CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 18-November, 2017

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams


18 November, 2017

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The superbugs of Hyderabad {Environment}

(The Hindu)


Context

Effluent from pharmaceutical companies contain high concentrations of antibiotics that are turning the city’s lakes and sewers into breeding grounds ofdrug-resistant superbugs. Priyanka Pullareports on a terrifying threat that could hasten the end of the antibiotic era

 Kazipally industrial area of Hyderabad

  •  The capital of Telangana, is an open well, about 20 feet across.
  • A thin stream of murky fluid, changing colour from black to brown to a dull green as it flows.
  • Its vapours are mildly pungent at first, but get nauseating within 15 minutes.
  • These effluents are transported to Patancheru Enviro Tech Limited (PETL), an effluent treatment plant around20 km away, where it will be treated and released into Hyderabad’s Musi river.

Issue

A temporary containment facility for toxic effluents from a dozen pharmaceutical companies, is not leak-proof. A natural rivulet takes the fluid in the well to the nearby Gandigudem lake, where Kazipally’s residents — mostly farmers and some pharma industry workers — raise fish to sell.

When heavy rains lashed Hyderabad, it flooded, poisoning around 2.3 lakh fish in the lake.

A new species of danger

  • The Kazipally well, along with ditches, lakes and rivers around the pharmaceutical cluster, receives large doses of antibiotics, along with the traditionally monitored pollutants.
  • When these antibiotics come in contact with pathogenic bacteria (which cause disease in humans), the latter learn to resist the former, making human infections by these pathogens extremely hard to treat.
  • Antibiotic resistance is arguably the biggest threat to global health in the 21st century. In 2014, around 700,000 people across the world died due to infections that evaded antibiotics, a number that is estimated to touch 10 million by 2050.

Shocking findings

In 2005, Cecilia de Pedro, a student of environmental sciences at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg, began testing the effects of industrial waste water on a tiny transparent crustacean, the water flea.

She decided to use samples from PETL’s plant, which was already in the eye of a storm for being a big polluter.

Government steps to tackle this issue

  • Even as evidence ofantibiotic pollution builds up, government regulations are taking time to catch up with it. As of today, India does not limit antibiotics in pharma waste water.
  • India’s first concrete move to tackle the problem was the 2017 National Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance, which talks about imposing limits on antibiotics in industrial waste.
  • The cost of antibiotic resistance will be enormous for both the country and the world.
  • One estimate puts the expense of treating a resistant bloodstream infection at Rs. 42,000 more than a susceptible infection.

A step up {Economics}

(Indian Express)


In news

Moody’s Investors Service, on Thursday, raised India’s sovereign credit rating by a notch, from “Baa3” to “Baa2”, and also revised upwards its outlook for the country from “positive” to “stable”.

Moody’s expects India’s debt-to-GDP ratio to rise by about one percentage point this fiscal year to 69% of GDP

The upgrading by the influential American credit rating agency comes after nearly 13 years, during which time India has attracted cumulative foreign direct investment flows of about $ 250 billion and net portfolio investments of over $ 225 billion into its stock and debt markets.

Possible reason behind this

 Due to central government ongoing reforms such as the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and the mechanisms for resolving bad loans and re-capitalise ailing public sector banks

Difference between Baa2 and Baa3

  • Baa2 are subject to moderate credit risk
  • They are considered medium grade and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics
  • Baa3, by contrast, was the lowest investment grade rating

 Comments by the rating agency

  • The rating agency agreed that a lot remains to be done such as fixing the GST’s implementation challenges, weak private sector investment and the slow resolution of banking bad loans
  • Moody’s said it expects at least some of these issues to be addressed over time and will help further improve the Indian government’s effectiveness and overall institutional framework

Moody’s Investors Service

  • Moody’s Investors Service, often referred to as Moody’s, is the bond credit rating business of Moody’s Corporation, representing the company’s traditional line of business and its historical name
  • Moody’s Investors Service provides international financial research on bonds issued by commercial and government entities
  • Moody’s, along with Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Group, is considered one of the Big Three credit rating agencies
  • The company ranks the creditworthiness of borrowers using a standardized ratings scale which measures expected investor loss in the event of default. Moody’s Investors Service rates debt securities in several bond market segments
  • These include government, municipal and corporate bonds; managed investments such as money market funds and fixed-income funds; financial institutions including banks and non-bank finance companies; and asset classes in structured finance
  • In Moody’s Investors Service’s ratings system, securities are assigned a rating from Aaa to C, with Aaa being the highest quality and C the lowest quality

 


 

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