Daily Current Affairs: 21st 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.
Citizen centric services launched
Context: Union Home Minsiter, launched three citizen centric services of the Chandigarh police, in Chandigarh.
The services include the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS – Dial 112), ‘E-Beat Book’ System and the ‘E-Saathi App’.
About the Services Emergency Response Support Systems (ERSS- Dial 112) is one of the key projects of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs under Nirbhaya Fund. It provides a single emergency number (112), computer aided dispatch of field resources to the location of distress. With the help of this service, citizens can send their emergency information through call, sms, email and through the 112 India mobile app. The ‘Dial 112’ emergency response service is an initiative that will strengthen proactive community policing to end confusion amongst distress callers, who at times end up dialling 100 in fire or medical emergency cases. In future, the Emergency Number for Road Accidents (1073),Women Helpline (1091, 181), Child Help Line (1098), including other Helpline services are also planned to be added under the 112 unified emergency response number. ‘E-Beat Book’ is a web and mobile based application which will help in collection, updation and analysis of the information related to crime and criminals in a real time. It will be linked with Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS), which would help in a real time updation of crime/criminal data. ‘E-Saathi’ App would be helping the general public, including senior citizens, to remain in touch with the police and also give suggestions to facilitate participative community policing (‘Your Police at Your Doorstep’ initiative). With the help of this app, the beat officer would be able to provide services like passport verification, tenant verification, servant verification, character certification etc. at a click of a button, without any need to visit the police station.
Context: The Vice President calls for the expansion of bilateral ties between India and Mongolia in different sectors including renewable energy and IT.
As the year 2020 will mark the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Mongolia, Vice President called for the upgradation of India- Mongolia relationship to the level of ‘strategic partnership’.
Brief about India-Mongolia Relations
It was in 1955, when India established diplomatic relations with Mongolia. India was the first nation outside the Soviet bloc that took a step forward to establish diplomatic relations with Mongolia. Since then, there have been treaties of mutual friendship and cooperation between the two countries in 1973, 1994, 2001 and 2004. As a support to India, Mongolia stands for India’s candidature as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council while India supported the Mongolia’s inclusion as a full member of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Mongolia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world, with a per capita income of USD 7487.84.
India and Mongolia are both service-driven economies with a falling agricultural share in the GDP. India has been ranked at 15th as an export destination and at 18th in terms of imports from Mongolia in 2015.
With a less than US$ 1 million trade before 2004, India’s export to Mongolia was geared up in 2010 with USD 19.63 million. Exports from India to Mongolia increased to USD 8.26 million in 2015 with a peak of USD 42.06 million in 2012, where as India’s import from Mongolia witnessed a continuous fall till 2014 after reaching an all time peak of USD 21.77 million in 2011.
In 2000-01, Indian exports to Mongolia were 43 items and increased to 308 items in 2015-15. While imports from Mongolia registered only 13 items in 2015-16 with marginally increased from 3 items in 2000-01.
In 2015-16, Pharmaceuticals were the main export items and contributed over 35% of total exports to Mongolia. The other major export items were medical instruments, rice and parts and electricity machinery.
Indian imports from Mongolia have been driven mostly by wool, which had a share of 93% in India’s total imports from Mongolia in 2015-16.
In terms of investment, India contributes USD 8 million FDI and occupies 13th rank as Mongolia’s FDI partner in 2015. Around 80% of the FDI inflows have been in the mining sector.
Controlled Human Infection Model (CHIM)
Context: The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is going to finalize 3 projects worth Rs. 135 crore, involving Indian and European scientists, in order to develop new influenza vaccines.
The projects involves aCHIM : Controlled Human Infection Model wherein volunteers taking part in trials will be infected, under expert supervision, with infectious viruses or bacteria.
The CHIM way of detection will speed up the process whereby scientists can quantify whether potential vaccine candidates can be effective in people and identify the factors that determine why some vaccinated people fall sick and others do not.
Rather than influenza trials, India would likely be developing a CHIM protocols to study bacterial or enteric viruses (residing in the intestine) such as cholera or typhoid.
How this CHIM model is helpful?
