Comprehensive News Analysis – 23 February 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Kashmir an internal affair: EU team

C. GS3 Related:

1. Roche can’t hang on to breast cancer drug: HC

2. 7 Earth-like planets spotted

3. Centre doubles solar park capacity to 40,000 MW

D. GS4 Related:
E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance

The Hindu

1. A battle lost?

2. Ageing with dignity

Economic Times

1. India must redouble its efforts to ratify the Convention on International Terrorism

PIB

1. Cabinet approves signing of an Agreement between India and Poland on cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors

2. Health Secretary launches ‘SAATHIYA’ Resource Kit and ‘SAATHIYA SALAH’ Mobile App for Adolescents

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
I. Archives

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Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs

 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

 
B. GS2 Related
1. Kashmir an internal affair: EU team

Category: Polity and Governance; International Relations
Topic: Center-State Relations; Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Key Points:

  • A visiting delegation of Members of European Parliament, said that Human rights ‘violations’ in Jammu and Kashmir must be resolved internally in India.
  • David McAllister, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the EU Parliament, clearly ruled out the need to “internationalise” the Kashmir issue.

Issue of Visa Denial

  • However, while giving India its full support on the human rights issue, the delegation will take up two other thorny issues- these issues are:

1) India’s denial of a visa to a member of their delegation, and
2) A recent Home Ministry action against NGOs in India.

  • On the issue of NGOs operating in India, the EU delegation said it was concerned about strictures on funding and the functioning of rights organisations.

 

C. GS3 Related
1. Roche can’t hang on to breast cancer drug: HC

Category: Indian Economy
Topic: IPR, International Trade

Key Points:

  • The Delhi High Court on 22nd February, 2017 told Swiss pharma major Roche that it “cannot hang on to” breast cancer drug Trastuzumab, innovated by it, for the rest of its life after having enjoyed the fruits of its patent.
  • The court was hearing pleas of Roche and other pharma firms such as Biocon, Mylan and Reliance Life Sciences, on the issue of marketing and sale of generic drugs biosimilar to the Swiss company’s Trastuzumab.

Issue being Contested

  • Roche argued that Biocon, Mylan and Reliance cannot term their medicine merely Trastuzumab and ought to call it Biocon’s Trastuzumab or Mylan’s Trastuzumab as these companies have not followed the entire protocol of tests and studies, as was done by it.
  • To this, the Bench said the advantage of biosimilarity was that it was an abbreviated process and companies like Biocon and Mylan need not go through the entire “rigmarole” as was done by Roche.
  • It also said that it was finding Roche’s stand “difficult to digest” as it has already gained from its patent.
2. 7 Earth-like planets spotted

Category: Science and Technology
Topic: Space

Key Points:

  • Scientists have recently spotted seven Earth-sized planets, with mass similar to Earth, orbiting around a dwarf star the size of Jupiter, just 39 light years from the Sun
  • The planets’ temperature is low enough to make possible the presence of liquid water on their surface.
  • Five planets have sizes similar to that of the Earth, while the remaining two are intermediate in size — between Mars and Earth. Based on the mass estimates, the six inner planets may have a rocky composition.
  • The sixth planet has low density suggesting a volatile rich composition. The volatile content could be either ice layer and/or atmosphere.
  • The scientists have been able to make precise mass measurement for six of the seven planets.
  • Though the mass measurements are preliminary, they do indicate that the planets are terrestrial with liquid water.

Prior Discoveries

  • In May last year, scientists found three planets passing in front of TRAPPIST-1, the dwarf star.
  • Based on further monitoring of the star from the ground and space, scientists have found four more ‘exo-planets’ orbiting TRAPPIST-1
3. Centre doubles solar park capacity to 40,000 MW

Category: Indian Economy
Topic: Energy Infrastructure

Key Points:

  • The Cabinet has approved the doubling of solar park capacity to 40,000 MW, which will entail an additional 50 solar parks to be set up at a cost to the government of ₹8,100 crore.
  • While most of the additional 50 solar parks, to be commissioned by 2019-20, will be 50 MW of capacity, the Centre is also considering smaller parks in Himalayan and other hilly states where contiguous land is difficult to acquire.
  • The state governments will first nominate the solar power park developer (SPPD) and will also identify the land for the proposed solar park.

Nepal’s hydro project

  • The Cabinet also approved a ₹5723.72 crore investment for the Arun-3 900 MW hydroelectric plant in Nepal.
  • The project, located on the Arun river, is expected to provide any surplus power not used by Nepal to India.
D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

 
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

Hindu

1. A battle lost?

Category: Polity and Governance
Topic: Center-State Relations; Social Justice

Key Points:

  • It is important to note that the right thing to do for any politician seeking to embark on change is to not give in to resistance after making the decision.
  • T.R. Zeliang, who recently stepped down as the Chief Minister of Nagaland, had taken the bold decision to conduct long-pending urban local body elections on February 1 with 33% reservation for women in accordance with the 74th Amendment to the Constitution.

Impact of the Move

  • It resulted in strong opposition from tribal groups who sought to use the issue of Naga autonomy as a ploy to resist it.

A Misstep by the Chief Minister

  • It has been suggested that Mr. Zeliang should have stuck to his government’s order and sought more public acceptance by rallying the many in favour — in particular, Naga women who would have finally got their constitutionally mandated stake in local governance.
  • Instead, he chose to take a U-turn and termed the implementation of the decision as “null and void”. This move had emboldened tribal organisations to demand his resignation.
  • Following a series of agitations by two tribal groups, the Joint Coordination Committee and the Nagaland Tribes Action Committee, Mr. Zeliang finally resigned.

