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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 5th May 2021

  • IASbaba
  • May 5, 2021
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


India -UK Virtual Summit

Part of: GS Prelims And GS-II – International Relations 

In news

Key takeaways 

‘Roadmap 2030′

  • To elevate bilateral ties to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’. 
  • It will pave the way for a deeper and stronger engagement over the next ten years in the key areas of people to people contacts, trade and economy, defence and security, climate action and health.

‘Enhanced Trade Partnership’ (ETP) 

  • It sets an ambitious target of more than doubling bilateral trade by 2030. 
  • As part of the ETP, India and the UK agreed on a roadmap to negotiate a comprehensive and balanced FTA, including consideration of an Interim Trade Agreement for delivering early gains.

India-UK ‘Global Innovation Partnership’ 

  • It aims to support the transfer of inclusive Indian innovations to select developing countries, starting with Africa

A comprehensive partnership on migration and mobility 

  • It will facilitate greater opportunities for the mobility of students and professionals between the two countries.

Do you know?

  • Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation on new and emerging technologies, including Digital and ICT products, and work on supply chain resilience.
  • They also agreed to strengthen defence and security ties, including in the maritime, counter-terrorism and cyberspace domains.
  • The UK is India’s second largest partner in research and innovation collaborations. 

5G Technology and Spectrum Trials

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Infrastructure 

In news

  • The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Government of India approved permissions to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) for conducting trials for use and applications of 5G technology.

Key takeaways 

  • The applicant TSPs include Bharti Airtel Ltd., Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd., Vodafone Idea Ltd. and MTNL.
  • The duration of the trials, at present, is for a period of 6 months.
  • Each TSP will have to conduct trials in rural, semi-urban settings and urban settings so that the benefit of 5G Technology proliferates across the country. 
  • Objective: Testing 5G spectrum propagation characteristics especially in the Indian context; model tuning and evaluation of chosen equipment and vendors; testing of indigenous technology; testing of applications; and to test 5G phones and devices.
  • 5G technology is expected to deliver improved user experience in terms of data download rates (expected to be 10 times that of 4G), up to three times greater spectrum efficiency, and ultra low latency to enable Industry 4.0.

Do you know? 

5Gi technology

  • The TSPs are encouraged to conduct trials using 5Gi technology in addition to the already known 5G Technology.
  • International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has also approved the 5Gi technology as it facilitates much larger reach of the 5G towers and Radio networks.
  • The 5Gi technology has been developed by IIT Madras, Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT) and IIT Hyderabad.

Used Cooking Oil (UCO) Based Bio-Diesel 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Sci & tech 

In news

  • Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas flagged off the first supply of UCO (Used Cooking Oil) based Biodiesel blended Diesel under the EOI Scheme from Indian Oil’s Tikrikalan Terminal, Delhi.

Key takeaways 

  • To create an eco-system for collection and conversion of UCO into Biodiesel, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas had initiated Expressions of Interest (EOI) for “Procurement of Bio-diesel produced from Used Cooking Oil” on the occasion of World Biofuel Day on 10th August 2019.
  • It is a landmark in India’s pursuance of Biofuels which will have a positive impact on the environment.

Important value additions 

  • Biodiesel is an alternative fuel, similar to conventional or ‘fossil’ diesel.
  • It can be produced from vegetable oils, animal fats, tallow and waste cooking oil.
  • A significant advantage of Biodiesel is its carbon-neutrality, i.e. the oilseed absorbs the same amount of CO2 as is released when the fuel is combusted in a vehicle.
  • Also, Biodiesel is rapidly biodegradable and completely non-toxic.

Related article

How biofuels can double farm incomes


Production Linked Incentive scheme (PLI) for IT Hardware

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Economy 

In news

Key takeaways 

  • Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for IT Hardware was notified recently. 
  • The PLI Scheme extends an incentive of 4% to 2%/ 1% on net incremental sales (over base year of FY 2019-20) of goods under target segments that are manufactured in India to eligible companies, for a period of four years (FY 2021-22 to FY 2024-25).
  • The target IT hardware segments under the proposed Scheme include Laptops, Tablets, All-in-One Personal Computers (PCs) and Servers.
  • The scheme proposes production linked incentives to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in the value chain of these IT Hardware products.

Benefits:

  • Over the next 4 years, the Scheme is expected to lead to total production of about INR 1,60,000 crore. 
  • The scheme is expected to promote exports significantly. 
  • Out of the total production, more than 37% will be contributed by exports. 
  • It will bring additional investment in electronics manufacturing to the tune of INR 2,350 crore.
  • It will generate approximately 37,500 direct employment opportunities and indirect employment of nearly 3 times the direct employment.
  • Domestic Value Addition is expected to grow from the current 5-12% to 16-35%.

