Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020


About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 13th October 2021


    • News: Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin (BBV152) has been recommended for emergency use authorisation (EUA) for two to 18-year-olds by the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO).
    • About Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO):
      • The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) is India’s national regulatory body for pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
      • It serves a similar function to the European Medicines Agency of the European Union, the PMDA of Japan, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency of the United Kingdom, and the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of China.
      • The Indian government has announced its plan to bring all medical devices, including implants and contraceptives under a review of the Central Drugs and Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
      • Within the CDSCO, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) regulates pharmaceutical and medical devices and is positioning within the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
      • The DCGI is advised by the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) and the Drug Consultative Committee (DCC).
      • Divided into zonal offices, each one carries out pre-licensing and post-licensing inspections, post-market surveillance, and drug recalls (where necessary).
      • Manufacturers who deal with the authority required to name an Authorized Indian Representative (AIR) to represent them in all dealings with the CDSCO in India.


    • News: India’s retail inflation cooled off to a five-month low of 4.35% in September, thanks to a sharp dip in food price inflation, while industrial output growth accelerated to 11.9% in August, driven largely by a statistical effect of a low base — August 2020 had recorded a 7.1% contraction.
    • About Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI):
      • Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) is a measure of change in retail prices of food products consumed by a defined population group in a given area with reference to a base year.
      • The Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) started releasing Consumer Food Price Indices (CFPI) for three categories -rural, urban and combined – separately on an all India basis with effect from May, 2014.
      • Like Consumer Price Index (CPI), the CFPI is also calculated on a monthly basis and methodology remains the same as CPI. The base year presently used is 2012.
      • The CSO revised the Base Year of the CPI and CFPI from 2010=100 to 2012=100 with effect from the release of indices for the month of January 2015.

    3.    GROUP OF 20

    • News: Afghanistan requires “unhindered humanitarian assistance” and an “inclusive government,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the extraordinary meeting of the G20 leaders on Afghanistan.
    • About Group of 20 (G20):
      • The G20 (or Group of Twenty) is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union (EU). It works to address major issues related to the global economy, such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development.
      • The G20 is composed of most of the world’s largest economies, including both industrialized and developing nations. The group collectively accounts for around 90 percent of gross world product (GWP), 75-80 percent of international trade, two-thirds of the world’s population, and roughly half the world’s land area.
      • The G20 was founded in 1999 in response to several world economic crises.
      • Since 2008, the group convenes at least once a year, with summits involving each member’s head of government or state, finance minister, foreign minister, and other high-ranking officials; the EU is represented by the European Commission and the European Central Bank.
      • To decide which member nation gets to chair the G20 leaders’ meeting for a given year, all members, except the European Union, are assigned to one of five different groupings, with all but one group having four members, the other having three. Nations from the same region are placed in the same group, except Group 1 and Group 2.
      • All countries within a group are eligible to take over the G20 Presidency when it is their group’s turn.
      • As of 2021 there are 20 members of the group: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Spain is a permanent guest invitee.


    • News: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday permitted a student, who holds an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, to appear for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) counselling for seeking admissions to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) under the general category and not the one reserved for NRIs or foreign nationals.
    • About Overseas Citizenship of India:
      • Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is a form of permanent residency available to people of Indian origin and their spouses which allows them to live and work in India indefinitely.
      • Despite the name, OCI status is not citizenship and does not grant the right to vote in Indian elections or hold public office.
      • The OCI scheme was introduced by The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 in response to demands for dual citizenship by the Indian diaspora. It provides Overseas citizens many of the rights available to resident citizens.
      • OCI status is not available to anyone who has ever been a Pakistani or Bangladeshi citizen, or who is a child, grandchild, or great-grandchild of such a person.
      • The Constitution of India does not permit dual citizenship (under article 9 of The Indian Constitution) in India.
      • The Government of India, on application, may register any person as an Overseas Citizen of India, if the person:
        • was a citizen of India on 26 January 1950 or at any time thereafter; or
        • belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15 August 1947; or
        • was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26 January 1950; or
        • is a child or a grandchild or a great-grandchild of such a citizen; or
        • is a minor child of such persons mentioned above; or
        • is a minor child and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India; or
        • is a spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder registered under section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application.
      • A person, who or either of whose parents or grandparents or great grandparents is or had been a citizen of Pakistan & Bangladesh, is ineligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India.
      • A person who has served as a member of any foreign military, including that of his home country, is ineligible to receive an OCI card.
      • Dutch nationals of Suriname Origin up to sixth generation whose forefathers came from India in 19th century will be eligible for applying for OCI Card.


