Daily Current Affairs


Daily Current Affairs Analysis 2019 – 2020

(for UPSC IAS Civil Services Examination)

Month-wise News Compilation

Topic-wise Keywords for Prelims 2020

Current Affairs Videos


Apr
6
Mon
2020
News (Text)
Apr 6 @ 6:22 am

NEWS

6 APRIL 2020

Daily Current Affairs based on ‘The Hindu’ newspaper as per the syllabus of UPSC Civil Services Examination (Prelims and Mains) Compiled by Mrs. Bilquees Khatri.

 

Sr. No. Topic News
1. GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH Cases doubled in 4.1 days due to Tablighi Jamaat event: govt.
2. GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH Rapid antibody testing for hotspots first: ICMR
3. GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH Nurses move SC, say health staff ill-equipped
4. GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH Tests, treatment free under Ayushman Bharat
5. GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH India bans export of hydroxychloroquine

 

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

Cases doubled in 4.1 days due to Tablighi Jamaat event: govt.

  • India’s death toll from COVID-19 rose to 83 on 5 April, 2020, with 11 fatalities.
  • The number of confirmed infections across the country stood at 3,577 cases, with 505 new cases; 274 persons have recovered, the Union Health Ministry said.
  • The Ministry maintained that last month’s Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi has pushed up the doubling rate of cases in India to 4.1 days from the estimated 7.4 days.
  • Reports from State Health Departments put the death toll across the country at 127, with 3,603 active cases.
  • Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said that till a drug or vaccine is found, social distancing and lockdown are the only available and effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.
  • Doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in Delhi have opposed a circular calling for mandatory donations from salaries to the PM CARES fund.
  • They also expressed concern about lack of PPEs, difficulties in travel faced by health care workers, and lack of sanitation and urged that funds collected be used locally instead of transferring it to the PM CARES.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

Rapid antibody testing for hotspots first: ICMR

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said the rapid antibody-based blood test for COVID-19 will be deployed in clusters and hotspots showing high incidence of confirmed cases.
  • Overall testing for COVID-19 using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), a laboratory technique combining reverse transcription of RNA into DNA, is increasing and that India would be approaching full capacity soon.
  • It added that contact-tracing is vital for this and is now greatly enabled by the AarogyaSetu App.
  • When combined with nucleic acid tests, the antibody tests can give a complete status.
  • Meanwhile a study on pooled sampling, said that pooled COVID-19 tests could help scale up testing and identify and contain disease hotspots. The study was conducted by Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy among other. “Testing samples from multiple patients with a single PCR test (pooled sampling) has been used previously in the early stages of the HIV epidemic. We found that the use of the strategy could reduce the time, cost, and resources required whilst identifying infected people and estimating the infection rate. Allowing us to identify community clusters for targeted public health interventions,” said an expert.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

Nurses move SC, say health staff ill-equipped

  • A Kerala-based 3.8 lakh-strong nurses’ association has approached the Supreme Court saying the government has not formulated a National Management Protocol for COVID-19 to address the serious concerns relating to imminent and extreme risks posed to the health and safety of medical personnel across the country.
  • “Health care workers are at the front line of the COVID-19 outbreak response and as such are exposed to hazards that put them at risk of infection. Hazards include pathogen exposure, long working hours, psychological distress, fatigue, occupational burnout, stigma, and physical and psychological violence etc,” the petition said.
  • The problems highlighted in the petition include lack of availability or sub-standard personal protective equipment(PPE) in numerous hospitals, non-availability of sufficient number of COVID-19 testing kits, lack of training on infection prevention and control, lack of basic facilities in isolation wards, mental harassment in the nature of forced over-time followed by negligible transport facilities and deduction of salary on account of leaves, health workers who are pregnant, lactating or immune compromised are being forced to work.
  • The association also urged the court to direct the government to expand the scope of personal accident cover provided under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package for Health Workers Fighting COVID-19 to include all health care workers.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

Tests, treatment free under Ayushman Bharat

  • The Central government has decided to provide free testing and treatment of COVID-19 under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme.
  • This, it notes, will help more than 50 crore Ayushman beneficiaries to get free testing and treatment in designated private hospitals across India.

