News – 1
Context: In an indirect reference to the Chinese infrastructure projects in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to respect “territorial integrity” and “sovereignty”.
Topic in syllabus: Prelims – International Organisations | Mains – Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests. Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate (GS-2)
What did our PM say? (These points are important as you can use it in your answers to show the stance of India on different issues)
- He reminded that India has traditionally supported infrastructure and connectivity projects in the SCO region and cited examples of the Chabahar port and the North South Corridor.
- “In our civilisation, it is said that परिवर्तनमेव स्थिरमस्ति – Parivartanmeva sthiramasti (change is the only constant). From 2021 India will take part in the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member. As a member of UNSC our attention will be on changing the global rules of governance,” he said.
- Mr. Modi also said in 2021, the National Museum of India will hold an exhibition on the Buddhist heritage of the SCO countries.
What is SCO?
- The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan. It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.
- The historical meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was held on 8-9 June 2017 in Astana. On the meeting the status of a full member of the Organization was granted to the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
- The SCO’s main goals are as follows: [ Note – No need to remember these goals, it will just give you an idea about the work of the organisation. Often these goals are for decorative purposes & the hidden agenda of the organisation may be different. E.g. The SCO is seen as a competitor to NATO & anti US organisation headed by China (de facto) ]
- strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states; promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas; making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region; and moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.
- The Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO. It meets once a year and adopts decisions and guidelines on all important matters of the organisation.
- The organisation has two permanent bodies — the SCO Secretariat based in Beijing and the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent.
- The SCO comprises eight member states, namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
News – 2
Context: ‘Severe’ air pollution for 6th day in city – The newly formed Commission on Air Quality Management, as an interim measure, has given the CPCB powers to operationalise measures under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on air pollution.
Topic in syllabus: Prelims – Environment & ecology
What is GRAP?
- Approved by the Supreme Court in 2016, the plan was formulated after several meetings that the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) held with state government representatives and experts. The result was a plan that institutionalised measures to be taken when air quality deteriorates.
- GRAP works only as an emergency measure. As such, the plan does not include action by various state governments to be taken throughout the year to tackle industrial, vehicular and combustion emissions. The plan is incremental in nature — therefore, when the air quality moves from ‘Poor’ to ‘Very Poor’, the measures listed under both sections have to be followed.
- The GRAP is a set of emergency measures to be implemented to control air pollution depending upon
the air quality.
- Currently, measures under the ‘severe’ category of GRAP are in place, including a ban on operation of
News – 3
Context: India’s mRNA vaccine may be ready in March.
Topic in syllabus: Prelims – Science & technology
What is m-RNA?
- Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a single-stranded RNA molecule that is complementary to one of the DNA strands of a gene.
- Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a subtype of RNA.
- Main role – It plays a vital role in human biology, specifically in a process known as protein synthesis. mRNA carries genetic code from DNA in a cell’s nucleus to ribosomes, the cell’s protein-making machinery.
News – 4
Context: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal convened a meeting and directed the health officials to ensure the implementation of the Health Information Management System (HIMS) and the e-health card facility in Delhi government hospitals.
Topic in syllabus: Prelims – Schemes | Mains – Health (GS-2)
About Health Information Management System (HIMS) –
- It includes Hospital Information System, Human Resource Management Information System, Health Management Information System, Geographical Information System, mobile specific program monitoring system, and mobile health.
- It supports users in synthesizing information regarding service delivery, preventive care, epidemics, clinical Management, alert/early warnings, Program Management, planning process, health situation, trend analyses, reporting, supervision and monitoring.
The e-health card facility- It will be a QR-based card to identify and track demographic and basic clinical details of every patient.
Important one liner news
- Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on a deal with Russia to end fierce clashes over Nagorno-Karabakh, after a string of Azerbaijani victories in its fight to retake the disputed region.
- Army chief General Manoj Naravane said that senior military commanders of India and China
were “ironing out the modalities” of how to proceed ahead on the situation in eastern Ladakh and were
hopeful that “we will be able to reach an agreement, which is mutually acceptable and mutually beneficial”.
- Banks must not shy away from lending, especially when the economy is facing major challenges, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. Lenders should also offer all Indian customers the Rupay card first, discourage non-digital payments, and link every account with the customer’s Aadhaar number by March 31, 2021, she added.