22nd Oct Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2020

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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.

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. – Confucius

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.

22nd Oct Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2021

Today's Must Read Articles : Today's Must Read Articles :

National Super Computing Mission (NSM)

      HEADLINES:

India progressing rapidly towards the goal of indigenously made Supercomputers

      WHY IN NEWS:

National Super Computing Mission (NSM) is boosting high power computing in the country

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Science & Technology
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Power Computing : Science and Technology

      ISSUE: 

NATIONAL SUPERCOMPUTING MISSION

National Supercomputing Mission | UPSC

  • Centre for Development of Advanced Computing(C-DAC) signed a total of 13 MoUs with the premier academic and R&D institutions of India.

C-DAC is establishing Supercomputing Infrastructure with Assembly and Manufacturing in India.

  • C-DAC is accelerating pace of research and innovation in manufacturing Critical Supercomputing components.
  • Component will be manufactured in India, is a step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat .

MISSION

  • The Mission is to Establish Dependable and Secure Exa-Scale Eco-system with innovative designs, disruptive technologies and Expert Human resource.
  • The Mission envisages empowering academic and R&D institutions spread over the country by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising of more than 70 high-performance computing facilities.

These supercomputers will also be networked on the National Supercomputing grid over the National Knowledge Network (NKN).

  • The NKN is another programme of the government which connects academic institutions and R&D labs over a high speed network.
  • Academic and R&D institutions as well as key user departments/ministries would participate by using these facilities and develop applications of national relevance.
  • The Mission also includes development of highly professional High Performance Computing (HPC) aware human resource .
  • The Mission implementation would bring supercomputing within the reach of the large Scientific & Technology community in the country.
  • This will enable the country with a capacity of solving multi-disciplinary grand challenge problems.

FOCUS AREAS

  • The goal is to develop own indigenous hardware encompassing exascale chip design.

Design and manufacture of exascale server boards.

  • Exascale interconnects and storage including silicon-photonics at C-DAC to achieve complete self-reliance.

IMPLEMENTATION

The Mission would be implemented and steered jointly by:

  • The Department of Science and Technology (DST)
  • Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY)

INFRASTRUCTURE PHASES

  • NSM Phase-I : It is already installed and much of Phase-II in place, the network of supercomputers through the country will soon reach to around 16 Petaflops (PF).
  • NSM Phase-III : It is to be initiated in January 2021, will take the computing speed to around 45 Petaflops.

The three phases will provide access to High-Performance Computing (HPC) Facilities to around 75 institutions.

TIMELINE AND FUNDING

The estimated cost is Rs.4500 crore over a period of seven years.

OBJECTIVE

  • To make India one of the world leaders in Supercomputing.
  • To enhance India’s capability in solving grand challenge problems of national and global relevance.

To empower our scientists and researchers with state-of-the-art supercomputing facilities .

  • To enable them to carry out cutting-edge research in their respective domains.
  • To minimize redundancies and duplication of efforts, and optimize investments in supercomputing
  • To attain global competitiveness and ensure self-reliance in the strategic area of supercomputing technology.

APPLICATION AREAS

  • Climate Modelling
  • Weather Prediction
  • Aerospace Engineering including CFD, CSM, CEM
  • Computational Biology
  • Molecular Dynamics
  • Atomic Energy Simulations
  • National Security/ Defence Applications
  • Seismic Analysis
  • Disaster Simulations and Management
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Computational Material Science and Nanomaterials
  • Discoveries beyond Earth (Astrophysics)
  • Large Complex Systems Simulations and Cyber Physical Systems
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Finance
  • Information repositories/ Government Information Systems.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The mission envisages empowering our national academic and R&D institutions to spread over the country.
  • This will be done by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising of more than 70 high-performance computing facilities.
  • The mission implementation would bring supercomputing within the reach of the large scientific & technology community in the country .
  • This will enable the country with a capacity to solve multi-disciplinary grand challenge problems.
  • Supercomputing is the key to so many areas like Computational Biology, Molecular Dynamics, National Security etc.

Armed with artificial intelligence and machine learning makes it a formidable tool.

  • Progress in this mission will break silos to empower people and make India future-ready and tackle future challenges.
  • India is fast expanding its supercomputer facilities and developing the capacity to manufacture its own supercomputers in the country.
     SOURCES: PIB | 22nd Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Heat-tolerant rice varieties

      HEADLINES:

Kerala must opt for heat-tolerant rice varieties for better yield: Study

      WHY IN NEWS:

  • It was published in Journal of Earth System Science on September 14, 2020.  
  • The study determined the importance of climate variables in the prediction of agriculture yield for present and future climate scenarios.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Agriculture

      ISSUE: 

Rise in temperature and reduction in rainfall under present and future climate scenario affected rice yield, thereby reducing crop maturity time

  • Opting for alternative rice varieties tolerant to high temperature and that consume less water is imperative to achieve a better yield .
  • Rise in temperature and reduction in rainfall affects rice yield, thereby reducing the crop maturity time.

