IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th January 2019
Kyasanoor Forest Disease (KFD) or Monkey Fever
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Health issue
- Kyasanoor Forest Disease (KFD) is tick-borne viral hemorrhagic fever endemic to South Asia. The virus is transmitted to human beings through parasitic ticks which latch on to monkeys.
- KFD was first detected in the Kyasanur forest in Karnataka in 1957. Since then, between 400 and 500 human cases are reported each year in South Asia, mainly India.
- The disease is caused by Kyasanur forest disease virus (KFDV), a member of the virus family Flaviviridae, which also cause yellow fever and dengue.
- Rodents, shrews, and monkeys are common hosts for KFDV after being bitten by an infected tick. KFDV kills most primates it infects.
- The symptoms in humans include fever for more than 12 days, accompanied by cough, headache, diarrhoea and vomiting. The fever is followed by mental disturbances, tremors and vision deficits.
- Vaccination against monkey fever is used in endemic areas of India.
- Additional preventative measures include using insect repellents and wearing protective clothes in areas where ticks are endemic.
Odisha: Second National Bird Festival at Chilika
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Environment and Ecology; Tourism
- Second National Bird Festival was held at Chilika
- Aims to promote ecotourism and preservation of birds in the state
- It also aims to promote and raise awareness about Chilika being the largest repository of migratory birds in Asia
Do you know?
- Mangalajodi, situated in the North Eastern Part of Chilika, the largest brackish water lake of Asia, is known as the “Birds Paradise of Asia”
- Over one million migratory birds belonging to 181 different species were spotted in the brackish water lake this year
- Nalabana Bird Sanctuary is in Odisha
- The National Chilika Bird Festival Award was awarded to Mangalajodi Ecotourism Group for their active involvement in bird protection
- Chilika, which lies in the Central Asian Flyway for birds, is a major stopover for migratory birds from the the Arctic and the Sub-Arctic regions in the course of their onward and return migration along the east coast
1. PM inaugurated Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.’s Integrated Refinery Expansion Complex in Kochi .
- The new refinery is expected to make great contribution towards Ujjwala scheme by doubling the LPG production.
- The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stones of the petrochemical complex in Kochi and the second campus of the Skill Development Institute at Ettumanoor.
- He also opened the LPG storage facility of the Indian Oil Corporation at its Kochi bottling plant.
- Kerala State to invest ₹1,427 crore for the petrochemical park project.
2. Satkosia Tiger Reserve is in Odisha
3. ‘RDP India 2019’
- Ministry of Defence had launched a mobile app ‘RDP India 2019’ on the Republic Day, with the intent of making available the highlights of the Republic Day event, not only to the spectators at Rajpath, but also to the general public all over the world.
- This app contains information about the Parade on Rajpath, New Delhi, including Order of the March, details of the tableaux presented by different States and Ministries, children cultural performances, fly past and names of recipients of Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019.
4. ASER Report: Poor condition of toilets for schoolgirls
According to ASER report –
- Seven northeastern States lag behind in toilets for schoolgirls.
- 96% schools in the eight northeastern States had usable toilets for girls in 2018 compared to 36.66% in 2016.
- Sikkim – best performing state with 75.7% schools having usable toilets for girls. (National average 66.4%)
Do you know?
- Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) is prepared by NGO Pratham
General studies 3
- Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices
- Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
General Studies 2
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections
Tackling Agrarian Distress
- Recently, there has been active discussion on the strategies addressing farm distress.
- ‘Interim Budget’ may also focus on the farm sector among other things.
- The below editorial highlights concerns and suggestions to Agrarian/Farmer Distress.
Why Agrarian distress?
- Low agricultural prices
- Poor farm incomes
- Low productivity and related supply side factors
- Declining average size of farm holdings
- Declining output prices
- Poor irrigation
- Private money lenders
- Crop failure
- Neglect by the government or policy makers
- Absence of an effective price support policy, farmers are faced with a loss in income
- Farm incomes have been squeezed by slower output growth, higher costs and increased vulnerability to a changing climate
- Slew of new problems resulting directly from government policies
Do you know?
- Prices play a key role in affecting the incomes of farmers.
- In the last two years, inflation in agriculture was much lower than overall inflation.
- The consumer price index (CPI) also shows that the rise in prices for agriculture was much lower than general inflation in recent years.
- Market prices for several agricultural commodities have been lower than those of minimum support prices (MSP).
All these trends show that the terms of trade to be moving against agriculture in the last two years.
The way ahead:
Schemes to address the problem of managing declining output prices when output increases significantly.
- ‘Price deficiency compensation’ – is one such mechanism which amounts to paying the difference between market price and the MSP.
