Daily Analysis

An in-depth analysis of the best and most relevant editorials of the day from the best dailies known for civil services preparation.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS, 20th January 2020


PNEUMOSIL

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Image result for PNEUMOSIL

Context 

Pneumococcal vaccine developed by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India has been pre-qualified by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

Background 

  • The pneumococcal vaccine PNEUMOSIL is a conjugate vaccine to help produce stronger immune response to a weak antigen.
  • In 2017, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine was included in the under India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP). 
  • It has been introduced in a phased manner starting with Himachal Pradesh, parts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. 

Highlights 

  • To be “pre-qualified” means that the vaccine can be sold internationally to several countries in Africa and South America. 
  • According to a November 2019 UNICEF report, pneumonia caused 1,27,000 deaths in India in 2018, the second highest number of child mortality under the age of five in the world. 
  • In India, pneumonia and diarrhoea cause the most deaths in children under five years. 

Source: The Hindu.


DROSOPHILA

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

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Context 

Pune hosted the fifth edition of the Asia Pacific Drosophila Research Conference (APDRC5), which was organised in the country for the first time by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER).

About Drosophila

  • Drosophila is a genus of flies, belonging to the family Drosophilidae, whose members are often called "small fruit flies" or pomace flies, vinegar flies, or wine flies.
  • One species of Drosophila in particular, D. melanogaster, has been heavily used in research in genetics and is a common model organism in developmental biology.
  • Its genome is entirely sequenced and there is enormous information available about its biochemistry, physiology and behaviour. 

About Asia Pacific Drosophila Research Conference

  • This biennial conference aims to promote the interaction of Drosophila researchers in the Asia-Pacific region with their peers in the rest of the world.
  • It will bring together scientists from all over the world who use the fruit fly, Drosophila, as a model organism to address basic and applied questions.
  • The last four editions of this conference took place in Taipei, Seoul, Beijing and Osaka. 

Source: The Hindu.


ASER 2019 'EARLY YEARS'

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

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Context 

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2019 ‘Early Years’ was released by NGO Pratham. At least 25% of school children in the four-eight age group do not have age-appropriate cognitive and numeracy skills. 

Background 

  • Just 37.4% of children below six are able to recognize at least letters and only 25.6% can do additions, according to the report. 
  • Similarly, only 34.8% of children in Class II can read a text meant for the level below. And at Class III, only 50.8% can read texts meant for their juniors two levels below.

Highlights 

  • Permitting underage children into primary grades puts them at a learning disadvantage which is difficult to overcome. 
  • More than a quarter of Class 1 students in government schools are only 4 or 5 years old, younger than the recommended age.
  • The government-run preschool system is losing out to private schools in terms of enrolment.
  • A better education level among mothers can lead to better outcomes among children in preschools and early schools. 
  • Numeracy skills among Class III children of illiterate mothers are much lower than those whose mothers had studied till Class XI or above.
  • More girls are enrolled in government institutions and more boys in private institutions. 

About ASER 

  • Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) is a nation-wide household survey that provides data on children's schooling and learning for a representative sample of children across rural India.
  • Children in the age group 3 to 16 are surveyed to find out their enrollment status in pre-school or school. 
  • Children in the age group 5 to 16 are assessed one-on-one to understand their basic reading and arithmetic abilities.
  • Since 2016, ASER switched to an alternate-year cycle, where the 'basic' ASER described above is conducted every other year (2016, 2018, and next in 2020).
  • In alternate years, ASER focuses on a different aspect of children's schooling and learning.
  • In 2019, ASER aims to shine the spotlight on the early years, reporting on the schooling status for young children in the age group 4 to 8 across 26 districts in the country. 
  • The early years, defined globally as age 0-8, is the most important stage of development of the human brain.

Source:LiveMint.


TrueNat

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Context 

World Health Organisation (WHO) Global TB Programme has included an Indian Molecular assay TrueNat as initial test for TB and MDR-TB in view of its high diagnostic accuracy, in the rapid communication document. 

