UPSC Key India VIX, LTTE, FLiRT Explained
Viral News

UPSC Key Concepts | India VIX, LTTE, FLiRT Explained

Loading

India VIX, LTTE, FLiRT Explained

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Economy

India Volatility Index rallies: What Does it mean for investors?

UPSC Syllabus:
Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development
Mains Examination: GS-III: Economy

What’s the ongoing story?
The
India UPSC Key, VIX, which is an indicator of the market’s expectation of volatility over the near term, surged past the 21 mark on Tuesday (May 14). The rise shows that fear among traders or market participants on the expected volatility is greater now, as compared to 15 days earlier.

Prerequisites:

What is volatility?
Who are foreign portfolio investors?
— What are NSE and BSE?

Key takeaways: 

The Volatility Index, VIX or the Fear Index, is a measure of the market’s expectation of volatility over the near term.
— The Volatility Index is a measure of the amount by which an underlying index is expected to fluctuate in the near term, (calculated as annualized volatility, denoted in percentage e.g. 20 percent) based on the order book of the underlying index options.
— India VIX is a volatility index computed by the NSE based on the order book of NIFTY Options. For this, the best bid-ask quotes of near and next-month NIFTY options contracts, which are traded on the F&O segment of NSE are used.
— India VIX indicates the investor’s perception of the market’s volatility in the near term i.e. it depicts the expected market volatility over the next 30 calendar days. The higher the India VIX values, the higher the expected volatility and vice versa, as per NSE.
— The India VIX has risen amid concerns over the results of the ongoing elections. The market participants said a lower voter turnout ratio in this election may have some impact on the BJP ’s seat count

Points to Ponder: 

— What is the importance of the India VIX Index?

— How VIX Index can be used for trading?

— What is the relationship between the VIX Index and economic stability?

Post Read Question:

Which of the following entities calculates the Indian VIX?

(a) IMF
(b) RBI
(c) BSE
(d) NSE

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

Jaishankar: Markets will be less volatile with every round of polls

Govt & Politics

Home Minister extends ban on LTTE by 5 years: ‘Threat to India’

UPSC Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance

Mains Examination: GS-II, III: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries; Security.

What’s the ongoing story- The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday extended the ban on the LTTE by five more years for fostering a separatist tendency among the masses and enhancing the support base for it in the country, particularly in Tamil Nadu, besides threatening the territorial integrity of India.

Prerequisites:

— What is the purpose of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA)?
— Why was the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) formed?
— How does LTTE impact India’s relationship with Sri Lanka?

Key takeaways: 

— The Centre has imposed the ban invoking the sub-sections (1) and (3) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
— In a gazetted notification, the Home Ministry noted that the LTTE is an association based in Sri Lanka but has supporters, sympathizers, and agents in the territory of India.
— “The Central government thinks that the LTTE is still indulging in activities…Even after its military defeat in May 2009 in Sri Lanka, the LTTE has not abandoned the concept of ‘Eelam’ (an independent country for Tamils) and has been clandestinely working towards the ‘Eelam’…” the notification stated.

For Your Information:

— The LTTE was founded in 1976 by Velupillai Prabhakaran to create an independent Tamil Eelam out of Sri Lanka. From clashes with the Sri Lankan military, the LTTE in the early 80s launched a full-scale nationalist insurgency in the north and east of the country, carrying out a string of major terrorist attacks against both military and civilian targets.
— India’s relationship with the LTTE was complex — from providing support to the guerrillas initially to sending the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) to Sri Lanka from 1987 to 1990. The LTTE pioneered suicide bombing as a weapon of terror, and in 1991, an LTTE suicide bomber killed Rajiv Gandhi in an attack on Indian soil.
— India first banned the LTTE after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi; the ban was last extended for five years in 2014.

Points to Ponder: 

— What is the status of Tamilians in Sri Lanka?
— Impact of regionalism on national integration
— What are the existing challenges in India-Sri Lanka ties?

Post Read Question:

Prelims

Which of the following ministries of the Indian government has extended the ban on LTTE?

(a) Ministry of Finance
(b) Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(c) Ministry of Home Affairs
(d) Ministry of Defense

Mains

In respect of India-Sri Lanka relations, discuss how domestic factors influence foreign policy. ( UPSC CSE 2013)

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

Explained: India extends ban on LTTE – background and context

Solar flares behind the aurora were captured by Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, Aditya-L1: ISRO

UPSC Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance, physical geography.

Mains Examination: GS-I, GS-III:  Important Geophysical phenomena, Environment,  Science & Technology.