Rice is a key crop consumed by populations across more than half the world, especially Asia.

  • India accounts for 17.7 per cent of the total world population.
  • Global food production must be able to cope with the increase in demand.
  • Weather parameters such as  temperature, rainfall and solar radiation for the station for base period and bias-corrected for high-emissions RCP8.5 scenario.

GROWING DEGREE DAYS (GDD)

GDD
It a tool to estimate the growth and development of plants during the growing season.

  • It was found to decrease during the scenario shift (from base period to future scenario), indicating early maturity of rice crop in future scenario.

Another factor that accounted for it was tolerance to heat stress.

  • GDD works on the premise that development will only occur if the temperature exceeds a minimum development threshold or base temperature.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The researchers analysed the predicted value of rice yield for climate change scenario at constant carbon dioxide and varying meteorological variables.
  • They suggested a shift in planting as well as introduction of temperature-tolerant and high-yielding varieties of rice.

The impact study of future climate change on rice yield was carried out using CERES Rice Cropping System Model.

  • The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity and nutritional needs of millions of people are under threat.
  • This is especially true for low-income countries and the most marginalised populations that include small-scale farmers and indigenous peoples.
  • The pandemic has the potential to escalate into a humanitarian and food security catastrophe.
     SOURCES:DownToEarth | 22nd Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

 

Aditi Urja Sanch

      HEADLINES:

Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches eco-friendly , efficient and DME fired “Aditi Urja Sanch” Unit at CSIR-NCL, Pune

      WHY IN NEWS:

Special burner unit for DME-LPG blend as a domestic cooking fuel also launched

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Science & Technology
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Energy

      ISSUE: 

CSIR-NCL has developed nation’s first pilot plant operated with clean and cost efficient fuel ‘DME’ with 20-24Kg/day capacity

ADITI URJA SANCH

  • Dimethyl ether (DME) is an ultra-clean fuel.

CSIR-NCL has developed nation’s first kind of DME pilot plant with 20-24Kg/day capacity.

  • The conventional LPG burner is not suitable for DME combustion as DME density is different than LPG.
  • To address this issue, CSIR- NCL’s “ADITI URJA SANCH” has come up with a helpful, innovative setup.
  • The new Burner is fully designed and fabricated by NCL for DME, DME -LPG blended mixtures and LPG combustion.

SALIENT FEATURES

  • The new design is efficient for both DME and the blend of DME and LPG.
  • Novel design and flexible air ingress.
  • The new nozzle design allows optimum oxygen ingress for combustion
  • The angles at which nozzles are placed maximize the heat transfer area across the utensils.

Optimum flame velocity can be obtained.

  • The length of the flame (high, low, and medium) can be adjusted by altering the oxygen ingress.
  • The experiment shows that it increases the heat transfer rate as well.
  • Trial runs have demonstrated an improvement by 10-15 %, compared to conventional burners using LPG alone.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The launch of this burner will also provide a significant boost to the ‘Make in India‘ campaign as all the manufacturers of cylinders, gas stoves, regulators, and gas are domestic.
  • This kind of activity may bridge the gap between demand and supply, and it can ensure energy security for the nation.
     SOURCES: PIB | 22nd Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Azad Hind Government

      HEADLINES:

Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC), Shri Prahlad Singh Patel attends Commemoration of ’77th Year of Formation of Azad Hind Government’ at Red Fort, Delhi

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB !

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Culture
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : History

      ISSUE: 

On 21st October 1943, Subhash Chandra Bose announced the formation of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind in Singapore, with himself as the Head of State, Prime Minister and Minister of War.

AZAD HIND GOVERNMENT

  • The Provisional Government enabled Bose to negotiate with the Japanese on an equal footing.
  • Also , This facilitated the mobilisation of Indians in East Asia to join and support the Indian National Army (INA).
  • The struggle for independence was carried on by Subhash Chandra Bose from abroad.
  • He found the outbreak of the Second World War to be a convenient opportunity to strike a blow for the freedom of India.
  • Bose had been put under house arrest in 1940 but he managed to escape to Berlin on March 28, 1941.

The Indian community there acclaimed him as the leader (Netaji). He was greeted with ‘Jai Hind’ (Salute to the motherland).

  • In 1942, the Indian Independence League was formed and a decision was taken to form the Indian National Army (INA) for the liberation of India.
  • On an invitation from Ras Bihari Bose, Subhash Chandra Bose came to East Asia on June 13, 1943.

He was made president of the Indian Independence League and the leader of the INA popularly called ‘Azad Hind Fauj’.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

He gave the famous battle cry ‘Chalo Dilli’. He promised independence to Indians saying, ‘tum mujhe khoon do, main tumhe Azadi dunga’ (You give me blood, I will give you freedom).

