Daily Analysis

An in-depth analysis of the best and most relevant editorials of the day from the best dailies known for civil services preparation.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS, 16th October 2020

NOBEL PRIZE 2020 IN ECONOMICS


Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

Nobel Prize in Economics - INSIGHTSIAS

Context

  • Two American economists Paul R Milgrom and Robert B Wilson jointly won this year's Nobel Prize in Economics.

  • Both economists are based at Stanford University in California.

 

Background

 

  • The award caps a week of Nobel Prizes and is technically known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

  • Since its establishment in 1969, it has been awarded 51 times and is now widely considered one of the Nobel prizes.

 

Highlights

 

  • Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson were chosen for the Nobel Prize in Economics for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.

  • The new auction formats are a beautiful example of how basic research can subsequently generate inventions that benefit society. 

  • The unusual feature of this example is that the same people developed the theory and the practical applications.

  • Technically known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, the award was established in 1969 and is now widely considered one of the Nobel prizes.


Source: The Hindu.

AZD7442

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Context

  • Swedish-British drug giant AstraZeneca recently said it was moving an antibody combination developed for Covid-19 treatment into late-stage human trials. 

  • The firm has also received around $486 million from the US government for the development and supply of this combination.

 

About the Therapy

 

  • AZD7442, a similar class of the drug cocktail used to treat US President Donald Trump recently, is a combination of two long-acting monoclonal antibodies (LAAB). 

  • AstraZeneca developed it using its proprietary technology with the aim of preventing Covid-19 infection for a long duration.

  • LAABs mimic natural antibodies, and a combination of LAABs could be “complementary” to vaccines as a prophylactic agent, according to AstraZeneca. 

  • This means it could either be used on people for whom a vaccine may not be appropriate or it could be given as added protection for those at high-risk, it said.

 

Highlights

 

  • The first phase of human trials for this combination started in August to assess aspects like the safety and tolerability of the combination in healthy individuals. 

  • In the next few weeks, AZD7442 will advance into phase 3 clinical trials in more than 6,000 participants at sites in and outside the US. 

  • One trial will evaluate its safety and efficacy to prevent infection for up to 12 months, in approximately 5,000 participants. 

  • The combination is also being tested for use as a prophylactic and pre-emptive treatment in approximately 1,100 participants.

  • AstraZeneca is planning additional trials to evaluate it in approximately 4,000 patients for Covid-19 treatment.

 

Source: Indian Express.


KASTELLORIZO

 

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

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Context

The Greek-held island is about 600 kilometres away from mainland Greece but only two from the Turkish coast in the eastern Mediterranean. The tension between Turkey and Greece over territorial waters, continental shelf and other maritime rights, is escalating in the absence of a diplomatic breakthrough.

Background

  • The conflicting views are fast taking a militaristic turn in the wake of growing tensions over gas exploration efforts in the eastern Mediterranean.

  • Despite Turkey’s firm stance and warnings, Athens appears to militarise an island, Kastellorizo also known as Meis, which is one of the closest Greek-held islands to Turkey's southern coast in the eastern Mediterranean, triggering a Turkish backlash. 

Highlights

  • Kastellorizo or Castellorizo, officially Megisti, is a Greek island and municipality of the Dodecanese in the Eastern Mediterranean.

  • Germany said that any attempt by a Turkish survey ship to begin prospecting for hydrocarbons in disputed waters around the Greek island of Kastellorizo would strike a serious blow to efforts at easing tensions and improving ties between the European Union and Turkey.

  • Turkey’s redeployment of the Oruc Reis survey vessel for new energy exploration around Kastellorizo has reignited tensions over sea boundaries between Greek islands, Cyprus and Turkey's southern coast.


Source: Indian Express.


DEENDAYAL ANTYODAYA YOJANA - NATIONAL RURAL LIVELIHOODS MISSION


Focus: GS2.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

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Context

The Union Cabinet has approved a Special Package worth Rs. 520 crore in the UTs of J&K and Ladakh for a period of five years till FY 2023-24 under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM).

 

Background

 

DAY-NRLM has been implemented in the erstwhile state of J&K by the Jammu and Kashmir State Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKSRLM) as "Umeed" programme.

 

About the scheme

 

  • This will ensure sufficient funds under the Mission, as per need to the UTs and is also in line with Government of India's aim to universalize all centrally sponsored beneficiary-oriented schemes in the UTs of J&K and Ladakh in a time bound manner.

  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) is a centrally sponsored programme that was launched in 2011 to eliminate rural poverty through promotion of multiple livelihoods for the rural poor households across the country.