 

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

India bans export of hydroxychloroquine

  • India has changed its official policy and prohibited export of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that has uses in the treatment of COVID-19, hours before U.S. President Donald Trump urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release the quantity of the drug that the U.S. had ordered.
  • The Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) had prohibited the export of the drug on March 25, 2020. But it left the option of export open to fulfil “export obligation” and on “humanitarian grounds”.
  • On April 4, 2020 the DGFT issued a new notification, ending the exception mentioned in the previous order.
  • As a result, India will not export hydroxychloroquine even “against full advance payment”.

Editorial
Apr 6 @ 8:22 am
Editorial

6 APRIL 2020

Enemy at the gates

Kerala-Karnataka border issue poses questions on restrictions, relations during a pandemic

Kerala’s grievance over Karnataka sealing its border to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has brought under focus the extent and the possible limits, of restrictions that may be imposed by the government to deal with a public health emergency. After the Kerala High Court directed the Centre to ensure free vehicular movement for those requiring urgent medical treatment on the national highway that connects Kasaragod in Kerala to Mangaluru in Karnataka, the Supreme Court has directed the Centre to confer with the States and formulate the norms for creating a passage at Talapadi, the border. An amicable solution is possibly round the corner, as there are reports of Kasaragod district suffering due to the highway closure. Many here depend on medical facilities in Mangaluru for emergencies, while others rely on inter-State movement for essential medicines to reach them. These include those battling endosulfan poisoning for many years. Karnataka’s objection is based on the fact that Kasaragod has Kerala’s largest number of positive cases. It has a reasonable apprehension that allowing vehicles might result in the disease spreading to its territory. However, it is clear that those who may travel across the border for urgent medical needs are patients other than those who are pandemic victims. A key question that has arisen is whether legal measures taken by the State to prevent the further spread of an epidemic can extend to a point where there is no exception even for medical needs.

The Kerala High Court took the view that denying emergency medical aid amounts to a violation of the right to life and liberty, and addressed jurisdictional objections from Karnataka by observing that its direction was to the Centre, as what was under closure was a national highway. There is significant irony in the Kerala point of view. Late last month, the Kerala Governor promulgated the ‘Kerala Epidemic Diseases Ordinance, 2020’ to arm itself with extraordinary powers to deal with the pandemic. One of its clauses says the State can seal its borders for such period as necessary, while another empowers it to restrict the duration of essential or emergency services, including health, food supply and fuel. Karnataka may have reason to believe that it is equally entitled to seal its borders and restrict essential services. It is a moot question whether Kerala’s new law would weaken its case that its neighbour cannot shut down its border and deny medical access to its residents. Interestingly, inter-State migration and quarantine are under the Union List, while the prevention of infectious diseases moving from one State to another is under the Concurrent List. This can only mean that while States have the power to impose border restrictions, the responsibility to prevent a breakdown of inter-State relations over such disputes is on the Centre.

Mockery of justice

Pakistan’s commitment to punishing those involved in terror acts remains suspect

Thursday’s ruling by the Sindh High Court that overturned the conviction of Omar Saeed Sheikh, and three others, of murdering American journalist Daniel Pearl, for lack of evidence is scandalous in its utter disregard for criminal jurisprudence. The court observed that no evidence had been brought before it by the prosecution to link any of the four — the others being Fahad Saleem, Syed Salman Saqib and Sheikh Muhammad Adil, whose convictions were similarly overturned — to the killing of Pearl. This is sophistry at its best and speaks eloquently of the systematic way the case has been diluted from the beginning. Pearl, then South Asian Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal, was abducted in Karachi in January 2002, in an operation managed by Omar Sheikh, who had demonstrated links to, among others, Pakistani militant groups as well as to al-Qaeda. Pearl had been baited while investigating links between al-Qaeda and the British ‘Shoe Bomber’ Richard Reid, who tried, in mid-air on a flight, to light explosives in his shoes on December 21, 2001, just two months previously. Many ransom demands later, a video was handed over on February 21, 2002, wherein Pearl was shown being methodically beheaded with a knife. When the Americans began to squeeze Pakistan to go after the perpetrators, Omar Sheikh ‘surrendered’ to Ijaz Shah, a former Intelligence Chief, then Home Secretary of Punjab; he is now the country’s Interior Minister. Even more curiously, it was after many days that Sheikh’s arrest was shown.

