4th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2020

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IASbhai 4th Nov 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.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

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.

4th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2021

Vaccine distribution : States cannot make isolated plans

      HEADLINES:

‘States cannot make isolated plans for vaccine distribution’

      WHY IN NEWS:

Health Ministry says they must work with the Centre for time-bound roll out

MINISTRY? :- Union Health Ministry
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      ISSUE: 

The Centre has decided to set up a panel to look into vaccine administration.

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION

  • The Health Ministry said it has asked the State governments to refrain from making isolated plans for vaccine distribution.
  • The States had been asked to work with the Central government, which has set up an expert committee on vaccine administration, and to adhere to the directions from the Centre.
  • They had been advised to create a database according to the blueprint issued by the Central government.

Also states will take care of stock of the storage and transport facility for the distribution.

  • States/UTs have been also asked to set up committees under Chief Secretaries for administration to ensure time-bound implementation of the Central government direction.
  • The Ministry noted that the expert committee, besides using the infrastructure of the immunisation programme.
  • The ministry is also looking at the infrastructure and manpower support that the private players can offer.

The States need to continue the test-track-trace-and-treat strategy.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • We are still vulnerable and the situation is still not fully under our control.
  • We need to build on the gains India has been able to achieve so far.
  • The public effort has to remain sustained.
  • We have to test, isolate and work at breaking the transmission of the virus.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | 4th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Why do Whales Strand at beaches ?

      HEADLINES:

Sri Lanka rescues 120 stranded whales

      WHY IN NEWS:

It was as if the whales were ‘stuck in a treadmill’, says marine biologist

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Conservation of Fauna

      ISSUE: 

The animals were fatigued and stressed, they were smashing their tails around.

THE WHALE RESCUE MISSION

  • Sri Lanka’s navy, coast guard, local volunteers and conservation experts have rescued nearly 120 stranded whales and pulled them back to the deep sea.
  • Within hours the Sri Lankan navy and Coast guard deployed nearly 70 personnel to the spot.
  • However, three whales and one dolphin were found dead along the shore.

TIMELY AID

  • Locals played a crucial part in rescuing the whales, battling crashing waves in the dark.
  • Noted Sri Lankan marine biologist Asha de Vos said in a social media post, that likened the whales’ plight to “being stuck in a treadmill”.

WHY DO WHALES BEACH THEMSELVES?

  • Cetacean stranding, more commonly referred to as beaching, refers to the phenomenon of dolphins and whales stranding themselves on beaches.
  • There are around 2,000 strandings each year worldwide, with most resulting in the death of the animal.
  • Beachings are rare enough that they are not a significant threat to any species.
  • The beaching of a single, live animal is usually the result of sickness or injury.

Bad weather, old age, navigation errors, and hunting too close to shore also contribute to beachings.

  • Some whale and dolphin species are more prone to mass beachings.
  • Toothed whales (Odontoceti) are the most commonly affected.
  • Toothed whales include dolphins, porpoises, and all whales with teeth.
  • It is more common for these cetaceans to live in large groups with intricate social systems.
  • If one member of the group is sick or in trouble, its distress calls can cause the other members to follow it to the beach, resulting in a mass stranding.

4th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

KILLER WHALES

Killer whales sometimes intentionally beach themselves to hunt for shoreline seals.

  • They then wait for waves to help get back to sea.
  • This practice is most commonly observed in pods around Argentina.
  • It is believed that the habit is taught to younger killer whales by the older members of the pod.
  • Killer whales very rarely become beached unintentionally.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

THE EFFECTS OF SONAR

  • Some scientists believe sonar signals and other man-made loud underwater noises may contribute to beaching events.
  • Low and mid-frequency active sonar is used by militaries to detect submarines, and for other acoustic exercises.
  • These frequencies do not affect all species but can be deadly for some.

Low sonar can cause hemorrhaging in animals exposed to the sonar, and others will beach themselves to escape the sound.

  • Mid-frequency sonar most affects Cuvier’s beaked whales, causing decompression sickness, leading to tissue damage .
  • This sickness could happen because the sonar causes the whales to panic and surface too quickly to escape.
  • Mass beachings of beaked whales almost exclusively occur alongside sonar testing.
SUGGESTED READING : INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION 
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | 4th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

The importance of Gilgit-Baltistan

      HEADLINES:

The importance of Gilgit-Baltistan, and why Pakistan has given it provisional province status

      WHY IN NEWS:

Gilgit-Baltistan is the northernmost territory administered by Pakistan, providing the country’s only territorial frontier, and thus a land route, with China, where it meets the Xinjiang Autonomous Region.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR : India-Pakistan Relations

      ISSUE: 

Minister Imran Khan announced that his government would give the region “provisional provincial status”.