The years of vaccine development has shown that frequently vaccines that work in small groups of people may not always work in large populations, or those that are effective in one country may not be in another. The CHIM models help vaccine-makers decide whether they should go ahead with investing in expensive trials or to stop at all.
What is the issue involved?
The risk involved in such trials is that by intentionally infecting healthy people with an active virus, we make them be sick which is against medical ethics. Further, it also involves putting human lives in danger.
UNICEF Report on emerging threats to Children
Context: UNICEF cautions about the emerging global threats to children through its report.
Marking its 30 years of adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UNICEF came forward to warn on major growing and future challenges facing children.
The Report outlines 8 major growing challenges for the world’s children including prolonged conflicts, pollution and the climate crisis, a decline in mental health, mass migration and population movements, statelessness and online misinformation.
The report warns that an online environment in which truth can become indistinguishable from fiction has the potential to totally undermine trust in institutions and information sources, and has been demonstrated to skew democratic debate, voter intentions, and sow doubt about other ethnic, religious or social groups. It further cautions that mental illness among adolescents has been on the rise in the years since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and that depression is now among the leading causes of disability in the young. About Convention on the Rights of the Child It is a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. The Convention was adopted and opened for signature by UNGA on 20 November 1989. It came into force on 2 September 1990, after it was ratified by the required number of nations. At present there are 196 countries who are party to the Convention including every member of the United Nations (except the United States) plus the Cook Islands, Niue, the State of Palestine, and the Holy See. The convention does not apply in the territories of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Gibraltar, Guernsey and Tokelau. According to the Convention, a child is defined as any human being under the age of 18, unless the age of majority is attained earlier under national legislation. Nations who has already ratifed this convention are bound to it by international law whose compliance is monitored by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The Committee submits a report to the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) every year.
India unlikely to meet ‘Poshan Abhiyaan’ targets, finds study
Context: Global Burden of Disease Study 1990-2017 claims that India is unlikely to meet its targets which are set under the ambitious Poshan Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission (NNM) for reduction in prevalence of stunting, underweight, low birth weight and anaemia in women and children by 2022.
The Report published is a joint initiative of Indian Council of Medical Research, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The study clearly pointed out that India is going to miss its target as follows:
- For stunting levels of 25% by 9.6%;
- For underweight target of 22.7% by 4.8%;
- For desired low birth level of 11.4% by 8.9%;
- For anaemia level among women of 39.4% by 13.8%;
- Anaemia level among children of 44.7% by 11.7%.
According to the data from National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-2016), (i) 38.4% of children under the age of 5 are stunted; (ii) 35.7% are underweight; (iii) 18% of children were born underweight (less than 2.5 kg); (iv) 58% of children between the age of 6-59 months and (v) 53% of women in the age of 14-49 years have anaemia. While the base for NNM targets is NFHS-4 data, the study considers prevalence levels determined in 2017 as the base level, which are comparable with the former. The study used all accessible data sources from India, including national household surveys, a variety of dietary and nutrition surveys, and other epidemiological studies, to conclude its findings. About Poshan Abhiyan The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) is implementing POSHAN Abhiyaan in 315 Districts in 1st year, 235 Districts in 2nd year and remaining districts will be covered in the 3rd year. It is the world’s largest nutrition programme, which is expected to benefit 10 crore people and launched in 2018 by PM Narendra Modi, which aims to reduce stunting, underweight, and low birth weight, each by 2% per year; and anaemia among young children, adolescents and women each by 3% per year until 2022. A special target for stunting is set at 25% by 2022. The POSHAN Abhiyaan, as an apex body, is in-charge of monitoring, supervising, fixing targets and guiding the nutrition related interventions across the Ministries. The proposal comprises:
- Mapping of various Schemes contributing towards addressing malnutrition.
- Introduction of a very robust convergence mechanism.
- ICT based Real Time Monitoring system.
- Incentivizing States/UTs for meeting the targets.
- Incentivizing Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for using IT based tools.
- Eliminating registers used by AWWs.
- Introducing measurement of height of children at the Anganwadi Centres (AWCs).
- Social Audits.
- Setting-up Nutrition Resource Centres, involving masses through Jan Andolan for their participation on nutrition through various activities, among others.
Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) Report on Dementia
Context: Almost 1/4th of Indians who are surveyed by the Alzheimer’s Disease International reported that those suffering from dementia are found to be “dangerous” and about 3/4th opined that those with dementia are “impulsive and unpredictable.”
What is Dementia? Basically, Dementia is not a single disease; it is a combined term — like heart disease — that covers multiple range of specific medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. It is an overall term for diseases and conditions characterized by a decline in memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking skills that affect a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Dementia is a result of damage to the brain cells which interferes with the ability of brain cells to communicate with each other. It is to be noted that different types of dementia are associated with particular types of brain cell damage in particular regions of the brain and not the brain as a whole. What is the Present Scenario? According to the study approximately as much as 50% of all people living with dementia never receive a formal diagnosis. When studied in China and India, this lack of diagnosis is much higher, perhaps as high as 70-90%. By 2050, the number of those with dementia worldwide is set to increase to 152 million. The estimated current annual cost of dementia is at $1 trillion (approx), a figure that is possibly about to double by 2030. According to the population projections in India, there will be 1 elderly person for every 3 in the working-age population by 2100 with a naturally associated rise in elderly suffering from dementia as the prevalence of dementia in the elderly increases. What does people’s psychology say about Dementia? The report prepared by the Alzheimer’s Disease International reported that 95% of global respondents think they will develop dementia in their lifetime and 78% are worried that they will develop dementia at some point. About 1 in 4 believe that there is nothing to be done about dementia and 2 out of 3 believe that dementia is caused by just normal ageing. Less than 40% of the public think that there are adequate community services for people living with dementia and for carers and about less than 70% of people think there are adequate competent physicians for the diagnosis and treatment of dementia.
WAWE SUMMIT 2019
Waste Management Accelerator for Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs (WAWE Summit 2019) has been launched by the Union HRD Minister.
The Summit is supposed to be held in November-December 2019.
It will be jointly organized by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Institute of Waste Management (IIWM) at Jaipur, Rajasthan.
It will be the largest gathering of young women students to promote entrepreneurship in waste management and to provide alternatives to single use plastic carry bags.
Theme of WAWE 2019: MAKE YOUR OWN BAG – Empowering women to take up income generation activity and entrepreneurship in waste management through making a business out of this concept.
Domestic Companies to receive Income Tax Relief A domestic company from now onwards will be allowed to pay income tax at the rate of 22% (from 30%), subject to the condition that it won’t avail any other (tax) incentives or exemptions. In order to spur fresh investments and boost ‘Make in India’ efforts, for new manufacturing companies incorporated after October 1, 2019, and commencing production by March 31, 2023, the income tax rate has been reduced to 15% from the present 25%. The effective tax rate for these companies will be 17.01%, compared to 29.1% now. These firms will also be exempt from Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT). In order to provide relief to firms who want to continue with the existing regime of exemptions, some MAT relief is given in which the tax rate has been reduced from 18.5% to 15%. These tax cuts include a reduction in the surcharge on corporate income tax from 12% to 10%. The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 has been promulgated by the President in order to bring into effect the slew of above corporate tax rate cuts. What is Minimum Alternative Tax? It is a tax which was effectively introduced in India by the Finance Act of 1987, vide Income Tax Act, 1961 (IT Act), in order to facilitate the taxation of ‘zero tax companies’ i.e., those companies which show zero or negligible income to avoid tax. MAT is an attempt to reduce tax avoidance and is levied at the rate of 18.5% of the book profits. MAT is applicable to all corporate entities, whether public or private. However, it does not apply to any income which is arising to a company from life insurance business. Also, it does apply to shipping income liable to tonnage taxation. Sanctions on Iran’s central Bank
The new sanctions imposed by the Treasury Department of US is said to be the toughest-ever sanctions for funding the terrorism saying that the central bank of Iran has provided “Billions of Dollars” to the two forces which are blacklisted by the U.S. Such a designation may be more difficult to lift even if Mr. Trump loses next year’s election to a Democrat who wants to ease sanctions as part of a future deal. The United States also imposed sanctions on Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, a development fund whose board of trustees includes President Hassan Rouhani as well as Etemad Tejarate Pars, a company that the Treasury Department said had sent money internationally on behalf of Iran’s Defence Ministry.