UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS| PRELIMS & MAINS | 10th May 2020

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Daily UPSC Current Affairs | 10th May 2020

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Daily Current Affairs for UPSC 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 PRELIMS2020.

We define ourselves far too often by our past failures. That’s not you.  You are this person right now.  You’re the person who has learned from those failures.– Joe Rogan

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.

Will the NGT penalty on LG Polymers act as a deterrent?

      HEADLINES:

Vizag gas leak: Will the NGT penalty on LG Polymers act as a deterrent?

      WHY IN NEWS:

Though the cognisance of the offence is a welcome move, the court could have widened its scope to benefit many

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Disaster Management

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand the licensing policy and the permit given to petro-chemical Industry.

For MAINS note down the lag in issuance of these permits . Can you explain a few reasons of these lag ?

      ISSUE: 

Photo: Labeed Aliya / Twitter

  • The jury is still out on whether the National Green Tribunal (NGT)’s decision to levy a penalty of Rs 50 crore on LG Polymers India will set a precedent to prevent future disasters.
  • The court also appointed a five-member committee of experts to report its initial findings on the causes of failure, extent of damage and remedial measures initiated in another 10 days.

VIOLATIONS IN ENVIRONMENTAL CLEARANCES

INDUSTRY PERMIT : 

  • Industries processing petrochemical-based products require two levels of clearances to function – one from the MoEF&CC and the other from the SPCB.

The clearance obtained from the MoEF&CC is called the ‘Environmental Clearance’ and that from the SPCB is the ‘Consent to Operate’ that needs to be renewed periodically in a span of five years.

  • An old company like LG Polymers India Pvt Ltd that has been operating even before the legislation of Environmental Impact Assessment would have to obtain the Environmental Clearance if it plans to expand its production, change raw material or modernise its units.

TIMELINE

  • 1960s – LG Polymers used to produce styrene from alcohols (oxo-alcohols) with SPCB permits
  • 1980s – Shifted to importing Styrene – with SPCB permits
  • Since 2004 – LG Polymers has been expanding production and seeking clearance from SPCB in different time spans for different product mix and marginal increased production levels.
  • 2017 – SPCB warns the firm of the need for an EC, else it would not be granted consent.
  • Company files a petition with MoEF&CC seeking Environmental Clearance.
  • May 2017 – Company provides a proposal to SPCB saying it is importing plastic granules to prepare extended plastic which may not require an Environment Clearance and succeeds obtaining consent, brushing impact assessments studies.
  • 2018 – Withdraws the petition filed for Environment Clearance from MoEF&CC saying there were typo errors.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Maintaining power stations or any industries with less staff is a risk and such incidents in this scenario are not surprising.

“The plant, by failing to seek Environmental Clearance, has violated informing the competent authorities over two things.

  • Expansion means more storage.
  • Importing means risk associated with transportation, handling in port related goods for loading and unloading the same in factory premises.
  • In fact, the plant needs to apply afresh.
  • Renewal of Consent to Operate is not the only issue.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Row over new link road

      HEADLINES:

Row over new link road to Kailash Mansarovar

      WHY IN NEWS:

Nepal says India has breached a 2014 agreement

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:IR

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS geographical map and relevant passes are very important !

For MAINS You should have some handy points to solve such issue . Let this issue mature .

      ISSUE: 

In a strongly worded statement, Nepal’s Foreign Ministry said India’s decision to build the road through territory at the Lipulekh pass that it claims as its territory is a breach of an agreement reached between the two countries to discuss the matter.

Strong protest: Students shouting slogans against the Indian government in Kathmandu on Saturday.
  • India’s plans to shorten the travel time for pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar ran into a diplomatic trouble as Nepal strongly objected to the new link road from India to China which was inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday.
  • “The Government of Nepal has learnt with regret about the ‘inauguration’ yesterday by India of ‘Link Road’ connecting to Lipulekh, which passes through Nepali territory,”.

BOUNDARY ISSUE :

  • “This unilateral act runs against the understanding reached between the two countries, including at the level of Prime Ministers, that a solution to boundary issues would be sought through negotiation,” the statement said, referring to the agreement between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and (then) Nepal PM Sushil Koirala in 2014 for Foreign Secretaries to work out the “outstanding boundary issues” on Kalapani (where Lipulekh lies) and Susta.
  • Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, along with Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, both of whom are co-chairs of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) issued a separate statement, referring to India’s decision to build the road during the coronavirus pandemic as “deplorable”.

