GS 2


  1. ‘U.S.-made F-16 jets are being used against Armenians’

The issue in news

Territorial dispute has erupted on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

  • The recent flare-up between Armenia and Azerbaijan has taken a dangerous turn because of Turkey’s direct military intervention in support of Azerbaijan, its ethnic Turkic ally.
  • Concerns are being raised about Turkey, a vital NATO ally, deploying F-16 jets in support of Armenia’s enemies.
  • Armenia and Azerbaijan, both former Soviet republics, exchanged rocket fire, with missiles falling on Azerbaijan’s second largest city, Ganja, and on the Armenian-controlled capital of Nagorno-Karabakh.


Category: HEALTH

  1. Covaxin to use ViroVax’s adjuvant

The issue in news

Bharat Biotech has entered into a licensing agreement with Kansas-based ViroVax for use of adjuvant Alhydroxiquim-II in its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin.

What is an adjuvant?

  • An adjuvant is a pharmacological or immunological agent that improves the immune response of a vaccine.
  • Adjuvants can be added to a vaccine to boost the immune response to produce more antibodies and longer-lasting immunity, thus minimizing the dose of antigen needed.
  • Adjuvants may also be used to enhance the efficacy of a vaccine by helping to modify the immune response to particular types of immune system cells: for example, by activating T cells instead of antibody-secreting B cells depending on the purpose of the vaccine.
  • Adjuvants are also used in the production of antibodies from immunized animals.
  • Adjuvants also enhance the sustainability of the global vaccine supply on account of their antigen-sparing effect.


GS 3

Category: ECONOMY

  1. GST Council split on borrowing options

The issue in news

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council failed to find a solution to the differences between States and the Centre over a plan to get the States to borrow from the market to meet an estimated ₹2.35 lakh crore shortfall in compensation cess collections this year.


  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation due to States stands at over 1.51 lakh crore.
  • In the current fiscal year (2020-21), States are looking at a staggering ₹35 lakh crore GST revenue shortfall.

Immediate funds:

  • The Centre has decided to release 45,000 crore of GST dues to the States in order to help them meet immediate spending needs amid the pandemic.
  • This includes 20,000 crore of GST compensation cess collected so far in 2020-21.
  • The balance 25,000 crore pertains to Integrated GST (IGST) dues from 2017-18 that had to be reconciled between States that got more than they ought to have and those that got less than their dues at the time.


  1. ‘Explain action on Kamath panel report’

The issue in news

The Supreme Court has asked the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India about the steps taken to implement the K.V. Kamath Committee report.


  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had constituted an expert committee under the chairmanship of K.V. Kamath to make recommendations on norms for the resolution of COVID-19 related stressed loans.
  • The committee had made suggestions for a loan resolution or restructuring scheme for 26 pandemic-distressed sectors.



  1. Virus researchers get Nobel for medicine

The issue in news

Two Americans and a Briton have won the 2020 Nobel Prize for Medicine.

Main points

  • The three share the award for discovering and proving that a blood-borne virus could cause Hepatitis C.
  • Hepatitis C afflicts more than 70 million people and causes about 4,00,000 deaths each year.
  • The research dates back to the 1960s when Dr. Harvey J. Alter found that liver disease could be spread by blood transfusions that weren’t caused by Hepatitis A or B.
  • It was a team led by Dr. Briton Michael Houghton, in the mid-1980s created a clone of a new virus from fragments found in the blood of an infected chimpanzee.
  • This virus, belonging to the Flavivirus family, was named Hepatitis C.
  • Its identification made it possible to develop tests to screen blood bank supplies and greatly reduce the spread of the disease, which can cause cirrhosis and liver cancer.
  • Subsequently, Dr. Charles M. Rice, was able to use genetic engineering to generate a version of the Hepatitis C virus and demonstrate that it alone could cause symptoms in a chimpanzee comparable to an infection in humans.
  • It’s the second Nobel Prize for Medicine for hepatitis research, after Baruch Blumberg won in 1976 for determining that one form of blood-borne hepatitis was caused by a virus that came to be known as Hepatitis B.


Hepatitis C:

  • It is an infection that is caused by the Hepatitis C virus in the liver. It refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver.
  • This can be transferred from needles that have been infected, at the time of birth (i.e. transmitted from infected mother to child), through body fluids of an infected person, it can also be transmitted through sexual contact specifically with HIV-infected persons.
  • It does not spread through food or water.
  • Presently there is no vaccine available for HCV. However, it can be treated with antiviral medication.



  1. Restart talks at ‘PM level’ without conditions: Muivah

The issue in news

The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, or NSCN(IM), wants the peace talks to be restarted at the level of the Prime Minister without any precondition and in a third country.


  • The outfit which now prefers to be called the National Socialist Council of Nagalim, had set these conditions before declaring a ceasefire with the armed forces in mid-1997.
  • The first few rounds of talks were held abroad.
  • Following several rounds of talks with the Prime Ministers of India and the representatives of the GoI Framework Agreement (FA) was signed in 2015

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