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

  • IASbaba
  • October 24, 2019
  • 0
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 24th October 2019



Rabi crop MSP to be hiked

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – Government policies; Economy; Farmer’s welfare; Agriculture

In news:

  • Union Cabinet decides to hike the minimum support price (MSP) for rabi crops (for 2020-21 marketing season)
  • Considered to be one of the important and progressive steps towards doubling farmers’ income by 2022 and improving farmers’ welfare.

What aspirants need to know for exam?

  • What is MSP?
  • Who announces MSPs?
  • MSP List (i.e. crops covered under MSP)


Basics: Minimum Support Price (MSP)

  • It is a market intervention by the Government to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices.
  • MSPs are announced by the Government of India on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).

Major objective

  • Support the farmers from distress sales
  • To procure food grains for public distribution

Crops covered

  • Government announces MSPs for 22 mandated crops and fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane.
  • The mandated crops are 14 crops of the kharif season, 6 rabi crops and two other commercial crops.
14 kharif crops 6 rabi crops 2 commercial crops
1.      paddy 1. wheat 1. jute
2.      jowar 2. barley 2. copra
3.      bajra 3. gram
4.      maize 4. masur(lentil)
5.      ragi 5. rapeseed/mustard
6.      arhar 6. safflower
7.      moong
8.      urad
9.      groundnut-in-shell
10.  soyabean
11.  sunflower
12.  sesamum
13.  nigerseed
14.  cotton

Air Quality Index (AQI), Ambient Air Quality Standards and SAFAR

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – Government schemes and policies; Environment and Biodiversity; Pollution


National Air Quality Index’ (AQI)

  • Was launched in 2014 to disseminate information on air quality
  • Initiative under Swachh Bharat Mission
  • The measurement of air quality is based on eight pollutants
  • AQI has six categories of air quality. These are: Good, Satisfactory, Moderately Polluted, Poor, Very Poor and Severe.
  • AQI is considered as ‘One Number- One Colour-One Description’ for the common man to judge the air quality within his vicinity.

8 pollutants measured by AQI

  1. Particulate Matter (size less than 10 µm) or (PM10),
  2. Particulate Matter (size less than 2.5 µm) or (PM2.5),
  3. Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2),
  4. Sulphur Dioxide (SO2),
  5. Carbon Monoxide (CO),
  6. Ozone (O3),
  7. Ammonia (NH3), and
  8. Lead (Pb)

6 categories of air quality

Pic: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-09/aqiguidepm.png


National Ambient Air Quality Standards

  • National Ambient Air Quality Standards are the standards for ambient air quality set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
  • The CPCB has been conferred this power by the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Ambient Air Quality Standards contains 12 pollutants (8 pollutants contained in AQI and 4 others given below)

  1. Benzene
  2. Benzo(a)Pyrene (BaP)
  3. Arsenic
  4. Nickel


System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)

  • Initiative introduced by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) to measure the air quality of a metropolitan city
  • Indigenously developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and is operationalized by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
  • It gives out real-time air quality index on a 24×7 basis with color-coding (along with 72 hours advance forecast).
  • SAFAR is an integral part of India’s first Air Quality Early Warning System operational in Delhi.


  • increase awareness among the general public regarding the air quality in their city
  • helps the policy-makers to develop appropriate mitigation measures and systematic actions

Pollutants monitored by SAFAR

  1. 5
  2. PM10
  3. Ozone
  4. Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  5. Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
  6. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
  7. Benzene
  8. Toluene
  9. Xylene
  10. Mercury

ISRO’s PSLV missions

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Economy; Science and Technology; Space; India’s achievement in Science and Technology

In news:

  • ISRO bags orders from four international customers
  • 3 PSLV missions – C47, C48 and C49 – scheduled to launch in November and December 2019 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre

Pic: https://d39gegkjaqduz9.cloudfront.net/TH/2019/10/24/DEL/Delhi/TH/5_09/1fede5a5_3279878_101_mr.jpg

Benefits from Launching of Foreign Satellites

  • Reduces the cost of launching Indian satellites along with other foreign satellites.
  • Helps in growth of space sector.
  • Employment generation.
  • Has led to New Space start-ups.

Do you know?

  • India took a step into space business with National Space India Limited, which will be the new commercial arm of the department of space.
  • The NSIL will help boost commercialization of India’s space research.

Value Additions

Differences between GSLV and PSLV

  • Both PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) are the satellite-launch vehicles (rockets) developed by ISRO.
  • PSLV is designed mainly to deliver the “earth-observation” or “remote-sensing” satellites with lift-off mass of up to about 1750 Kg to Sun-Synchronous circular polar orbits of 600-900 Km altitude.
  • The GSLV is designed mainly to deliver the communication-satellites to the highly elliptical (typically 250 x 36000 Km) Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
  • The satellite in GTO is further raised to its final destination, viz., Geo-synchronous Earth orbit (GEO) of about 36000 Km altitude (and zero deg inclination on equatorial plane) by firing its in-built on-board engines.

