GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

First India-Designed Vaccine Passes WHO Test.


  • For the first time, a vaccine conceived and developed from scratch in India has been “pre-qualified” by the World Health Organisation.
  • The Rotavac vaccine, developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Limited last year (2017), was included in India’s national immunisation programme.
  • To be “pre-qualified” means that the vaccine can be sold internationally to several countries in Africa and South America.
  • While several vaccines from India have been pre-qualified, this is the first that was entirely developed locally and, according to experts, is a sign that there is a credible industrial, scientific and regulatory process in place to develop vaccines in India.


Highlights Of The Development-

  • The Rotavac vaccine protects against childhood diarrhoea caused by the rotavirus and was built on strain of the virus isolated at the the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi over 30 years ago.
  • India included the Rotavac in its national immunisation in 2016, with about 35 million doses delivered till date. A dose costs between ₹55-60, according to the company.
  • Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech, said that about 9 million children in nine Indian states have been vaccinated. Some medics have raised concerns that the rotavirus vaccine carried a small chance of causing infants to develop a bowel disorder; but the Rotavac vaccine, having been tested in the field for over a year, have not shown any negative effect, he claimed.
  • The Pune-based Serum International also has developed a rotavirus vaccine called Rabishield that has also been included in India’s immunisation programme.
  • Rotavirus is responsible for an estimated 36% of hospitalisations for childhood diarrhoea around the world and for an estimated 200,000 deaths in low- and middle-income countries.

Sources- The Hindu.


GS Paper II- International Relations.

India, Vietnam Release First Ever Commemorative Stamps.


  • India and Vietnam on 25th January, 2018 released first ever set of commemorative postage stamps to mark the long term friendly bilateral relationships between the two countries.
  • AN Nanda, Secretary, Department of Posts, said at the stamp release event that the first ever joint issue of commemorative postage stamps between India and Vietnam on the theme of ancient architecture is a symbol of strong friendship between the two countries.
  • The two set of stamps released carry picture of Sanchi Stupa and Thien Mu Pagoda.


Highlights Of The Development-

  • Vietnam IT and Communications Minister Truong Monh Tuan, who was present at the occasion, said India and Vietnam relations have been developed consistently in many aspects since their foundation were laid by Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and President Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam.
  • Tuan said  that to mark the development of relationship, Vietnam and India decided to issue a set of commemorative stamps, including two stamps designed by artists from both countries.
  • The minister said India-Vietnam relationships have progressed across various domain including politics, defence, commerce, foreign affairs, defence, energy, education and science.
  • He said that the stamps have been designed by artists from the both countries.
  • Sanchi Stupa and Thien Mu Pagoda from Vietnam are symbol of traditional and historical value of the people of the two countries.

Sources- Business-Standard.

GS Paper III- Economic Development.

Usha Ananthasubramanian Is First Woman IBA Chief.


  • Usha Ananthasubramanian, MD and CEO, Allahabad Bank, has been elected the first woman chairman of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).
  • Usha was elected IBA Chairman for the year 2017-18 by its Managing Committee on 25th January, 2018.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • IBA Chairman’s position fell vacant following the superannuation of Jatinder Bir Singh, who was Chairman and Managing Director of Punjab & Sind Bank, on December 31, 2017.
  • Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, State Bank of India, was elected Deputy Chairman of IBA for the year 2017-18.
  • IBA is the banking sector’s industry body, whose objective, among others, is to promote and develop sound and progressive banking principles, practices and conventions and to contribute to the developments of creative banking in the country.

Sources- The Hindu Business Line.