Print Friendly, PDF & Email

INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 12 May 2020

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. Mission Sagar.

2. India- China Border dispute.

3. India- Nepal border dispute.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. National Technology Day.

2. What is ultraviolet germicidal radiation (UVGI)?

3. Police get a guide to detect fake news.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Spirulina groundnut Chikki.

2. COVID Kavach Elisa.

3. Defence Research Ultraviolet Sanitiser (DRUVS).

4. CSIR approves project to develop ‘hmAbs’ that can neutralize SARS-CoV-2 in patients.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Mission Sagar

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Objectives and significance of the mission.

Context: India has launched Mission Sagar to assist island nations in the Eastern Indian Ocean.

About Mission Sagar:

Mission Sagar has been launched as part of the government’s outreach initiative towards five Island nations in the Indian Ocean amidst the ongoing COVID-19.

Under the mission, Indian Naval Ship Kesari has departed for Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, to provide food Items, COVID-related medicines including HCQ tablets and special Ayurvedic medicines with medical assistance teams.

Also, as part of the mission, INS Kesari would enter the Port of Male in the Republic of Maldives, to provide them 600 tons of food provisions.

Significance of the mission:

This deployment as ‘Mission Sagar’ is in line with India’s role as the first responder in the region and builds on the excellent relations existing between these countries to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant difficulties.

The deployment is in consonance with the Prime Ministers’ vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region ‘SAGAR’ promulgated in March 2015.

  • SAGAR highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with her neighbouring countries and further strengthens the existing bond.

InstaThink:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Operation Samudra Setu?
  2. Similar Such rescue missions conducted by India in the wake of pandemic.
  3. India’s neighbours.
  4. India’s coastline and countries in the Indian Ocean region.

Mains Link:

Discuss how India is helping its neighbours under Mission Sagar in the wake of COVID 19 induced pandemic.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

India- China Border dispute

What to study?

For Prelims: Disputed areas between India and China, genesis and arrangements in place to address administration of such areas.

For Mains: Implications of these disputes, ways to resolve them.

Context: Rekindling tensions over boundary claims, Indian and Chinese troops have clashed at two points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) recently, leaving personnel injured on both sides.

What’s the issue?

The incidents took place in the Naku La sector and in a contested area near Pangong Tso, a lake in Ladakh.

But the Army played down the two incidents as “temporary and short-duration face-offs” that were resolved by “local commanders as per mutually-accepted protocols” through dialogue and flag meetings. These kinds of incidents do occur as boundaries are not resolved.

Where is Naku La?

Naku La sector is a pass at a height of more than 5,000 metres above Mean Sea Level (MSL) in the state of Sikkim.

It is located ahead of Muguthang or Cho Lhamu (source of River Teesta).

The other passes located in the state of Sikkim are Nathu La Pass and Jelep La Pass.

Pangong Tso lake:

It is a 135-km long lake, located in the Himalayas at the height of approximately 4,350 m, stretches out from India to China.

One-third of water body, its 45 km stretch, is in Indian control while the rest of the 90 km is under Chinese control.

It is formed from Tethys geosyncline.

It is a salt water lake.

Strategic significance: By itself, the lake does not have major tactical significance. But it lies in the path of the Chushul approach, one of the main approaches that China can use for an offensive into Indian-held territory.

india_china_border

India- China Border:

India and China share a 3,488 km long boundary. Unfortunately, the entire boundary is disputed. The line, which delineates the boundary between the two countries, is popularly called the McMahon line, after its author Sir Henry McMahon.

In 1913, the British-India government had called a tripartite conference, in which the boundary between India and Tibet was formalized after a discussion between the Indian and the Tibetans. A Convention was adopted, which resulted in the delimitation of the Indo-Tibetan boundary. This boundary is, however, disputed by China which terms it as illegal.

In 1957, China occupied Aksai Chin and built a road through it. This episode was followed by intermittent clashes along the border, which finally culminated in the border war of 1962. The boundary, which came into existence after the war, came to be known as Line of Actual Control (LAC). It is a military held line.

Attempts to resolve the issue:

The rapprochement between the two countries in 1976 enabled India and China to initiate High Level border talks in 1981 to find a solution to the vexed problem. After eight rounds, the talks broke down in 1987.