The Sindh government has extended Sheikh’s detention and the provincial prosecutor has said that the High Court ruling will be appealed in the Supreme Court. But these moves could be aimed at blunting growing international opprobrium, including at the FATF, the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, that has already put Pakistan on its ‘grey list’, and where India has said it will bring this matter for discussion. It is likely that once the pressure eases, Sheikh and his cohorts will be let off as has happened with others before them. Pakistan’s record of leniency on this has been as consistent as it has been alarming. In 2015, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who supervised the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, was released from detention, and remains free. Just last month, Pakistan’s Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar revealed that Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar had conveniently gone “missing” along with his family. Masood Azhar, Omar Sheikh, and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar had been released in exchange for hostages of Flight IC 814 in December 1999 into Taliban/ISI custody in Kandahar. Pakistan needs to be persuaded to move beyond tokenism and demonstrate a much higher order of commitment to deal with such terrorists than it has hitherto shown.

Question Bank
Apr 6 @ 2:30 pm
Question Bank

6th APRIL 2020

QUESTION BANK

(2 Questions)

Answer questions in 150-250 words each. Content of the answer is more important than its length.

Links are provided for reference. You can also use the Internet fruitfully to further enhance and strengthen your answers.

GS III: AGRICULTURE

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/reducing-farm-distress-during-a-pandemic/article31264242.ece

Q1. Discuss the impact of the lockdown on the agricultural sector in India. Suggest measures to help overcome this impact.

Ans.

  • Social distancing and living under a lockdown appear to be the only effective ways of dealing with the pandemic. With the economy coming to a complete halt in most of the informal and formal enterprises in urban areas, the lockdown is also likely to affect the large population in rural areas, a majority of whom are dependent on agriculture. At a time when the rural economy was witnessing declining incomes, both for casual workers and self-employed workers, even before the pandemic broke out, this lockdown is only going to hurt the agricultural economy further. Even before the lockdown, rural wages were declining in real terms but there were hopes for agricultural incomes rising with food prices rising until January 2020. However, recent data on prices suggest that the trend is reversing with the decline in agricultural prices in most markets.

Impacts on agriculture:

  • In the short run, we will likely witness a breakdown of supply chains of agricultural produce with no facilities for transportation of produce. This is likely to hurt those engaged in the production of fruits and vegetables, which are perishable goods and cannot be stored. With horticultural production exceeding foodgrain production in the last decade, many farmers are likely to face uncertain or no markets for their produce.
  • There will also be short-term impacts on foodgrains and other rabi crops that were ready to be harvested at the beginning of April. In some cases, harvesting may be postponed but it is difficult to do so beyond a week or a fortnight. While the government has exempted operation of agricultural markets and mandis from the lockdown, it will be difficult for farmers to harvest the agricultural produce in the surplus States of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in the absence of migrant labourers. Even if standing crop is harvested, April is the labour-intensive month. Labourers are required for packing, processing, transporting and selling the produce. This year is expected to register a record in the production of cereals, pulses, cotton and oilseeds. Most of these are labour-intensive crops and the absence of working labourers during the harvest and post-harvest season is likely to affect the prospect of higher incomes in agriculture.
  • Some of the short-term impacts may affect price realisation by farmers but the real worry for farmers is going to be the decline in prices for the majority of agricultural produce. There are already signs of a collapse in agricultural prices, which predates the outbreak of the pandemic. The food price index of the Food and Agricultural Organization, which was showing a rising trend in food prices until January 2020, reported a 1% decline in prices month-on-month in February 2020. This is likely to worsen further, particularly for cash crops. It is well-known that commercial crop prices follow a similar pattern as other primary commodities, particularly petroleum prices. With the sharp decline in petroleum prices, most of the commercial crops have seen a downward pressure on prices, which is likely to worsen in the coming months. But even for foodgrains and other crops, there is likely to be downward pressure on prices due to declining demand. The slowdown in the economy domestically and the expected recession worldwide will contribute to lower demand for agricultural commodities. At a time when the agricultural sector was already battling declining demand and lower prices, the faint hope of better prices appears unlikely to materialise. It is the decline in prices which is likely to hurt the income of farmers in the long run more than the short-run supply disruptions and labour shortages.

