17th 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.

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” – Dalai Lama

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.

17th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2021

Judge recuses himself from Jagan case

      HEADLINES:

Judge recuses himself from Jagan case

      WHY IN NEWS:

I have as a lawyer represented some of the parties: Lalit

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Judiciary

      ISSUE: 

Justice U.U. Lalit of the Supreme Court on Monday recused himself from hearing separate writ petitions against A.P govt.

WITHDRAWAL FROM THE CASE

  • The judge, who leads a three-member Bench, withdrew from hearing the case.
  • As a lawyer he represented some of the parties involved in the case.

The allegations are for levelling “false, vague and political allegations” against Supreme Court judge N.V. Ramana and other High Court judges.

 SUPREME COURT JUDGES

QUALIFICATIONS OF JUDGES

A person to be appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court should have the following qualifications:

  • He should be a citizen of India.
  • He should have been a judge of a High Court (or high courts in succession) for five years
  • He should have been an advocate of a High Court (or High Courts in succession) for ten years
  • He should be a distinguished jurist in the opinion of the President.

From the above, it is clear that the Constitution has not prescribed a minimum age for appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court.

TENURE OF JUDGES

The Constitution has not fixed the tenure of a judge of the Supreme Court. However, it makes the following three provisions in this regard:

  • He holds office until he attains the age of 65 years.
  • Any question regarding his age is to be determined by such authority and in such manner as provided by Parliament.
  • He can resign his office by writing to the President.
  • He can be removed from his office by the President on the recommendation of the Parliament.

REMOVAL CRITERIA

  • Retirement on completion of 65 years.
  • Resignation
  • Impeachment
  • Grounds for removal: proven misbehavior, incapacity

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Justice Lalit, one of the few senior advocates directly elevated as Supreme Court judge in the history of the court.
  • The Bench then recorded a short order, requesting Chief Justice of India (CJI) S.A. Bobde to list the case before an appropriate Bench.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | 17th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Winter session: Parliament

      HEADLINES:

Winter session of Parliament unlikely amid rising COVID cases

      WHY IN NEWS:

CCPA hasn’t met so far; govt.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Parliament

      ISSUE: 

With the monsoon session of Parliament held in September, the government has no constitutional compulsion to hold a winter session.

WINTER SESSION

  • The winter session of Parliament is held in mid-November to mid-December every year.
  • It is unlikely to be held due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi.

The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) meets to decide the dates for the session and the announcement has to be made giving Members of Parliament at least two weeks’ notice.

  • It is the shortest session of all.
  • It takes up the matters that could not be considered upon earlier and makes up for the absence of legislative business during the second session of the Parliament.

EXCEPTIONS

  • As per parliamentary records, there have only been three instances in the past of the winter session not being held — in 1975, 1979 and 1984.
  • So far, the CCPA has not met and the government is mulling over combining the Budget session of Parliament, which usually begins on February 1, and the winter session.

The Constitution mandates there should not be a gap of six months or more between two sessions.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

COVID-19 AND PARLIMENTARIANS

  • During the monsoon session of Parliament, nearly 40 MPs tested positive for the virus.
  • The monsoon session that was called on September 14 was supposed to go on till October 1, with a total 18 sittings.
  • It was cut short by eight days and concluded on September 24.
  • The previous Budget session of Parliament too ended abruptly on March 23 for a similar reason.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | 17th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

GAIL completes Kochi-Mangaluru pipeline

      HEADLINES:

GAIL completes Kochi-Mangaluru pipeline

      WHY IN NEWS:

‘Gas will reach Mangaluru through the 444-km pipeline this week’

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Energy : Natural Gas

      ISSUE: 

The much-delayed Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline project is finally ready for commissioning as GAIL India has completed the final 540-metre treacherous stretch across the Chandragiri river in northern Kerala

KOCHI-MANGALURU PIPELINE

  • The 444-km-long natural gas pipeline was launched in 2009 at an estimated cost of ₹2,915 crore and was to be commissioned in 2014.

But opposition with regard to safety and on commercial grounds, wherein the land price was the main hurdle, had resulted in the project cost nearly doubling to over ₹5,750 crore.

‘TESTING IS ON’

  • The most difficult stretch across the Chandragiri river in Kasaragod district ;  testing was completed.
  • Within this week itself, gas will reach Mangaluru through the 444-km pipeline.
  • The pipeline is charged up to Kannur now and has been live up to Koottanad in Palakkad district, 90 km north of Kochi, since June 2019.
  • The first phase of the project was commissioned in August 2013 in the Kochi metropolitan area.
  • The industrial supplies and domestic supplies from February 2016 are by Adani Gas.

17th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

BENEFICIARIES

  • Koottanad is the main junction of the project. From here, the line bifurcates to Mangaluru and Bengaluru.
  • With the commissioning of the pipeline, gas demand in Kerala will touch 80-90 million cubic metres per annum from 60 million cubic metres now.

The pipeline would supply gas to all seven districts it passed through in Kerala — Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod — and the hilly Wayanad district.

