03 Dec 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Sahariya's plight
2. Migrant workers still out of reach of HIV screening
B. GS2 Related
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. No local currency trade with India: China
2. 70 lakh jobs were created in 2017-18
ENVIRONMENT
1. UN climate conference COP 24
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
HEALTH
1. Sharing outbreak data (Zika Virus)
ECONOMY
1. Job creation at the farmer’s doorstep
F. Tidbits
1. Train 18
2. 'AMLO' assumes Mexican presidency
G. Prelims Fact
1. India, U.S. Air Forces to begin joint drill
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Category: SOCIAL ISSUES

1. Sahariya’s plight

News: Rajasthani tribal community in the Shahbad region has been facing poverty, unemployment and malnutrition for years.

 Who are Sahariyas?

  • The Saharia, Sahar, Sehariya, or Sahariya are an ethnic group in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. The Saharias are mainly found in the districts of Morena, Sheopur, Bhind, Gwalior, Datia, Shivpuri, Vidisha and Guna districts of Madhya Pradesh and Baran district of Rajasthan.
  • They may also be located in the hills of the Ganjam district of southern Orissa, as well as in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and the Plains division of Assam. They speak a Munda language that belongs to the Austro-Asiatic language family.
  • The Sahariyas, one of the 75 scheduled tribes in the country are classified as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups.
  • The Saharia are a tribal people who have had little contact with the outside world. Between 1864 and 1866, the hills region was brought under control by the British expeditionary forces.
  • The Saharia farmers use the “slash and burn” method of cultivation along the hill slopes. Their main crops include gourds, millet, sorghum, and wild rice.

 Issues

  • The Sahariya tribal community of the Shahbad region in Baran district, which recorded 47 starvation deaths during the 2001 drought, suffers from extreme poverty, unemployment and malnutrition.
  • The benefits of additional days of work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the supply of essential items under the Antyodaya Yojana are not fully available to them.
  • Daily wage labour and agriculture are the main sources of livelihood in the region.

Way forward

The Sahariyas have benefited from special reservation made for them, but a lot more still needs to be done.

2. Migrant workers still out of reach of HIV screening

News: Ganjam is the eighth most HIV infection-prone district in the country.

90-90-90’

  • UNAIDS has envisioned to achieve ‘90-90-90’ target by 2020, which will result in controlling HIV infection to sustainable state by 2030.
  • As per the ‘90-90-90’ target, 90% of all HIV infected persons should get diagnosed and know their HIV positive status. Ninety %of these diagnosed HIV positive persons are to be provided regular Antiretroviral Therapy (ART). Ninety % of persons taking ART should show signs of viral suppression which reduces their scope of infection.

Issue:

  • A large number of migrant labourers vulnerable to HIV infection in Ganjam, the most AIDS prone district in Odisha, are still out of reach of regular screening and test for possibility of presence of the deadly virus in their body.
  • In Ganjam district, getting 90% of all the HIV positive persons diagnosed is still a distant target.
  • From May 2000 till October 2018, total number of persons tested to be HIV positive in Ganjam district is 15,373. It is around 33% of total number of 46,128 HIV positive persons in Odisha.

Way Forward

  • Regular screening will also increase awareness about HIV among the migrant labourers, who are generally less educated.

B. GS2 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. No local currency trade with India: China

News:

China has not accepted India’s proposal to carry out bilateral trade in local currencies, which was aimed at bridging the ballooning trade deficit with China.

Background:

  • India had mooted renminbi-rupee trade with China to boost exports and tackle the widening trade deficit concern.
  • The issue was discussed in an inter-Ministerial meeting in October. In the meeting, it was suggested the Reserve Bank of India and the Department of Economic Affairs should look at the possibility of exploring renminbi-rupee trade with China.
  • India has also proposed trade in national currencies with other countries, including Russia, Iran and Venezuela with which New Delhi has a trade deficit.

