Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 27-04-2021


Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 27-04-2021


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  1. Science and Technology - China launches robot prototype for space debris removal - A Chinese space mining startup launched a robot prototype, NEO-01, that can catch debris left behind by other spacecraft with a big net, into the low Earth orbit (LEO). It was launched on the government's Long March 6 rocket along with a handful of satellites, as per  the state-run Xinhua news agency. The NEO-01 will reportedly burn debris with its electric propulsion system. Since the establishment of the world's first asteroid mining company Planetary Resources in 2009, more than a dozen firms across the world have entered the fledgling sector, including 3D Systems of the United States and Japan's Astroscale. Unlike Astroscale's technology, which uses magnets to gather up space junk, NEO-01 will use a net to capture debris and then burn it. Where does the debris come from? Thousands of satellites have been launched globally. As they outlive their use, many end up as junk, posing danger to other operating satellites. China has grand space ambitions, aiming to catch up with Russia and the US and transform China into a major space power by 2030. A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an Earth-centred orbit close to the planet, with orbital periods of 128 minutes or less (making 11.25 orbits per day), below an altitude of 2,000 km (approximately one-third of the radius of Earth).
  2. Science and Technology - Russia to leave International Space Station (ISS) - Russia announced that it would be withdrawing from the International Space Station project in 2025, and build and manage its own floating laboratory, to be launched into orbit by 2030. The decision to leave also comes at a time when relations between Russia and the US have been steadily deteriorating on multiple fronts. The International Space Station is the only active modular space station (habitable artificial satellite) in the Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). It is the largest artificial object in space and the largest satellite in low Earth orbit, visible to the naked eye from Earth's surface. It is like a large laboratory in space that has been there since 1998. It allows astronauts to come aboard and stay for weeks or months to carry out experiments in microgravity. It is a joint project between five participating space agencies - NASA (USA), Roscosmos, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), European Space Agency, and Canadian Space Agency. All crewed space stations to date have been in LEO. Since the end of the Apollo programme of US (1972), there have been no human spaceflights beyond LEO.
  3. Governance and Schemes - Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana - The PMGKAY was announced by the Union Government for the month of May and June 2021. PMGKAY is a part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to ameliorate the hardships faced by the poor due to Covid-19 situation. Under this scheme, allocation of an additional quota of free-of-cost food grains at 5 kg per person per month to nearly 80 crore beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) will be done. The additional quota to the already subsidised 5 kg of food grains that is provided through the Public Distribution System (PDS) will be provided to beneficiaries covered under both categories of NFSA, Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Householders (PHH). The Food Corporation of India will provide additional 80 LMT food grains in May and June 2021, under the scheme to respective State/UT Governments, in addition to their regular NFSA allocation. This allocation for May and June 2021 would be on the same pattern as the earlier PM-GKAY. The government had announced PMGKAY-I (April-June 2020) and PMGKAY-II (July-November 2020).
  4. Science and Technology - Cybercrime volunteer no records kept - The Union Home Ministry has said it does not maintain a centralised list of volunteers enrolled under the cybercrime volunteer programme since the police is a “State subject” under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. The Ministry, through its cybercrime grievance portal, cybercrime.gov.in, aims to raise a group of “cybercrime volunteers” to flag “unlawful content” on the Internet. A digital rights group, the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), has said the programme enables a culture of surveillance and could create potential social distrust by encouraging civilians to report the online activities of other citizens. In response to a RTI application on the total number of volunteers who have applied under the Cybercrime Volunteers Programme of the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal, the Ministry said the information could be sought directly from the respective States and Union Territories. The programme was expected to include 500 volunteers, 200 “cyber awareness promoters” and 50 “cyber experts”. The National Cybercrime Ecosystem Management Unit, of which the Cybercrime Volunteers Programme is a constituent, is part of the Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C) scheme launched by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in January 2020. The project was approved in October 2018 at an estimated cost of ₹415.86 crore. The I4C scheme that includes other components also has been allocated ₹69.80 crore in the 2021-22 Budget.
  5. Governance and Institutions - The liquid oxygen problem - Invoking the Disaster Management Act (DMA), the Central government ordered States that all liquid oxygen, including the existing stock with private plants, should be made available to the government and will be used for medical purposes only. Liquid oxygen—abbreviated LOx or LOX in the aerospace, submarine and gas industries, is the liquid form of molecular oxygen. It has a pale blue color and is strongly paramagnetic: it can be suspended between the poles of a powerful horseshoe magnet. Because of its cryogenic nature, liquid oxygen can cause the materials it touches to become extremely brittle. Liquid oxygen is also a very powerful oxidizing agent: organic materials will burn rapidly and energetically in liquid oxygen.
  6. Governance and Institutions - Oxygen Express - In the middle of the raging second wave of Covid-19, hospitals in India are facing a massive shortage of medical oxygen. Hundreds of patients have died, and many more are gasping for breath, in the absence of a steady stream of pure oxygen. To meet the high demand of the critical gas meant for coronavirus patients, the Indian Railways has started “Oxygen Express” trains to ferry oxygen tankers from one region to another. The Railways are running the “Oxygen Express” train from steel plants that produce oxygen to different parts of the country. The first Oxygen Express carrying seven tankers filled with liquid medical oxygen from Visakhapatnam reached Maharashtra on April 23. This shows a certain lack of preparation of part of India's governments, when a long period of low caseload was available from November 2020 to March 2021. Covid death tolls in India have touched world-highs, and a large per cent of those are due to lack of oxygen supply in hospitals. In parallel, Indian Air Force's (IAF) C-17s are engaged in shuttles from at least 7 cities across the country to airlift cryogenic oxygen containers to Jamnagar, Ranchi & Bhubaneswar.
  7. Governance and Institutions - PM Cares Fund - Prime Minister Modi has ordered setting up of 551 oxygen plants inside government hospitals across the country, as an emergency response to deaths due to lack of medical oxygen. The PM CARES Fund will provide financial aid in setting up these plants.The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) was created on 27 March 2020, following the COVID-19 pandemic in India. The fund's stated objective was combating and containing the disease, and providing relief efforts against the coronavirus outbreak and similar pandemic like situations in the future. The members are PM of India Modi (as the chairman) and trustees including the Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh, Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah, and Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman (all in the Government of India). Donations to this fund are exempt from income tax under section 80(G), but the fund is not under the CAG audit screen (Comptroller and Auditor General of India). That has made PM CARES a controversial entity.
