Daily Current Affairs: 19th September 2019: Hindu+PIB
The following compilation has been made keeping in mind the need of the UPSC IAS exam. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source including The Hindu, The Indian Express, Business Standard,Press Information Bureau, etc.
As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic has been handpicked keeping in mind the syllabus of the exam.
Ban on E-Cigarettes
Context: As a step to protect the public health, the Union Cabinet approved a ban on e-cigarettes. The ordinance titled Promulgation of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement) Ordinance, 2019 was approved by the Union Cabinet headed by PM Modi. What are e-cigarettes? These are battery-operated devices that produce aerosol by heating a solution which contain nicotine, the addictive substance in combustible cigarettes. These e-cigarettes will include all forms of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, Heat Not Burn Products, e-Hookah and the like devices. These use of these novel products has increased exponentially owing to the attractive appearances and multiple flavours they came with. This product has acquired epidemic proportions in developed countries, especially among youth and children.
What is the scenario now? After the formal declaration of the Ordinance, any production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale (including online sale), distribution or advertisement (including online advertisement) of e-cigarettes will be a cognizable offence which would be punishable with an imprisonment of up to 1 year or fine up to Rs. 1 lakh or both for the first offence; and imprisonment of up to 3 years and fine up to Rs. 5 lakh for a subsequent offence. Further if e-cigarettes are found to be stored, then it shall also be punishable with an imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs 50,000 or both. As an additional provision, the owners of existing stocks of e-cigarettes on the date of commencement of the Ordinance will have to voluntarily declare and deposit these stocks with the nearest police station. The Sub-Inspector of Police has been designated as the Authorized Officer to take action under the Ordinance. But, the Central or State Governments has the power to designate any other equivalent officer(s) as Authorized Officer for enforcement of the provisions of the Ordinance. How the ban came about? The present decision of ban on e-cigarettes has come after the issuance of an advisory by the Government in 2018 to all States to consider banning e-cigarettes. Further, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), in its recent white paper on the subject, also proposed a complete ban on e-cigarettes based on scientific evidence available against these products. Up till now, 16 States and 1 UT have already banned e cigarettes in their jurisdictions. These products are usually marketed as being safer alternatives for conventional cigarettes but such notions of safety are false. On the other hand, available literature suggests that these products may act as gateway products to induce non-smokers, especially youth and adolescents, to nicotine-use, leading to addiction and subsequent use of conventional tobacco products. The decision for the ban has been taken keeping in mind the overall interest of public health as dealt under the Article 47 of the Indian Constitution along with following key issues:
- The nicotine is highly addictive in nature;
- Concerns regarding the safety against the flavours used in combination with nicotine;
- Risk of use of other psychoactive substances through these devices;
- Initiation of nicotine or psychoactive substances by non-smokers, especially adolescents and youth;
- Dual use of e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes;
- Very less scientific evidence for use of e-cigarettes as effective tobacco cessation aids;
- Threat to country’s tobacco control efforts;
- It has been a roadblock in achieving the targets envisaged under Sustainable Development Goals, National Monitoring Framework for Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases and National Health Policy, 2017.
29th Meeting of the Northern Zonal Council
Context: The 29th Meeting of Northern Zonal Council is headed by the Union Minister of Home Affairs and vice-chaired by the Chief Minister of Haryana.
About Zonal Councils in India Zonal Councils are the advisory councils and are made up of the states of India grouped into 5 zones to cooperate with each other. These zonal council are formed under Part-III of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956. The present composition of each of these Zonal Councils is given as under:
- Northern Zonal Council, comprises Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, and Rajasthan.
- Central Zonal Council, comprises States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
- Eastern Zonal Council, comprises Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal.
- Western Zonal Council, comprises Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Goa, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.
- Southern Zonal Council, comprises Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.