IMPORTANCE OF GILGIT-BALTISTAN

FIFTH PROVINCE

  • When that happens, G-B will become the fifth province of Pakistan.

Although the region is claimed by India as part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu & Kashmir as it existed in 1947 at its accession to India.

  • Gilgit-Baltistan is the northernmost territory administered by Pakistan.
  • It is providing the country’s only territorial frontier, and thus a land route, with China, where it meets the Xinjiang Autonomous Region.
  • The China Pakistan Economic Corridor has made the region vital for both countries.
  • To G-B’s west is Afghanistan, to its south is Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and to the east J&K.
  • The plan to grant G-B provincial status gathered speed over the last one year.
  • Pakistan’s push might have well come from India’s reassertion of its claims after the August 5, 2019 reorgansiation of Jammu & Kashmir.

WHAT IS THE REGION’S CURRENT STATUS?

  • Though Pakistan, like India, links G-B’s fate to that of Kashmir, its administrative arrangements are different from those in PoK.
  • While PoK has its own Constitution that sets out its powers and their limits vis-à-vis Pakistan, G-B has been ruled mostly by executive fiat.
  • Until 2009, the region was simply called Northern Areas.

It got its present name only with the Gilgit-Baltistan (Empowerment and Self-Governance) Order, 2009, which replaced the Northern Areas Legislative Council with the Legislative Assembly.

  • The NALC was an elected body, but had no more than an advisory role to the Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas, who ruled from Islamabad.
  • The Legislative Assembly is only a slight improvement.It has 24 directly elected members and nine nominated ones.

WHY THE SEPARATE STATUS?

  • On November 1 1947, after J&K ruler Hari Singh had signed the Instrument of Accession with India.

The Indian Army had landed in the Valley to drive out tribal invaders from Pakistan, there was a rebellion against Hari Singh in Gilgit.

  • A small force raised by the British to guard Gilgit, ostensibly on behalf of the Kashmir ruler but in fact to serve its administration of the Gilgit Agency.

Gilgit had been leased to the British by Hari Singh in 1935.

  • The British returned it in August 1947.
  • Hari Singh sent his representative, Brigadier Ghansar Singh, as Governor, and Brown to take charge of the Gilgit Scouts.

A CASE OF PLEBISCITE IN KASHMIR

  • But after taking protective custody of the Governor on November 1, Brown would raise the Pakistani flag at his headquarters.
  • Later the Gilgit Scouts managed to bring Baltistan under their control.
  • Pakistan did not accept G-B’s accession although it took administrative control of the territory.

After India went to the UN and a series of resolutions were passed in the Security Council on the situation in Kashmir.

  • Pakistan believed that neither G-B nor PoK should be annexed to Pakistan, as this could undermine the international case for a plebiscite in Kashmir.
  • It also reckons that in the event a plebiscite ever takes place in Kashmir, votes in G-B will be important too.
  • This is why it is only being called “provisional” provincial status.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

WHAT DO THE PEOPLE IN G-B WANT?

  • The people of G-B have been demanding for years that it be made a part of Pakistan, they do not have the same constitutional rights Pakistanis have.
  • There is virtually no connect with India.
  • Some have in the past demanded a merger with PoK, but the people of G-B have no real connect with Kashmir either.
  • They belong to several non-Kashmiri ethnicities, and speak various languages, none of these Kashmiri.
  • A majority of the estimated 1.5 million G-B residents are Shias.

There is anger against Pakistan for unleashing extremist sectarian militant groups that target Shias, and for dictating over the use of their natural resources.

  • There is a small movement for independence, but it has very little traction.
SUGGESTED READING : G-B ISSUE  
     SOURCES:  THE IE  | 4th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Shura Council

      HEADLINES:

Qatar Emir sets first national election for next October

      WHY IN NEWS:

Nation’s 2004 Constitution calls for vote to Shura Council

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Institutions and Groupings

      ISSUE: 

“The Shura Council elections will be held in October of next year to strengthen the traditions of the Qatari shura, with wider participation by citizens,”

CAUTIOUS REFORMS

  • October 2021 will marking the Gulf emirate’s first national election.
  • Qataris have previously been able to cast ballots on constitutional reforms and in elections to a nationwide municipal council.
  • Elections to the council, required under the country’s 2004 Constitution, have been postponed repeatedly .
  • The body’s members have instead been directly appointed by the emir.

SHURA COUNCIL

  • The Shura Council of the State of Qatar, is one of the two main branches of Qatar’s legislative body.
  • The laws to have effect, they shall be presented before the Shura Council, for consideration and suggestions.
  • The other organ, is the Cabinet, which proposes bills, prepares draft laws and refers them to the Council, for due consideration and recommendations thereafter.
  • The State of Qatar is one of the pioneering Arab countries, that based their Legislative Power on the Islamic “Shura”.