  8. Indian Economy - Agriculture exports - India recorded a 30 per cent increase in agricultural export in 2020-21 in comparison to 2019-20 financial year despite Covid situation. Around Rs.1.3 lakh crore of export business was recorded in comparison to Rs.1.1 lakh crore in previous financial year. The pandemic gave an opportunity to India to provide reliable food and nutritional support to the world. APEDA Chairman has said that there was also 40 percent increase in export of organic products in comparison to last financial year. There was a huge demand for herbal and medicinal products in Europe, US and Middle East and APEDA is all set to explore all the options. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is an Apex-Export Trade Promotion Active government body set up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. APEDA works on (i) Promotion of export-oriented production and development of the Scheduled products, (ii) Setting the standards and specifications for the scheduled products, (iii) Registration of exporters of the scheduled products on payment of required fees, etc.
  9. World Politics - Covid update - In a remarkable news from America, US CDC said that fully vaccinated people could safely engage in outdoor activities like walking and hiking without wearing masks but must continue to use face-coverings in public spaces where required. That marks a major improvement in US, compared to December 2020, when Covid-19 was raging and killing several thousand each day. President Biden's huge push to vaccination and masks has worked wonders, for now. Biden said that when the US was in a bind at the very beginning, India was there to help, and US is still discussing when to send actual vaccines to India 'which is my intention to do'. Biden spoke to PM Modi on phone. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau said, "Right now, the people of India are facing a tragic situation. To help with everything from ambulance services to buying personal protective equipment, we’re contributing $10 million to @IndianRedCross through @RedCrossCanada, and we stand ready to donate extra medical supplies, too." World's Covid-19 tally was - Total cases: 149,319,224; New cases: 830,867; Total deaths: 3,148,205; New deaths: 14,858; Total recovered: 127,458,063; Active cases: 18,712,956.
  10. Indian Politics - Covid update - 27th Apri marked the deadliest day of Covid-19 for India, with 3,62,913 new cases, and 3,286 deaths reported from all over India. The cumulative death tally (official) crosses 2 lakhs, with this. Unofficially the count may be much higher. The total vaccination in India crossed the 14.77-crore mark with over 24 lakh vaccine doses being given till 8 pm on 27 April, as per the Union health ministry. The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered stood at 14,77,27,054 (total population 138 crores approx). These include 93,47,103 healthcare workers (HCWs) who have taken the first dose and 61,05,159 HCWs who have taken the second dose, 1,22,17,762 frontline workers (FLWs) who have received the first dose and 65,23,520 FLWs who have taken the second dose. India's tally was - Total cases: 17,988,637; New cases: 362,902; Total deaths: 201,165; New deaths: +3,285; Total recovered: 14,807,704; Active cases: 2,979,768.
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    • 1. ECONOMY (Prelims, GS Paper 3, Essay paper)
Indian economy - Cash in circulation at 20-year high
  • The story: The total currency in circulation c-i-c (or the cash in the system) was at Rs.28.6 trillion as of March 2021 end, which was an increase of 16.8% from 2020. So, the total currency in circulation, adjusting for the size of the Indian economy, reached a two-decade high in March 2021.
  • Be careful: Looking at currency in circulation in absolute terms, however, doesn’t give us the correct picture. One needs to adjust for the size of the Indian economy as well. This is done by dividing the currency in circulation by the gross domestic product, or the GDP.
  1. The ratio of currency in circulation to the GDP was 14.6%, in March 2021 when compared with 12% as of March 2020.
  2. This was a 260 basis points jump, a historic high. Not even in the year after demonetization (2017) was this observed. (100 basis points = 1 per cent)
  • Reasons: So what is driving this rise in CIC?
  1. First reason is pure arithmetic. Since the nominal GDP (GDP not adjusted for inflation) for 2020-21 is expected to contract to Rs.195.9 trillion, compared to Rs.203.5 trillion in 2019-20, the denominator is contracting. So, the ratio (CIC / GDP) has gone up.
  2. The GDP forecast for 2020-21 was made before the second wave of Covid-19 hit. So the actual GDP number is likely to be lower than the forecast, as the economic activity in March 2021 was hit. That means the actual cash in the system to the GDP ratio will be even higher than 14.6% of the GDP.
  3. Second reason is absolute. The currency in circulation in absolute terms rose 16.8% to Rs.28.6 trillion in 2020-21. This is the highest since 2010-11, when the currency in circulation had gone up by 18.8%. (Please ignore the 37% growth in 2017-18 on the back of demonetization in November 2016, when 86% of the currency by value was made useless overnight)
  4. There really has been a big growth in currency in circulation in 2020-21 in absolute terms. If the GDP in 2020-21 hadn’t contracted and had stayed where it was at in 2019-20, even then, the currency in circulation to GDP ratio would have been at 14% of the GDP. If the GDP in 2020-21 had grown by 8%, then the currency in circulation to the GDP ratio would have been at 13%. So CIC / GDP ratio is rising. The overall cash in the system has gone up.
  • Why is this happening: With the rapid spread of the pandemic, Indians have withdrawn more money from banks and kept it with themselves to meet sudden emergencies. This also means that more transactions are happening in cash, although the UPI numbers are also exploding! The entire parallel system that emerged during the reverse migration of migrant workers in 2020, when people paid cash to truck operators and other transporters to make sure that they got home, must have pushed cash in circulation. Even now, hospitals are demanding cash to admit patients. Cash has also been used to procure medicines and other necessities for treating Covid. Add up, and you get big sums. It also means that people are earning but not depositing much, in banks.
  • Summary: The cash in the system has risen substantially in each of the years since March 2017, thereby negating the supposed benefits of the demonetisation exercise 2016.
Elon Musk says Tesla sold Bitcoin to prove liquidity as cash alternative
  • The story: Elon Musk said that his firm Tesla Inc. sold 10% of its Bitcoin holdings to demonstrate the token’s liquidity, while adding that he’s retained his personal investment in the cryptocurrency. Musk added that he has not sold any of his personal Bitcoin. He was responding to a separate tweet from Barstool Sports President Dave Portnoy who claimed that Musk bought Bitcoin, pumped it and then dumped it to make a fortune.
  • The firm: Tesla’s earnings report showed the firm -- which bought more than $1 billion of the tokens earlier in 2021 -- generated $101 million in income from the sale. Musk said that Tesla in essence was trying “to prove liquidity of Bitcoin as an alternative to holding cash on balance sheet.”
  • Pushing cryptos up: The famous EV-maker forced cryptocurrencies onto the agenda of corporate treasurers worldwide with its investment in Bitcoin. While many continue to view the token as just too risky to be compared with cash, Tesla’s CFO Zachary Kirkhorn said that the company believes in Bitcoin’s long-term value. For a number of strategists, Bitcoin and other tokens are purely speculative investments rather than legitimate alternatives to cash. For instance, BCA Research Inc. argues that Bitcoin fails as a store of value or unit of account owing to its volatility, even though these are basic functions of money. But Musk has been a high-profile supporter of cryptocurrencies for some time and late last month announced that Tesla would begin accepting payment for its vehicles in Bitcoin.
  • Vaule: The world’s largest cryptocurrency climbed about 1% to $53,765 on 27-April, 2021. It’s tumbled from a peak of almost $64,870 in mid-April but is still up sevenfold in the past year.

