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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 9th November ’21 | PDF Download

Financial News

  • The festive period of Navratri-Dussehra and Dhanteras-Diwali this year has delivered the worst performance for India’s automakers in almost a decade.
  • The main festive season from Navratri to Diwali is the peak period of activity in the personal mobility segment.
  • While the passenger vehicle (PV) market was hurt by lack of supplies, as a shortage of semiconductors forced automakers to cut down on production, there was an unusually sluggish demand for two-wheelers.

  • An estimated 305,000 PVs were delivered this time versus 455,000 units last year, they said.
  • Based on data from the government’s VAHAN portal, which captures the registration numbers from 85% of the country’s regional transport offices, automakers retailed 238,776 units, compared with 305,916 units in 2020, posting a decline of 22%.

  • Registrations of two-wheelers at 1.07 million units were 11% lower.
  • Even tractor registrations declined 13%, underlining the stress in the rural areas.
  • Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index, which is based on indicators such as infrastructure, services, timelines, traceability, competitiveness, security, operating environment and efficiency of regulatory processes.
  • Gujarat has once again topped a national index of mobility of goods and efficiency of logistics chain, closely followed by Haryana and Punjab.
  • Piyush Goyal said logistics costs can be brought down to 5% over the next five years from almost 14% now

Talk Boosters | ToI

  • Countries like the UK, US, Australia and Canada have recommended a booster shot for senior citizens, healthcare workers and those with comorbidities who got their second doses at least six months ago.
  • Its been almost almost two months…
  • India’s position remains unclear
  • 3.53 crore people received their second doses till May 8, six months ago
  • Less than 25% of present vaccine stocks – 15.6 crore doses are piled up with state governments – will be extinguished even if every one of this 3.5 crore cohort receive medical advice to take a booster shot and then turn up for their jab.
  • TOI has reported that experts are worried about vaccine stocks expiring, an appalling waste of resources if this were to happen.
  • The situation of large vaccine stocks and those on the cusp of expiry easily allows social medicine.
  • An abiding lesson from the Covid pandemic is to let go of rigid classifications and adapt to fluid situations.
  • Western regulators started approving booster shots after breakthrough infections and scientific studies indicated waning vaccine efficacy over time.
  • To make informed choices, the next serosurveys must lay special emphasis on fully vaccinated individuals to understand duration of persistence of antibodies.

Methane Question | ToI

  • One meaningful accomplishment of the COP26 summit is that 105 countries have pledged to reduce their methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels, by 2030.

 

  • CO2 after all is not the only greenhouse gas of concern.
  • IPCC research puts as much as a quarter of global warming at the doorstep of CH4 instead.
  • Tech solutions for reducing methane emissions of the fossil fuel industry are readily at hand.
  • The question here is whether the industrialised meat production system will be part of the reform – globally 32% of anthropogenic methane emissions come from the livestock sector.
  • Changing how we produce meat must be part of the climate solution.
  • Perhaps because of livestock and paddy cultivation (8% of CH4 emissions) issues.
  • There is a lot of promise in experiments to get more grain for the same amount of methane as well as to reduce methanogenic activity in bovines and sheep.
  • ICAR for example has developed a feed supplement that cuts down their methane emissions by 17-20%.
  • We must also be active participants in a future of “green meats” or laboratory meats.
  • Technology for this is already available, and given India’s startup culture, this is a potential green winner in India.

A vital cog in Bongaigaon’s response to malnutrition | TH

  • Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’. This statement is often attributed to Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine.

