IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 7th September 2019
(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)
Part of: GS Prelims
- Sri Lankan Navy is sending two ships to India to participate in the SLINEX 2019
- SLINEX is a bi-lateral maritime fleet exercise between Navies of India and Sri Lanka
- Since 2005, six successful SLINEX series of maritime exercises have been conducted. 2019 edition is the seventh edition of SLINEX.
- The week-long SLINEX 2019 exercise will commence on September 7, 2019. The exercise features wide-ranging naval exercises including helicopter operations.
- This has helped the two Navies in understanding each other’s procedures and contributes towards maritime security in the region.
Indus Valley Civilizations
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-II – Ancient History
- Study of DNA from skeletal remains excavated from the Harappan cemetery at Rakhigarhi has provided new insights into Indian history
- The study shows that hunter-gatherers of South Asia (who later formed Harappa Civilization) have an independent origin and are not descendent of Eurasian farmers.
- The theory of the Harappans having ancient Iranian farmer ancestry thus stands refuted.
- The study done through DNA analysis of Rakhigarhi thus challenges Aryan Invasion theory
Do You Know?
- In Europe, ancient-DNA studies have shown that agriculture tended to spread through an influx of people with ancestry in Anatolia, in modern day Turkey.
- In South Asia, however, the story appears quite different. The researchers found an absence of Anatolian-related ancestry.
- Rakhigarhi in Haryana State, situated 150 km to the northwest of Delhi, is the site of a pre-Indus Valley Civilisation settlement going back to about 6500 BCE
- In January 2014, the discovery of additional mounds at Rakhigarhi resulted in it becoming the largest Indus Valley Civilization site, overtaking Mohenjodaro (300 Hectares) by almost 50 hectares.
Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II – Issues relating to Health
- Member-countries of the World Health Organisation (WHO) South-East Asia Region have resolved to eliminate measles and rubella by 2023.
- Measles and rubella are contagious viral infections preventable by vaccine and best known by its distinctive red rash.
- Eliminating measles will prevent 500,000 deaths a year in the region, while eliminating rubella/ congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) would avert about 55,000 cases of rubella.
- Bhutan, North Korea, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste have eliminated measles.
- Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste have controlled rubella.
- Measles is a deadly disease which can lead to –Pneumonia, Diarrhoea and other deadly threats
- The respiratory disease measles remains a leading cause of death among young children, despite the fact that a safe and effective vaccine has been available for 40 years. Measles is an acute illness caused by a virus of the paramyxovirus family.
- It is one of the most contagious diseases and many children who do not have sufficient immunity contract measles if exposed.
- During the first few weeks after contracting measles, a child’s immune system becomes weakened, and a normal cold or diarrhoea can become a life-threatening illness.
- Rubella infection during pregnancy can cause congenital deformities in newborn baby, such as Blindness, Deafness, Mental Retardation& Congenital heart disease
- Rubella is an acute, contagious viral infection. While rubella virus infection usually causes a mild fever and rash illness in children and adults, infection during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, can result in miscarriage, fetal death, stillbirth, or infants with congenital malformations, known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).
- The rubella virus is transmitted by airborne droplets when infected people sneeze or a cough. Humans are the only known host.
- There is no specific treatment, but the disease can be prevented by vaccination.
Global Liveability Index
Part of: GS Prelims
- The Austrian capital Vienna has been ranked the ‘world’s most liveable city’ for the second year in a row on the annual Global Liveability Index
- The annual Global Liveability Index of 140 cities around the world, is released by UK’s The Economist news magazine.
- The index considers more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors spanning categories like stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
- For the first time, the index noted the effects of climate change on liveability.
- New Delhi was ranked at 118th (a drop of six ranks) due to “poor air quality. Mumbai was ranked 119th
- The least liveable cities were Karachi, Tripoli, Dhaka, Lagos and, at the very bottom, Damascus (Syria).
- Western Europe and North America continue to be the most liveable regions in the world.