What’s the ongoing story- While most of India did not get to see the Aurora lights visible in many parts of the world recently, the solar flares that caused it were seen by Indian ground stations, the spacecraft Aditya-L1 studying the Sun from a point 1.5 million km away, and the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter circling the moon.

Prerequisites:

  • What are the Chandrayaan Mission and Aditya L1 mission?
  • What is a geomagnetic storm?
  • What are auroras?
  • What is the geomagnetic storm index?

Key takeaways: 

— The colorful lights in the night sky are a result of the charged particles ejected by the Sun hitting the gases in Earth’s upper atmosphere. Usually, these particles travel along the Earth’s magnetic fields, reaching the poles where the vibrant colors are seen.
— But, during a geomagnetic storm, like the one witnessed recently, the magnetic fields may break and allow the particles to reach the upper atmosphere.
— The geomagnetic storm witnessed recently was the most intense seen since 2003, according to a statement by the Indian Space Research Organisation, and led to disruptions in communications and GPS systems.
— On the geomagnetic storm index, it touched a nine, the maximum available, the space agency said.
— One of the payloads on board Aditya-L1 called ASPEX captured high-speed solar wind, high-temperature solar wind plasma (the charged particles expelled by the Sun), and an energetic ion flux.

For Your Information:

—-  The northern lights- also known as aurora usually don’t reach that far south. They are most often seen in higher latitudes closer to the North Pole.
Solar storms occur when the Sun emits huge bursts of energy, leading to the release of a stream of charged particles, some of which get caught in the polar regions of the Earth. These particles interact with gas molecules in the upper atmosphere and produce a color called Aurora. The current solar storm was the biggest in 20 years.

Points to Ponder: 

  • What is meant by a solar storm?
  • What is Earth’s magnetic field?
  • What is the significance of the Aditya L1 Mission?

Post Read Question:

Consider the following statements:

1. XSM payload has been attached to Aditya L1 mission to measure the intensity of solar radiation.
2. ASPEX payload is part of the Chandrayaan 2 mission that comprises the Solar wind Ion Spectrometer (SWIS) and STEPS (SupraThermal and Energetic Particle Spectrometer).

Which of the following statements given above is/are correct?

  • 1 only
  • 2 only
  • Both 1 and 2
  • Neither 1 nor 2

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

Aurora Borealis: What are the northern and southern lights? Why do they occur?

US warns of sanctions after India, Iran seal Chabahar deal

UPSC Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.
Mains Examination: GS-II: Bilateral, regional, and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
What’s the ongoing story- A day after India and Iran signed a 10-year contract to operate the strategic Iranian port of Chabahar, US State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel has said that any entity considering business deals with Iran needs to be aware of the potential risk of sanctions.

Prerequisites:

— What is the significance of Chabahar Port?
— What is the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)?
— Map Work: Iran, Chabahar Port, Central Asian countries, Shahid Kalantari Port, Shahid Beheshti Port, Gwadar Port, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Delaram, Zaranj, Caspian Sea, Bandar Abbas, Bandar-e-Anzali, Astrakhan.

Key takeaways: 

— Chabahar port had got a waiver from the US sanctions under the US administration led by President Donald Trump. The US and Indian officials will have to discuss the issue of waiver, which is expected to be extended to the pact as well.
— Chabahar is a deep water port located in the Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran.  It is the closest Iranian port to India and is located in the open sea, providing easy and secure access for large cargo ships.
— During the visit of  Prime Minister Modi to Iran in May 2016, a Trilateral Agreement to establish the International Transport and Transit Corridor (Chabahar Agreement) was signed by India, Iran, and Afghanistan.
— India is participating in the development of the first phase of the Shahid Beheshti Terminal, Chabahar Port in cooperation with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
— India has so far supplied six Mobile Harbour Cranes (two 140 tonnes and four 100 tonnes capacity) and other equipment worth USD 25 Million.
— The Indian company, India Ports Global Limited (IPGL), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, India Ports Global Chabahar Free Zone (IPGCFZ), took over the operations of the Chabahar Port on December 24, 2018.

Points to Ponder: 

— India and Iran bilateral relations: know in detail
— India and US  bilateral relations: know in detail
— What is the strategic importance of Iran for India?

Post Read Question:

What is the importance of developing Chabahar Port by India? (UPSC CSE 2017)

(a) India’s trade with African countries will enormously increase.
(b) India’s relations with oil-producing Arab countries will be strengthened.
(c) India will not depend on Pakistan for access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
(d) Pakistan will facilitate and protect the installation of a gas pipeline between Iraq and India.

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

India’s stakes in Chabahar

Explained

New FLiRT variant of the Covid virus – Should you worry?

UPSC Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance
Mains Examination: GS-II: Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.
What’s the ongoing story- The new coronavirus variant called KP.2 — nicknamed FLiRT — that has been linked to rising cases of COVID-19 in the United States, United Kingdom, and South Korea, has been in circulation in India since November 2023, genomic surveillance data show.

Prerequisites:

— What is the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID)?
— What are KP.2 and JN.1?

Key takeaways: 

KP.2 is a descendant of the JN.1 variant of the virus. It is a sub-variant of the Omicron lineage with new mutations. Flirt, the nickname of KP.2, is based on the letters representing two immune escape mutations that allow the virus to evade antibodies.
— A little more than half of the 250 KP.2 genomes sequenced by INSACOG — 128 sequences were from Maharashtra.
— India has been reporting the highest proportion of KP.2 sequences in the world, global data show. KP.2 sequences made up 29% of COVID-19 sequences uploaded by India to the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID), the world’s largest repository of these sequences, over the last 60 days.
— Flirt is characterized by its ability to evade immunity from vaccines and previous infections. Its symptoms are similar to those of earlier variants, including fever, cough, fatigue, and digestive issues.

Points to Ponder: 

— What is the impact of Covid-19 on the senior people?
— What is the recent controversy regarding COVID-19 vaccination?
— How FLiRT is different from other variants?

Post Read Question:

FLiRT variant is related to which of the following?

(a) New Covid-19 variant
(b) New variant of submarine
(c) Economic term for unemployment
(d) New vaccination for HIV

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

Is Covid-19 variant FLiRT a cause for worry? Here’s all you need to know

Heatwaves & Climate Change

UPSC Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Geography
Mains Examination: GS-I: Important Geophysical phenomena
What’s the ongoing story- Amitabh Sinha – “The extreme heat in parts of eastern and southern India this April has been attributed to climate change. A new study has said that the abnormally high temperatures were made about 45 times more likely by climate change.”

Prerequisites:

— What are heat waves and the criteria for declaring them?
— What do you understand by climate change?
Institutions to look for: IMD, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

Key takeaways: 

— The research is by World Weather Attribution, an international group of researchers that tries to ascertain whether a particular extreme weather event was caused by climate change.
— This is the third straight year that heatwaves in the early part of summer in India have been attributed to climate change the same researchers had earlier shown that the excessive heat in March-April of 2022 and April of 2023 was also most likely caused by climate change.

— Climate change is a global phenomenon, and scientists have been extremely cautious about blaming any individual weather event on climate change. 

— Heatwaves are not defined by high temperatures. Abnormalities in temperature define them instance, a location accustomed to 40 degrees Celsius in summer isn’t considered to experience a heatwave even if it reaches 42 or 43 degrees. Conversely, another area would be deemed to have a heatwave at 35 degrees if its usual summer temperature is 27 or 28 degrees.
— Heatwaves are quite common in northern, central, and eastern India during summer. But there is plenty of evidence now to suggest that heatwaves are becoming more frequent, intense, and prolonged because of climate change.
— Prolonged exposure to heat can result in dehydration and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and exacerbate existing weaknesses, even leading to sudden deaths.

— Data collected and maintained by IMD and NDMA showed a sharp decline in the number of heat-related deaths ever since state governments and district administrations began implementing heat action plans. It was evidence for the success of early warnings and heat action plans, but this dataset has been showing a reversal of trends in the last couple of years. This could be because of better reporting or an increase in the severity of heat waves.

— All the 23 states known to be vulnerable to heatwaves now have heat action plans to manage the adverse impacts. Simple measures like the provision of cool drinking water in public places, and free distribution of oral rehydration solutions,… have brought relief to large numbers of people and prevented illnesses and deaths in several cities.

— However, much more needs to be done,….Local administrations must mandatorily regulate activities even in unorganized sectors like construction….Like schools and colleges, office timings can also be tweaked. All organized outdoor activities, including sports, would need to be strictly regulated. Some experts lament the lack of adequate funding for the heat action plans.

Points to Ponder: 

  • What causes heatwaves?
  • What are the impacts of heat waves?
  • What measures should governments and organizations implement at national and international levels to mitigate the effects of heat waves?

Post Read Question:

Discuss the impact of heatwave on food security and human health. Also, provide the way forward.

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

Heatwave

Heat Warning

 

The Ideas Page

Misreading America’s lines  

UPSC Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance

Mains Examination: GS-II: International Relations

What’s the ongoing story- C. Raja Mohan writes: “Going by the Indian media coverage of the United States, you might think Washington keeps awake at night worrying about India’s “democratic backsliding” and planning to meddle in the Indian elections. The US is in the middle of a general election that could alter its political, economic, and geopolitical orientation.”

Prerequisites:

— Which political parties exist in the United States?

— The presidential election in the US

— The ongoing trade rifts between the US and China

Key takeaways: 

—It’s a pity there is so little discussion in India on the consequential US domestic debates, especially this year amidst the impending elections in November. That former president Donald Trump, the great disruptor, might be back at the White House is sending a shiver down the spine.

— What about the “hostile discourse” on Indian democracy by the liberal Western commentariat? Commentary about India in the US is a drop in the bucket of the massive daily output of the American opinion industry with its numerous media outlets and countless think tanks.

— The debate on democracy in general and Indian democracy, in particular, American and European foreign policies are not run by missionaries to spread political liberalism despite suggestions that may imply otherwise.

— Capitalists and security planners, not the self-proclaimed missionaries for democracy, primarily define Western interests.

For Your Information:

— Trump promises to impose a 10 percent tariff on all imports into the US, demand greater access to partners’ markets, and refuse to subordinate commercial interests to geopolitical considerations. The time is now for Delhi to develop a domestic reform agenda to effectively deal with the inevitable changes in the global economic order driven by Washington.

— Biden and Trump, however, have significant differences like US alliances in Europe and Asia. Whoever wins this election, the US role in the global order is about to change significantly. As a rising power, India has an opportunity to think creatively about this change and seize the possibility of elevating its position in the global hierarchy.

Points to Ponder: 

— India-US trade relations

— Why does India need to maintain a balance in its foreign policy?

— How much influence does the elected political party in the US have on economic relations with India?

Post Read Question:

‘What introduces friction into the ties between India and the United States is that Washington is still unable to find for India a position in its global strategy, which would satisfy India’s National self-esteem and ambitions’. Explain with suitable examples. (2019)

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

Express View on the US presidential race: Change and continuity

The World

Biden sharply hikes tariffs on imports from China, risking standoff in poll year


UPSC Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance

Mains Examination: GS-II: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

What’s the ongoing story- The US has imposed sharp tariff hikes on multiple Chinese imports, including electric vehicle (EV) batteries, computer chips, and medical products, prompting a response from China which said that the move “will seriously affect the atmosphere of bilateral cooperation”.

Prerequisites:

  • What is Intellectual Property (IP)?
  • What are the purposes of tariffs and duties?
  • How have China-US relations been in Recent Years?

Key takeaways: 

— The US on Tuesday quadrupled EV duties to over 100% and doubled duties on semiconductor tariffs to 50%, the White House said in a statement. It cited “unacceptable risks” to US economic security posed by what it considers unfair Chinese practices that are flooding global markets with cheap goods.

— The new measures affect $18 billion in imported Chinese goods including steel and aluminum, semiconductors, electric vehicles, critical minerals, solar cells, and cranes, the White House said.

— The United States imported $427 billion in goods from China in 2023 and exported $148 billion to the world’s No. 2 economy, according to the US Census Bureau, Reuters reported.

—  US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the revised tariffs were justified because China was stealing US intellectual property.

For Your Information:

— According to the data released by the Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI), China has overtaken the US to become India’s largest trading partner after a gap[ of two years with the imports from China crossing over $100 billion in FY24.

— India’s trade relations with China have been under scrutiny largely due to India’s dependence on the neighboring country’s critical products such as telecom & smartphone parts, pharma, and advanced technology components among others.

Unveiling the Mysteries of the Philippines and the South China Sea

Points to Ponder: 

— Status of India’s trade relations with China and the USA

— Why is India’s dependence on China not decreasing?

— What are India’s concerns over changes in US-China relations?

(Thought process: Highlight the challenges of developing a rift between the US and China on India’s plan of Global South cooperation– India’s relation should be viewed as a balancing act and avoiding a Loss of Interest of world– mention the steps that need to be taken by India to prevent escalation.)

Post Read Question:

“The USA is facing an existential threat in the form of a China, that is much more challenging than the erstwhile Soviet Union.” Explain. (UPSC CSE 2021)

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

India’s top trade partner: China regains spot on higher imports

About the author

Zubair Khan

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Archives

Ads

Recent Posts