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, 4th January 2021

IFSCA BECOMES ASSOCIATE MEMBER OF THE GLOBAL LOBBY GROUP IOSCO


Focus: GS2.

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

IOSCO elevates SEO's membership status - Tehran Times

Context

  • International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) said that it has become an associate member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

  • The IOSCO works closely with the G20 nations and the Financial Stability Board (FSB), in setting up the standards for strengthening the securities markets, said IFSCA.

Objectives

  • The IOSCO Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation have been endorsed by FSB as one of the key standards for sound financial systems. 

  • The membership of IOSCO will provide the IFSCA a platform to exchange information at the global level, and even at the regional level, on areas of common interests.

Highlights

  • The IOSCO platform will enable the IFSCA to learn from the experiences and best practices of the regulators of other well established financial centres.

  • The first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in the country has been set up at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) in Gandhinagar.

  • To regulate such institutions, the government established IFSCA on April 27 last year with its head office in Gandhinagar.

  • In December 2019, Parliament passed a bill to set up a unified authority for regulating all financial activities at IFSCs in the country.

Source: Business Standard.


LIGHTNING STRIKES

 

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.


Context

  • Lightning strikes have caused 1,771 deaths between April 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020, according to a report published on December 31 on lightning incidents in India. 

  • The report has been prepared by Climate Resilient Observing Systems Promotion Council (CROPC), a non-profit organisation that works closely with India Meteorological Department (IMD) along with Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), India Meteorological Society (IMS) and World Vision India to disseminate early lightning forecasts.

 

Background

  • Uttar Pradesh with 293 deaths, Madhya Pradesh 248, Bihar 221, Odisha 200 and Jharkhand 172 deaths together accounted for more than 60 per cent of the numbers, which are 33 per cent of total fatalities from all natural disasters during the time period. 

  • In 2018-19 period, there were 2,800 deaths and the drop has been attributed to the efforts of various stakeholders, including CROPC.

  • In order to further reduce deaths, the report suggests states “aggressively participate in Lightning Resilient India Campaign and undertake lightning risk management more comprehensively”.

Highlights

  • Although forecasts and warnings are made available through mobile text messages, it is not available in all regions. 

  • A large number of deaths occur due to this as not much awareness has been undertaken. 

  • As per the report, interestingly, the Government of India and most states have not notified lightning as a disaster. 

  • There has always been a large number of animal fatalities due to lightning. 

  • Although the Ministry of Animal Husbandry has an Animal Disaster Management Plan, there hasn’t been any compliance pertaining to lightning fatalities.

  • Lightning is the process of occurrence of a natural ‘electrical discharge of very short duration and high voltage between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud’, accompanied by a bright flash and sound, and sometimes thunderstorms. 

  • Inter cloud or intra cloud (IC) lightning which are visible and are harmless. 

  • It is cloud to ground (CG) lightning, which is harmful as the ‘high electric voltage and electric current’ leads to electrocution.


Source: Indian Express.


FIRST-EVER GINGER PROCESSING PLANT IN MEGHALAYA

Focus: GS3.

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


Context

  • Northeast's first-ever specialised 'ginger' processing plant at district Ri-Bhoui in Meghalaya is being revived and is likely to become functional in the beginning of 2021.

  • After reviewing the functioning of the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC), Singh said that the only Ginger Processing Plant of North East India was established around the year 2004 but has remained non-functional for many years.

 

Background

 

  • The NERAMAC has now undertaken the responsibility of reviving it and initiated steps to operationalize the closed plant through PPP mode.

  • The plant located at the Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP), Raja Bhagan, Byrnihat Hatt will not only process ginger but also help in preparing products like waxed ginger, ginger paste, ginger powder, ginger flakes, ginger oil etc.

 

Highlights

 

  • Ginger has attained prominence in the recent months because of its reported properties as an immunity booster.

  • The ginger products to be prepared from the unit, ill not only be available for domestic consumption but will also have a wider demand outside.

  • According to the NERAMAC, the northeastern region produces about 4,50,000 tonnes of high-quality ginger every year but most of it is sold at a low price due to lack of processing and cold storage facilities. 

  • The plant in Meghalaya is expected to give the much-needed relief to the ginger growers.


Source: Indian Express.


IMD’S CENTRE IN LADAKH

Focus: GS3.

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


Context

The Union Minister of Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, virtually inaugurated the India Meteorological Department’s Centre at Leh in Ladakh.

 

Background

 

  • According to the official release, the Union Minister of Earth Sciences thanked the administration of the UT Ladakh for extending their support and active cooperation in the establishment of the Met Centre facility in the region.

  • The Union Minister during the inauguration, while highlighting the significance of IMD’s centre also assured that the government will make every possible effort of providing the best possible weather service to the people and administration of Ladakh and will make the region secure and safe from the vagaries of weather.

 

Highlights

 

  • It will provide a range of weather forecast services. 