Advantages of doing business in the local currency:

  • If a country (A) is  selling products in another country (B) that transacts in local currency, then it improves country (A)’s competitive position and cash flow by offering to accept payments in  local currency
  • List of prospects can expand if payment is accepted in local currency, particularly in a sector that does not regularly deal in foreign currencies. Deliverable forwards and options strategies can be used, providing the potential to increase the effectiveness and decrease the overall cost of hedging.
  • Local currency payables or receivables can be hedged in the deliverable forward market, which facilitates hedging future currency risk.

2. 70 lakh jobs were created in 2017-18

News:

  • NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman has said that 70 lakh jobs were created in the financial year 2017-18 terming the criticism of jobless growth.

Fact:

  • Growth in sales of transport vehicles, huge disbursement of Mudra loans and Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) data show that enough opportunities for employment and self-employment were created over the past four years.

What is jobless- growth?

  • As the population of a country grows, people need work in order to support their families and themselves. An expanding economy is necessary to employ all those who seek work. Without sufficient economic growth people looking for work will be unable to find it. In any economic condition, it is the individual workers possessing employable skills who will find work first. If the supply of jobs is plentiful, then more opportunities open up for those with less attractive skill sets.
  • In a jobless growth economy, unemployment remains stubbornly high even as the economy grows. This tends to happen when a relatively large number of people have lost their jobs, and the ensuing recovery is insufficient to absorb the unemployed, under-employed, and those first entering the work force.

Way forward

  • A jobless growth economy indicates the existence of changes to the fundamental basis of work for everyone. Some workers will do well, as they have the skills and training that growing industries require. Others face long-term unemployment or underemployment, and will be unable to find work until they obtain new skills.
  • Investors who recognize the structural changes in the economy will benefit if they align their investment portfolios with the economy’s growth opportunities. Finding sectors that are growing can be as simple as following the employment numbers by industry. Then, a more detailed study can be done on the promising companies within that sector.

Category: ENVIRONMENT

1. UN climate conference COP 24

News:

  • Activists marched in Brussels seeking action on carbon emissions at the UN Climate Conference COP24, which has begun in Katowice, Poland.
  • COP24 the two-week 24th conference of the parties of the United Nations Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) started on Sunday in Katowice, Poland, with a special focus on carbon neutrality and gender equality.
  • Under the agreement, all countries have committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit the global average rise in temperature to well below 2°C, and as close as possible to 1.5°C.

 A Green Conference

  • To limit COP24’s footprint and achieve carbon neutrality locally, the conference organisers have taken a series of different measures. First, public transportation in the city is free of charge for the duration of the conference, for all participants. 
  • In addition, reusable materials have been used to set up the conference rooms, including carpets and backdrops. Recycled cardboard furniture was installed in all the main meeting spaces. 
  • The conference will also enforce a strict waste management policy: distinct recycling bins will be available in all meeting rooms; the packaging of electronic equipment has been saved and will be reused after the conference is over; the packaging of catering products is environmentally friendly; single-use plastic products are limited across the space; and overall, the conference is dispensing with paper as much as possible, with official documents available only in digital versions. 
  • Unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions due to the event will be tracked through a rigorous calculation by the organisers based on international standards.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: HEALTH

1. Sharing outbreak data (Zika Virus)

Larger Background:

What is Zika?

    • Zika is a flavivirus spread mainly by mosquitoes.
    • It belongs to the same genus as dengue and chikungunya.
    • It is the breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus.
    • There is some evidence that Zika has been in India for long.
    • In the year, 1954, a survey was conducted in India, which found several Indians with Zika antibodies. However, this evidence wasn’t conclusive, because other flaviviruses, like dengue, can also trigger Zika-neutralising antibodies.
    • The first confirmed Indian case occurred in 2016 in Gujarat.
    • After this case, three more cases were detected, before the 2018 Rajasthan outbreak. Despite its long presence in Asia, Zika outbreaks in this region have been benign. This changed with a large French Polynesian outbreak in 2013 and a larger Brazilian one in 2015.
  • It is also important to note that over the last few years, the international community has banded together to quickly address a growing international public health crisis — the Zika virus epidemic.
  • After its detection in Brazil during 2015, observant clinicians began to notice a striking increase in the rates of babies born with microcephaly.