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    • 2. ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY (Prelims, GS Paper 3, Essay paper
COVID-19 has worsened challenges to manage forests
  • The story: The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the challenges faced by countries in managing their forests, says a recent United Nations report. Forests have been a lifeline for millions of people during the pandemic. Some of the most vulnerable segments of society, especially the rural poor and indigenous peoples have turned to forests for their most essential subsistence needs.
  • More pressure: This increased dependence has increased pressures on forest systems, as per the Global Forest Goals Report 2021. It is prepared by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (DESA, UN). The report, released April 26, 2021, draws upon 52 voluntary national reports and 19 voluntary national contributions, representing 75 per cent of forests in the world.
  • What report says: It provides an initial overview of progress towards achieving the six Global Forest Goals and their 26 associated targets as contained within the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2030. The United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 was created with a mission to promote sustainable forest management and enhance the contribution of forests and trees to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  1. The Plan recognizes that in order to create a world in which forests could provide economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits for present and future generations, they will be needed by humanity in the first place.
  2. It gives the quantified goals for forest area / tree planting as reported by countries. For example: Australia wants to "Plant 20 million trees by 2020 and a billion plantation trees by 2030", and India wants to "Add 200,00 ha of forests and tree cover per year". The first Global Forest Goal in the Plan provides for increasing forest area by three per cent by 2030.
  • Other threats: Climate change and a biodiversity crisis are other big threats to forest ecosystems besides the pandemic. The ‘Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) had highlighted that one million species were at risk of extinction and that 100 million hectares of tropical forest were lost from 1980-2000. 
  • Summary: The report called for a future course of action that included greater sustainability and a greener and more inclusive economy to tackle the threats of COVID-19, climate change and the biodiversity crisis faced by forests.
Forests on Fire 
  •  The story: India has recorded 82,170 forest fire alerts from April 1-14, 2021 nearly double the number reported during the same period past year, according to Global Forest Watch (GFW), an open-source monitoring application. India reported 43,031 alerts during the corresponding fortnight in 2020, according to GFW data using Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) alerts.
  • A five year high: The number of forest fire alerts in April 2021 is also the highest in five years, according to the data. The second-highest was during the corresponding period of 2017, when 78,716 VIIRS alerts were recorded. In the 2016, 2018 and 2019 periods, the number of alerts recorded were 56,067, 25,701 and 43,508, respectively. Experts say that “In broad terms, the increase in forest fires can be attributed to the rise in temperatures across North India.”
  1. Warmer weather leads to rapid desiccation of fuel (wood, leaves and other inflammable materials found in forests). In such a scenario, even a small ignition is likely to become widespread.
  2. Temperatures in the first three months of the year have been warmer than usual. March 2021 was the third warmest in 121 years, the India Meteorological Department had said in its review for the month. "The basis for more fires in April was laid in March itself".
  • Statewise story: A majority of the forest fire alerts were concentrated in north and central India, the GFW data showed, mainly in the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttarakhand, along with parts of Jharkhand and Telangana. State-wise, Uttarakhand reported a significant jump in alerts.
  1. The Himalayan state recorded 8,934 forest fire alerts during April 1-14 as against 72 in the corresponding fortnight last year. Uttarakhand’s forest department had said earlier this month that fires that began in October 15, 2020 were still burning on April 5, 2021, as a result of rising temperatures and poor rainfall.
  2. Madhya Pradesh saw the highest number of VIIRS alerts (22,797) during the fortnight, in line with the trend of the past five years. But this is also double the 11,609 alerts that the state recorded in April 1-14, 2020. Jharkhand (5,284 VIIRS alerts this month) and Odisha (5,000 alerts) have also seen a significant rise in the number of VIIRS alerts.

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    • 3. FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Prelims, GS Paper 3, Essay paper)

