12 Dec 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
HISTORY
1. Chinnaswami Subramania Bharati/ Bharathiyar
B. GS2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Don’t reveal identity of rape victims says SC
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Tu-160
C. GS3 Related
ENVIRONMENT
1. SC directs Centre to declare 10 km area around national parks as eco-sensitive
ECONOMY
1. Okun’s law
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Water traces found on asteroid Bennu
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
HEALTH
1. Providing health for all (Universal Health Coverage)
2. Implant implosion (Accountability of the medical devices industry)
F. Tidbits
1. Shaktikanta Das appointed RBI Governor
G. Prelims Fact
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

A. GS1 Related

Category: HISTORY

1. Chinnaswami Subramania Bharati/ Bharathiyar

 

  • He was a Tamil writer, poet, journalist, Indian independence activist and a social reformer from Tamil Nadu.
  • Popularly known as “Mahakavi Bharati”, he was a pioneer of modern Tamil poetry and is considered one of the greatest Tamil literary figures of all time.
  • His numerous works included fiery songs kindling patriotism during the Indian Independence movement.
  • In 1908, an arrest warrant was issued against Bharati by the government of British India for his revolutionary writings, forcing him to flee to Pondicherry.
  • Bharati also fought against the caste system in Hindu society.

On Women Rights

  • Bharati is considered to have advocated and campaigned for women’s participation in politics. He advocated greater rights for women and their education.
  • He visualised a modern Indian woman at the vanguard of society.
  • He was of the strong opinion that the world will prosper in knowledge and intellect if both men and women are deemed equal.

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Don’t reveal identity of rape victims says SC

Context

  • The Supreme Court prohibited the media from publishing or airing the names or any material which may even remotely reveal the identity of victims of sexual crimes.

What did the SC say?

  • “No person can print or publish in print, electronic, social media, etc. the name of the victim or even in a remote manner disclose any facts which can lead to the victim being identified and which should make her identity known to the public at large. The bar extends to anything which can even remotely be used to identify the victim,”
  • The court further held that the name and identity of a victim who was either dead or of unsound mind should also not be disclosed even under the authorisation of the next of kin.
    • Any exception to this rule should be decided by the competent authority, the session’s judge.
  • It barred the police from putting in public domain FIRs under Sections 376 to 376E (the range of sexual offences under IPC) and those under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
  • The documents disclosing identity of a victim should be kept in a sealed cover. Authorities to which a victim’s identity was disclosed by an investigating agency or the court are duty bound to keep it a secret.
  • A victim need not reveal her identity while filing an appeal in a criminal court, the SC said.

S.228 A: Disclosure of identity of the victim of certain offences, etc

Whoever prints or publishes the name or any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom an offence under section 376, section 376A, section1 376AB, section 376B, section 376C, section 376D, section 376DA, section 376DB, section 376E is alleged or found to have been committed (hereafter in this section referred to as the victim) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.

So SC said that the intention of the law makers here was that the victim of such offences should not be identifiable so that they do not face any hostile discrimination or harassment in the future.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Tu-160

 

  • The Tupolev Tu-160 is also known as “White Swans”.
  • It is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber.
  • The Tu-160 is capable of carrying conventional or nuclear-tipped cruise missiles with a range of 5,500km.
  • Code-named Blackjack by NATO, the massive warplane is capable of flying at twice the speed of sound.

Context

  • Two Russian bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons landed in Venezuela in a show of support for the government. The TU160 supersonic bombers landed at Maiquetia airport.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ENVIRONMENT

1. SC directs Centre to declare 10 km area around national parks as eco-sensitive

Context

  • The Supreme Court directed the Union Environment Ministry to declare 10 km area around 21 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across the country as ‘eco-sensitive zones’.
  • This was because the State governments have taken no effort to protect the area around the sanctuaries and parks.

Sanctuaries in Picture

The parks and sanctuaries are the Pobitora sanctuary in Assam; Hemis High Altitude and Kishtewar national parks, Changthang, Hokersar, Trikuta sanctuaries in Jammu and Kashmir; Jogimatti, Thimlapura and Yadahalli Chinkara sanctuaries in Karnataka; Deolgaon Rehekuri and Thane Creek Flamingo sanctuaries and the Malvan marine sanctuary in Maharashtra; Siroi National Park and Khongjaingamba Ching sanctuary in Manipur; Baghmara Pitcher Plant sanctuary in Meghalaya; Fakim and Puliebadze and Rangapahar sanctuaries in Nagaland; Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar bird sanctuary and Pilibhit sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh and the Jorepokhri sanctuary in West Bengal.

