11 May 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 11th May 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Iran confirms that it is in talks with Saudi Arabia
2. Pakistan government to set new rules to meet FATF requirements
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. SEBI’s sustainability reporting norms mandate ESG overview
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1. 3 naval ships bring in medical supplies
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Decoding inequality in a digital world
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Vaccine skirmishes
HEALTH
1. A national health service in India
F. Prelims Facts
1. 1 lakh tonnes of grain given under PMGKAY
2. India variant is of global concern: WHO
G. Tidbits
1. Taliban, Afghan forces declare Id truce
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

1. 3 naval ships bring in medical supplies

Context:

Operation Samudra Setu II.

Details:

  • Nine ships have been deployed for COVID relief operation ‘Samudra Setu II’ for shipment of Liquid Medical Oxygen and associated medical equipment from friendly foreign countries in the Persian Gulf and South-East Asia.
  • Navy’s landing ship tank INS Airavat arrived from Singapore with eight cryogenic oxygen tanks and other critical COVID medical stores.
  • INS Trikand and INS Kolkata returned to India with oxygen-filled containers from West Asia.
  • Two more warships were en route to India from Kuwait and one ship was at Brunei to embark with medical supplies.

Indian Air Force Initiative:

  • Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft carried out sorties from various parts of the country, airlifting oxygen containers, other medical supplies and equipment.
  • IAF aircraft also carried out international sorties. The equipment has been procured from Singapore, Dubai, Thailand, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Australia, Indonesia and Israel.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Vaccine skirmishes

Background:

For more information on this refer to:

CNA dated May 7 2021: Intellectual property waiver for Covid-19 vaccines

  • The proposal for a temporary waiver has been rebuffed by major EU nations and met with counter-suggestions. Germany has threatened that it would create “severe complications” for the production of vaccines, echoing the view of major pharma corporations.
  • France has been relatively less hostile to considering the proposal and has called for refraining from blocking the export of raw materials for vaccine production.

Concern:

  • Though the proposal for a temporary waiver sounds like a well-intentioned, pro-developing-countries policy stance it must be noted that the IPR waiver will not entirely resolve the vaccine deficit issue.

For more information refer to:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 10th May 2021

Recommendations:

  • The following supplemental measures may be necessary to address the vaccine shortage in some countries like India and other developing nations.
    • The grant of a waiver would have to be accompanied by a “tech transfer” that provides generic pharmaceutical manufacturers with the requisite trained personnel, raw materials and hi-tech equipment and production know-how. The pharmaceutical companies should be persuaded to share their technology willingly, agreeing to joint ventures to increase global production expeditiously.
    • There should be appropriate science-based measures to test and certify the safety, immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the vaccines that would be produced by generic manufacturers.
    • The global supply chains for vaccine production should be examined to avoid major disruptions.
    • The short term measures to address vaccine shortfalls could include developed nations sharing their vaccine stockpiles, particularly in cases where the latter exceed projected domestic need. The pharma companies should be financially incentivized to produce more doses at affordable prices to donate directly to the countries in need.

Category: HEALTH

1. A national health service in India

Background:

Structural issues in the healthcare system of India:

  • The health crisis brought out by the pandemic has exposed the problems of the healthcare system in India.

Low public spending:

  • India has very low public spending on health (barely 1% of GDP).
  • Though India’s public spending on health is set to double in the 2021-22 financial year, it continues to remain grossly inadequate when compared to the levels in other similar developing nations.

High out of pocket expenditure:

  • The share of ‘out of pocket’ (OOP) health expenditure (of total health spending) in India was over 60% in 2018.
    • Medical expenses constitute the major reason for personal debt in India and have pushed many into poverty.

Regional inequality:

  • India’s fragmented, urban-centred, variably functional and grossly underfunded primary health centres and elite-focused healthcare system cater to only a small section of the population.
    • In certain rural areas, the doctor-population ratio is over 1:40,000.

Lack of regulation of private health sector:

  • The private health sector in India is poorly regulated in practice.
    • Some private healthcare providers have objected to public authorities’ orders on widened patient access during the ongoing health crisis.

Details:

  • The article argues for a national health service in India modelled on the British National Health Service.

British National Health Service:

  • The service is funded entirely from general taxation and the general public receive treatment solely according to their clinical needs without any exception.
  • The system includes payment to general practitioners, most of whom remain private providers but are paid by the state for treating NHS patients.
  • All hospital treatment and medicines are free, as are outpatient and follow-up appointments. Only a proportion of patients in England have to pay for prescription items.
  • The NHS is the largest employer in the U.K. Its current budget is about 7.6% of GDP, and it provides highly localised access to care.
  • It has resulted in the provision of top-class universal healthcare, including training and research.
  • It integrates preventive and curative medicine at all levels.

Additional information:

  • According to the Lancet Planetary Health journal, air pollution accounted for 1.7 million deaths in India in 2019. The annual business cost of air pollution is currently estimated at $95 billion, which is about 3% of India’s GDP.

F. Prelims Facts

1. 1 lakh tonnes of grain given under PMGKAY

What’s in News?

Of the 40 lakh tonnes of free food-grains promised under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, one lakh tonnes has been distributed so far.

This topic has been covered in the 24th April 2021 Comprehensive News Analysis.

2. India variant is of global concern: WHO

What’s in News?

The World Health Organization has said that the B.1.617 variant of coronavirus first identified in India is being classified as a variant of global concern.

  • The double mutant strain of SARS-CoV-2 reported in India is scientifically named B.1.617.
  • The double mutant Covid variant is a concern as the Union health ministry said in its statement that “such mutations confer immune escape and increased infectivity” to the coronavirus.
  • Studies have shown reduced efficacy of vaccines against the double mutant strain of SARS-CoV-2.