Miscellaneous

Moorhen Yoga Mat 

  • A biodegradable and compostable yoga mat was recently developed from water hyacinth from the fishing community in Assam. 
  • The mat is called ‘Moorhen Yoga Mat’ 
  • It will soon be introduced to the world market as a unique product.
  • The intervention was triggered through an initiative by North East Centre for Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR), an autonomous body under Department of Science & Technology (DST) to involve the entire women community associated with a collective called ‘Simang’ meaning dream, led by the 6 girls to create wealth from water hyacinth plants.
  • Water hyacinth is considered as a nuisance since it does not benefit the fishing community and harms their occupation.

Deepor Beel

  • Deepor Beel is a permanent freshwater lake in Assam. 
  • It is recognised as a Ramsar Site and a bird wildlife sanctuary.

(Mains Focus)


GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • GS-3: Disaster Management

Frequent Hospital Fires in India

Context: As many as 93 people, most of them Covid-19 patients, died in 24 incidents of fire in hospitals in India since August 2020.

More than half these fires occurred in March and April, when rising Covid-19 cases snowballed into a second wave.

Why are these fires taking place regularly, despite the hospitals having passed fire checks and audits?

  1. Overstressed ICUs, ACs
  • Hospitals are increasing beds, equipment and staff to admit more Covid patients, but it has not been possible to immediately expand the electrical wiring system. 
  • The ventilator, equipment, air conditioners are working 24 x 7 now. ideally air conditioners need to run for 15-16 hours and then need a cooling period. This has put a pressure on the entire system
  • Medical equipment or wires carrying current beyond their capacity can overheat leading to fires.
  1. More inflammable material
  • In Gujarat, fire officials have noted that ICUs lack cross-ventilation – this is the case with all ICUs as they are sealed for the purpose of keeping them sterile.
  • In addition, due to Covid, there has been an increase of inflammable material in Hospitals – sanitiser spills and vapour, higher oxygen content in the air, and PPE kits, which are made of synthetic materia
  • Highly inflammable material such as these spread fire quickly and leave very little time for a response
  • A high oxygen percentage and sanitiser fumes in the ICU at times led to a flash fire reducing the time to respond.

Way Ahead

  • Hospitals must install sprinklers. If temperature rise to 78°C, sprinkler automatically starts dispensing 35 litres per minute. They can become first form of response,
  • To further reduce response time, government should give preliminary training to staff in hospitals, 
  • There is a need to augment deputation of more fire officials in major Covid hospitals 
  • Regular auditing once a week or two is required in densely populated hospitals

Connecting the dots:


INTERNATIONAL/ ECONOMY

Topic:

  • GS-2: Bilateral Relations; Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries

India-UK Ties

Context: Virtual Summit scheduled between Indian PM Modi and his UK Counterpart Boris Johnson

The virtual summit will witness the roll-out of a new “Enhanced Trade Partnership” that is expected to pave the way for a future free trade agreement.

Irritants in India-UK relationship

  • Colonial History: If the anti-colonial resentment against Britain is always seething barely below the surface among the Indian political and bureaucratic classes, London has found it difficult to shed its own prejudices about India
  • Divergence on Pakistan: The bitter legacies of the Partition and Britain’s perceived tilt to Pakistan have long complicated the engagement between Delhi and London.
  • Growing anti-Indian sentiments: Delhi’s problems have been accentuated by the British Labour Party’s growing political negativity towards India & Indian migrants in UK. Ironically, it was the same party that supported Nationalists during freedom struggle.

 Why India and Britain need each other?

  • Need for Economic Partnerships: Britain has walked out of EU and India has refused to join RCEP. Although both will continue to trade with their regional partners, they are eager to build new global economic partnerships.
  • Changing Geopolitics: The centre of international politics has shifted from Atlantic to Indo-Pacific. India is a natural ally for Britain in Indo-Pacific. India which is witnessing rise of China in Indo-Pacific, needs as wide a coalition as possible to restore a semblance of regional balance.
  • Climate Change: Both sides are committed to finding common ground on climate change.
  • Health Cooperation: The issues of immediate relief supplies of oxygen & other medical equipment, resilient medical supply chains have potential for bilateral strategic cooperation in the health sector and contributions to the global war on the virus.

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


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

Note:

  • 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 bio-diesel:

  1. It can be produced from vegetable oils, animal fats, tallow and waste cooking oil.
  2. Biodiesel is rapidly biodegradable and completely non-toxic.

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 Deepor Beel is a Ramsar Site in which of the following state of India?

  1. Assam 
  2. Nagaland
  3. Meghalaya
  4. Manipur

ANSWERS FOR 4th May 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 A
2 D
3 A

Must Read

On COVID blot on India’s foreign policy:

The Hindu

On India’s Vaccination Strategy:

The Indian Express

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