Peritoneal dialysis under Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Program (PMNDP)

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Government schemes and programmes; Health issue; Social/Welfare issue

In news:

  • Government to provide kidney dialysis at home under PMNDP.
  • In other words, the Centre plans to establish peritoneal dialysis services across states to provide door-step dialysis services for kidney patients.


With home-based peritoneal dialysis service, the Centre seeks to –

  • bring down the overall cost of treatment
  • achieve equity in patient access
  • bring in consistency of practice
  • develop a clinically-safe and effective programme

Do you know?

  • Every year about 2.2 Lakh new patients of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) get added in India resulting in additional demand for 3.4 Crore dialysis every year.
  • ESRD continues to be a result of existing and emerging burden of non-communicable disease.
  • The burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) has been alarmingly increasing and was flagged in the special UN convention for Health.

What aspirants need to know for exam?

  • What is Peritoneal dialysis?
  • About PMNDP scheme


Peritoneal dialysis

  • Peritoneal dialysis is a process to remove excess fluid, correct electrolyte problems and remove toxins using the lining of the abdomen, or peritoneum, in patients suffering from renal failure.

About Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Program

  • It was rolled out in 2016 as part of the National Health Mission(NHM) for provision of free dialysis services to the poor.

19th Non Aligned Movement (NAM) summit

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – India and the World; International Relations

In news:

  • 19th Non Aligned Movement (NAM) summit to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan.
  • PM Modi skips NAM summit again (for 2nd time)
  • PM’s absence indicates a decisive move away from past practice at the 60-year-old organisation that India was a founding member of.

Do you know?

  • Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu will represent India at the 19th NAM summit.
  • 18th NAM Summit (which was held in Venezuela) was represented by then Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
  • Since NAM was inaugurated in 1961, the Indian Prime Minister has always attended the NAM summit, except in 1979, when Chaudhury Charan Singh was the caretaker PM and hence missed it, and in 2016.

What aspirants need to know for exam?

  • NAM- past and present
  • Five principles of NAM
  • NAM: Policies and ideology


NAM: Background

  • The Non-Aligned Movement is a Movement of 115 members representing the interests and priorities of developing countries and against blindly following any power block during the cold war era.
  • NAM was a result of the war between the two blocks during the cold war.
  • The movement began with the “Bandung Process” in 1956 by India, Indonesia, former Yugoslavia, Egypt and other countries.
  • First meeting of the NAM was held in Belgrade in 1961 by Yugoslavia.

Five principles of NAM

  1. Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
  2. Mutual non-aggression.
  3. Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs.
  4. Equality and mutual benefit.
  5. Peaceful co-existence.

Policies and ideology:

  • The Non-Aligned Movement is unified by its declared commitment to world peace and security.
  • The Non-Aligned Movement espouses policies and practices of cooperation, especially those that are multilateral and provide mutual benefit to all those involved.
  • The Non-Aligned Movement has played a major role in various ideological conflicts throughout its existence, including extreme opposition to apartheid governments and support of guerrilla movements in various locations, including Rhodesia and South Africa.
  • The Non-Aligned Movement has become a voice of support for issues facing developing nations and it still contains ideals that are legitimate within this context.

 NAM: Present scenario

  • India, which clung to non-alignment as its international identity sinceimage Independence, slowly deviated from it after the big LPG reforms, 1991.
  • Since the end of the Cold War and the formal end of colonialism, the Non-Aligned Movement has been forced to redefine itself and reinvent its purpose in the current world system.
  • India no longer wants to be isolated from the western power blocs.
  • India wants its voice to be heard at the global level.
  • However, India still maintains that “It remains committed to the principles and objectives of the Non Aligned Movement”.


‘Sycamore,’ Google’s Quantum Computer

Part of: GS Prelims – Science and Technology

In news:

  • Scientists have finally claimed to reach quantum supremacy, a landmark in an industry that could change the world.
  • A team of experts working on Google’s Sycamore machine said their quantum system had executed a calculation in 200 seconds that would have taken a classic computer 10,000 years to complete.

India plans first-ever snow leopard survey

Part of: GS Prelims – Animal Conservation; Environment and Biodiversity

In news:

  • India to commission it’s first-ever survey to estimate the population and geographical range of the snow leopard.

About Snow Leopard:

  • The snow leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia.
  • Snow leopards inhabit alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft).
  • The snow leopard is found along the upper reaches of the Himalayan range and, in India, it is reported to have a presence in Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

Do you know?

  • The snow leopard is found in 12 countries — India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
  • IUCN Status: Vulnerable
  • Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection (GSLEP) programme is being organised by Union Environment Ministry.



