07 Apr 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
GOVERNANCE
1. Pakistan's first school for transgenders to open on April 15
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Nepalese PM Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli arrives as Delhi-Kathmandu seek to revitalise relationship
HEALTH
1. World health day lack of funds main hinderance to cure cancer say doctors
2. Centre’s measles-rubella vaccination drive postponed
3. Free chemo now in district hospitals
4. Most anti-cancer drugs can affect the cardiac pumping function
C. GS3 Related
ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT
1. What are palytoxins?
ECONOMY
1. Bond boost: RBI raises debt investment limits for FPIs across board
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. ‘Skill India’ urgently needs reforms
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Forging a culture of innovation
F. Prelims Fact
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. Pakistan’s first school for transgenders to open on April 15

 

  • Walking on the path of social reform, Pakistan is to inaugurate country’s first ever institute for educational and vocational training for transgender 
  • As per a news report by the Dawn, The Gender Guardian school will be inaugurated on April 15 at Lahore under the aegis of Asif Shahzad, who is also school’s founder.
  • The school has been built by an NGO named Exploring Future Foundation which is set to open two more branches of the school in Islamabad and Karachi
  • The school will also host crash courses for fashion designing, beautician and hair styling courses, graphic designing, computer, and mobile repairing.
  • It will have separate wings for primary, matriculation and also graduation-level classes.
  • Further, it has been reported that more than 40 students from the transgender community have already taken admission in the school which will be formally launched through an opening ceremony at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore’s Alhamra Hall in Lahore.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Nepalese PM Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli arrives as Delhi-Kathmandu seek to revitalise relationship

 

  • Nepal’s new Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli was received by Union home minister Rajnath Singh and other senior Indian officials at the Indira Gandhi International airport when he arrived on a three-day state visit on Friday morning. Oli, accompanied by his wife Radhika Shakya, is heading a 54-member delegation.
  • The visit comes at a time when both countries are trying to revive and revitalise their ties.
  • In 2016, India imposed an undeclared blockade on Nepal to express its displeasure over Nepal’s new constitution, which did not take into account the aspirations of Madhesis, or people from the plains of Nepal. The Nepalese saw this as unwarranted interference in their domestic affairs. 
  • On Saturday, the two sides will hold delegation-level talks at Hyderabad House. The two prime ministers will then remotely inaugurate developmental projects before releasing a joint statement.
  • Oli will then call on Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and meet External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and home minister Rajnath Singh.
  • On Sunday, he will visit a breeder seed production centre in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, and be conferred with a honorary DSc degree by G B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology.

Category: HEALTH

1. World health day lack of funds main hinderance to cure cancer say doctors

 

  • As the World Health Day will be observed globally on April 7, where the theme is ‘Universal Health Coverage- Health for All’, doctors in India say that the major factor hindering patients from getting the cure is funds. Universal coverage is important here due to the growing lifestyle ailments.
  • According to the National Cancer Registry programme of the National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (ICMR), one out of eight men has the possibility of developing cancer in his lifetime (0-74 years). Similarly, one out of nine women has the possibility to develop cancer in her lifetime (0-74 years).
  • Finances make it difficult for patients to get bone marrow transplant to cure cancer.
  • Data reveals that India’s private healthcare spending currently stands at $90 billion a year. Of this, merely a third is covered by insurance, and the balance $60 billion is met largely with borrowings from friends and family.
  • Crowdfunding platforms are supporting such patients. One such platform, Milaap, raised over Rs 120 crores in the past four years for medical emergencies.

2. Centre’s measles-rubella vaccination drive postponed

 

