IAS Prelims 2023

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Steady decline in number of deaths, Daily Fatalities below 300 continuously since the last 12 days, Total Active Caseload, at 2.27 lakhs, further shrinks to 2.19%, Total 71 persons detected with the new UK mutant strain

There is a steady decline in the number of daily deaths recorded in the country. Less than 300 new deaths are being recorded in the country from the last 12 days.

Only one new death per million population is reported in India in the last 7 days. In another achievement, the trajectory of contraction in India’s total active cases continues unabated. The active caseload of the country stands at 2,27,546. The share of Active Cases in the total Positive Cases has further shrunk below 2.2% (2.19%). The daily recoveries exceeding the daily new cases have ensured a total net reduction of the Active Caseload. 21,314 new recoveries were registered during the last 24 hours. A net decline of 3,490 cases has been recorded in the total active cases in last 24 hours.The daily cases in India have been below 20,000 in the recent days. 18,088 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours.96 new cases per million population have been recorded in the last 7 days in India.The number of cases is much higher in countries such as Brazil, Russia, France, Italy, USA and UK.The cumulative recoveries in India has moved further close to 1 cr and stand at 99,97,272 today. New Recoveries outnumbering the daily New Cases has also improved the Recovery Rate to 96.36%.76.48% of the new recovered cases are contributed by ten States/UTs.With 4,922 persons recovering from COVID, Kerala has recorded the maximum number of recoveries. Maharashtra has registered another 2,828 daily recoveries while Chhattisgarh has reported 1,651 new recoveries in the past 24 hours.Ten States/UTs have contributed 79.05% of the new cases. Kerala has reported 5,615 cases in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra recorded 3,160 new cases while Chhattisgarh has registered 1,021 new cases yesterday.73.48% of the 264 case fatalities that reported in the past 24 hours are from Ten States/UTs.24.24% of new fatalities reported are from Maharashtra which reported 64 deaths. Chhattisgarh also saw a fatality count of 25 while Kerala reported 24 new deaths.The total number of cases infected with the new strain of the novel Coronavirus first reported in the UK now stands at 71.

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Telephone Conversation between Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of UK The Rt Hon Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had a telephone conversation yesterday with the Prime Minister of UK The Rt Hon Boris Johnson. Prime Minister Johnson reiterated his thanks for India’s invitation for him as the Chief Guest of the forthcoming Republic Day celebrations, but regretted his inability to attend in view of the changed COVID-19 context prevailing in the UK. He reiterated his keennees to visit India in the near future.Prime Minister expressed his understanding of the exceptional situation in the UK, and conveyed his best wishes for the quick control of the pandemic spread. The leaders reviewed ongoing cooperation between both countries, including in the area of making COVID-19 vaccines available for the world. They reiterated their shared belief in the potential of the India-UK partnership in the post-BREXIT, post-COVID context, and agreed to work towards a comprehensive roadmap for realising this potential.

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Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurates CEPI Centralized network lab at DBT-THSTI Faridabad through virtual platform

The Minister for Science & Technology, Health & Family Welfare and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated one of the seven labs of the world called as the centralized network lab of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) established at Translational Health Science & Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad, through virtual platform in New Delhi yesterday. THSTI is an institute of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT). This is the only laboratory of such kind in India and is also accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) (ISO 17025:2017).Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan lauded DBT and BIRAC for “working relentlessly over the past ten months to develop effective interventions for combating the COVID pandemic”. He said, “Today, the country is in the forefront of developing vaccines against COVID-19”, and added, “already two of the 30 vaccines have already been cleared by the Drug Controller” for use and the rest are in advanced stages.Dr. Harsh Vardhan also released the e-Book on S & T solutions for COVID -19 that showcases the initiatives undertaken by the Department of Biotechnology for the mitigation of this Pandemic.The E-Book showcases the indigenous COVID-19 interventions developed by DBT supported initiatives.