G. Tidbits

1. Taliban, Afghan forces declare Id truce

What’s in News?

The Taliban and Afghan government declared a three-day ceasefire for the Id-ul-Fitr holiday.

  • The Taliban and the government have declared similar ceasefires in the past to mark Islamic holidays.
  • The decision comes in the backdrop of a sharp spike in violence as the US goes about withdrawing its remaining troops from Afghanistan.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the following statements regarding Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana 
(PMGKAY) is/are correct?
  1. PMGKAY is a part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to help the poor fight the battle against Covid-19.
  2. The scheme is aimed at providing each household covered under the National Food Security Act with an additional 5 kg grains (wheat or rice) for free, in addition to the 5 kg of subsidised food grain already provided through the Public Distribution System (PDS).
  3. The central Govt. and the state Govts will share the burden of expenditure on account of intrastate transportation in the ratio of 90:10.

Select the correct option from below:

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) is a part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to help the poor fight the battle against Covid-19.
  • PMGKAY provides 5 kg of rice or wheat (according to regional dietary preferences) per person.
  • The foodgrains will be allocated free-of-cost at 5 Kg per person per month to the beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) over and above NFSA foodgrains.
  • It is being operated by the Department of Food and Public Distribution under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
  • The Government of India is bearing 100% financial burden.
Q2. Consider the following statements regarding Tanjore paintings:
  1.  They are painted mostly on cloth and vellum.
  2.  They depict a liberal use of golden leaf.
  3.  Lord Krishna and his life is a major theme of these paintings.

Select the correct answer using the options given below:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Tanjore painting is popularly known as ‘palagaipadam’ which means picture on a wooden plank as most of these pictures are etched on solid wood boards.
  • They depict a liberal use of golden leaf.
  • Lord Krishna and his life is a major theme of these paintings.
Q3. Which of the following is part of the ‘Charter of Duties’ of the Indian Coast Guard?
  1. Safety and Protection of Artificial Islands and Offshore Terminals
  2. Protection of Fishermen
  3. Assistance to Fishermen in Distress at Sea
  4. Preservation and Protection of Marine Environment
  5. Prevention and Control of Marine Pollution

Select the correct option from below:

  1. 1, 2 & 3
  2. 1, 2, 3 & 4
  3. 2, 3 & 5
  4. All of the Above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

‘Charter of Duties’ of the Indian Coast Guard include:

  1. Safety and Protection of Artificial Islands and Offshore Terminals
  2. Protection of Fishermen
  3. Assistance to Fishermen in Distress at Sea
  4. Preservation and Protection of Marine Environment
  5. Prevention and Control of Marine Pollution
  6. Assisting the Customs and other authorities in anti-smuggling operations
  7. Enforcement of Maritime Laws in Force
  8. Safety of Life and Property at Sea
  9. Collection of Scientific Data
Q4. Consider the following statements:
  1. Jal Jeevan Mission is being implemented in partnership with States/UTs to provide safe tap water to every rural home by 2034.
  2. Puducherry has become India’s first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ UT by ensuring that every rural home in the Union Territory gets a household tap connection.
  3. For Jal Jeevan Mission there is assured fund available under the 15th Finance Commission tied-grant to RLB/PRIs for water & sanitation.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 3 only
  4. All of the Above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Jal Jeevan Mission is being implemented in partnership with States/UTs to provide safe tap water to every rural home by 2024.
  • JJM is implemented to enable every rural home in the villages to have Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.
  • Andaman and Nicobar became India’s first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ UT by ensuring that every rural home in the Union Territory gets a household tap connection.
  • Puducherry is the fourth state/UT after Goa, Telangana, Adaman and Nicobar Inslands to provide assured tap water supply to every rural home under the Union Government’s Jal Jeevan Mission.
  • For Jal Jeevan Mission there is assured fund available under the 15th Finance Commission tied-grant to Rural Local bodies /Panchayati Raj Institutions for water & sanitation.
Q5. What is the role of ultraviolet(UV) radiation in the water purification systems?(UPSC 2012)
  1. It inactivates/kills the harmful microorganisms in water.
  2. It removes all the undesirable odours from the water.
  3. It quickens the sedimentation of solid particles, removes turbidity and improves the clarity of water.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Ultraviolet water purification is the most effective method for disinfecting bacteria from the water. Ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrate harmful pathogens in the water and destroy illness-causing microorganisms by attacking their genetic core (DNA).
  • It does not remove undesirable odour from the water.
  • It does not play any role in the sedimentation of solid particles and does not remove turbidity.
Q6. Consider the following statements: (UPSC 2018)
  1. In the first Lok Sabha, the single largest party in the opposition was the Swatantra Party.
  2. In the Lok Sabha, a “Leader of the Opposition” was recognised for the first time in 1969.
  3. In the Lok Sabha, if a party does not have a minimum of 75 members, its leader cannot be recognised as the Leader of Opposition.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • In the first Lok Sabha, the single largest party in the opposition was the Communist Party of India.
  • In the Lok Sabha, a “Leader of the Opposition” was recognised for the first time in 1969.
  • The leader of the largest Opposition party having not less than one-tenth seats of the total strength of the House is recognized as the leader of the Opposition in that House. In case of Lok Sabha, it is one tenth of 545 seats.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Technological changes in education and health are worsening inequities. In the light of this statement, evaluate the rising inequality in a digital world. (250 words; 15 marks)[GS-2, Governance]
  2. Is it time for India to have a National Health Service based on the British model? Discuss. (250 words; 15 marks)[GS-2, Governance]

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 11th May 2021:- Download PDF Here

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