About the test 

  • The TrueNat TB test is a new molecular test that can diagnosis TB in one hour as well as testing for resistance to the drug rifampicin.
  • The TrueNat test has been developed by the Indian firm MolBio Diagnostics Pvt Ltd Goa. 
  • It’s development has been funded by Bigtec Labs, India.
  • The test works by the rapid detection of TB bacteria using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. 
  • Any resistance to rifampicin (RR) is detected by doing a second RTPCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction).
  • The Genexpert machine is designed for larger volumes and needs a reliable electricity supply. 
  • The TrueNat machine is more of a point of care machine, which is not fully automated. 
  • It is designed for situations where there may not be electricity and where the need is for one test to be done at a time. 

Source: The Hindu.


MOPA AIRPORT PROJECT

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

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Context 

  • The Supreme Court cleared the path for construction of an international airport at Mopa in Goa by lifting the suspension on Environmental Clearance (EC) granted to the project.
  • Mopa Airport is an under-construction greenfield airport being built at Mopa in North Goa district, Goa. 

About the airport 

  • GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL), a special purpose vehicle (SPV), will develop the airport.
  • PM Modi laid the foundation stone of the project in 2016. 
  • In March 2019, the Supreme Court suspended the Environmental Clearance (EC) granted for the project.
  • Goa's current airport at Dabolim is a civil enclave operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at a military airfield owned by the Indian Navy. 
  • Civilian and military operations share a common runway and result in severe airside congestion.  

Source: AIR. 


Z MORH TUNNEL

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Image result for Z MORH TUNNEL

Context 

A Concession Agreement for completing the 6.5-kilometre long Z-Morh tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir was signed between NHIDCL and APCO Amarnathji Tunnelway. 

Highlights

  • Z-Morh Tunnel will provide all-weather road connectivity to Sonmarg tourist spot in Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • It mostly remains closed during the winters due to heavy snowfall in Gagenger area.
  • Under the agreement, the two-lane bi-directional tunnel with parallel escape tunnel will be completed in 3.5 years at a cost of 2379 Crore rupees.
  • The project includes construction, operation and maintenance of the tunnel with approaches on NH-1 at Srinagar-Sonmarg-Gumri Road from 61 kilometres to 89.30 kilometres on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer Annuity basis. 

Source: AIR. 


APNA UREA – SONA UGLE

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

Image result for APNA UREA – SONA UGLE

Context

The Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers launched the "APNA UREA - SonaUgle" brand of Hindustan Urvarak & Rasayan Limited (HURL). 

Highlights 

  • Hindustan Urvarak & Rasayan Limited (HURL) is Joint Venture Company promoted by the three Maharatna Companies i.e. Coal India Limited (CIL), NTPC Limited (NTPC) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) as the lead promoters with FCIL and HFCL as other two partners.
  • It was established in 2016.
  • In 2016, Government of India had approved the revival of three sick Urea plants located at Gorakhpur, Sindri and Barauni, which have been undertaken by HURL. 

Source: AIR. 


SURYA PRAKASH COMMITTEE

Focus: GS3.

Topic:Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

Context

 

The merger of Rajya Sabha Television (RSTV) and Lok Sabha Television (LSTV) is in the final stages, with a six-member committee expected to submit a report by this month-end to Upper House Chairman and Lok Sabha Speaker. The final decision will be taken by them. 

About the committee 

  • The committee, constituted in November 2019, is headed by Prasar Bharati Chairman Surya Prakash.
  • Its mandate is “to work out the modalities and prepare the guidelines for pooling resources, manpower and technology for the merger of the two channels”.
  • Before the LSTV was launched in 2006, private television channels aired select Parliament proceedings. 
  • In 2011, RSTV was launched. 
  • Parliament is in session for close to 100 days in a year and thus for the remaining period there is really no need for two channels. 

Source: The Hindu. 


YADA YADA VIRUS

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


Context 

Researchers who recently reported the discovery of a new virus conceded that the discovery wasn’t a big deal, with new viruses being announced every day. Therefore, the researchers have named their discovery “Yada Yada virus” (YYV).

