01 Jul 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Quote for the day Set 5 11

CNA 01 July 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. The free fall of the rupee
INFRASTRUCTURE
1. A road safety quartet and the road ahead
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Home and abroad
2. Fallout of policy failure
F. Prelims Facts
1. Snake Island
G. Tidbits
1. Modified PSLV places three foreign satellites into orbit
2. Concern over shortage of leprosy drug in private sector
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: INFRASTRUCTURE

1. A road safety quartet and the road ahead

Syllabus: Infrastructure: Roads

Mains: The government interventions on road safety in India and the need for interventions on key risk factors of road safety

Context

New Lancet study on fatal road injuries.

Background

For the background on the issue refer to the following article:

UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis dated 30 June 2022 

Details

  • The significantly high annual death rate due to road accidents raises questions about India’s ability to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.6, which aims to decrease the fatalities and injuries due to road traffic accidents by 50% by 2030. 
  • The United Nations is conducting a high-level meeting on Global Road Safety to review the progress and challenges.

Findings of the Lancet study

  • Over 14 lakh people die due to traffic accidents every year and about five crore are injured worldwide.
    • More than 50% of those killed are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
  • It is said that Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) are the most affected countries due to high economic costs which accounted for an average of 3-5% of their GDP in 2014.
  • The study proposes that India and other countries could decrease the accident-related deaths by about 25 to 40% by undertaking preventive interventions on four risk factors such as:
    • High speeding
    • Drunk driving
    • Improper use of helmets 
    • Not wearing seat-belts and not using child restraints
  • The study has used common predictors for individual countries like the GDP per capita, population density, and governmental effectiveness measured through the Worldwide Governance Indicators, to prepare a statistical estimate of how interventions on the identified risk factors would influence injuries and death.

The need for interventions on the four key factors of safety outcomes

  • A statistical model has been developed using the Global Burden of Disease data to predict the number of lives that could be saved with interventions. 
  • About 20,554 lives could have been saved in India with a reduction in speeds.
    • 5,683 with helmet interventions 
    • 3,204 with seatbelts
    • The estimate for drunken driving was not available for India as the percentage of total deaths due to alcohol consumption calculations were found to be unstable
  • The study calculates that 17% of road traffic injury-related deaths in LMICs can be prevented if trauma care facilities are enhanced. 
    • It notes that many accidents occur in rural areas on highways, and the victims are treated at inadequately equipped district hospitals or medical college hospitals.
  • The study also suggests that structural problems linked to unplanned motorisation and urbanisation are a key cause of concern in India.
  • It says that speedy highway construction without accommodating fast and slow-moving traffic, the presence of faulty vehicles, rampant wrong-side driving, inadequate police forces, and poor trauma care in rural centres result in high death and disability rates.
    • As per the Transport Ministry, over 65% of fatalities in road accidents in 2019 were in rural areas and the densely populated urban areas accounted for 32.9% of deaths.
    • This requires better engineering and enforcement of traffic rules to cut fatalities in the current decade.

Various interventions undertaken in India to address the challenges with road safety

  • The government has introduced the Road Safety and Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019 
  • Other interventions include the recommendations made by the Sundar Committee (2007) and directions by the Supreme Court in the S. Rajasekaran vs Union of India case.
    • The interventions include the establishment of an apex national body for road safety, and fixing the decentralised responsibility at the district level.
    • The Sundar Committee highlighted the fact that India lacked adequate technical competence in investigating the cause of accidents.
  • The National Road Safety Board Rules, 2021, provide for the formation of technical working groups that include aspects such as crash investigation and forensics. 
  • However, the study notes that these interventions have largely been inadequate in addressing the problems of road safety in India mainly due to the problems in the enforcement of these legislations.

Nut graf: As accident-related deaths have severe socio-economic consequences on society, the government must undertake interventions in terms of slowing down traffic near habitations, segregation of slower vehicles, stringent enforcement of seatbelt and helmet use and cracking down on drunken drivers to make the roads of the country safer.

