14th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2020

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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.

“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein

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.

14th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2021

Race to procure COVID-19 vaccine doses

      HEADLINES:

Race to procure COVID-19 vaccine doses: Where do countries stand?

      WHY IN NEWS:

India has confirmed the maximum number of doses at 1.6 billion

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 : 4 :Health:Diseases : Medical Ethics

      ISSUE: 

Vaccine nationalism’ has increasingly become a buzzword — and a humungous global concern — as scientists across the world race to produce a preventive cure for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

THE RACE FOR VACCINE

  • The disease has killed at least 1.29 million people as of November 13, 2020.

The richer countries are displaying rapid urgency to allow access to vaccine doses for their populations.

  • The figures below are from an analysis from researchers at Duke University’s Global Health Innovation Center.

STATS

  • High-income countries have booked 3.4 billion doses
  • Upper middle-income countries694 million doses
  • Lower middle-income countries more than 1.7 billion doses.

The trend has an obvious downside: The poorer countries are likely to be left without any access.

COVAX

  • This would mean that they would rely on COVAX Facility, a mechanism designed to guarantee fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.

COVAX aims to provide two billion doses by the end of 2021 to protect high-risk populations around the world.

  • One of the long-term goals is to provide funded countries with enough doses to cover 20 per cent of their population.
  • It is a partnership between GAVI, the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
  • As of November 11, enough doses to cover 250 million people have been confirmed as purchased by COVAX.

DOSES PROCURED

India has confirmed the maximum number of doses at 1.6 billion: One billion from Novavax, 500 million from the Oxford University and 100 million from Gamaleya Research Institute.

  • The European Union has procured rights to access 1.2 billion doses.
  • United States, which is not a part of COVAX, has accessed right to one billion doses of the potential vaccines, enough to cover 230 per cent of its population.
  • Similarly, Canada has purchased enough to vaccinate its population five times over.

14th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Source: Duke University

CRITICAL CHALLENGES

  • Using childhood immunisation infrastructure to target elderly populations

Cold-chain capacity, especially in rural and remote locations (requirements range from standard refrigeration to standard freezer to ultercold at -800 degrees Celsius)

  • Needle supply and proper disposal of biohazard waste
  • Lack of trained providers to implement vaccines, particularly in rural areas

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • High-income countries are making deals with major vaccine developers who are in turn reserving the lion’s share of the world’s manufacturing capacity to meet those commitments.
  • We’re rapidly reaching the point where soon, even countries that have the finances to shop for vaccines will find there is no manufacturing capacity available to fill their needs.
  • Even with new investments to build or retrofit additional facilities, there is a limit to how much global vaccine manufacturing capacity can expand in the next few years.
     SOURCES:  DownToEarth  | 14th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

High fluoride content : Groundwater Pollution

      HEADLINES:

High fluoride content in Khordha, Nayagarh groundwater

      WHY IN NEWS:

The study was by a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-Kaharagpur), the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), Mumbai, and the Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Groundwater : Acquifers

      ISSUE: 

Children are at higher risk from contaminated drinking water

PROCEDURE

  • The researchers collected and analysed 22 water samples from tube wells and dug wells.
  • They also analysed samples of rainwater, from each hot spring and from a local river.

FLUORIDE CONCENTRATION

DISTRIBUTION

  • Fluoride concentration in groundwater are high in parts of Khordha and Nayagarh districts in Odisha.
  • This can be a serious threat to human health.

The region in Eastern Ghats comprise deformed metamorphic and igneous rocks, containing fluoride-bearing minerals.

FINDINGS

  • Rainwater was acidic with low electrical conductivity while groundwater was slightly acidic-to-neutral with low-to-high electrical conductivity.

High electrical conductivity indicates salinity in groundwater.

  • Similar high fluoride concentrations have been recorded in groundwater near geothermal regions in Telangana, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • Given the composition of the rocks in the area, the researchers attributed the findings to the leaching of sodium and chloride ions from host rocks.

Besides chloride, there was a high concentration of sulphide, calcium and bicarbonate ions in the groundwater.

  • A high concentration of fluoride was found in nearly 40 per cent of the groundwater samples.