  • DAY-NRLM seeks to reach out to all rural poor households, estimated at about 10 crore households.

  • It aims at organizing one-woman member from each rural poor household into Self Help Groups (SHGs) and enabling them to implement their livelihoods plans through accessing financial resources from their own institutions and the banks.

  • It is implemented in a Mission mode by special purpose vehicles (autonomous state societies) with dedicated implementation support units at the national, state, district and block levels.

 

Source: Indian Express.


INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE 


Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

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Context

  • The Third Assembly of the International Solar Alliance has been attended by 34 ISA Members ministers. 

  • India has been re-elected as the President of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and France as the Co-President for a term of two years.

 

Highlights

 

  • The assembly also approved the initiatives of the ISA Secretariat in institutionalizing ISA’s engagement with the private and public corporate sector through the Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action (CSCA).

  • The assembly witnessed the conferment of the Visvesvaraya award which recognizes the countries with maximum floating solar capacity in each of the four regions of ISA. 

  • The awards went to Japan for the Asia Pacific region and the Netherlands for Europe and Others region.

  • In the wake of the global pandemic, ISA set up ISA CARES, an initiative dedicated to deployment of solar energy in healthcare sector in LDC/SIDS ISA Member countries. The initiative aims to solarize one primary health sector in each district of the target Member countries. 

 

Source: AIR.


OPERATION GREENS


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

Operation Green current affairs ias prelims exam, upsc weekly current  affairs compilation free pdf

Context

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari thanked the Ministry of Food Processing and Ministry of Railways for directly providing subsidised rate of 50 per cent in freight for transportation of perishable surplus agriculture produce like Oranges and Vegetables by Railway.

Background

 

  • Operation Green is being implemented as part of Atmanirbhar Abhiyan under the aegis of Union Ministry of Food Processing. 

  • Under this scheme, 50 per cent subsidy is given to the farmers for transporting the surplus produce of agricultural commodities like oranges and vegetables to the markets by rail.

 

Highlights

 

  • A 50 per cent subsidy is also given for cold chain storage of agricultural commodities.  

  • However, in order to get this subsidy, farmers have to attach self-certified documents online on the  ‘Sampada’ portal of the Ministry of Food Processing.

  • Taking notice of this problem, Mr Gadkari held a meeting with Somesh Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager of Central Railway in Nagpur a few days ago regarding transport of oranges from Nagpur division.

  • He suggested that the  subsidy for the transport should be given to the farmers at the time of registration itself for rail transport. 

  • Mr Gadkari’s suggestion was taken up by the Ministry of Railways and the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries and a 50 per cent concession has been accepted in the railway transport of eligible agricultural produce.

  • This step will enable farmers to register for railway transport at subsidized rates for agricultural produce. 

  • Mr. Gadkari, in a tweet, thanked both the ministries for their cooperation regarding subsidised railway freight rates. 

  • He said due to this step, more farmers could avail this facility; it would provide better ticket fares to the railways and increase its profits.

  • Meanwhile, the decision to transport oranges from Nagpur to Bangladesh by rail has already been taken by Central Railway on the initiative of Union Minister Gadkari. 

  • The oranges will soon be transported by Nagpur Railway network.

 

Source: The Hindu.


MARS ‘OPPOSITION’ EVENT


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

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Context

  • Due to an event referred to as “opposition”, which takes place every two years and two months, Mars will shine the brightest.

  • ‘Opposition’ is the event when the sun, Earth and an outer planet (Mars in this case) are lined up, with the Earth in the middle.

 

About the ‘Opposition’ event

 

  • The time of opposition is the point when the outer planet is typically also at its closest distance to the Earth for a given year, and because it is close, the planet appears brighter in the sky.

  • An opposition can occur anywhere along Mars’ orbit, but when it happens when the planet is also closest to the sun, it is also particularly close to the Earth.

  • It will outshine Jupiter, becoming the third brightest object (moon and Venus are first and second, respectively) in the night sky during the month of October.

 

Highlights

 

  • Earth and Mars orbit the sun at different distances (Mars is farther apart from the sun than Earth and therefore takes longer to complete one lap around the sun).

  • In fact, the opposition can happen only for planets that are farther away from the sun than the Earth.

  • In the case of Mars, roughly every two years, the Earth passes between sun and Mars, this is when the three are arranged in a straight line.

  • Further, as the Earth and Mars orbit the sun, there comes a point when they are on the opposite sides of it, and hence very far apart. 