  1. In 1988, following Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to China, the Joint Working Group (JWG) was set up to look into the border problem.
  2. In 1993, the Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was signed and the India-China Expert Group of Diplomatic and Military Officers was set up to assist the JWG.
  3. In 1996, the Agreement on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in the Military Field along the LAC was signed.
  4. In 2003, two special representatives (one each from India and China) were appointed to find a political solution to the border dispute.
  5. Till 2009, these two special representatives had held 17 rounds of talks, but it seems they have not made much headway.

Recently, NSA Ajit Doval was appointed as Special Envoy for talks.

india_china_border_2

Insta Link:

Prelims Link:

What is LoC and how is it established, geographical extent and significance?

What is LAC?

Where is Nathu la?

Where is Pangong Tso?

Who administers Akashi Chin?

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

India- Nepal border dispute

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview of India- Nepal border, disputed regions.

For Mains: Origins of these disputes, efforts to address them and need of the hour.

Context: Inauguration of the new link road from India to China to shorten the travel time for pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar.

Key facts:

  • The link road starts from Dharchula in Uttarakhand and runs 80 km to the Lipulekh pass.
  • It has been built by the Border Roads Organisation.

What’s the issue now?

Nepal has claimed that the ‘Link Road’ connecting to Lipulekh passes through Nepali territory.

Nepal claims that India’s move marks a breach of the agreement reached between the Indian Prime Minister and Nepal PM in 2014 which sought to work out the outstanding boundary issues on Kalapani (where Lipulekh lies) and Susta.

India’s response:

The Ministry of External Affairs of India has clarified that the link road passing through Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district lies completely within the territory of India.

  • India has also clarified that the new link road follows the pre-existing route used by the pilgrims of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
  • India has stated that the boundary delineation exercise with Nepal is ongoing, and that India is committed to resolving outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue and in the spirit of our close and friendly bilateral relations with Nepal.

Where is the disputed territory located?

Kalapani is located at an altitude of 3600m on the Kailash Manasarovar route.

  • It borders Uttarakhand in India and Sudurpashchim Pradesh in Nepal.
  • Since the Indo-China war of 1962, Kalapani is controlled by India’s Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

india_nepal

Genesis of the dispute:

Under the treaty of Sugauli signed between Nepal and the British East India Company in 1816, the Kali River was located as Nepal’s western boundary with India.

  • It, however, made no mention of a ridgeline and subsequent maps of the areas drawn by British surveyors showed the source of the Kali river at different places.
  • This discrepancy has led to the boundary disputes between India and Nepal, with each country producing maps including the territory in their own area to support their claims. The exact size of the Kalapani territory also varies in different sources.

Sources: pib.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

National Technology Day

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Significance of the day, events that took place and implications.

Context: Since 1999, May 11 is celebrated as National Technology Day to mark India’s technological advancements.

This year, on behalf of the Ministry of Science & Technology, Technology Development Board (TBD) has organised a conference to celebrate the day. The theme of the conference is ‘Rebooting the Economy through Science, Technology and Research Translations titled RESTART’.

Significance of the day:

On May 11, 1998, India detonated three nuclear bombs in the Indian Army’s Pokhran Test Range.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam lead the Indian team of scientists to successfully test-fire the Shakti-1 nuclear missile at Rajasthan’s Pokhran test range.

Two days later, the country successfully tested two more nuclear weapons as a part of the same Pokhran-II/Operation Shakti initiative. After these tests Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared India a nuclear state, making it the sixth country to join the ‘nuclear club’ of nations.

Hansa 3, India’s first indigenous aircraft was first tested on the same day in 1998 in Bangalore.

Successful test firing of Trishul, a short range missile made in India, was also done on the same day.

Note:

India is currently among eight countries in the world that have a publicly known nuclear weapons programme.

In 1974, India conducted its first nuclear test, codenamed “Smiling Buddha”, at Pokhran in Rajasthan.

InstaThink:

Prelims Link:

  1. Nuclear states around the world.
  2. What is Trishul?
  3. What is Operation Buddha?
  4. Significance of National Technology Day.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

What is ultraviolet germicidal radiation (UVGI)?

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: UV rays- significance in detecting Coronavirus, challenges.

Context: Scientists are studying the use of ultraviolet germicidal radiation (UVGI) to detect Coronavirus in schools, restaurants and other public places.

Through this method, ultraviolet (UV) lights would be able to disinfect contaminated public spaces to stop the transmission of the virus.

What is UV light?

