Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 17th August 2019

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  • August 17, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 17th August 2019



Reservations in Chhattisgarh

Part of: GS Mains II – Social issues

  • Chhattisgarh government announced an increase in reservations for OBCs and Scheduled Castes in state government jobs and education
  • It will increase the quota for SCs by 1 % while nearly doubling reservation for OBCs from 14 % to 27 %. The quota for STs remains at 32 %.
  • Once in effect, Chhattisgarh will have a total of 72 % reservation (32 % for STs, 13 % for SCs and 27 % to OBCs), the highest in the country and far above the 50 % cap on quotas mandated by the Supreme Court
  • The state government is still considering the 10 % centre mandated EWS quota for the general category. if implemented, it would take the reservation to 82 %.
  • According to government, this has been done to keep it in line with the population demographic in the state. The percentage of OBCs is close to 47 %, who along with STs form the major chunk of the population.

Space Commerce

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS III – Science and Technology

In News

  • NewSpace India Ltd launched a formal search for industry consortia which can regularly manufacture and deliver entire PSLV satellite launch vehicles for its parent organisation, ISRO
  • NSIL is looking for experienced companies or consortia to produce the launchers end to end: their job starts from component procuring, electronics, to large stages and finally the assembly, integration and testing (AIT) of the vehicles
  • NSIL is a public sector space business company formed in March 2019 to promote Indian space commerce. 
  • NSIL will initially outsource five PSLVs — Indian rockets that can lift light payloads to ‘low earth orbits’ some 600 km in space. 
  • The four-stage PSLV is needed to place both Indian remote sensing satellites and small satellites of foreign customers to space.
  • ISRO currently sources separate rocket parts from around 500 big and small vendors and does the AIT itself at its facilities in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
  • For almost a decade, ISRO has been planning to hand the production over to public and private industries and itself focus on its core job of space R&D.

National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL) 

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS II – Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

In News

  • India has got its first NEDL finalised by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
  • It aims to bridge the regulatory system’s gap that do not cover all the medical devices and in-vitro diagnostic device (IVD) as the current system is equipped to manage only few notified devices.
  • India has become the first country to compile such a list that would provide guidance to the government for deciding the kind of diagnostic tests that different healthcare facilities in villages and remote areas require.
  • NEDL would enable improved health care services delivery through evidence-based care, improved patient outcomes and reduction in out-of-pocket expenditure
  • NEDL would also lead to effective utilisation of public health facilities; effective assessment of disease burden, disease trends, surveillance, and outbreak identification; and address antimicrobial resistance crisis too.
  • NEDL builds upon the Free Diagnostics Service Initiative and other diagnostics initiatives of the Health Ministry to provide an expanded basket of tests at Public health system
  • Key challenges anticipated during implementation of the National EDL include — Adoption by States and harmonisation with local standard diagnostic protocols and treatment guidelines, provision of requisite infrastructure, processes and human resources.

Do You know?

  • WHO released first edition of essential diagnostics list (EDL) in May 2018 which acts a reference point for development of national EDL
  • To improve the availability of accessible and quality diagnostics in public health facilities, Union Health Ministry under the aegis of National Health Mission (NHM) launched the Free Diagnostics Service Initiative (FDI) in July 2015
  • Under this initiative, the NHM is supporting all states to provide essential diagnostics – laboratory and radiology at their public health facilities, free of cost

Fertility rate

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS I – Social Issues

In News

  • During his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined challenges posed by population growth in the country
  • Total Fertility Rate (TFR), defined as the number of children born to a woman until the end of her child-bearing age
  • For four successive years (2013-2016) the TFR had stagnated at 2.3.
  • The latest data estimates (2017) show the TFR dropping to 2.2. This figure is only marginally higher than the fertility rate (2.1) required for replacement of the existing population.
  • TFR is calculated from data of the Sample Registration System (SRS) undertaken by the Office of the Registrar General of India.
  • Even the states that have a higher TFR — Uttar Pradesh (3.0), Bihar (3.2), MP (2.7), Rajasthan (2.6), Assam (2.3), Chhattisgarh (2.4) and Jharkhand (2.5) — have been witnessing a declining trend in fertility rates.
  • Two more states, Gujarat and Haryana, recorded a TFR of 2.2, which is above the replacement rate but is equal to the national average. Taken together, these nine major states account for 52 per cent of the 2011 population.
  • This means that in the states barring these nine, and accounting for almost half the population, the replacement level is either 2.1 or has gone below it. 
  • States with a lower TFR include Kerala (1.7), Tamil Nadu (1.6), Karnataka (1.7), Maharashtra (1.7), Andhra Pradesh (1.6), Telangana (1.7), West Bengal (1.6), Jammu and Kashmir (1.6) and Odisha (1.9).