  • It will range from short (3 days) and medium (12 days) to extended (1 month) period to all the stakeholders on a daily basis for both Kargil and Leh regions.

  • Apart from providing the forecast at the district level, IMD will also be providing the weather details for important tourist places such as Pangong Lake, Nubra, Kargil, Zanskar, Drass, Khalsi, among other places.

  • Some other important services that will be available by IMD will be forecast for mountaineering, highway forecast, agriculture, trekking, low and high temperature, flash flood warning, among others.

  • The centre at Leh, Ladakh will be a world-class facility for high-altitude meteorology. 

  • It will be catering to various kinds of climate and weather needs of the people as well as the administration of Ladakh.

  • IMD’s centre is located at a height of 3,500 meters. 

  • The centre will be creating history as it will be the highest meteorological centre in the country.

 

Source: AIR News.


TiHAN-IIT HYDERABAD

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

 

Context

  • Union Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has virtually laid the foundation stone of “TiHAN-IIT Hyderabad”, India’s first Testbed for Autonomous Navigation Systems (Terrestrial and Aerial) at IIT Hyderabad. 

  • The Technology Innovation Hub on Autonomous Navigation Systems (TiHAN) for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Remotely Operated Vehicles at IIT Hyderabad.

 

Highlights

  • The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, has sanctioned Rs. 135 crores to IIT Hyderabad under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) to set up a Technology Innovation Hub on Autonomous Navigation and Data Acquisition Systems.

  • Two acres of land has already been allocated in the IIT Hyderabad campus and the facilities are planned in phases.

  • All Smart poles are enabled with communication providing technology with some Poles designed with sprinklers to simulate rain scenarios. 

  • The developed testbed will be available for use by all the industries, R&D labs, academia conducting research and development in the broad areas of autonomous navigation.


Source: The Hindu.

 

GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR VACCINES AND IMMUNISATION (GAVI)

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

 

Context

Union minister for health and family welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan was nominated by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) as a board member.

 

Background

“Dr Harsh Vardhan will be representing the South East Area Regional Office (SEARO)/Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) constituency on the GAVI Board. The seat is currently held by Mr MyintHtwe of Myanmar. Dr Harsh Vardhan will be representing India from 1st January 2021 until 31st December 2023,” Union health ministry said in a statement.

 

Highlights

 

  • GAVI is an international organisation that was created in the year 2000 to improve access to new and underused vaccines for numerous vaccine-preventable diseases for children who live in the world’s poorest countries.

  • The GAVI Board normally meets twice a year in June and November or December and holds an annual retreat, normally in March or April. 

  • All these meetings are normally attended in person.

  • The GAVI board is responsible for strategic direction and policy-making oversees the operations of the Vaccine Alliance and monitors programme implementation.

  • With membership drawn from a range of partner organisations, as well as experts from the private sector, the board provides a forum for balanced strategic decision-making, innovation and partner collaboration.

  • GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance as part of its mission to save lives, reduce poverty and protect the world against the threat of epidemics, has helped vaccinate more than 822 million children in the world’s poorest countries, preventing more than 14 million future deaths.

 

Source: Hindustan Times.

 

INDIAN SARS-CoV-2 GENOMIC CONSORTIA

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Context

In the backdrop of the emergence of a newly identified variant of the novel SARS-CoV-2 Virus in the UK, South Africa and some other parts of the world, the Government has taken action to accelerate Virus Surveillance, Genome Sequencing and Characterization.

 

Background

 

  • A new variant, which that was found in the UK, especially in the London region, is defined by multiple mutations in the Spike region, as well as mutations in other genomic regions. 

  • These mutations are rapidly increasing the number of variants of the virus. 

  • This variant is significantly more transmissible than previously circulating variants, with an estimated potential to increase the reproductive number with an estimated increased transmissibility of up to 70%. 

 

Highlights

 

  • The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG) has been launched. Coordinated by Department of Biotechnology (DBT) along with MoH&FW, ICMR, and CSIR , the strategy and roadmap of the National SARS CoV2 Genome Sequencing Consortium (INSACOG) has been prepared. 

  • The overall aim of the proposed Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium is to monitor the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 on a regular basis through a multi-laboratory network. 

  • This vital research consortium will also assist in developing potential vaccines in the future.

  • The consortium will ascertain the status of new variant of SARS-CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01) in the country, establish a sentinel surveillance for early detection of genomic variants with public health implication, and determine the genomic variants in the unusual events/trends (super-spreader events, high mortality/morbidity trend areas etc.).

  • INSACOG is a consortium of 10 labs namely DBT-NIBMG Kalyani, DBT-ILS Bhubaneswar, ICMR-NIV Pune, DBT-NCCS Pune, CSIR-CCMB Hyderabad, DBT-CDFD Hyderabad, DBT-InSTEM/ NCBS Bengaluru, NIMHANS Bengaluru, CSIR-IGIB Delhi, and NCDC Delhi. 

 

Source: DD News.