Steps that the government can take:

  • With the lockdown forcing a humanitarian crisis and with most migrants heading back to the rural areas, it is time for the government to release the food stocks through the public distribution system. The Central government has already announced that for the next three months, 5 kg of free grains will be distributed in addition to what people are entitled to under the National Food Security Act, but this has not yet reached the State governments due to the lockdown. While this may free up FCI godowns to some extent, it will be prudent to extend the scheme to all residents, particularly migrants who may not be able to avail of free grain in urban areas.
  • While raising procurements is desirable and may be necessary for the forthcoming rabi crops, the state is also expected to intervene and assure remunerative incomes to farmers. One way of ensuring this is to reduce the input costs through existing schemes of subsidies such as the fertilizer subsidy and through price reduction in petrol/diesel meant for agricultural purposes. But for the immediate short-term, farmers need to be compensated for the loss of income and the best way to do it is through the PM-KISAN scheme. Such a step is necessary not just for the survival of the agricultural sector but also for the overall economy which is expected to see a sharp slowdown and decline in demand. While income transfers may not be the best way of supporting the agricultural sector at times like these, they are the best available instruments to raise rural incomes and create demand.

GS III: SOCIAL-HEALTH

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/the-criticality-of-community-engagement/article31264494.ece

Q1.Community engagement is the key to fighting COVID-19 in India. Discuss

Ans.

  • There is a significant cultural gap between health-care personnel such as auxiliary nurse midwives and rural and tribal beneficiaries, significantly impeding delivery of preventive and promotive health care. The recent attack on an ASHA worker conducting a COVID-19 survey, due to an alleged suspicion that she was a government National Register of Citizens agent betrays the faltering of our community health worker programmes in a way. Over time, they have become de-facto public health employees rather than being community representatives enjoying the unswerving confidence of people as originally envisaged.
  • Community engagement is a pre-requisite for risk communication, which entails effectively communicating the threat due to the virus, instilling the right practices and etiquette, and combating rumours and stigma. With COVID-19 moving briskly towards slums and rural hinterlands, one should not be surprised if such incidents of non-cooperation start surfacing at a brisk pace too.
  • Rural awareness generation and community engagement has unto now comprised mainly of engaging with local panchayats, disseminating publicity material in local vernacular, and calling on the participation of civil society organisations. For our anti-coronavirus campaign to be a success, community engagement has to ensue on a war-footing, much akin to the production of ventilators and masks. Like the Antyodaya approach, it has to embrace the remotest community stalwart who enjoys the community’s confidence and is perceived as an impartial non-state agent.
  • One may say that we are too far into the pandemic to focus on risk communication. But community engagement is more than just risk communication. It is the bedrock of community participation, the need for which will only be felt even more acutely as the epidemic worsens. Contact tracing activities will have to pick up as COVID-19 increasingly percolates to rural areas. Enhancing testing for SARS-CoV-2 and concomitant expansion of quarantine, isolation, and treatment activities along vast expanses will tremendously strain our thin public health machinery. This will not be possible without community participation at every step.
  • Further, mitigation activities in case of considerable rural penetration of COVID-19 will require efforts of dreadful, phenomenal proportions. Imagine a primary health centre equipped with one doctor and a nurse catering to 20- odd villages spread across miles of difficult terrain.
  • Even attending to the mildest cases and referring severe ones will not just be infeasible but highly risk-laden too. Strongly involving the nearly 2.5 million informal health-care providers would become crucial for a range of activities. Makeshift arrangements for transportation and care, such as motorcycle ambulances and mobile medical units, will need to be made. Further, initiatives such as community kitchens of Kerala will assume tremendous importance in cases of a stringent and prolonged lockdown. These, along with simply a strict adherence to social distancing throughout the pandemic, cannot be conceived without full community participation.
  • Urgent reinforcing and galvanising of community engagement activities will largely decide the trajectory COVID-19 undertakes in India. Recruiting a medical workforce, augmenting infrastructure, and manufacturing personal protective equipment on a war footing – unless these go hand-in-hand with the former, will result in undermining of both.
Daily Compilation (PDF)
Apr 6 @ 2:45 pm
Apr
7
Tue
2020
News (Text)
Apr 7 @ 6:43 am

