UPSC l 4th Jan 2021

Tampon tax

      HEADLINES:

Why the UK’s decision to abolish the ‘tampon tax’ is significant

      WHY IN NEWS:

The measure had been promised by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer (equivalent to finance minister) Rishi Sunak in March last year, and is part of a wider UK government effort called ‘End Period Poverty’.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 : Taxes

      ISSUE: 

The British government has estimated that the move to abolish the tampon tax would save the average woman about 40 pounds during her lifetime – as a pack of 20 pounds will be cheaper by around 7 pence and 12 sanitary pads by 5 pence.

THE “TAMPON TAX”

  • The UK began 2021 by abolishing a 5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on women’s sanitary products, often referred to as the “tampon tax”.

It now joins the list of countries which have already eliminated this tax, which includes India, Australia and Canada

BACKGROUND

  • Until December 31, the UK was a part of the EU, where period products such as sanitary napkins and tampons are classified as non-essential, and member states are required to levy a 5 per cent tax on them.
  • The removal of the tax has thus been praised by women’s right activists and Brexit proponents at the same time.
  • According to the BBC, the EU itself has been in the process of removing the tax on period products.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Scotland, which is a part of the UK, made history in November 2020 by becoming the first country in the world to make period products free of cost to those who need them.
     SOURCES:  IE   | Current Affairs News Analysis For UPSC | 4th Jan 2021

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