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Here is our 9pm current affairs brief for you today
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9 PM for Main examination
- Perspectives in India – US relations
- Generating Demand will be the key to overcome disruption caused by the pandemic
- Real nature of nuclear weapons
- Safety deficit: On Kozhikode air crash
- Equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine
9 PM for Preliminary examination
1.Perspectives in India – US relations
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus: GS2- Bilateral relations (India-US)
Context: How to structure India-U.S. relations in sync with common India-U.S. perspectives
- Voiced for India’s independence: The then U.S President Franklin D. Roosevelt compelled his Britain counterpart PM Winston Churchill to free India and accept India as a formal ally in World War II.
- Supported for India’s permanent membership in U.N Security Council: With India’s commitment to democracy, fundamental rights, free press and non-violence in a written Constitution under the leadership of Nehru, India appeared to the U.S. as worthy of replacing communist China. Under this circumstances U.S.’s offered for India to join the UN Security Council.
Shift in India-US relation
- India’s Refusal and Generosity: Nehru’s government was not ready to take any measures that would provoke china. Nehru not only declined the U.S. offer to India but instead campaigned for China to take up that seat.
- S – Pakistan partnership and Ind-Pak wars: With India’s increasing partnership towards Russia, the U.S saw Pakistan as a counterweight in south Asia to counter growing Russia and china. U.S unconditional support to Pakistan with liberal aid and armaments, strengthened them politically, economically and in military space that resulted in India Pakistan wars during 1965, 1971 and 1999.
Mutual areas of cooperation:
- India-U.S. relations require give and take on both sides. For example, During Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar period, IMF (U.S holds large size of voting power) agreed for a $2 billion loan only when India accepted to refuel their air force planes flying from the Philippines to Saudi Arabia for the first Gulf War during Iraq occupation of Kuwait.
- Similarly, for India to counter china India needs arms from U.S, subsequently to get support from U.S India should be willing to send troops to Afghanistan to fight U.S enemies.
- India can seek support from U.S to develop naval air base in Andaman and Nicobar island in return allowing U.S to share the naval base with its allies
- Tariffs should be lowered from both sides thereby facilitating trade
India’s Dependence on U.S
- To develop in cyber space, India needs the support of the U.S. in cyberwarfare, satellite mappings of China and Pakistan, intercepts of electronic communication, hard intelligence on terrorists.
- India looks up to U.S for technology know how on thorium utilisation, desalination of sea water, and hydrogen fuel cells
- S. must allow India’s exports of agricultural products including Bos indicus milk, which are of highly competitive prices in the world.
Irritants in India- U.S relations: U.S has actively raised concern against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defence missile system and India’s denial to America’s request to send Indian troops to Afghanistan.
Need for Cautious approach
- Free, indiscriminate flow of U.S. FDI is not in India’s national interest. India’s Economic relations should be based on strong macroeconomic principles should be allowed based on the economic theory of comparative advantage.
- India should not be involved in sending troops to Tibet, Hong Kong or Taiwan issues if mandated by U.S. because there is always a possibility of China’s policy favouring towards India.
2.Generating Demand will be the key to overcome disruption caused by the pandemic
Source: Indian Express
Syllabus: Gs3: Growth, Development and Employment.
Context: Disruption brought by the pandemic and measures to revive the economy
Disruption brought in by the pandemic
- Decreased the purchasing power of people owing to loss of jobs and contraction in business cycle.
- Least attention towards luxury goods by shifting the emphasis towards basic necessities such as with food, shelter and safety.
- Marked shift towards saving culture from indiscriminate consumption.
- Largely impacted the aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors.
- Benefitted e-commerce with more and more Consumers resorting to purchase online.
- Highlighted the importance of local self sufficiency which is witnessed through “Vocal for Local “slogans and huge increase in local apps, local kirana stores, local artisans and brands.
- Showcased the importance of psychological needs. While experiencing the frustration of being alone, People are urging to meet their dear ones.
- In education, e-learning and online courses are being preferred compared to the traditional physical education
- Mode of entertainment is gradually changing with consumers preferring to watch shows and movies at home.
- More Emphasis on health and immunity leading to increase in consumption of organic, ayurvedic, and immunity boosting products along with investments in financial and medical insurance.
- Contraction in real estate sector, as people are more inclined towards renting which will significantly impact long-term and high investment purchases.
Measures needed to overcome the disruption
- Ensure basic provision of essentials such as food, water, housing, and electricity.
- Creation of employment opportunities’ through development of infrastructure projects.
- Risk aversion of farmers through crop insurance and better price realisation.
- Generate demand for products through reduction in income taxes, incentivise spending by offering tax benefits which will also help to revive the economy.
Conclusion: The “New Normal” has brought in a new paradigm shift in the consumption pattern. Hence along with the opening of economy the government should equally focus on generating of basic demand
3.Real nature of nuclear weapons
Source –The Hindu
Syllabus – GS 3 – Challenges to Internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges
Context: On 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Nuclear attack recalling the horrors to bring nuclear risks back into popular imagination and into the political agenda.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki Nuclear attack: On August 6 and 9, 1945, The U.S. detonated two nuclear weapons with the consent of United Kingdom. The two-bombing killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians. However, others succumbed to burns, radiation sickness, and other ailments.