SHURA
It is a consultation system, which draws its principles from the sublime Islamic ‘Shariat” i.e. Islamic code of law and conduct.

  • The Shura Council practices its power by either approving, accepting or even rejecting the draft bills and other matters presented to the Shura Council.
  • The Shura Council may propose and consider by itself issues that of public concern, including inviting ministers and the government officials to discuss such matters with them.

ESTABLISHMENT

  • The Shura council was established in 1972.

The Amended Provisional Basic Law of Rule in the State of Qatar was passed on April 19th 1972, in order to organize the public powers of the modern state including the Shura Council.

MEMBERSHIP

  • Shura Council was formed in 1972 with (20) appointed members.
  • In the year 1975 additional (10) members of the Shura Council were appointed.
  • In 2004 a fourth change took place, whereby the membership of (21) was renewed and new (14) members were appointed.
  • In the 2017 the latest change in the membership of the Council took place, whereby membership of (13) was renewed.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Qatar has undergone cautious reform on issues including democracy, worker rights and representation of women since Sheikh Tamim came to power in 2013.

     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | 4th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Integrated Child Development Services

      HEADLINES:

More children to get fortified rice

      WHY IN NEWS:

Scheme will be scaled up to 112 districts

MINISTRY? :- Union Food Ministry
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : Malnutrition

      ISSUE: 

The pilot scheme failed to take off in most States.

INTEGRATED CHILD DEVELOPMENT SERVICES

  • Children in anganwadis and government schools could soon be eating rice infused with iron, folic acid and vitamin B-12.
  • In a bid to combat chronic anaemia and undernutrition, the government is planning to launch these scheme by next year .

To distribute fortified rice through the Integrated Child Development Services and Mid-Day Meal schemes have been chosen.

  • A special focus on 112 aspirational districts will be given. – Food Ministry.
  • However, an existing pilot scheme to distribute fortified rice through the Public Distribution System in 15 districts has only been implemented in five districts so far.
  • Although more than half the project duration is over.

FORTIFIED RICE

  • Fortifying rice involves grinding broken rice into powder, mixing it with nutrients, and then shaping it into rice-like kernels using an extrusion process.

These fortified kernels are then mixed with normal rice in a 1:100 ratio, and distributed for consumption.

  • Currently, there are only 15,000 tonnes of these kernels available per year in the country.

IMPLEMENTATION

FCI will develop a plan to procure and distribute fortified rice under the schemes from 2021-2022, starting with the 112 aspirational districts.

  • The Food Corporation of India has now been asked to come up with a comprehensive plan to scale up the annual supply of fortified rice from the current 15,000 tonnes to at least 1.3 lakh tonnes.

FUNDING

The Centrally sponsored pilot scheme was approved in February 2019 and allocated a total budget outlay of ₹174.6 crore for a three-year period from 2019-20.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

UNDER WAY IN 5 STATES

  • However, only five States — Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh — have started distribution of fortified rice in their identified pilot districts.
  • The remaining 10 States have only now identified their respective districts, and will soon start distribution, but less than one-and-a-half years remain in the scheme period.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | 4th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Phase I of the Malabar 2020

      HEADLINES:

Phase I of Malabar 2020 begins.

      WHY IN NEWS:

Phase I of the Malabar 2020 naval exercise by India, Australia, Japan and the U.S. began off the coast of Visakhapatnam in the Bay of Bengal on Tuesday.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Defence

      ISSUE: 

PHASE I – MALABAR 2020

Exercise Malabar is an important opportunity to work in concert with like-minded nations to support a secure, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.

  • This is the first time Australia has joined Malabar since 2007.

TWO PARTS

  • This is the 24th edition of the exercise that began in 1992 and this time, it is being held in two phases, in the Bay of Bengal and from November 17 to 20 in the Arabian Sea.

Indian Navy ships Ranvijay, Shivalik, Shakti and Sukanya and submarine Sindhuraj were exercising with U.S. naval ship USS John S McCain.

  • Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Ballarat, and Japanese Maritime Self Defence ship JS Onami are also participating in the exercise .
  • The four Navies would conduct a range of high-end training, including air-defence and anti-submarine exercises.
  • The focus will be on aviation, communications and at-sea replenishment between ships.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • India and Australia are natural partners in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Exercise Malabar is a clear demonstration of the depth of trust and cooperation between our defence organisations.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | 4th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

DISCOVER MORE : Important Daily Current Affairs for UPSC PRELIMS 2021

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