  • After a sensitisation drive and training workshops being held for over 45,000 staff of the health department and volunteers, the Punjab government has decided to postpone the Union Government’s measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign till August.
  • This campaign was to be rolled out on April 15 from Patiala by Health Minister Brahm Mohindra. However, on April 6, the health minister decided to postpone it.
  • The minister said the Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for children below two years of age and pregnant women will be done first as per the Centre’s directions and after summer vacations, MR vaccination campaign will be carried out. However, it has not been made clear as whether the training part will be done again as apart from 45,000 health workers and volunteers, over 48,000 school teachers have also been sensitised regarding MR campaign.
  • Meanwhile, MR vaccination has already been covered in 11 states and UTs of India and it has been termed as the country’s largest vaccination campaign for eradicating measles and controlling rubella.
  • It will cost Rs 8.66 crore for Punjab which will be completed in 40 days in the state after its launch covering 75 lakhs of children ranging from 9 months-15 years of age group. The project is funded by the Centre and technically supported by WHO and UNICEF.
  • The campaign, which was started in February 2017, has immunised nearly eight crore children. The fourth phase is for Punjab and Haryana. Dr GB Singh, nodal officer of MR vaccination campaign in the state.
  • As per the figures available, there are 50,000 deaths due to measles every year in India while congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) causes congenital defects in children.
  • Measles is a major childhood killer disease while Rubella leads to lifelong birth defects and both diseases have no cure. Hence one vaccine can immunize children from both diseases.

3. Free chemo now in district hospitals

 

  • A free chemotherapy facility will now be made available at district hospitals in the state. Chemotherapy plays an important role in treatment of cancer.
  • The first phase of this scheme will be launched in June and this facility will be made available at district hospitals of Nagpur, Gadchiroli, Pune, Amravati, Jalgaon, Nashik, Wardha, Satara, Bhandara and Akola.  Physicians and nurses of these hospitals will be imparted training at Tata Hospital from next month.
  • According to National Cancer Patient registration program, 11 lakhs cancer patients are found per year in the country. The total number of cancer patients including the new and the old comes to 28 lakh.
  • Out of these, five lakh patients die per year due to cancer. The state government takes preventive measures to reduce the incidence of cancer in Maharashtra. Tata Hospital gives the six-weeks chemotherapy course to patients.

4. Most anti-cancer drugs can affect the cardiac pumping function

 

  • Cancer therapy has been at receiving end for quite some time now. A few years ago, a British doctor shot to fame when he refused to accept modern medicare for his cancer treatment. He opted to die of cancer than suffer from the adverse effects of its therapy.
  • Recently, a lady who claimed to have found a cure for cancer in fruits and vegetables died of cancer, too. A film actor and director managed to stall a government proposal to start a cancer center in central Kerala, out of his conviction that modern medicine has no cure for cancer and cancer drugs if dumped is capable of killing the entire fish population of the Arabian Sea.
  • Not just that, someone even put a fake post in the name of a celebrated oncologist on Facebook promoting alternative therapy for cancer, which was then shared widely. 

Some disturbing questions

  • Why is cancer treatment alone is singled out by the public and lamented at? Why do those who have no basic training in medicine call the shots in cancer care? Why are oncologists and others involved in cancer care taken for granted as agents of multinational drug firms trying to sell expensive concoctions to unsuspecting cancer victims?
  • Statistics tell us that cancer survival rate has improved by over sixty per cent during the last 40 years, owing to advances in chemotherapy, oncosurgery, radiation, oncology, imaging sciences and other supportive specialties including oncocardiology.
  • Cancers like nasopharyngeal cancer, pancreatic cancer and cancers among young adults have less impressive cure rates. Breast and prostate cancer are curable.
  • These patients when diagnosed and treated appropriately, do not die of cancer, but of other illnesses. Evidence-based medicine has proved beyond doubt that alternative therapies and nature cure is not effective for treatment of cancer.

Why do people expect a cure for cancer like a common cold, malaria, or an infective diarhoea?

  • Anti-cancer drugs have significant side effects and sensitive dose ranges.Most anticancer drugs can potentially affect the heart, especially cardiac pumping function leading to heart failure.
  • Some can cause elevation of blood pressure, cardiac rhythm abnormalities, heart attacks, venous thromboembolism and even new cancers. Reports show that immunotherapy too can cause fulminant heart failure. 

If these medications cause such damage, why they should ever be used?