- ‘Open procurement system’ – has been in vogue quite effectively in the case of rice and wheat, where procurement is open ended at the MSP.
A ‘price deficiency’ scheme may compensate farmers when prices decrease below a certain specified level. However, market prices may continue to fall as supply exceeds ‘normal demand’.
Therefore, alternative is the limited procurement scheme and income support schemes.
- ‘Limited procurement scheme’ – Under this scheme, the government will procure the ‘excess’, leaving the normal production level to clear the market at a remunerative price. Thus, procurement will continue until the market price rises to touch the MSP.
- ‘Income support schemes’ – Rythu Bandhu Scheme (Telangana) and the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme (Odisha)
Raising the MSP, price deficiency payments or income support schemes can only be a partial solution to the problem of providing remunerative returns to farmers
- A sustainable solution is market reforms to enable better price discovery combined with long-term trade policies favourable to exports.
- Creation of a competitive, stable and unified national market is needed for farmers to get better prices.
- Agricultural markets need to be reformed. They are characterised by inefficient physical operations, excessive crowding of intermediaries, and fragmented market chains.
- Investment in infrastructure and research and development are needed.
- Efficiency in water management in both canal and groundwater is important.
- Technology can help to reduce ‘yield gaps’ and thus improve productivity.
- Land consolidation policies along with land development activities – to tackle the challenge of the low average size of holdings.
- To conclude, farmers’ distress is mainly due to low prices and low productivity.
- Suggestions are limited procurement, measures to improve low productivity, and consolidation of land holdings to gain the benefits of size, can help in reducing agrarian distress. We need a long-term policy to tackle the situation.
Connecting the dots:
- Examine the factors behind the ongoing agrarian crisis in India. What can be its remedy? Discuss.
- Agrarian distress has become a serious challenge for the economy and has grave socio-political repercussions. Examine the factors that have led to this situation. Also discuss the measures taken by the government to address the same. Do loan waivers offer a sustainable solution to this problem? Critically analyse.
TOPIC: General studies 2
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions
DAMaN initiative: Model for malaria control
According to the World Health Organisation’s World Malaria Report of 2018 –
- India is the only country among the 11 highest-burden countries that saw substantial progress in reducing disease burden.
- India saw a 24% decrease in 2017 compared to 2016.
- India has assumed a leadership role in advancing global efforts to end malaria.
- The country’s success provides hope to the other highest-burden countries to tackle malaria head-on.
Reasons for India’s success
- Outcome of concerted efforts via country-owned and country-led malaria programme.
- Malaria programmes were aligned with globally accepted strategies
- During 2015 East Asia Summit, India pledged to eliminate the disease by 2030.
- Following this public declaration, India launched the five-year National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination. (Shift in focus from malaria “control” to “elimination”)
- Five-year National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22) provides for target of ending malaria in 571 districts out of India’s 678 districts by 2022.
- The current Government has pledged to eliminate malaria by 2027 and urged the states for active cooperation.
- Adequate investment combined with coordinated action between governments, civil society and philanthropic donors.
- Health is a State subject. State governments across the country shoulder a special responsibility in tackling the disease.
Odisha Model for malaria control
- Among the States, Odisha has emerged as an inspiration in the fight against malaria.
- It has dramatically scaled-up efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria through its Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (DAMaN) initiative
- It involved accredited social health activists (ASHAs), who helped distribute approximately 11 million bed nets in 2017, which was enough to protect all the residents in areas that were at highest risk.
- Odisha recorded a 80% decline in malaria cases and deaths in 2017.
- DAMaN aims to deliver services to the most inaccessible and hardest hit people of the State.
By prioritising malaria elimination, India, and especially Odisha, is showing the world the way.
Connecting the dots:
- While India has successfully eliminated small pox and polio over time. It is time coordinated efforts are put in to eliminate malaria. Discuss the challenges associated with the same. Also, suggest measures to address these challenges.
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
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Q.1) Recently Kyasanur Forest Disease was in the news. Consider the following statements w.r.t it
- It is a viral disease also known as rodent fever
- It is endemic to South Asia
- Kyasanur forests are located in Andhra Pradesh
Select the correct code
- Only 1
- Only 2
- 1 and 3
- 2 and 3
Q.2) Which among the following is/are genetic diseases?
- Down’s syndrome
- Sickle-cell anemia
- Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD)
Select the correct answer using the code given below
- 1 and 2 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 1, 2 and 3
- All the above
Q.3) Which among the following is known as “Birds Paradise of Asia”?
Q.4) Which of the following statements with reference to Lake Chilika is incorrect?
- It is a brackish water lagoon
- It is the largest coastal lagoon in the World
- It is the largest coastal lagoon in India
- It is the single largest habitat of Irrawaddy dolphins in the world
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