It is to be noted that the North Eastern states are not covered by any of the Zonal Councils and their special problems are addressed by another statutory body known as the the North Eastern Council, which is created by the North Eastern Council Act, 1971. This council originally comprised Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura with later addition being the state of Sikkim via North Eastern Council (Amendment) Act, 2002 notified on 23 December 2002. Further, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep are not members of any of the Zonal Councils of India but they are presently special invitees to the Southern Zonal Council.
International Migrant Stock 2019
Context: The International Migrant Stock 2019 report has been released by the Union Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).
Key Highlights of the Report According to the findings of the report, India has emerged as the leading country of origin for immigrants across the world, with around 17.5 million international migrants in 2019 coming from India, up from 15.9 million in 2015. The report also noted that the number of international migrants in the world had reached an estimated number of 272 million in 2019 which is about 51 million more than in 2010. Also, the percentage of international migrants of the total global population has increased from 2.8% in 2000 to 3.5% in 2019.
Although, the report noted that India is the largest source of international migrants, but the number of migrants living in India saw a slight decline from 5.24 million in 2015 to an about 5.15 million in 2019 i.e., 0.4% of the country’s total population.+ According to the report, Bangladesh was the leading country of origin for migrants in India. Talking on a global front, the report noted that 1/3rd of all international migrants originates from 10 countries i.e, after India, Mexico ranked 2nd as the country of origin for 12 million migrants, which is followed by China (11 million), Russia (10 million) and b (8 million). Further, among the regions around the world, European region hosted the highest number of the immigrants at 82 million in 2019, followed by North America (59 million) and Northern Africa and Western Asia (49 million). Among countries, the U.S. hosts the highest number of international migrants (51 million) i.e., about 19% of the global population. According to the estimates of the report, 2/5th of all international migrants had gone from one developing country to another. The report also noted that the forced displacements also continue to rise, with the number of refugees and asylum seekers increasing by about 13 million from 2010 to 2017. About Union Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) is a part of the United Nations Secretariat and is responsible for the follow-up to major UN Summits and Conferences, as well as services to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It supports international cooperation to promote sustainable development for all, having as a foundation the 2030 Agenda for SD and the 17 SDGs as adopted by the UNGA. It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG). UNDESA has its headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S.
Also read: The Astra Missile System
The SC/ST Act
Context: The Supreme Court reserved orders on a review petition which was filed by the government against a previous judgment that allowed anticipatory bail to persons who are accused of committing atrocities on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
What was the issue? It was on March 20, 2018 that the Supreme Court passed a judgement that allowed anticipatory bail to persons who were accused of committing atrocities on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. As an explanation to its verdict, Supreme Court said that the anti-atrocities law for SC/STs was being misused by some members of the community as a means for “blackmail”. The verdict was followed by a huge public backlash in which several people died in protests and property worth crores of rupees were destroyed following which the government then filed the review petition and subsequently amended the 1989 Act back to its original form in 2018. Now, The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act of 2018 nullified the March 20 judgment of the Supreme Court, which allowed anticipatory bail to those booked for committing atrocities against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes members. Has the Act been beneficial? According to the government, there was no fall in the atrocities committed on members of SC/ST communities despite the laws meant to protect their civil rights. It further noted that the despite the existence of 195 special courts across 14 States to exclusively try Prevention of Atrocities (PoA) cases, there has been a prevalence of these sad affairs. According to the data released by the National Crime Records Bureau, there is no decrease in the crimes against SC/ST members. Further, the number of cases registered in 2014 is 47,124, while in 2015 it is 44,839 and 47,338 in 2016.
Rise in Deaths due to Malnutrition : Report
Context: The first comprehensive estimate of disease burden due to child and maternal malnutrition and the trends of its indicators in every State from 1990 has been recently launched.
The report was published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health by the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative.
