Vaccine hesitancy

#GS2 #Health

  • Low coverage of COVID19 vaccination in states of Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Union Territory Puducherry. 
  • According to the Health Ministry, India reported 0.18% adverse events following immunization and 0.002% hospitalization. 
  • Vaccine hesitancy is not a new phenomenon. It was present during polio and measles. 

Vaccine Hesitancy

  • It is the refusal of vaccines or delay in acceptance of vaccines even when vaccine services are available. 


  • The prime reason behind vaccine hesitancy is false-information.
  • Social media content could stir fear in general public by blaming vaccines for unrelated diseases.
  • Since vaccine may contain chemicals and animal-derived products forbidden by religious laws, some religious propaganda could misguide the general public.
  • Vaccine-derived virus: Weakened but live poliovirus is contained in the Oral Polio Virus. This virus from the vaccine is excreted by immunized children. This might result in virus spreading and mutation resulting in vaccine derived virus.
  • Difficulty in accessing vaccines.

Associated Issue:

  • This could tamper the effort to control the pandemic.
  • Can contribute to the massive spread of the disease.

Public Awareness:

  • Gain public confidence by explaining vaccine development and proper data.
  • Counter misinformation through social media platforms regarding vaccines and spread awareness. Provide authentic information with clarification.




Question Hour

#GS2 #Governance #Constitution

  • Budget session to have Question Hour
  • It was suspended in the monsoon session as a COVID-19 precautionary measure.


  • Question Hour is the first hour of parliamentary sitting
  • Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha is from 11 am to 12 noon.
    Question Hour is for the Members of Parliament to ask questions to ministers and hold them accountable for the functioning of their ministries.The questions can also be asked to the private members (MPs who are not ministers).
  • It is regulated under the parliamentary rules.
  • The Chairman (in case of Rajya Sabha) and the Speaker (un the case of Lok Sabha) are the final authority with respect to the conduct of Question Hour.

Three types of questions are asked:

  • Starred question: It requires an oral answer. Supplementary questions are allowed.
  • Un-starred question: It requires a written answer. Supplementary questions cannot be asked in this case.
  • Short notice question: This question has to be asked by giving a notice of less than ten days. Oral answer has to be provided.

Question Hour in both Houses is held on all days of the session. But there are two days when an exception is made.

Zero Hour:

  • Zero Hour is not mentioned in the parliamentary rules book. It is an innovation by the Parliament of India.
  • In Zero Hour, MPs can speak on matters without any prior notice.
  • The zero hour starts once the question hour is over. It lasts until the regular business of the House is taken up.




S400 Missile system

#GS3 #Science&Technology

  • India is about to receive the first batch of S400 long-range air-defence system by year-end. 
  • The first group of Indian military specialists are scheduled to depart for Moscow soon to undergo training courses on the S400
  • U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Juster declined to comment on whether the U.S. would proceed with CAATSA sanctions against India over the S400 purchase,

S400 Triumph

  •  S-400 Triumph is one of the world’s most advanced air defence systems developed by Russia. 
  • It has the capability to destroy all kinds of aircraft, missiles and UAVs (both cruise and ballistic).
  • It has the capability to simultaneously track multiple incoming objects (36)
  • It can also be used against ground installations.
  • The S-400 has a range of 400 km and up to 30 km altitude.
  • It integrates multi-function radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, and command and control centre. 
  • The system also has the capability to simultaneously engage 36 targets.
  • It can be integrated into the existing air defence units of the air force, army and navy.

Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)

  • The Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) is a United States federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. 
  • It includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with Russia's defense and intelligence sectors.
  • India may face US sanctions for purchasing high-value military defense items from Russia under the act. India is set to receive its first delivery of the system in 2020.





#GS3 #Science&Technology

India’s appetite for 5G is going to be overpowering and therefore businesses must play a proactive role in creating a ‘desi5G model’ that is inclusive and supportive of healthcare, education and farming.

5G is the generation next in mobile broadband. Gradually, it will replace 4G LTE mobile broadband connection.