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PM CARES Fund Trust allocates Rs.201.58 crores for installation of 162 dedicated PSA Medical Oxygen Generation Plants in public health facilities

The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund Trust is allocating Rs.201.58 crores for installation of additional 162 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Medical Oxygen Generation Plants inside public health facilities in the country. The total project cost includes Rs.137.33 crores towards supply and commissioning of the plants and Management fee of Central Medical Supply Store (CMSS) and around Rs.64.25 crores towards Comprehensive Annual Maintenance Contract. The procurement will be done by the Central Medical Supply Store (CMSS) – an autonomous body of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. A total of 162 plants with total capacity of 154.19 MT are to be installed in 32 States/UTs [Annexure-I]. The Govt. hospitals where these plants are to be installed have been identified in consultation with the States/UTs concerned. The plants have a warranty for first 3 years. For the next 7 years, the project includes CAMC (Comprehensive Annual Maintenance Contract). Routine O&M is to be done by the hospitals/States. After the CAMC period, entire O&M will be borne by the hospitals/States. This mechanism will further strengthen public health system and enable long term systematic augmentation of medical oxygen availability in a cost effective manner. Adequate and uninterrupted supply of oxygen is an essential pre-requisite for managing moderate and severe cases of COVID -19, in addition to various other medical conditions where this need arises.

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PM calls upon the scientific community to strengthen value creation cycle in Science, Technology and Industry

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on Monday exhorted the scientific community to promote value-creation cycle of science to mass creation. He was speaking on the occasion of National Metrology Conclave 2021 where he dedicated National Atomic Timescale and Bhartiya NirdeshakDravyaPranali to the Nation and laid the foundation stone of National Environmental Standards Laboratory today through video conference. The Prime Minister pointed out, historically, any country has progressed in direct correlation to its effort to promote science. He termed this ‘value creation cycle’ of Science, Technology and Industry. Explaining further, the Prime Minister said that a scientific invention creates a technology and technology leads to industry development. The industry, in turn, invests further in science for new research. This cycle keeps on taking us in the direction of new possibilities. CSIR-NPL has played a major role in taking forward this value cycle, the Prime Minister added. This value creation cycle of science to mass-creation has become all the more important in today’s world when the country is moving forward with the goal of Aatmnirbhar India, Shri Modi said.

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PM Congratulates the nation on vaccine approval of Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has called the DCGI approval of Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech vaccines, a decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight against Corona. In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister said, “A decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight!  DCGI granting approval to vaccines of @SerumInstIndia and @BharatBiotech accelerates the road to a healthier and COVID-free nation. Congratulations India. Congratulations to our hardworking scientists and innovators.” He said, “It would make every Indian proud that the two vaccines that have been given emergency use approval are made in India! This shows the eagerness of our scientific community to fulfil the dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, at the root of which is care and compassion,”

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PM lays Foundation Stone of AIIMS at Rajkot,

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of AIIMS Rajkot through a video conference on thursday. Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Governor Gujarat AcharayaDevvrat, Chief Minister Gujarat, Shri Vijay Rupani were present on the occasion.Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister remembered the efforts of the millions of doctors, health workers, scavengers and other frontline corona warriors who have constantly put their lives at stake to protect humanity. He lauded the efforts of the scientists and all those who provided food to the poor in this difficult period with full dedication.The Prime Minister remarked that this year showed that when India unites, it can effectively cope up with the most difficult crisis. He said India is in a much better position as a result of the effective steps and India’s record of saving victims of Corona has been much better than other countries. He said in India, every necessary preparation about the vaccine is going on. He said that efforts are in the final stages for making the vaccine made in India, rapidly reaching every nook and corner. He said India’s preparation is in full swing, to run the world’s largest immunization campaign.

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Text of PM’s address at the laying of foundation stone of AIIMS Rajkot, Gujarat

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India’s Covid vaccine is a leap of science, says Vice President

The Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has hailed the emergency authorization of two Covid vaccines as India’s leap of science that benefits the humanity at large. Writing on social media on Monday, Shri Naidu stressed that this is an indication of how Atmanirbhar Bharat can benefit not only the Indians but the larger humanity. Hailing the national resolve shown by the country last year in containing the Covid-19, Shri Naidu called for the same spirit in taking the vaccine to the people during this year. Shri Naidu said; “India is in the forefront of shielding the humanity from the deadly disease by demonstrating its ability to mass produce the much needed vaccine and offer its own version as well. India’s indigenous vaccine (Covaxin) has certain unique features based on the whole virus approach. This is a commendable achievement and all concerned deserve kudos for foresight perseverance and fruition of spirited efforts.”

