Daily Prelims Notes 7 June 2020
- June 7, 2020
- Posted by: admin
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- Dialectical Materialism
- Gross Value Added
- Figuring Out Covid Terminology
- Deep Sea Micro plastic hotpots
- Race to Zero
Thomas Piketty in his new book “Capital and Ideology” examines a trajectory of inequality in the world, with an optimistic suggestion on how to realise a better future for all.
- Scholars look at income inequality in purely economistic terms, but Piketty is among those who look at such issues holistically, in their economic, sociological, historical, political and even cultural ramifications.
- Such scholars are a rare breed and are usually indebted to Karl Marx.
- In the Communist Manifesto, Marx had asserted that the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.
- Dialectical materialism led Marx to conclude that the pauperisation of peasants and workers would result in the violent overthrow of the propertied class, as in the Reign of Terror of 1789 and the 1917 October Revolution.
- But Piketty believes that a just society can be established through participatory socialism, with explicit power-sharing between workers and shareholders.
- In 2015, India made major changes to its compilation of national accounts and bring the whole process into conformity with the United Nations System of National Accounts (SNA) of 2008.
- As per the SNA, gross value added, is defined as the value of output minus the value of intermediate consumption and is a measure of the contribution to GDP made by an individual producer, industry or sector.
- At its simplest it gives the rupee value of goods and services produced in the economy after deducting the cost of inputs and raw materials used.
- GVA can be described as the main entry on the income side of the nation’s accounting balance sheet, and from an economics perspective represents the supply side.
- In the new series, in which the base year was shifted to 2011-12 from the earlier 2004-05, GVA at basic prices became the primary measure of output across the economy’s various sectors and when added to net taxes on products amounts to the GDP.
It is the sum of private consumption, gross investment in the economy, government investment, government spending and net foreign trade (difference between exports and imports).
GDP vs GVA
- GDP at Market Prices = ∑ GVA at basic prices + product taxes – product subsidies.
- GDP = C + G + I + NX (where C=consumption; G=government spending; I=Investment; and NX=net exports).
- While GVA gives a picture of the state of economic activity from the producers’ side or supply side, the GDP gives the picture from the consumers’ side or demand perspective.
- A sector-wise breakdown provided by the GVA measure helps policymakers decide which sectors need incentives or stimulus and accordingly formulate sector specific policies. But GDP is a key measure when it comes to making cross-country analysis and comparing the incomes of different economies.
Subject: Science and tech
- A term coined by the World Health Organization (WHO) to denote the disease that has led to a pandemic.
- On February 11, 2020, WHO announced a name for the mysterious disease originating in China, caused by a new corona virus.
- It called it coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID19, where CO stands for corona, VI for virus, and D for disease, while the numerals – 19 refer to the year in which the first case was detected.
- WHO claimed it had consciously avoided naming the disease after the place of origin, to avoid stigmatising that country/area.
- The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) announced “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV2)” as the name of the new virus, also on February 11, 2020.
- This name was chosen because the virus is genetically related to the coronavirus responsible for the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2003. While related, the two viruses are different. WHO and the ICTV were in communication about the naming of both the virus and the disease.
When the incidence of a disease rises above the expected level in a particular community or geographic area, it is called an epidemic. The outbreak started in Wuhan city in Hubei province in China, with what seemed then as a cluster of pneumonia like cases.
- A global epidemic. When the epidemic spreads over several countries or continents, it is termed a pandemic.
- On January 30, WHO announced that COVID19 was a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
- On March 11, WHO decided to announce as a pandemic.
R0 — R Naught
- It is the basic reproduction number. This is the number of new infections caused by one infected individual in an entirely susceptible population.
- It helps determine whether an epidemic can occur, the rate of growth of the epidemic, the size of the epidemic and the level of effort needed to control the infection.
- If R0 is 2, then one individual will infect two others.
- As of end May, India’s R0 value was in the range of 1.22.
- Several health conditions including uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension, cancer, morbid obesity, lung diseases, compromised immune systems put patients at greater risk for contracting the infection, also have poor clinical outcomes.
- Special attention to prevent the disease and prevent mortality in these groups is the concern of health managers.
- The method by which the disease spreads is known as transmission
- In COVID19 it is through respiratory droplets, expelled while talking, laughing, coughing and sneezing.
- This makes mask wearing and physical distancing the main tools for protection against the virus. Washing hands with soap and water is an effective way to kill the virus.
When it is no longer possible to tell how someone contracted the disease, or who the source of infection was.
As numbers climb, this tracing becomes next to impossible.
Identifying and monitoring people who may have come into contact with an infectious person. In the case of COVID19, monitoring usually involves self-quarantine as an effort to control the spread of disease.
