Comprehensive News Analysis – 26 February 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:

1. Why the Barren Island volcano erupts again?

B. GS2 Related:
C. GS3 Related:

1. Two endangered plant species spotted

2. Black rhinos on the brink of extinction

3. What is the McGurk effect?

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

The Hindu

1. India needs the rubella vaccine

PIB

1. East African Community is becoming an Economical and Political reality

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

************************************************************************************************************

Need Expert Guidance on how to prepare for Current Affairs

.

************************************************************************************************************

Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs

 

A. GS1 Related
Topic: Volcanoes

Key Points:

  • India’s only active volcano — the Barren Island volcano — in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is again spewing lava and ash.
  • A team of scientists from the Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) chanced upon it as part of an ocean expedition in January.
  • The volcano was erupting in small episodes lasting 5-10 minutes.

About Barren Island

  • The Barren Island, about 140 km from Port Blair, is a tourist destination and surrounded by waters ideal for scuba diving and is home to a wide variety of aquatic life.
  • It’s the only active volcano along a chain of volcanoes from Sumatra to Myanmar.
  • Historically, the first record of the volcano’s eruption dates back to 1787.
  • Detailed studies have shown that the volcano first erupted 1.6 million years ago and sits on a 106-million-year-old crust.
  • In 1991, the volcano’s eruption was catastrophic for several animal species.

B. GS2 Related

Nothing here for today!!!


C. GS3 Related
Topic: Conservation

Key Points:

  • In a major breakthrough in eco-conservation, forest officials in Munnar have spotted two critically endangered impatiens plant species on the peripheries of the Eravikulam National Park.
  • Two new species of balsams (impatiens) have been discovered by the officials from the shola forests on the periphery of the park and Mankulam with the help of scientists.

About Impatiens?

  • Impatiens, also called jewel weeds, are seen in pristine forests where moisture content and relative humidity are high.
Topic: Conservation

Key Points:

  • As the value of rhinoceros horn touches $65,000 per kg, poaching has begun to drive the African black rhinoceros to “the verge of extinction”.
  • This is happening not just by reducing its population size, but by erasing 70% of the species’ genetic diversity.

Why is Genetic Variation Important?

  • Genetic variation is the cornerstone of evolution, without which there can be no natural selection, and so a low genetic diversity decreases the ability of a species to survive and reproduce.

When did the ‘genetic erosion’ begin?

  • The origins of the ‘genetic erosion’ coincided with colonial rule in Africa and the popularity of big game hunting.
  • From the second half of the 20th century, however, poaching for horns has dramatically depleted their population and genetic diversity, especially in Kenya and Tanzania.

Concluding Remarks

  • Greater the genetic diversity, the better is the population’s ability to respond to pressures such as climate change and diseases.
  • Thus the loss of so much evolutionary potential in the black rhino is worrying for its future adaptability.
Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • The McGurk effect is a powerful multisensory illusion occurring with audiovisual speech whereby the brain can be deceived into hearing sounds that don’t exist.
  • It involves showing a person’s lips making the shape of one sound — like “bah” — while the audio is actually the person saying “fah”.
  • It demonstrates the overwhelming influence that sight exerts over the brain and how the latter reorders perception to give us a consistent picture of the world.
 
D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

 
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

Hindu

1. India needs the rubella vaccine
Category: Science and Technology
Topic: Developments, Health

Key Points:

  • India has set an ambitious target of eliminating measles and controlling congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), caused by the rubella virus, by 2020.
  • While two doses of measles vaccine given at 9-12 months and 16-24 months have already been part of the national immunisation programme, it is the first time that the rubella vaccine has been included in the programme.
  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “a single dose of rubella vaccine gives more than 95% long-lasting immunity.”
  • All children aged nine months and 15 years will be administered a single dose of the combination vaccine.