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Centre asks States/UTs to gear up for roll out of COVID19 Vaccine, Health Secretary chairs high level Meeting with all States/UTs, Dry Run for vaccine administration in all States/UTs on 2nd Jan 2021

With the objective of gearing up for the roll out of COVID19 vaccine across the country, the Central Government has asked all States and UTs to ensure effective preparedness for the vaccine roll out. Union Health Secretary Sh. Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level meeting on thursday to review the preparedness at session sites for COVID-19 vaccination with Pr. Secretaries (Health), NHM MDs and other health administrators of all States/UTs through video conference.

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Press Statement by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Restricted Emergency approval of COVID-19 virus vaccine

The Subject Expert Committee of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) met on 1st and 2nd January, 2021 and made recommendations in respect of proposal for Restricted Emergency Approval of COVID-19 virus vaccine of M/s Serum Institute of India and M/s Bharat Biotech as well as Phase III clinical trial of M/s Cadila Healthcare Ltd. The Subject Expert Committee consists of domain knowledge experts from the fields of pulmonology, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology, paediatrics, internal medicine, etc. M/s Serum Institute of India, Pune has presented a Recombinant Chimpanzee Adenovirus vector vaccine (Covishield) encoding the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) glycoprotein with technology transfer from AstraZeneca/Oxford University.  M/s Bharat Biotech has developed a Whole Virion Inactivated Corona Virus Vaccine (Covaxin) in collaboration with ICMR and NIV (Pune), from where they received the virus seed strains. This vaccine is developed on Vero cell platform, which has well established track record of safety and efficacy in the country & globally.After adequate examination, CDSCO has decided to accept the recommendations of the Expert Committee and accordingly, vaccines of M/s Serum and M/s Bharat Biotech are being approved for restricted use in emergency situation and permission is being granted to M/s Cadila Healthcare for conduct of the Phase III clinical trial.

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How the Domestic Medical Equipment Industry “Adapted, Evolved and Expanded” to meet COVID19 challenge in 2020

2020 witnessed tremendous achievements in the medical supplies sector in the country. At the beginning of the pandemic, India was almost totally dependent on imported Ventilators, PPE Kits and N-95 Masks. There were, in fact, no standard specifications for these products which are essential in the fight against the pandemic. The Central Government recognised the challenges posed by the pandemic in the very initial stages and successfully ensured more than adequate availability and supplies of essential medical items across the country. The average cost of ventilators in India in February-March, 2020 was approximately Rs. 15 lakh and nearly all were imported. Due to the Indian industry taking up manufacturing of ventilators, the average cost now ranges between Rs. 2 to Rs.10 lakhs. In the last 9 months, the Ministry has ensured delivery of 36,433 ventilators to Government hospitals in States/UTs. This is important because from independence of the country till pre-COVID times, all the public health facilities in the country had only about 16,000 ventilators but in less than 12 months 36,433 ‘Make in India’ ventilators have been supplied to all the public health facilities. All export restrictions on ventilators have now been removed and “Make in India’’ ventilators are being exported. In the case of PPE kits, from a miniscule domestic production capacity in March, India has now become the world’s second largest manufacturer with a production capacity of more than 10 lakh PPE coveralls per day which are also exported to several countries.

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DBT-BIRAC supported indigenously developed DNA Vaccine Candidate by Zydus Cadila, approved for Phase III clinical trials.

The Nation’s first indigenously developed DNA vaccine candidate against COVID-19, ZyCoV-D, by M/s Zydus Cadila has been approved by Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), for conduct of the Phase III clinical trials. The candidate has been supported by the National Biopharma Mission (NBM) under the aegis of BIRAC and the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.Zydus Cadila completed Phase-I/II clinical trials of this DNA Vaccine candidate, in India, in more than 1,000 participants and interim data indicated that the vaccine is safe and immunogenic when three doses were administered intradermally. Based on the recommendations of the Subject Expert Committee, which reviewed the interim data, the DCGI has accorded permission for conducting Phase-III clinical trial in 26,000 Indian participants.