Category: ECONOMY

1. Okun’s law

  • This refers to an empirical relationship between an economy’s growth rate and its unemployment rate.
  • Okun’s law states that when an economy grows at an annual rate of over 3%, its unemployment rate will fall at a rate that is equal to half the number of percentage points by which the growth rate exceeds 3%.
    • For instance, if an economy grows by 5%, its unemployment rate will drop by 1%.
    • By the same logic, the unemployment rate will rise proportionately if an economy’s growth rate falls below the threshold of 3%.
  • It is named after American economist Arthur Melvin Okun.
  • Okun’s law may more accurately be called “Okun’s rule of thumb” because it is an approximation based on empirical observation rather than a result derived from theory.
  • The law has been criticised for its strict mathematical view of complex economies.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Water traces found on asteroid Bennu

Context

  • NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft discovered evidence of water on a relatively nearby skyscraper-sized asteroid, Bennu, a rocky acorn-shaped object.
  • This may hold clues to the origins of life on Earth.

Details

  • Data obtained from the spacecraft’s two spectrometers, the OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS) and the OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES) reveal the presence of molecules that contain oxygen and hydrogen atoms bonded together, known as “hydroxyls“.
  • These hydroxyl groups exist globally across the asteroid in water-bearing clay minerals, meaning that at some point Bennu’s rocky material interacted with water.
  • Asteroids are among the leftover debris from the solar system’s formation some 4.5 billion years ago.
  • Scientists believe asteroids and comets crashing into early Earth may have delivered organic compounds and water that seeded the planet for life, and atomic-level analysis of samples from Bennu could provide key evidence to support that hypothesis.
  • Scientists are still trying to understand the role that these carbon-rich asteroids played in delivering water to the early Earth and making it habitable.

Background

  • Launched in September 2016, the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission is to help scientists investigate how planets formed and how life began, as well as improve our understanding of asteroids that could impact Earth.
  • OSIRIS-REx will remain in orbit until mid-February 2019 when it will exit to initiate another series of flybys for the next survey phase.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: HEALTH

1. Providing health for all (Universal Health Coverage)

Larger Background:

The Indian Context:

    • The poor condition of healthcare in the country is not a secret, especially in India’s villages where infrastructure is in a dilapidated state.
    • Government hospitals often fail to provide necessary health services to the poor, with private hospitals being out of the reach of most people.
    • The country’s growing population and lack of resources has made matters worse. According to the 2011 census, India’s population is over 1.2 Billion, make it the second most populous nation in the world after, China.
    • Many organizations, including the United Nations have estimated that by 2025, India would be the most populated nation in the world, surpassing China.
    • More than 32% of total deaths in India are due to heart-related ailments. According to the Global Burden of Disease study, India is ranked low in the Healthcare index; India stands at a rank of 154. This index is out of 194 countries. But despite this, the budget allotment on healthcare services is extremely low.
  • India spends less than 2% of her GDP on public healthcare.
  • But now the Government is working on improving public healthcare services. The National Health Protection Mission or Ayushman Bharat Yojana, launched by the Government is the first major step in this direction. Ayushman Bharat Yojana is a program which aims to create a healthy, capable and content new India. It will also focus on the poor and weaker sections of the society. It aims to provide insurance of upto 5 lakh rupees to each family. The new scheme also intends to improve secondary and tertiary healthcare services for crores of Indians.

  • Universal Health Coverage (UHC) has been graphically depicted by WHO as a cube with three dimensions: population coverage; service coverage; and, cost coverage. It is important to note that while all of these need to be addressed in tandem from the very start, the scale of each has to be periodically revised, as per resources available at that time.
  • In 2005, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), was launched by the Government of India. This promised to re-imagine primary healthcare and address the under-served needs of rural areas. The main focus of the mission was to establish a fully functional, community owned, decentralised health delivery system.
  • Recently, the idea of Universal Health Coverage has been brought to light owing to the announcement made during the union budget 2019-19. The biggest takeaway from union budget 2018-19 is the National Health Protection Scheme. This is a part of current government’s Ayushman Bharat project.