DATA ON POLICE ORGANISATIONS

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

Data on Police Organisations: BPRD

Context

  • Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) has released data on police organisations.

  • The data shows different aspects of policing in the country like woman police, police expenditure, constabulary ratio, transport facilities, communication facilities, representation of various castes and police training centres.

 

Highlights

 

  • According to report, Population Per Police Person is 511.81, that is one policeman for every 511.81 persons and 3.9 policemen for each VIP. 

  • Bihar had the worst ratio with one policeman for 867.57 persons.

  • As many as 66,043 policemen were deployed to protect 19,467 Ministers, Members of Parliament, judges, bureaucrats and other personalities in 2019 compared to 63,061 policemen for similar duty in 2018.

  • The highest number of persons who received police protection in 2019 were in West Bengal — 3,142 followed by Punjab (2,594), Bihar (2,347), Haryana (1,355) and Jharkhand (1,351).

  • The Backward Classes, Dalits and Tribals constitute almost 67% of India’s population but their representation in police forces in the country is only at 51%.

  • Scheduled Tribes form 8.6% of the population and have 12% representation in the police forces, placing them at a comparatively better position.

  • Dalits represent 14% of all positions in police forces across the country. According to Census 2011, Dalits make up 16.6% of India’s population.

  • Other Backward Classes (OBCs) fare the worst on the representation front as, despite their 41% share in the population, they constitute only 25% of the police forces.

  • Women continue to be represented poorly.

  • It is reflected in the women population per woman police ratio which stands at 3,026 nationally.

  • However, their situation has improved considerably over the past five years. 

  • Since 2014, when the actual strength of women in police forces stood at around 1.11 lakh, their representation has almost doubled to 2.15 lakh.

Source: Hindustan Times.

ACTION AGENDA FOR AN ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Action Agenda for an AtmaNirbhar Bharat (AAAN) "EMPOWER IAS" | Empower IAS

Context

The Health Ministry has released the report Action Agenda for an AtmaNirbhar Bharat (AAAN) prepared by Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC).

 

About AAAN Report

  • The report AAAN is a consequential follow-up of the TIFAC’s White Paper on Focused Interventions for ‘Make in India’: post-COVID -19 which was released earlier this year.

  • The White Paper highlighted five thrust sectors namely, Healthcare, Machinery, ICT, Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Electronics that would be critical for India’s economic growth post-COVID.

  • This AAAN action plan has been structured with reference to timeline, highlighting short/medium and long term interventions in various identified sectors.

Highlights

 

  • The World is experiencing unprecedented health and economic crisis. 

  • A widespread deep global recession has been bolstered, undermining global cooperation and multilateralism.

  • The most outward global economies have turned inwards and are designing enhanced measures for rebooting and resilience of the economy.

  • The document also specifically defines overarching policy recommendations with reference to technological inputs, focusing towards Local to Global.

  • It would thereby revive the Indian economy, in identified domains of Innovation and Technology Development, Technology Adoption/Diffusion, Boosting up Manufacturing and Productivity, Trade and Globalization etc.

Source: Indian Express.


Map of the Day–Turkmenistan

Map of Turkmenistan


Quote for the Day

“Our dreams have to be bigger. Our ambitions higher. Our commitment deeper. And our efforts greater. This is my dream for Reliance and for India.” – Dhirubhai Ambani

Mains Answer Writing


  1. What are the factors affecting variation in oceans salinity. Write about variation in salinity both in terms of latitudinal change and change with depth. Discuss the impact of such variations in salinity. (250 Words).

  2. Write about the Special Marriage Act (SMA), 1954 and why it is enacted. (250 Words).

  3. Briefly introduce the 5G technology and its features, the opportunities it offers. (250 Words).


Test your Knowledge


  1. Consider the following statements:

    1. Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor will pass through the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand only.

    2. It is built through a loan from the World Bank.

    3. Around 70% of the freight trains currently running on the Indian Railway network are slated to shift to the freight corridors, leaving the paths open for more passenger trains.

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 with regard to the elections to Rajya Sabha:

    1. Only the representatives of States and not the Union Territories can be elected to the Rajya Sabha.

    2. The elections are in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote casting through secret ballot.

    3. The representatives of the States and of the Union Territories in the Rajya Sabha are elected by the method of indirect election.  

Select the incorrect 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 Draft 5th National Science Technology and Innovation Policy:

    1. The Policy aspires 'positioning India among the top five global scientific powers'.

    2. It aims to double the number of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) researchers, Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D (GERD) and private sector contribution to the GERD every 5 years.

    3. It aims to bring in the concept of ‘dynamic policy’ with a robust policy governance mechanism.

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. Paradip Port is located in: 

 

      1. Kerala

      2. Tamil Nadu

      3. Karnataka

      4. Odisha

 

5. North East’s first-ever specialised "Ginger" Processing Plant is located in:

 

    1. Assam

    2. Meghalaya

    3. Sikkim

    4. Nagaland


Answers

  1. C 2.A 3.C4.D 5.B