  1. Exponentially faster download
  2. Higher upload speeds
  3. Time lapse will decrease drastically. 

5G advantages

  1. Better broadband connectivity with increased speed.
  2. AI powered vehicles – 5G will help in faster communication, which is required for enabling Artificial Intelligence technology. 
  3. Better public infrastructure and safety: Cities will be able to function efficiently, it will improve the surveillance, sensors will be able to notify the public works department when the streetlights stop functioning when the drains flood, utility companies can track usage remotely.
  4. Remote control of Machinery – Heavy machinery can be remotely controlled from anywhere in the world, reducing the risks involved in working in hazardous environments.
  5. Healthcare – Surgeries can be carried out remotely.

Negatives of 5G

  1. Most of the super-high frequencies of 5G networks work only if there’s a clear, direct line-of-sight between the antenna and the device receiving the signal. What’s more is that some of these high frequencies are easily absorbed by humidity, rain, and other objects, meaning that they don’t travel as far.
  2. It’s for these reasons that we can expect lots of strategically placed antennas to support 5G, either really small ones in every room or building that needs it or large ones positioned throughout a city; maybe even both. 
  3. There will also probably be many repeating stations to push the radio waves as far as possible to provide long range 5G support.
  4. Also, the spectrum that we use today for 4G technology is for the lower bands. This cannot carry large amounts of data. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of Giga bits of data in a second. For this, it is natural that we need higher frequencies. 




The Hindu Editorial Analysis.

India-Nepal relations in a new transition.

Unique characteristic of Nepal’s internal political fundamentals continues to shape its foreign policy choices.

  • Amidst the domestic political chaos, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, visited New Delhi for the sixth meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission on January 15, 2021 that was co-chaired by the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
  • New Delhi is comfortable with some changes as its Nepal policy is heading towards deeper engagement with all sectors and functioning.

Pursuit of the negotiations with each other:

  • Confidence-building measures such as exchanges of courteous remarks on significant and concrete progress made since the last meeting of the Joint Commission in taking forward several bilateral initiatives, and the close cooperation between the two sides in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • On the development partnership front, the expansion of the Motihari-Amlekhganj petroleum products pipeline to Chitwan and the establishment of a new pipeline on the eastern side connecting Siliguri to Jhapa in Nepal formed a part of the discussions.
  • The upgraded first passenger railway line between India and Nepal from Jaynagar to Kurtha via Janakpur, the elusive operating procedures for commencement of train services have been discussed. 
  • Discussion on “cross-border rail connectivity projects, including a possible Raxaul-Kathmandu broad gauge railway line” were exclaimed.


UPSC SYLLABUS: GS-2: International Relations

(India And Its Neighbourhood- Relations)

India- Nepal Relations

As close neighbours, India and Nepal share a unique relationship of friendship and cooperation characterized by open borders and deep-rooted people-to-people contacts of kinship and culture. There has been a long tradition of free movement of people across the borders. 

Nepal has an area of 147,181 Sq. Kms. and a population of 29 million. It shares a border of over 1850 Kms to the south with 

five Indian States - Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and in the north with the Tibet autonomous region of the People's Republic of China.


  • The tradition of regular high-level exchange of visits between India and Nepal has seved fruitious benefits to both countries.
  • India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 is the bedrock of the special relations that exist between India and Nepal.
  • Beginning with the 12-Point Understanding reached between the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) and the Maoists in Delhi in November 2005. Government of India welcomed the roadmap laid down by the historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement of November 2006 towards political stabilization in Nepal through peaceful reconciliation and inclusive democratic processes
  • India had played a leading role in helping the Nepal Army (NA) in its modernization through provision of equipment and training. More than 180 training slots are provided every year for training of NA personnel in various Indian Army training institutions.
  • India had played a leading role in helping the Nepal Army (NA) in its modernization through provision of equipment and training. More than 180 training slots are provided every year for training of NA personnel in various Indian Army training institutions.
  • India continues to be Nepal’s largest trade partner, source of foreign investment and tourist arrivals. e. India also remains Nepal’s largest source of foreign investment and Indian investments in Nepal amount to ` 1586 crores with 462 FDI projects. India accounts for 44% of the total foreign investments in Nepal.
  • India and Nepal have a treaty of transit, which confers transit rights through each other’s territory through mutually agreed routes and modalities


