Daily Current Affairs - January 22, 2020 (The Hindu, PIB, Fact Pedia)

January 22, 2020 - Find all the important news articles and editorials from The Hindu, PIB, Fact Pedia on our Daily Current Affairs Feed.

Also read: Current Affairs 

The Hindu (Hyderabad Edition)

It's unclear how coronavirus is transmitted

  • Where does it fall under UPSC Syllabus?
  • Prelims: Governance
  • Mains: GS2: Governance – Issues related to health
  • Synopsis:
  • The number of deaths due to a mysterious flu-like virus in China went up to 6.
  • This is creating tensions among the various nations and there are chances for International health emergency
  • This is the first time this virus is identified in humans.
  • Till now the source of this disease is not identified
  • About Novel Corona Virus (nCoV):
  • It belongs to the large family of coronaviruses
  • It is a new variant of coronaviruses
  • Transmission: Animals to humans
  • Source: Not identified yet
  • Symptoms: illness like cough and fever to severe respiratory problems, kidney failure and even death
  • Corona Virus:
  • They are zoonotic, which means they are transmitted between animals and people.
  • Rarely, animal coronaviruses can also evolve and infect people.
  • A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
  • A specific and large family of viruses, which cause illnesses to people and also circulate in animals including camels, cats and bats.
  • SARS corona virus and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus are some of them which cause respiratory diseases.

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India, co­builder of Hawaii telescope, wants it shifted out of proposed site

  • Where does it fall under UPSC Syllabus?
  • Prelims: Current events of national and international importance
  • Mains: GS3: S&T
  • Synopsis:
  • India wants the Thirty Meter Telescope project to be moved out of the proposed site at Mauna Kea.
  • About Thirty Meter Telescope:
  • An astronomical observatory with an extremely large telescope (ELT) on Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano and the highest point in Hawaii.
  • Partners: USA, Japan, China, India and Canada
  • India’s contribution: 10% of the cost of building the telescope and observatory.
  • Purpose: To provide information about
  • the nature of “first-light” objects and their effects on the universe’s evolution.
  • the formation and development of large-scale structures by looking at faint distant galaxies and the intergalactic medium,
  • nature of dark matter that is inaccessible
  • black holes
  • Significance: It helps in advancing the knowledge of the physical processes that lead to star and planet formation.


India, Brazil to sign Strategic Action Plan

  • Essence of the article: A strategic plan will improve the relations between nations
  • Where does it fall under UPSC Syllabus?
  • Prelims: current events of national and international importance
  • Mains: GS2: International relations
  • Synopsis:
  • For this republic day, India is going to host Brazilian president
  • In this backdrop both the nations are expected to sign 20 various agreements across defence, energy, agriculture, healthcare and minerals. The major ones are:
  • Strategic Action Plan:
  • To upgrade their strategic partnership with a strategic action plan.
  • It will serve as an umbrella agreement to increase defence cooperation, technology sharing and a logistics agreement.
  • Bilateral investment treaty: It will be the first revised BIT India will be signing since 2015.
  • Social Security Agreement (SSA): It will allow investments in each other’s pension funds to help business processes and encourage the flow of investment.


The right to protest in a free society (editorial)

  • Essence of the article: Acceptance of dissent in the form of protests adds marks the true essence of a democratic society.
  • Where does it fall under UPSC Syllabus?
  • Prelims: Polity
  • Mains: GS2: Polity - Constitution
  • Synopsis:
  • In this article, the author says any arbitrary restraint like imposing section 144 for dissent in form of protests which is the fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution i.e. the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, shows the inability of government to tolerate dissent.
  • Here the author interprets rights in two ways: Political and Non-Political
  • Political Rights: Fundamental rights Ex: Art19-Right to free speech and expression
  • Non-Political Rights: Personal opinions of a person on a film or issue which will not have any government interference
  • Why is it a matter of concern?
  • The core principle of democracy is based on right of every citizen to freely elect their government and when dissatisfied with its performance, to vote it out of power through election.
  • In the same way, right of protest is also a constitutional procedure. Which needs to be considered in order to achieve ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas.


