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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Satyam Gandhi – AIR 19 CSE 2020 Topper’s Answer Booklet PDF


Satyam Gandhi – AIR 19 CSE 2020 Topper’s Answer Booklet PDF

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VISION IAS Mains 2021 Test 8 With Solution PDF


VISION IAS Mains 2021 Test 8 With Solution PDF

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Biting the Bullet on Petro Prices


 What is the issue?

Prices of fuels were increased again taking petrol and diesel prices to record high levels with diesel nearing Rs 100/litre mark in most cities.

What are the reasons for fuel price rise?

  • A sharp increase in global demand as the world economy recovers from the pandemic.
  • The price of Brent Crude breached the $85 per barrel mark earlier this week reaching its highest level since 2018 .
  • The output of the top oil-producing countries is inadequate to meet the demands.
  • OPEC+ cartel has been slow to boost the production of oil.
  • Low crude oil supply from the US keeps the crude oil prices elevated.
  • Elevated tax levels in India - The central government had last year increased levies on petrol by Rs 13 per litre and on diesel by Rs 16 per litre.

What will be the implications of rise in fuel prices?

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A Clean Energy Transition Plan for India


What is the issue?

Provision of electricity security in India has a long way to go since its per capita electricity consumption is still only a third of the global average.

What is the status of India’s energy security?

Energy security refers to the uninterrupted supply of energy at affordable prices.

  • As of 31 July 2020, the total installed power capacity in India was 372 GW.
  • The share of non-fossil fuels in installed capacity is 38%.
  • India’s energy consumption is forecast to grow at around 4.5 per cent annually to 2035.
  • India faces the twin challenges of providing energy security to its population and mitigating climate change.

What are the major sources of India’s energy sector?

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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Daily Current Affairs, 23rd October 2021



1)  International Snow Leopard Day: 23 October

•Every year, October 23 is observed as International Snow Leopard Day since 2014. The day commemorates the anniversary of the Bishkek Declaration and to celebrate this endangered cat and raise awareness for its conservation and protection. It was on October 23, 2013, when political leaders from 12 countries came together to endorse the ‘Bishkek Declaration on the conservation of snow leopards.

•Snow Leopard is found in 12 countries. They are India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

2)  Mole Day observed on 23rd October

•On 23rd October every year mole day is celebrated which is popular amongst all chemistry enthusiasts. This day is marked to commemorate and honour the Avogadro‘s number. The celebration of this day happens from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m commemorating the chemistry is measuring unit. This occasion aims to make the students interested in chemistry and its concepts. The theme for the occasion, inspired by the mascot – A Mole. This year the theme is DispicaMole Me. 

3)  Chhattisgarh launched “Shri Dhanwantri Generic Medical Store” Scheme

•Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has virtually launched a new scheme named ‘Shri Dhanwantri Generic Medical Store scheme’ to provide low-cost generic medicines and enable seamless healthcare services to the vulnerable people of the state. The scheme will be implemented by the Urban Administration and Development Department (UADD).

•Under the scheme, around 188 medical shops are planned to be opened in 169 cities. Currently, 84 generic medical shops are opened in the inaugural session to distribute medicine. Under this scheme, people will get a discount between 09 per cent and 71 per cent on the MRP (Market Rate Price) of generic medicines.

4)  UIDAI to host ‘Aadhaar Hackathon 2021’

•Government agency UIDAI is hosting a Hackathon titled “Aadhaar Hackathon 2021”. The hackathon is starting on 28 Oct 21 and would continue till 31 Oct 21. With new challenged and themes, the Hackathon 2021 will have two topics. The first theme is around “Enrolment and Update”, which essentially covers some of the real-life challenges being faced by the residents while updating their address. The second theme of the Hackathon is around the “Identity and Authentication” solution offered by UIDAI.

•UIDAI is soliciting innovative solutions to prove Identity without sharing the Aadhaar number or any demographics information. Also, it is looking for innovative applications around face authentication API – the newly launched authentication modality of UIDAI. The objective is to popularize some of the existing and new APIs to solve the needs of residents.