What is Microcephaly?

    • Microcephaly is a rare neurological condition characterised by underdeveloped brains and undersized heads.
  • Epidemiological, clinical, and experimental data has indicated that microcephaly, and a range of other birth defects (such as miscarriages and ocular disease) could be caused by the Zika virus passing from a pregnant women to her foetus.

From the Recent News:

  • In the state of Rajasthan, many people were recently infected with the Zika virus.
  • In these cases, Zika is causing fever, rash, muscle and joint pain.

    • Conditions such as microcephaly are characterized by instances in which the child of a Zika-infected mother is born with an abnormally small head.
  • It is important to note that there is no cure for microcephaly at birth.
  • In rare cases, patients also develop Guillain-Barre syndrome, which causes potentially fatal muscle weakness.
  • Currently, officials in India are watching out for these complications, since the Rajasthan strain is closely related to the Brazilian strain. It is important to note that the symptoms from the Brazilian strain were linked to deadlier conditions such as microcephaly.
  • Recently, Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare held a high level meeting to review the activities for prevention and control of Zika virus and Seasonal Influenza.
  • Shri Nadda reassured the states for all support from the Union Government. For control of Zika virus in Rajasthan, the Health Minister emphasized on the need for continuous monitoring. He stated that the Union Health Ministry is in regular contact with the State officials.
  • Shri Nadda stressed on the need for undertaking exhaustive control measures including intensive fogging for next month in order to ensure vector control in the area.
  • He also stressed on strengthening surveillance to facilitate the early identification of cases. The Union Health Minister urged the people to not panic and cooperate with the health officials in controlling the breeding of the vectors. He further said that there was no shortage of medicines and testing kits and required support will be provided to the State.
  • Shri Nadda further directed for mounting aggressive communication campaigns in the state. He stated that awareness is the key in controlling the vector borne diseases and no stone should be left unturned to reach out to the people. Noting that community participation is a crucial area in prevention, the Union Health Minister urged all the stakeholders to start rigorous awareness campaigns regarding the preventive steps to be taken at the community level. He stated that the Union Health Ministry is working along with the State government, the local authorities and the Municipal Corporation for augmenting and strengthening their efforts in vector control, surveillance and awareness activities.
  • He specifically instructed that early detection, reporting and proper categorization of patients is critical for Seasonal Influenza management. Minister has instructed National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to monitor the cases on a daily basis. He suggested that States shall ensure that proper awareness is created regarding the prevention and management of Seasonal Influenza. All States shall also ensure that sufficient supplies of drugs and testing kits are maintained at the State level.
  • Further, all cases which require hospitalization shall be monitored intensively both at district and State level so as to ensure that fatalities can be avoided. Availability of sufficient functional ventilators for critical case management is important and States shall be advised accordingly. NCDC & EMR shall coordinate with the States to provide training for ventilator management, if need be.

A Closer Look:

    • Currently, about 4.5 lakh people at the outbreak site in Rajasthan have been brought under surveillance.
    • Although steps to halt mosquito breeding have been initiated, it is to be noted that controlling the breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus, is very challenging.
  • What compounds matters is that controlling the spread becomes even harder as the mosquito is widely prevalent in India.
    • Also, the infection remains asymptomatic in about 80% of cases. This allows the virus to silently spread from one person to another.
    • It can also spread from a pregnant mother to the foetus.
    • Even when the infection manifests, the symptoms are very mild and non-specific, making it difficult to correctly and easily diagnose it.
    • It must also be noted that a study published in the journal Neurology India found 14 out of 90 patients with the Guillain–Barré syndrome.  
    • The Guillain–Barré syndrome is a neurological complication seen in Zika-infected adults.  
  • An important point to note here is that four of the 14 patients also tested positive for an anti-dengue antibody. There is a remote possibility that the virus is circulating in some parts of India and could cause an epidemic at some point.