There are two flagship initiatives under Ayushman Bharat:

  1. The first is to create a network of health and wellness centres that will bring the healthcare system closer to the people. The centres will provide comprehensive healthcare, including treatment for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services. Besides this, they will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services; also Rs. 1200 crore have been allocated for this flagship programme.

The scheme will cover more than 10 crore poor families, which is approximately 50 crore persons. It will also setup wellness centres which will give poor people OPD facility near their homes.

  1. The second flagship programme under ‘Ayushman Bharat’ is the ‘National Health Protection Scheme’. The National Health Protection Scheme will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families. It will provide coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family, per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.

    • The government says that these two healthcare sector initiatives under the Ayushman Bharat scheme will build a new India by the year 2022 and ensure enhanced productivity, well being and avert weight-loss and impoverishment. Besides, these schemes will also generate lakhs of jobs, particularly for women.
    • The Ayushman Bharat scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 14th of April 2018, in Bijapur, Chattisgarh. The PM inaugurated the first health center under the scheme in this naxal affected district in Bastar region.  
    • Under Ayushman Bharat, the Government aims to setup 5 lakh wellness centers across the country by 2022. These wellness centers will be equipped to treat a host of diseases, including blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and old-age illnesses.
    • The centre has also included 1354 packages in its ambitious National Health Protection Mission under which the treatment for coronary bypass, knee replacements and stenting, among others would be provided at 15-20% cheaper rates than the Central Government Health Scheme.
  • The National Health Protection Mission will subsume the current centrally sponsored schemes: Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme.

Editorial Analysis:

    • Today, the 12th of December is Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day.
    • According to the World Health Organisation, UHC means “ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access essential quality health services without facing financial hardship”.
    • Experts point out that it sounds basic, however, at times, even the basics often pose a major challenge.
    • It is important to note that Japan has been leading the international efforts towards UHC, including its inclusion in the sustainable development goals and G20 agenda under India’s chairmanship next year, 2019.
  • It is important also to note that health is one of our fundamental rights.
  • As a matter of fact, India has taken the vital first step towards UHC through Ayushman Bharat.
  • Experts have pointed out that this challenge is reminiscent of the path that Japan took more than half a century ago.

Lessons from Japan:

  • Japan created national health insurance coverage in 1961, when it was yet to take off economically.
  • It is important to note that a major political decision was required to expand national health insurance and establish medical schools all over Japan.
  • Further, the implementation of UHC could only have been possible through an early and vast national investment, and through a comprehensive government effort, with the Ministries of Health, Finance and Education, as well as local governments, working together.

What UHC has contributed in Japan?

  • UHC has increased the number of healthy people and healthy workers in Japan.
  • UHC has contributed to the economic miracle of Japan.
  • Moreover, UHC has ensured social equity by functioning as a mechanism for redistribution of incomes.
  • Further, even in the remotest of places in Japan, you do not have to worry about healthcare.
  • The peace of mind which UHC ensures to the Japanese is an indispensable ingredient of our overall well-being.
  • It is important to note that Japan is also partnering with India in wide-ranging projects for better healthcare. Japan has previously worked with India to eradicate polio in India.
  • Today, Japanese and Indian doctors are exchanging ideas and expertise at a research and control centre on diarrhoea established by Japan in Kolkata, and precious lives of newborns are being saved daily in a children’s hospital constructed in Chennai.
  • Further, in 17 cities across Tamil Nadu, urban healthcare systems are being strengthened with our cooperation.

Concluding Remarks:

  • In conclusion, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Japan at the end of October, India and Japan signed a new Memorandum of Cooperation on healthcare to pursue the synergies between Ayushman Bharat and Japan’s Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative.
  • India and Japan aim to pursue our cooperation in various fields, such as honing skills of doctors in surgery of trauma as well as providing technical training for Indian nurses studying in Japanese caregiving facilities.
  • India and Japan hopes that these efforts will lead to a better health ecosystem and the promotion of UHC in India.
  • Japan is also willing to learn from India. For instance, Ayurveda can bring a new dimension to Japan’s healthcare system.
  • Lastly, the path towards UHC is not short. But India has taken the first bold step, and Japan will march along with India on this path, sharing its lessons, as a friend.

2. Implant implosion (Accountability of the medical devices industry)

Note to Students:

  • This is an important article which featured in The Hindu Business Line, and it assumes importance from the point of view of GS Paper III.  

