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Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. New COVID- 19 symptoms.

2. Bharat Market 

3. Bay of Bengal Boundary Layer Experiment (BoBBLE).

4. Non-Aligned Movement summit.


GS Paper 3:

1. Magnetosphere.


Facts for Prelims:

1. ecovsens

2. Atulya

3. World Press Freedom Day 2020.

4. World Press Freedom Conference 2020.


GS Paper  : 2


Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

New COVID- 19 symptoms

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Overview of conditions and symptoms mentioned.

Context: Alongside common symptoms, a new study has talked about “unexplained” skin manifestations in Covid-19 patients. Researchers have described five clinical patterns, including the so-called ‘covid toe’, that they observed in 19 per cent of the cases examined.


In a new study, researchers were able to describe five major clinical patterns:

  1. Asymmetrical pseudo-chilblain lesions affecting the hands and feet. Over 19 per cent of the cases showed such a manifestation.
  2. Nine per cent of the cases presented with vesicular eruptions on the trunk and limbs.
  3. 19 per cent presented with urticarial lesions, which can be characterised by itchy, swollen patches of different sizes on the skin.
  4. 47 per cent presented with maculopapular rashes, which comprises flat skin lesions and raised bumps.
  5. Six per cent of the cases presented with livedo or necrosis, which is characterised by the discolouration of the skin and may be caused due to disturbance in blood flow and reduced oxygen tension to the skin.

What are ‘covid toe’ and chilblains?

It is a kind of rash being reported as a manifestation in some Covid-19 patients’ toes. The researchers have likened it to pseudo-chilblain lesions.

  • Chilblains are small, itchy, red patches that appear on the toes and fingers after a person has been exposed to the cold.
  • A person with chilblains may see their toes and fingers swell up and become red.
  • The condition occurs due to inflammation in the small blood vessels in the skin, a response to repeated exposure to cold air.
  • Chilblains usually clear up within one-three weeks on their own.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are coronaviruses?
  2. Coronavirus which affect humans?
  3. What is cytokine storm?
  4. What is rapid antibody test?
  5. What are COVID toe and chilblains?
  6. Symptoms of COVID 19.

Mains Link:

Discuss how COVID 19 affects an individual and what are the symptoms.

Sources: Indian Express.


Topics Covered: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential.


What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key features and significance of the platform.

Context: Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) will soon launch a national e-commerce marketplace ‘bharatmarket’ for all retail traders in collaboration with several technology partners.

About BharatMarket:

  • The marketplace will integrate capabilities of various technology companies to provide end-to-end services in the logistics and supply chains from manufacturers to end consumers, including deliveries at home.
  • The e-commerce portal will include a nationwide participation by retailers.
  • This endeavour aims to bring 95 per cent of retail traders onboard the platform, who will be the shareholders and the portal will be run exclusively by the traders.

Sources: AIR.


Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Bay of Bengal Boundary Layer Experiment or BoBBLE

What to study?

For Prelims: Key processes in BoB region, about BoBBLE.

For Mains: Significance of the experiment and how BoB affects monsoon.

Context: A team from Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru and UK based University of East Anglia have created a blueprint for accurate prediction of monsoon, tropical cyclones and other weather-related forecast under the Bay of Bengal Boundary Layer Experiment or BoBBLE.


BoBBLE is a joint India-UK project.

It seeks to examine the impact of ocean processes in the Bay of Bengal (BoB) on the monsoon system.

It is is a project funded by Union Ministry of Earth Sciences and the Natural Environment Research Council of UK.

The Bay of Bengal (BoB) plays a fundamental role in controlling the weather systems that make up the South Asian summer monsoon system.

 Key processes in the southern BoB:

  • The saline Southwest Monsoon Current (SMC), a major control on the salt and SST distribution of the BoB, is shown to be controlled by both local (wind stress curl) and remote (equatorial wave propagation) factors, strongly linked to subseasonal variability over the wider Indian Ocean basin.
  • The high salinity core (HSC) of the SMC is shown to have its origins in the western equatorial Indian Ocean, reaching the BoB via the Somali Current, the Equatorial Undercurrent and the SMC.
  • Seasonal reversals that occur at the Somali Current and SMC junctions act as ‘railroad switches’ diverting water masses to different basins in the northern Indian Ocean.
  • Barrier layer formation and erosion in the southern BoB are found to be largely controlled by differential advection and resulting mixing driven by shear stress.
  • Chlorophyll in the southern BoB is strongly influenced by mixed layer processes and barrier layer strength.

