Daily Current Affairs: 5th February 2020: The 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.
Table of Contents
Context: Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has been continuously working in order to empower the farmers of North East region to help them earn an additional income through various schemes under the aegis of Ministry of MSME.
As part of its efforts, KVIC has distributed 1000 bee boxes to 100 farmers. It is quite noticeable that KVIC has distributed around 30,000 bee boxes in the North East alone since 2017, that helped generating an additional employment in honey production for around 3000 educated but unemployed farmers. This year KVIC plans to distribute around 2,500 bee boxes in Arunachal Pradesh while it targets to distribute around 10,000 bee boxes in the next year. For the first time since 1960’s KVIC has also registered 2 new Khadi Institutions for promotion of Khadi Artisans in the region. These are: (i) Youth for Social Welfare, Tawang and (ii) Rural Development Society, Papum Pare About KVIC The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body which was formed in April 1957 (as per an RTI) by the Government of India, under the Act of Parliament, ‘Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956’. It is an apex organisation under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, with regard to khadi and village industries within India. In April 1957, it took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board. It seeks to – “plan, promote, facilitate, organise and assist in the establishment and development of khadi and village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.” The Commission has its head office is in Mumbai , whereas its six zonal offices in Delhi, Bhopal, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai and Guwahati. Other than its zonal offices, it has offices in 28 states for the implementation of its various programmes. What are the various schemes and programmes of KVIC? Following are the List of schemes and Programmes that KVIC is involved in:
- Prime Ministers Employment Generation Program (PMEGP): The Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) is basically a result of the merger of two schemes – Prime Minister’s Rojgar Yojana (PMRY) and The Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP).
- As part of the Program the rural beneficiaries receive up to a 25% margin compensation in rural areas and 15% in urban areas for the general category and 35% in rural areas and 25% in urban areas for SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities and women among other special categories.
- Interest Subsidy Eligibility Certification Scheme (ISEC): The Interest Subsidy Eligibility Certificate (ISEC) Scheme is the major source of funding for the Khadi programme. It was introduced in May 1977 to mobilise funds from banking institutions to fill the gap in the actual fund requirement and its availability from budgetary sources.
- As part of the scheme, loans are provided by the banks to the members at a concessional interest rate of 4% p.a.to meet their working/fixed capital requirements.
- The difference between the actual interest rate and the concessional rate is borne by the commission under the ‘grants’ head of its budget. However, only members producing Khadi or Polyvastra (a type of Khadi) are eligible for this scheme.
- Rebate Scheme: The concept of rebate on sales of Khadi and Khadi products is made available by the Government so as to make the price of Khadi and Khadi products competitive with other textiles.
- Normal rebate (10 %) all through the year and an additional special rebate (10 %) for 108 days in a year, is given to the customers.
- The rebate is allowed only on the sales made by the institutions/centers run by the Commission/State Boards and also at the sales centers run by the registered institutions which are engaged in the production of Khadi and polyvastra.
- Recently, the FM has proposed to M/o MSMEs to redraw this rebate scheme for Khadi and Village industries with a view that “ministry should approach the plan commission and not seek year-to-year extension of the scheme. Apart from this, it has asked the MSME ministry to redesign the scheme in a manner that it should benefit the artisan and not the seller, which (has been) the case so far” With regard to this, a proposal received from the Commission for introducing Market Development Assistance as a possible alternative to Rebate on Sale is being considered by the Government.
Context: A State-of-the-art DNA Analysis Centre has been set up in Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Chandigarh under the Nirbhaya Fund scheme with an allocation of Rs.99.76 crores.
This facility has an annual capacity to examine 2000 forensic cases relating to sexual assault, homicide, paternity, human identification and Mitochondrial DNA. An approval for setting-up and upgrading of DNA analysis and cyber forensic units in State Forensic Science Laboratories in 13 States/ Union Territories under the Nirbhaya Fund scheme. In addition to above, 25 States have been given an allocation of Rs.108.40 crore in order to strengthen the Forensic Science facilities, including DNA analysis facilities, as part of annual State Action plan under the Scheme for Modernization of Police Forces in the year 2019-20. The Directorate of Forensic Science Services has six Central Forensic Science Laboratories (CFSLs) situated at
- Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh)
- Guwahati (Assam)
- Hyderabad (Telangana)
- Pune (Maharashtra)
- Kolkata (West Bengal)
ABOUT NIRBHAYA FUND
Nirbhaya Fund is an Rs 10 billion corpus announced by Government of India in its 2013 Union Budget.