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  • Kerala: Kerala has requested the Centre to consider the state as priority during vaccine distribution. The state has cited four reasons to the Centre for its claim of priority access. By adopting “delay the peak” approach, the state had managed to keep the spread under check for the past eight months. However, a huge spike in cases has been witnessed since the past two months. According to the state government therefore the state should be given priority in vaccine distribution. High population of people with co- morbidities, high density of population which could result in the spread of Covid-19 at a faster rate, average population of elderly in the state, which is a priority group for vaccination, being higher than the national average are some of the other reasons cited by the government.  Meanwhile, the state health department is to conduct a COVID-19 density study to understand the possibility of a fresh virus wave from a new coronavirus strain and also to put in place an appropriate preventive strategy. The current test positivity rate is 9.16%.  Six UK returnees from Kerala, including a two-year-old child, have so far tested positive for the new strain of the virus. A total of 41 samples have been sent for NIV, Pune for further testing and results are awaited.
  • Tamil Nadu:As on date, Tamil Nadu recorded 8, 22,370 total cases, 12,177 deaths, 7808 Active cases and 8,02,385 discharges.
  • Karnataka: Health minister Dr. K Sudhakar informed that in the first phase, 3, 57,313 health workers will have vaccination and 28,427 vaccine centres will be opened. He also informed that State is ready for CoVid vaccine and dry run has also been successfully conducted on last Saturday. Meanwhile High Court asked information from state government regarding not conducting test for 700 UK returned travellers.
  • Andhra Pradesh: State Ministry of Health has issued orders reducing the prices of rapid antigen test kits administered in connection with Covid tests. The government has directed to charge only Rs 230 per kit including all charges. Meanwhile, State Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar said that there is no information from the Centre on when the vaccination for Covid-19 should start and how many doses would be made available to the state in the first phase. However, efforts were being made for cold-chain management, which was the most crucial part of storage and distribution. From a registration of 7,300 passengers in May 2020, Visakhapatnam airport steadily witnessed an apparent growth in the passengers’ movement in subsequent months. In December, the airport saw 1.61 lakh passengers arriving and departing to various destinations.  Compliance to safety precautions, contactless screening for ticketing, luggage-scanning and a hassle-free maintenance are some of the reasons for many travellers to prefer air travel from Visakhapatnam.
  • Telangana: Telangana has seen the lowest daily positivity rate since Covid-19 outbreak. The positivity rate in the state dropped to 0.6 per cent on 5th Jan, a first since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. In March 2020, when the first cases of the novel coronavirus were recorded in the state, the average positivity rate was 8.92 per cent, which peaked in June; a dry run of the vaccination programme was held at 1,000 vaccine session sites in the state on Dec 31 and Jan 1. Researchers at Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and Chandigarh-based Institute of Microbial Technology (IMT) have now isolated the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) from air samples collected from designated Covid-19 wards. Hyderabad and Dubai airports signed a MoU to ensure safe and efficient movement of the vaccine across the world. Total cases reported in Telangana: 2, 88,410 Active cases: 4982, Deaths 1556 Discharges: 2, 81,872 with a recovery rate of 97.73 per cent.
  • Maharashtra: With the recovery of 18,50,189 COVID-19 patients after full recovery till Tuesday; the recovery rate in Maharashtra has gone up to 94.87%. 3,160 new cases and 64 deaths have been reported in the state on the same day.  Case fatality rate is the state is 2.55%. Mumbai Circle reported 1085 new cases and 22 deaths on Tuesday, while Pune Circle reported 635 new cases and 10 deaths on the same day. In this week, 8 persons had tested positive for the UK strain in the state, out of whom 5 are from Mumbai, while one each are from Pune, Thane and Mira Bhayander. The Chief Minister said on Monday that he will request the Centre for segregation of passengers coming from abroad via other states. Meanwhile, successful dry run of corona vaccination conducted in all four districts of the state – Pune, Jalna, Nandurbar and Nagpur on Saturday (January 2, 2020). Another dry run to be undertaken in all 36 districts on coming Friday (January 8, 2020).  
  • Gujarat: Gujarat has recorded 655 new cases and 4 deaths from COVID-19 during the last 24 hours. The recovery rate has further improved to 94.71 per cent. The total number of COVID-19 cases detected so far in Gujarat has reached up to 2,48,581. Out of these, 2,35,426 patients have recovered. 868 patients recovered during the last 24 hours. More than 99 lakh tests have been carried out in the state till date.  Maximum 141 new cases reported from Ahmedabad, while Surat recorded 124 new cases. At present, total active cases in the state are 8,830. This apart, entire Health Department is gearing up for the massive COVID-vaccination drive across the state. Ahmedabad Civil Hospital will be the major vaccination administrative centre. Hundreds of doctors, nurses and frontline health workers are being deployed for the vaccination drive. Yesterday a dry run was experimented. CO-WIN software has to be utilised by the citizens for registration. In the mean-time, 6 Municipal corporations have started registrations. Meanwhile, the State Government has announced resumption of 10-12 std schools from 11th January, 2021.