What to make of foreign policy "experts"
    • Experts experts everywhere: Those dealing in global financial assets are often surprised by how many "armchair generals" exist everywhere. Almost every crisis has many experts, and every expert has many crises to talk about!
    • Three latest crises: Geopolitical risk is on the rise after a pause for the pandemic, concludes a recent paper from BCA Research. Three proto-conflicts in particular are making headlines and testing Biden's administration - (i) Russia has deployed enough troops to stage fresh incursions into eastern Ukraine, (ii) Iran has stepped up its nuclear programme, to the ire of Israel and (iii) China is menacingly carrying out drills around the island of Taiwan.
    • Geopolitical alpha: An escalation of these tensions has the potential to knock markets sideways. And it is tempting for investors to try to anticipate a flare-up, so as to harvest “geopolitical alpha”, the excess returns from bearing conflict-related risks. But trading successfully around geopolitics is a lot harder than it looks.
    1. The most seductive idea to repel is that you have some expertise. Genuine experts are not in short supply. Just about anyone who spent time at the State Department or as a national-security adviser appears to have set up a consultancy. But
    2. The first thing to remember is that former intelligence agents no longer have access to latest classified intelligence. Investors have to especially be wary of high-conviction views.
    3. Consultants tend to exaggerate the likelihood of the worst outcomes, because it is a good way to showcase their insight. A true expert will be circumspect, setting out scenarios and pinpointing the factors you need to monitor.
    • Very few mean much: Few geopolitical events have a lasting impact on stockmarkets. The pattern from the 1962 Cuban missile crisis onwards is for a short-term fall in America’s stockmarket to be followed by a rally over the following year, and often quite a strong one. An exception is the Yom Kippur war and the subsequent oil embargo. But in general, markets regain their poise. The economy carries on. From this we might grope towards the germ of a useful trading rule. The best way to profit from geopolitical risk might simply be to trade against the excessive fears of others.
    • How it unfolds: At the outset of a geopolitical crisis, events move more quickly than you can trade on them. You read of tensions in the Middle East. So you buy oil futures. But algorithmic traders will beat you to the punch. You could chase the escalation. But now you are a momentum trader, rather than a geopolitical-risk trader. And sometimes there is no obvious trade to execute. When North Korea stepped up its missile testing in 2017, a popular trade was to buy credit-default swaps, a form of insurance, on South Korean government debt. But a sensible trade must ask whether a debt default would really be the biggest concern in the event of a nuclear strike.
    • US and Russia: Tensions between Russia and America could easily worsen. If you want to “buy the dip” in this way you should have a theory of how things might eventually be resolved, based on informed judgments about what each party to a conflict wants and what their political and economic constraints are. You would need to map the potential flashpoints from here to there. If you judge that a conflict cannot de-escalate easily, the wiser course might be to stay away.
    • Summary: In geopolitics, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Yet investors cannot be entirely agnostic about the broad sweep of international relations. The long boom of the 1990s is not easily detached from the fall of the Berlin Wall. China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation in 2001 ushered in a commodity super-cycle. Avoid the narrow purview of the typical spreadsheet jockey. But beware the armchair geopolitical strategist—especially if it is you.
    Foreign affairs updates 
    • Elections in Somalia: The Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has backtracked from a plan to extend his term by two years, calling for fresh elections to resolve the country’s political crisis. Mohamed, also known as Farmajo, had remained as president even after his term expired in February following a dispute on how to hold new elections. His decision to stay on had raised the threat of EU and U.S. sanctions and led to violence on the streets of Mogadishu recently.
    • Persian Gulf tensions: A U.S. Navy vessel fired warning shots to deter Iranian military speedboats on 26-April. Three Iranian vessels are said to have come within less than 70 yards of a U.S. Navy ship as well as one manned by the U.S. coast guard as they patrolled the Persian Gulf. A U.S. statement said the Iranian boats “increased the risk of miscalculation and/or collision,” and warned that U.S. sailors “retain the inherent right to act in self-defense.”
    • Switzerland’s next referendum: Switzerland will hold a referendum on same-sex marriage, even though the Swiss parliament already voted to allow it in December 2020, after opponents gathered the 50,000 signatures required to force a direct vote. While a 2020 survey indicated that more than 80 percent of citizens support same-sex marriage, the referendum will prolong the fight over marriage rights in a country that has already been slower to legalize same-sex marriage than many European nations.
    • US's Afghanistan withdrawal: The U.S. State Department has ordered all U.S. government employees “whose functions can be performed elsewhere” to leave Afghanistan. Ross Wilson, the chargé d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Kabul said the decision was necessary in the wake of “increasing violence and threat reports.” The order comes two days after the U.S. military said it had begun the process of withdrawing its remaining troops from the country, in line with President Biden’s plan for a full withdrawal by Sept. 11, 2021.
    • Containers dropping into the sea: Shipping containers are falling off cargo vessels at the highest rate in seven years. More than 3,000 containers fell into the sea in 2020, and over 1,000 have already dropped off in 2021. As the Ever Given’s unfortunate trip through the Suez Canal illustrated, the growing size of container vessels is leading to containers being stacked higher and higher, increasing the risk of toppling over. Paired with rougher seas and higher consumer demand during the pandemic, the ships have struggled to deliver 100 percent of their cargo. Though losing a container overboard is a headache for shipping firms, the problem is still quite minimal: The 3,000 lost containers contrast with the 226 million that reached their destinations in 2020, so only 0.0013% sank!

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      • 4. GOVERNMENT SCHEMES (Prelims, GS Paper 2, Essay paper)

    India’s new vaccine strategy may backfire economically
    • The story: After a tightly centralised vaccination drive that has delivered the required two shots to less than 2% of the population, the union government of India opened up its inoculation strategy in the middle of a raging pandemic. The goal is to flatten the curve through decentralised participation of all states. But will this sudden change work?
    • The constraint: After the current spike will have peaked (no one knows when), people will still need to be inoculated at a rapid pace to flatten the curve and avert a third buildup. Perhaps that's when the problems in charging Rs 600 or Rs 1,200 for a life-saving vaccine will manifest. Let us not forget that a majority of Indian families earn less than Rs.10000 per month.
    • Panic move: Expanding the campaign to all adults below 45 from May 2021 is a late but good move. India’s daily infection rate of almost 3,50,000 is the worst any country has experienced. Even then, shifting a big part of the financial burden to 28 state governments and letting private hospitals buy shots at Rs 600 to Rs 1,200 apiece — and sell them to patients at even higher prices — are both wrong.
    1. In a nation of inequalities and bursting with 7.5 crore newly impoverished after 2020's coronavirus lockdown, putting a price on any part of limited vaccine supplies could lead to unjust, lopsided distribution.
    2. Free, universal access, with New Delhi negotiating prices with at least four or five suppliers globally, could prepare India better for a third Covid-19 resurgence.
    3. Until herd immunity is achieved (and that's a long time away), private hospitals must continue acting as agents of the state, and impose only a limited markup on the stock they’re given free from the national pool.
    • The Atmanirbharta mistake: It was a mistake to restrict the drive to just two Made-in-India vaccines: Covishield, the AstraZeneca Plc shot manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India Ltd., and Covaxin, an indigenously developed shot produced by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd.
    1. India managed to negotiate a competitive price of Rs 150 per shot, and then set out to distribute them free of charge — first to healthcare and other frontline workers and then to those older than 60.
    2. Only in April, the age restriction was lowered to 45. Covishield has accounted for roughly 90% of the 141 million (14.1 crore) doses administered so far. Nowhere near enough for a population of almost 1.4 billion. (140 crore)
    3. The second wave has exposed the problems with the approach. A severe oxygen shortage is causing the healthcare system to collapse, forcing authorities to change tack: State governments and private hospitals can directly order up to 50% of Serum and Bharat’s supplies to inoculate the younger population, while New Delhi will buy the other half to complete free vaccination of those above 45.
    4. Serum quickly announced a price of Rs 400 for states, and Rs 600 for private hospitals. Bharat’s rates are Rs 600 and Rs 1,200, respectively. This led to an outrage and charges of profiteering.
    • Maharashtra case: The state most severely affected by the second wave, Maharashtra, might join a growing number that have announced free vaccination for all adults. Suppose that all states — even the most resource-strapped ones — somehow find the money. Even then the supply of vaccines is constrained. For a given 1 million doses, who will decide the allocation among states, and between those governments and a private hospital? When the antiviral remdesivir is selling on the black market at a 300% premium, risk of profiteering is very real.
    • What is the right price: The only correct consumer price of vaccines is zero. After 2020's national lockdown, the urban poor are once again facing the brunt of lost livelihoods from localised curfews and all-pervasive fear. The world’s biggest democracy can’t shut anyone out of the market for vaccines. So the strange situation may arise where government hospitals have run out of stock and private hospitals have stocks but no takers.
    • Over time: Slowly, the supply crunch will ease. Russia’s Sputnik V, initially imported and then made locally, should be available by the end of May. Other homemade options might take longer. Hyderabad-based Biological E Ltd., which is conducting clinical trials in India for an antigen developed by Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, has won US funding to ramp up production capacity to 1 billion doses in India by the end of 2021. States can also import shots in use globally at prices preset by their manufacturers. But given the worldwide supply constraints, it’s safe to assume that Serum’s hold isn’t going to reduce meaningfully soon. Introducing the logic of free markets into a situation that’s anything but makes no sense.
    • Union must lead: All arguments aside, it is clear that the Indian government, with its Rs 35,000 crore vaccination budget, should be inoculating everyone. Free of charge. Then, while states don’t have any bargaining power against vaccine producers, New Delhi has plenty of carrots and sticks at its disposal. Bharat Biotech’s product has resulted from publicly funded research; it was authorised for emergency use even without Phase 3 clinical trial data. The government is giving both Serum and Bharat financial assistance to ramp up production. Serum has also been subjected to export restrictions to help tide over a domestic shortage. Had the Modi administration put in large, confirmed orders with Serum — as well as with Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc., and later, Johnson & Johnson — it could have held the blended price close to the originally negotiated Rs 150 apiece. Or at least closer than it would be now.
    • Summary: Trying to save money on vaccine subsidy that will cost less than 0.4% of gross domestic product could lead to output (and tax losses) many times higher. Daily fatalities are nearing 3,000 and even that’s a gross underestimate! If India cannot inoculate more than 100 crore very rapidly, it risks paying a huge price economically. And this is why vaccines must be free for all, immediately.

