Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Jun 19, 2020

Current Affair 1:
Nearly 80 Mn displaced globally by 2019-end, half of them children: UNHCR

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The facts and figures mentioned in the report will never be asked in UPSC Prelims exam.  You can mention such facts and figures in Mains. But something here is also important for Prelims.  First of all, Name the report. See below.

Important points in the report:

  1. Nearly 80 million people were displaced by the end of 2019 — that’s nearly 1 per cent of the global population. Half of those displaced were children.
  2. Of the 79.5 million, 26 million were cross-border refugees, 45.7 million were internally displaced people, 4.2 million were asylum seekers and 3.6 million were Venezuelans displaced abroad.
  3. Persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order were the main reasons behind the forced displacements, according to the report released June 18, 2020.
  4. The number of refugees doubled from about 10 million in 2010 to 20.4 million at the end of 2019. Close to 53 per cent were newly displaced.
  5. An estimated one per cent of humanity — 1 in every 97 people were affected by forced displacement in 2019, compared to 1 in every 159 people in 2010 and 1 in every 174 in 2005.
  6. Eight out of 10 people displaced across borders in 2019-end originated from just 10 countries (83 per cent) and four of these were in Africa. Afghanistan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Eritrea remained in the top 10 list of source countries for cross-border displacement throughout the decade.
  7. Syria has been the main country of origin for refugees since 2014. At the end of 2019, there were 6.6 million Syrian refugees hosted by 126 countries worldwide.

Now, we will learn United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was created in 1950, during the aftermath of the Second World War, to help millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes. We had three years to complete our work and then disband.

UNHCR is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to seek international protection and permanent solutions for refugees. It also has the responsibility to supervise the implementation of the 1951 Convention by States Parties. States Parties are required to cooperate with UNHCR and provide relevant information and statistical data.

UNHCR’s role complements that of States, contributing to the protection of refugees by:

  1. Promoting accession to, and implementation of, refugee conventions and laws.
  2. Ensuring that refugees are treated in accordance with internationally recognized legal standards
  3. Ensuring that refugees are granted asylum and are not forcibly returned to the countries from which they have fled.
  4. Promoting appropriate procedures to determine whether or not a person is a refugee according to the 1951 Convention definition and/or to other definitions found in regional conventions: and
  5. Seeking durable solutions for refugees.

Who administer UNHCR?

Note: Not very important, Nansen Refugee Award is associated with UNHRC. Azizbek Ashurov, a lawyer, whose work has supported the efforts of the Kyrgyz Republic in becoming the first country in the world to end statelessness, is the 2019 UN Refugee Agency’s Nansen Refugee Award winner.

Now, we will also see 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention.

Something more about 1951 UN Refugee Convention.

India has signed neither the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention nor its 1967 Protocol.

Current Affair 2:
National Green Tribunal

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News is:

Observing that the “metro is important” in congested Mumbai, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal against the National Green Tribunal order to exclude 407 acres in the green Aarey colony in suburban Mumbai as an Ecologically Sensitive Zone around the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

So, we will study here:

  1. National Green Tribunal
  2. Ecologiacally Sensitive Zone.
  3. Location of Sanjay Gandhi National Park

These bodies are almost daily in news. Daily they hear environment complaints. So, at this stage of preparation only be clear about all the facts regarding this body. So, we will study here The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010. Never forget now. Any question regarding NGT, you will solve from now. Read

First of all why this body?

The National Green Tribunal has been established on under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property.


The chairperson shall be appointed by the central government in consultation with the chief justice of India. Judicial member & expert member shall be appointed on the recommendations of select committee as provided by the central government.

Chairperson, judicial member & expert member shall hold office for a term of 5 years but shall not be eligible for re- appointment.

Removal and suspension of Chairperson, Judicial Member and Expert Member:



What are Eco-sensitive zones?

The Environment Protection Act, 1986 does not mention the word “Eco-sensitive Zones”. The two sections of Act empower governemnet to form these zones. See below these two sections.

The section 3(2)(v) of the Act, says that Central Government can restrict areas in which any industries, operations or processes shall not be carried out or shall be carried out subject to certain safeguards. See below:

Besides the section 5 of this act says that central government can prohibit or restrict the location of industries and carrying on certain operations or processes on the basis of considerations like the biological diversity of an area, maximum allowable limits of concentration of pollutants for an area, environmentally compatible land use, and proximity to protected areas.

The above two clauses have been effectively used by the government to declare Eco-Sensitive Zones or Ecologically Fragile Areas (EFA). The same criteria have been used by the government to declare No Development Zones. More details not needed now.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a protected area in Mumbai, Maharashtra State in India.

Current Affair 3:
New fish species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

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Current Affair 4:
How ‘vaccine nationalism’ could block vulnerable populations’ access to COVID-19 vaccines?

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They can ask what Vaccine Nationalism means? And if you haven’t read this, you will get confused. We will study the concept and its impact.

What does the term “Vaccine Nationalism” signify?

Vaccine nationalism occurs when a country manages to secure doses of vaccine for its own citizens or residents before they are made available in other countries. This is done through pre-purchase agreements between a government and a vaccine manufacturer.

Few examples you see you will understand more clearly.

  1. In March, the White House met with representatives from CureVac, a German biotech company developing a COVID-19 vaccine. The US government is reported to have inquired about the possibility of securing exclusive rights over the vaccine. This prompted the German government to comment that “Germany is not for sale.” Angela Merkel’s chief of staff promptly stated that a vaccine developed in Germany had to be made available in “Germany and the world.”
  2. In India, the privately held Serum Institute is developing one of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates. The Serum Institute signaled that, if development of the vaccine succeeds, most of the initial batches of vaccine will be distributed within India.
  3. At the same time, India, alongside the US and Russia, chose not to join the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, which was launched by the World Health Organization to promote collaboration among countries in the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.

Its impact:

  1. The most immediate effect of vaccine nationalism is that it further disadvantages countries with fewer resources and bargaining power. It deprives populations in the Global South from timely access to vital public health goods.
  2. Vaccine nationalism also runs against the fundamental principles of vaccine development and global public health. Most vaccine development projects involve several parties from multiple countries.
  3. With modern vaccines, there are very few instances in which a single country can claim to be the sole developer of a vaccine. And even if that were possible, global public health is borderless. As COVID-19 is illustrating, pathogens can travel the globe. Public health responses to outbreaks, which include the deployment of vaccines, have to acknowledge that reality.

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