A Few More Perspectives:

  • Zika-associated birth defects could be a serious public health crisis in India.

    • There have been recent announcements that suggest that the Jaipur Zika virus strains cannot cause foetal microcephaly. However, it is important to note that despite these announcements, all possible measures to control transmission and monitor pregnancies should be taken.
  • Further, to the best of our knowledge, there is not a specific Zika virus strain — or mutation — linked to microcephaly. All Zika virus strains could possibly cause birth defects.
  • Having said this, it is important to note that while the science on the Zika virus has rapidly progressed, there is still much that we do not know about how it causes birth defects.
  • For example:
  • We do not know the long-term effects of children who were infected with the Zika virus in the womb.
  • We do not know why some lead to stillbirths and miscarriages, some lead to neurological complications, and others seem perfectly healthy.
  • We do not understand why we only noticed microcephaly and other severe forms of disease during the epidemic in the Americas, and not before.

Having said this, it is important to note that there could be biological answers to these- for example, certain Zika virus strains are more likely to cause birth defects than others.

But at this point, we do not know.

Some Important Observations Made:

  • It is important to note that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently announced that the Zika virus strains causing the outbreak in Jaipur, Rajasthan, cannot cause microcephaly.
    • This conclusion was based on a genetic sequencing of viruses isolated from the outbreak.
    • Further, in these sequences, the ICMR did not find a Zika virus mutation linked to microcephaly that was suggested in a Science magazine study, in 2017.
    • However, the problem with this conclusion is that the research was based on infection in mouse brains, not humans and contains no epidemiological or clinical support.
    • Also, numerous other studies suggest that all Zika virus strains may have the capacity to infect foetuses and cause neurological disease.
  • Currently, much more research is needed to determine if some strains are associated with a higher risk.
  • Next, it is also difficult to determine how extensive Zika virus outbreaks will be in India.

For example: If the Zika virus has been silently spreading in the country, as it did throughout most of Asia for the last 50 years, then enough people may be immune to the virus to prevent large outbreaks.

According to the most recent updates, 150+ people in Jaipur had confirmed Zika virus infections. Considering that most infections do not cause noticeable disease, and thus most infected individuals do not seek medical attention, the true number of cases may be more than 10,000. At least 50 of the infected individuals are pregnant women, but again, the true number is likely to be much higher.

Lastly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S., only 5-10% of Zika virus infections during pregnancies lead to Zika-associated birth defects, and the rates of microcephaly are much lower.

Thus, while the chances for the Zika virus to cause harm to an individual baby are low, there is still a chance, regardless of the Zika virus strain in circulation.

Editorial Analysis:

    • Experts point out that the recent Zika outbreaks in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are a reminder of how poor Indian authorities are at sharing health data.
    • Further, neither Rajasthan, which saw 154 cases, nor M.P., which saw 127, published the day-wise numbers of confirmed infections.
    • Meanwhile, it is important to note that even though the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has genetically sequenced Zika viruses from five patients in Rajasthan, it hasn’t published these sequences in any open access databases such as GenBank.
    • Both daily case counts and genetic sequences of the viruses circulating in India can be extremely useful to epidemiologists studying Zika. Daily case counts can show how quickly the virus is spreading. Genetic sequences can help us understand from where the virus came to India and for how long it had been circulating in Rajasthan and M.P. before it was detected.
  • Further, using data from previous epidemics, scientists have been able to estimate the rate at which the Zika virus mutates. So, by comparing genome sequences from multiple patients, they can estimate when these viruses diverged from their most recent common ancestor, giving an idea of when the virus entered India.
    • If this date is much earlier than the date of the first detected case (September in Rajasthan), that would mean a larger number of patients were infected, which in turn could help customise our outbreak response.
    • However, ICMR has only announced that the Rajasthan Zika strain is genetically close to the Brazilian strain (suggesting that the virus came from Latin America), and that it does not have certain mutations. “Genetically close” is a broad term, and without the sequence information, other researchers cannot independently interpret and validate ICMR’s claims.
    • ICMR says it has submitted the data to a peer-reviewed journal for publication, but publication in journals takes longer than publication in an open access database.
  • It is important to note that given how important such data are during epidemics, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released a policy statement in 2016 saying “pathogen genome sequences be made publicly available as rapidly as possible through relevant databases.”
  • Further, West Africa’s 2013 Ebola virus outbreak and Latin America’s 2015 Zika outbreak showed how useful such proactive sharing can be — during the Ebola epidemic, around 80% of the epidemiological modelling studies used only open data, according to a 2016 PLOS Medicine paper.