- Some individuals seem to have the capacity to cause more infections in a disproportionately large number of people, than others.
- The currentpandemic has recorded some super spreaders who havehad a huge role in the transmission.
- The percentage of people who test positive among all those who are tested.
- If positivity rate is high, it is possible that only high risk groups are being tested. A low positivity rate can also indicate that not enough testing is being done.
Infection fatality rate
- It is the number of deaths occurring in all infected people in a particular population.
- This includes those who might have the COVID19 infection, but have not been tested for it. Given that the number of tests is not high, experts have clarified that this is not a useful metric to have in this pandemic.
Case fatality rate
- It is the number of deaths occurring among confirmed cases of COVID19.
- Since these two figures are available with a certain amount of reliability, it is actually CFR that is being referred to when there is a loose reference to fatality rate.
Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI)
A respiratory disease also caused by a coronavirus, and spread through the same transmission method, i.e. respiratory droplets.
The symptoms (fever, cough, body ache, difficulty in breathing) are also similar. The government has begun surveillance of SARI patients as also patients with Influenza like Illness (ILI) admitted in hospitals too.
- An immune reaction triggered by the body to fight an infection is known as a cytokine storm when it turns severe.
- The body releases too many cytokines, proteins that are involved in immunomodulation, into the blood too quickly.
- While normally they regulate immune responses, in this case they cause harm and can even cause death.
- Experts have noticed a violent cytokine storm in several individuals who are critical with COVID infection.
- These cytokines dilate blood vessels, increase the temperature and heartbeat, besides throwing blood clots in the system, and suppressing oxygen utilisation.
- If the cytokine flow is high and continues without cessation, the body’s own immune response will lead to hypoxia, insufficient oxygen to the body, multi organ failure and death. Experts say it is not the virus that kills; rather, the cytokine storm.
RTPCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction)
- It is the primary test to detect COVID19 infection across the globe.
- It is a sensitive test that uses swab samples drawn from the nasal/oral cavity to test for the presence of viral RNA (ribonucleic acid).
- It has got better sensitivity (ability to correctly identify those with the disease) and specificity (ability to correctly identify those without the disease) rates in current diagnostic tests for COVID.
- These tests check blood by looking for antibodies.
- Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections, and are specific to every disease, granting immunity against getting that particular disease again.
- An antibody test, with poor specificity, is not believed to be effective in detecting new infections.
- States have been asked to commence testing Sero prevalence in the community, using antibody tests, that are blood tests.
Convalescent plasma therapy
Researchers are examining the efficacy of using convalescent plasma, that is, using neutralising antibodies from the blood of people who have recovered from the COVID19 infection to treat patients with COVID19.
- An antimalarial oral drug that is being repurposed for treatment in COVID19.
- It has also been used successfully in the treatment of some auto immune conditions. Its value in COVID19 has not been resolved entirely.
Flattening the curve
- Reducing the number of new COVID19 cases, day on day.
- The idea of flattening the curve is to ensure that the health infrastructure is not overwhelmed by a large number of cases.
This is also known as community immunity, and constitutes the reduction in risk of infection within a population, often because of previous exposure to the virus or vaccination.
PPE — Personal protective equipment
It is specialized clothing and equipment used as a safeguard against health hazards including exposure to the disease.
Deep sea hotspots of biodiversity are also likely to get affected by micro plastics deposition, according to a recent study published in Science
- The researchers found thermohaline driven currents caused microplastics to accumulate in the same regions where underwater organisms flock in the benthic region
- Reason for flocking of organisms is that the same currents also supply oxygen and nutrients to the deep sea benthos.
- Winds drive ocean currents in the upper 100 meters of the ocean’s surface.
- However, ocean currents also flow thousands of meters below the surface.
- These deep-ocean currents are driven by differences in the water’s density, which is controlled by temperature (thermo) and salinity (haline). This process is known as thermohaline circulation.
5. Race to Zero
With the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to UNFCCC pushed back a full year – to November, 2021 – the UNFCCC’s Climate Ambition Alliance has launched a global campaign called “Race to Zero”
- It is an “international campaign for a healthy, resilient zero carbon recovery”
- The campaign aims to codify commitments made via the Climate Ambition Alliance (CAA)
Climate Ambition Alliance
- Climate Ambition Alliance (CAA) was launched ahead of last year’s COP25 in Madrid.
- The CAA currently includes 120 nations, 996 businesses, 458 cities, 24 regions, 505 universities and 36 investment groups that have committed to achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
- Signatories are responsible for 23 percent of current greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide and 53 percent of global GDP.