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UPSC Online News Analysis


Context: The level of faecal coliform (microbes from human and animal excreta) is above the desirable limit at all points tested in Yamuna in Delhi, except for Palla where the river enters the city, as per a Delhi government report.

Topic in the syllabus: Prelims – Science & technology

About faecal coliform:


Context: A Indian peacock soft­shell turtle belonging to a vulnerable species has been saved from being sold in a fish market in Assam on Monday, thanks to the initiative of an academician, an official said.

Topic in the syllabus: Prelims – Environment & ecology

About Indian peacock soft­shell turtle:

  • Indian peacock softshell turtle is found in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds with mud or sand bottoms.
  • It is omnivorous, juveniles observed feeding on mosquito larvae and fish, while adults consume snails, earthworms, prawns, fish, frogs, carrion, and vegetation.
  • The species is heavily exploited for its meat and calipee (the outer cartilaginous rim of the shell).
  • Threats in the River Ganga to the species are those generic for all large river turtles, including reduction of fish stock, as a result of overfishing, pollution, increase in river traffic, and sand-mining, among others.
  • This species is confined to India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It is widespread in the northern and central parts of the Indian subcontinent.
  • Conservation status:
    • IUCN :   Vulnerable
      IWPA :    Schedule I
      CITES :   Appendix I

Distribution map of Indian Peacock Softshell Turtle.


Context: Kaspersky on Monday said it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT­-In) for collaboration in the area of cybersecurity.

Topic in the syllabus: Prelims & Mains – Science & technology, Cyber security

About CERT­-In:

  • The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) is an office within the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of the Government of India.
  • It is the nodal agency to deal with cyber security threats like hacking and phishing.
  • It strengthens security-related defence of the Indian Internet domain.
  • The purpose of CERT-In is to respond to computer security incidents, report on vulnerabilities and promote effective IT security practices throughout the country.
  • CERT-In was created by the Indian Department of Information Technology in 2004 and operates under the auspices of that department.
  • According to the provisions of the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008, CERT-In is responsible for overseeing administration of the Act.


Context: An advocate has moved the Supreme Court for a direction that fresh elections should be held in a constituency where NOTA (‘None of the above’ option) garnered the maximum number of votes.

Topic in the syllabus: Mains – Polity – Election reforms (GS-2)

What did he say in the petition?

  • None of the candidates who lost to NOTA should be allowed to contest the fresh polls.
  • Right to reject and elect new candidate will give power to the people to express their discontent.
  • Right to reject will check corruption, criminalisation, casteism, communalism.
  • parties would be forced to give tickets to honest and patriotic candidates.
  • ‘right to reject’ was first proposed by the Law Commission in 1999. “It also suggested that the candidates be declared elected only if they have obtained 50%+1 of the valid votes cast.
  • Similarly, the Election Commission endorsed ‘Right to Reject’, first in 2001, under James
    Lyngdoh [the then CEC], and then in 2004 under T.S. Krishnamurthy [the then CEC], in its Proposed Electoral Reforms,” the petition said.


Context: Why influenza makes people vulnerable to bacterial infection? (Explained – Indian express)

Topic in the syllabus: Prelims – Science & technology

  • Influenza is caused by a virus, but the most common cause of death in influenza patients is secondary pneumonia caused by bacteria, rather than the influenza virus itself. While this is well known, what is largely unknown is why influenza infections lead to an increased risk of bacterial pneumonia.
  • Reasons –
    • They found that different nutrients and antioxidants, such as vitamin C, leak from the blood. This creates an environment in the lungs that favours growth of the bacteria.
    • The bacteria adapt to the inflammatory environment by increasing the production of an enzyme called HtrA.
    • The presence of HtrA weakens the immune system and promotes bacterial growth in the influenza-infected airways.
    • The ability of pneumococcus to grow in the lower airways during an influenza infection seems to depend on the nutrient-rich environment with its higher levels of antioxidants that occurs during a viral infection, as well as on the bacteria’s ability to adapt to the environment and protect itself from being eradicated by the immune system.

Examples for Ethics (GS-4)

  • The Anti-­ Corruption Bureau (ACB) has registered cases of possessing disproportionate assets (DA) against 29 employees of the Gujarat government in the last 11 months. Three are class­1 officers, eight class­2 officers, and 18 are class­3 employees. The market value of the alleged DA, including land and residential properties, is ₹40.47 crore, the ACB said. (Against Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration)
  • Recent survey related to corruption –

Important one liners

  • Cross border terrorism is the biggest challenge for countries belonging to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, said Vice­President M. Venkaiah Naidu while chairing a meeting of the SCO heads of government, comprising India, Russia, China, Pakistan and four Central Asian states.
  • “Buddhist philosophy and art of Central Asia connects SCO countries to each other.” In a statement, the Culture Ministry said in the exhibition, which is curated by the National Museum, Delhi.
  • Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi on Monday made it clear that there would be no separate flag and constitution, amid persistent demand for these by the NSCN(I­M) to achieve a solution to the Naga political issue.
  • Representatives of media organisations from BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) on Monday called for the five nations to work together to jointly combat the “virus of disinformation” in the pandemic era.
  • The Uttar Pradesh ordinance criminalising religious conversion via marriage breaks away from a series of Supreme Court judgments, which hold that faith, the state and courts have no jurisdiction over an adult’s absolute right to choose a life partner. The choice of a life partner, whether by marriage or outside it, is part of an individual’s “personhood and identity”, the top court has held.

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