Concluding Remarks:

    • It is important to note that there are reasons why researchers are often reluctant to share genome sequences. During the Ebola outbreak, some scientists were worried that they may not be credited for their work if someone else published an analysis based on their sequences, and waited for months before publishing. Such concerns are valid, and the WHO says it is important to address this.
    • However, given the benefits to public health from data-sharing, Indian authorities should do their part too.
    • In conclusion, Pregnant women and their families, including those planning to get pregnant, should take great caution to avoid mosquitoes — wear long sleeves and trousers, stay indoors when possible, use DEET/insect repellent, and remove standing water that mosquitoes use for breeding.
    • Further, the Zika virus infection is not guaranteed upon mosquito bite, but the chances for infection rise with each new bite.
    • Next, Zika-associated birth defects could be a serious public health crisis in India, and, without a vaccine, all possible measures to control transmission and monitor pregnancies should be taken.
    • Since Zika infection during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects, particularly microcephaly (small size of the head), all the 22 pregnant women infected must be monitored.
  • Also, as there is no cure for microcephaly at birth, there should be campaigns to educate people living in the outbreak area to avoid sex, particularly with the intent of getting pregnant, till the outbreak is under control.
  • The long winter ahead in north India and the imminent onset of the northeast monsoon in the eastern coast of India is conducive for the mosquito to multiply and spread. This calls for a high level of alert.

Category: ECONOMY

1. Job creation at the farmer’s doorstep

Editorial Analysis:

    • Recently, the Telangana government had made an announcement of the Rythu Bandhu scheme.
    • Experts point out that this development spotlighted the policy of utilising cash transfer to assist land-owning farmers with a non-agricultural income — instead of the traditional policy measures of price interventions, trade restrictions and farm loan waivers.
  • While the scheme is nominally intended as investment support for inputs such as seeds and pesticides, it implies a transfer of Rs. 8,000 per acre for every landowning farmer over two crop seasons.
  • Some experts point out that the scheme has an inbuilt bias for large farmers, allowing 9% of farmers with more than five acres to earn 34% of the total payout. They opine that it is difficult for marginal farmers to eke out a living from just agricultural income.

Spotlight on India’s Rural Economic Situation:

  • It is important to note that rural India’s economic situation continues to worsen.
  • A recent survey by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey) shows that the average monthly income of rural households is Rs. 8,059, with agricultural households deriving only 43% of their income from agriculture; most of it is from providing daily wage labour and government jobs.
  • While agricultural households typically had a higher income than non-agricultural households, they had higher debt on average (Rs. 1,04,602 and Rs. 76,731, respectively). This is also reflected in the decoupling of urban Indian incomes from rural India with per capita income in rural India lagging a fair bit.
  • The government has sought to double farmer income by raising minimum support prices, but such initiatives would apply directly only to 48% of rural India, with non-agricultural households being left behind. Perhaps we need to look at alternative sources of income.