Editorial Analysis:

  • The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is an umbrella body that includes international news organisations in 36 countries, including The Indian Express in India.
  • Recently, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, spearheaded an investigation which exposed a chilling revelation.
  • It exposed the chilling lack of accountability of the medical devices industry.

What do the findings talk about?

  • It is important to note that in the Indian context, the findings expose the nexus between implant makers, health finance players and doctors, as they chase targets at the expense of vulnerable, unsuspecting patients.
  • Further, quality lapses are not readily accounted for (be it knee implants, hip implants, pacemakers or intra-uterine devices) because for patients, there is no clear agency to deal with such situations.
  • Experts point out that for an industry that is valued in India at $5.2 billion and is growing at 16 per cent annually, with imports accounting for 80 per cent of all sales, this is a grim state of affairs.
  • Further, the regulatory failure is evident at various levels: in the testing of the implants; in informing the patient of the consequences and making her aware of her rights; and in the compensation mechanism.
  • Also, in the case of J&J, India’s drugs regulator was slow to react to the global recall and establish the extent of damage.
  • Further, the wrangling over compensation continues because there are no clear norms laid down under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and the Medical Devices Rules, 2017 for such eventualities. Hence, while 8,000 US patients have been awarded $2.5 billion for hip implants gone awry, which works out to about Rs. 2 crore per patient, in India the compensation levels are set to vary from Rs. 30 lakh to Rs. 1.2 crore. However, it appears that as a response to the public outcry over faulty hip implants on 4,700 patients in India, some regulatory changes are in the offing.

Concluding Remarks:

    • Experts point out that the Medical Devices Rules, 2017 may be modified to include compensation aspects, with a committee looking into the issue.
    • So far, compensation sums have been arrived at on the basis of damages laid down in clinical trial regulations. This is inappropriate, as a patient or individual who submits herself to clinical trials cannot be equated with one who actually needs an implant and opts for a trusted product.
    • Further, experts point out that the rules rightly categorise devices into various categories of risk and spell out regulatory requirements for each.
  • However, over-reliance on certification from the US, EU or Japan for imported products may require to be reviewed.
  • There can be no getting away from double standards in compensation for Indian lives lost in medical tragedies.

F. Tidbits

1. Shaktikanta Das appointed RBI Governor

Context

  • With the resignation of Urijit Patel the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Shaktikanta Das, IAS Retd., former Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, as Governor, Reserve Bank of India, for a period of three years.

Profile

  • Das, a 1980 officer of the Indian Administrative Service from Odisha, belongs to the Tamil Nadu cadre and successfully led the industrialization of the state as its industry secretary.
  • He has served as Secretary Revenue and subsequently Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Das is currently a member of the Fifteenth Finance Commission.

G. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for today!!!

H. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Pobitora Sanctuary is in the state of 
  1. Meghalaya

  2. Assam

  3. Arunachal Pradesh

  4. Mizoram

See

Answer
Question 2. Consider the following statements about MLA nomination in Puducherry:
  1. The central Government can nominate 4 MLA’s to assembly.

  2. The Concurrence of CM is must.

  3. The MLA’s have the right to vote with respect to budget and no-confidence against the government.

Which of the above is/are incorrect?

  1. 1 and 2 only

  2. 2 and 3 only

  3. 1 and 3 only

  4. 1, 2 and 3

See

Answer
Question 3. Which of the following genetically modified (GM) crop/crops is/are legally allowed to 
be cultivated in India?
  1. GM Mustard
  2. Bt Cotton
  3. Bt Brinjal

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

See

Answer
Question 4. Which Indian airport is set to become first in Asia to use face recognition as boarding 
pass?
  1. Beijing
  2. Tokyo
  3. Delhi
  4. Bengaluru

See

Answer
Question 5. Which are the qualitative techniques used in monetary policy?
  1. Open market operations
  2. Credit Rationing
  3. Moral Suasion

Which of the techniques given above are correct?

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. All of the above

See

Answer

 

I. Practice Questions for UPSC Mains Exam

  1. The Indian Martial Arts has drawn its inspiration from nature, spread across the world and can be used to increase the agility in sports. Substantiate.
  2. Ayushman Bharat is an important step in the direction of achieving the goal of Universal Health Coverage. Examine.
  3. An independent central bank is as important as a progressive Government for a healthy economy. Critically Analyze.

See previous CNA

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