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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 24th July 2019

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  • July 24, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 24th July 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Measles-Rubella Vaccination

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Health issue

Key pointers:

  • Measles-Rubella vaccination drive started in Rajasthan to cover 2.26 crore children up to 15 years of age.
  • Measles and rubella are contagious viral infections preventable by vaccine and best known by its distinctive red rash.
  • The drive helps in achieving the UN SDG target of reducing Child (under 5 years) Mortality rate to 25 or less per 1000 live births by 2030.

Do you know?

  • India accounted for 36% of deaths of the world’s children by measles.
  • To achieve full immunization coverage for all children and pregnant women at a rapid pace, the Government of India launched “Mission Indradhanush” in December 2014.
  • Under Mission Indradhanush vaccination is being provided against eight vaccine-preventable diseases nationally, i.e. Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, meningitis & pneumonia caused by Haemophilus influenza type B; and against Rotavirus Diarrhea and Japanese Encephalitis in selected states and districts respectively

Opposition to privatization of Ordinance Factory

Part of: GS Mains II and III – Government schemes and policies; Defence

In News:

  • West Bengal CM has written to PM opposing government’s initiative to privatise Indian Ordnance Factory

Pros of Privatization

  • Privatisation will lead to increase in efficiency of the operations of factories
  • It will help modernise the domestic weapon and ammunition manufacturing process
  • This will encourage private sector participation in Defence industry (Make in India scheme) and helps spur jobs & investment
  • Disinvestment in these firms will lead to revenue earnings for government

Issues with Privatization

  • Strategic sector such as defence equipment manufacturing should remain under the control of government in the interest of National Security and defence of country
  • Ordnance Factory Board, with its 41 factories across India employs around 1.6 lakh officers. Their employment and pension aspects needs to be taken care of

Do you know?

  • Ordnance Factory board was founded in 1775 with its HQ in Kolkatta to make military weapons and ammunition
  • It is under Ministry of Defence
  • It is considered to be the world’s largest government set-up for manufacturing arms and ammunition.

Water-grid project in Maratwada

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains I and III – Geography; Water conservation

In news:

  • Maratwada region of Maharasthra

Pic: https://skymetweather.com/content/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Maharashtra.jpg

Context:

  • Maratwada, has traditionally been a low-rainfall area primarily due because of its geography – lies in rain shadow region of western ghats
  • The grid project aims to create an integrated piped network to supply water for drinking, industrial and agricultural purposes all through the year.
  • The work would be taken up on hybrid annuity model, which involves an investment by private players also.

Do you know ?

  • During 2016 drought, a train named Jaldhoot supplied more than 70 lakh litres of water to Latur in Maratwada region
  • Hybrid annuity means that the government makes an upfront of 40% of the project cost and pays a fixed annual installment(annuity) for certain years for operation and maintenance (reduces traffic risk), while 60% of project cost is borne private player.

Government in process of finalising OTC drug policy

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Health issue; Government schemes and policies

In news:

  • The practice of self-medication is rampant in India
  • Over-the-counter (OTCdrugs are medicines sold directly to a consumer without a need of prescription from a healthcare professional
  • In the absence of a legal framework, chemists are selling some commonly used ‘prescription only’ drugs like paracetamol as well as other drugs over the counter
  • Thus, lack of well-defined regulation for OTC medicines is impacting patient safety
  • Drugs that are known to have negligible side effects can be classified as OTC so that access to them becomes easy and wide.
  • When drugs for common viral infections, sore throat, acidity, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, injury, cuts, wounds, burns, acne etc are made available under OTC, people will get access to the right medication

Concerns

  • Rise of antibiotic resistance due to use of over-the-counter drugs
  • An antibiotic is a drug meant to treat a bacterial infection.
  • This will further strengthen the practice of self-medication

Do you know?

