Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 21 January 2023

India bright spot amid global crisis

GS Paper -2 (International organizations)

Lauding Prime Minister Leadership in a fractured world, the World Economic Forum's Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said India is a bright spot amid the global crisis. Mr. Schwab said India is promoting a just and equitable growth for all in the world during its G20 presidency, while also making significant progress on the most pressing domestic challenges.

More about the news

  1. The WEF also issued a statement and said it values its nearly 40-year collaborative history with India and looks forward to continued cooperation with the country during its G20 presidency.
  2. The WEF said its annual meeting is taking place at a time when multiple crises have deepened divisions and fragmented the geopolitical landscape.
  3. Governments and businesses must address people's immediate, critical needs while also laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, resilient world by the end of the decade.
  4. The WEF said the programme simultaneously addresses immediate crises and long-term future challenges and helps set the scene for India's G20 presidency.
  5. He commended the country's decisive action on the climate case for renewables, its contribution to the global healthcare ecosystem, the focus on an economic model for women-led development, and its leadership on digital public infrastructure.
  6. India remains a bright spot amid global geo-economics and geopolitical crises.


  1. The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an international non-governmental and lobbying organisation based in Cologny, canton of Geneva, Switzerland.
  2. It was founded on 24 January 1971 by German engineer and economist Klaus Schwab.
  3. Its mission is "improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas".
  4. The WEF is mostly known for its annual meeting at the end of January in Davos, a mountain resort in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland.


China pivoting of ‘wolf-warrior diplomacy’

GS Paper -2 (International Relations)

China launched a personnel reshuffle on the foreign policy front. Beijing appointed Qin Gang, former Chinese ambassador to the US, as the new foreign minister while former foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian was transferred to the department of boundary and ocean affairs.

More about the news:

  1. Some political analysts view these changes as possible signs that China may be pivoting from the hardline “wolf-warrior diplomacy” that has characterized China’s foreign policy over the last few years.
  2. Some experts also say the personnel’s reshuffling doesn’t necessarily change the trajectory of China’s diplomatic approach.
  3. Qin, who has long been viewed as a trusted aide to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, wrote that the development of China-US relations will remain an important mission in his new position.
  4. He said the door to China-US relations will remain open and cannot be closed and adding that relations shouldn’t be a zero - sum game and that the world is “wide enough for China and the United States to both develop and prosper.

A ‘more tactful’ diplomacy:

  1. Despite the optimism expressed by Qin, tensions between China and the US remain high. Since former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last August, China has increased its military activities around the island.
  2. The US is also seeking to strengthen security and military ties with countries like Japan and the Philippines.

Wolf warrior diplomacy:

  1. Wolf warrior diplomacy is a style of coercive diplomacy adopted by Chinese diplomats during the Xi Jinping administration.
  2. This approach is in contrast to the prior Chinese diplomatic practices of Deng Xiaoping, which had emphasized the use of cooperative rhetoric and the avoidance of controversy.
  3. It is confrontational and combative, with its proponents loudly denouncing any perceived criticism of the Chinese government, its ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and associated policies on social media and in interviews, as well as using physical violence against protestors and dissidents.
  4. As an attempt to gain "discourse power" in international politics, wolf warrior diplomacy forms one part of a new foreign policy strategy called Xi Jinping's "Major Country Diplomacy".


‘Hybrid immunity’ against severe Covid

GS Paper -3 (Disease)

recent study in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases held that “hybrid immunity” provides better protection against severe Covid-19, while all immunity against a re-infection wanes within a few months. The study is based on a meta-analysis of 11 other studies on the protective effectiveness of previous SARS-CoV-2 (Covid) infection and 15 studies on the protective effectiveness of hybrid immunity.

What is hybrid immunity?

  1. Hybrid immunity is gained from a previous infection plus vaccines – either the primary doses or both primary and booster doses.
  2. The study said that a hybrid immunity offers a “higher magnitude and durability” of protection as compared to infection alone, emphasising the need for vaccination.
  3. With the faster-spreading omicron variants leading to more infections and consequently more people developing this hybrid immunity, the study suggested that booster doses may be delayed.

What did the study find?

  1. Protection against severe disease and hospitalisations from a Sars-CoV-2 infection alone was found to be 82.5% at three months after the last shot or infection.
  2. This protection stood at 74.6% at 12 months and 71.6% at 15 months. Protection against reinfection declined faster, standing at 65.2% at three months and dropping to 24.7% at 12 months and 15.5% at 15 months.
  3. In comparison, hybrid immunity with just the primary vaccine doses was found to be 96% at three months and 97.4% at 12 months. The same can offer 69% protection against reinfection at three months, dropping to 41.8% at 12 months.
  4. The effectiveness of hybrid immunity gained from infection coupled with the primary as well as a booster dose stood at 97.2% at three months and 95.3% at six months. The same immunity was found to be 68.6% effective at three months and 46.5% at six months.

Implications of the findings

  1. The study said these results provide information that can be used to tailor guidance on the number and timing of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations.
  2. It said that in regions with high Sars-CoV-2 sero-prevalence, the primary vaccination – focused mainly on those at the highest risk of severe disease such as the old or co-morbid – can offer high protection against severe disease and hospitalisation for at least one year.
  3. As per the World Health Organisation, the global sero-prevalence – presence of antibodies against Sars-CoV-2 whether because of infection or vaccination – stood at 67% as of October 2021.
  4. The other key recommendation is to roll out booster vaccine drives whenever an increase in the number of infections is expected.


National Export Co-Operative Society

GS Paper - 3 (Economy)

Nano fertilizers produced by IFFCO and dairy products from Amul will be among the first few products that are expected to be exported by the first-ever National Export Co-operative Society that was approved by the Union Cabinet. All these Society and contribute 100 crore each. The society will have an authorised share capital of 2,000 crore with the area of operation all over the country.

Major Cooperatives

  1. Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO),
  2. KrishakBharati Cooperative Limited (KRIBHCO),
  3. National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED),
  4. Gujrat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), better known as Amul and
  5. National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC)

Exporting Countries

  1. Amul and IFFCO currently export products to countries such as Brazil, Philippines, Kenya and Canada, the proposed Society is expected to enhance the scale and volume of exports.

Cooperatives share in Various Industry

  1. Cooperatives contribute 28.80% in fertilizer production,35% in fertilizer distribution,30.60% in sugar production and 17.50% in the procurement of marketable surplus milk in the national economy but their contribution to exports is negligible.
  2. The Society will benefit the smallest farmer or artisan who has a good product.
  3. These Societies will get access to the international market and good returns too. Once the product has been tested for international standards, the packaging and export will be done by the Society.

Society’s Role

  1. The Society will be different from the Export Promotion Council under the Ministry of Commerce that only acts as a facilitator and provides information about the potential markets that can be tapped for a particular product.
  2. This Society will provide end-to-end services to the cooperatives. It will open foreign bank accounts and complete all the formalities, including necessary permissions for exporting a product.
  3. The icing on the cake is that dividends will be shared with the manufacturer instantly and without any brokerage fee.
  4. The proposed Society will hire consultants in foreign countries who will help expand its footprint across continents.
  5. The Society will work as an export house for handicrafts, handlooms, khadi and other products, ensuring enhancement of income of the cooperative member entrepreneurs.


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