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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] – 17th March 2018

  • IASbaba
  • March 17, 2018
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains Focus)- 17th March 2018

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(PRELIMS+MAINS FOCUS)


Target to double textile production by 2025

Part of: Mains GS Paper III- Indian Economy

Key pointers:

  • The Textile Ministry is targeting to double textile production and trade to $300 billion by 2025.
  • With the domestic production of textiles at $110 billion and exports and trade at $40 billion, the country’s production of textiles at present is worth $150 billion.
  • To reach the target, the productivity and yield levels of both cotton fibre and synthetic will be stepped up.

Article link: Click here


(MAINS FOCUS)


NATIONAL

TOPIC: General Studies 3:

  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures

Outsmarting Tuberculosis

Background:

The incidence rate of tuberculosis (TB) in India is estimated at 200-300 cases per 100,000 population per year. As a comparison, in western Europe it is five per 100,000 per year.
India’s estimated annual TB burden is 28 lakh, 27% of the global total; our population is only 18%. Every day 1,200 Indians die of TB — 10 every three minutes. The tragedy 1,200 families face every day is beyond imagination.
No other disease or calamity has such Himalayan magnitude. We have become the TB capital of the world.

Infection with TB bacilli is the necessary cause of TB. Cough and blood in sputum occur only in lung TB.
TB can affect the lungs, brain, bones, joints, the liver, intestines or for that matter any organ and can progress slowly or kill in weeks.

Three processes: infection, progression, transmission

Infection:
Infection occurs when TB bacilli are inhaled. Bacilli may stay in the lungs or travel to other organs. Infection is lifelong, with bacilli lying dormant. This phase is “latent TB”, diagnosed by a tuberculin skin test (TST).
The “annual rate of TB infection” (ARTI) is about 1%. Cumulatively, 40% to 70% of us are living with latent TB. From this reservoir pool, a few progress to TB disease, one by one, 5-30 years, average 20 years, later.

Progression:
Progression occurs when bacilli become active, multiply and cause pathology; now we have “active TB”.

Transmission:
When active TB affects the lungs, the bacilli find an exit route to the atmosphere, necessary for transmission.

Way ahead:

  • Beginning with schools, public education on TB and its prevention must replace ignorance and misconceptions.
  • Transmission and infection- If no one spits in public places and if everyone practises cough and sneeze etiquette (covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing), the TB affected will also fall in line.
  • A person with lung TB disseminates TB bacilli over several weeks. This is why TB treatment has not brought down the TB burden.
    To block transmission, treatment should begin as soon as a symptom shows up.
  • Partnership with the private sector is essential for early diagnosis of TB. Delay in diagnosis is a fallout of the lack of efficient primary health care.
    Universal primary health care, a basic human right, and a diagnostic algorithm for early diagnosis are essential for TB control.
    Every country that has reduced TB incidence practises universal health care.

Conclusion:

To outsmart TB bacilli, we must intercept infection, progression and transmission.  
What is needed is the concerted use of all interventions — biomedical and socio-behavioural. Any further delay may convert a controllable disease into an uncontrollable one, because of increasing frequency of resistance to drugs against TB.

Connecting the dots:

  • To outsmart TB bacilli, we must intercept infection, progression and transmission concerted use of all interventions — biomedical and socio-behavioural- is required. Analyze.

ECONOMY

TOPIC:

General Studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

General Studies 3:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

Jobs in the era of artificial intelligence

Background:

There is no debate that advances in artificial intelligence and automation will effect profound changes in our world.
There are growing concerns, or more specifically outright fears, amongst the working age population regarding the effect of technologies like AI on jobs in future, and with good reason.

Challenge:

  • A recent study reported that the Indian IT industry alone is expected to see a loss of 6.4 lakh jobs (low and medium-skilled) by 2020 owing to the technology revolution and automation.
  • Moreover, around 46 per cent of India’s population below 25 years of age can be seen entering the job market with skills that will become obsolete at the time of their entry.
    This excludes 40 per cent of those in the age group of 26-55 years who are already employed in occupations which may be outmoded soon.

Old fears:

History has demonstrated that every technological shift, while eliminating certain types of jobs, has ultimately ended up creating more. Besides, at a broader level, these technologies always have had the power to solve some of the great problems of mankind.
For instance, AI is already driving great advances in medicine and healthcare with perfectly accurate diagnosis and far better disease prevention.

  • The Luddite movement- British textile workers in 1811 attacked and burned factories due to fears of machine operators robbing them of their livelihood.
  • With the advent of personal computers and information technology in the 20th century many feared they would be replaced by computers.

Today, as we stand on the edge of a technological transformation which is evolving at an exponential speed, the same lookout seems quite natural although despite these concerns and fears.

Issue:

  • Anything that requires middle skills will be made redundant first; low skilled and highly skilled jobs are comparatively less vulnerable.
  • Without massive upskilling and quality higher education, it will not be possible for the middle skilled to move into jobs requiring a high level of skill.

An economic scenario where there is high unemployment consisting of individuals incapable of getting a job simply because they do not possess the required skills can become a reality if India doesn’t prepare adequately for the future of jobs.

Preparing ourselves:

  • Reinventing our higher education system and by providing the means for people to re-skill themselves significantly.
  • A shift to lifelong learning is essential.
  • As the pace of technological change quickens, we need to be sure that our youth keep up with the right skills to thrive in the ever-changing world of work.

Conclusion:

More efforts should be made to strengthen the focus on how to mend our higher education ecosystem altogether.
Our employees need not compete with technology that can disrupt almost every other industry. Instead, it would be more meaningful to leverage synergetic complementarity between the two.

Connecting the dots:

  • There is no debate that advances in artificial intelligence and automation will effect profound changes in our world. Thus, more efforts should be made to strengthen the focus on how to mend our higher education ecosystem altogether.

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