UPSC/STATE PSC

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The Hindu & Indian Express


News 1: India gets its first nasal COVID­19 vaccine

1) Bharat Biotech’s ChAd36-SARS-CoV-S COVID-19 (Chimpanzee Adenovirus Vectored) recombinant nasal vaccine has been approved by Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for primary immunization against COVID-19 in 18+ age group for restricted use in emergencies

2) The product – iNCOVACC – is stable at 2-8°C for easy storage and distribution.

Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation:

1) India’s national regulatory body for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Bharat Biotech
1) Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) is an Indian multinational biotechnology company headquartered in the city of Hyderabad, India engaged in the drug discovery, drug development, manufacture of vaccines, bio-therapeutics, pharmaceuticals and health care products. It is a private company and not a govt organization.

News 2: Cheetah Reintroduction Plan

1) Cheetah, declared extinct in India in 1952, will find a new home in the Kuno-Palpur National Park (KNP), Madhya Pradesh.

2) African cheetahs are being brought under an intercontinental translocation project between India and Africa (mainly from South Africa and Namibia).

3) Bringing the Cheetah back will make India the only country with five species of big cats: tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard and cheetah.


News 3: National Green Tribunal

1) It is a statutory body set up under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of “green” cases.

2) It draws inspiration from India’s constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.

3) It follows principles of Natural Justice.

4) NGT is not empowered to hear matters pertaining to issues coming under the ambit of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, which is applicable in case of National Parks, Sanctuaries and Tiger Reserves.

5) The NGT has the power to hear all civil cases relating to environmental issues and questions that are linked to the implementation of laws listed in Schedule I of the NGT Act. These include the following:

  1. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;
  2. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977;
  3. The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980;
  4. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;
  5. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986;
  6. The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991;
  7. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

6) The NGT has five places of sittings, New Delhi is the Principal place of sitting and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai are the other four.


News 4: Israel-Palestine Conflict

The Issue: –

1) Britain took control of the area known as Palestine after the ruler of that part of the Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, was defeated in World War One.2) The land was inhabited by a Jewish minority and Arab majority.

3) Tensions between the two peoples grew when the international community gave Britain the task of establishing a “national home” in Palestine for Jewish people.

4) For Jews it was their ancestral home, but Palestinian Arabs also claimed the land and opposed the move.

5) Between the 1920s and 1940s, the number of Jews arriving there grew, with many fleeing from persecution in Europe and seeking a homeland after the Holocaust of World War Two.

6) Violence between Jews and Arabs, and against British rule, also grew.

7) In 1947, the UN voted for Palestine to be split into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem becoming an international city. That plan was accepted by Jewish leaders but rejected by the Arab side and never implemented.

8) That plan was accepted by Jewish leaders but rejected by the Arab side and never implemented.

9) In 1948, unable to solve the problem, British rulers left, and Jewish leaders declared the creation of the state of Israel.

10) Many Palestinians objected, and a war followed. Troops from neighboring Arab countries invaded.

11) Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced out of their homes in what they call Al Nakba, or the “Catastrophe”

12) By the time the fighting ended in a ceasefire the following year, Israel controlled most of the territory.

13) Jordan occupied land which became known as the West Bank, and Egypt occupied Gaza.

14) Jerusalem was divided between Israeli forces in the West, and Jordanian forces in the East.

15) Because there was never a peace agreement – with each side blaming the other – there were more wars and fighting in the following decades.

16) In another war in 1967, Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, as well as most of the Syrian Golan Heights, Gaza and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula.

17) Most Palestinian refugees and their descendants live in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as in neighboring Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

18) Neither they nor their descendants have been allowed by Israel to return to their homes – Israel says this would overwhelm the country and threaten its existence as a Jewish state.

19) Israel still occupies the West Bank, and although it pulled out of Gaza the UN still regards that piece of land as occupied territory.

20) Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. The US is one of only a handful of countries to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.

21) In the past 50 years Israel has built settlements in these areas, where more than 600,000 Jews now live. Settlements are held to be illegal under international law – that is the position of the UN Security Council and the UK government, among others – although Israel rejects this.

22) Tensions are often high between Israel and Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank.

23) Gaza is ruled by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which has fought Israel many times. Israel and Egypt tightly control Gaza’s borders to stop weapons getting to Hamas.

24) Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank say they are suffering because of Israeli actions and restrictions. Israel says it is only acting to protect itself from Palestinian violence. The threatened eviction of some Palestinian families in East Jerusalem has also caused rising anger

What are the main problems?

There are a number of issues which Israel and the Palestinians cannot agree on.

These include:

  • What should happen to Palestinian refugees
  • Whether Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank should stay or be removed
  • Whether the two sides should share Jerusalem
  • And – perhaps most tricky of all – whether a Palestinian state should be created alongside Israel

Peace talks have been taking place on and off for more than 25 years, but so far have not solved the conflict.


News 5: More than half the funds for POSHAN Abhiyaan are unutilized

Background: 4th progress report released by the NITI Aayog states that more than half the funds for POSHAN Abhiyaan unutilized.

Findings:

  • Less than half the funds set aside for the POSHAN Abhiyaan have been utilized by India’s states.
  • States and Union territories (UTs) with poor distribution of mobile phones and growth monitoring devices emerged as those with low fund utilization.
  • Only three states had used more than 50 per cent of their POSHAN Abhiyaan funds.
  • On a scale of 0-100, only Punjab scored less than 50 among the large states. Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Mizoram were the poor performers among the small states while no UT scored less than 50.

Poshan Abhiyaan:

  1. Amis to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  2. Launched in 2018 with specific targets to be achieved by 2022
  3. Reduce Stunting and wasting by 2% a year (total 6% until 2022) among children
  4. Anemia by 3% a year (total 9%) among children, adolescent girls and pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  5. To bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022

News 6: Global Alliance for Industry Decarbonization (GAID)

Background: IRENA – International Renewable Energy Agency, along with major companies have launched GAID with the aim to accelerate net-zero ambitions and decarbonization of the industrial value chains. 1st meeting will be held at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (Nov 2022)

IRENA:

  • An intergovernmental organization mandated to facilitate cooperation, advance knowledge, and promote the adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy.
  •  It is the first international organization to focus exclusively on renewable energy
  • It was founded in 2009 and its statute entered into force on 8 July 2010. The agency is headquartered in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.
  • The first suggestions for an international renewable agency is based on the 1980 Brandt Report

Brandt Report: –

The Brandt Report is the report written by the Independent Commission, first chaired by Willy Brandt in 1980. The Independent Commission for International Developmental Issues was established in 1977 with the aim to review international development issues.

The Brandt line, division of world on rich north and poor south.


News 7: National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)

  • The NCAP launched in 2019 aims to bring a 20%-30% reduction in pollution levels from PM2.5 and PM10 particles by 2024, using 2017 pollution levels as a base.
  • Cities are required to quantify improvement starting 2020-21, which requires a 15% and more reduction in the annual average PM10 concentration and a concurrent increase in “good air” days to at least 200.
  • For monitoring, CPCB only considers levels of PM10, the relatively larger, coarser particles
  • However, PM2.5, the smaller, more dangerous particles, aren’t monitored as robustly in all cities, mostly due to the lack of equipment.

 

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