NEWS

7 APRIL 2020

Daily Current Affairs based on ‘The Hindu’ newspaper as per the syllabus of UPSC Civil Services Examination (Prelims and Mains) Compiled by Mrs. Bilquees Khatri.

 

Sr. No. Topic News
1. GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH Modi seeks Ministers’ views on calibrated exit from lockdown
2. GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH MPLADS suspended; PM, MPs to take 30% salary cut
3. GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH Delhi zoo on alert after tiger tests positive for COVID-19 in the U.S.
4. GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH 1.7 lakh PPEs from China to ease shortage
5. GS II: INTERNATIONAL – AFRICA Sudan ‘finalises’ deal to settle USS Cole case
6. GS II: INTERNATIONAL – USA U.S. gives ‘terrorist’ label to white supremacist group

 

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

Modi seeks Ministers’ views on calibrated exit from lockdown

  • After an interaction with Chief Ministers via a videoconference, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought suggestions from his Council of Ministers for a calibrated exit from the 21-day lockdown, imposed from March 25 to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • He also sought measures to bolster domestic manufacturing as the pandemic had brought home the fact that essential goods manufacture within the country is very important.
  • Modi asked the Ministers to coordinate with the district authorities for not just harvesting and procuring agricultural produce but also preparing business continuity plans to address the economic situation once the containment ends.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

MPLADS suspended; PM, MPs to take 30% salary cut

  • The Union Cabinet approved an ordinance to amend the Salaries, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, for a 30% cut in the salaries of all Members of Parliament for financial year 2020-2021.
  • Also, it approved a two-year suspension of the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, so that the amount saved can go to the Consolidated Fund of India to fight COVID-19,
  • Many MPs had already pledged to use their MPLAD funds, Rs. 5 crore a year, for efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The amount saved from the scheme would be Rs. 7,900 crore.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, as well as all Governors, had decided of their own volition to take a 30% salary cut.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

Delhi zoo on alert after tiger tests positive for COVID-19 in the U.S.

  • Following a letter from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in New York confirming that a tiger has been tested positive for COVID-19, an official from the National Zoological Park (NZP) in Delhi said they are on high alert.

 

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

1.7 lakh PPEs from China to ease shortage

  • Supply lines from abroad opened up on 6 April, 2020, with the receipt of 1.7 lakh Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) coveralls donated from China, the Union Health Ministry said.
  • “Along with domestic supplies of 20,000 coveralls, a total of 1.9 lakh coveralls will now be distributed to hospitals and will add to the 3,87,473 PPEs already available in the country as of now. A total of 2.94 lakh PPE coveralls have been arranged and supplied so far,” the Ministry said.
  • Two lakh domestically produced N95 masks are also being sent to various hospitals.
  • Northern Railways have also developed a PPE coverall and this is in addition to the PPE coveralls and N99 masks developed by DRDO earlier.
  • Efforts are now being made to start mass production.
  • “Existing N95 mask producers have increased their capacity to about 80,000 masks per day,” the Ministry added.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – AFRICA