  • Internal Security may be a major concern for india; Indo-Nepal border is nearly open and gently policed that is exploited by terrorist outfits and insurgent teams from North eastern part of India eg. provide of trained cadres, pretend Indian currency.
  • Overtime trust deficit has widened between India-Nepal due to the Indian name for delaying implementation of varied comes.
  • Nepal over the years has witnessed chronic political instability, together with a 10-year violent uprising, damaging Nepal’s development and economy.
  • There is anti-India feeling among sure ethnic teams in nepal that emanates from the perception that india indulges an excessive amount of in Nepal and tinkers with their political sovereignty.
  • The institution of diplomatic relations between Nepal and China and its growing influence in Nepal has resulted in declining ancient leverage of india in Nepal.

Way Forward

  • Both the countries are affected because of the misuse of open border by internal and external forces, the responsibility of border management and regulation depends on each.
  • India ought to offer an alternate narrative for india-Nepal ties, one that takes into account long people-to-people ties and cultural connect.
  • India ought to specialize in fructifying the potential of hydropower cooperation, that has remained untapped mostly because of differing perceptions.
  • India ought to maintain the policy of keeping removed from internal affairs of nepal, in the meantime within the spirit of relationship india ought to guide the state towards additional comprehensive rhetoric.
  • With its immense strategic connectedness within the Indian context as Indian security concern, stable and secure nepal is one requisite that india can’t afford to overlook.
  • India’s support to two more cultural heritage projects in Nepal, namely, the Pashupatinath Riverfront Development and the Bhandarkhal Garden Restoration in Patan Durbar is significant in the times.
  • Nepal expressed support for India’s permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council (UNSC) to reflect the changed balance of power.




A Plaintive lament on liberty that rings hollow.

The judiciary’s callous attitude at every level towards human liberty is destructive of the rule of law.

Courts should remain “the first line of defence against the deprivation of the liberty of citizens”; and “the remedy of bail is the solemn expression of the humaneness of the justice system”. 

This editorial Speaks About Some Important Concept Of Supreme Court And Its Underpinings Such as:

  1. Types of writs in indian constitution.
  2. Rule of law
  3. Provisions regarding the personal liberty.

Types of writs in Indian constitution

  1. Habeas Corpus

Habeas Corpus literally means ‘to have the body of’. Via this writ, the court can cause any person who has been detained or imprisoned to be physically brought before the court. The court then examines the reason of his detention and if there is no legal justification of his detention, he can be set free. Such a writ can be issued in following example cases:

When the person is detained and not produced before the magistrate within 24 hours

When the person is arrested without any violation of a law.

When a person is arrested under a law which is unconstitutional

When detention is done to harm the person or is malafide.

Thus, Habeas corpus writ is called bulwark of individual liberty against arbitrary detention. A general rule of filing the petition is that a person whose right has been infringed must file a petition. But Habeas corpus is an exception and anybody on behalf of the detainee can file a petition. Habeas corpus writ is applicable to preventive detention also. This writ can be issued against both public authorities as well as individuals.

  1. Mandamus

Mandamus means “we command”.  This writ is a command issued by court to a public official, public body, corporation, inferior court, tribunal or government asking them to perform their duties which they have refused to perform. Due to this, Mandamus is called a “wakening call” and it awakes the sleeping authorities to perform their duty. Mandamus thus demands an activity and sets the authority in action. Mandamus cannot be issued against the following:

a private individual or private body.

if the duty in question is discretionary and not mandatory.

against president or governors of state

against a working chief justice

to enforce some kind of private contract.