  • The Union health ministry’s Anti-Microbial Resistance awareness campaign urges people not to use medicines marked with a red vertical line, including antibiotics, without a doctor’s prescription – Red Line Campaign


Miscellaneous:

Growth Forecast reduced

  • IMF cuts India’s growth forecast for 2019-20 from 7.3% to 7%
  • The reduction is primarily due to weaker-than-expected outlook for domestic demand
  • The growth engine of an economy is said to run on four wheels – Private consumption expenditure (domestic demand), private investment, government expenditure and exports
  • World Economic Outlook report is released by IMF

(MAINS FOCUS)


NATIONAL/HEALTH ISSUE

TOPIC: General studies 2 

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
  • Issues and policies related to health
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate

Loosening strength in anti-AIDS march

Context

  • The commitment to end the AIDS pandemic by 2030 needs strong and fearless leadership

Concerns

  • The Joint UN programme on AIDS, commonly known as UNAIDS, is facing one of the worst challenges afflicting the global AIDS response
  • Appointment a new executive director after the departure of Michel Sidibé in May 2019 on the recommendation of the programme.
  • The commitment to end AIDS by 2030 is ambitious but not impossible to achieve because every year there are about 1.7 million new infections.

About UNAIDS:

  • UNAIDS is leading the global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • It started operations in 1996
  • UNAIDS provides the strategic direction, advocacy, coordination and technical support needed to catalyse and connect leadership from governments, the private sector and communities to deliver life-saving HIV services.

Achievements of UNAIDS:

  • It has successfully mobilised world opinion to mount an exceptional response to an epidemic.
  • The slashing of prices of AIDS drugs by Indian generics have brought treatment within the reach of many countries by the Creation of GFATM.
  • Preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV has become an achievable goal by 2020.

Challenges to reach the goal to end AIDS pandemic by 2030:

  • The organisation has started to falter in its strategy.
  • Regions such as Eastern Europe and Central Asia and West Asia are nowhere near reaching the goal of ending AIDS.
  • It is forgotten that AIDS affects the poor, the marginalised and criminalised communities in accessing the ‘test and treat’ programmes.
  • Funding for non-governmental organisations and community-based organisations working on prevention has been gradually decreased.
  • The weakening of country leadership of UNAIDS in many high-prevalence countries.

Suggestions

  • The strategy to end AIDS should go back to the World Health Organisation (WHO) where it originally belonged to some 25 years ago.
  • And that the new executive director should be equipped with an exit strategy to wind up the organisation.
  • The new executive director has to work relentlessly to place prevention of the epidemic and empowering communities at the centre of global response.
  • The new executive director should strive for the strengthening of organisation presence at country level.

Conclusion:

  • The commitment to end AIDS by 2030 is ambitious but not impossible to achieve.
  • We need to re-energise UNAIDS with a strong and fearless leadership from a person of high integrity and commitment along with a sincere effort to remove the deadwood from the organisation.

 Connecting the dots:

  • What is HIV and how is it a life threatening disease? How has India battled against HIV? Critically examine.
  • Elaborate on the Policy actions initiated by the government w.r.t. HIV AIDS and the necessary concerns associated. Highlight the provisions of the recent legislation
  • ‘AIDS affects the poor, the marginalised and criminalised communities’. Discuss the challenges and solutions with respect to the statement.

EDUCATION

TOPIC: General studies 2 

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education

How not to educate India?

Context

  • Draft National Education Policy ignores key issues of learning

Draft National Education Policy:

  • The draft of New National Education Policy has been recently submitted by the Committee led by the Chairman Dr. Kasturirangan on education policy.

Need for DNEP

  • The extant National Policy on Education, 1986 modified in 1992 required changes to meet the contemporary and futuristic needs of India’s large youth population.
  • A New Education Policy is designed to meet the changing dynamics of the requirements in terms of quality education, innovation and research.
  • The policy aims at making India a knowledge superpower by equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge.
  • It also focuses on eliminating the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry.
  • The Draft Policy is built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability.

Why we should know about DNEP?

  • It has implications for India’s ability to reap its “demographic dividend”.
  • Accelerated economic development is dependent upon youthful labour force, this can be achieved only by investments in human development, including education.

