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.

“Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.” – Victor Kiam

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.

UPSC Current Affairs News Analysis | 23rd Nov 2020

U.S., Taiwan : Economic partnership

      HEADLINES:

U.S., Taiwan step up economic partnership

      WHY IN NEWS:

The U.S. and Taiwan are stepping up cooperation in a newly created economic dialogue, in another move from the outgoing Trump administration to increase official exchanges with the self-ruled island.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR

      ISSUE: 

The two sides signed a five-year agreement establishing the U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue

U.S.-TAIWAN ECONOMIC PROSPERITY PARTNERSHIP DIALOGUE

  • U.S., Taiwan economic partnership dialogue is meant to be held annually.

The dialogue addressed areas of further cooperation, in new Clean Network project and 5G security, semiconductors and science and technology.

  • The deal falls short of a long-desired bilateral trade agreement, but is a significant step that increases ties between Washington and Taipei.

China, which views Taiwan as its own territory to be reunited by force if necessary, has criticized such steps as provocation.

  • Taiwan and the U.S. do not have a free trade agreement.
  • Taiwan in August announced the easing of restrictions on imports of American beef and pork.
  • Thus, lowering a trade barrier for U.S. businesses that is expected to pave the way for further trade negotiations.
  • U.S. trade with Taiwan totalled an estimated $103.9 billion in 2019.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The dialogue signifies United States-Taiwan economic relationship is strong and it will continues to grow.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | UPSC Current Affairs News Analysis | 23rd Nov 2020

India to double oil refining capacity in five years

      HEADLINES:

India to double oil refining capacity in five years, says PM

      WHY IN NEWS:

‘India aims to raise share of natural gas in energy consumption by up to 4 times

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of petroleum and natural gas
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Energy

      ISSUE: 

Natural gas currently accounts for about 6% of the energy consumed in the country.

  • India plans to almost double its oil refining capacity in the next five years.
  • This is offering a much more aggressive timeline than previously, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

10-YEAR TARGET HALVED

  • India’s oil refining capacity could jump to 450-500 million tonnes in 10 years from the current level of about 250 million tonnes.
  • India is also aiming to raise the share of natural gas in its energy-consumption mix by up to four times.

The cleaner-burning fuel currently accounts for about 6% of the energy consumed in the country.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

‘AHEAD OF SCHEDULE’

  • India would achieve its target of increasing renewable energy capacity to 175 gigawatts by 2022, and 450 gigawatts by 2030, ahead of schedule.
  • The country had renewable energy capacity of about 75 gigawatts at the end of 2018.
SUGGESTED READING : WORLD ENERGY OUTLOOK 2020
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | UPSC Current Affairs News Analysis | 23rd Nov 2020

Sakhi Drishtikon

      HEADLINES:

Capgemini to hire rural women graduates

      WHY IN NEWS:

Candidates to be paid ₹3.8 lakh a year

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : 3 : Issues related to women : Employment

      ISSUE: 

“Sakhi Drishtikon takes advantage of new ways of living and working,”.

SAKHI DRISHTIKON

French technology major Capgemini has introduced Sakhi Drishtikon.

AIM

It aims to train and hire rural women graduates, post-graduates or diploma holders in technical subjects from economically-weaker families.

  • The focus is to bring them into the mainstream workforce.

INITIATIVE

  • Under this initiative, Capgemini would have 500 rural women from rural India joining its workforce by December 2021.
  • The firm expected 15% of its fresh hiring to come from rural talent.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The chosen candidates are currently on a 4-5 month training programme during which they are paid a salary of ₹3.8 lakh.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | UPSC Current Affairs News Analysis | 23rd Nov 2020

How kala-azar was eliminated from Bihar?

      HEADLINES:

How kala-azar was eliminated from a highly endemic district in Bihar

      WHY IN NEWS:

Integrated control strategy in Vaishali district helped reduce cases from 664 in 2014 to 163 in 2016

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      ISSUE: 

Vaishali has a population of over 35 lakh and about 22% in the district get affected by Kala-Azar each year.

UPSC Current Affairs News Analysis | 23rd Nov 2020

SOURCES : THE HINDU | Training programmes: Nearly 2,500 ASHA workers and 1,000 field workers were trained.

KALA-AZAR

  • Kala-azar or visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a tropical disease characterised by irregular fever, weight loss, anaemia and swelling of the spleen and liver.

It is caused by a protozoan Leishmania parasite and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected female sandflies.