    • News: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a national master plan for multimodal connectivity called ‘PM GatiShakti’, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
    • Details:
      • The PMO said infrastructure development had faced many problems for decades, including a lack of coordination between departments leading to multiple agencies digging up roads for laying cables, pipelines, etc.
      • PM GatiShakti will address the past issues through institutionalising holistic planning for stakeholders for major infrastructure projects.
      • Infrastructure plans would be designed and executed with a common vision, instead of being made in silos, it said.
      • The master plan would cover projects of many Ministries and State Governments, including Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, dry/land ports, UDAN, textile clusters, defence corridors, electronic parks, industrial corridors, fishing clusters and agricultural zones.
      • Movement of people and goods would be made seamless with the multimodal connectivity envisaged under the master plan.


    • News: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday said there was a campaign going on to “defame” the legacy of Veer Savarkar over the years, and there was a lack of correct information about him that needed to be addressed.
    • About Vinayak Damodar Savarkar:
      • Vinayak Damodar “Veer” Savarkar was an Indian politician, activist, and writer.
      • He developed the Hindu nationalist political ideology of Hindutva while imprisoned at Ratnagiri in 1922.
      • He was a leading figure in the Hindu Mahasabha.
      • Savarkar joined the Hindu Mahasabha and popularized the term Hindutva (Hinduness), previously coined by Chandranath Basu, to create a collective “Hindu” identity as an essence of Bharat (India).
      • Savarkar was an atheist and also a pragmatic practitioner of Hindu philosophy.
      • Savarkar began his political activities as a high school student and continued to do so at Fergusson College in Pune.
      • He and his brother founded a secret society called Abhinav Bharat Society.
      • When he went to the United Kingdom for his law studies, he involved himself with organizations such as India House and the Free India Society.
      • He also published books advocating complete Indian independence by revolutionary means.
      • One of the books he published called The Indian War of Independence about the Indian Rebellion of 1857 was banned by the British colonial authorities.


    • News: The Environment Ministry has issued draft rules that mandate producers of plastic packaging material to collect all of their produce by 2024 and ensure that a minimum percentage of it be recycled as well as used in subsequent supply.
    • About Plastic waste:
      • Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic objects and particles (e.g. plastic bottles, bags and microbeads) in the Earth’s environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, and humans.
      • Plastics are inexpensive and durable making them very adaptable for different uses; as a result humans produce a lot of plastic.
      • However, the chemical structure of most plastics renders them resistant to many natural processes of degradation and as a result they are slow to degrade.
      • Together, these two factors allow large volumes of plastic to enter the environment as mismanaged waste and for it to persist in the ecosystem.
      • Degraded plastic waste can directly affect humans through both direct consumption (i.e. in tap water), indirect consumption (by eating animals), and disruption of various hormonal mechanisms.


    • News: The IMF has projected that India will grow at 9.5% and 8.5% this fiscal year and next, after a contraction of 7.3% last year. It has projected global growth at 5.9% this year and 4.9% in 2022 in its latest World Economic Outlook, unveiled at the start of the World Bank IMF Annual Meetings.
    • About Debt to GDP Ratio:
      • The debt-to-GDP ratio is the metric comparing a country’s public debt to its gross domestic product (GDP).
      • By comparing what a country owes with what it produces, the debt-to-GDP ratio reliably indicates that particular country’s ability to pay back its debts.
      • Often expressed as a percentage, this ratio can also be interpreted as the number of years needed to pay back debt if GDP is dedicated entirely to debt repayment.
      • The debt-to-GDP ratio is the ratio of a country’s public debt to its gross domestic product (GDP).
      • Often expressed as a percentage, the debt-to-GDP ratio can also be interpreted as the number of years needed to pay back debt if GDP is dedicated entirely to debt repayment.
      • The higher the debt-to-GDP ratio, the less likely the country will pay back its debt and the higher its risk of default, which could cause a financial panic in the domestic and international markets.