UV light from the sun has shorter wavelengths than visible light and, therefore, is not visible to the naked eye.

The full spectrum of UV radiation is sourced from the sun and can be subdivided into UV-A, UV-B and UV-C rays.

In this spectrum, UV-C rays are the most harmful and are completely absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere.

 How it affects human body?

  • While both UV-A and UV-B rays are harmful, exposure to UV-B rays can cause DNA and cellular damage in living organisms.
  • Increased exposure to it can cause cells to become carcinogenic, thereby increasing the risk of getting cancer.

So, how does UVGI work?

UVGI uses the “destructive properties” of UV light to target pathogens.

  • UVGI replicates UV wavelengths that disinfects contaminated spaces, air and water.
  • UVGI lamps can also be installed in the corners of a room and alternatively, can be installed in air ducts of ventilation systems or portable or fixed air cleaners.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

Police get a guide to detect fake news

What to study?

For Prelims: Key guidelines in the manual.

For Mains: significance and the need for this manual.

Context: The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), a think-tank under the Union Home Ministry has published guidelines to aid law enforcement agencies to identify fake news and videos.

Why these guidelines were necessary?

Digital news has led to increased incidence of fake news or yellow journalism.

Fake news is published with the intent to damage an agency, entity or a person and gain financially or politically and it often uses sensationalist, dishonest or outright fabricated headlines to increase readership.

In the wake of the pandemic, fake news and videos have spread panic, increased hatred and communal violence. Miscreants have used fake URLs to mislead people who wanted to donate to PM-CARES fund.

Overview of the guidelines:

Spotting fake news:

  1. The guideline mentions several indicative signs that officials must look for to identify possible fake news.
  2. The officers should read beyond “outrageous” headlines designed to attract clicks and read the whole article.
  3. A possible case of fake news could be when headlines, visuals or captions do not support the content or when genuine contents or sources are impersonated with false or made-up sources.
  4. A search on the author of the article would also enable insights into the veracity of the news.
  5. The investigating officer must stay alert to clues such as language since such websites and links usually have spelling mistakes.

Cross-checking:

  1. The officials should refer to trusted news sources to verify whether the story is being reported elsewhere.
  2. When a story is reported in multiple places, it is more likely to be true.
  3. The manual also gives an indicative list of websites that could be accessed for fact-checking.
  4. The guidelines ask police and other investigating agencies to use open domain tools for collecting more information on fake videos.
  5. BPRD has cautioned that the Investigating officer may consider the case sensitivity before resorting to these tools since there is the risk of data leakage that may influence or mislead an investigation.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims


Spirulina groundnut Chikki:

Developed by Mysuru-based Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI).

It can provide micro-nutrients and boost immunity of people during this time of pandemic.

Spirulina is a biomass of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that can be consumed by humans and animals.

COVID Kavach Elisa:

  • Developed by National Institute of Virology, Pune.
  • It is India’s first indigenous antibody-based ELISA test kit for diagnosis of novel Corona Virus.
  • It can test around 90 samples in approximately two and half hours. The technology has been transferred to pharmaceutical manufacturing companies for mass-scale production.

Defence Research Ultraviolet Sanitiser (DRUVS):

Developed by Hyderabad based Research Centre Imarat (RCI), a DRDO lab.

It is an automated contactless UVC sanitisation cabinet.

It has been designed to sanitise mobile phones, iPads, laptops, currency notes, cheque leafs, challans, passbooks, paper, envelopes, etc.

CSIR approves project to develop ‘hmAbs’ that can neutralize SARS-CoV-2 in patients:

Approved by CSIR through its New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) programme.

  • The project aims to generate hmAbs to SARS-CoV-2 from convalescent phase of COVID-19 patients and select high affinity and neutralizing antibodies.
  • The project also aims to anticipate future adaptation of the virus and generate hmAbs clones that can neutralize the mutated virus so that could be readily used for combating future SARS-CoV infections.
  • The project will be implemented by National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), IIT-Indore and PredOmix Technologies Pvt. Ltd. with Bharat Biotech International Ltd. (BBIL) as the commercialization partner.

SwasthVayu:

National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bangalore has developed BiPAP ventilator named SwasthVayu.

It is a non-invasive breathing support device, for the use of non-critical non-ICU cases of Covid-19.

BiPAP stands for Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure. It is a type of positive pressure ventilator.

 


Insights Current Affairs Analysis (ICAN) by IAS Topper