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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 12 May 2021

InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically. 

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

 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. China’s population growth slows to lowest rate in decades.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. The role of DETER committees formed in Bengaluru.

2. WHO classifies India variant as being of global concern.

3. What’s happening in Jerusalem?

 

GS Papee 3:

1. Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. National Technology Day.


GS Paper  :  1


 

Topics Covered: Population and associated issues.

China’s population growth slows to lowest rate in decades:


Context:

China’s seventh census, once-in-a-decade population census, was conducted recently.

Key findings:

  • 12 million babies were born last year, the lowest number since 1961, a year when China was in the midst of a four-year famine unleashed by Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward policy in 1958 that devastated the farm sector and claimed millions of lives.
  • China’s population was 1.41 billion in 2020, increasing by 72 million since the last census in 2010, recording a 5.38% growth in this period. The average annual growth was 0.53%.
  • The census recorded a slowing population growth rate that will likely see China’s population peak — and be overtaken by India’s — by as early as 2025.

Concerns for China:

  • The slowing growth rate is a consequence of China’s stringent family planning rules over decades — known as the “one-child policy”.
  • It has evoked concerns of a rapidly ageing society and the impact on China’s labour force, and fears that China will, as some experts have said, “get old before it gets rich”.
  • The impact on the labour force and healthcare is a particular concern.

Efforts towards a change:

China loosened family planning rules and allowed couples to have two children in 2016, but that has failed to mark a boom amid changing lifestyles and declining preferences, particularly in urban areas, for larger families.

Why was the One Child Policy adopted by China?

It was adopted out of the Malthusian fears that unchecked population growth would lead to economic and environmental catastrophe. It was also a response to concerns about food shortages.

What is Malthusian theory all about?

Thomas Robert Malthus was the first economist to propose a systematic theory of population. He argued that if left unchecked, a population will outgrow its resources, leading to a host of problems.

What’s good about One Child Policy?

  1. Helps to ease the overpopulation problems.
  2. It is seen as practical by some families.
  3. Lowers the poverty rate.

Why it isn’t a good idea?

  1. The enforcement is unequal.
  2. It is a human rights violation.
  3. Shrinking work population.
  4. Gender imbalance due to the strong cultural preference of boys for labor and work.
  5. Increase in abortions and female infanticide.
  6. Extra babies end up being illegal and never becoming a citizen, due to fines.
  7. Intrudes on people’s personal values and opinions.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Malthusian theory on population.
  2. China’s one child policy.
  3. States in India having policies related to restrictions on number of children.

 Mains Link:

Examine China’s one child policy.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

The role of DETER committees formed in Bengaluru:


Context:

To manage Covid pandemic at the local level, the Karnataka state government has formed Decentralized Triage and Emergency Response (DETER) Committees at ward-levels in Bengaluru.

About DETER committees:

  • The objective is to strengthen government response and management of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • These teams will emphasise on the distribution of localised action in a decentralised system of disaster response.
  • They will be run in synergy with officials, ward committee members, government officers, representatives of the peoples, volunteers from resident welfare associations, civil society organisations, and disaster-support initiatives.

Roles and functions:

  1. They will act as the first-point contact for those infected with Covid-19.
  2. The Karnataka government has formulated a ‘3E Strategy’ for WDCs to micromanage Covid-19 in a comprehensive manner. The 3E Strategy is explained as follows: Efficient admission to hospitals facilitated by community triage services; Efficient discharge from hospitals enabling efficient bed-turnover; Empowering hospitals, doctors, and their management with supportive supervision.

Significance:

This is expected to improve supervision for better ward-level Covid governance.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the committees.
  2. Their roles and responsibilities.

Mains Link:

Discuss how civil society groups can help manage the spread of covid pandemic.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

WHO classifies India variant as being of global concern:


Context:

The World Health Organization has classified B.1.617, a coronavirus variant first identified in India as a “global variant of concern”.

  • This variant was classified as a variant under investigation (VUI) by authorities in the UK earlier in May.
  • It has already spread to more than 17 countries.

Concerns for India:

Last week, the Indian government said that this variant also called the “double mutant variant” could be linked to a surge in the cases of coronavirus seen in some states.

How do variants of a virus emerge and why?