5)  Parambikulam Tiger Conservation Foundation wins Earth Heroes Awards 2021

•The Parambikulam Tiger Conservation Foundation has bagged the Earth Guardian Award instituted by the NatWest Group. The eight winners of the award were felicitated by the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora secretary-general Ivonne Higuero through a virtual ceremony.

6)  Turkey joins Pakistan in FATF Grey list

•Global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has retained Pakistan on its ‘Grey List’ of countries. In a briefing, FATF president Marcus Pleyer also said that three new countries Turkey, Jordan, and Mali have also been added to the Grey List. In June this year, the FATF had retained Pakistan on its ‘Grey List’ for failing to check money laundering, leading to terror financing.

•The FATF asked Islamabad to investigate and prosecute UN-designated terror terrorists including Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar. It also asked Pakistan to work to address its strategically important deficiencies.

•Pakistan was placed on the Grey List by the FATF in June 2018. Since then, Pakistan continues to be in the list due to its failure to comply with the FATF mandates. Due to its placing on the Grey List, it has become increasingly difficult for Pakistan to get financial aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union.

7)  Microsoft Launches Program To Support AI Startups In India

•Microsoft recently announced the launch of Microsoft AI Innovate, a 10-week initiative that will support startups in India leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, helping them scale operations, drive innovation, & build industry expertise. The program will also enable startups to reach out to newer customers and geographies with Microsoft’s sales and partners.

•To support the startup ecosystem in the country, the company has launched a programme, Microsoft AI Innovate, for nurturing and scaling startups that are leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI). Microsoft AI Innovate was aimed at bringing together startups, corporates, industry bodies, governments, and venture capital firms, to create a shared platform for learning and innovation. The selected startups in each of the cohorts will have access to industry deep-dive sessions and AI masterclasses by industry experts, mentoring by unicorn founders, skilling and certification opportunities, among other benefits.

8)  Martin Scorsese, Szabo to get Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement award

•Hollywood veteran Martin Scorsese and celebrated Hungarian filmmaker Istevan Szabo will be honoured with the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement award at this year’s International Film Festival of India (IFFI). The 52nd edition of the film festival will be held from November 20 to 28 in Goa.

•While Szabo is known for his masterpieces like 1966’s “Father” and 1981 movie “Mephisto”, Scorsese is one of the major figures of the New Hollywood era, widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential directors in film history.

•The opening film of this edition of IFFI will be “The King of all the World”, directed by Carlos Saura. Around 30 titles have been shortlisted for screening at 52nd IFFI from prominent International Film Festivals in the Festival Kaleidoscope and World Panorama Section. The festival will also pay a special tribute to Sean Connery, the first actor to portray fictional British spy James Bond on the big screen.

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The HINDU Notes – 23rd October 2021



📰 43 countries call on China at UN to respect Uighur rights

Statement seeks unfettered access to Xinjinag for observers

•Forty-three countries have called on China to “ensure full respect for the rule of law” for the Muslim Uighur community in Xinjiang, in a statement read at the United Nations on Thursday that sparked outrage from Beijing.

•The declaration, signed by the United States as well as several European and Asian member states and others, accused China of a litany of human rights violations against the Uighurs, including torture, forced sterilisation and forced disappearances.

•“We call on China to allow immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang for independent observers, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and her office,” the countries said in a joint statement, read at the United Nations by France.

•“We are particularly concerned about the situation in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” the statement continued, citing “credible” reports that “indicate the existence of a large network of ‘political reeducation’ camps where over a million people have been arbitrarily detained.”

‘Emancipating people’

•Beijing has long denied accusations of ethnic cleansing against Uighurs and other Muslim Turkic people in Xinjiang, where experts have estimated that more than one million people are incarcerated in camps.

•Its ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun furiously denounced on Thursday what he termed the “lies” and “a plot to hurt China”.