 What are monsoons?

Monsoons are seasonal winds which reverse their direction with the change of season. The monsoon is a double system of seasonal winds. They flow from sea to land during the summer and from land to sea during winter.

  • Monsoons are peculiar to Indian Subcontinent, South East Asia, parts of Central Western Africa etc.
  • Indian Monsoons are Convection cells on a very large scale. They are periodic or secondary winds which seasonal reversal in wind direction.
  • Monsoons are also often associated with conditions like ‘El Nino’ (Spanish for ‘Little Boy’) that occurs every 2 to 7 years and La Nina.


Significance for India:

Monsoon is the lifeline of Indian economy as 2/3rd of it depends on farm income and rain is the only source of irrigation for over 40% of the country’s cropped area. Over 70% of India’s annual rainfall occurs in July-September monsoon season. A good monsoon increases crop productivity, raises farm income and drives the economy while, a weak monsoon inflates food prices and harms the economy.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. Countries in BoB region.
  2. Objectives and members of BoBBLE.
  3. What is southwest monsoon?
  4. Factors affecting monsoon in Indian Ocean region.

Sources: AIR.


Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Non-Aligned Movement summit

What to study?

For Prelims: What is NAM, objectives, composition and meets.

For Mains: Is NAM losing it’s relevance today, what’s the way out?

Context: Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi will participate in a video conference meeting of non-alignment movement (NAM) on COVID crisis.


This is the first time PM Modi is taking part in a NAM meeting since taking 2014 when he first became the Prime Minister. The last time any Indian PM participated at Tehran NAM meet was 2012 with the then PM Manmohan Singh was present.

Both in 2016, 2018 summits of NAM, India was represented at Vice President level. The last NAM Summit happened in 2019 in Azerbaijan, before that it was 2016 in Venezuela.


Azerbaijan is the president of the grouping from 2019-2022 and the meet is being organised under the leadership of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. The title of the summit is “We stand together against COVID-19”.

What is non- aligned movement?

Non-Aligned Movement is an idea that emerged in 1950. NAM is the second-largest platform globally in terms of country membership after the UN. It currently has more than 120 members.

The evolution of NAM:

During 1950s, the world was emerging out of the long, dark period of colonialism.

  1. Newly independent nations dreamed they could make their way in this new world without hewing to either of the big powers, the United States and the Soviet Union, eschewing the icy hostilities of the Cold War and bask in the warmth of Third World (as it was then known) cooperation.
  2. The co-founders were India’s Jawaharlal Nehru, Indonesia’s Sukarno, Egypt’s Gemal Abdel Nasser, Yugoslavia’s Josep Broz Tito, and Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah were all figures of international consequence, and their collective charisma attracted lesser lights from around the world.
  3. The Asian-African Conference of 1955 held in Bandung was the catalyst for the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement.
  4. The actual formation took place in Belgrade, where the Non-Aligned Movement was formally established by the leaders of 25 developing countries in 1961.

Why is it losing relevance today? – Criticisms:

  • NAM today has grown into a forum where developing nations could blame all their problems on the big powers.
  • It has become a platform for some of the world’s most despicable leaders to preen and posture.
  • NAM’s reason to exist ended in 1989, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War. The world was left with a single superpower, the US, but quickly became multipolar, with China and India emerging as strong magnetic forces in their own right.

Way ahead:

There are now new kinds of alignments, more likely to be defined by economics and geography than by ideology. To be aligned is now a virtue, a sign of good leadership. Countries, especially small ones, can and should aim for multiple alignments of their interests. There is now no country in the world that can claim to be non-aligned.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. Organisations to which India is not a member.
  2. Organisations in which India has an observer status.
  3. Members of NAM.
  4. Founders of NAM.
  5. India’s participation in NAM.

Mains Link:

Discuss the objectives and significance of Non Aligned Movement.

Sources: pib.


GS Paper  : 3


Topics Covered: Awareness in space.