Concluding Remarks

  • The ruling administration in Nagaland, which is the NPF-led coalition under the leadership of the newly sworn in Chief Minister, Mr. Liezietsu has its task cut out.
  • It has to clearly assert its authority as the ruling establishment in the State.
  • It must also focus its energies on the Naga peace process, which remains unresolved despite the reported signing of an accord between the Centre and insurgent groups in 2015.
2. Ageing with dignity

Category: Polity and Governance
Topic: Social Justice

Key Points:

  • There is a cause of deep concern for policymakers as India already has the world’s second largest population of the elderly, defined as those above 60 years of age.
  • As this segment of the population continues to expand at an accelerating pace, it will generate enormous socio-economic pressures as the demand for healthcare services and tailored accommodation spikes to historically unprecedented levels.
  • It is projected that approximately 20% of Indians will be elderly by 2050, marking a dramatic jump from the current 6%

Current Situation

  • Unfortunately, thus far, efforts to develop a regime of health and social care that is attuned to the shifting needs of the population have been insufficient.
  • While more mature economies have created multiple models for elder care, such as universal or widely accessible health insurance, networks of nursing homes, and palliative care specialisations, it is hard to find such systemic developments in India.
  • Further, experts also caution that as the proportional size of the elderly population expands, there is likely to be a shift in the disease patterns from communicable to non-communicable.
  • In fact, this shift itself calls for re-gearing the health-care system toward “preventive, promotive, curative and rehabilitative aspects of health”.

Ground Realities Faced by the Aged

  • The ground realities faced by the elderly include:
    a) abandonment by their families,
    b) destitution and homelessness,
    c) inability to access quality health care,
    d) low levels of institutional support, and
    e) the loneliness and depression associated with separation from their families.

Concluding Remarks

  • Advocacy and information campaigns may be necessary to redirect social attitudes toward ageing, which often do not help the elderly enjoy a life of stability and dignity.
  • In the private sector, an estimated demand for 300,000 senior housing units, valued at over $1 billion, has led to a variety of retirement communities emerging across the country, in addition to innovations in healthcare delivery for this group.
  • Yet the poor among the elderly still very much depend on the government to think creatively and come up with the resources and institutions to support their needs.

 

Economic Times

1. India must redouble its efforts to ratify the Convention on International Terrorism

Category: International Relations
Topic: : Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Key Points:

  • It is important to note that terror in the name of religion has an ideology and organisational framework not restricted by geography, countering it has to have both local and international dimensions.

The Way Forward

  • India must redouble its efforts to rally governments across the world to isolate and act against countries that serve as safe havens for terrorists
  • The recent spate of terror attacks in Pakistan does not make Islamabad a victim of terror on par with India.
  • The global strategy against terror has to prioritise pressuring governments, in particular that of Pakistan, to stop sponsoring terror.
  • New Delhi must redouble its diplomatic efforts to ratify the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
  • As a multicultural country with a long tradition of proud diversity, India has to summon the will to secure democracy.

 

PIB

1. Cabinet approves signing of an Agreement between India and Poland on cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors

Category: Indian Economy; International Relations
Topic: : Government Policy; Bilateral Agreements

Key Points:

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of an Agreement between India and Poland on cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.
  • The agreement covers various activities in the field of agriculture and allied sector including exchange of information on the current situation in agriculture, the phytosanitary conditions of crops, threats posed by harmful organisms and the threats posed by animal infectious diseases.
  • It also covers the participation in fairs, exhibitions, seminars and conferences related to agriculture and agri-food processing; undertaking and developing joint economic initiatives including the support or agrifood trade between the states of the Contracting Parties.
  • The Agreement provides for constitution of a Joint Working Group (JWG) comprising of representatives from both countries.
  • The JWG will prepare plans of cooperation and to provide solutions to the problems arising during the implementation of the Agreement.
 
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
  • UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism
  • 74th Amendment to the Constitution
  • Trastuzumab
 
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGANISATIONS IN NEWS Links to Refer
Details of Welfare Schemes for the Aged Persons http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=117406
 
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: ‘TRAPPIST-1’ was recently in the news. What is it?

a) A Dwarf Star b) An artificial satellite orbiting Jupiter c) A recently discovered black hole d) A artificial satellite orbiting Saturn

 
Question 2: Consider the following statements:

1] The ‘Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism’ was proposed first by India in 1996.

2] The CCIT provides a legal framework which makes it binding on all signatories to deny funds and safe havens to terrorist groups.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) 1 Only
b) 2 Only
c) Both 1 and 2
d)  Neither 1 nor 2
 
Question 3: Consider the following statements:

1] The 13th constitutional amendment pertains to the formation of State of Nagaland, with special protection under Article 371A.

2] Article 371 (A) pertains to special provisions granted to the state of Nagaland.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) 1 Only
b) 2 Only
c) Both 1 and 2
d)  Neither 1 nor 2
 
Question 4: Consider the following statements:

1] Terrestrial planets are small with high densities and rocky surfaces.

2] Jovian planets are large with low densities and gaseous surfaces.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) 1 Only
b) 2 Only
c) Both 1 and 2
d)  Neither 1 nor 2

 
Question 5: Which of the following organizations bring out the report
known as ‘The Living Planet Report’?

a) WWF (World Wildlife Fund)
b) The United Nations Development Programme
c) The World Economic Forum
d) The World Bank

 

Check Your Answers

 

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