STANDARDS

Some samples had more than 3.5 milligrams per litre (mg / l), much above the Bureau of Indian Standard permissible limit of 1 mg / l.

  • Samples with low fluoride concentration show comparatively higher bicarbonate values.
  • There is an occurrence of very high fluoride concentration — up to 12 mg / l – around the hot spring area, perhaps due to increased dissolution.

Exposure risk is double for children, making them vulnerable to severe fluorosis.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The accumulation of fluoride in water is not due to evapotranspiration or due to calcite precipitation.
  • Fertilizers are sources of fluoride contamination.

Defluoridation using coagulation precipitation or membrane-based techniques are choices where safer water is not accessible.

     SOURCES: DownToEarth   | 14th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Employer can reject over-qualified aspirant-SC

      HEADLINES:

‘Employer can reject over-qualified aspirant’SC overturns Odisha HC order

      WHY IN NEWS:

The judgment came on an appeal filed by the Punjab National Bank against an Orissa High Court decision allowing an over-qualified candidate to be appointed as a peon.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : SC : Judicial Review

      ISSUE: 

A prospective employer has discretion not to appoint a candidate who may have a “higher qualification” but not the one prescribed for the job vacancy-SC

THE VEDICT

  • A Bench, led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, said courts have limited judicial review over such decisions by employers.
  • Prescription of qualification for a post is a matter of recruitment policy. Discretion lies with the employer.

“It is for the employer to determine and decide the relevancy and suitability of the qualifications for any post, and it is not for the courts to consider and assess,” Justice M.R. Shah.

ANALYSIS

The top court said courts allow a “greater latitudefor employers to prescribe the necessary qualification for a post.

  • Qualifications are prescribed keeping in view the need and interest of an institution or an industry or an establishment as the case may be.

The courts are not fit instruments to assess expediency or advisability or utility of such prescription of qualifications.

  • SC however, noted that an employer cannot act arbitrarily or fancifully in prescribing qualifications.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The Supreme Court set aside the High Court decision of November 22, 2019, upholding an over-qualified candidate’s claim to a job as peon in the bank.
  • It noted that this candidate had deliberately not disclosed the fact that he was a graduate. It was known only later.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | 14th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Green crackers: HC

      HEADLINES:

Ensure that only green crackers are sold: HC

      WHY IN NEWS:

They sport a distinct logo, QR code

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Air Pollution

      ISSUE: 

Green firecrackers can be identified through a green logo and a QR code system.

GREEN CRACKERS

The Karnataka High Court on Friday directed the State government to strictly ensure that only green firecrackers.

14th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

SOURCES : BLOOMBERG

These crackers containing the distinct green logo of the :

  • National Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Environment Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI)
  • Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation (PESO)
  • Quick Response (QR) code on their packaging, are sold across the State.

14th Nov Current Affairs

LOGO

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The Court also directed authorised officers, police and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to regularly inspect stalls.
  • To increase awareness about green firecrackers, the Court asked the government to give wide publicity through various media platforms.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | 14th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

New species of vine snakes discovered

      HEADLINES:

New species of vine snakes discovered

      WHY IN NEWS:

  • They are among the most common snakes in peninsular India, found even in peri-urban areas
  • A team of researchers from the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), after extensive sampling across peninsular India, have discovered new species of vine snakes in the region.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Fauna : Recent Findings

      ISSUE: 

The research carried out field visits across India to collect morphological data, tissue samples and specimens to understand the patterns of distribution and diversification of vine snakes.

VINE SNAKES

AHAETULLA FARNSWORTHI | SOURCES : IE

DISTRIBUTION

  • Vine snakes are known to be among the most common snakes in peninsular India, found even in many peri-urban areas and in the Western Ghats.

Asian vine snakes are distributed throughout the continent, and belong to the genus Ahaetulla.

  • The common green vine snake (Ahaetulla nasuta) in India is a complex of several species.

vine snakes IASbhaiAHAETULLA FARNSWORTHI | SOURCES : IE

FOUR DIFFERENT TYPES OF VINE SNAKES

Four distinct small-bodied and short-nosed species are:

  • Northern Western Ghats vine snake (Ahaetulla borealis),
  • Farnsworth’s vine snake (Ahaetulla farnsworthi),
  • Malabar vine snake (Ahaetulla malabarica)
  • Wall’s vine snake (Ahaetulla isabellina) in the Western Ghats rainforests alone.