Key features of the Rythu Bandhu scheme:

  • Rs 8000 per acre grant to all Telangana farmers every year (Rs 4000 per crop season).
  • Rs 12000 crores budget allocated for the scheme (financial year 2018-19).
  • 58 lakh farmers in the state to benefit.
  • The scheme was announced by the Chief Minister of Telangana, K. Chandrashekhar Rao at Farmers Coordiantion Committee (Rythu Samanvaya Samithi) conference at Jayashankar Agriculture University on 25 February 2018.
  • An allocation of Rs. 12,000 crores was made in 2018-19 state budget.
  • The scheme offers a financial help of Rs. 8,000 per year to each farmer (two crops). There is no cap on the number of acres, and most of the farmers are small and marginal.
  • The total farming land is 1.43 crore acres and the number of farmers in the state stood at 58.33 lakh. Around 55% of population in Telangana make a living from agriculture.

The Role Diversification can Play:

  • The conversation on raising farmer income needs to embrace non-farm diversification, an important pathway for empowering landless labourers and marginal farmers, as development economist Daniel Coppard recommended in a 2001 report.
  • Diversification, away from marginal farming, is typically the answer. A few papers on the subject show that this helps to overcome land constraint, helps in income growth, while allowing farmers to cope with exogenous shocks through additional income.
  • In some cases, it ‘even allows them to reinvest in productivity-enhancing agricultural technologies’.

Livestock: The Untapped Potential

  • The livestock sector can offer significant opportunities for bolstering non-farm income. The current breeding policy (based on exotic blood and artificial insemination) needs to be revamped.
  • A national breeding policy is also needed to upgrade the best performing indigenous breeds. Buffalo breeding ought to be given more attention, while poultry breeding should be focussed on conservation.
  • State governments should be encouraged to participate in national breeding policy implementation, creating an environment for competition among alternative suppliers of artificial insemination.
  • Consensus must be built among breeders to develop indigenous breeds. The feed supply (currently inadequate) needs to be mitigated through greater imports, with feed technology packages developed for extension dissemination.
  • Geographical information system-based analysis must be utilised to map production systems. Private investment must also be encouraged. Animal health care should become a priority, with greater investment in preventive health care.
  • The government needs to create better incentive structures for investment in livestock in the States that are lagging while harmonising rules, regulations and regulatory authorities across States. State governments should sponsor research and assessment of the market, along with highlighting investment potential.

Perspective on migrant workers:

  • Experts point out we should also embrace the fact that agricultural labourers routinely seek construction-related daily wage labour to bolster their income.
  • Improving the conditions of migrant workers in the construction sector requires a multi-pronged approach. There are a few points in this regard:
    1. First, we have to enable migrant workers to get deserved access to various government (Central and State) schemes, despite the lack of identity proof.
  • Access to Anganwadi facilities should be provided regardless of their identity documents. While multiple laws exist for the welfare of construction workers, compliance is abysmal.
  1. The penalties for non-compliance have to be increased to a significant fraction of the construction cost, payable by the builder.
  2. Registration of workers with the Welfare Board should be made mandatory and be the responsibility of the contractor and the builder. If the contractor is found to engage or employ any worker without a registration card/ID, penalties (monetary and non-monetary) should be imposed, which would then be used for improving awareness and penetration of registration cards and their benefits.
  3. The registration cards should be linked to their Jan-Dhan accounts, and transfer of payments on a periodic basis be made directly to their accounts.
  4. Further, in order to improve the condition of women, strict anti-harassment laws should be implemented.
  5. Creche facilities at construction sites should be provided to also ensure that children are not neglected; they often play with gravel and dust, which can threaten their health.
  6. Utilisation of a construction cess has to be improved if we are to make any difference to the lives of our construction workers.
  7. Workers should also be provided with training and skilling in their areas of interest, as it could lead to higher earnings and credit-worthiness.