  • Globally, about 7 to 10 lakh new cases occur annually.-World Health Organisation (WHO)

WHO INITIATIVE

  • India accounts for about two-thirds of the total global cases.

The disease is endemic to Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

  • An initiative was launched by WHO to eliminate VL as a public health problem from the South East Asia region by 2020.
  • The deadline has now been extended to 2023.

STRATEGY

  • The integrated control strategy helped reduce the number of cases from 664 in 2014 to 163 in 2016.

We call a disease eliminated when the annual incidence is reduced to less than 1 case per 10,000 people at the sub-district or block level.

  • Eradication would mean there are zero cases.

CAMPAIGNS, MEASURES

Their programme included:

  • Mapping of the case distribution
  • Early case detection
  • Chemical-based vector control.
  • Community awareness campaigns.

KALA-AZAR IS CONTAGIOUS ?

  • Once a person is diagnosed with VL, indoor residual spraying was done at his house and at the neighbouring houses within 500 metres.

Though the disease is not contagious, the infected sand fly may be present in the area and the chemical spray will help kill them.

  • Nearly 2,500 ASHA workers and 1,000 field workers were also trained.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

MONITORING DISEASE

  • A strong supervision and monitoring system is required.

GIS-based mapping, and case data management and spatial visualisation system are required for the proper implementation of control strategies.

  • Routine monitoring is needed to identify if the Kala-azar vector has developed resistance to insecticides.
  • Frequent monitoring of active cases – track, test, and treat strategy – in the hotspot region is also very important.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | UPSC Current Affairs News Analysis | 23rd Nov 2020

Parliamentary panel bats : Laws for counter bio-terrorism

      HEADLINES:

Parliamentary panel bats for laws to counter bio-terrorism

      WHY IN NEWS:

Low testing, poor contact tracing responsible for spike in COVID-19 cases: report

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      ISSUE: 

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health came up with a report, “The Outbreak of Pandemic COVID-19 And its Management.

UPSC Current Affairs News Analysis | 23rd Nov 2020

KEY OBSERVATIONS

  • Formulating effective laws to counter bio-terrorism is one of the important lessons to be learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Low testing and shoddy contact tracing were responsible for the spike in cases.

  • The report has suggested that the Health Ministry should engage with agencies and actively participate in ongoing international treaties.

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS

The adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have taught the lesson on the importance of controlling biological agents.

  • There is also a need of strategic partnership between the countries.
  • This conclusion is based on the deliberations that the committee had with the Department of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The department had submitted a seven-point action plan that is needed to ensure security against biological weapons.

SEVEN POINT ACTION PLAN

These include:

  • Strengthening disease surveillance
  • Including at animal-human interface
  • Training
  • Capacity building
  • Strengthening research.
  • Development of vaccines and drugs.etc.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

CAPACITY BUILDING

  • The committee strongly recommends the Ministry to conduct more research and work towards on management of use of bio-weapons.
  • The report did not explicitly state that the COVID-19 virus was a bio-weapon.

The international scientific community has also repeatedly debunked the conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 virus was developed as a bio-weapon.

SUGGESTED READING : NAMING OF CORONAVIRUS 
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | UPSC Current Affairs News Analysis | 23rd Nov 2020

‘Frontier Highway vital for troops’

      HEADLINES:

‘Frontier Highway vital for troops’

      WHY IN NEWS:

Arunachal Pradesh CM wants projects fast-tracked due to China’s shadow

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Infrastructure

      ISSUE: 

Beijing’s claim over Arunachal Pradesh has been wary of increased activities by the People’s Liberation Army across the Line of Actual Control (LAC)

FRONTIER HIGHWAY ALONG THE BORDER

  • Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh has been pushing for better connectivity to the Himalayan heights.

Specifically the Frontier Highway along the border, to facilitate faster movement of troops during a war-like situation.

  • The LAC in Arunachal Pradesh are inaccessible, while China is working on railway and military infrastructure up to the border.
  • If one goes by the history of conflicts since 1962 and unfounded claims over Arunachal Pradesh, it is imperative to protect our homeland.
  • Many stretches of the border are indeed inaccessible.
  • This is why we are pushing for the Frontier Highway along the 1,100-km LAC to facilitate faster movement of troops.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • A detailed project report (DPR) is being made after meetings with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Defence Ministry.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | UPSC Current Affairs News Analysis | 23rd Nov 2020

 

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