  • Variants of a virus have one or more mutations that differentiate it from the other variants that are in circulation.
  • Essentially, the goal of the virus is to reach a stage where it can cohabitate with humans because it needs a host to survive.
  • Errors in the viral RNA are called mutations, and viruses with these mutations are called variants. Variants could differ by a single or many mutations.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus:

It is evolving fast because of the scale at which it has infected people around the world. High levels of circulation mean it is easier for the virus to change as it is able to replicate faster.

  • The B.1.617 variant of the virus has two mutations referred to as E484Q and L452R. Both are separately found in many other coronavirus variants, but they have been reported together for the first time in India.

How does the WHO define a variant of concern?

A variant of interest (VOI) becomes a variant of concern (VOC) in two ways:

  1. First, if, through a comparative assessment, it has been demonstrated to be associated with increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology, increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation or a decrease in effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics.
  2. Alternatively, a variant may be classified as a VOC by the WHO in consultation with the WHO SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution Working Group.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

What’s happening in Jerusalem?


Context:

Tensions have been building up in Jerusalem since the start of Ramzan in mid-April between Israeli forces and Palestinians.

  • Recently, Israeli armed forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Haram esh-Sharif in Jerusalem.
  • In retaliation, Hamas, the Islamist militant group that runs Gaza, fired dozens of rockets.

Why Jerusalem?

  • Jerusalem has been at the centre of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • According to the original 1947 UN Partition Plan, Jerusalem was proposed to be an international city.
  • But in the first Arab Israel war of 1948, the Israelis captured the western half of the city, and Jordan took the eastern part, including the Old City that houses Haram esh-Sharif.
  • Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, and the Dome of the Rock are situated within Haram esh-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary).
  • Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it later.

Citizenship issues:

  • Since its annexation, Israel has expanded settlements in East Jerusalem, which is now home for some 220,000 Jews. Jews born in East Jerusalem are Israeli citizens, while Palestinians in the city are given conditional residency permits.
  • Palestinians in East Jerusalem, unlike other parts of the occupied West Bank, can, however, apply for Israeli citizenship. Very few Palestinians have done so.

Root cause of the problem:

Israel sees the whole city as its “unified, eternal capital”, a claim endorsed by Donald Trump when he was U.S. President but not recognised by most other countries. Palestinian leaders across the political spectrum have maintained that they would not accept any compromise formula for a future Palestinian state unless East Jerusalem is its capital.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Jerusalem.
  2. Six day war.
  3. Israel Palestine conflict.
  4. Gaza strip.
  5. Where is Al-Aqsa Mosque?

Mains Link:

Write a note on Israel-Palestine conflict.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM):


Context:

The Union Territory of Puducherry has become the fourth State/UT after Goa, Telangana and Andaman & Nicobar Islands to provide assured tap water supply to every rural home under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).

About the Jal Jeevan Mission:

JJM envisages supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.

It is under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.

It also encompasses:

  1. Prioritizing provision of FHTCs in quality affected areas, villages in drought prone and desert areas, Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) villages, etc.
  2. Providing functional tap connection to Schools, Anganwadi centres, Gram Panchayat buildings, Health centres, wellness centres and community buildings.
  3. Technological interventions for removal of contaminants where water quality is an issue.

Implementation:

  • The Mission is based on a community approach to water and includes extensive Information, Education and Communication as a key component of the mission.
  • JJM looks to create a jan andolan for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.
  • The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and states is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States, 50:50 for other states, and 100% for Union Territories.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Mission goal.
  2. Implementation.
  3. Fund allocation.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the mission.

Sources: PIB.

 


Facts for Prelims:


National Technology Day:

India celebrates May 11 as ‘National Technology Day’.

  • The day, which was first observed on 11 May, 1999, aims to commemorate the scientific and technological achievements of Indian scientists, engineers.
  • Theme this year is “Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future”.

Significance:

  • It is the day India successfully tested nuclear bombs in Pokhran on May 11, 1998. India successfully test-fired its Shakti-1 nuclear missile in operation called Pokhran-II, also codenamed as Operation Shakti.
  • On the same day, India performed a successful test firing of the Trishul Missile (surface to air short range missile) and had test flown the first indigenous aircraft – ‘Hansa – 3’.

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