13th November UPSC Current Affairs

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Moody’s revises India’s 2020 GDP forecast to -8.9% from -9.6%

Why in News?
  • Rating agency Moody’s Investors Service has revised upward India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast for calendar year 2020 to -8.9% contraction from -9.6% it had projected earlier.
  • Similarly, India’s GDP forecast for calendar year 2021 has been revised upwards to 8.6% from 8.1% projected earlier, the agency said in its latest global macro outlook report
  • Report Titled ‘Nascent economic rebound takes hold globally but recovery will remain fragile”.
  • It stated G-20 economies were expected to collectively contract by 3.8% in 2020, followed by 4.9% growth in 2021 and 3.8% growth in 2022.

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No holy dip at ghats during Tungabhadra Pushkaram

Why in News? The Tungabhadra Pushkaram, scheduled to be organised from November 20 to December 1, is caught in the dilemma of religious beliefs and the COVID-19 protocols. Tungabhadra Pushkaralu
  • Tungabhadra Pushkaram is a festival of River Tungabhadra normally occurs once in 12 years. This Pushkaram is observed for a period of 12 days from the time of entry of Jupiter into Makara rasi (Capricorn).
Location: Tungabhadra River Tungabhadra River is a tributary of the Krishna River The Krishna River
  1. The Krishna river is the second largest east-flowing river of Peninsular India.
  2. Source of origin of the Krishna river: It rises from a water spring near Mahabaleshwar located in the Sahyadri hills region of the Western Ghats in the state of Maharashtra.
  3. Confluence or mouth of the Krishna river: It drains into the West Bengal before forming a delta near Hamasaladeevi in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
  4. The Krishna basin is surrounded by the Godavari basin on the north and the Eastern Ghats on the south and east and the Western Ghats on the west. The Krishna basin is roughly triangular in shape.
Major Tributaries of the Krishna river:
  • The Tungabhadra River
  • The Bhima River
  • The Koyna River
  • The Verna River
  • The Panchganga River
  • The Ghataprabha River
  • The Malprabha River
  • The Dudhganga River
  • The Musi River

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Naga, Meitei groups stress on need to mutually co-exist as peaceful neighbours

Why in News? Naga and Meitei groups have stressed on the need to mutually co-exist as peaceful neighbours and asserted they have a larger role to play in the “ethno-social and political reorganisation” of the indigenous people of the Northeast. Nagas and Meitei Groups
  • Nagas are a hill people who are estimated to number about 2. 5 million (1.8 million in Nagaland, 0.6 million in Manipur and 0.1 million in Arunachal states) and living in the remote and mountainous country between the Indian state of Assam and Burma.
  • There are also Naga groups in Burma.
  • The Nagas are not a single tribe, but an ethnic community that comprises several tribes who live in the state of Nagaland and its neighbourhood.
  • Nagas belong to the Indo-Mongoloid Family.
  • There are nineteen major Naga tribes, namely, Aos, Angamis, Changs, Chakesang, Kabuis, Kacharis, Khain-Mangas, Konyaks, Kukis, Lothas (Lothas), Maos, Mikirs, Phoms, Rengmas, Sangtams, Semas, Tankhuls, Yamchumgar and Zeeliang.
  • The people of Manipur are grouped into three main ethnic communities - Meiteis those inhabiting the valley and 29 major tribes in the hills dividing into two main ethno-denominations, namely Nagas and Kuki-Chins.
  • Meiteis differ culturally from the surrounding hill tribes by following Hindu customs.
 

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18 generic drug companies pledge to make COVID-19 drugs for developing countries

Why in News?
  • A coalition of 18 pharma companies located in India, China, Bangladesh and South Africa that manufacture generic drugs have pledged to work together to accelerate access to millions of doses of new interventions for COVID-19 for low- and middle-income countries.
  • The companies have come together under the umbrella of the non-profit Medicines Patent Pool (MPP).
  • Indian companies that have pledged to manufacture COVID-19 drugs include Sun Pharma, Lupin, Aurobindo, Zydus Cadila, Hetero, Natco and Strides Shasun.
  • A generic drug is a medication created to be the same as an existing approved brand-name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, and performance characteristics.
  • It works in the same way and provides the same clinical benefits as its brand-name version.
  • Approved generic medicines are generally sold only after patents and exclusivities protecting the brand-name version end.
Difference between Generic and Branded drugs
  • Generic medicines tend to cost less than their brand-name counterparts because they do not have to repeat animal and clinical (human) studies that were required of the brand-name medicines to demonstrate safety and effectiveness. Unlike brand companies, generic manufacturers compete directly on price, resulting in lower prices for consumers
  • Generic drug may also be slightly different in colour, shape, or markings compared to brand one.
Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana
  • It is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals in 2008 under the name Jan Aushadi Campaign.
  • Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementation agency for PMBJP.
  • The Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India works under the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers.

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Amazon accuses Future of ‘insider trading’

Why in News? Amazon.com Inc. has asked India’s markets regulator to investigate Future Retail Ltd. for insider trading it seeks to prevent its business partner from becoming part of rival Reliance’s empire. What is Insider Trading?
  • Insider trading is the buying or selling of a publicly-traded company’s shares/debt papers by someone who has confidential information about that shares/debt papers.
  • Insider trading is defined as a malpractice wherein trade of a company’s securities is undertaken by people who by virtue of their work have access to the otherwise non-public information/confidential information which can be crucial for making investment decisions.
  • When insiders, e.g. key employees or executives who have access to the strategic information about the company, use the same for trading in the company’s stocks or securities, it is called insider trading and is highly discouraged by the Securities and Exchange Board of India to promote fair trading in the market for the benefit of the common investor.
Who is an insider?
  • An insider is a person who possesses either access to valuable non-public information about a corporation or ownership of stock equaling more than 10% of a firm’s equity. This makes a company’s directors and high-level executives insiders.
  • The mechanism to prevent insider trading
  • According to SEBI Promoters will be held responsible for violation of insider trading norms, if they possess unpublished price-sensitive information (UPSI) regarding the company without any “legitimate purpose“.
  • The board of directors to maintain a digital database containing the names of such persons or entities with whom the information is shared.
  • A promoter who does not hold any position on the board will not be considered a person having “Legitimate Purpose” to hold UPSI.
  • Advisors who need access to UPSI needs to be informed that the information shared with them is insider information and they should apply it only for the purpose meant.
  • Identification data of recipients must be maintained.

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COVISHIELD completes enrolment of Phase-3 clinical trials under the partnership of ICMR and Serum Institute of India

Why in News? The Serum Institute of India (SII) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday announced the completion of the enrolment of Phase-3 clinical trials for COVISHIELD in India. Covishield:
  • It is the name given to an Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine candidate which is technically referred to as AZD1222 or ChAdOx 1 nCoV-19.
  • It is already being tested in the UK, South Africa, and Brazil, where participants are being administered two doses nearly a month apart.
  • It had triggered an immune response in humans against the novel coronavirus in early trials and is considered to be one of the global frontrunners for the Covid-19 vaccine.
 

 



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