  • They cure cancer. We see more and more people with adverse effects because patients survive cancer and live longer. If they were dead, you won’t get to see adverse events too. More patients are alive with cancer, so you see more relics of cancer.
  • As life expectancy improves, and population survives infectious diseases out of better living standards, antibiotics, vaccination and social engineering, lifestyle disorders and cardiovascular disease by improvement in physical activities, diet modifications, medications, other interventions and conquer death out of it, then it is a biological plausibility that most of us will catch cancer or degenerative disorders in due course of time.
  • Unlike many doomsayers scream, life expectancy is improving all over the globe, including in some of the most underprivileged societies.
  • This is a reality. When population ages, natural conditions like cardiac illnesses, cancer, kidney failure and degenerative diseases will be on the rise.We will have to live with all of these maladies.
  • Scientific approach to issues are critical and government policies will be crucial. Radical changes in health care delivery systems will become the need of the hour, hospices will become more relevant that can accommodate and care for people who need attention, short of hospitalisation.
  • We will have to promote research; improve social infrastructure, public conveyances, and social security. That is the way population will live longer, healthier and better. 

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT

1. What are palytoxins?

 

  • Corals can be pretty little things to look at, but many don’t know that some of them carry toxins.
  • Palytoxin is a potentially life-threatening toxin that can act via dermal, inhalation, and oral routes of exposure.
  • Palytoxin kills only when ingested, but inhaling its fumes can cause disruption of “normal corneal function and irreversible blindness.

In cases of severe palytoxin poisoning

  • While it has been suggested that a vasodilator may be an effective treatment if immediately injected into the ventricle of the heart, the reliability of this treatment is not good, especially as poisoning with this toxin may not be known until post-mortem analysis.
  • The most effective treatment, as per the magazine, is prevention. Reef keepers handling any marine invertebrates should use great caution, and gloves are highly recommended for zoanthids and corals, whether the specimen is known to be dangerous or not. Tools, like a pair of tongs, are even better for moving and handling specimens.

Category: ECONOMY

1. Bond boost: RBI raises debt investment limits for FPIs across board

 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday raised the debt investment limits for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) across all segments, including central government securities (G-secs), allowing cumulative increase of over Rs 1 lakh crore through FY19.
  • Though the hike in limit for G-secs — 0.5% each year to 5.5% of the outstanding stock in FY19 and 6% of the stock in FY20 — was a bit lower than market expectations, analysts felt the move would help bring down the yields further at least in the short term.
  • The RBI’s decision could also ease pressure on local banks to support the government’s borrowing programme and free up liquidity to support an incipient investment cycle.
  • Currently, the FPI limit for general category G-sec investors stands at Rs 1.91 lakh crore; this has been raised to Rs 2.07 lakh crore for the first half of FY19 and further to Rs 2.23 lakh crore for H2FY19.
  • For long-term FPI investors, the limit has been increased to Rs78,700 crore for the first half of FY19 and to Rs 92,300 crore for the second half of FY19.
  • Aditi Nayar, principal economist, Icra, said though hike in the FPIs’ investment limit in G-secs would temporarily dampen bond yields further in the immediate term, subsequently, the appetite of the FPIs for investing in Indian debt over the course of the year remains to be seen, given the expectation of continued monetary tightening by some global central banks.
  • There were speculations in the market that the FPI limit for G-secs might be increased gradually to 6-8% of the outstanding stock.
  • According to an Icra estimate, every 1 percentage point increase in the FPI investment limit in G-secs outstanding above 5% would result in an absolute increase of Rs 60,000 crore over the course of 2018-19.
  • Coupon reinvestment by FPIs in G-secs, which was hitherto outside the investment limit, will now be reckoned within the G-sec limits. No fresh allocation has been made to the ‘long-term’ sub-category under state development loans (SDLs), the RBI said.
  • Out of the existing limit of Rs 13,600 crore for this subcategory (SDLs), an amount of Rs 6,500 crore has been transferred to the G-secs category, the central bank notified.
  • Further, the central bank has increased the proportion of limit hike for the general category investors in central government securities.
  • The allocation ratio of the hike for general category investors and long term investors used to be in the ratio of 25:75 which has now been changed to 50:50 for fiscal 2019. As for corporate bonds, the FPI limits have been raised while removing the subcategories in the segment, in a move that could trigger more FPI flows into this segment.
  • There would be a single limit for FPI investment in all types of corporate bonds, the central bank said, adding that the overall limit for FPI investment in corporate bonds will be fixed at 9% of outstanding stock of corporate bonds.
  • The subcategories in corporate bonds· credit enhanced bonds, unlisted corporate debt securities and long-term investor category have been receiving very limited foreign fund flows.
  • Since a single limit has been introduced, more FPI money is believed to flow into the corporate bond segment going ahead. The central bank has hiked the limit for corporate bonds to Rs 2.66 lakh crore for the first half of the year and to Rs2.89 lakh crore for the second half of FY19 from the present limit of Rs2.44 lakh crore.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: ECONOMY