Key Highlights of the Report
According to the report, 2/3rd of the 1.04 million deaths in children under 5 years in India are still caused due to malnutrition. The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) rate attributable to malnutrition in children varies 7-fold among the States and is found to be highest in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam, followed by Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Nagaland and Tripura. As per the findings of the report, the overall under-5 death rate and the death rate due to malnutrition has decreased substantially from 1990 to 2017, but malnutrition is still the leading risk factor for death in children under 5 years. It is also the leading risk factor for disease burden for all ages considered together in most States. The report also stated that the States shall need to implement an integrated nutrition policy in order to effectively address the broader determinants of under-nutrition across the life cycle. The key focus should be on major determinants like provision of clean drinking water, reducing rates of open defecation, improving women’s educational status, and food and nutrition security for the most vulnerable families. About India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative Launched in 2015, it is a joint initiative of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Public Health Foundation of India, and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with experts and stakeholders associated with over 100 Indian institutions, which involves many leading health scientists and policy makers from India. It reported an never-done-before detailed assessment of the diseases which causes the most premature deaths and ill-health in each state of the country, the risk factors responsible for this burden, and their trends spanning 26 years from 1990 to 2016.
10 Threats to Global Health in 2019
Context: The World Health Organization (WHO) has included ‘vaccine hesitancy’ as one of the 10 threats to the global health in 2019.
What is it?
Vaccine Hesitancy refers to the reluctance or the refusal to vaccination even when there is an availability of the vaccines. It threatens to reverse the progress made in tackling the vaccine-preventable disease. For example, Measles, which is a vaccine-preventable disease has seen a 30% increase in cases globally in 2018.
There are a number of reasons that explains why people chose not to vaccinate. The key reasons among all includes : Complacency (uncritical satisfaction with oneself), inconvenience in accessing vaccines, and lack of confidence.
Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease. On an estimate, it currently prevents 2 to 3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million can be possibly avoided if its global coverage is improved. According to the WHO, following are the 10 threats to global health in 2019:
- Air Pollution and Climate change.
- Antimicrobial Resistance.
- Non-Communicable Diseases.
- Vaccine Hesitancy
- Ebola and other high-threat pathogens.
- Fragile and vulnerable settings.
- Global Influenza Pandemic
- Weak Primary Health Care
The application has been launched by the Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. Developed by the Delhi Police, the Tatpar app is a one-stop destination for access to over 50 citizen-centric services. With the help of the app, citizens can navigate to their nearest police station, traffic pit and prepaid taxi booth. On a single touch, the user will be provided with the directions as well as the complete contact details of the concerned Station House Officer (SHO) of a police station. The SOS Button that appears on the home screen of the app enables the user to make a call on an emergency contact number (SOS) of their choice or reach out to the Police Control Room (PCR) at 100 with a single touch. International Speed Post to New Countries The Department of Posts of Government of India has announced commencement of the International Post Services to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Lithuania and North Macedonia. EMS or Express Mail Service which will be available at major Post offices in India is a premium service that enables its users to send documents and merchandise faster and with an added facility of being able to track the movement of the item on the internet. Management Information System (MIS) The system has been developed by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for stakeholders of Accessible India Campaign (AIC). The MIS portal plan to bring all the nodal ministries, and States/UTs on a single platform for monitoring the progress being made against each target of Accessible India Campaign (AIC). What are Teaser loans? It can be referred to any loan that offers a teaser rate of interest. These loans can be a popular promotional loan product that entices a broad array of borrowers. In other words, these Teaser loans are those which charge comparatively lower rates of interest in the first few years after which the rates are increased further. While such teaser products are not banned by the regulator, the standard asset provisioning requirement is higher for such loans. For normal home loans, the standard asset provisioning is 0.4% but for teaser loans it is 2%. Wing Commander Anjali Singh She has became the first woman in the Indian military history to be posted as a military diplomat at an Indian Mission abroad. She was sent by the Indian Air Force to Moscow as a deputy air attache. She is an aeronautical engineer who served with fighting squadrons during her 17-year military career. Until now, only male officers from the three services were appointed as military attaches in overseas Indian Missions.