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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 8th November ’21 | PDF Download

Financial NEWS

  • India is considering a middle path on cryptocurrencies
  • Unregulated virtual currencies are also unlikely to be allowed as a legal tender
  • Govt will not take hard-line stance, as many Indians have invested in such instruments
  • A growing view within the policymakers in the government is that law should be drafted in a manner that it can be executed effectively and technological developments in digital space should be taken into cognisance.
  • The new year will see grocery essentials, personal care products, packaged food and dining out get more expensive as freight, packaging and agri-commodities become costlier.
  • AMUL: Globally, inflation in the dairy sector is at about a steep 10%.
  • Nestle India: further rise in food prices, owing to higher commodity prices
  • Prices of key commodities such as palm oil, crude-based derivatives and palm, sunflower, rice bran and safflower oils have risen 35-50% from a year earlier.
  • Crude derivatives, a core raw material for personal care products, have seen 30% year-on-year inflation.

  • Analysts said a combination of pandemic-induced disruptions in supply chains and logistics, and rising energy costs, along with a shortage of manpower have led to commodity prices rising.

Fuel price optics | TH

  • The Centre finally decided last week to relent and act on the advice of monetary policymakers by cutting the excise duty on petrol and diesel by ₹5 and ₹10 a litre, respectively.
  • More than 20 States and Union Territories also reduced the VAT levied on the fuel products
  • Fillip to the reviving economy + easing inflationary pressure
  • NOTE: the political significance of its timing was hard to overlook
  • As far as the economy is concerned, the reduction in fuel bills is bound to have a salutary impact on inflation as diesel is the main fuel for freight carriage and impacts the cost of everything requiring to be transported.
  • The softening in transportation costs ought to provide some cushion to the manufacturing sector, which has had to cope with surging input prices at a time when demand is still tenuous.

  • Global oil prices have been on a boil this year and the World Bank group projected last month that average crude prices would end 2021 with a gain of about 70%.
  • Indian crude basket having risen on average almost 62% in the 10 months through October
  • Northern hemisphere’s winter

Strengthening vaccine trust | TH

  • In India, 78% of the adult population has received one dose and more than 36% has received both doses.
  • This is great news as vaccination, together with face masks and social distancing, is a powerful tool for returning to normalcy.
  • Recent evidence indicates that acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines in India is among the highest in the world.
  • However, even small pockets of unvaccinated individuals can threaten the success of an immunisation campaign.
  • This is especially true for a highly transmissible virus like the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Misinformation about vaccines, in particular, can erode vaccine confidence.
  • In 2017-2019, false rumours about the measles-rubella vaccine spread through social media and led to a spike in vaccine refusals in some areas.
  • Also, with daily confirmed cases as low as they are now, enthusiasm to get vaccinated could wane.
  • This is why we need to solidify vaccine confidence now.
  • Perhaps they have concerns about the speed with which the vaccines were developed or they received a message from a trusted family member or friend about the ingredients of the vaccine.
  • Providing data from a trusted source, like government agencies or academic institutions, can also help correct misperceptions about vaccines.
  • “Teeka lagwaya, na?” or “You’ve been vaccinated, right?” By asking this simple question, we are setting expectations for those around us.
  • The messenger is also important for building trust.
  • Doctors and health workers are also often trusted sources of information about health decisions.
  • Actors and sportspersons are also powerful spokespersons.
  • In 2014, India was declared polio free.
  • This achievement could not have been possible without the simple campaign, ‘Do boond zindagi ke’ or ‘Two drops of life’.
  • An effective response to any health emergency requires a multidisciplinary approach.
  • This is important because not everyone connects in the same way with facts and figures.

AUKUS could rock China’s boat in the Indo-Pacific | TH

  • The trilateral security agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS) continues to be in the news.
  • Australian submarine deal
  • There is also the matter of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) disunity over the emergence of AUKUS.

  • While AUKUS is clearly an attempt by the U.S. to bolster regional security, including securing Australia’s seaborne trade.

  • Any sudden accretion in Australia’s naval capabilities is bound to cause unease in the region.
  • In a statement on September 20, Australia had unambiguously reassured the region of its commitment to ASEAN centrality and its continued support for the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty as well as the Treaty of Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone.
  • China is exploiting ASEAN’s concerns
  • Chinese Foreign Ministry: AUKUS reflects a Cold War mentality
  • AUKUS is based on a shared commitment of its three members to deepening diplomatic, security and defence cooperation in the Indo-Pacific to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
  • Even though this has not been stated explicitly, the rise of China, particularly its rapid militarisation and aggressive behaviour, is undoubtedly the trigger.
  • They have been alliance partners all along.
  • The U.S. and the U.K. have fought together as allies, together with Australia, in the Second World War.
  • The U.S. shared nuclear weapons technology with the U.K. following the merging of the latter’s nuclear weapons programme with the American Manhattan Project as early as in 1943.
  • The first U.K. test was conducted in 1952 in the Montebello Islands in Australia.

British monarch as the head of state

 

  • Australia, especially, had for years subordinated its strategic assessment of China to transactional commercial interests.
  • Australia’s distant geographical location could not guarantee its security against a direct maritime threat.
  • The transfer of sensitive submarine technology by the U.S. to the U.K. is a sui generis arrangement based on their long-standing Mutual Defence Agreement of 1958.
  • The other areas covered are cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence and quantum technologies, apart from undersea capabilities.
  • All three nations will also play a major role in U.S.-led programmes such as Build Back Better World, Blue Dot Network and Clean Network, to meet the challenge of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
  • New Zealand is ready to support cyber capabilities
  • The Quad and AUKUS are distinct, yet complementary.
  • China has a large and growing undersea fleet, including attack submarines, both nuclear-powered and diesel-electric.
  • AUKUS, though, provides an opportunity to the U.S. to place proxy submarine forces to limit China’s forays, especially in the Pacific Ocean.

NEWS

  • PM Modi to dedicate to nation multiple road projects for boosting connectivity to Pandharpur in Maharashtra today
  • Vice President calls for bringing effective synergy between traditional knowledge and state-of-art technology
  • Over 108 crore 21 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses administered so far; Recovery rate reaches 98.24 pct
  • Haryana govt notifies State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020; To come into force from Jan 15, 2022
  • France to help India in advanced military technologies
  • Indian Coast Guard rescues seven fishermen from burning boat off Gujarat coast
  • Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan to be held in New Delhi on Nov 10
  • MoS Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh to pay two-day official visit to New York from today
  • Power Minister R K Singh addresses 47th Raising Day of NTPC
  • India condemns assassination attempt on Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi
  • At least 99 people killed in Sierra Leone
  • US not trying to transform China, looking for ways to co-exist: Jake Sullivan
  • Eight dead in crowd surge at music festival in Texas

ANS

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%

MCQ

Q.) Name the capital city of Ethiopia

  1. Dire Dawa
  2. Bahir Dar
  3. Gondar
  4. Addis Ababa

 

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