Sudan ‘finalises’ deal to settle USS Cole case

  • Sudan’s Justice Ministry said that it has finalised a settlement with families of the victims of the USS Cole bombing, 2000.
  • Khartoum agreed in February 2020, to compensate the families of 17 American sailors who were killed in a suicide bombing targeting their Navy destroyer in Yemen’s Aden harbour in 2000, an attack that was later claimed by al-Qaeda.
  • A U.S. court held Sudan responsible for the attack and ordered compensation, finding that the bombers were trained in the country.
  • In March 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the ruling on procedural grounds.
  • The settlement procedures to permanently scrap lawsuits call for compensation.
  • Sudan has fulfilled a key condition set by the U.S. to remove it from state sponsors of terrorism list.
  • Sudan has been on Washington’s blacklist since 1993 over its alleged support of Islamist groups.

 

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – USA

U.S. gives ‘terrorist’ label to white supremacist group

  • The Trump administration designated an ultranationalist group based in Russia, the Russian Imperial Movement, as a terrorist organisation, according to officials.
  • It is the first time the government applied the label to a white supremacist group.
  • Accordingly, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to block any American property or assets belonging to the group.
  • It will also bar Americans from financial dealings with the organisation and make it easier to ban its members from travelling to the U.S.
  • The U.S. is also designating three of the group’s leaders — Stanislav Anatolyevich Vorobyev, Denis Valliullovich Gariev and Nikolay Nikolayevich Trushchalov — as individual terrorists who will face similar sanctions, officials said.
  • The Russian Imperial Movement is not considered to be sponsored by the Russian government, officials said, although President Vladimir Putin has tolerated its activities and it has helped advance the Russian government’s external goals by recruiting Russian fighters to aid pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.
  • The group has also helped support neo-Nazi groups in Scandinavia.

Editorial
Apr 7 @ 11:00 am
Editorial

7 APRIL 2020

Mind the gap

India must focus on what needs to be done, not on whom to blame for the virus spread

For millennia, people travelled for reasons of religion and trade, and in recent decades increasingly for pleasure too. The germs that these travellers carried globalised many contagions. In the history of humankind, no pestilence has spread as fast and as far as the novel coronavirus, for the singular reason that China, its source, is at the centre of world trade and economy. China is the biggest trading partner for at least 120 countries and regions, much of Europe and the U.S. included. Until recently, it was India’s too. At least 430,000 people travelled from China to the U.S. after the outbreak of the disease. The whirlwind of global travel, goaded by an intense human hunger for new economic opportunities and pleasure, has taken the virus to at least 180 countries on last count. In the year ending March 2019, 6.9 crore international passengers arrived in India. Such context has been obfuscated deliberately by sections trying to reinforce social prejudices, justify xenophobia and advance perilous political agendas by blaming particular social groups for the growing tragedy. People of Asian origin have been targeted in the U.S. as a result; within India, people from its northeastern region have come under attack. After a March congregation of Tablighi Jamaat faithful in Delhi turned out to be the epicentre of the biggest cluster of COVID-19 infections in India, Muslims in general are facing renewed hostility in some parts of the country. On Monday, a 30-year-old man was brutally thrashed by a group of locals who accused him of spreading the disease in the Outer-North district of Delhi. The man had arrived home after attending a religious gathering.

The Centre’s briefers have been volunteering daily updates on the number of cases linked to the Tablighi event, as if it were relevant to the pandemic response. Indeed, there must be a discussion on what went wrong, and how and why the disease spread in India. There are questions about the arrival of so many religious activists from international hotspots of the disease. Why were they given visas and allowed entry? However, right now, all efforts and attention of the government must be on containment and mitigation. All sections must feel protected and cared for by the state. In some instances, the Tablighi leaders have been defiantly non-cooperative in contact tracing even after their unconscionable folly triggered such an avalanche of cases. While legal and police action against those who are not cooperating with the official measures is essential, care must be taken against adding fuel to the fire of communalism. The common threat of the virus should have doused the smouldering embers of religious tensions. In any case, the battle against the virus must not deepen existing social fissures.

