DAILY PRELIMS CURRENT AFFAIRS (UPSC) |17&18 Dec 2020| RaghukulCS

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DAILY PRELIMS CURRENT AFFAIRS (UPSC) |17&18 Dec 2020| RaghukulCS

UPSC Online News Analysis


 

News

Context:India goes down two ranks inHuman Development Index

Topic in syllabus:Prelims – Reports & Indices

Performances of diff. countries:

About Human development index:

  • The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of
    • life expectancy,
    • education (Literacy Rate, Gross Enrolment Ratio at different levels and Net Attendance Ratio),
    • per capita income indicators
  • A country scores a higher HDI when the lifespan is higher, the education level is higher, and the gross national income GNI (PPP) per capita is higher.
  • It was developed by Pakistani economist MahbubulHaq and was further used to measure a country’s development by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Human Development Report Office.

News

Context:The U.S. Treasury labelled Switzerland and Vietnam ascurrency manipulators onWednesday and added threenew names, including India,to a watch list of countries itsuspects of taking measuresto devalue their currenciesagainst the dollar.

Topic in syllabus:Prelims – Economy

What is currency devaluation?

  • Currency devaluation involves taking measures to strategically lower the purchasing power of a nation’s own currency.
  • Countries may pursue such a strategy to gain a competitive edge in global trade and reduce sovereign debt burdens.
  • Devaluation, however, can have unintended consequences that are self-defeating.

why a country would pursue a policy of devaluation?& what are its effects?

·        To Boost Exports

·        To Shrink Trade Deficits.

·        To Reduce Sovereign Debt Burdens

  • Currency devaluations can be used by countries to achieve economic policy. Having a weaker currency relative to the rest of the world can help boost exports, shrink trade deficits and reduce the cost of interest payments on its outstanding government debts.
  • There are, however, some negative effects of devaluations. They create uncertainty in global markets that can cause asset markets to fall or spur recessions.
  • Countries might be tempted to enter a tit for tat currency war, devaluing their own currency back and forth in a race to the bottom.
  • This can be a very dangerous and vicious cycle leading to much more harm than good.

News

Context:The Indian Space ResearchOrganisation (ISRO) successfully placed into a transferorbit India’s 42nd communications satellite, CMS­-01,carried on board the PSLVC50, from the second launchpad of the Satish DhawanSpace Centre, SriharikotaRange.

Topic in syllabus: Prelims – Science & Technology

About CMS­-01:

  • It is communication satellite designed and developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation.
  • CMS-01 is considered to be a replacement of the aged satellite GSAT-12.
  • It provides services like tele-education, tele-medicine, disaster management support and Satellite Internet access.
  • CMS-01 probably mimics the equipment load of GSAT-12 with more advanced variants of the same.

News

Context: Scientists of the All-­India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) have revealed thatlead was noticed in milksamples collected in Elurutown and its neighbouringvillages in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

Topic in syllabus: Prelims – Science & Technology

Effects of lead on human health:

  • Within our bodies, lead is absorbed and stored in our bones, blood, and tissues.
  • As we age, our bones demineralize and the internal exposures may increase as a result of larger releases of lead from the bone tissue.
  • Lead poisoning can happen if a person is exposed to very high levels of lead over a short period of time. When this happens, a person may feel:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipated
  • Tired
  • Headachy
  • Irritable
  • Loss of appetite
  • Memory loss
  • Pain or tingling in the hands and/or feet
  • Weak
  • People with prolonged exposure to lead may also be at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, and reduced fertility.
  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have determined that lead is probably cancer-causing in humans.

Examples related to Ethics (GS-4)

  • Election Commission to file criminal cases against 3 IPS in MP for Distributing money & having unauthorised and unaccounted cash transactions in last LS election. (Civil service neutrality,Impartiality and Non-partisanship)
  • Assam farmers setup electric fences to protect crop Pregnant elephants.(against empathy | case study – man animal conflict)

Important news in short

  • Yogasana will be acompetitive sport in thecountry, officials of theYouth Affairs and Sports andAYUSH Ministriesannounced here onThursday with a plan to takeit global.
  • The HumanFreedom Index 2020ranked India 110 in terms ofpersonal freedom and 105 oneconomic freedom, with anoverall score coming to 6.43out of 10.
  • The Supreme Court onThursday said farmers havea constitutional right to continue with their “absolutelyperfect” protest as long astheir dissent against the controversial agricultural lawsdid not slip into violence.
  • Bangladesh is a major pillarof India’s ‘neighbourhoodfirst’ policy, Prime MinisterNarendra Modi said at the inauguration of summit­leveltalks held virtually onThursday.
    • The two leaders remotelylaunched the rail link between Chilahati (Bangladesh)and Haldibari (West Bengal)
  • Agricultural reforms are India’s internal matter but theprotests here are part of British politics too, said the visiting British Foreign SecretaryDominic Raab, who “discussed” the ongoing farmersprotests at Delhi’s bordersduring talks with ExternalAffairs Minister S. Jaishankar.
  • Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan,General Officer Commanding, Eastern Command, onWednesday said there hadbeen no intrusion or a major face­off in the area under the Command since theLadakh incident involvingthe Indian Army and thePeople’s Liberation Army.
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