Comprehensive News Analysis - 27 November 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. PM for qualitative change in police force

2. Castro, Cuban revolutionary who defied U.S., dies at 90

C. GS3 Related:

1. Environment Ministry to seek ‘International Year of Himalayas’

2. Lashkar desperate for new notes

3. GST transmission clause spooks industry

4. Demonetisation will bring economy to a new equilibrium, says NITI Aayog CEO

5. Sweat sensors for health

6. Mini antibodies

7. What are Yamanaka genes?

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

The Hindu

1. A Bill that falls short

2. The stealth superbug, decoded

3. H5N8 expands its reach

The Indian Express

1. India will not ink Hague treaty on civil aspects of child abduction

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:

1. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn

2. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
H. Archives

.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here today folks!

B. GS2 Related
  1. PM for qualitative change in police force

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Policies

Key Points:

  • PM Narendra Modi has called for a qualitative change in the police force.
  • He would to enforce this through a collective training effort.
  • He remarked that technology and human interface are both important for the police force to keep progressing, and emphasised the importance of foot patrolling and constabulary intelligence. 
  • He also mentioned that the development of soft skills was essential, and that it should become a part of the training drill.
  • The PM also launched a mobile App called ‘Indian Police at Your Call.’

 

  1. Castro, Cuban revolutionary who defied U.S., dies at 90

Category: International Relations

Topic: International Developments

Key Points:

  • Fidel Castro, who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader, died on Friday this week at the age of 90. Fidel Castro had held onto power longer than any other living national leader, except Queen Elizabeth II.

Background:

  • Under Jawaharlal Nehru, India was among the first countries to recognise communist Cuba after the 1959 revolution led by Castro, who overthrew the Fulgencio Batista regime.
  • India always maintained political, trade, cultural and people-to-people relations with Cuba. This was maintained despite U.S. sanctions on Cuba starting from the Cold War era.
  • It was Nehru who reached out to the Cuban icon and told him that the non-aligned nations saw his leadership with immense hope.
  • It was during the tenure of Indira Gandhi that ties between Cuba and India prospered.
  • Castro’s most significant cooperation was during the Angolan civil war when the non-aligned countries backed the cause of Angolan independence.
  • It is important to note that India’s cooperation with Cuba was also due to India’s common friendship with the USSR that deepened during 1966-’77. 

 

C. GS3 Related
  1. Environment Ministry to seek ‘International Year of Himalayas’

Category: Environment and Ecology

Topic: Government Policy, Conservation

Key Points:

  • The Environment Ministry of the Government of India will request the U.N. General Assembly, to declare a year as the International Year of Himalayas and to declare a day in a year as the International Himalaya Day.
  • It is important to note that the Himalayas has been under-represented at global platforms.
  • The Environment Ministry of the Government of India had entrusted an institute named, ‘G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development’ with the task of representing the 12 Himalayan States of the country at CoP 22.
  • The Environment Ministry has asked the institute to organise sessions focussing on the Himalayas each year.

 

  1. Lashkar desperate for new notes

Category: Internal Security

Topic: Challenges to Internal Security

Key Points:

  • Almost three weeks after demonetisation, it is believed by the police that militants in Kashmir are desperate for new banknotes to pay up their monthly bills, especially those of mobile phones and SIM cards.
  • According to a police assessment, the militants active in the valley spend a lot every month on cellphones and SIM cards. 
  • Militant commanders or heads of a module keep changing cellphones and SIM cards.
  • It is important to note that other major expenses for militants are couriers, fuel charges and overground workers who ferry weapons from the border areas to the mainland and help in their distribution.

 

  1. GST transmission clause spooks industry

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • The Central Government has empowered itself to impose penalties on businesses that fail to pass on the benefits of the GST regime to consumers in the form of lower prices.
  • This development has triggered concerns in industry about a return to the era of socialist controls and harassment.
  • The Centre will achieve this through an enabling provision introduced in the model Goods and Services Tax (GST) law, recently unveiled by the Centre.

