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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 22nd September ’21 | PDF Download

Vax Britannica | ET

  • 5.6 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered globally.
  • More Covid vaccines have been delivered in 10 months than all other vaccines put together every year before the outbreak of the pandemic.
  • 1/7 Covid vaccines has been administered in India
  • Covishield is manufactured by Serum Institute following technology transfer by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.
  • The agreement worked well enough for SII to dispatch 5 million doses to the UK on March 5.
  • Inexplicably, vaccines made here are good enough for Britons, but Indians fully vaccinated by the same vaccine in India are deemed ‘unvaccinated’ when they travel to UK.
  • Covishield is one among seven vaccines to receive WHO’s emergency use approval.
  • Covishield has been evaluated by an independent body and is good enough to have been exported to 95 countries, UK included.
  • In an interdependent world, linked by both trade and personal contacts, entry restrictions need to be underpinned by a modicum of logic.

Let’s Break the Arctic Ice | ET

  • Energy diplomacy took Union oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri to Moscow earlier this month.
  • Igor Sechin, CEO of Russia’s State oil company Rosneft, has pitched the mega Vostok oil project to India.
  • A consortium of Indian State-owned exploration and refining companies are chalking out a plan to farm this in.
  • A new Great Game is being played out in the Siberian Arctic.

  • The Vostok project, on the Taymyr peninsula in Russia’s far north, is Vladimir Putin’s potential $127 billion wager for energy prosperity.
  • It could rival some of the world’s most prosperous fields, including Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar field and the US’ Permian basin.
  • Vostok’s confirmed resource base of over 6 billion tonnes of premium low-sulphur crude.

  • With 13 oil and gas fields, Rosneft is keen to drill, pump and produce 1 million barrels a day by 2028, and ramp up to 100 million tonnes a year at its peak — compared with Russia’s total crude oil and condensate production of 513 million tonnes for 2020.
  • Rising temperatures – vibrant shipping line
  • Oil and gas from Vostok can be supplied to Europe and Asia at once

  • Shut out of Wall Street’s moneybags because of US sanctions, Russia-Rosneft is in dire need of money.
  • Beijing will be an obvious buyer and potential partner.
  • But a diverse pool of customers and co-investors can significantly de-risk the high stakes.
  • Chance for India to buttonhole producers
  • By coming out with a draft Arctic Policy this January, India’s strategic establishment has flagged off New Delhi’s interest to play a proactive role in this new geopolitical great game.

Changing the agri exports basket | TH

  • The Indian government has been encouraging agricultural exports to meet an ambitious target of $60bn by 2022.
  • The Ministry of Food Processing Industries shows that the contribution of agricultural and processed food products in India’s total exports is 11%.
  • Primary processed agricultural commodities form the majority share.
  • India’s export earnings will increase by focusing more on value-added processed food products.
  • From 2015-16 to 2019-20, the value of agricultural and processed food increased significantly from $17.8bn to $20.65bn.
  • The Indian agricultural economy is shifting from primary to secondary agriculture where the focus is more on developing various processed foods.
  • The Indian food processing industry promises high economic growth and makes good profits.
  • India’s agricultural export basket is changing from traditional commodities to non-traditional processed foods.
  • Traditionally, Basmati rice is one of the top export commodities.
  • However, now there is an unusual spike in the export of non-basmati rice.
  • In 2020-21, India exported 13.09 million tonnes of non-basmati rice ($4.8bn), up from an average 6.9 million tonnes ($2.7bn) in the previous five years.
  • Similarly, Indian buffalo meat is seeing a strong demand in international markets due to its lean character and near organic nature.
  • The export potential of buffalo meat is tremendous, especially in countries like Vietnam, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
  • In 2020-21, the export of poultry, sheep and goat meat, cashew kernels, groundnuts, guar gum, and cocoa products went down in terms of value and total quantity.
  • The export of processed food products has not been growing fast enough because India lacks comparative advantage in many items.
  • This may imply that the domestic prices of processed food products are much higher compared to the world reference prices.
  • The main objective of the Agriculture Export Policy is to diversify and expand the export basket so that instead of primary products, the export of higher value items, including perishables and processed food, be increased.
    • Mandatory pre-shipment examination by the Export Inspection Agency being lengthy and costly
    • Compulsory spice board certification being needed even for ready-to-eat products which contain spices in small quantities;
    • Lack of strategic planning of exports by most State governments;
    • Lack of a predictable and consistent agricultural policy discouraging investments by the private sector
    • Prohibition of import of meat- and dairy based-products in most of the developed countries
    • Withdrawal of the Generalised System of Preference by the U.S. for import of processed food from India
    • Export shipments to the U.S. requiring an additional health certificate
    • The absence of an equivalency agreement with developed countries for organic produce.
  • The Centre’s policy should be in the direction of nurturing food processing companies, ensuring low cost of production and global food quality standards, and creating a supportive environment to promote export of processed food.
  • India has competitive advantages in various agricultural commodities which can be passed onto processed foods.