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      • 5. POLITY AND CONSTITUTION (Prelims, GS Paper 2, GS Paper 3)
    Indian states' struggle to vaccinate citizens
    • Noble goal, troublesome reality: As India tries to accelerate its massive vaccination programme in the middle of a devastating second Covid-19 wave, ground reports from states indicate a complex set of problems ranging from shortage of doses to glitches on the registration portal to panic and fear of the vaccines running out. India is now entering a true test of its federal polity.
    • Change of stance: If the initial weeks of vaccination saw a general reluctance among the public, the severity of the pandemic’s second wave has forced them to flock to vaccination centres, flouting the very rules meant to keep them safe. And to top it off, the Centre will open vaccination to everyone above the age of 18 from May 1, even as lakhs of people in the 45-60 and above 60 high-priority age groups still await the jab.
    • Real hurdle: In Assam, which has administered roughly 21 lakh doses till date, top ministers have expressed doubts about starting vaccination for those in the 18-45 age group in the first week of May, purportedly due to depleting stocks.
    1. Assam'a health minister said that 'Vaccine order has been given to Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute. When they provide us the vaccines, only then can we begin the vaccination. Today, the Centre has given a guideline, based on which…it will be ascertained what amount of vaccine each state will get'
    2. As of April 26, the state had 2.57 lakh doses, which as per the average rate of vaccination in Assam would last just three days.
    3. States say that the two existing vaccines, Covishield (of Serum Institute) and Covaxin (of Bharat Biotech), arriving in alternating batches has also been an issue leading to shortage. “For example, during Bihu in mid-April, we received a large batch of Covishield vaccine. So those who came for their second shot of Covaxin had to be turned back. Later, shots of both vaccines were available. The demand has risen a lot and will continue to do so as vaccines open up for the 18-45 age group.
    4. In Manipur too, officials are aware of the dangers of crowding at immunisation centres. Even a moderate surge in infections can wreak havoc on the healthcare systems there.
    5. In Telangana, the situation is no different. The state faces an acute shortage of doses due to limited supply as well as rising demand for the vaccine among the public in the second wave. Despite the state claiming to have the capacity to immunise 10 lakh people a day, it is giving the jab only to about 2 lakh people a day as a result of limited supply from the Centre and the manufacturers. So far, Telangana has administered around 42 lakh doses, covering just about 10 per cent of the state’s population. It has announced free vaccines to the public irrespective of age or nativity, setting aside Rs 2,500 crore for the same.
    6. In Karnataka, several district health officers indicated that the vaccination for the 18-45 age group could be delayed by a week, though officially the government says it has adequate stocks. No statistics on existing stocks were available.
    7. In Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister E Palaniswami has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting the Centre to supply the required quantity of vaccines for all three age groups. A budgetary provision of Rs 35,000 crore has been made to fund the vaccine supply.
    • Massive ramping-up: As those in the 18-45 age group open up for inoculation across India on May 1, there is little clarity among health officials at the grassroot level on how to go about it. There’s still a significant section among the high-priority groups with comorbidities who haven’t received their first or second doses.
    1. Sadly, there was no provision as of now within the (Co-WIN) software to give priority to those who have to take the second dose, so those who manage to schedule appointments on the portal will have access to the jab first.
    2. Kerala, which has inoculated 16% of the population with 69 lakh doses so far, may open up vaccination in the 18-45 age group for those with serious comorbidities first. But it’s not clear how it will do so, considering all registrations are done via the portal. The state suspended mass vaccination camps with on-the-spot registrations last week after districts like Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram reported swelling crowds, breaking all Covid-19 protocols. Officials feared such camps would turn out to be super-spread events especially when the state’s test positivity rate has remained above 20% for the last two weeks.
    • Ground feedback: In Kerala, officials are creating short-term sessions on the portal depending on available stocks. As a result, people are finding it difficult to schedule appointments in nearby centres. Some have resorted to travelling outside their districts to get their family members vaccinated. The state was getting doses that last only one or two days. So, they were creating sessions online only on the basis of doses in stock.  There are ‘problems from head-to-toe’ in the vaccine distribution in the country.
    1. From now on, if SII makes 100 doses, half of them would go to the Centre which will be distributed across the 30 states and UTs. The remaining half go to the private sector and state governments. Many states have already booked lakhs of such doses.
    2. Things will be tougher going forward, is an obvious conclusion.
    • Summary: India will now be tested severely on the federal relations front, and unless all stakeholders work in tandem, and the technology holds, and the vaccine makers are actually able to supply the jabs!