A note on Measles and Rubella

  • Measles is highly infectious and is one of the major childhood killer diseases. Of the 1,34,000 measles deaths globally in 2015, an estimated 47,000 occurred in India.
  • Unlike measles, rubella is a mild viral infection that mainly occurs in children. But a woman infected with the rubella virus during the early stage of pregnancy has a 90% chance of transmitting it to the foetus. The virus can cause hearing impairments, eye and heart defects and brain damage in newborns, and even spontaneous abortion and foetal deaths. Of the 1,10,000 children born with CRS every year globally, an estimated 40,000 cases occur in India alone.

The Way Forward

  • With the target set for 2020 to eliminate measles and control CRS, there is a compelling need to create a solid wall of immunity in all children up to 15 years in one go at the earliest.
  • That can be achieved only if immunisation is carried out in a campaign mode by targeting 410 million children nationwide within 18 months.
  • Though the goal is only to eliminate measles and control rubella by 2020, both viruses can be eliminated if their transmission can be broken.
  • For this to happen, the vaccine coverage has to be over 95% during the campaign and in the immunisation programme that follows it.
  • Furthermore, India has to ramp up surveillance of both diseases, maintain outbreak preparedness, respond rapidly to outbreaks by vaccinating all children in a community and ensure effective and timely treatment of cases anywhere in the country.
  • According to the WHO, elimination of measles will help to achieve Sustainable Development Goal’s target 3.2, which aims to end preventable deaths of children under 5 years by 2030.

 


PIB

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

Key Points:

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that the East African Community is taking shape as an Economical and Political Community and many of our programmes and initiatives in the region will no longer be purely bilateral but will have to be adapted to work for the entire community.
  • The Vice President said that India’s approach, as long standing friends, has been to give our African partners assistance in their developmental programmes in those areas where they want and it is them to convert that into specific requests.
  • He further said that the broader issues of India’s approach to cooperation with African Countries are well known and well appreciated. One issue of concern to both India and Africa is scourge of terrorism and there was a total meeting of minds in condemning terrorism in all shapes and forms, he added.
  • The Vice President said that the visit to Kigali Genocide Memorial was a tribute to the determination of the people of Rwanda and that he was glad that they were able to overcome that heart-rending disaster and re-build their country.
  • Reacting to a question on trade imbalance, the Vice President said that there was trade imbalance with Uganda as India exports a lot of things to them and their export basket to India was presently limited.
  • He further said that there are two ways to address this; one by increasing the products in their export basket and two; instead of exporting finished goods from India to Uganda, some Indian manufacturers could set up their manufacturing units in Uganda.
 
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • Barren Island
 
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
 
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements:

1] Genetic variation is the cornerstone of evolution, without which there can be no natural selection, and so a low genetic diversity decreases the ability of a species to survive and reproduce.

2] Greater the genetic diversity, the better is the population’s ability to respond to pressures such as climate change and diseases.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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 2: Consider the following statements:

1] The McGurk effect is a powerful multisensory illusion occurring with audiovisual speech whereby the brain can be deceived into hearing sounds that don’t exist.

2] It demonstrates the overwhelming influence that sight exerts over the brain and how the latter reorders perception to give us a consistent picture of the world.

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: “Eravikulam National Park” was recently in the news. Where 
is it located?

(a) Kerala
b) Karnataka
c) Tamil Nadu
d) Telangana

 
Question 4: Consider the following statements:

1] The Barren Island volcano is India’s only active volcano.

2] It’s the only active volcano along a chain of volcanoes from Sumatra to Myanmar.

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 ‘World Investment Report’?

(a) UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development)
(b) The United Nations Development Programme
(c) The World Economic Forum
(d) The World Bank

 

Check Your Answers

 

“Proper Current Affairs preparation is the key to success in the UPSC- Civil Services Examination. We have now launched a comprehensive ‘Online Current Affairs Crash Course’. Limited seats available. Click here to Know More.”

 
I. Archives:
You can check out some more recent News Analysis sections to build even more context

List of all DNA Articles

Practice More: Enroll for India’s Largest All-India Test Series