The Hindu Newspaper Analysis 08/07/2020

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  1. Jan aushadhi Sugam a mobile app recently launched by union government for what purpose?
    a.  To buy generic medicines from all medical shop
    b.  To avail discounts from Jan AushadiKendra
    c.  To access directions to Jan AushadiKendras.
    d.  To gather information about various diseases

Answer : c

JanaushadhiSugam” mobile application would have user-friendly options like- to locate nearby Janaushadhikendra, direction guidance for location of the Janaushadhikendra through Google Map, search Janaushadhi generic medicines, analyse product comparison of Generic vs Branded medicine in form of MRP & overall Savings, etc.

The mobile application is available on both Android & iOS platforms.

  1. Consider the following statement about Interpol

It is not an UN Agency

Its domain does not include cyberspace and environment security.

Which of the above statements is/are true?

a.  1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : a

The International Criminal Police Organisation, or Interpol, is a 194-member intergovernmental organisation headquartered in Lyon, France.

It primarily focuses on countering terrorism, promoting border integrity worldwide, protection of vulnerable communities, providing a secure cyberspace for people and businesses, curbing illicit markets, supporting environment security, and promoting global integrity.

  1. Consider the following statement about Index of Eight Core Industries

Natural Gas is not a part of it

It is released by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation

Which of the above statements is/are true?

a.  1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : d

The Index is compiled and released by Office of the Economic Adviser (OEA), Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.

It contains index, production and growth of Eight Core Industries. Eight Core Industries are Electricity, steel, refinery products, crude oil, coal, cement, natural gas and fertilizers.

The Index of Eight Core Industries is a monthly production index, which is also considered as a lead indicator of the monthly industrial performance.

News:- Big flap: golden birdwing is India’s  largest  butterfly

A Himalayan butterfly named female Golden Birdwing is India’s largest, a record an unknown specimen had held for 88 years.

With a wingspan of 194 mm, the female of the species is marginally larger than the Southern Birdwing (190 mm) that Brigadier William Harry Evans, a British military officer and lepidopterist, had recorded in 1932. But the male Golden Birdwing (Troides aeacus) is much smaller at 106 mm.


What is AIIB?

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.

It is headquartered in Beijing.

  • It commenced operations in January 2016.
  • By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors today, it aims to connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.

Various organs of AIIB:

Board of Governors: The Board of Governors consists of one Governor and one Alternate Governor appointed by each member country. Governors and Alternate Governors serve at the pleasure of the appointing member.

Board of Directors: Non-resident Board of Directors is responsible for the direction of the Bank’s general operations, exercising all powers delegated to it by the Board of Governors. This includes approving the Bank’s strategy, annual plan and budget; establishing policies; taking decisions concerning Bank operations; and supervising management and operation of the Bank and establishing an oversight mechanism.

International Advisory Panel: The Bank has established an International Advisory Panel (IAP) to support the President and Senior Management on the Bank’s strategies and policies as well as on general operational issues. The Panel meets in tandem with the Bank’s Annual Meeting, or as requested by the President. The President selects and appoints members of the IAP to two-year terms. Panelists receive a small honorarium and do not receive a salary. The Bank pays the costs associated with Panel meetings.

Significance of AIIB:

The United Nations has addressed the launch of AIIB as having potential for “scaling up financing for sustainable development” for the concern of global economic governance. The capital of the bank is $100 billion, equivalent to ​2⁄3 of the capital of the Asian Development Bank and about half that of the World Bank.

News:- Mining giant told to pay $2 bn for Arctic spill

Russia’s state environmental watchdog said  that metals giant Norilsk Nickel should pay an unprecedented $2 billion in damages over a huge Arctic fuelspill.
Controlled by Russia’s richest man 
Vladimir Potanin, the company is the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium.

What happened there:- A national level state of emergency was announced after 21,000 tonnes of diesel fuel spilled from a reservoir that collapsed in May outside the Arctic city  of Norilsk, polluting huge  stretches of river in remote tundra with bright red patches visible from space

News:- About Hongkong:- Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China.
The region is bordered by Guangdong province to the north and the South China Sea to the east, south, and west. It consists of Hong Kong Island, originally ceded by China to Great Britain in 1842, the southern part of the Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutters Island ceded in 1860, and the New Territories all of which were leased from China for 99 years from 1898 to 1997. 

The Chinese-British joint declaration signed on December 19, 1984, paved the way for the entire territory to be returned to China, which occurred July 1, 1997.

Editorials :-

More sabre-rattling, more isolation

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS 2- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Context: Chinese muscularity in the South China Sea is leading to a growing chorus of protest

The South China Sea (SCS): It has been a transit point for trade since early medieval times containing rich fisheries and is a repository of mineral deposits and hydrocarbon reserves.