  • Australia-U.K.-U.S. (AUKUS) trilateral security pact
  • September 24: Quad Leaders Summit to be hosted by United States
  • HMS Queen Elizabeth – arrived in Japan after exercising with India, Malaysia and Singapore and traversing the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
  • Exercise Malabar 2021 – brought together, for the second year running US, Japan, Australia and Indian navies.
  • Earlier in April, France, which like the United Kingdom has historically been an Indo-Pacific power with territories and bases across the region, participated in a multi-nation naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal with the four Quad nations (the U.S., Japan, Australia and India).
  • Maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific
  • China’s belligerence
  • Defence budgets of Japan, Australia have gone up.

  • The AUKUS pact will facilitate the transfer of nuclear submarine propulsion and manufacturing technologies to Australia, the first instance of a non-nuclear nation acquiring such capability.
  • AUKUS provides a fresh opportunity to the United Kingdom to reinsert itself more directly into the Indo-Pacific.
  • As for India, it operates one indigenously-built SSBN (INS Arihant) after returning the SSN (INS Chakra) on lease from Russia.
  • Situated as it is, far away from any other country, the diesel-electric attack submarines that it currently operates, or even those that it might have got from France, have limited capacity in terms of range and duration of mission as compared to nuclear-powered submarines.
  • Australia is set to play a more robust role in ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

Lost pitch | IE

  • After a decade in wilderness, post the attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus by terrorists in Lahore in March 2009, Pakistan was being incrementally reintegrated into the touring schedule.
  • But the cancellation of both tours, have sucker-punched their dreams and ambitions to be once again a vibrant, colourful cricket host.
  • New Zealand’s reluctance, citing “specific, credible security threat” against the team, is more reasonable, and hence acceptable, than that of England.
  • Only a fortnight ago an ISIS sympathiser randomly stabbed six people at a supermarket in Auckland.
  • In the past, their cricketers have endured close shaves, twice in Colombo at the peak of Lankan civil war and once in Karachi, after an explosion outside their hotel.
  • That last step on Pakistan’s redemption road now looks longer and more arduous than ever before.


  • PM Modi to leave for US today; Expected to discuss radicalisation, terrorism & developments in Afghanistan during bilateral talks with President Biden
  • India, France review increasing bilateral collaboration in Indo-Pacific region; Stress on promoting stability & security
  • States will get full support from Centre to increase agriculture production: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar
  • Record foodgrain production of 150.50 million tonnes estimated in Kharif season: Centre
  • India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crosses 82 Crore mark
  • Govt decides to appoint Air Marshal V R Chaudhari as next Chief of IAF
  • Union Minister Nitin Gadkari emphasises on fixing driving hours for drivers of commercial vehicles
  • EC organises virtual National Conference on Accessible Elections 2021
  • Ministry of Education forms National Steering Committee for development of National Curriculum Frameworks
  • Northeast powers Prasar Bharati’s Digital Growth
  • World Peace Day: “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”.
  • PM Sheikh Hasina conferred award for Bangladesh’s steady progress in achieving UN SDGs
  • Canada resumes flights to India under the bilateral Air Bubble agreement

Q.) Who has been sworn in as the new governor of Tamil Nadu?

  • R.N. Ravi
  • PS Sreeharan Pillai
  • Ramesh Bais
  • Bandaru Dattatraya

Q.) Which tech giant abused the dominant position of its operating system in India to illegally hurt competitors, according to a report by the CCI?

  • Apple
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Xiaomi


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