A petition for writ of mandamus can be filed by any person who seeks a legal duty to be performed by a person or a body. Such a filing person must have real or special interest in the subject matter and must have legal right to do so.

  1. Prohibition

The writ of prohibition means that the Supreme Court and High Courts may prohibit the lower courts such as special tribunals, magistrates, commissions, and other judiciary officers who are doing something which exceeds to their jurisdiction or acting contrary to the rule of natural justice. For example if a judicial officer has personal interest in a case, it may hamper the decision and the course of natural justice.

Difference between Mandamus and Prohibition

While Mandamus directs activity, Prohibition directs inactivity.

While Mandamus can be issued against any public official, public body, corporation, inferior court, tribunal or government; prohibition can be issued only against judicial and quasi-judicial authorities and NOT against administrative authorities, legislative bodies

  1. Certiorari

Certiorari means to “certify”. It’s a writ that orders to move a suit from an inferior court to superior court. It is issued by a higher court to a lower court or tribunal either to transfer a case pending with that to itself or squash its order. This is generally done because superior court believes that either the inferior court had no jurisdiction or committed an error of law. Thus, certiorari is a kind of curative writ.

  1. Quo warranto

Quo warranto means “by what warrant”? This writ is issued to enquire into legality of the claim of a person or public office. It restrains the person or authority to act in an office which he / she is not entitled to; and thus stops usurpation of public office by anyone. This writ is applicable to the public offices only and not to private offices.

Rule of law:

Rule of law symbolises the quest of civilised democratic societies to combine that degree of liberty without which law is tyranny with that degree of law without which liberty becomes licence.

 Importance of Rule of Law:

  • Rule of Law is essential for the protection of human rights.
  • This concept changed the mode of administration from “King was Law” to “Law is King”. It is quite essential for the healthy functioning of democracy.
  • In its path breaking judgment in Keshavanand Bharti’s case, our Supreme Court ruled that Rule of Law is part of basic structure of the constitution.
  • The Constitution in order to preserve the rule of law, has conferred the writ jurisdiction under Art. 32 and Art. 226 on Supreme Court and High Court respectively.

Provisons Regarding The Personal Liberty:

  • The Constitution of India guarantees the right to life and personal liberty in Part III under the category of Right to Freedom (Articles 19-22). The right to life and personal liberty in accordance with the procedure established by law is guarantee by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The right is available to both citizens and non-citizens.
  • Article 21 is a live provision in the constitution of India which constantly evolves like an organism and inherits the traits of dynamism that caters the needs of the society.  The Ambit of right to life and personal liberty keeps on expanding and will evolve further in future through various judicial pronouncements and legislative enactment. It is serves as an under-stream that touches every fundamental right in part III of the Indian Constitution.


PM AwasYojna

#GS2 #Governance

Prime Minister has said that PM AwasYojna has moved rapidly under the present Government and has helped the poorest of the poor in Uttar Pradesh.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (Ministry of Rural Development)

  • Aim: To aid citizens below the poverty line (BPL) who reside in rural areas in construction  and upgradation of existing kutcha houses which are non-serviceable by providing assistance. 
  • Beneficiaries: Those citizens who belongs to SCs/ST category, freed bonded labourers, widows or next-of-kin of defence personnel killed in action, ex servicemen and retired members of the paramilitary forces, Disabled persons and Minorities.
  • Beneficiaries are chosen according to data taken from the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) of 2011.
  • Timeline: The project will be implemented in a span of three years and expected to boost job creation in rural areas.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (Ministry of Urban Affairs)

  • The Mission is being implemented during 2015-2022 and will provide central assistance to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and other implementing agencies through States/UTs.
  • All statutory towns as per Census 2011 and towns notified subsequently would be eligible for coverage under the Mission.
  • It has the following provisions:
    • In-situ Rehabilitation of existing slum dwellers using land as a resource through private participation
    • Credit Linked Subsidy
    • Affordable Housing in Partnership
    • Subsidy for Beneficiary-led individual house construction/enhancement

Source: PIB

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