Damage which can be caused by Nuclear weapons:
- Impacts all dimensions of life: It is well known that even a fraction of the nuclear weapons held in medium-sized arsenals would cause a massive human tragedy and have long term repercussions for food and water availability, agricultural output, climate change, migration, etc.
- Possibilities of unintended use: As capabilities grow and interstate trust diminishes, chances of stumbling into nuclear war increases-
- Stress between inter-state relations.
- Technological advancements – Chances of cyber-attack on nuclear command and control with advance hi-tech.
- Artificial intelligence [AI] – Incorporation of AI in nuclear decision making are new developments that threaten to create unknown risks.
Measures to reduce nuclear risk:
- Awareness campaign: Increasing the general awareness of the people by works such as novels, movies and TV Documentaries.
- Civil society movements: The public pressure translated into civil society movements that demanded action from political leaders to engage with the subject of risk reduction through unilateral, bilateral, multilateral measures. This will result in:
- Compelling leaders to rationalize their weapon requirements.
- Force nations to find ways of reducing nuclear risks.
- Gradually pave the path towards elimination of nuclear weapons.
Way Forward: It is necessary to expose leaders and societies to the full range of physical, economic, social, political, health, environmental and psychological effects of nuclear weapons. The most effective way to do this is by use of all platforms such as media, social media, national and international campaigns, etc.
4.Safety deficit: On Kozhikode air crash
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus: Gs-3- Disaster Management
Context: Recently, an Air India Express ‘Vande Bharat’ relief flight crashed in Kozhikode, killing 18 people. The accident has once again turned the spotlight on operations of ‘tabletop airports’ in India.
Tabletop airports: It is an airport located and built on top of a plateau or hilly surface, with one or both ends of the runway overlooking a drop. The airplane accident in Mangalore airport in 2010 highlighted operational risks of such airports.
Factors that might have contributed to Kozhikode crash
- Poor visibility
- a far shorter safety area at the runway end than optimal
- absence of arrester systems that could stop an overshooting plane from falling off the edge
- Strong monsoon
Disaster Management in Civil Aviation:
- The Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) has the regulatory responsibility for aviation safety. Its mandate is to ensure the highest level of safety in the Indian Aviation System by employing International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and recommended practices.
- DGCA fosters and assists stakeholders in developing comprehensive Safety Management Systems (SMS) and develops preventive safety strategies for the aviation system
- The responsibility for coordination and search and rescue (SAR) with other agencies is, however vested with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) under the Airports Authority of India Act, 1944, as amended by AAI (Amendment) Rules, 2003
- The SSP is based on comprehensive analysis of the States Aviation System, safety policies, risk management, safety assurances and permission
- An appropriate legislative framework in safety management has been implemented in India in accordance with ICAO Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs).
- For carrying out ICAO functions, India has three layers of legislation –
- The Aircraft Act 1934 which is the primary legislation,
- The secondary Aircraft Rules, 1937 and
- The tertiary Aircraft (Carriage of Dangerous Goods) Rules, 2003
- A series of Safety Management System-Civil Aviation Regulation (SMS-CARs) about operational regulations and implementation policies for the applicable service providers has been released by the DGCA.
Conclusion: After the Kozhikode air crash, the Civil aviation Ministry should examine all risky airports. Transparent remedial action must be taken immediately.
5.Equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine
Source – Down to Earth
Syllabus – GS 4 – Ethical issues in international relations and funding
Context– Making human vaccine available on local as well as global scale requires an ethical and equitable distribution to ensure vaccines are potent and effective at their point of use.
Challenges across global distribution of COVID-19 vaccine-
- Guideline – The need of a policy regarding how much of the vaccine produced should go to other countries and at what cost. It must ensure whether agencies funding the research or the researchers or government authorities or citizens decide on a global policy of distribution.
- Quantity of an export– The increasing quantity of an export will increase the cost due to shortage in supply in home. People of that country must not bear the burden of the extra cost when their tax payer’s money has already been used up in research.
- Transportation-The delay in transportation may result in vaccine losing its potency and increment in cost also.
- Distributive hierarchy –The cost of the vaccine and its possible loss will have to be borne by the last receiver which likely to be more needy people of the society.
Challenges in the local distribution of COVID-19 vaccine-
- Priority – Within the country, it is certainly not clear who should be treated first or it should be determined by need, affordability, vulnerability or some other criterion or a combination of all.
- Cost- If open market forces determine the cost of the vaccine and affordability then, the section of society most vulnerable to the disease would get left out.
- Aspects of Distribution and supply of vaccine –It includes economic, demographic, logistic, legal, socio-political aspects which are interlinked to each other and needs clear policy framework. There is the ethical aspect as well, which demands an equitable policy of distribution.
It is, thus, imperative that a global policy of distribution must be in place so that all countries can receive the benefit almost simultaneously. Centre need to intervene to regulate and cap the price to avoid profiteering.
9 PM for Preliminary examination
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