  • Apart from huge environmental gains, the State can gain monetarily as it can get up to ₹1,000 crore by way of taxes alone.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Authorities were ready to complete the project in August, but a 540-metre stretch across the Chandragiri river became a nightmare for them.
  • As a way out, they reduced the diameter of the pipe to a fourth — from 24 inches to just 6 inches now.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU   | 17th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Indian students in U.S. dropped 4.4% last year

      HEADLINES:

Indian students in U.S. dropped 4.4% last year

      WHY IN NEWS:

  • International enrolment fell 42% after pandemic: survey
  • Key findings of Open Doors 2020 is an annual survey conducted by the International Institute of Education in partnership with the U.S. State Department.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : Migration

      ISSUE: 

The number of Indian students in the United States dropped 4.4 per cent in 2019-20

ACADEMIC MIGRATION

Comply with FDI ceiling : I&B Ministry

SOURCES : THE HINDU

  • COVID-19 is likely to pull those figures down even further.

International student enrolment in American universities crashing 42 per cent in fall 2020.

  • However, 90 per cent of institutions reported that students have deferred enrolment by a year.
  • It means that many may be hoping to resume their plans to study in the U.S. next year.

CHINA HAS BIGGER SHARE

  • Only China, with 35 per cent, holds a bigger share of the international population in American institutions.

However, the number of Indian students in the U.S. dropped to 4.4 per cent to 1.93 lakh in 2019-20, after six straight years of growth.

  • In fact, this is the sharpest decline since the 5 per cent fall in 2005-06.
  • The 2020-21 drop is likely to be steeper still, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A survey of fall enrolment at 700 institutions showed that 20 per cent of their international students are studying online this year.
  • There is no data split available by country of origin for the 2020 enrolments.

ADMISSIONS DEFERRED

  • The total number of international students — including those studying online — dipped 16 per cent.

But new enrolments were the worst-hit, with a 43 per cent drop.

  • The number of new international students who are in the U.S. and able to attend physical classes has slumped 72 per cent.
  • The institutions surveyed said 40,000 of their students had deferred fall admission to a future semester.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

ONLINE WORRIES

  • For those who have chosen to study online, the challenges can be overwhelming.
  • For international students signing into real-time studies during U.S. working hours, there are challenges of adapting their academic hours while living in different time zones.

The survey showed that 18 per cent of the one million international students in the U.S. are from India.

     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | 17th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Moderna says its vaccine is 94.5% effective

      HEADLINES:

Moderna says its vaccine is 94.5% effective

      WHY IN NEWS:

Early results encouraging, say researchers

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      ISSUE: 

Drugmaker Moderna on Monday announced that its coronavirus vaccine was 94.5% effective.

  • The vaccine will not be widely available for months, probably not until spring.
  • Moderna is the second company to report preliminary data on an apparently successful vaccine.
  • Pfizer, in collaboration with BioNTech, was the first, reporting a week ago that its vaccine was more than 90% effective.

LONGER SHELF LIFE

  • Moderna also said its vaccine has a longer shelf life under refrigeration and at room temperature than previously reported.

This should make it easier to store and use

  • Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, developed its vaccine in collaboration with researchers from the Vaccine Research Center, part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
  • The company announced on October 22 that it had completed enrolment of its 30,000-person study.
  • 25,650 participants had already received two shots.

SEVERAL UNKNOWNS

  • It will be important to determine whether the vaccines work equally well in older and younger people, experts say.
  • Researchers also want to know if the vaccines prevent people from spreading the virus — an ideal result that could help quash the pandemic.

Another big unknown is how long the immunity provided by the vaccines will last.

  • An additional concern is that the vaccines must be stored and transported at low temperatures — minus 20 degree Celsius for Moderna.
  • Moderna said researchers had found that its vaccine had a longer shelf life in the refrigerator than previously thought: 30 days, not seven.
  • And it will last 12 hours at room temperature.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Pfizer and Moderna each announced the findings in news releases, not in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • The companies have not yet disclosed the detailed data that would allow outside experts to evaluate their claims.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU & IE  | 17th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Comply with FDI ceiling : I&B Ministry

      HEADLINES:

Comply with FDI ceiling, govt.tells digital news firms

      WHY IN NEWS:

  • I&B Ministry seeks details of shareholders, directors
  • Videostreaming platforms too are now under the jurisdiction of I&B Ministry.
MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 : Information : Communication : Digital Communication

      ISSUE: 

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Monday issued a detailed notification asking digital news portals to comply with the 26% cap on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) sanctioned last year.

KEY POINTS

  • The notification specifies imposing a 26% cap on FDI under government route for uploading/streaming of news and current affairs through digital media.

The only major departure is that now even the companies with investment below the 26% cap have to intimate the Ministry.

  • This will be about the shareholding pattern along with the “names and addresses of its directors/shareholders”.
  • These details have to be submitted within a month.
  • The firms which have more than 26% of FDI have been instructed to take steps to bring down the figure before October 15, 2021.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • This serves no purpose.The government is just trying to get more and more levers with which to manipulate the digital media.
  • The spate of notifications that you see are not isolated; it clearly indicates that they want to exert control and this will continue.-News Laundry.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | 17th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

 

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