The team also delineated the Travancore vine snake (Ahaetulla travancorica), separated by morphology and a geographic barrier from the Gunther’s vine snake (Ahaetulla dispar).

  • These species were superficially similar in their morphology, but separated by geographic or ecological barriers.

NAMING

  • All the vine snakes were assigned names related to the locality or based on a morphological character.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Finally, researchers recognised morphological distinctions between the brown vine snake in the Western Ghats.
  • The one found in Sri Lanka, and gave the Western Ghats form a new name (Ahaetulla sahyadrensis).
  • There are now six species of vine snakes endemic to the Western Ghats.
     SOURCES:  THE IE | 14th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Entry to Sabarimala via Portal

      HEADLINES:

Entry to Sabarimala only for those who register on portal

      WHY IN NEWS:

Masks are not compulsory while trekking, says Minister

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : Festivals

      ISSUE: 

Entry of pilgrims to the temple will be through the virtual queue portal.

  • Entry of pilgrims from Pampa to the temple will be through the virtual queue portal.
  • A maximum of 1,000 devotees will be allowed for darshan during the first five days of the week.
  • 2,000 on Saturdays and Sundays, and 5,000 on the days of ‘Mandala Puja’ and ‘Makaravilakku’.

MAKARAVILAKKU

  • Makaravilakku is an annual festival held on Makar Sankranti in Kerala, India at the shrine of Sabarimala.

The festival includes the Thiruvabharanam (sacred ornaments of Lord Ayyappan) procession and a congregation at the hill shrine of Sabarimala.

  • An estimated half a million devotees flow to Sabarimala every year to have a darshan (vision) of this ritual this day.

THE CELEBRATION

  • Lord Sri Rama and his brother Lakshmana met Sabari, a tribal devotee, at Sabarimala. Sabari offered the Lord fruits after tasting them.
  • But the Lord accepted them gladly and whole-heartedly.
  • The Lord then turned and saw a divine person doing tapas.
  • He asked Sabari who it was. Sabari said it was Sasta.
  • Rama walked towards Sasta and the latter stood up to welcome Rama.
  • The anniversary of this incident is celebrated on Makara Vilakku day.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

COVID-19 SAFETY AND REGULATIONS

  • A COVID-19 negative certificate had been made mandatory.
  • Those in the 60 to 65 years age group will have to produce a medical certificate for entry.
  • The test should be taken by the pilgrims 24 hours before reaching the base camp at Nilackal.
  • Masks will not be compulsory while trekking.
  • Arrangements will be made to collect the used masks.
  • Directions have been given to shops to make masks and sanitisers available to the pilgrims.

Bathing in the Pampa river will not be allowed in view of the prevailing situation. 

  • Instead, showers will be installed by the Irrigation Department and the Kerala Water Authority will supply water.
     SOURCES:  THE IE | 14th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

WHO centre for traditional medicine

      HEADLINES:

WHO centre soon for traditional medicine

      WHY IN NEWS:

PM dedicates two Ayurveda institutions to nation on 5th Ayurveda Day

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Health : Medicines : Recent Developments

      ISSUE: 

GLOBAL CENTRE FOR TRADITIONAL MEDICINE

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) will set up a Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in India.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed confidence that WHO would become the centre for global wellness.
  • India had emerged as the “pharmacy of the world”.

Prime Minister dedicated two future-ready Ayurveda institutions in Jaipur and Jamnagar to the nation via video conferencing on the occasion of the 5th Ayurveda Day.

  • The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), Jamnagar (Gujarat), and the National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Jaipur (Rajasthan), are both premier institutions of Ayurveda.
  • Jaipur  institution has been designated an Institution Deemed to be University (De novo Category) by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The Jamnagar institute has been conferred the status of an Institution of National Importance (INI) by an act of Parliament.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • It is a matter of pride for all Indians that the WHO has chosen India for establishing its Global Centre for Traditional Medicine.
  • WHO Global Centre of Traditional Medicine in India to strengthen the evidence, research, training and awareness of traditional and complementary medicine.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | 14th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

 

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