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      • 6. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Prelims, Various GS Papers)
    How 'Medical Oxygen' became a mainstream solution
    • The story: India witnessed horrifying scenes in April 2021, when Covid-19 patients started dying by the thousands not due to the disease per se, but the lack of pure medical oxygen in hospitals and ICU. The situation is bad due to a sudden shortage of medical oxygen in India. Oxygen is one of most straightforward and proactive ways of treating Covid-19, which causes hypoxia. When patients begin gasping for air, a steady supply of concentrated oxygen does wonders.
    • Pure oxygen in medicine: Oxygen’s history in medicine begins in the 1770s, when the Swedish pharmacist Karl Scheele and the British scientist Joseph Priestly independently isolated oxygen gas.
    1. But it took nearly two centuries to overcome various strange theories, outright quackery and superstitions in the medical community and beyond.
    2. Priestly was a believer in phlogiston, an invisible substance allegedly released during combustion. What we call “oxygen,” he called “dephlogisticated air.” When he breathed it, his chest felt “peculiarly light and easy for some time afterward.”
    3. Since the new substance seemed to make candles burn brighter, Priestley speculated that it might be “peculiarly salutary to the lungs in certain morbid cases, when the common air would not be sufficient to carry off the putrid effluvium.” Yet he remained wedded to his phlogiston theory, warning that breathing pure oxygen might also carry dangers – that it might be the equivalent of burning the candle at both ends.
    4. Eager to test the effects of the new substance on patients, Priestley and other engineers and scientists, including James Watt, founded the Pneumatic Institution in Birmingham. Though they made no promises of a cure, they offered to treat a range of maladies – including “obstinate venereal complaints” – with dephlogisticated air. They weren’t very successful, but there was an upside - invention of most of the oxygen-delivery apparatus still in use today, from mouthpieces to corrugated, non-crushable breathing tubes to methods for mass-producing the gas.
    • What happened next: The Pneumatic Institution went defunct, but oxygen lived on as a quack remedy. Most of these treatments didn’t actually use concentrated oxygen, dispensing nothing more than mixtures of gases not so different from ordinary air. But makers of the so-called “Oxygen Treatment,” a typical remedy from 1884, sent patients one bottle of “Oxygen” and one bottle of “Oxygen Tonic.” This fraud was supposed to treat everything from dyspepsia to arthritis for two full months.
    • Bad name and a miracle: By the late nineteenth century, oxygen therapy was synonymous with quackery. In 1890, though, a physician named Dr. Alfred Blodgett had a patient with pneumonia whom he deemed “irrevocably doomed.” In the hopes of merely easing her final moments, he hooked her up to an oxygen cannister, turned on the gas – and left it running.
    1. This may have been the first continuous application of oxygen to a patient in history. To Blodgett’s astonishment, the woman stabilized, her breathing becoming regular. He published his results, arguing that oxygen could save lives.
    2. This was just the very beginning of oxygen’s resurrection. After Blodgett’s success, other researchers tried administering oxygen, but not via the lungs. They pumped it under the skin, up the urethra and into the stomach. Most bizarre of all was the idea of an oxygen enema, which came courtesy of corn-flake promoter Dr. J. H. Kellogg, who also gained fame for popularizing medical treatments of questionable value.
    • Haldane to the rescue: It took a Scottish doctor named John Scott Haldane to cut through this nonsense and do the research necessary to show that breathing oxygen would be best – and that it had to be continuous and at high enough concentrations to have the desired effect. In 1917, he published his landmark paper, “The Therapeutic Administration of Oxygen.” His timing was perfect. In World War I, both sides used poison gas. Haldane developed equipment that dispensed oxygen to soldiers hit in a gas attack. After much trial and error, the British managed to develop mobile equipment that could be used to treat survivors, giving them steady supplies of oxygen for extended periods of time.
    • A long journey: All of this should have opened the medical profession’s eyes to the value of administering continuous oxygen. But it would take another 50 years to win over many doctors, who insisted on administering oxygen in intervals in order to avoid harming patients. Haldane criticized intermittent oxygen therapy, comparing it to “bringing a drowning man to the surface of the water — occasionally.” But it would take until 1962 before medical researchers conclusively backed him up. Intermittent oxygen therapy, they found, actually hurt patients more than if they had never been given oxygen at all.
    • Continuous oxygen therapy: Over time, a growing number of doctors embraced the idea of continuous oxygen therapy. In the U.S., Dr. Thomas Petty took the lead in using it to treat patients with advanced pulmonary diseases. In 1970, a study of patients with advanced pulmonary disease showed that while 28% of patients treated with continuous oxygen died, 62% of untreated patients did. This finally settled the question.
    • Saving Covid-19 patients: Research of how different nations administered oxygen in the early months of the pandemic suggests that supplemental oxygen makes the difference between life and death for many patients. Studies have shown that oxygen can keep patients off ventilators and save lives, particularly if the oxygen is administered early. This simplest of treatments has been around for ages. It can be deployed in a range of settings, from the trenches of war to the parking lot of a hospital. Luckily, the U.S. is “working around the clock” to gather oxygen supplies for India, and the U.K. is sending nearly 500 devices to administer it. It’s a good start, though far more may be needed.

