Current Affairs for IAS Exams – 14 September 2013

Current Affairs for IAS Exams – 14 September 2013

Voyager 1 leaves Solar System

  • Around August 25, 2012, over 19 billion km from the Sun, the Voyager 1
    space probe became the first human-made object to cross out of the Solar
    System and into interstellar space.
  • Voyager 1, a testament to durable engineering, was
    launched by NASA in 1977 alongside its identical sister probe Voyager 2 to
    study the outer Solar System and the interstellar medium – whatever occupies
    the gigantic chasms between stars in the universe.

  • The event was confirmed to have happened by a report published in the
    journal Science on September 12. It included an analysis, of the data beamed
    back by the probe, by scientists from the University of Iowa among others.
  • Voyager 1 flew by Jupiter in 1979 and Saturn in 1980, concluding its
    primary mission.
  • It was the first probe to provide detailed images of the two planets and
    their moons.
  • In 1990, 9.6 billion km from Earth, it turned around and photographed
    the entire Solar System.
  • Measles to be eliminated from South East Asian countries by 2020: WHO
  • South East Asian countries have decided to eliminate measles and control
    rubella and congenital syndrome by the year 2020. The World Health
    Organisation (WHO) estimates that $ 800 million is needed to achieve this
  • “An estimated 8 million children are not protected against measles in
    WHO’s South East Asia region. Measles and rubella vaccines are safe,
    effective and inexpensive. The administration of a combined measles-rubella
    vaccine can eliminate both diseases cost-effectively,”
  • Over 70,700 children died of measles in the region in 2011, which was
    about 45 per cent of global measles deaths.
  • Measles is a highly infectious disease contracted by children with low
    immunity and can cause acute respiratory problems, diarrhoea and pneumonia.
  • It can also result in disabilities such as visual impairment.
  • While India has made significant improvement in reducing child mortality
    due to immunisation coverage, measles continues to remain a major cause of
    death among children, claiming between 50,000 to 100,000 lives every year.
  • It can be prevented by a single dose of vaccine if given when the child
    is between nine and 12 months, but only 70% of children in the country are
    protected against it.


  • Raghuram Rajan’s opening statement on taking office as governor of
    Reserve Bank of India left no room for doubt.
  • He intends to open up the capital account and replicate the United
    States financial system in India with all its bells and whistles.
  • Given recent global economic and financial history, this is a shockingly
    disastrous set of objectives to be setting.
  • It suggests that as governor, he will not so much be setting out policy
    but dogma. By clinging to the thoroughly discredited dogma that “arm’s
    length” financial markets always know best,
  • To be clear, this is not an argument against markets, nor is it an
    argument against finance.
  • We need finance to provide as much credit as possible to every
    productive nook and cranny of the Indian economy in much the same way as
    banks in America financed a massive increase in output after World War II
    and as the German banking system continues to fund its mittelstand of small
    and medium enterprises. What we don’t need, however, is the ‘casino banking’
    which was developed first in the Anglophone countries in the early 1980s and
    has since spread around the world causing so much devastation in its wake
    and which Mr. Rajan seems hell-bent on replicating in India.
  • Indonesia in 1997-98 should serve as a cautionary example to India
    because of its similar size, ethnic diversity, etc.
  • Indonesia had a budget surplus, a trade surplus, relatively low
    inflation, high GDP growth and, by virtually every measure, was in the pink
    of economic health before its financial crisis in mid-1997.
  • The year after that, Indonesia’s GDP growth was -18%
    (yes, that’s minus!). It led to riots in the capital, Jakarta, and
    ultimately the overthrow of the government and a political revolution. There
    was also a huge upsurge in secessionist violence in Aceh (where thousands
    died) and ethnic cleansing and ultimately independence for East Timor.

Sources: Various News Paper

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