What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: What is Magnetosphere? How it works and affects earth? Need for study on it?

Context: Scientists at the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) have developed a generalized one-dimensional fluid simulation code capable of studying a wide spectrum of coherent electric field structures in near-earth plasma environment or earth’s magnetosphere which can be useful in planning of future space missions.

The study will help to plan the future space missions. The study will also lead to control fusion experiments to fulfill ever-expanding energy demands of humanity.

About Magnetosphere:

It is the region around a planet dominated by the planet’s magnetic field.

Other planets in our solar system have magnetospheres, but Earth has the strongest one of all the rocky planets.

Significance: The magnetosphere shields our home planet from solar and cosmic particle radiation, as well as erosion of the atmosphere by the solar wind – the constant flow of charged particles streaming off the sun.

How it is generated?

Earth’s magnetosphere is part of a dynamic, interconnected system that responds to solar, planetary, and interstellar conditions.

It is generated by the convective motion of charged, molten iron, far below the surface in Earth’s outer core.

  1. Constant bombardment by the solar wind compresses the sun-facing side of our magnetic field.
  2. The sun-facing side, or dayside, extends a distance of about six to 10 times the radius of the Earth.
  3. The side of the magnetosphere facing away from the sun – the nightside – stretches out into an immense magnetotail, which fluctuates in length and can measure hundreds of Earth radii, far past the moon’s orbit at 60 Earth radii.

Why study magnetosphere?

  1. To better understand its role in our space environment. It will unravel the fundamental physics of space, which is dominated by complex electromagnetic interactions unlike what we experience day-to-day on Earth. By studying this space environment close to home, we can better understand the nature of space throughout the universe.
  2. Additionally, space weather within the magnetosphere – where many of our spacecraft reside – can sometimes have adverse effects on space technology as well as communications systems. Better understanding of the science of the magnetosphere helps improve our space weather models.


Key terms:

  • The solar wind drags out the night-side magnetosphere to possibly 1000 times Earth’s radius; its exact length is not known. This extension of the magnetosphere is known as the Magnetotail.
  • The outer boundary of Earth’s confined geomagnetic field is called the Magnetopause.

Sources: the Hindu.


Facts for Prelims

World Press Freedom Day 2020:

World Press Freedom Day popularly known as World Press Day is one of the calendar events planned, organised and promoted by the United Nations, is observed annually on May 3.

The day is celebrated to raise awareness regarding the importance of freedom of the press. The day is reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics.

The theme of World Press Freedom Day 2020, “Journalism without Fear or Favour” and the sub-themes for this year are:

  1. Safety of Women and Men Journalists and Media Workers.
  2. Independent and Professional Journalism free from Political and Commercial Influence.
  3. Gender Equality in All Aspect of the Media.

The day May 3 also marks the anniversary of Windhoek Declaration. The Declaration is a statement of press freedom principles put together by African newspaper journalists in 1991. It was a landmark document which set the stage for the development of the African media.

World Press Freedom Conference 2020:

Since 1993, the Global Conference is organized annually.

  • The conference provides an opportunity to journalists, civil society representatives, national authorities, academics and the broader public to discuss emerging challenges to press freedom and journalists’ safety and to work together on identifying solutions.
  • The Netherlands is the host for 2020. Due to Covid-19 a global pandemic the conference is now scheduled for October 18 to 20 at the same venue.
  • The conference will be a joint celebration of World Press Freedom Day (May 3) and the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (November 2).


  • It is a cost-effective solution to disintegrate corona virus.
  • This microwave steriliser can be operated in portable or fixed installations and helps in disintegrating the virus by differential heating in the range of 56 to 60 Celsius temperatures.
  • Developed by Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT), Pune.


  • It is a biosensor that can detect the novel coronavirus in saliva samples.
  • It has been developed by researchers from the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), Hyderabad.
  • The device gives results within 30 seconds using just 20 microlitres of the sample.
  • How it works? The device consists of a carbon electrode and the coronavirus antibody. The antibody is capable of binding with the spike protein found on the outer layer of the virus. An electrical signal is generated when the antigen and antibody binds.


Insights Current Affairs Analysis (ICAN) by IAS Topper