DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 5th SEPTEMBER 2020

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  • September 5, 2020
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 5th SEPTEMBER 2020
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ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ Consultations

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- International relations; Global Groupings

In news

  • Recently, the 17th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers Consultations was held virtually, co-chaired by India and Vietnam.

Key takeaways

  • The meeting was attended by the Trade Ministers of all the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries.
  • The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to take collective actions in mitigating the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • They also resolved to ensure macroeconomic and financial stability and resilient supply chain connectivity.
  • The report of the ASEAN India Business Council (AIBC) was placed.
  • It was also recommended that the ASEAN India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) be reviewed for mutual benefit.
  • Discussions on review of the ASEAN India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) took place.

Important value additions

  • ASEAN India-Business Council (AIBC) was set up in March 2003 as a forum to bring key private sector players from India and the ASEAN countries on a single platform for business networking and sharing of ideas.
  • The AITIGA is a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) among ASEAN countries and India which came into force in January, 2010.
  • ASEAN countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th February 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th February 2020

Image source: Click here

Proposal of Supply Chain Resilience Initiative

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Supply chain management

In news

  • Covid-19 and trade tensions between China and the USA are threatening supply chains.
  • Thus, Japan has mooted the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) as a trilateral approach to trade, with India and Australia as the key-partners.

Important value additions

Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI)

  • The initiative aims to reduce the dependency on a single nation (at present China).
  • SCRI is a direct response to individual companies and economies concerned about Chinese political behaviour and the supply chain disruption.
  • The initiative also potentially sees other Asian and Pacific Rim nations later.
  • Objective:
  • To attract foreign direct investment to turn the Indo-Pacific into an “economic powerhouse”.
  • To build a mutually complementary relationship among partner countries.
  • To work out a plan to build on the existential supply chain network. 

Special Frontier Force: Vikas Battalion

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Defence and Security

In news

Important value additions 

Special Frontier Force (SFF

  • SFF was established on 14th November 1962 in the immediate aftermath of the 1962 Sino-India war.
  • It falls under the purview of the Cabinet Secretariat. 
  • It is headed by an Inspector General who is an Army officer of the rank of Major General.
  • They are highly trained special forces personnel who can undertake a variety of tasks. 
  • Women soldiers, too, form a part of SFF units. 
  • The SFF units are not part of the Army
  • However, they function under operational control of the Army

Do you know? 

Major Operations of SFF: 

  • Operation Eagle (1971 war with Pakistan) 
  • Operation Bluestar (clearing Amritsar’s Golden Temple in 1984)
  • Operation Meghdoot (securing the Siachen glacier in 1984) 
  • Operation Vijay (war with Pakistan at Kargil in 1999) 

Early Migration of Butterflies

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Biodiversity; Climate change

In news

  • The annual migration of butterflies from the hill ranges of the Eastern Ghats towards the Western Ghats has been observed earlier in 2020 (in the months of July and August). 
  • Usually, these butterflies breed during the southwest monsoon season on the eastern areas of South India and their progeny migrate back to the Western Ghats in October- November.

Key takeaways 

  • The Eastern Ghats complex of the Yercaud hills (Shevaroy hills), Pachamalai, Kolli hills, Kalvarayan are major originating places for the migrating species.
  • Possible Reasons for Early Migration: Change in rainfall pattern, a considerable increase in the number of sunny days and a population outburst of butterflies.

Do you know? 

  • Four species of milkweed butterflies belonging to the Danainae subfamily are mainly involved in the migration — the Dark Blue Tiger, Blue Tiger, Common Crow and the Double-branded (commonly known as tigers and crows).
  •  The Ferns Nature Conservation Society (FNCS) initiated a citizen science project in 2018 to study the migration ecology of milkweed butterflies in south India,

Important value additions 


  • Butterflies are insects from the order Lepidoptera of phylum Arthropoda which also includes moths.
  • Adult butterflies have large, often brightly coloured wings, and conspicuous, fluttering flight.
  • Abundance of butterflies in any area represents the rich biodiversity.

The State of Young Child in India 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- Social issues & GS-II – Health

In news

  • Indian Vice President recently released ‘The State of Young Child in India’ report. 
  • It is a comprehensive account of the challenges related to early child development in India.

Key takeaways 

  • Prepared by: Mobile Creches. It is a policy advocacy organisation which works with the underprivileged children across India.
  • Out of 159 million children aged below 6 years in India, 21% are undernourished, 36% are underweight and 38% do not receive full immunization.
  • Huge returns on investment in Early Childhood Development (ECD) at the individual, household and country levels were also reported. 
  • Top performers: Kerala, Goa, Tripura and Tamil Nadu. 
  • States with scores below the national average – Assam, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. 