  • Madhya Pradesh: Madhya Pradesh continues to report more recoveries than positive cases, with a low positivity rate of 2.5%. Total number of Corona positive cases in the state have now reached 2,45,368 on Tuesday. With 14 patients succumbing to the infection, the death toll rose to 3662. There are 8,427 active cases while 2,33,229 is the number of total cured cases.There are only 14 districts out of 52 districts in state which recorded higher than 10 Corona positive cases in the state, which includes the four major cities of Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior and Jabalpur. Meanwhile, preparations for the first phase of COVID vaccination is underway. Health Department officials informed that free vaccine will be provided across the state to the most priority group which includes health care and frontline workers. 4 lakh Healthcare workers will be vaccinated in the first round of the first phase of Corona vaccination in Madhya Pradesh. They will be given shots at all the District Hospitals and Community Health Centres.There are 52 district hospitals ,84 Civil Hospitals and 334 CHC’s. Primary Health Centres and numbering 1,100 have not been included as vaccination centres in the first round.    
  • Chhattisgarh: Altogether 1021 new Covid-19 positive cases were found in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday. Maximum 231 have been found in Raipur district alone. Tuesday’s recoveries are 1492 and active cases are 9111. Total recoveries in the state is now 2 lakh 71 thousand 988.In Chhattisgarh, vaccine would be first given to 2.5 lakh Corona Worriers under first phase. Eleven hundred booths have been set up for giving vaccines. All preparations for vaccination are nearly complete. Mock drill would be carried out in 21 districts of Chhattisgarh for two days starting from January 7th 2021, to test preparations for corona Vaccination in these districts. Earlier dry run had been carried out in seven districts of the state. NHM Director Dr. Priyanka Shukla has directed CMHOs of all the districts to make necessary preparations. During mock drill Covid Appropriate Behaviour would be followed. Mock drill would be carried out on 7th January at Balrampur, Bijapur, Dantewada, Jaipur, Kanker, Kondagaon, Korea, NarayanpurSukma and Surajpur, while on 8th January, Balod, Balauda Bazar, Bemetera, Dhamtari, Gariaband, Janjgir-Champa, Kawardha, Korba, Mahasamund, Mungeli and Raigarh will be up for it.
  • Rajasthan:On the 5th of January, recovered covid cases breached the 3 lakh mark in the state. In the first five days of the year, 4,139 persons recovered, while 2,432 were infected with the virus. In December, 40,180 persons tested positive and 58,889 recovered. The state government has decided to open all educational institutions, including schools, colleges and coaching centres, from January 18. As the pandemic situation in the state is under control, classes 9 to 12 in schools, final year classes in universities and colleges, coaching centres and government training institutes have been directed to open. They will have 50% attendance on the first day and the remaining 50% will attend classes on the second day. Also, the teachers will be given necessary training by the health department on precautionary measures to be taken.
  • Goa: With 80 new cases and 1 death on Tuesday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Goa has gone up to 51,415, while there have been 744 deaths in the state so far. Presently, there are 860 active cases and the recovery rate stands at 96.88%. In a major decision, the State government has capped uniform rates for various diagnostic tests for COVID-19 in State-run as well as private hospitals in Goa.In an order issued on Tuesday, the rate for fully automated RT-PCR has been capped at Rs 2,430 per test while for a semi-automated RT-PCR the rate applicable is Rs 1,400. For conventional RT-PCR, the person will have to shell out Rs 1,188 per test. The rapid antigen test will now be charged Rs 580.The State Health Services Directorate on Saturday successfully conducted the dry run for COVID vaccination at four locations in Goa including one private site.A total of 100 healthcare workers – 25 at each site – received dummy vaccine jabs on Saturday morning by trained vaccinator officers. As tourists and party revellers violated SOPs laid down to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 infections, during the New Year, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Saturday warned of a possible spike in coronavirus cases in Goa this month.
  • Assam: In Assam, total COVID-19 cases rise to 2,16,381, total discharged patients are 2,12,246, active cases 1728 and 1,057 total death.
  • Sikkim: In Sikkim, in this week, total COVID-19 cases rise to 5938, total discharged patients 5221, active cases 493 and total death 129.






























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