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      • 7. SOCIAL ISSUES (Prelims, GS Paper 2)
    Why India crashed in the second Coronavirus wave
    • The early days: In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, people worldwide were worried. Dispatches out of Italy and New York depicted grim scenarios of flooded hospitals and dying patients. The poor responses of most of the Western world, meant that nations like India would be hit beyond imagination.
    • Perfect for Covid: India seemed like the perfect place for COVID-19 to run wild — health infrastructure is underdeveloped, population density is high in urban areas, and the country already suffers from high rates of other diseases like tuberculosis and malaria. Everyone was preparing for a disaster but it never arrived in 2020.
    1. That was because of early swift action by the authorities. The central government quickly clamped a lockdown across the country and nearly everyone, from Prime Minister Narendra Modi down, got serious about masking up. Other factors also seemed to be working to the country’s advantage; India has a younger population than most other countries, and there was discussion of preexisting immunity among the population.
    2. Till December 2020, things were improving — case counts kept falling, and the government and its allies made sure to point that out.
    3. Political games began. In September 2020, during the lead-up to assembly elections in Bihar, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed the state would soon be COVID-free. Likewise in October, the BJP’s national spokesperson went on the BBC and argued that India was almost back to normal.
    • Small aid package: A complicating factor was the relatively small size ($300 billion) of the coronavirus aid package passed by the government. The United States, with a population of less than one-third of India’s, spent a few trillion dollars so far. India had to be more fiscally cautious than the United States as it doesn’t have U.S. spending capacity and was worried about a possible downgrade in debt. With less relief, people needed to get back to work sooner, and the lockdown was unsustainable.
    • Relaxed public: Beyond the financial aspect, people in India stopped taking the pandemic seriously. This isn’t new when it comes to health issues. Firecracker bans are usually ignored because the air quality is already incredibly poor without the firecrackers and, in light of that, the requests seem unreasonable.
    • Leading from the front: Early on, both the government and opposition made a show of how important it was to abide by all the rules. However, as time went on and India seemed to have dodged the worse, elites became less concerned about setting a good example. At first, that might be forgivable given that India’s numbers seemed relatively low. But in February and March 2021, as the virus numbers swung upward, the government and its allies got even more irresponsible.
    1. In mid-February, while the uptick was in progress, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan appeared at an event supporting an ayurvedic medication that the World Health Organization clarified was ineffective in fighting COVID-19.
    2. Shortly after this, the BJP’s national committee passed a resolution arguing that India was victorious in the fight against COVID-19, echoing claims made by Modi in his January speech to the World Economic Forum.
    3. While all this was happening, campaigning for the five 2021 assembly elections was in full swing. West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Assam were all heading to the polls. Kerala, Puducherry, and Tamil Nadu all had one day of polling, but West Bengal and Assam had multiple phases. This meant that different assembly constituencies were voting at different times rather than the whole state heading to the polls at once.
    • West Bengal and Farmers' protests: Top ministers of the govt. spent a lot of time campaigning in West Bengal, and the farmers’ protests that started in 2020 against the new agriculture laws continued. When questioned, the farmers have argued that when the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act shut down due to COVID-19, they lost momentum and this was not a mistake they wanted to make.
    • The Kumbh Mela: This is a sacred Hindu tradition, on a 12-year cycle, four separate regions celebrate this festival. Initially, the Haridwar Kumbh Mela was scheduled to happen in 2022, but it was moved up due to astrological concerns. Past versions of these events have seen up to 30 million people gather in one day, and despite the rising case counts and concerns about it being a superspreader event, the festival went on as planned. It is only today that politicians are realising the gravity of the mistake, as thousands are dying each day.
    • Summary: All of this has produced a compound disaster. States are running out of oxygen and people are begging for it on Twitter. People are sharing hospital beds, and crematoriums’ furnace grills in some regions have melted because of overuse. The peak may arrive in mid-May 2021. The people who made the decisions that got the country here may get the virus, but they will have access to the oxygen and medicine they need. The people who will suffer most are those who have traditionally suffered—the poor and working class who followed the examples set by politicians across the country.

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        • 8. MISCELLANEOUS (Prelims, GS Paper 1, GS Paper 2)

      'India was there for us': President Biden recalls
      • The story: PM Modi of India and President Biden of US spoke on 26-April as the Biden administration swung into action to provide assistance to India in its fight against the surge in COVID-19 cases.
      • What Biden feels: India helped the people of America in their hour of need and the US will provide full support in providing emergency assistance and resources in India's fight against COVID-19, President Joe Biden asserted after his phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two leaders spoke as the Biden administration, which was criticised by many for its slow reaction to the massive medical crisis in India, swung into action to provide assistance to India in its fight against the surge in COVID-19 cases.
      • What all: The urgent help announced by the White House ranged from oxygen supplies, raw materials for COVID-19 vaccines, critical life-saving drugs to PPEs. This was the second telephonic conversation between the two leaders after Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on January 20.
      • Background: Indian PM Modi had organised a large rally titled 'Howdy Modi' in America in 2019, where former President Donald Trump (Republican) had also spoken from the stage. Modi had said "Ab ki baar Trump sarkar", meaning "let's have Trump government once more in the US". That had a serious political connotation, and after the Democratic Party came to power in US in 2021, India was worried if it would cooperate at all. Those worries are now eased.

      NASA's Mars helicopter's third flight goes farther, faster than before
      • Remarkable flight: Ingenuity, NASA's helicopter on Mars successfully completed its third flight as it moved further and faster than before. The first two flights consisted of Ingenuity hovering over the planet's surface but on this flight, the helicopter was also to travel 64 feet with a speed of 6.6 feet per second.
      • Testing limits: The flight was filmed by Perseverance, the rover, and the video would reach NASA in few days. The flight was a test to check the helicopter's navigation system because if it moves too fast, it could create problems while the system tracks surface features.
      • The challenge: The surface of Mars is vastly different than Earth, which is what made the helicopter's flight all the more challenging. The Red Planet has a rarefied atmosphere with less than 1% the density of Earth, which means the rotors of Ingenuity have to spin 5 times more than it would on Earth.
      • Back to basics: A fourth flight is also in the works as NASA looks into pushing Ingenuity to its limits. The helicopter's task will end in a month so Perseverance can go back to its main goal, which is looking for signs of past microbial life.

      India third-largest military spender after the US and China
      • Huge spend: India remains the third biggest military spender in the world, though far behind the US that spends more than 10 times and China almost four times its defence budget. India’s annual military expenditure, of course, includes a huge pension bill for 33-lakh million veterans and defence civilians. In the 2021-2022 defence budget, for instance, the pension bill was Rs 1.15 lakh crore out of the total Rs 4.78 lakh crore outlay.
      • Data: The total global military expenditure rose to $1,981 billion in 2020, an increase of 2.6% in real terms from 2019 despite the global gross domestic product contracting by 4.4% mainly due to the Covid pandemic’s economic impact, says the latest data released by global think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
      1. SIPRI said “We can say with some certainty that the pandemic did not have a significant impact on global military spending in 2020. It remains to be seen whether countries will maintain this level of military spending through a second year of the pandemic.”
      2. The 10 biggest military spenders were the US ($778 billion), China ($252 billion), India ($72.9 billion), Russia ($61.7 billion), UK ($59.2 billion), Saudi Arabia ($57.5 billion), Germany ($52.8 billion), France ($52.7 billion), Japan ($49.1 billion) and South Korea ($45.7 billion).
      3. The top five together accounted for 62% of the global military expenditure. China’s military expenditure, in particular, grew for the 26th consecutive year, with its uninterrupted increase being the largest by far among the top 15 countries over the 2011-2020 decade. Pakistan ($10.3 billion), in turn, was ranked 23rd in the list.
      • Size of India's spending: India has to maintain an over 15-lakh strong armed forces because of the two active and unresolved borders with China and Pakistan. Consequently, the revenue expenditure for the day-to-day running costs and salary bill in the defence budget by far outstrips the capital outlay for military modernisation, leaving critical operational shortages on different fronts, ranging from fighters to submarines. The continuing military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh, of course, has led India to make several emergency arms purchases from abroad since the crisis erupted in early-May 2020.
      • Summary: SIPRI said India’s defence expenditure can largely be attributed to its ongoing tensions with Pakistan over Kashmir and renewed border tensions with China. Then, there is also India’s “more general rivalry with China as the main regional power in Asia and Oceania”, it said. With a weak domestic defence-industrial base, India of course continues to languish in the strategically-vulnerable position of being the world’s second-largest arms importer just behind Saudi Arabia. India accounted for 9.5% of the total global arms imports during 2016-2020.