P. Chidambaram, the then Finance Minister in his Budget Speech of 2013 announced that this fund is expected to support initiatives by the government and NGOs working towards protecting the dignity and ensuring safety of women in India.
Nirbhaya (fearless) was the pseudonym given to the 2012 Delhi gang rape victim to hide her actual identity.
Implementation of the Scheme and Disbursal of Fund: The Fund is administered by Department of Economic Affairs of the finance ministry. However, Ministry of Women and Child Development, along with several other concerned ministries, work out the details of the structure, scope and the application of this fund.
Context: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri G Kishan Reddy put forward the status of implementation of the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) as a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
All the States and Union Territories in the country have agreed to implement single number 112 based Emergency Response Support System (ERSS). This system has been made operational in 28 States/Union Territories and operationalization of ERSS in the States of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai), Manipur, Odisha, Sikkim and West Bengal is at various stages of completion.
ABOUT EMERGENCY RESPONSE SUPPORT SYSTEM (ERSS)
ERSS seeks to enable a pan-India, single, internationally recognized number i.e. 112 based emergency response mechanism for various emergencies, including police, medical and fire, with computer-aided dispatch of field resources. Addition of other emergency services is a function of requirement and preparedness of States/ Union Territories.
112 service is accessible through call, SMS, e-mail, panic button and a 112 India mobile app. TRAI allotted this number for the purpose of single emergency number in India in May 2015.
What are the Utilities provided to the citizens?
If you require emergency assistance from Police, Fire or Health departments or from any other services, you may:
Dial 112 from your phone;
If you have a smart phone, Press power button on your smart phone 3 times in quick succession to activate Panic call;
If you have a feature phone, Long press ‘5’ or ‘9’ key on your feature phone to activate Panic call;
Use 112 India mobile app (available in Google Playstore and Apple store) to activate a panic call.
For women and children, 112 India App provides a special SHOUT feature which alerts registered volunteers in the vicinity of victim for immediate assistance.
ABOUT 112 INDIA MOBILE APP
112 Mobile App is a part of the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS), a Govt of India initiative. In case of an emergency situation, a person in distress may seek for the assistance of local emergency service delivery departments and volunteers through the App.
The App will send emergency alerts with the user’s details (name, age, emergency contacts) and location information, along with a generated call to ‘112’ – to the State Emergency Control Room and the person’s emergency contacts. The system forwards the emergency alert to nearby online local volunteers if available.
Key Features of the App
It provides a single panic app across the country for looking into any citizen emergency.
It provides 24 x 7, efficient and effective response system, which can involve local volunteers from citizens to provide efficient emergency response service.
It helps in the identification of location of person in distress connecting through voice or data.
The app ensures a timely dispatch of field resources (police, health, fire & disaster management) to the location of incidence using the system.
It is integrated with existing emergency response systems – Police (100), Fire (101), Health (108) and Women helpline (1090).
The app comes with a feedback mechanism and the citizen profile management that makes its operations citizen-friendly, more transparent, and efficient.
The app also help to keep track of the progress of incidents and the services delivered taking emergency services to the next level.
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Context: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai said that population register is a register that contains details of persons usually residing in a village or rural area or town or ward or demarcated area within a ward in a town or urban area.
He further said that “No document to be collected during the exercise of updation of NPR and the respondents are supposed to provide information true to best of their knowledge and belief.”
What do you need to know about NPR?
NPR or The National Population Register is a Register of usual residents of the country. A “usual resident” is defined for the purposes of NPR as a “person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more.”
It is being prepared at the local (Village/sub-Town), sub-District, District, State and National level under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
The process of updating NPR will be carried out under the aegis of the Registrar General and ex-Officio Census Commissioner, India.
It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.
OBJECTIVE: To create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars.
PRESENT STATUS: The data for National Population Register was collected in 2010 along with the houselisting phase of Census of India 2011. This data was updated during 2015 by conducting door to door survey. Further digitisation of the updated information has now been completed.
Now it has been decided to update the National Population Register along with the Houselisting phase of Census 2021 during April to September 2020 in all the States/UTs except Assam.