     SOURCES: PIB | 22nd Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

COVIRAP

      HEADLINES:

ICMR nod for low-cost COVID-19 testing device

      WHY IN NEWS:

COVIRAP showed accuracy level similar to RT-PCR method

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      ISSUE: 

The machine cost less than ₹5,000 to make and the test kits would each cost about ₹500

COVIRAP

  • A new COVID-19 diagnostic method, using a low-cost portable unit developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur.

It has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) after testing with patient samples .

  • It has showed an accuracy level slightly lower than the gold standard RT-PCR method, at a fraction of the cost.
  • Once the viral RNA was extracted, the testing process takes about one hour.

22nd Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The IIT was in discussion with commercial manufacturers and start-ups, and hoped that the government would also subsidise the cost of the test kits.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU  | 22nd Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Managing the “Infodemic”

      HEADLINES:

‘Infodemic management a serious challenge’

      WHY IN NEWS:

WHO Chief Scientist says it has led to confusion, risk-taking and ultimately mistrust towards govt.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Miscellaneous

      ISSUE: 

Managing the “infodemic” has been a serious challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic.

INFODEMIC MANAGEMENT

INFODEMIC
Having too much information, including false or misleading information, particularly on social media.

KEY POINTS

Even a commonsensical thing to do such as wearing masks has become a polarised debate due to the “infodemic”.

  • It leads to confusion, risk-taking and ultimately mistrust towards governments and the public health response.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • WHO has been working with technology companies to address this challenge by directing the public to credible sources of information.
  • Also , taking down false and misleading information from online platforms, and developing chatbots in different languages that the public could use for accessing information.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | 22nd Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

US sues Google

      HEADLINES:

US sues Google: what it means

      WHY IN NEWS:

US Justice Department, joined by 11 states, has filed a suit against Google for abusing dominant position in the market.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : 3 : Competition : Trade practises

      ISSUE: 

USA Department of Justice (DoJ) sued Google alleging that the company had abused its dominant position in a way that had harmed its competitors as well as customers.

WHAT LED TO THESE CHARGES?

  • Eleven US states have joined the DoJ in the anti-trust lawsuit against Google .

The allegations were-for unlawfully maintaining a monopoly in general search services and search advertising.

WHAT IS THE LAWSUIT ABOUT?

  • The main concerns are business practices that may have led to “massive concentrations of economic power” in a few companies such as Google.

The lawsuit will focus on Google as it “is the gateway to the Internet and a search advertising behemoth”. 
 

  • Google achieved some success in its early years, and no one begrudges that.
  • The antitrust complaint filed today explains, it has maintained its monopoly power through exclusionary practices that harm competition.
  • So the Justice Department has determined that an antitrust response is necessary to benefit consumers.

WHAT LED TO THE LAWSUIT?

  • US House of Representatives panel submitted the report of a bipartisan investigation into the working of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook.
  • These companies have been on the radar of governments in many countries for being big spenders .

They are trying to steamroll competition by either buying out their rivals or pushing vendors to avoid working with these rivals. 

  • These companies was now acting as a “gatekeeper” over a key channel of distribution, which meant that they had full control over what went on in their respective domains.

WHY IS THE LAWSUIT IMPORTANT?

  • The lawsuit marks the first time involvement of both the Democratic and the Republican parties — to look into the monopolistic powers of Google.
  • The challenge for Google, experts said, would be continued scrutiny into its biggest revenue generating segment, which is advertising .

In the April-June quarter, the company had earned nearly $38 billion, mainly from advertisements.
 

ALLEGATIONS THAT GOOGLE FACES IN INDIA

  • Over the last three years, Google has had multiple run-ins with the CCI for alleged abuse of its dominant position in the search engine market.
  • In 2019, India’s antitrust body had held Google guilty of misuse of its dominant position in the mobile Android market

The company had imposed “unfair conditions” on device manufacturers to prevent them from using other operating systems.

  • The CCI had fined Google Rs 136 crore for unfair business practices in the online search market.
  • It said that Google had “allocated disproportionate real estate” for its affiliates, to the disadvantage of other companies that were trying to gain market access.
  • Google has challenged the CCI findings in forums such as the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal and the Supreme Court.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

WHAT COULD THIS ACTION MEAN FOR GOOGLE?

  • Although the lawsuit is the first of its kind, it is unlikely that there will be any swift action on the company in the near term.
  • “The lawsuit is just the beginning of something formal, after the House panel report.

Google may argue before the courts that it is being singled out from amongst the other companies.

  • Yes, there can be a spiralling effect but every country will have to conduct its own separate investigation if the same conduct has been done there.
  • Regulators will definitely have a sense of looking into the practices of Google.
     SOURCES:IE | 22nd Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

 

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