•“Xinjiang enjoys development and the people are emancipating themselves every day and are proud of the progress made,” he said.

Up for a friendly visit

•And while Mr. Zhang told media that China was willing to host a “friendly” visit to the region, he did not agree to an inquiry by the UN human rights commissioner.

•He accused Washington, Paris and London of having a “terrible human rights record.” Beijing accused the U.S. for “ethnic cleansing” against Native Americans and accused France of committing “crimes against humanity” in its former colonies.

📰 ‘India-U.K. ties vital in coming decades’

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Squaring off again in the Himalayan Heights: India China Deadlock


 What is the issue?

The Indian and Chinese soldiers will remain to be deployed against each other in the icy cold deserts of Ladakh this winter.

What is the reason behind China’s aggressive focus on India?

  • The PLA incursion into Barahoti, a demilitarised zone in Uttarakhand in August was a significant pointer to the renewed Chinese aggression against India.
  • The incursion of Chinese patrols in Arunachal Pradesh have also increased in frequency and duration.
  • The major reason for China’s aggressiveness is to further the institutional interest as the army of the revolution which is currently losing its pre-eminence in Taiwan and South China Sea.
  • PLA’s view that the Indian military has been exerting a greater presence on Chinese territory in the border areas in the last 10-12 years is also a reason.
  • The Doklam stand-off of 2017, when Indian soldiers walked onto Bhutanese territory claimed by China, was a turning point in the PLA’s approach.
  • Bejing’s unilateral action of changing the status quo resulted in the  Ladakh crisis.



What was New Delhi’s response to Chinese aggressions?

  • The Indian military has inducted more modern military platforms backed by infrastructure construction in the China border.
  • The Indian military always maintained a defensive deterrence against the PLA.
  • India’s advantage in dissuading a major military conflict with China is that as a lesser power, it has to only deny an outright military victory to the PLA.
  • Also, India’s primacy of Air Force is an added advantage.

What are the challenges?

  • Military modernisation - The sharp decline in the Indian economy after demonetisation and the coronavirus pandemic made it difficult to generate enough resources for military modernisation.
  • The parliamentary standing committee on defence has repeatedly warned about the increasing technological asymmetry with PLA.
  • Divisive majoritarian politics - India’s foreign policy in the neighbourhood is adversely affecting  the Indian interests.
  • The UAE brokered backchannel deal with Pakistan fell through because of New Delhi’s policies in Kashmir.
  • The treatment of religious minorities and the issues over the influx of Myanmar refugees in Mizoram has made India-Bangladesh relation weaker.
  • Power competition in the Indo-Pacific – Groupings like Quad (India, the United States, Australia, Japan) does not have a ‘hard power’ agenda yet unlike the trilateral security pact, AUKUS.
  • Executive’s shadow - The lack of institutional checks and balances on the political executive imposes a bigger cost in decision-making on national security issues.
  • The removal of an official report about Chinese presence across the LAC from the Defence Ministry’s website and non-acknowledgement of Indian soldiers in Chinese captivity after the Galwan clash have been done to evade political accountability.
  • Neither the Parliament has been allowed to ask questions nor the parliamentary standing committee deliberated upon the issue.

What is the future ahead?

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100 crore COVID-19 Vaccine Doses


 Why in news?

India completed 100 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines on 21 October 2021, in about 9 months since the vaccination drive began.

Why is it laudable?

  • This is the fastest rate of vaccination, possibly anywhere in the world.
  • China has administered almost twice the number of doses to its citizens but it had also started out much earlier than anyone else.
  • India began only in mid-January 2021, with a limited supply of vaccines.
  • The shortage of vaccines was felt most acutely during the devastating second wave, the worst phase of the pandemic.
  • The challenge was handled with contributions of vaccine manufacturers and the wide network of healthcare workers.
  • Crossing the one-billion mark also became possible as India stopped the export of vaccines, impacting most low- and middle-income countries.

What are the tasks ahead?

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