INFORMATION TO BE COLLECTED: The database would contain demographic particulars such as:
- Relationship to head of household
- Father’s name
- Mother’s name
- Spouse’s name (if married)
- Date of birth
- Marital status
- Place of birth
- Nationality (as declared)
- Present address of usual residence
- Duration of stay at present address
- Permanent residential address
- Educational qualification
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: During the NPR, a respondent will not require to produce any document and will be self-attested, i.e., whatever information is provided by the respondent will be deemed correct and no documents or biometric would be required.
NPR Vs CENSUS: The decennial census is the largest single source of a variety of statistical information on different characteristics of the people of India. While NPR only contains demographic information, more details are required for census like information on demography, economic activity, literacy and education, and housing and household amenities besides others. Further, The census is the basis for reviewing the country’s progress in the past decade, monitoring the ongoing schemes of the government and plan for the future.
- The census, 2021 will be done in two phases. In the first phase, the work of house-listing or housing census will be conducted from April to September 2020. In the second phase, the enumeration of the population will be done from February 9 to February 28, 2021, with reference moment as 00:00 hours of March 1, 2021.
NPR Vs NRC: While National Population Register is a database of people living in India, citizens or not, but National Resgiter of Citizens (NRC) is a database of Indian citizens which demands proof of citizenship from the respondents. Unlike NPR, those who found in want of the proof may face deportation or detention in long run. But in NPR, there is no need to provide any document.
ANY CITIZENSHIP LOSS?: It is possible that some names will be missed in the NPR, still their citizenship will not be revoked because this is not the process of NRC which is a different process.
WHY NPR if we have CENSUS?: The NPR data will help to identify the demographics of actual residents who will be direct beneficiaries of any schemes launched in the area. To understand better, consider the example: “A majority of permanent residents of an industrial town in Maharashtra may be Marathi speaking, but the majority of current residents may consist of Hindu speaking people from various parts of the country.” Thus, the NPR data will help government design and adapt schemes like Ayushman Bharat, Jandhan Yojna, or medium of instruction in schools according to the current demographics, thus making the schemes more effective.
Context: Government of India is implementing the Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) through State AIDS Control Societies in coordination with State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) using a 16 hours curriculum based module developed by NCERT; for adolescents in both inside and outside formal schools.
ABOUT THE PROGRAMME Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) is a Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programme that aims to empower adolescent learners to acquire knowledge of their needs and concerns related to the period of adolescence and develop life skills that enable them to practice informed and responsible behaviours. Adolescents are equipped with accurate information, knowledge and skills in the specific contexts of the process of growing up and prevention of HIV/AIDS. At the national level, the Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) is co-ordinated by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in partnership with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This programme is a major initiative within the larger Quality Improvement in Schools Scheme of MHRD. The target groups of AEP are all learners studying at the secondary and senior secondary level in government, local body and government–aided schools and learners of open schooling systems. There is also a provision for orientation and sensitization to identified out-of-school adolescents and youth for awareness regarding life skills education. NEED OF ADOLESCENCE EDUCATION Adolescence is a very special period of a person’s life where an individual assumes a sense of self-identity and is marked by a myriad of emotions including enthusiasm, idealism, self-doubt and anxiety. Adolescence Education (AE) has been conceptualised as an educational response to the need for support, encouragement, clarifications and information that adolescents often express in order to make sense of their rapidly changing world. Adolescence Education (AE) is guided by the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), 2005 which recommends that education should instil “independence of thought and action, sensitivity to others’ well-being and feelings, learning to respond to new situations in a flexible and creative manner, predisposition towards participation in democratic processes, and the ability to work towards and contribute to economic processes and social change.” Based on these principles, AE aims to provide young people with accurate, age appropriate and culturally relevant information; promote healthy attitudes and develop skills to enable them to respond to real-life situations effectively.
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Context: The National Blindness & Visual Impairment Survey India 2015-2019, released by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, notes that the Diabetic Retinopathy is responsible for 0.8% of visual impairment in the surveyed population in India.
The survey was primarily conducted by Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Opthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, for Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 31 districts of 24 States. A Rapid Assessment Avoidable of Blindness (RAAB-6) methodology which is a widely accepted method which is being used worldwide to detect the prevalence of blindness in people above 50 years of age, was used to conduct the survey. Key Findings of the Survey
- The prevalence of blindness is lowest in Thrissur district of Kerala (1.08%) while that of visual impairment is lowest in Thoubal in Manipur (7.3%).
- Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh has the highest prevalence in both categories, at 3.67% and 21.82 %, respectively.
- In terms of low prevalence of blindness, Thrissur is followed by North Goa, Khera (Punjab) and Virudhunagar (Tamil Nadu).
- Those who are at least 80 years old are reported to be highest in the order of prevalence of blindness at 11.6%.
- An untreated cataract is the main cause of blindness, at 66.2%. and also the foremost cause of severe visual impairment, at 80.7% of all cases.
- Some of the other causes of blindness includes Corneal opacity, cataract surgical complications and some posterior segment disorders.
- As per the survey, the prevalence of blindness has reduced by 47.1% compared to the baseline levels of 2010.
- The survey randomly identified 31 districts with a sample size of about 93,000, among whom 18,000 were less than 50 years of age.
- The survey also pointed out a number of barriers to access of treatment which includes no one to accompany [the patient], seasonal preferences, and financial constraints. Among the males, the most important barriers are financial constraints (31%) and local reasons (21.5%) while for the females, the local reasons (23.1%) and financial constraints (21.2%) were the most important barriers.
Major Causes of blindness includes Cataract (62.6%), Refractive Error (19.70%), Corneal Blindness (0.90%), Glaucoma (5.80%), Surgical Complication (1.20%), Posterior Capsular Opacification (0.90%), Posterior Segment Disorder (4.70%), and Others (4.19%).
About National Programme for Control of Blindness and Visual Impairment (NPCB&VI) National Programme for Control of Blindness and Visual Impairment (NPCB&VI) was launched in the year 1976 as a 100% centrally sponsored scheme (now 60:40 in all states and 90:10 in NE States) with the goal of reducing the prevalence of blindness to 0.3% by 2020. Rapid Survey on Avoidable Blindness conducted under NPCB during 2006-07 showed reduction in the prevalence of blindness from 1.1% (2001-02) to 1% (2006-07).
Context: India ranked 102 out of 117 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2019 that is placed at much below to its South Asian neighbours such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan. The Global Hunger Index report is prepared and published jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organization Welt Hunger Hilfewas. Key Highlights of the 2019 Report Comprehensively, the number of hungry people has risen from 785 million in 2015 to 822 million. Multiple countries have higher hunger levels now as compared to that in 2010.
At the regional level, South Asia and Africa South of the Sahara have the highest 2019 GHI scores in the world, at 29.3 and 28.4, respectively. In case of Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Latin America and the Caribbean, East and Southeast Asia, and the Near East and North Africa range from 6.6 to 13.3, indicating low or moderate hunger levels. The four countries with alarming levels of hunger are Chad, Madagascar, Yemen, and Zambia. Following data came to light when countries are compared on the basis of the indicators used to find the GHI Scores:
- Haiti, Zimbabwe, and the Central African Republic have the highest rates of undernourishment, ranging between 49.3-59.6%.
- Stunting rates are highest in Madagascar, Burundi, and Yemen, where data or estimates show that more than half of all children under five suffer from stunting.
- Wasting is most prevalent in Yemen, Djibouti, and India, ranging from 17.9 to 20.8 %.
- The highest under-five mortality rates are in the Central African Republic (12.2%), Chad (12.3%), and Somalia (12.7%).
India is ranked 102nd among the 117 countries in the 2019 Index. India was pegged at 103 in 2018 but then 119 countries were mapped. India falls in the “serious” category with an overall score of 30.3. Further, India has the highest percentage of children who suffer from acute undernutrition. On other parameters, where India has improved, the pace has been relatively slow. Among its BRICS counterparts, India is ranked the worst, with China at 25 and a score of just 6.5. India is behind every other country within South Asia too. For example, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan (in that order) are all ahead of India. What is Global Hunger Index? It is basically a tool which is designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels. Every year, GHI scores are calculated to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger. The GHI scores are based on a formula that captures 3 dimensions of hunger i.e., insufficient caloric intake, child undernutrition, and child mortality, by using 4 component indicators:
- UNDERNOURISHMENT: The share of the population that is undernourished, reflecting insufficient caloric intake.