About the virus 

  • Yada Yada Virus (YYV) is an alphavirus, a group of viruses that the researchers described as small, single-stranded positive-sense RNA viruses (that) include species important to human and animal health and which are transmitted primarily by mosquitoes and (are) pathogenic in their vertebrate hosts.
  • Unlike some other alphaviruses, Yada Yada does not pose a threat to human beings.
  • The virus was detected in mosquitoes trapped in three locations in Victoria, Australia.  

Highlights 

  • YYV takes its name from ‘The Yada Yada’, an episode of the television sitcom Seinfeld, which aired on the American network NBC on April 24, 1997.
  • Merriam-Webster says yada yada is “boring or empty talk”, a way to recount words that are “too dull or predictable to be worth repeating”. 
  • The Cambridge dictionary says yada yada is only “blah blah blah”.  

Source: Indian Express.


NEW MONSOON DATES

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.


Context 

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has revised the normal onset and withdrawal dates for the monsoon in some parts of the country from this year. The four-month southwest monsoon season, which brings as much as 70 % of the country’s annual rainfall, officially begins on June 1, with the onset over Kerala, and ends on September 30. 

About the season 

  • Although the June 1 date for the onset of the monsoon on the Kerala coast is unlikely to be changed, the dates for onset in many other parts of the country are expected to be revised. 
  • Effectively, the monsoon is now expected to have later arrival and withdrawal dates in most parts of the country.
  • The main reason for the revision in the normal dates is the changes in precipitation patterns that have been taking place over the last many years. 
  • In the last 13 years, for example, only once has the onset over the Kerala coast happened on June 1.
  • The revisions will help the IMD track the monsoon better, and improve its “impact-based” forecasts. 
  • New dates will likely nudge farmers in some parts of the country to make slight adjustments in the time of sowing their crops.  

Source: Indian Express.

Map of the Day–Monsoon India

Image result for monsoon map india

Quote for the Day

“Better to wear out than to rust out.”

Mains Answer Writing

  1. Tribal composition of the NE states is very fragile. Comment on the need for preservation of their culture vis-a-vis the development of the region. (250 Words).
  2. What is the National Water Grid? Examine its importance in the wake of unpredictable monsoon in India. (250 Words).
  3. Natural disasters have the potential to undo the development in the vulnerable regions of the country. Examine the need for building disaster-resilient infrastructure in the country. (250 Words).

 

Test your Knowledge

1.With reference to the PNEUMOSIL, consider the following statements:
  1. It is a conjugate vaccine to help produce stronger immune response to a strong antigen.
  2.  In 2017, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine was included in the under India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).
  3. In India, pneumonia and diarrhoea cause the most deaths in children under five years.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a.1 and 2 only
b.2 and 3 only
c.3 only
d.1, 2 and 3
2.With reference to the Drosophila, consider the following statements:
  1. It is a genus of flies, belonging to the family Drosophilidae, whose members are often called "small fruit flies" or pomace flies, vinegar flies, or wine flies.
  2. Asia Pacific Drosophila Research Conference (APDRC) is a biennial conference aims to promote the interaction of Drosophila researchers in the Asia-Pacific region with their peers in the rest of the world.
  3. Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) is in Kolkata.

Which of the following statement/s is/are correct?

a.1 and 2 only
b.2 only
c.3 only
d.1, 2 and 3

  

3.With reference to the Air accidents, consider the following statements:
  1. In India, the air accident investigation is governed by the Aircraft (Investigation of Accidents and Incidents) Rules, 2012.
  2. Black boxes are black coloured multi-channel recording solid-state devices.
  3. Tiny chips record hundreds of streams of data on parameters that include aircraft performance, the state of other systems and other equipment.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a.1 and 2 only
b.3 only
c.1 and 3 only
d.1, 2 and 3

 

4.Mopa Airport Project is an under-construction greenfield airport being built in:

a.Kerala
b.Karnataka
c.Maharashtra
d.Goa

5.Z-Morh Tunnel, recently seen in news, is in:

a.Nagaland
b.Sikkim
c.Jammu and Kashmir
d.Arunachal Pradesh

Answers

  1. B 2.A 3.C 4.D 5.C