Do You Know?

  • The SRS also looks at other indicators such as crude birth rate, general fertility rate, age specific/marital fertility rate, gross reproduction rate along with sex ratio at birth. 
  • While Census figures provide the total population every decade, the regular SRS estimates provide dynamic trends underlying the population growth.




General Studies 2:

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

General Studies 3:

  • Conservation, Environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

A jan andolan for water


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Jal Jeevan Mission, which plans to supply water to all households by 2024. 


  • For many years, the central and state governments have been making efforts to increase access to safe and adequate drinking water.
  • While states like Sikkim and Gujarat have managed to achieve high levels of HWS, a relatively low percentage of rural Indian households have access to this service
  • The strategy so far to increase access to HWS faced obstacles, including not paying enough attention to sustaining or recharging groundwater, the primary source, and treating service delivery primarily as an engineering solution, without adequate involvement of the users.

Challenges and solutions:

  • At policy level:
  • The institutional landscape for water at both the Centre and state government has been somewhat fragmented, with several ministries in Delhi and departments in states dealing with different aspects of water management, with overlapping roles and responsibilities.


  • The creation of the Jal Shakti Mantralaya in the Government of India to integrate the management of India’s water resources and supply of drinking water is a landmark step in diagnosing and addressing the problem.
  • At implementation level:
  • The inadequate attention to taking concrete measures to sustain the source of the water, in most cases groundwater. 
  • Instead of taking simple and local measures, like creating rainwater harvesting structures and point recharge structures in the vicinity of borewells, the emphasis has been more on maximising the pumping of water and distributing it through pipes. 
  • This led to many of the systems either shutting down or functioning sub optimally due to the groundwater source having dried up. 


  • The proposed Jal Jeevan Mission will make source sustainability measures mandatory prior to pumping and distributing water to households.
  • Traditional approach to service delivery:
  • The provision of drinking water was viewed primarily as an engineering solution, with schemes being planned and executed by the public health and engineering departments.
  • water is an ideal sector for the applicability of the principle of subsidiarity — the idea that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level.


  • The Jal Jeevan Mission’s first preference will be to have single village ground water-based schemes, wherever sufficient quantity and good quality of groundwater exists. 
  • These schemes would be managed by the community itself through the setting up of a village water and sanitation committee, a sub-committee of the gram panchayat.
  • It is, therefore, planned to include a mandatory provision under the Jal Jeevan Mission for the effective channeling and treatment of household waste water (known as grey water), through appropriate and low cost drainage and treatment systems. 
  • On the lines of the Swachh Bharat Mission, extensive information, education and communication will be needed to create a jan andolan for water management. 
  • The ongoing Jal Shakti Abhiyan will help in creating awareness about the importance of integrating source sustainability and water reuse with the provision of household water supply

Key notes:

Jal Shakti Ministry

  • The new ministry has been formed by merging the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
  • All water related works will be merged under one ministry.
  • The new ministry will encompass issues ranging from providing clean drinking water, international and inter-states water disputes, to the Namami Gange project aimed at cleaning Gang and its tributaries, and sub tributaries.


  • This integrated approach to decentralised, community managed, and sustainable water management is the backbone of the government’s plan to ensure that every household gets the benefits of water supply. The Jal Jeevan Mission will be a major step towards improving our people’s ease of living and meeting their aspirations of a New India.