1. ‘Skill India’ urgently needs reforms

 

  • Rescuing the Indian demographic dividend must be a key part of India’s growth story.
  • In 2016, the Government of India framed the Sharada Prasad Committee to legitimize the Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) and enhance ‘Aptitude India’
  • SSCs are business bodies for the most part advanced by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Confederation of Indian Industry and other industry affiliations. The panel presented its report in 2016
  • Every suggestion underlines that the professional instruction/preparing (VET) isn’t only for underprivileged groups
  • It isn’t a stopgap course of action for the individuals who can’t endure formal instruction. It is for every one of us
  • It recommends solid strides to guarantee a mentality change, for example, having a different stream for professional training (in auxiliary instruction) making professional schools and professional universities for upward versatility, and having a Central college to grant degrees and recognitions
  • It requires a serious engagement of employers
  • This should be possible by adjusting the courses to worldwide prerequisites, guaranteeing a fundamental establishment in the 3Rs, and long lasting learning
  • It infers national gauges for a sought after range of abilities with national/worldwide portability that converts into better occupations
  • We ought to have close to 450 courses (Germany has just 340 courses) as per the National Classification of Occupations 2015
  • National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) had suggested defense of capability packs/work partsEthics and accountability issue
  • There is a huge ethics and accountability issue if there is no credible assessment board and when there are too many sector skill councils, each trying to maximise their business
  • The Sharada Prasad Committee had recommended that the number of SSCs should correspond to the National Industrial (Activity) Classification
  • It has 21 economic activities across the entire economy

Goals of Skill India

  • To meet employers’ needs of skills
  • To prepare workers (young and old) for a decent livelihood

Policy steps that can be taken

  • The primary approach step ought to be towards a unification of the whole VET framework
  • SSCs, which are as far as anyone knows industry agents, ought to draw in themselves with every mainstay of the framework, and not simply NSDC-financed VTPs
  • ‘Skill India’ can have an effect just when every one of them cooperate and gain from each other
  • The second step is to upgrade boss proprietorship, duty and their ‘skin in the diversion’
  • Just 36% of India’s sorted out area firms lead in-firm preparing
  • There can be a reimbursable industry commitment demonstrate (pertinent just to the composed segment)
  • It could guarantee repayments for those organizations undertaking preparing while at the same time remunerating industry for sharing and undertaking skilling until everybody in the organization is talented
  • The administration ought to have studies, once like clockwork, through the National Sample Survey Office, to gather information on expertise suppliers and aptitude holes by area
  • Such information can control confirm based arrangement making, as against the present approach of shooting oblivious

Way forward

  • India can most likely turn into the world’s ability capital however not with what it is doing well at this point
  • The changes recommended by the board can be a decent beginning stage for we can’t give another age a chance to lose its fantasies.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Forging a culture of innovation

Context

  • India’s innovation policy has to shift beyond a mere focus on R&D spending to transforming the ecosystem

Keypoints

  • On paper, India ought to be in a decent position regarding innovative work (R&D) spending.
  • Our pipeline of scientists appears to be undiminished; we are positioned third on the planet in number of science and innovation PhDs granted and have enhanced our positioning in the Global Innovation Index, from 66 to 60.
  • But then, there is no Indian college in the best hundred (QS World University Rankings, 2018) and just 46,904 licenses were recorded in India in 2016 (China documented over a million licenses).

