04 May, 2020
43 Min Read
|GS-II||BRICS ACTION against COVID-19|
|GS-III||R&D Statistics and Indicators||Economic Issues|
|African swine fever: Assam told to go for culling|
|Open Budget Survey 2019||Economic Issues|
|Bru crisis and their displacement to Tripura|
|PT Pointer||Foreign Currency Assets (FCA)||Economic Issues|
|Thrissur Pooram||Art and Culture|
|Important GS Topics||BRICS|
BRICS ACTION against COVID-19
Part of: GS-II- International Organisations (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
In the global war against the novel coronavirus, emerging economies, many belonging to BRICS, have reached out to other countries humbled by the pandemic.
Workshop of the world
A template for the future-WAY FORWARD
Having demonstrated their comparative strengths as providers of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), BRICS countries now need to pool and coordinate their efforts, in partnership with the WHO, and Europe and North America, both badly affected by the pandemic, as part of a global assault on the virus.
But for seeding a robust institutional HADR response, the BRICS countries may have to reactivate an existing disaster response mechanism, and earmark resources and assets to combat a whole range of natural disasters, with special focus on the emerging economies and the global south.
The Shanghai-based New Development Bank of the BRICS countries has already demonstrated the way forward to allocate financial resources to combat COVID-19. In April, during a meeting of the NDB Board of Governors, NBD President K.V. Kamath announced that apart from disbursing a $1 billion emergency loan to China, and subsequently to India, South Africa and Brazil, the NDB had the financial heft to provide $10 billion in “crisis-related assistance” to BRICS member countries. The NDB’s financial model, demonstrated to address the pandemic, can now become a template to address natural disasters.
R&D Statistics and Indicators
Part of: GS-III- Economy (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
According to the Research & Development (R&D) Statistics and Indicators 2019-20 report, India’s gross expenditure in R&D has tripled between 2008 & 2018 and scientific publications have risen placing the country internationally among the top few.
Findings of the Report
National Science and Technology Management Information
African swine fever: Assam told to go for culling
Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Disease first reported in November-December from areas of China bordering Arunachal. Assam Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister said the Centre has advised the State government to go for the culling of pigs affected by the African swine fever (ASF). “After a lab in Bhopal attributed the death of thousands of pigs to the first-ever case of ASF in the country, we have been told to cull the animals in the affected areas,”. “We have been told to divide the affected areas into zones and go for culling accordingly. The situation is quite serious since there are many farmers with more than 20 lakh pigs.”
African swine fever (ASF)
According to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report ASFhas caused the deaths of more than 3.7 million pigs across a vast swathe of Asia, primarily in its east and south-east, where pork is the primary meat staple.
What is African swine fever?
Transmission and spread:
Clinical signs of ASF:
Public health risk:
Prevention and control:
Open Budget Survey 2019
Part of: GS-III-Economy (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently, the International Budget Partnership (IBP) has released an Open Budget Survey (OBS) 2019. The survey evaluates each country on the basis of the availability of key budget documents of the Central or Federal Government, and assesses whether these are made public, in a timely manner, and provide comprehensive information.
Open Budget Survey
International Budget Partnership
2 community groups in Tripura have opposed the resettlement of Brus from Mizoram to Tripura.
A joint team of the Nagarik Suraksha Mancha, mostly representing Bengali people displaced from the erstwhile East Pakistan post partition in 1947 .
Northern Tripura has a sizeable Mizo population concentrated in the subdivision’s Jampui Hill area.
Who are Brus?
Brus conflict with Mizos
Resettlement package for Brus
Part of: GS-III- S&T Space (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and SpaceX are all set for the Demo-2 mission who is scheduled for 27th May, 2020 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. Demo-2 Mission will send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
Project Mercury (1958-63)
Gemini Program (1962-66)
Apollo Program (1963-72)
Space Shuttle Program (1981-2011)
Indian Human Space Flight Programme:
ISRO aims to launch its maiden Human Space Mission, Gaganyaan before the 75th anniversary of India’s independence in 2022.
Objectives of the Mission:
Relevance of a Manned Space Mission for India:
Boost to industries: The Indian industry will find large opportunities through participation in the highly demanding Space missions. Gaganyaan Mission is expected will source nearly 60% of its equipment from the Indian private sector.
Employment: According to the ISRO chief, the Gaganyaan mission would create 15,000 new employment opportunities, 13,000 of them in private industry and the space organisation would need an additional manpower of 900.
Technological development: Human Space flights are frontier field in the science and technology. The challenges the Human Space Flights provide to India, and the benefits accruing from taking up those missions will be very high and will lead to further thrust for technological developments in India
Spurs research and development: It will boost good research and technology development. With a large number of researchers with proper equipment involved, HSF will thrust significant research in areas such as materials processing, astro-biology, resources mining, planetary chemistry, planetary orbital calculus and many other areas
Motivation: Human space flight will provide that inspiration to the youth and also the national public mainstream. It would inspire young generation into notable achievements and enable them to play their legitimate role in challenging future activities
Prestige: India will be the fourth country to launch human space mission. The Gaganyaan will not only bring about prestige to the nation but also establish India’s role as a key player in the space industry.
Foreign Currency Assets (FCA)
FCAs are assets that are valued based on a currency other than the country's own currency. FCA is the largest component of the forex reserve. It is expressed in dollar terms. The FCAs include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US units like the euro, pound and yen held in the foreign exchange reserves.
Special drawing rights (SDR)
Reserve Position in the International Monetary Fund
For the first time since its inception, Thrissur Pooram will be observed with rituals within the temple premises with just a few participants. This was done in the wake of the lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Thrissur Pooram is an annual Hindu festival held in Kerala. It is celebrated on the day when the star sign “Pooram” occurs in the Malayalam month of “medam (April-May)”.
Part of: GS-II- International organisation (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS Leaders’ Summit is convened annually.
Together, BRICS accounts for about 40% of the world’s population and about 30% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), making it a critical economic engine. It’s an emerging investment market and global power bloc.
Areas of Cooperation
1. Economic Cooperation
2. People-to-People exchange
3. Political and Security Cooperation
4. Cooperation Mechanism
Cooperation among members is achieved through:
Impacts of BRICS on global institutional reforms
New Development Bank
Contingent Reserve Arrangement
Importance for India
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