- CHILD WASTING: The share of children under the age of five who are wasted (low weight-for-height), reflecting acute under-nutrition.
- CHILD STUNTING: The share of children under the age of five who are stunted (low height-for-age), reflecting chronic under-nutrition.
- CHILD MORTALITY: The mortality rate of children under the age of five.
The data on these indicators is collected from the following sources:
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO),
- World Health Organization(WHO),
- World Bank,
- Demographic and Health Surveys(DHS), and
- United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME).
How GHI ranks countries? Each country’s data are standardised on a 100-point scale and a final score is calculated after giving 33.33% weight each to components 1 and 4, and giving 16.66% weight each to components 2 and 3. On this 100-point-sclae of GHI, 0 being the best score (no hunger) and 100 being the worst, although neither of these extremes is reached in actuality. Further it could be understood as follows:
- Values less than 10.0 reflect low hunger;
- Values from 10.0 to 19.9 reflect moderate hunger;
- Values from 20.0 to 34.9 indicate serious hunger;
- Values from 35.0 to 49.9 are alarming;
- Values of 50.0 or more are extremely alarming.
Context: Quality Control Order for Mandatory Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Gold Artefacts Order, 2020 dated 15-1-2020 has been notified in the Gazette of India making hallmarking of Gold jewellery and artifacts mandatory in the country w.e.f. 15-1-2021.
The BIS system of hallmarking of gold jewellery began in April 2000. The standard specifications governing this system are:
- IS 1417 (Grades of Gold and Gold Alloys, Jewellery/Artefacts),
- IS 1418 (Assaying of Gold in Gold Bullion, Gold alloys and Gold Jewellery/Artefacts),
- IS 2790 (Guidelines for Manufacture of 23,22,21,20,19,18,17,16,14 and 9 carat Gold Alloys),
- IS 3095 (Gold solders for use in manufacture of jewellery)
- Only three grades namely 14,18 and 22 carats for gold jewellery and artefacts, as prescribed in Indian Standard IS: 1417: 2016 can be hallmarked.
- As on 25 Dec 2019, 892 Hallmarking and Assaying (A & H) centres (These are private undertakings approved as well as monitored by the BIS) throughout India have been recognized by BIS.
- The average number of articles hallmarked per day per centre in the year is nearly 225 only.
- A typical centre can hallmark 500 pieces per shift (or about 1500 pieces per day) with one set of machines. Thus, the average utilization of the capacity of the A&H centres is less than 50 % and therefore, the average utilization of the capacity of the A&H centres is less than 50% and as on date there is no capacity constraint.
- Consumers have to watch out for four marks on hallmarked gold jewellery: (1) BIS mark, (2) purity in carat, (3) assay centre’s name and (4) jewellers’ identification mark.
Gold hallmarking, which certifies the purity of gold, has so far been operating on a voluntary basis in recent years. It has being encouraged by the government because of widespread complaints about impurity of gold sold in the market.
The BIS is already running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery since April 2000 and around 40% of gold jewellery is being hallmarked currently.
Bureau of Indian Standards organizes regular Awareness Programmes through its various Regional Offices/Branch Offices many of these are conducted in association with Consumer Organizations.
These programmes focus on enhancing quality consciousness of consumers by highlighting issues of Standardization, promotion of BIS Standard Mark, Hallmarking of Gold & Silver and educating them on the misuse of BIS Standard mark & Complaint Redressal System for products with BIS Standard Mark.
About Bureau of Indian Standard The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the national Standards Body of India which is working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India. It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 which came into effect on 23 December 1986. The ex-officio President of the BIS is the Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department having administrative control of the BIS. Being a corporate body, it has 25 members drawn from Central or State Governments, industry, scientific and research institutions, and consumer organisations. Headquarters: New Delhi, Regional offices: Kolkata (Eastern Region), Chennai (Southern Region), Mumbai (Western Region), Chandigarh (Northern Region) and Delhi (Central Region) and 20 branch offices. It also works as WTO-TBT enquiry point for India. BACKGROUND The organisation was formerly the Indian Standards Institution (ISI), set up under the Resolution of the Department of Industries and Supplies No. 1 dated 3 September 1946. The ISI was registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. A new Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) Act 2016 which was notified on 22 March 2016, has been brought into force with effect from 12 October 2017. The Act establishes the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as the National Standards Body of India.
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