 Between the numbers

  • India’s gross consumption on R&D has expanded by three times finished the decade 2005-15, crossing the ₹1 lakh crore stamp in 2016-17.
  • The Center burned through 45.1% of the aggregate sum in 2015, while private industry contributed 38.1%.
  • In contrast with the West, the commitment of higher instructive organizations in R&D spending was dreary.
  • The administration’s R&D spending is identical to an Amazon or Alphabet’s R&D spend, while just 26 Indian organizations figure in the rundown of best 2,500 organizations all inclusive by R&D spend.
  • Our R&D exercises still appear to be directed in an ivory tower, rather than being market-focussed.
  • India’s R&D spending, as a level of GDP, still slacks essentially, at 0.69% out of 2015 this offer has been stagnating for the most recent decade.
  • Indeed, even among different BRICS nations, just South Africa falls behind India regarding R&D use.
  • Allotment of spending is additionally altogether compelled.
  • More than 90% of Indian new businesses confront a danger of disappointment in their underlying disappointment, in part because of an absence of access to financing.
  • Access to such financing streams, to open and private players should be enhanced essentially, with a decrease in institutional obstructions.
  • The interpretation of R&D spend into licenses can be influenced by institutional imperatives also.
  • Just 28% of licenses enrolled for applications are in the end documented. In the interim, patent pendency times in India are among the most astounding in the significant economies, with a patent taking around 6-7 years between a demand for examination and a last office activity.
  • In examination, South Korea and China have pendency timings of 16 and 22 months, individually. In the interim, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which documented more than 13,000 licenses (2014-2017), close down its commercializing arm, CSIR-Tech, because of absence of financing.
  • India’s protected innovation rights (IPR) arrangement is ready for change requiring a revision urging new companies to use documented licenses on an underlying no-eminence premise, with income sharing happening once critical commercialisation is accomplished.

 Tested by application

  • We have to push past measurements, papers and licenses to center around giving answers for improvement and monetary difficulties.
  • An attention on building an advancement culture is essential, especially giving the transformative moves under path in divisions basic to India’s economy from electric autos in vehicles to insourcing in IT benefits, the economy is presented to critical employment misfortunes and a fall in sends out finished the coming decade.
  • Our advancement strategy needs to move past an emphasis on expanding R&D spending to teaching an attitude of “out-of-the-container” thinking in our colleges, new companies and corporates.
  • India’s instructive approaches should be overhauled, with an emphasis on building intellectual capacities, past repetition learning and spotlight on quantitative subjects.
  • The Atal Innovation Mission is an empowering begin, focussing on encouraging school-level money related stipends to help sustain an underlying layer of advancement.
  • Be that as it may, we have to move past this to center around exploiting the information investigation blast, enhancing instructive characteristics past our current islands of magnificence to the entire college framework.
  • A supporting biological system for this will require giving more noteworthy access to open information, through the Right to Information Act and a push to giving open information (for instance, on prepare reliability, water shortage, air contamination measurements) for building inventive applications on an ongoing premise.
  • The effect of R&D spending on moving a country’s direction from a product construct development to one based with respect to capital and IP is very much noted; South Korea expanded its GDP 12 times in the course of recent years, while R&D spend ascended from 0.26% of GDP in 1965 to well more than 4.04% of every 2011; private players represented 76.5% of aggregate R&D spending in 2011.

F. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements about Oxytocin:
  1. The drug is used by diary owners and farmers to boost milk production and make vegetables look bigger and fresher.

  2. It causes hormonal imbalances and shortens the lives of milch animals.

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer
Question 2. Consider the following statements about E Sahyog:
  1. It is a Project of the Income-Tax Department to Facilitate Taxpayers which reduces the need for the taxpayer to physically appear before tax authorities.

  2. It is aimed at reducing compliance cost, especially for small taxpayers.

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer
Question 3. Consider the following statements about Palytoxin:
  1. Palytoxin is a potentially life-threatening toxin that can act via dermal, inhalation, and oral routes of exposure.

  2. Palytoxin kills only when ingested, but inhaling its fumes can cause disruption of normal corneal function and irreversible blindness.

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer

 

H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

General Studies II
 
  1. Disruptions have become an endemic feature of the functioning of the Indian Parliament leading to public outcry. What is the Role of speaker and chairman in preventing disruptions?
     
General Studies III
 
  1. India’s innovation policy has to shift beyond a mere focus on R&D spending to transforming the ecosystem. Also, discuss the possible impediments.
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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