Poshan Maah

  • Under Poshan Abhiyaan, the month of September is observed as Poshan Maah i.e. Nutrition month every year, since 2018.
  • ‘Agricultural Fund of India’ is being created to have complete information about the crops that are grown in each district and their related nutritional value.
  • It includes a month-long activities focussed on antenatal care, optimal breastfeeding, anaemia, girls education, right age of marriage, etc.
  • The activities focus on Social and Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) and are based on Jan Andolan Guidelines.
  • A food and nutrition quiz as well as meme competition will be organized on the My Gov portal.
  • A unique kind of Nutrition Park has been created at Statue of Unity (Gujarat), where one can witness nutrition related education along with fun and frolic.

Shetrunji and Bhadar Dams of Gujarat

  • Due to heavy rains, Shetrunji and Bhadar dams have overflowed simultaneously.
  • These are two largest reservoirs in the Saurashtra region (Gujarat).
  • The two dams are across Shetrunji and Bhadar rivers. 
  • These rivers flow in opposite directions.
  • These two dams have different catchment areas. 
  • Sardar Sarovar Dam, also called Narmada Dam, is the largest reservoir in Gujarat


  • The term BIPOC became popular on the internet during the Black Lives Matter movement. 
  • It stands for “Black, Indigenous and People of Color.”
  • The BIPOC movement urges to acknowledge the diversity in skin color, race, and hair.
  • It advocates for inclusivity and representation across all areas of life, from politics to skin care.
  • It is been seen as a substitute to degrading and offensive terms like negro, african-american and minority



Topic: General Studies 2,4:

  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests 
  • Ethical issues in international relations and funding 

Russia is jumping the gun with its vaccine

Context: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the ‘approval’ of Russian COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V

Three Stages of Clinical Trials to test the safety & efficacy of drug

  • Phase I: with an average sample size of less than 100, it is the preliminary study of safety, where the objective is to find the acceptable dose level which will not cause serious side-effects. 
  • Phase II is a study of safety and efficacy together, with a few hundred people or even fewer. 
  • Phase III- It is a detailed evaluation of effectiveness in comparison to some existing treatment or some similar-looking treatment having no effect (called placebo). This involves hundred to thousands of people. This stage even allows scientists to look for rare side-effects that can’t be spotted in smaller, earlier stage trials

What happens after three phases of Clinical Trials?

  • After the three phases, if the vaccine is found to be safe and effective, the study report is forwarded to the regulatory agency, which, if convinced, permits its usage en masse. 
  • Phase IV is the postmarketing surveillance stage. Such surveillance can only be conducted after the drug is marketed.

Concerns with Russian Vaccine

  • Standard Procedure not followed: The approval came before phase III of the required clinical trial was even started.
  • Inadequately vetted vaccine: Russia has claimed to have tested its vaccine on just 76 people in the first two phases.
  • Lack transparency: No research article is available in the public domain about the Russian vaccine.
    • Researchers worldwide who are developing vaccines for COVID-19 publish their studies in peer-reviewed journals, which are constantly scrutinised by the relevant scientific community. The community, in effect, enhances the credibility of these studies. 
  • Short Duration: Russian vaccine is dangerously rushed — it got approval in less than two months of starting the trial.
    • Top scientists and even WHO have repeatedly maintained that a vaccine is not expected before 12-18 months.
    • Durability of Vaccine unknown: Nobody knows the durability of the antibody created by the Russian vaccine — is it durable for a few years or a few weeks?
  • Impact on different segments of population untested: 
    • A carefully conducted clinical trials might even show that a vaccine could be harmful for a section of the population. 
    • For example, a new type of measles vaccine in the early 1990s was found to be detrimental to baby girls, and so it was never licensed for the general population.
  • Lacks Support of Russian Doctors
    • In a survey of 3,040 Russian doctors and health specialists, conducted by the Doctor’s Handbook app, 52% said they were not ready to be vaccinated; only 24.5% said they were
    • A leading respiratory doctor in Russia has quit the Health Ministry citing “gross violations” of medical ethics in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Consequences of Russian Vaccine

  • It is potentially dangerous for the people who receive it
  • It could also impede global efforts to develop quality COVID-19 immunisations. 
  • Reduces the trust factor in vaccination programmes. 
  • Leads to Vaccine Nationalism (dealt in separate Article)
  • People taking the Russian vaccine at this stage would effectively be part of a grand phase III clinical trial.


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)


  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. 
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q.1 Consider the following statements regarding recently held 17th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers Consultations:

  1. It was co-chaired by India and Laos.
  2. The AITIGA is a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) among ASEAN countries and India.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only 
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.2 Which of the following country has proposed the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) as a trilateral approach to trade?

  1. Japan
  2. India
  3. USA
  4. Russia

Q.3 Which of the following species of milkweed butterflies is involved in migration?

  1. Dark Blue Tiger 
  2. Blue Tiger 
  3. Common Crow 
  4. Double-branded

Q.4 Consider the following initiatives being taken up as parts of Poshan Maah, which is being observed in the month of September: 

  1. Agricultural Fund of India is being created to have complete information about the crops that are grown in each district and their related nutritional value.
  2. A unique kind of Nutrition Park has been created at Statue of Unity where one can witness nutrition related education along with fun and frolic.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only 
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2


1 C
2 B
3 C
4 C

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