 

  1. Demonetisation will bring economy to a new equilibrium, says NITI Aayog CEO

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant recently remarked that Demonetisation will bring the Indian economy to a new equilibrium with low tax regime and lower interest rates.
  • He believes that bank deposits will go up and the move will address the structural weaknesses in the banking system. Further, he believes that the biggest achievement would be the end of a parallel economy.

 

  1. Sweat sensors for health

Category: Science and Technology

Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • Northwestern University’s research team in the U.S. has developed a first-of-its-kind device.
  • This device is a soft, flexible micro-fluidic device that easily adheres to the skin and measures the wearer’s sweat to show how his or her body is responding to exercise.
  • This device is a little larger than a rupee coin and about the same thickness.

Features

  • This simple, low-cost device analyses key biomarkers to help a person decide quickly if any adjustments, such as drinking more water or replenishing electrolytes, need to be made or if something is medically awry.
  • The device is designed for a one-time use of a few hours.
  • The device even detects the presence of a biomarker for cystic fibrosis.
  • In the future, it may be more broadly used for diagnosing a wider range of diseases. 

 

  1. Mini antibodies

Category: Science and Technology

Topic: Nanotechnology

Key Points:

  • Scientists have designed “mini antibodies” that are also called ‘nanobodies’, that pave the way for potentially-novel treatment for a wide range of inflammatory disorders.
  • These disorders include inflammatory bowel disease, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis. 

 

  1. What are Yamanaka genes?

Category: Science and Technology

Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • Yamanaka genes are the four essential genes that can re-programme the cells in our body and, in principle, be used to regenerate old cells or grow new organs.
  • The Yamanaka genes are collectively known as OSKM (for the initials of the genes, Oct4 , Sox2 , Klf4 and Myc ) 

 

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here today folks!

E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Hindu
  1. A Bill that falls short

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Initiatives, Government Policy

Key Points:

  • It has been two months after the Cabinet approved the HIV Bill.
  • The text of this much-awaited legislation was made available this week.
  • Unfortunately, it is believed that the version of the Bill to be tabled in Parliament is a diluted form, having many flaws.  

Specific criticisms of the bill

  • The proposed Section 14 of the Bill, talks of prevention measures that the Central or State governments may take, “as far as possible,” for the provision of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) and Opportunistic Infection (OI) Management, against the spread of HIV. 
  • It is important to note that the Indian government has been providing free-of-cost antiretrovirals for PLHIVs (People living with HIV) since 2004.
  • The other major flaw is that the proposed Bill states that the ombudsman shall inquire into violations in the provision of health-care services.
  • However, the government has proposed amendments to increase the scope of the ombudsman’s jurisdiction which mandates him to enquire into all violations of the provisions of the Bill including discrimination. This would be a disaster.
  • The law as drafted by civil society envisaged an ombudsman working at the district level who would attend to complaints on health issues relating to HIV. 
  • It must be noted that there are several cases involving health issues of PLHIVs not being attended to by health services. This is especially true in the private sector.
  • Pregnant women living with HIV bear the brunt of discrimination in health services.
  • It is also believed that since the ombudsman is neither a full-time officer, nor trained in judicial matters, the whole mechanism becoming unworkable.
  • This is so when we consider the types of issues that he would have to deal with — from informed consent to discrimination etc.
  • Another crucial flaw deals with the needle safety programme.  The government has proposed amendment to Clause 22 of the Bill, by deleting all references to needle and syringe exchange.
  • In its original form, Clause 22 of the Bill, was aimed to protect volunteers and patients from illegality.
  • The Bill does not confer powers to civil courts in relation to employment.
  • It is important to note that as per prevailing law, only a government or a public sector employee can seek employment or reinstatement if s/he is discriminated and not employed or illegally terminated. 

 

  1. The stealth superbug, decoded

Category: Science and Technology

Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • Recently, several parts of the U.S. registered 13 cases of infection by the deadly fungus Candida auris.
  • Apart from the U.S., outbreaks have been reported this year in eight countries across four continents — India, Pakistan, South Korea, Kuwait, South Africa, Colombia, Venezuela and United Kingdom.

