Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs of 15th November -2020


Topics of the day:

  1. WHO centre soon for traditional medicine?
  2. QRSAM Missile System Achieves Major Milestone
  3. NTPC develops Geo-polymer aggregate from fly ash
  4. Ethiopia’s Tigray,
  5. Technical Recession


1) WHO centre soon for traditional medicine:

Relevant to: Prelims

Context: WHO announced that it will setup a Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in India


Why this global centre?

To strengthen the evidence, research, training and awareness of traditional and complementary medicine.

  • It will support WHO’s efforts to implement the WHO traditional medicine strategy 2014-2023 which aims to support countries in developing policies and action plans to strengthen the role of traditional medicine as part of their journey to universal health coverage and a healthier, fairer and safer world.

Why is this significant to India?

  • It is a matter of pride for all Indians as WHO has chosen India to set up this global centre.
  • Ayurveda is India’s heritage due to which India has emerged as the pharmacy of the world.
  • Expansion of Ayurveda will entail the welfare of humanity as the country’s traditional knowledge will make other countries prosperous.

Fact Pedia:

  • National Ayurveda Day is celebrated every year on the occasion of Diwali.
  • India is developing two Ayurveda institutions. They are: The Institute of Teaching and Research in

Ayurveda (ITRA), Gujarat and the National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Rajasthan


2) QRSAM Missile System Achieves Major Milestone:

Relevant to: Prelims

  • Highlights: Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) System has achieved a major milestone by a direct hit on to a Pilotless target aircraft at medium range & medium altitude.
  • The missile launch took place from ITR Chandipur off the Odisha Coast.
  • It is propelled by a single stage solid propellant rocket motor and uses all indigenous subsystems.
  • It is canisterised for transportation and launch using a mobile launcher capable of carrying 6 canisterised missiles.
  • About QRSAM: It has been developed to replace the ‘Akash’ missile defence system, and has 360- degree coverage.
  • It uses solid fuel propellant and has a strike range of 25-30 km with capability of hitting multiple targets.
  • It is capable of hitting the low flying objects.
  • Significance: The system is capable of detecting and tracking targets on the move and engaging target with short halts.
  • The system is designed to give air defence coverage against strike columns of Indian Army.
  • The radar tracked the Banshee target from farthest range.


3) NTPC develops Geo-polymer aggregate from fly ash:

Context: Measures to tackle environmental

  • Highlights: NTPC Ltd has successfully developed Geo-polymer coarse aggregate from fly ash.
  • The development will help in replacing natural aggregates reducing the impact on environment.
  • It has met the statutory parameters of Indian Standards and was confirmed by National Council for Cement and Building Materials (NCCBM)
  • Can be used as a replacement to natural aggregates.
  • Significance: India’s demand for these aggregate touches close to 2000 million metric tons mark every year.

The aggregate developed by NTPC from fly ash will help in meeting the demand to a great extent and also will reduce the impact on environment caused by Natural aggregates which require quarrying of natural stone.

  • Finds its extensive usage in construction industry turning the ash eco-friendly.
  • These are extremely environment friendly and does not require any cement for application in concrete where the fly ash based Geopolymer mortar acts as the binding agent
  • Will help in reducing carbon emission
  • Has great potential for reduction of water consumption.

About NTPC:  NTPC Ltd is a central Public Sector Undertaking  (PSU) under the Ministry of Power.

Aim: To provide reliable power and related  solutions in an economical, efficient and  environment-friendly manner, driven by innovation and agility.


4)Ethiopia’s Tigray:

Context: There are armed clashes in Ethiopia’s Tigray

Ethiopia is on the brink of a civil war. A domestic conflict is going on in the country’s northern Tigray region.


The structure of Ethiopia’s federal system allows the country’s ten regions significant autonomy. These regions also have their own parliaments, their own security forces, and the right to a referendum for independent rule.

Impact on the Horn of Africa:

Eritrea may be hardest hit, due to its proximity to Tigray.

If the violence and conflict spills outside Ethiopia’s borders, it may potentially destabilize the Horn of Africa region.

The US and China have several strategic military bases in that region, the closest being Djibouti. If these military bases were to be impacted by the disturbances in any way, it may cause foreign powers to get militarily involved in the region and the conflict.


5) Technical Recession:

Relevant to : Prelims

Context: Recently, the Reserve Bank of India has released its latest bulletin which projects contraction for a second consecutive quarter (Quarter 2).

The contraction of Q2 is crucial because it implies that India has entered a “technical recession” in the first half of 2020-21 for the first time in its history.

What is a recessionary phase?

In an economy, a recessionary phase is the counterpart of an expansionary phase.When the overall output of goods and services (measured by the GDP) increases from one quarter (or month) to another, the economy is said to be in an expansionary phase.

When the overall output of goods and services (measured by the GDP) decreases from one quarter (or month) to another, the economy is said to be in a recessionary phase.

In a recessionary phase, the GDP contracts from one quarter to another.

In an economy, the expansionary phase and recessionary phase together are called a “business cycle”.

How is a recession different?

In an economy, when a recessionary phase sustains for long enough, it is called a recession i.e. when the GDP contracts for a long enough period, the economy is said to be in a recession.

There is no universally accepted definition of a recession but most economists agree with the definition that the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in the United States uses.

According to NBER, “During a recession, a significant decline in economic activity spreads across the economy and can last from a few months to more than a year”.

About Technical Recession

The commentators often consider a recession to be in progress when real GDP has declined for at least two consecutive quarters in order to get around the empirical technicalities associated with the recession.

The real quarterly GDP has been accepted as a measure of economic activity and a benchmark for ascertaining a “technical recession”.

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