TOPIC: General Studies 2
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
India-Russia bilateral ties
- Unveiling the Russian edition of India’s ‘Look East, Act East’ policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged on Thursday to extend a $1 billion Line of Credit to Russia’s Far East region (RFE)
- Finance Indian business projects in the region, will be the “take-off point for Act Far East”, and will further strengthen bilateral ties.
What is the EEF?
- According to its website, the EEF was established by a decree of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, in 2015, with the aim of supporting the economic development of Russia’s Far East, and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
- The ongoing EEF Summit at the Far Eastern Federal University is the fifth in its history.
- Among the participants in the Summit are India, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, and South Korea.
- According to the EEF website, the 2018 Summit was attended by more than 6,000 participants from over 60 countries, and over 220 agreements worth over RUB 3.1 trillion were signed. (Each Russian ruble is almost exactly worth 1 Indian rupee.)
- The Summits have roundtable conferences, panel sessions, business breakfasts, besides business dialogues and bilateral talks and agreements.
Mr. Modi’s visit saw several initiatives being launched towards increasing the value of economic ties between the two countries, which, at approximately $10 billion in terms of bilateral trade, lags far behind their strategic partnership and defence relationship
- India’s economic ties with Russia have been struggling with bilateral trade hovering around $10 billion mark. Energy is one area which has the potential to provide stimulus to their ties.
- On 20th India—Russia Annual Summit India,
- Russia agree to step up trade to $30 bn by 2025.
- They also agreed to speed up preparations for signing of the India-Russia Intergovernmental Agreement on Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments.
- It was also agreed to intensify work for eliminating trade barriers. Which would be facilitated by the proposed Trading Agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Republic of India
- India has contracted defence deals worth about $14.5 billion from Russia.
- New Delhi’s decision to go ahead with the purchase of S-400 missile defence system, worth over $5 billion, despite the threat of US sanctions, underscores the importance India continues to attach to its defence engagement with Russia.
- Chief among the 50 agreements signed this week were those on energy exploration and procurement, including a specific MoU on cooperation on LNG supplies to India, and a maritime route from Vladivostok to Chennai which will be used for energy trade as well.
- The two sides also agreed on a five-year ‘roadmap’ for cooperation on prospecting for hydrocarbons and LNG in the Far East and the Arctic, building on a history of Indian investment in oilfields in the region.
- The emphasis on energy from this region is as much a bid to benefit from explorations and trade routes in the Arctic that are becoming accessible due to global warming, as it is reflective of India’s desire to diversify its energy sources away from an unstable West Asia
- The investment in the Far East, which is often neglected given that Russia is seen as a European power in the post-Soviet era, also underlines India’s desire to draw Russia into its strategic forays in the Indo-Pacific.
- Russia and India are also becoming more ambitious by pursuing projects in third countries such as the Rooppur nuclear power project of Bangladesh.
The push to ‘Act Far East’ allows India to demonstrate its commitment to an area of concern for Moscow, thus reassuring its traditional partner that in an increasingly polarised world, India is confident of working with multiple alignments, even if they are at cross purposes with each other.
The challenge in front of India and Russia is that they need to transform a 20th century partnership and make it fit for the 21st century. Global trends are evolving rapidly and major powers are re-defining their ties with each other to match their contemporary requirements.
Connecting the dots:
- India and Russia have been strategic partners even before cold war era. Critically analyse the defence relation between two countries and what can be possible way forward.
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
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Q.1) Consider the following statements
- Recent studies from Rakhigarhi remains have shown that hunter-gatherers of South Asia were descendent of Eurasian farmers strengthening Aryan Invasion theory.
- Rakhigarhi, the largest Indus Valley Civilization site is situated in Maharashtra.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.2) Global Liveability Index is released by which body/organisation?
- World Economic Forum
- United Nations
- World Bank
- None of the above
Q.3) Measles and Rubella diseases are caused due to
- Protozoan parasite Plasmodium.
The problem of skilling India
Empowering primary care practitioners
Easing the pressure
India needs a globally competitive solar panel industry