Concluding Remarks:

    • In conclusion, experts suggest that our policies should help create sustainable, long-term, rural, non-farm employment options which can aid the rural poor in overcoming barriers to economic prosperity.
  • India’s rural development policies should increasingly focus on developing markets, infrastructure and institutions that can help sectors such as livestock and construction growth.
  • Lastly, while India’s post-Independence rural policy has primarily been about driving people away from agriculture and towards cities, we must now incentivise job creation at their doorstep.

F. Tidbits

1. Train 18

 

2. ‘AMLO’ assumes Mexican presidency

News: Andrés Manuel López Obrador vowed a “deep and radical” change in Mexico as he assumed the country’s presidency.

The leader is widely known by his initials as “AMLO”.

 Background:

  • Ending 89 years of government by the same two parties, Mr. López Obrador surged to victory in the July 1 elections, promising a new approach to issues fuelling widespread outrage: crime, poverty and corruption.
  • Vowing to lead his anti-corruption, pro-austerity drive by example, Mr. López Obrador has forsworn the presidential residence, jet and security detail, and cut his own salary by 60%.

G. Prelims Fact

1. India, U.S. Air Forces to begin joint drill

News: The Air Forces of India and the U.S. will begin a 12-day military exercise in the Kalaikunda and Panagarh air bases in West Bengal with an aim to enhance operational coordination.

Facts:

  • The ‘Ex Cope India-18’ will be the fourth edition in the series of bilateral drills between the Indian Air Force and the U.S. Air Force.
  • This is for the first time, the exercise is being held at two Air Force bases.
  • The aim of the exercise is to provide operational exposure and undertake mutual exchange of best practices towards enhancing operational capability
  • The U.S. has sent a fleet of F15 C/D and C-130 military aircraft. The IAF is participating with the Su-30 MKI, Jaguar, Mirage 2000, C-130J and AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft.

H. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following regarding G20 countries:
  1. The G20 membership comprises a mix of the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies, representing about two-thirds of the world’s population.
  2. The G20 (or Group of Twenty) is an international forum for the governments and private sector organisations.
  3. G20 summit 2022 will be held in Mexico.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. 1, 2, 3
  4. None

See

Answer
Question 2. Consider the following regarding Sahariyas:
  1. Sahariya are an ethnic group in the state of Madhya Pradesh, are classified as PVTG.
  2. Sahariyas is a traditional painting called Mandana painting.
  3. Sahariya is a form of Tribal Dance in the state of Rajasthan.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. 1, 2, 3
  4. None

See

Answer
Question 3. What is SDR?
  1. Special drawing rights (SDR) refer to an international type of monetary reserve currency.
  2. Renminbi is an SDR.
  3. SDRs are allocated by the IMF to its member countries.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. 1, 2, 3
  4. None

See

Answer
Question 4. Consider the following regarding '90-90-90':
  1. Central Government has envisioned to achieve ‘90-90-90’ target by 2020,
  2. It will result in controlling HIV infection to sustainable state by 2030.
  3. As per the ‘90-90-90’ target, 90% of all HIV infected persons should get diagnosed and know their HIV positive status. Ninety %of these diagnosed HIV positive persons are to be provided regular Antiretroviral Therapy (ART). Ninety% of persons taking ART should show signs of viral suppression which reduces their scope of infection.

Which of the above is/are incorrect?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. 1, 2, 3
  4. None

See

Answer
Question 5. Consider the following regarding Sunset Industries:
  1. Older industry that continues to be important to an economy but is losing favor with investors due to its steadily falling employment generation capacity and profits, and comparatively higher environmental costs.

  2. Oil and gas is not a sunset industry.

Which of the above is/are incorrect?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None

See

Answer

I. Practice Questions for UPSC Mains Exam

  1. As global temperatures continue to rise, climate action is lagging and the window of opportunity is closing. Critically examine. (250 words)
  2. There is much interest in introducing local currencies for trade and they have been central elements in many countries. Highlight the advantages and disadvantages of using local currencies for trans boundary trade. (250 words)
 

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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