India achieves complete phase out of one the most potent ozone depleting chemical

  • Which part of UPSC syllabus covers this:
  • Prelims: Environment
  • Mains: GS3: Environment – Climate change
  • Synopsis:
  • India has successfully achieved the complete phase out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b
  • We did this by prohibiting the import of HCFC-141 b, as it is not produced in India
  • India is one among the few countries globally that use technologies, which are non-Ozone Depleting and have a low Global Warming Potential (GWP).
  • The complete phase out of HCFC 141 b from the country in foam sector by developing countries is a provision under the Montreal Protocol.
  • About Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b:
  • It is one of the most potent ozone depleting chemicals after Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
  • It is used in foam manufacturing sector.
  • It is used mainly as a blowing agent in the production of rigid polyurethane (PU) foams.
  • 50 % of the consumption of ozone depleting chemicals in the country was attributable to HCFC-141 b in the foam sector.
  • Environmental Benefits of prohibition:
  • It assists in the healing of the stratospheric ozone layer, and
  • Climate change mitigation by transitioning of foam manufacturing enterprises at this scale under HPMP to low global warming potential alternative technologies.



  1. World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2020 (WESO) report.
  • Context: The United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) has released the World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2020 (WESO) report.
  • Which part of UPSC syllabus covers this:
  • Prelims: Economic and Social development
  • Mains: GS3: Economy - Unemployment
  • About WESO Report:
  • It analyses key labour market issues, including unemployment, labour underutilization, working poverty, income inequality, labour income share and factors that exclude people from decent work.
  • Global findings of the report:
  • 188 million under employed people in 2019. Expected to increase by 2.5 million in 2020.
  • 60% of global workforce work in the informal economy
  • 630 million people in 2019 have lived in working poverty, which means they made less than $3.20 per day in purchasing power parity.
  • Report recommendations to reduce unemployment:
  • Country’s must ensure Economic growth and development results in reduction of poverty and better working conditions.
  • There is a need for structural transformation, technological upgrading and diversification in global as well as national economies.
  • International Labour Organization:
  • Established in 1919
  • Head Quarters: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Members: 187
  • India is founding memberof ILO
  • Mission: To promote social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights
  • It is the only tripartite UN agency
  • It brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programmes.
  • Four Principle Strategic Objectives:
  • Promote rights at work
  • Encourage decent employment opportunities for men and women
  • Enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all 
  • Strengthen tripartism and social dialogue
  • Functions:
  1. To create international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations
  2. Develop policies and devise programmes to promote basic human rights, decent work for all women and men.
  3. To conduct an extensive programme of international technical cooperation;
  4. Training, education, research, and publishing activities to help advance all of these efforts.
  5. Registers complaints against entities that violate international rules. But it does not impose sanctionson governments

Carbon disclosure report.

  • Context: Recently, a carbon disclosure report was released by the Global Reporting Initiative, a non-profit organization.
  • Which part of UPSC syllabus covers this:
  • Prelims: Environment
  • Mains: GS3: Environment – Climate change
  • About Carbon disclosure Report:
  • It is an annual report on carbon reduction activities of different countries and their firms
  • It ranks countries based on their corporate responsibilities of carbon reduction.
  • Findings:
  • S. topped the list based on their corporate responsibilities of carbon reduction or based on the transparency of the disclosures.
  • India’ rank: 5 (for corporate commitments to science-based targets (SBT))
  • 98% of the top Indian companies have formed committees to address climate-related issues.
  • Top corporate managements in India integrated climate concerns in performance evaluation of key personnel and 90% of them are providing incentives to senior staffers to help meet targets.



Prelims Practice Questions

  • Which of the following are the aims of the International Labour Organization (ILO)?
    Promote rights at work
    2. Encourage decent employment opportunities
    3. Enhance social protection
    4. Strengthen dialogue in handling work-related issues.
    Select the correct answer using the code given below
    A)1, 2 and 3 only 
    B)2, 3 and 4 only 
    C) 1, 3 and 4 only 
    D) 1, 2, 3 and 4 

  • Which among the following are Zoonotic diseases?
  1. West Nile
  2. Ebola
  3. Coronavirus
  4. Dengue

Select the correct answer using the code below:

  • 3 only
  • 3 and 4 only
  • 1,2 and 3 only
  • 1,2,3 and 4


Daily Mains Capsule

Do you think Promising sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas’ and imposing section 144 when there is a protest can together be a part of democratic society.


  • Brief the concept of democracy
  • Mention the recent incidents of protests like against CAA, NRC, NPR
  • Write the how the government is trying to tackle them
  • Discuss about the constitutional backing for dissent and write if this is being protected if used in a proper procedure
  • Conclude your answer with your opinion

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