Connecting the dots:

  • India’s traditional water harvesting techniques provide a sustainable water management alternative. Do you agree? Critically examine
  • Why has water become a stressed resource in many parts of the world? Analyse.
  • Many parts of the country are facing severe water crisis and drought conditions. There are many traditional water harvesting and conservation practices in various parts of India which can be employed locally to fight the ongoing crisis. Can you identify few such practices? Also mention the states where they are more prevalant.


TOPIC: General Studies 2:

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

How yoga can boost exports


  • Linking to the wellness carnival of the International Yoga Day (IDY) on June 21, many yoga studios are opening up both in India and globally.


  • As estimated by the ‘2016 Yoga in America Study’, the US continues to lead with the rise in number of yoga practitioners from 20.4 million in 2012 to 36.7 million in 2016. 
  • Over the same period, the spending by such professionals on yoga classes, clothing, equipment and accessories has increased by $6.1 billion ($16.8 billion during 2016). 
  • Conversely, Asia is leading in wellness trips, where China and India are the top countries, adding over 12 million and 17 million trips, respectively, during 2015-17, as per the Global Wellness Economy Monitor 2018. 
  • Till December 2016, India had trained and certified 799 yoga professionals as reported by the ministry of AYUSH.
  • India is the second-largest exporter of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) products with permission of 100% FDI therein. 
  • But the government is yet to fully utilise the trade potential in yoga industry, which exists in both services and manufacturing.

Growing trends in Yoga

  • Trends suggest a growth in cross-border movement of yoga professionals (teachers, practitioners, trainers, instructors), which can be referred to as the ‘software’ part of yoga.
  • Another growing segment is trade in yoga accessories, dealing with the ‘hardware’ part of yoga (technically considered to be part of sports goods sector).
  • With growing need for yoga services mainly post-IDY, the demand of and spending on accessories has risen. Broadly, yoga accessories are the tools that support yoga, such as mats, bricks, blocks, clothes and other equipment. 
  • Several foreign brands, too, have introduced special yoga mats, and various manufactures are shifting to recyclable, renewable or eco-friendly sources for making such equipment.

Where India is placed in terms of trade of yoga services and equipment, as compared to the US, Europe and East Asia?

  • The government has been opening centres in such regions to promote cultural exchange on yoga, music, dance, etc.
  • For example,

 India and Japan committed to liberalisation, under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2011, across all services modes to cover provisions relating to movements of teachers and contractual service providers in the field of yoga, among others.

 In July 2018, under India-Korea CEPA, both the countries agreed on certain terms related to export of yoga from India—Indian trainers/teachers/instructors to be sent to Korea for imparting lessons or providing guidance to Korean hospitals, etc, and instructors as well as Indian yoga institutes allowed to set up centres in South Korea .

In its foreign trade policy Statement 2017 Mid-Term Review, the government emphasised on using branding/marketing campaign to facilitate exports “of commodities and services in which India has traditional strengths, such as handicrafts and yoga.”


  • The challenge, though, remains for researchers and policymakers to verify the accuracy of data and information available on private websites with official government sources. Nevertheless, investment in promoting yoga exports and value addition under Make in India can support growth of concerned manufacturers and give the country a required export boost.

Connecting the dots:

  • In the Indian medicinal system, Yoga is the most popular and widely accepted form. Can you describe the benefits of Yoga? Also discuss it’s branding potential for India.


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


  • 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) Consider the following statements about New Space India Ltd (NSIL)

  1. NSIL is a public sector space business company formed in 1992 to promote Indian space commerce. 
  2. Its parent organisation is ISRO
  3. NSIL is planning to outsource production of PSLVs to private players

Which of the statement(s) given above is / are correct?

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

Q.2) Consider the following statements about National Essential Diagnostic List (NEDL)

  1. India has become the first country to compile such a list 
  2. NEDL will lead to effective assessment of disease burden, disease trend and helps address antimicrobial resistance crisis too.

Which of the statement(s) given above is / are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.3) Consider the following statements

  1. Total Fertility Rate (TFR), defined as the number of children born to a woman until the end of her child-bearing age
  2. The latest data show that TFR in India has dropped from 2.3 to 2.2.
  3. The replacement fertility rate for India is 1.9.

Which of the statement(s) given above is / are correct?

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

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