Key changes proposed in DNEP

  • The committee has proposed to rename the Ministry of Human Resource Development as Ministry of Education (MoE).
  • Curriculum – In school education, a major reconfiguration of curricular and pedagogical structure was proposed.
  • The policy calls for an Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) as an integral part of school education.
  • A 5+3+3+4 curricular and pedagogical structure based on cognitive and socio-emotional developmental stages of children was proposed.
  • RTE Act – The committee recommends Extension of Right to Education Act 2009 to cover children of ages 3 to 18 (currently, 6-14).
  • The committee proposes for massive transformation in teacher education.
  • Institution – A new apex body Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog is proposed.
  • The National Research Foundation, an apex body, is proposed for creating a strong research culture
  • National Higher Education Regulatory Authority will be the only regulator for all higher education including professional education
  • UGC is to be transformed to Higher Education Grants Commission (HEGC).
  • The policy proposes to create an accreditation eco-system led by a revamped NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council).
  • Language – Promotion of Indian and classical languages and setting up three new National Institutes for Pali, Persian and Prakrit were proposed.
  • Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI) has been recommended.
  • The policy called for the proper implementation of the three-language formula (dating back to 1968) in schools across the country.
  • Accordingly, students in Hindi-speaking states should learn a modern Indian language, apart from Hindi and English.

Issues not addressed in DNEP

Five issues that the draft must consider incorporating:

1. Financing of education

  • This report lost an opportunity to discuss the advantages of public investments in elementary and high school education that generate “public good”, as against the university-level policy focus on promoting “private good

2. Privatisation-

  • Reckless and unregulated private schools and colleges, besides compromising on quality, will only increase (not reduce) social inequalities in India..

3. Technology (ICT) as a leveler and equity enhancer

4. English as a medium of instruction

  • This issue was discussed that too mostly by undermining the role and importance of the English language.

5. The state’s responsibility in educating the masses.

What can be done?

  • Education reform must focus on certain fundamental principles like personalised learning, literacy and numeracy, scientific temper that promotes competition and collaboration
  • Technological platforms must be immediately harnessed to impart equitable access at primary, elementary and high school levels and to increase the quality of education
  • Regular assessment of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
  • A new “public-private-partnership” model will succeed in achieving the objectives of quality, affordability and equality of access.
  • It should emphasise enough the role and importance of state governments in imparting education to the masses.

Conclusion:

  • Education is a powerful instrument for reducing poverty and inequality; and it enhances competitiveness in the global economy.
  • Ensuring access to quality education for all is central to the economic and social development of India, according to the World Bank.

Connecting the dots:

  • Discuss unique features of the draft National Education Policy, 2019. Also comment on the challenges in implementation of suggested recommendations?
  • Education is a powerful instrument for reducing poverty and inequality- Analyse.

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note: 

  • Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”.
  • IASbaba App users – Team IASbaba will provide correct answers in comment section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.

Q.1) Measles and Rubella diseases are caused due to

  1. Bacteria
  2. Virus
  3. Fungus
  4. Protozoan parasite Plasmodium.

Q.2) Ordnance Factory board comes under which ministry

  1. Ministry of Heavy industries
  2. Department of Border Management, Ministry of Home Affairs
  3. Ministry of Defence
  4. Prime Minister’s Office

Q.3) Redline campaign is associated with

  1. Following of Traffic signals
  2. Railway crossing and signal
  3. Anti-microbial resistance
  4. HIV/Aids prevention and awareness

Q.4) World Economic Outlook report is released by

  1. IMF
  2. World Bank
  3. Federal Bank of USA
  4. World Economic Forum

Q.5) Hybrid Annuity Model is a mix of which of the PPP models

  1. EPC – Engineering Procurement and Construction
  2. BOT – Build Operate Transfer
  3. DBFO – Design Build Finance Operate
  4. BOO – Build Own Operate

Select the correct answer from codes given below

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1,2 and 3 Only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1 and 4 only

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