Do no harm

The safety of health-care workers on COVID-19 duty is paramount

‘Primum non nocere’ is the primary, guiding principle of bioethics. Every health-care worker is oriented on the principle of ‘First, do no harm’ during their training. All medical training is based on this idea, but very little in what they learn prepares them for the reverse: When harm is inflicted upon them. Over the past week, chilling stories of assaults on health-care workers, on COVID-19 duty, have been reported. Visuals beamed in of angry locals who threw stones at doctors, health-care workers and civic officials who went to screen people in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Two women doctors were injured. Earlier, there were reports of locals in Ranipura allegedly spitting at officials as they took up screening. Last week, doctors at Hyderabad’s Gandhi Hospital were attacked after a patient with multiple co-morbidities died of COVID-19. Doctors there even sought police protection. ASHA workers were reportedly attacked in Bengaluru, Karnataka, when they went to collect data on COVID-19 symptoms. Locals grabbed their bags and cellphones, and the police finally had to rescue them. In Mumbai’s Dharavi, police personnel who went to ensure that lockdown conditions were being followed — after a person tested positive in the locality — were assaulted by local youth. A case has been registered at Kayathar police station in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, after 12 people allegedly assaulted a health inspector and his team when they went there to isolate the family of a patient who had attended the Nizamuddin conclave.

These attacks are a result of paranoia and are completely unmindful of the many risks health-care workers take on, merely doing their work in a pandemic situation such as this. In Wockhardt, doctors and workers have tested positive while treating patients. If these helpers are looked upon as the enemy, it only allows the true foe — the virus — to gather strength. WHO too has developed guidelines for addressing workplace violence in the health sector to support the development of violence prevention policies in non-emergency settings. Their applicability in this situation must be examined. Baskut Tuncak, UN Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, hailed health-care workers as heroes who must be protected. Stating that the tireless work and self-sacrifice of these workers show the best of humanity, he also went on to emphasise that unacceptable shortages in critical protective equipment that can stop them from being infected, continue to plague nearly all nations battling COVID-19. The responsibility of restoring order and ensuring the safety of all health workers, whether with personal protective equipment, or against attacks from the public ultimately rests with the government, and in equal measure, the people.

Daily Compilation (PDF)
Apr 7 @ 2:45 pm

 

The Daily Current Affairs News Analysis section for UPSC Current Affairs Preparation is an initiative by A A Shah’s IAS Institute to prepare IAS aspirants in making easy and effective current affairs notes available online FREE for all.

Current Affairs is an integral part of study for IAS UPSC- Civil Services Examinations, not only for Prelims but for Mains as well. UPSC syllabus for General Studies Paper I of Preliminary (Prelims) Examination starts with Current Events of national and international importance.

The important keyword here is “National and international importance”. Thus candidates are required to understand which news is important and relevant for UPSC CSE point of view.

It may further be noted that UPSC doesn’t ask any factual questions, as such candidates are not required to learn or remember factual data.

The issues or news covered is categorized into four general studies papers (GS Paper I, GS Paper II, GS Paper III and GS Paper IV) as per the UPSC Mains syllabus.

Our Daily Current Affairs Analysis is prepared by Mrs. Bilquees Khatri based on The Hindu newspaper and articles and covers every day significant events or issues in the news that is important from UPSC Exam perspective.

IMPORTANCE OF CURRENT AFFAIRS IN UPSC IAS EXAM

Importance of Current-Affairs in UPSC IAS

For UPSC current affairs, the most important thing is to segregate the topics in news as per the IAS Syllabus for Prelims and Mains. For UPSC current affairs related to IAS Prelims, it is still somewhat easier as there is just one GS paper. However, arranging UPSC current affairs notes for IAS Mains is rather challenging because of the comprehensive syllabus and descriptive-essay type questions.

For this reason we have segregated the daily news topic-wise according to GS mains subject papers.

In this section find links to

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Among others, news related to following topics are important and relevant:

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UPSC Prelims 2019 Keywords. Culture & History

 

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