MEA RESPONSE :

“The road follows the pre-existing route used by the pilgrims of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.

  • Under the present project, the same road has been made pliable for the ease and convenience of pilgrims, locals and traders,” , adding that
  • The boundary delineation exercise with Nepal is ongoing, and that “India is committed to resolving outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue and in the spirit of our close and friendly bilateral relations with Nepal”.

The road that starts from Dharchula in Uttarakhand and runs 80 km to the Lipulekh pass was built by the Border Roads Organisation.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

In its response, the Ministry of External Affairs said the road going through Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district “lies completely within the territory of India”.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

NFHS for population surveillance

      HEADLINES:

Using NFHS for population surveillance for coronavirus

      WHY IN NEWS:

The infrastructure can be used for random sample-based population surveillance

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      LEARNING: 

For MAINS this article is just what if we have mass spread of COVID-19 ! How to go for testing then ?

      ISSUE: 

Governments worldwide have been testing for COVID-19 in high-risk individuals, such as those with symptoms, close contacts of those tested positive, health-care professionals and those with travel history to an affected region.

Logical distribution: Testing high-risk persons alone does not give an accurate number of those affected.
  • S.V. Subramanian, Professor of population health and geography at Harvard University, and K.S. James, Director, International Institute of Population Sciences suggest that the scientific and logistical infrastructure of India’s National Family Health Survey (NFHS) be leveraged to conduct a random sample-based population surveillance to track coronavirus.

USED EARLIER:

  • The article gives the example of how India used NFHS for HIV surveillance — India was projected to have 25 million HIV-positive individuals, with a 3-4% prevalence in adults, but when a random-sample-based population surveillance was conducted to test for HIV in the general population, the estimates sharply reduced to 2·5 million, with a 0.28% prevalence in adults.
  • They note that “layering a COVID-19-focused data-collection effort on to the NFHS infrastructure would keep operational costs low, with the major expense being laboratory costs for testing samples.”

PREVALENCE AND TESTING

  • They estimated that if COVID-19 anticipated prevalence is under 0·5%, it needs a sample of about 3,000 individuals to be tested.
  • “The minimum required sample size increases to just over 15,000 under a rarer scenario of 0·1% prevalence.”
  • If a disease is widespread, meaning there is higher prevalence, its detection is easier, needing only a smaller sample.
  • This sampling approach could be implemented at the State or district levels.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

India and about 90 countries with established DHS sampling frames can implement this surveillance system.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

COVID-19 Symptom Tracker mobile app

      HEADLINES:

Now, a mobile app predicts COVID-19 incidence days in advance

      WHY IN NEWS:

The predictive power of the app highlights the potential utility of real-time symptom tracking

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases:Science and Technology

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS note down how this app works and its applications .

For MAINS compare this app with Arogya Setu Application.

      ISSUE: 

Easier data collection: The app enables self-reporting of data related to novel coronavirus exposure, symptoms and infections.

By repurposing an existing mobile application used for personal nutrition studies, a multinational collaboration — the Coronavirus Pandemic Epidemiology (COPE) — has developed a COVID-19 Symptom Tracker mobile app.

  • The mobile app, which allows for epidemiologic data collection and analysis, was launched in the U.K. on March 24 and in the U.S. on March 29.
  • It already has 2.8 million users as on May 2.
  • The COVID-19 Symptom Tracker enables people to self-report data related to novel coronavirus exposure, symptoms and infections.
  • The most common symptoms were found to be fatigue and cough, followed by diarrhoea, fever and loss of smell.
  • Shortness of breath was relatively rarely reported.

PREDICTING INCIDENCE

  • The app can predict the dynamics of COVID-19 incidence a few days in advance of traditional measures, such as positive tests, hospitalisations or mortality.
  • The predictive power of the app highlights the “potential utility of real-time symptom tracking to help guide allocation of resources for testing and treatment as well as recommendations for lockdown or easement in specific areas” .

DEFINITIVE SYMPTOMS

  • People who had cough and/or fatigue and at least one additional symptom — including diarrhoea and loss of smell — were more likely to test positive, the researchers found.
  • They found that loss of smell was a more sensitive symptom that even fever.

NEED PRIORITISING

  • “These findings suggest that individuals with complex or multiple (three or more) symptomatic presentation perhaps should be prioritised for testing.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The researchers are hoping to “release” the app as fair-use open source software to facilitate translation and development in other regions.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

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