  • At its farthest, Mars is about 400 million km from the Earth.

  • In case of opposition, however, Mars and Sun are on directly opposite sides of the Earth. 

  • In other words, the Earth, sun and Mars all lie in a straight line, with the Earth in the middle.

 

Source: Indian Express.


WORLD ECONOMIC OUTLOOK


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

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Context

  • India’s economy is expected to contract 10.3% in the current fiscal year as the country and the world reel from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

  • Global output is projected to shrink 4.4% in 2020, the IMF said in its World Economic Outlook October 2020 report titled, “A Long and Difficult Ascent”.

Highlights

 

  • The projection for India is a downgrade of 5.8 percentage points from its June forecast. 

  • India is expected to rebound in the fiscal year beginning in April 2021 with 8.8% growth — an upgrade of 2.8 percentage points relative to the June update.

  • “Revisions to the forecast are particularly large for India, where GDP contracted much more severely than expected in the second quarter,” the IMF said.

  • Consumer prices in India are expected to grow at 4.9% this year and by 3.7% in the next fiscal. The current account balance is projected to grow by 0.3% this year and -0.9% next year.

  • For the world as a whole, the 2020 growth projection has been revised upwards by 0.8 percentage points relative to June — the result of a less dire second quarter and signs of a stronger recovery in the third quarter, partly offset by downgrades in certain developing countries and emerging economies (except China). 

  • The recovery in 2021 is projected to be at 5.2%, lower than the June 2020 projections.


Source: The Hindu.

ZOJILA TUNNEL

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Places in news: Zojila Tunnel – Civilsdaily

Context

  • Union Road Transport and Highways Minister will initiate simultaneous blasting for Zojila Tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

  • The tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar valley and Leh on NH-1 and will bring about an all-round economic and socio-cultural integration of Jammu and Kashmir.


About the tunnel

 

  • It involves construction of a 14.15-kilometre long tunnel at an altitude of about three thousand metres under Zojila pass on NH-1 connecting Srinagar and Leh through Dras and Kargil.

  • Megha Engineering & Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) has been awarded with the contract of construction of ZojiLa Tunnel between Baltal and Minamarg within six years and nearly 19-KM approach roads on both sides in two and half years.

  • Both on the east portal of ZojiLa Tunnel at Meenamarg on Kargil side in UT Ladakh and the west portal of Nilagrar tunnel in Ganderbal district of UT Jammu & Kashmir, tunnel works would begin with simultaneous blasts.


Source: AIR News.


Map of the Day–Turkey

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Quote for the Day


“Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Mains Answer Writing


  1. Highlight the importance of digital services in Health Infrastructure in India. (250 Words).

  2. Briefly explain how Target Rating Point (TRP) is calculated. Explain the concerns and suggest way forward. (250 Words).

  3. Discuss the background of Kautilya’s Arthashastra; the purpose of the Arthasashtra was to be a comprehensive guide for government in the Mauryan Empire, and to aid its ruler to increase the wealth, power and security of the kingdom. (250 Words).


Test your Knowledge



  1. Consider the following statements:

    1. Most of the mobile phones produced in India are sold in the domestic market.

    2. Majority of the components used in manufacturing mobiles are domestically produced.

    3. Data from the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) shows that in 2017-18, more than 85% of the inputs for manufacturing mobiles were imported.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

 

      1. 1 and 2 only

      2. 1 and 3 only

      3. 2 and 3 only

      4. 1, 2 and 3

 

  1. Consider the following statements about Public debt in India:

    1. It includes the total liabilities of the Union government that have to be paid from the Consolidated Fund of India. 

    2. This is as per Article 266(2) of the Constitution.

    3. As per Reserve Bank of India Act of 1934, the Reserve Bank is both the banker and public debt manager for the Union government.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

 

      1. 1 and 2 only

      2. 1 and 3 only

      3. 2 and 3 only

      4. 1, 2 and 3

 

  1. Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) is carried out by:


      1. Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

      2. Food Corporation of India (FCI)

      3. NABARD

      4. SEBI

 

  1. The term SILAM and ENFUSER, recently seen in the news, is related to:

 

      1. Air quality monitoring system

      2. Identification of invasive species in remote locations

      3. Enhancing the speed of plastic degradation

      4. New Covid-19 vaccine

 

  1. STARS project, recently seen in news, is related to:

 

      1. Interstellar mission of ISRO

      2. Reform in the governance of school education

      3. Finding biological oxygen demand in rivers

      4. Black Hole research 


Answers

  1. B 2.B3.B4.A 5.B


 
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