  • Project Sampoorna – implemented in Bongaigaon district of Assam
  • The project has resulted in the reduction of malnutrition in children using near zero economic investment.
  • Sampoorna is in tandem with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and those set by the UN Secretary General António Guterres in the Food Systems Summit (September 2021) including the need to have food systems and social protection that support resilience and food security.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi also had identified health and nutrition as priority areas and reiterated the need for a ‘Kuposhan mukt Bharat’ (Malnutrition Free India) while launching the Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment (POSHAN Abhiyaan) (National Nutrition Mission) in 2017-18.
  • It was during Poshan Maah (Nutrition Month) in September 2020 that 2,416 children were identified to be malnourished in the lush green Brahmaputra valley district of Bongaigaon.
  • The National Family Health Survey (NHFS)-5) has documented that the number of children under five who are stunted, wasted, underweight and the number of anaemic women and children in the district are higher than the national average — anaemia being a major determinant of maternal and child health.
  • These were corroborated by Project Saubhagya that was designed to reduce the maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate of the district.
  • The highest risk factor for high risk pregnancy is anaemia which is usually nutritional.
  • The vicious cycle.
  • In order to break out of this vicious cycle, the low-hanging fruit had to be targeted — children’s nutrition.
  • Bongaigaon has 1,116 Anganwadis with a total of 63,041 children below five.
  • The massive exercise of plotting their weights and heights in World Health Organization growth charts revealed a total of 2,416 malnourished children; 246 cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and 2,170 instances of Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM).
  • Based on the success of the community-based COVID-19 management model (Project Mili Juli), we launched Project Sampoorna targeting the mothers of SAM/MAM children, the tagline being ‘Empowered Mothers, Healthy Children’.
  • In addition, we identified the mother of a healthy child of the same Anganwadi Centre (AWC) and paired her with the target mother; they would be ‘Buddy Mothers’ (2,416 pairs).
  • They were usually neighbours and shared similar socio-economic backgrounds.
  • The pairs were given diet charts to indicate the daily food intake of their children; they would have discussions about this on all Tuesdays at the AWC.
  • Local practices related to nutrition would also be discussed.
  • The major hindrance to the project was patriarchy.
  • Mothers had to be empowered financially for sustained results.
  • Therefore, they were enrolled in Self Help Groups (SHGs) under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM).
  • Project Sampoorna had prevented at least 1,200 children from becoming malnourished over the last year.
  • The model can easily be implemented anywhere in the world.

It’s time to engage in ‘lawfare’ | TH

  • Military experts, international relations academics, and practitioners like retired diplomats dominate the debates on global security in India.
  • International lawyers are largely absent in these debates despite security issues being placed within the framework of international law.
  • Article 1(1) of the UN Charter recognises the maintenance of “international peace and security” as a principal objective of the UN.
  • Notwithstanding the central role that international law plays in security matters, India has failed to fully appreciate the usage of international law to advance its national security interests.
  • In recent times, several examples demonstrate India’s failure to use an international law-friendly vocabulary to articulate its security interests.
  • First, India struck the terror camps in Pakistan in February 2019, days after a dastardly act of terrorism in Pulwama was carried out by a Pakistan-based terror outfit.
  • In justifying the use of force, India did not invoke the right to self-defence since Pakistan was unable or unwilling to act against the terrorist groups operating from its soil; rather, it relied on a contested doctrine of ‘non-military pre-emptive action’.
  • Second, after the Pulwama attack, India decided to suspend the most favoured nation (MFN) status of Pakistan. Under international law contained in the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade, countries can deviate from their MFN obligations on grounds of national security.
  • Third, India wishes to deport the Rohingya refugees who, it argues, pose a security threat.
  • However, India’s argument to justify this deportation is that it is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention.
  • This is a weak argument since India is bound by the principle of non-refoulment (a customary international law principle that prohibits a country from returning refugees to countries where they face a clear threat of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, among others).
  • National security is one of the exceptions to the non-refoulment principle in international refugee law.
  • If India wishes to deport the Rohingya, it should develop a case on these lines showing how they constitute a national security threat.
  • Fourth, to put pressure on the Taliban regime to serve India’s interest, India has rarely used international law.
  • B.S. Chimni, a leading Indian international lawyer, argues, “the Legal and Treaties Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, which advises the government on international law matters, is both understaffed and largely ignored on policy matters”.
  • Moreover, an international law expert has far greater incentive to join the government as a generalist diplomat than as an international lawyer.
  • Second, apart from the External Affairs Ministry, there are several other Ministries like Commerce and Finance that also deal with different facets of international law.
  • Institutions created to undertake cutting-edge research in this discipline have institutionalised mediocrity and university centres mandated to develop the stream suffer from uninspiring leadership and systemic apathy.
  • Fourth, many of the outstanding international law scholars that India has produced prefer to converse with domain experts only.

NEWS

  • PM Modi lays foundation stone of highway projects in Maharashtra
  • President Kovind confers Padma awards to prominent personalities in Rashtrapati Bhavan
  • Over 108 crore 51 lakh COVID vaccine doses administered so far under Nationwide Vaccination Drive; Recovery Rate is at 98.24 per cent
  • NDRF deploys 4 teams in Tamil Nadu following warning of heavy rain by IMD; PM spoke to Tamil Nadu CM and discussed the situation
  • India to host Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan on 10th Nov

MCQ

Q.) Name the capital city of Ethiopia

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

ANS

Q.) Ahoms is a major community of which Indian State?

  1. West Bengal
  2. Assam
  3. Tripura
  4. Mizoram

 

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