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News Analysis

22th October 2020 News analysis

> Context: Air pollution now biggest health risk in India, says report
Long-term exposure contributed to over 1.67 million deaths in 2019; 1.16 lakh infants died in first month

Mains (GS-III : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation)

What did report say?

Use this data to show the severity of the pollution.  
  • Outdoor and household particulate matter pollution also contributed to the deaths of more than 1,16,000 Indian infants in their first month of life last year.
  • More than half of these deaths were associated with outdoor PM2.5 and others were linked to use of solid fuels such as charcoal, wood, and animal dung for cooking.
  • India faced the highest per capita pollution exposure — or 83.2 µg/cubic metre — in the world.
  • After a decline in pollution due to the nationwide lockdown in late March and the months-long process of reopening, pollution levels are again rising and air quality has dipped to ‘very poor’ category in several cities.
  • Although there has been slow and steady reduction in household reliance on poor quality fuels, the air pollution from these fuels continues to be a key factor in the deaths of these youngest infants.

> Context: Opposition parties call for repeal of UAPA

Mains (GS-III : Internal security)

What is the aim of UAPA?

  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act is a law aimed at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
  • Its main objective was to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India.

Why it has been criticised?

  • The Act empowers the government to declare an organisation as “terrorist” and ban it.
  • Even being a member of such a proscribed organisation becomes a criminal offence.
  • The Act introduces a vague definition of terrorism to encompass a wide range of non-violent political activity including political protest.
  • It deprives the accused of the right to bail and this made them to live long under detention.
  • The NCRB Statistics indicate that 67 % of the cases under the act end up either in acquittal or discharge of the persons accused.
  • The act allows police to remand for over 30 days as opposed to the 14 days under the IPC.
  • The Act contains no sunset clause and provisions for mandatory periodic review.
  • It also gives leave to the prosecution to file a charge sheet in 180 days rather than the usual mandate of 90 days.

> Context: Swaraj India report highlights deficiencies in crop procurement – Yogendra Yadav offered 17 suggestions to Haryana govt. for improvement

Mains (GS-III : Agriculture)

What are some of the problems highlighted by Jai Kisan Andolan and Swaraj Abhiyan?

  • Delayed payments & no farmer has received the payment in their account.
  • Grossly insufficient numbers of farmers scheduled for sales per day,
  • Arbitrary quantitative limits on procurement
  • The lack of a grievance redress system
  • The slow procurement process forced the farmers to sell their crop to private traders at a price much lesser than Minimum Support Price and the commission agents were also forced to work much below their capacity.

What are the suggestions?

  • Purchase of produce must take place on all days, without any break for holidays.
  • The report demanded that the farmers are sent a voice message along with an SMS to inform them of their scheduled date for procurement at least two days in advance
  • The schedule for the entire period of procurement must be prepared and made public
  • Penal interest be paid at 18% per annum to farmers in case of delayed payment
  • Commission agents must be authorised to purchase cotton on behalf of Cotton Corporation of India in those mandis where there are no corporation centres.

> Context: ICMR nod for low-cost COVID-19 testing device

Prelims facts (Science & Technology)

COVID-19 Testing Pic

> Context: ‘Integrated commands next step in reforms’

Prelims facts (Defence & security) | Mains (GS-III : Security challenges and their management in border areas)

What is an integrated  theatre command?

  • An integrated theatre command envisages a unified command of the three Services, under a single commander, for geographical theatres that are of security concern.
  • The commander of such a force will be able to bring to bear all resources at his disposal — from the IAF, the Army and the Navy — with seamless efficacy.
  • The integrated theatre commander will not be answerable to individual Services, and will be free to train, equip and exercise his command to make it a cohesive fighting force capable of achieving designated goals.
  • The logistic resources required to support his operations will also be placed at the disposal of the theatre commander so that he does not have to look for anything when operations are ongoing.

> Context: ‘Infodemic management a serious challenge’ – WHO Chief Scientist says it has led to confusion, risk­taking and ultimately mistrust towards govt.

Mains (GS-II : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health)

What is Infodamic?

We can use this term in answers for health management issues.  
  • infodemic” is having too much information.

Why its management is necessary?

  •  It may includes false or misleading information, particularly on social media, it led to confusion, risk-taking and ultimately mistrust towards governments and the public health response.

> Context: Pompeo, Esper to travel to India for 2+2 Dialogue – Talks will focus on ensuring stability in the Indo­-Pacific region

Mains (GS-II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting
India’s interests.) | Prelims facts (International relations)

What is 2+2 dialogue?

  • 2+2  is an expression used to indicate that two appointed ministers from each country, the ministers of defence and external affairs in this case, will meet up to discuss the two countries’ strategic and security interests.
  • The goal is to establish a diplomatic, yet fruitful, conversation between the two countries’ respective heads of defence and external affairs.

Countries having 2+2 mechanism with India:

  • Australia, at the foreign secretary and defence secretary level.
  • Japan and the US at the ministerial level.

> Economy almost at doorstep of revival: Das

Prelims facts (Economy)

How? – Lenders such as banks and non­banking financial companies (NBFCs) raising capital to ensure credit for businesses upon revival of economy.

How increased availability of capital revives the economy?

  • Banks and NBFCs provides money to businesses.
  • Businesses starts production goods and services.
  • As a result they requires workers for the production.
  • Which in turn increases the employment.
  • People will have more money in hand.
  • They start spending more.
  • Which creates the demand.
  • And thus businesses get boost again.
  • This cycle starts and economy revives

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