      Wealthy Indians flee India by private jets evading Covid
      • Running away while they can: Indian tycoons and others able to afford fares running into millions of rupees are booking flights to boltholes in Europe, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean. India’s mounting crisis surrounding a surge in coronavirus infections is prompting wealthy families to flee the country by private jet.
      • Data: With reports of hospital bed and drug shortages sweeping social media, Indian tycoons and others able to afford fares running into millions of rupees are booking flights to boltholes in Europe, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean.
      1. India reported 3,52,991 new infections on 27-04-2021, the highest daily tally worldwide since the pandemic began.
      2. With the country’s health infrastructure creaking under the strain, Bollywood movie superstars were spotted escaping to destinations including the Maldives, while at least three Australian cricketers have quit the Indian Premier League, the sport’s leading club tournament.
      3. Some of the impetus for the wealthy to fly out of India has come from overseas nations taking measures to restrict travel from the South Asian state as the new wave of Covid-19 cases has taken hold.
      • Restrictions: Canada, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and the U.K. are among more than a dozen states that have imposed curbs, with others poised to announce measures. The Maldives will restrict Indians from visiting all but a handful of resort-only islands soon. There also was a huge surge to London and Dubai just before the restrictions took place.

      9.1 Today's best editorials to read
      • We offer you 7 excellent editorials from across 10 newspapers we have scanned. 

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        • SECTION 3 - MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions)

      Solve the online quiz given, right now. Check scores, and relative performance!



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disasters,13,New Laws and amendments,57,News media,3,November 2020,22,Nuclear technology,11,Nuclear techology,1,Nuclear weapons,10,October 2020,24,Oil economies,1,Organisations and treaties,1,Organizations and treaties,2,Pakistan,2,Panchayati Raj,1,Pandemic,137,Parks reserves sanctuaries,1,Parliament and Assemblies,18,People and Persoalities,1,People and Persoanalities,2,People and Personalites,1,People and Personalities,189,Personalities,46,Persons and achievements,1,Pillars of science,1,Planning and management,1,Political bodies,2,Political parties and leaders,26,Political philosophies,23,Political treaties,3,Polity,485,Pollution,62,Post independence India,21,Post-Governance in India,17,post-Independence India,46,Post-independent India,1,Poverty,46,Poverty and hunger,1,Prelims,2054,Prelims CSAT,30,Prelims GS I,7,Prelims Paper I,189,Primary and middle education,10,Private bodies,1,Products and innovations,7,Professional sports,1,Protectionism and Nationalism,26,Racism,1,Rainfall,1,Rainfall and Monsoon,5,RBI,73,Reformers,3,Regional conflicts,1,Regional Conflicts,79,Regional Economy,16,Regional leaders,43,Regional leaders.UPSC Mains GS II,1,Regional Politics,149,Regional Politics – Regional leaders,1,Regionalism and nationalism,1,Regulator bodies,1,Regulatory bodies,63,Religion,44,Religion – Hinduism,1,Renewable energy,4,Reports,102,Reports and Rankings,119,Reservations and affirmative,1,Reservations and affirmative action,42,Revolutionaries,1,Rights and duties,12,Roads and Railways,5,Russia,3,schemes,1,Science and Techmology,1,Science and Technlogy,1,Science and Technology,819,Science and Tehcnology,1,Sciene and Technology,1,Scientists and thinkers,1,Separatism and insurgencies,2,September 2020,26,September 2021,444,SociaI Issues,1,Social Issue,2,Social issues,1308,Social media,3,South Asia,10,Space technology,70,Startups and entrepreneurship,1,Statistics,7,Study material,280,Super powers,7,Super-powers,24,TAP 2020-21 Sessions,3,Taxation,39,Taxation and revenues,23,Technology and environmental issues in India,16,Telecom,3,Terroris,1,Terrorism,103,Terrorist organisations and leaders,1,Terrorist acts,10,Terrorist acts and leaders,1,Terrorist organisations and leaders,14,Terrorist organizations and leaders,1,The Hindu editorials analysis,58,Tournaments,1,Tournaments and competitions,5,Trade barriers,3,Trade blocs,2,Treaties and Alliances,1,Treaties and Protocols,43,Trivia and Miscalleneous,1,Trivia and miscellaneous,43,UK,1,UN,114,Union budget,20,United Nations,6,UPSC Mains GS I,584,UPSC Mains GS II,3969,UPSC Mains GS III,3071,UPSC Mains GS IV,191,US,63,USA,3,Warfare,20,World and Indian Geography,24,World Economy,404,World figures,39,World Geography,23,World History,21,World Poilitics,1,World Politics,612,World Politics.UPSC Mains GS II,1,WTO,1,WTO and regional pacts,4,अंतर्राष्ट्रीय संस्थाएं,10,गणित सिद्धान्त पुस्तिका,13,तार्किक कौशल,10,निर्णय क्षमता,2,नैतिकता और मौलिकता,24,प्रौद्योगिकी पर्यावरण मुद्दे,15,बोधगम्यता के मूल तत्व,2,भारत का प्राचीन एवं मध्यकालीन इतिहास,47,भारत का स्वतंत्रता संघर्ष,19,भारत में कला वास्तुकला एवं साहित्य,11,भारत में शासन,18,भारतीय कृषि एवं संबंधित मुद्दें,10,भारतीय संविधान,14,महत्वपूर्ण हस्तियां,6,यूपीएससी मुख्य परीक्षा,91,यूपीएससी मुख्य परीक्षा जीएस,117,यूरोपीय,6,विश्व इतिहास की मुख्य घटनाएं,16,विश्व एवं भारतीय भूगोल,24,स्टडी मटेरियल,266,स्वतंत्रता-पश्चात् भारत,15,
      PT's IAS Academy: Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 27-04-2021
      Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 27-04-2021
      Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 27-04-2021
      PT's IAS Academy
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