G. Tidbits

1. Modified PSLV places three foreign satellites into orbit

  • The PSLV-C53 of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) placed three Singaporean satellites into their intended orbits in the second dedicated mission for the commercial arm of ISRO, New Space India Limited (NSIL).
  • The mission also served an additional purpose for ISRO by using its fourth stage PSLV-4th stage “PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM)” as a stationary platform in orbit to conduct scientific experiments.
  • ISRO is expected to take over the PS-4 stage and give it the energy to do some cost-effective experiments in orbit that can satisfy the growing demand from startups, and the student and scientific communities.

2. Concern over shortage of leprosy drug in private sector

  • The private sector in India is facing a shortage of Clofazimine which is a key drug for the treatment of leprosy and the alternative drugs are very expensive and are not feasible.
    • Clofazimine is one of the three essential drugs in the Multi-Drug Treatment of Multibacillary Leprosy (MB-MDT) cases, along with Rifampicin and Dapsone.
  • Clofazimine has shown activity against MultiDrug Resistant Tuberculosis and has been recommended by the WHO to treat drug resistance.
  • Studies show that India reports over 1,25,000 new patients of leprosy every year.
  • The shortage of Clofazimine is seriously affecting the Indian Leprosy Treatment scenario as dermatologists and leprologists are facing a serious challenge in treating leprosy patients.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with respect to Anthrax:  (Level – Difficult)
  1. Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis.
  2. It mainly affects animals. Humans can be infected through contact with an animal or by inhaling spores.

Which of the statements given above is/are incorrect?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is not correct, Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis.
  • Statement 2 is correct, Anthrax mainly affects livestock and wild animals and humans can become infected through direct or indirect contact with sick animals or by inhaling spores.
Q2. Which of the following statements is/are correct? (Level – Medium)
  1. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is a four-stage rocket.
  2. The PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) is a platform that will help perform in-orbit experiments.
  3. POEM will derive its power from solar panels mounted around the PS4 tank, and a Li-Ion battery.

Options:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct, The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is a four-stage rocket that alternately utilizes solid & liquid propulsion systems.
  • Statement 2 is correct, The PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) is a platform that will help perform in-orbit experiments using the final stage of ISRO’s PSLV.
  • Statement 3 is correct, POEM will derive its power from solar panels mounted around the PS4 tank, and a Li-Ion battery and it will navigate using four sun sensors, a magnetometer, gyros and NavIC.
Q3. With respect to the National Security Council (NSC), which of the following statements 
is/are correct? (Level – Medium)
  1. The NSC was established in 1998 by the government of AB Vajpayee.
  2. Before the NSC was formed, these functions were carried out by the Cabinet Secretary.
  3. The NSC is headed by the National Security Advisor (NSA).

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct, The NSC was established in 1998 by the government of AB Vajpayee. 
    • Brajesh Mishra served as the country’s first National Security Advisor (NSA).
  • Statement 2 is not correct, Before the NSC was formed, these functions were carried out by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.
  • Statement 3 is not correct, The NSC is headed by the Prime Minister. 
    • NSA is the Secretary of NSC.
Q4. Snake Island recently seen in the news is part of (Level – Easy)
  1. Japan
  2. Vietnam
  3. Ukraine
  4. Sweden
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Snake Island which is also referred to as Serpent Island or Zmiinyi Island, is an island located in the Black Sea and belongs to Ukraine.
  • Snake Island lies close to the mouth of the River Danube, which delineates Romania’s border with Ukraine.
Q5. With reference to “Gucchi” sometimes mentioned in the news, consider the following 
statements: (Level – Difficult)
  1. It is a fungus.
  2. It grows in some Himalayan forest areas.
  3. It is commercially cultivated in the Himalayan foothills of north-eastern India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 1 and 2
  4. 2 and 3
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct, Guchhi mushroom is a species of fungus in the family Morchellaceae of the Ascomycota. 
  • Statement 2 is correct, Guchhi mushroom is grown in some Himalayan forest areas.
  • Statement 3 is not correct, Gucchi mushrooms cannot be cultivated commercially and instead they grow in the wild only. 
    • They grow in conifer forests across temperate regions, and the foothills of Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, and Jammu and Kashmir.

CNA 01 July 2022:- Download PDF Here

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