  • The Philippines invoked the dispute settlement mechanism of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 2013 to test the legality of China’s ‘nine-dash line’ regarding the disputed Spratly islands.
  • The PCA verdict:
    • Undermined Chinese claim: It held that none of the features of the Spratly qualified them as islands and there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights and to the resources within the ‘nine-dash line’.
    • The UNCLOS provides that islands must sustain habitation and the capacity for non-extractive economic activity. Reefs and shoals that are unable to do so are considered low-tide elevations.
    • Violated Philippines Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ): It noted that China had aggravated the situation by undertaking land reclamation and construction and had harmed the environment and violated its obligation to preserve the ecosystem.
  • China dismissed the judgment as “null and void.”

Issues in South China Sea:

  • Accepted status quo: The Philippines did not press for enforcement of the award due to the power equations.
  • China agreed to settle disputes bilaterally and to continue work on a Code of Conduct with countries of the ASEAN.
  • Growing discontent with China: ASEAN are seeking political insurance, strengthening their navies and deepening their military relationships with the United States.
  • Strengthening their power:
    • Vietnam has added six Kilo-class Russian-origin submarines to its navy.
    • Japan is partially funding the upgradation of the Indonesian coast guard.
    • Indonesia and the Philippines are in early stages of exploring procurement of the BrahMos missile from India.
  • Growing Chinese muscularity: It is visible in the increased patrolling and live-fire exercising by Chinese naval vessels and building of runways, bunkers and habitation for possible long-term stationing of personnel on the atolls claimed by China.
  • Chinese exploration: Chinese exploration and drilling vessels compete aggressively with those of other littoral countries in the disputed waters.
  • Increase protest by other countries:
    • Indonesia protested to China about Chinese vessels trespassing into its waters close to the Nantua islands, towards the south of the SCS.
    • The Philippines protested to China earlier this year about violations of Filipino sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea.

Options for India and Way Forward:

  • India is the fulcrum of the region between West and East Asia and between the Mediterranean and the SCS.
  • Stakes of India: The SCS carries merchandise to and from India.
  • Defence diplomacy outreach: India must continue to actively pursue this in the Indo-Pacific region by:
    • Increasing military training and conduct exercises and exchanges at a higher level of complexity
    • Extend Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief activities
    • Share patrolling of the Malacca Strait with the littoral countries, etc.
  • The Comprehensive Strategic Partnerships that India has concluded with Australia, Japan, Indonesia, the U.S., and Vietnam could be extended to Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore.
  • India must also buttress the military capacity of the tri-service Andaman and Nicobar Command.
  • These areas have immense geo-strategic value as they overlook Asia’s maritime strategic lifeline and hence India cannot afford to continue undervaluing one of its biggest assets.


In stand-off, keeping an eye on the nuclear ball

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS 2- India and its neighborhood- relations.

Context: There is growing evidence that China continues to expand its nuclear arsenal despite domestic and external challenges.


  • Planned Modernization of nuclear arsenals: China fears the multi-layered missile defense capabilities of the United States.
  • It is arming its missiles with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs) capabilities to neutralize America’s missile shield such as DF-31As.
  • The Peoples Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) also fields a range of Medium Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBMs) and Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBMs).
  • According to the International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM), China is estimated to possess 2.9+-0.6 metric tonnes of Weapons-grade Plutonium (WGP) compared to India’s 0.6+-0.15 tonnes.

Concerns due to increasing China’s nuclear arsenal:

  • Expansionist mode: The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) observes that China’s nuclear arsenal has risen from 290 warheads in 2019 to 320 warheads in 2020.
  • Motivation: The Chinese state mouthpiece has recently called for a 1,000-warhead nuclear arsenal to match U.S. and Russian nuclear force levels.
  • Nuclear powered neighbourhood: India also has to contend with a nuclear-armed Pakistan. As per SIPRI, India has roughly 150 nuclear warheads with the Pakistani are slightly ahead with 160 warheads.
  • Effect on conventional military escalation: The conventional military balance between Indian and Chinese forces along the LAC presents significant challenges for India as nuclear weapons give Beijing considerable coercive leverage. Beijing could commit further aggression under the cover of its nuclear arsenal.
  • Nuclear signaling:Beijing is communicating that an escalatory response from New Delhi will incur punitive responses with China mounting aggressive military action at several points along the LAC.
  • The Chinese nuclear arsenal could serve as an instrument of coercion under which the PRC could press ahead with a limited aims war.
  • The PRC is believed to base a part of its nuclear arsenal in inland territories such as in the Far-Western Xinjiang Region, which is close to Aksai Chin.
  • China’s land-based missiles are primarily road mobile and could play a key role in any larger conventional offensive of PLA against Indian forces along the LAC.

Way Forward

  • India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) needs to be on a heightened state of alert to ward off Chinese nuclear threats and brinkmanship as well as geared to support India’s conventional forces.
  • India should start seriously assessing its extant nuclear doctrine and redouble efforts to get a robust triadic capability for deterrence.

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