What is Candidiasis?

  • Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by Candida species, often seen in patients whose immune system is compromised, such as AIDS patients or in case of transplants, malignancies and the use of catheters.
  • Most of the infections are hospital-acquired, especially in ICU settings.

 

  1. H5N8 expands its reach

Category: Science and Technology

Topic: Developments

Key Points:

  • Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), recently declared that India has reported an outbreak of a highly contagious bird flu virus in Karnataka.
  • The virus, H5N8, spreads through direct contact with secretions from infected birds, their feed, etc.
  • So far there are no reported cases of H5N8 affecting people. 
  • The H5N8 bird flu strain has been found in several countries in Europe and West Asia in recent weeks. This development has led some states to order poultry flocks to be kept indoors.

 

The Indian Express
  1. India will not ink Hague treaty on civil aspects of child abduction

Category: Polity and Governance

Topic: Government Policy

Key Points:

  • The Union government has recently decided that India will not ratify the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (1980).

If India Signed the treaty?

  • Signing the multilateral treaty would have meant that the government will have to send back women, who have escaped bad marriages abroad and brought their child along with them to India, back to the country of the father’s residence.
  • It is important to note that the government’s view is contrary to the recommendations given by the Law Commission.

What did the Law Commission say?

  • The Law Commission had endorsed acceding to the Hague convention. It has even suggested a jail term of one year for a parent of foreign origin living in India who takes away the child without the consent of the other unless it is a case of domestic violence.
  • The matter of ratifying the Hague Convention was taken up following lobbying by groups in the United States and certain European nations.
  • The pressure exerted by the developed countries to get India to be a signatory to the treaty was based on gender equality and the idea that the father should have equal rights to the child as the mother.

 

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:

 

 

 

G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1.Consider the following statements,
  1. The Environment Ministry of the Government of India will request the U.N. General Assembly, to declare a year as the International Year of Himalayas and to declare a day in a year as the International Himalaya Day.
  2. The Environment Ministry of the Government of India had entrusted an institute named, ‘G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development’ with the task of representing the 12 Himalayan States of the country at CoP 22.
  3. The Environment Ministry has asked the institute to organise sessions focussing on the Himalayas each year.

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 Only

b) 2 and 3 Only

c) All, 1, 2 and 3

d) 1 and 3 Only

Question 2.Consider the following statements,
  1. Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by Candida species, often seen in patients whose immune system is compromised, such as AIDS patients or in case of transplants, malignancies and the use of catheters.
  2. Most of the infections are hospital-acquired, especially in ICU settings.

a) (i) only

b) (ii) only

c) Both (i) and (ii)

d) Neither (i) nor (ii)

Question 3.Consider the following statements, regarding ‘sweat sensors’, recently in the news:
  1. Sweat sensors are a low-cost device that analyses key biomarkers to help a person decide quickly if any adjustments, such as drinking more water or replenishing electrolytes, need to be made or if something is medically awry.
  2. This device is a soft, flexible micro-fluidic device that easily adheres to the skin and measures the wearer’s sweat to show how his or her body is responding to exercise.
  3. The device even detects the presence of a biomarker for cystic fibrosis.

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 Only

b) 2 and 3 Only

c) All, 1, 2 and 3

d) 1 and 3 Only

Question 4.Which of the following is used for the measurement of distribution of income?
  1. Yamanaka genes are the four essential genes that can re-programme the cells in our body and, in principle, be used to regenerate old cells or grow new organs.
  2. The Yamanaka genes are collectively known as OSKM (for the initials of the genes, Oct4 , Sox2 , Klf4 and Myc )

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a) 1 Only

b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 5.Consider the following statements,
  1. PM Narendra Modi has called for a qualitative change in the police force which he would like to enforce through a collective training effort.
  2. He also mentioned that the development of soft skills was essential, and that it should become a part of the training drill.
  3. The PM also launched a mobile App called ‘Indian Police at Your Call.’

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 Only

b) 2 and 3 Only

c) All, 1, 2 and 3

d) 1 and 3 Only

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.”

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *