What mechanism do you have against fake news, SC asks govt.

Paper:

Mains: G.S. I & II, Indian Society, Polity and Governance, Social Justice

Why in news?

During recent times in lockdown phase, fake news was constantly in play which affects the social fabric of the society and disturbed the harmony among people. 

Key details

  • The Supreme Court asked the centre to explain it’s mechanism against fake news and bigotry on air, and to create one if it did not already exist.
  • The court said, inability on the part of the government may well see the job go to an outside agency.
  • CJI Sharad A. Bobde heading a three judge bench said, the court was disappointed with the contents of the latest government affidavit, the case is based on petitions against the communal colour given by certain sections of the electronic media to the holding of a Tablighi Jamaat event in the National Capital during the lockdown.
  • The government had already blocked 743 social media accounts and URLs spreading fake news on COVID-19.
  • For the past two months, the court has been asking the government to give a clear answer to whether the regulatory provisions of the Cable TV Network Act of 1995, meant for cable networks, would apply to TV broadcasts.

Cable TV Networks Regulation Act 1995

  • states that the government can regulate or prohibit the transmission or retransmission of any programme that it feels is not in conformity with the Programme and Advertising Code, which oversees television content in India.
  • However, since there is no body to pre-certify content for TV, potentially problematic programmes only come to notice once they have been aired .

Fragile ceasefire

Paper:

Mains: G.S. II International Relations

Why in news?

Six week long war over Nagorno-Karabakh region has come to a halt following a Russian brokered ceasefire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but only after altering the balance of power in the region.

Key details

  • Armenia had captured the mountainous region within Azerbaijan- populated by ethnic Armenians – in the earlier war in the 1990s. But tensions continued even after the 1994 ceasefire.
  • Nagorno-Karabakh, the centre of the conflict, is located within Azerbaijan but is populated, mostly, by those of Armenian ethnicity (and mostly Christian compared to the Shia Muslim majority Azerbaijan).
  • Last week when the ceasefire was announced, Azeri troops has captured several areas around Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia.
  • Even if the direct conflict was between Armenia and Azerbaijan, two bigger powers had high stakes – Russia and Turkey.
  • Turkey strongly supported Azerbaijan with armed drones and military advisors.
  • Russia which has a security agreement with Armenia tried to remain neutral.
  • Vladimir Putin is the only signatory to the agreement besides the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
  • Russia would send the 2000 peacekeepers to protect the remaining Armenian population and patrol the corridor that links the enclave with the Armenian mainland.
  • Now there is a triumphant, a wounded Armenia , a cautious Russia and an ambitious Turkey, with a fragile truce over an unresolved dispute.
  • For peace to prevail, Armenia and Azerbaijan must find a lasting settlement to the status of Nagorno-Karabakh region).

Confront sponsors of terror, says Modi

Paper:

Mains: G.S. II International Relations 

Why in news?

Recently 12th BRICS summit was held and it was hosted by Russia.

Key details

  • The theme ‘Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth’.
  • Two of the biggest members of the group — India and China — are engaged in a bitter border standoff in the eastern Ladakh region.
  • This year’s summit focuses on cooperation in counter-terrorism, trade, health, energy and ways to offset impact of the coronavirus
  • India is a firm supporter of multilateralism.
  • Terrorism is world’s biggest problem


Cities need reset as pandemic exposed fatalities

Paper:

Mains: G.S. II and III Governance, Social Security 

Why in news? 

COVID-19 has provided an opportunity to develop more sustainable and resilient cities.

Key details

  • The pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of cities that served as the world’s growth engines till now
  • There is a call for post – COVID-19 change in protocols to develop more sustainable and resilient cities.
  • Many cities around the world declared themselves on the brink of the worst economic downtown since the Great Depression.
  • The very things which represented living in a city, are facing a question mark.
  • The biggest question before the world is how to restart.
  • Restart would not be possible without a reset of mindsets, processes and practices.
  • Urban development should focus on ensuring better housing and work environment as well as shorter and efficient travel options for citizens.
  • During the lockdown, many cities saw cleaner lakes and rivers as well as cleaner air, so many of us saw the chirping of birds not heard before. Can we not build sustainable cities where this is the norm and not the exception?

  • It is our endeavour in India to build urban centres which have the amenities of a city but the spirit of village.
  • In today’s age, empowering people to work from anywhere, to live anywhere, to plug into global supply chains from anywhere is an absolute necessity.
  • Reducing stress on urban systems will depend on our choices.

T- cell immunity and COVID-19

Paper:

Mains:G.S. III Science and Technology

Why in news?

Covid 19 has brought the immune system and it’s general mechanism which protects the body against various infections to limelight.

Key details

  • Our immune system responds to virus infections with a first line defence called ‘innate’ immunity, followed by the second line called ‘adaptive’ immunity.
  • Innate immunity is like first aid — an immediate response, not strong enough to prevent pathology if the virus is highly virulent or the ‘inoculum’(infecting virus load) is heavy.
  • Innate immunity then passes the baton to adaptive immunity, which takes several days to develop and become effective.
  • Adaptive immunity has two arms — antibodies and T cell immunity. Antibodies are protein molecules that recognise and bind to viral antigens. Some among them tend to neutralise viruses from infecting fresh host cells.
  • Some viruses then adopt other mechanisms to infect host cells, and that is when T cell immunity may come to the rescue.
  • Disappearance of antibodies for the COVID 19 causing virus mean that protection after one infection does not last.
  • In COVID 19 infection, T cell immunity is more long lasting than antibodies. It resides in a subset of white blood cells called T lymphocytes, or T cells.