IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 2nd May 2019
UN Security Council designates Masood Azhar as global terrorist
Part of: GS Mains II and III – Role of UNSC, international organization; Security/Terrorism related issues
- Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar was listed as a designated terrorist by the UN Security Council 1267 Committee.
- The listing would mean a travel ban, arms embargo and asset freeze on Azhar.
- The listing is a victory for India in a decade-old diplomatic battle waged primarily by it and supported by its friends at the UNSC.
Do you know?
- S. circulated a draft resolution (to sanction Azhar) among the UNSC members, i.e., outside the 1267 Committee, presumably to pressure China into either supporting the listing or having to take a stand in open proceedings and risk being seen as supporting terror.
India’s second moon mission: Chandrayaan-2
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Science and Technology; Space Missions; Achievements of India
- India’s much-delayed second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, has got yet another launch window.
- The mission is now set to be launched any time between July 5 and July 16 this year.
- According to the ISRO, the moon landing is likely to be around September 6, 2019, nearly two months after the launch, close to the lunar South Pole.
Do you know?
- The lunar South Pole is believed to contain ice and other minerals.
- NASA is planning to land astronauts there by 2024, while China reportedly plans to build a scientific research station on the lunar South Pole within the next decade.
- It is a fully-indigenous mission that comprises three modules — an Orbiter, a Lander named ‘Vikram’, and a Rover named ‘Pragyan’ — and will be launched on board a GSLV-MkIII rocket.
- The GSLV-MkIII is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle that has been designed to carry four-tonne class satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
- The Chandrayaan-2 weighs around 3,290 kg, according to ISRO. It would orbit around the moon and carry out remote sensing of the moon.
- The Chandrayaan-1 mission was launched on board a PSLV.
Iraq remains top oil supplier to India
- Iraq has, for the second year in a row, become India’s top crude oil supplier.
- Saudi Arabia has traditionally been India’s top oil source, but it was for the first time dethroned by Iraq in 2017-18 fiscal year.
- The Persian Gulf nation, Iran, was the third largest crude oil supplier to India.
- The U.S., which began selling crude oil to India in 2017, is fast becoming a major source.
TOPIC: General studies 2
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health
The cost of antimicrobial resistance
- Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a global threat and developing countries like India are at the epicentre of this problem.
- AMR does not respect political boundaries. Of course, the country that stands to lose the most from antibiotic resistance is India, given that its burden of infectious disease is among the world’s highest.
According to a groundbreaking report titled “No Time to Wait: Securing The Future From Drug Resistant Infections”, by the UN Ad hoc Interagency Coordinating Group on Antimicrobial Resistance –
- If no action is taken, drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050 and damage to the economy as catastrophic as during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.
- By 2030, antimicrobial resistance could force up to 24 million people into extreme poverty.
- Currently, at least 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases, including 230,000 people who die from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
- In the worst-case scenario, the world will lose 3.8% of its annual GDP by 2050, while 24 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty by 2030.
India’s actions against AMR
- India first published almost nine years ago the broad contours of a plan to fight AMR.
- The difficulty has been in implementing it, given the twin challenges of antibiotic overuse and underuse.
- Poorly regulated pharmaceutical industries have led to easy availability of antibiotics for those who can afford them.
Steps which can be initiated right away:
- Phasing out critical human-use antibiotics in the animal husbandry sector, such as quinolones.
- A multi-stakeholder approach, involving private industry, philanthropic groups and citizen activists is needed.
- Private pharmaceutical industries must take it upon themselves to distribute drugs in a responsible manner.
- Philanthropic charities must fund the development of new antibiotics, while citizen activists must drive awareness.
- India is yet to introduce standards for antibiotics in waste water, which means antibiotic discharge in sewage is not even being monitored regularly.
- Only way to postpone resistance is through improved hygiene and vaccinations.
- It is a formidable task as India still struggles with low immunisation rates and drinking water contamination. But it must consider the consequences of a failure.
- Given the complex nature of the problem, no individual nation has the capacity to address this problem independently and thus a global cooperation is required.
Connecting the dots:
- India needs to strengthen and implement regulations on antibiotic misuse. Critically evaluate the steps taken by government.
TOPIC: General studies 2
- India and the world
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
India-Canada: Concerns and Potential
- In recent times there has been resurgence in anti-India activities by emboldened Khalistani elements in Canada.
- India-Canada ties have deteriorated in recent years, especially given the view that the current Justin Trudeau administration is soft on individuals and organisations that support the demand for Khalistan, a separate Sikh homeland.
- India has been consistently accusing the Canadian government of giving safe refuge to Sikh separatists, even though the Khalistan movement has long fizzled out because of lack of mass support.
- Trudeau received the cold shoulder from Punjab Chief Minister during his India visit in February 2018, as their discussion was on the Khalistan issue, rather than on areas of mutual cooperation.
- Recently, Mr. Trudeau drew the ire of the Indian government when a report on terror threats avoided the words ‘Khalistani extremism’.
- The Indian government is reportedly concerned over the unity of Sikhs in Britain, US, and Canada and their coming to positions of power which could, in turn, pose a threat by challenging the abuse of civil rights of the Sikhs in India.
- The Indian government has also raised concerns over the revival of Sikh militancy, however the same has been termed as an exaggeration by many.
- While so far there hasn’t been any concerning act of separatism, the Indian elite remains alert as it sees the demands by Sikh as a sign of separatism.
India-Canada cooperation: Potential
Canada has truly been a land of opportunity for the Indian diaspora and higher education:
- They have earned the affection and respect of Canadians, who are very inclusive.
- Indian diaspora comprising 3.6% of the Canadian population is well-educated, affluent and politically suave.
- For the year 2017, Indian students received well over 25% (over 80,000) of the available study permits.
- In 2017, well over 40% of the 86,022 people who received invitations for permanent residency in Canada were Indians. During 2018, this rose by a staggering 13% to 41,000.
- There has been a spike in investments by the well-endowed Canadian Pension Funds like CPPIB and CDPQ into India.
- Together, Canadian companies have pumped in some $12-15 billion Canadian in India in sectors including real estate, financial services, distressed assets, modern logistics facilities and e-commerce.
- There exists enough potential for stepping up cooperation in areas like information technology, science and technology, clean and green tech, aviation and outer space, cold-climate warfare, cybersecurity, counterterrorism and tourism.
- The need of the hour is to strengthen mutual trust and confidence, by taking a long-term view of the relationship.
- By focusing only on the Khalistan issue, India risks alienating the Sikh diaspora. India should instead reach out to the Sikh diaspora in a year when Sikhs and all other followers of Guru Nanak will be commemorating his 550th birth anniversary.
Connecting the dots:
- Discuss the potential of India-Canada relationship. Also analyze how Khalistan issue in recent times has impacted our bilateral ties.
The smokescreen of an infiltrator-free India
The Court’s conscience
PepsiCo vs farmers: Whose right is it anyway?
India’s tale of extended infanticide
India’s exports: Are there signs of recovery?
The people of India and the country’s great space race