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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 3rd November ’21 | PDF Download

Climate pledge | TH

  • India will commit to ambitious, enhanced climate targets and cuts in carbon emissions in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
  • Increase non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 GW
  • Meet 50% energy from renewable energy
  • Reduce emissions by one billion tonnes
  • Bring down the economy’s carbon intensity below 45%
  • All by 2030
  • Net Zero emissions by 2070
  • G20 Summit – Piyush Goyal had said that India could not “identify a year” for ending net carbon emissions unless the developed world committed to funding India’s energy transition and enabled clean technology transfers on a much higher scale.
  • Make us member of Nuclear Suppliers Group
  • The promise to reduce emissions by one billion tonnes would need a reduction in India’s carbon output by a massive 22% by 2030.
  • India meets about 12% of its electricity needs through renewable energy, and ramping that up to 50% by 2030 will be a tall ask too.
  • When it comes to climate change, countries must remember they are not in competition with one another, but trying together to outrun the clock.

Quota without data | TH

  • An exclusive internal quota for a single caste group was always fraught with the danger of judicial invalidation.
  • Madras High Court has struck down the Tamil Nadu law that earmarked 10.5% of seats in educational institutions and jobs for the Vanniyakula Kshatriya community and its sub-castes.
  • The court’s foremost reason is that the State Assembly lacked the legislative competence to enact the law in February 2021, at a time when the Constitution 102nd Amendment, conferring exclusive power to identify backward classes on the President, was in force.
  • The Bench of Justices M. Duraiswamy and K. Murali Shankar, also ruled that identifying one caste as a separate group for creating an exclusive quota, without any quantifiable data on its backwardness relative to others, amounted to giving reservation solely on the basis of caste and, therefore, impermissible under the Constitution.
  • Further, it noted that the remaining 115 castes under the ‘MBC and Denotified Communities’ category were forced to share the remaining 9.5% (in two groups with 2.5% and 7%, respectively) of what used to be a 20% MBC/DNC quota.
  • This amounted to discrimination.
  • The Supreme Court has been asking governments to justify their reservation levels through quantifiable data.
  • Instead of looking for shortcuts to popularity, regimes in all States should focus on compiling credible data both on the backwardness of sections of society and their level of representation in public services and educational opportunities.

Boom Or Not To Boom | ToI

  • On October 26, the Bengal Pollution Control Board banned the sale of all firecrackers except green crackers, and allowed their use from 8 pm to10 pm on Diwali day.
  • On November 1, the Calcutta high court ordered a complete ban on all firecrackers, noting the practical difficulty of distinguishing between “green” ones and others.
  • By Monday, Supreme Court had set aside the HC order, asserting there can be no complete ban, and that SC and NGT have allowed green crackers if air quality isn’t poor.
  • Two-hour window for cracker bursting is practically non-enforceable in any Indian city or town or village.
  • SC’s verdict centered around air quality begs the question which states have the capacity to enforce complicated conditional cracker bans.
  • In many East Asian and some Western countries, occasions celebrated with fireworks are often community events, some of which have local government participation.
  • Such events are altogether more orderly and apparently no less fun, with far fewer negative externalities.

  • Perhaps technology is the answer.
  • Electronic crackers producing light and sound mimicking real crackers are already there.
  • E-crackers should get government incentives.
  • They may do what courts still haven’t been able to.

Doing the Right Thing for Covaxin | ET

  • The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) technical advisory group on Emergency Use Listing (EUL) meets today for a final risk-benefit assessment on the India-developed Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin.
  • With several rounds of data submission and subsequent clarifications sought from Bharat Biotech over the course of the past few months, it is likely that EUL authorisation for Covaxin’s global use will be granted.
  • Currently, vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Oxford-AstraZeneca-Serum Institute of India (SII), Sinopharm and Sinovac have EUL authorisation.
  • It is understandable that WHO needs to strictly evaluate the vaccine on all parameters before authorising it.
  • But the authorisation process has raised some concerns about differential treatment.
  • EUL authorisation was swiftly given to vaccines developed and manufactured in China, despite the ‘lack of data’.
  • A Peru ministry of health study (bit.ly/3mBxCWr) found the efficacy of Sinopharm’s two shots of BBIBP-CorV vaccine to be 50.4%, just above the minimum clinical criteria of 50% needed to even qualify for EUL assessment.
  • Similarly, a large phase-3 trial in Brazil found the efficacy of another Chinese vaccine with EUL authorisation, Sinovac Biotech’s Corona-Vac, to be 50.7%.
  • China itself is seeing an upsurge in cases, despite majority of its population already administered either of these two vaccines.
  • Remarkably, while granting EUL authorisation to Sinopharm, WHO acknowledged, ‘Few older adults [over 60] were enrolled in clinical trials, so efficacy could not be estimated in this age group.’
  • This raises questions on the EUL assessment process itself.
  • Some argue that it is not in the interest of existing vaccine manufacturers to have another competitor.
  • We are optimistic that the big pharmaceutical lobby of the West and China won’t meddle in WHO’s EUL assessment process.
  • So, is EUL authorisation important? It has been empirically established that Covaxin has an overall vaccine efficacy of 77.8% against symptomatic infections, and of 93.4% against severe Covid-19 infection.
  • Also, when EUL authorisation is not mandatory for exporting the vaccine, is an approval really necessary?
  • As Covid is not going anywhere soon, EUL will make it easier for Indian citizens administered Covaxin to undertake international travel.
  • Since Covishield has EUL authorisation, travellers from India who have taken Covishield shots are not required to undergo compulsory quarantine in many countries.
  • Due to India’s diplomatic outreach, though, several countries have already recognised Covaxin for the purpose of international travel, Australia being the latest in the list.
  • EUL authorisation will also be a confirmation of India’s pharmaceutical prowess on the global stage, that it is not only capable of manufacturing but also developing an effective vaccine from scratch in record time.
  • Then, WHO’s EUL will play a crucial role, as it is a prerequisite for supplying vaccines under the COVAX (Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access) facility to the developing world, and help bridge global vaccine inequality.
  • Around 30-50 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine lie idle at the company’s Baltimore facility in the US, waiting to be shipped pending regulators’ approval.
  • The international community expects India to manufacture vaccines for the world.


  • PM Modi launches Infrastructure for Resilient Island States on sidelines of climate summit in Glasgow
  • PM Modi meets President of Ukraine, PM of Nepal, PM of Israel and Bill Gates on sidelines of COP26
  • World leaders promise to end, reverse deforestation by 2030, in COP26 climate summit’s first major deal
  • PM to chair review meeting with officials of districts having low vaccination coverage today
  • India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crosses 107 Crore 25 lakh landmark milestone
  • IT Dept provisionally attaches properties worth around hundreds of crore rupees linked to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar
  • Deepawali festival begins with the celebration of Dhanteras; Prime Minister extends greetings
  • 19 killed, 50 wounded in two explosions at military hospital in Kabul
  • Thailand expects huge number of tourists as it reopens after 18 months of COVID restrictions

Q.) Which bank has reported over Rs 266 crore worth of fraud to the Reserve Bank, relating to three NPA accounts?

  1. Axis Bank
  2. Yes Bank
  3. SBI
  4. Indian Bank

Q.) What is the proposed rate of global minimum corporate tax on multinationals, backed by the G20 leadership, to create a more stable and fairer international tax system?

  1. 9%
  2. 13%
  3. 15%
  4. 25%


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