TOPIC: General Studies 3:

  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

A ray of hope for the ozone layer


  • During September and October, the ozone hole over the Antarctic has been the smallest observed since 1982, NASA and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists have reported.
  • The annual ozone hole reached its peak extent of 16. 4 million sq km on September 8, then shrank to less than 10 million sq km for the remainder of September and October, satellite measurements show.
  • NASA has described it as great news for the Southern Hemisphere.

Pic: https://media.nature.com/w800/magazine-assets/d41586-019-02837-5/d41586-019-02837-5_17295302.png


  • In 1985, Joe Farman, Brian Gardiner and Jonathan Shanklin reported unanticipated and large decreases in stratospheric ozone levels over the Antarctic.
  • ozone levels began dropping in the austral spring months around the late 1970s .
  • By 1984, the stratospheric ozone layer over Halley in October was only about two-thirds as thick as that seen in earlier decades — a phenomenon that became known as the Antarctic ozone hole.
  • Farman suggested a link to human use of compounds called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), often used in aerosol cans and cooling devices such as fridges.
  • Their findings transformed the fields of atmospheric science and chemical kinetics, and led to global changes in environmental policy.


  • Ozone depletion has generated worldwide concern over increased cancer risks and other negative effects.
  • The ozone layer prevents most harmful UV wavelengths of ultraviolet light (UV light) from passing through the Earth’s atmosphere. These wavelengths cause skin cancer, sunburn and cataracts, which were projected to increase dramatically as a result of thinning ozone, as well as harming plants and animals.
  • These concerns led to the adoption of the Montreal Protocol in 1987, which bans the production of CFCs, halons and other ozone-depleting chemicals.(amend Kaigili 2016 added HFC)

Effect of Policy:

  • The ban came into effect in 1989.
  • Ozone levels stabilized by the mid-1990s and began to recover in the 2000s.
  • The ozone hole is expected to reach pre-1980 levels by around 2075.
  • The Montreal Protocol is considered the most successful international environmental agreement to date

Science behind ozone formation:

  • Three forms (or allotropes) of oxygen are involved in the ozone-oxygen cycle: oxygen atoms (O or atomic oxygen), oxygen gas (O2 or diatomic oxygen), and ozone gas (O3 or triatomic oxygen).
  • Ozone is formed in the stratosphere when oxygen molecules photo dissociate after absorbing ultraviolet photons. This converts a single O2 into two atomic oxygen radicals.
  • The atomic oxygen radicals then combine with separate O2 molecules to create two O3
  • These ozone molecules absorb ultraviolet (UV) light, following which ozone splits into a molecule of O2 and an oxygen atom.
  • The oxygen atom then joins up with an oxygen molecule to regenerate ozone.
  • This is a continuing process that terminates when an oxygen atom recombines with an ozone molecule to make two O2
  • The total amount of ozone in the stratosphere is determined by a balance between photochemical production and recombination.

OZONE depletion:

  • Ozone can be destroyed by a number of free radical catalysts; the most important are the hydroxyl radical (OH·), nitric oxide radical (NO·), chlorine radical (Cl·) and bromine radical (Br·).
  • especially chlorofluorocarbons, which can travel to the stratosphere without being destroyed in the troposphere due to their low reactivity.
  • Once in the stratosphere, the Cl and Br atoms are released from the parent compounds by the action of ultraviolet light.
  • Ozone is a highly reactive molecule that easily reduces to the more stable oxygen form with the assistance of a catalyst. Cl and Br atoms destroy ozone molecules through a variety of catalytic cycles. In the simplest example of such a cycle, a chlorine atom reacts with an ozone molecule (O3), taking an oxygen atom to form chlorine monoxide (ClO) and leaving an oxygen molecule (O2).
  • The ClO can react with a second molecule of ozone, releasing the chlorine atom and yielding two molecules of oxygen.
  • A single chlorine atom would continuously destroy ozone (thus a catalyst) for up to two years (the time scale for transport back down to the troposphere) were it not for reactions that remove them from this cycle by forming reservoir species such as hydrogen chloride (HCl) and chlorine nitrate

Pic: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/28/Ozone_cycle.svg/800px-Ozone_cycle.svg.png

Why it’s small this year?

  • There have been abnormal weather patterns in the atmosphere over Antarctica.
  • In warmer temperatures like this year, fewer polar stratospheric clouds form and they don’t persist as long, limiting the ozone-depletion process.
  • While it is good news, NASA has cautioned it is important to recognise that what we are seeing this year is not a sign that atmospheric ozone is suddenly on a fast track to recovery.


  • We must ensure that our development goals are sustainable and do not hinder this movement. Our future depends on it.

Connecting the dots:

  • The beauty of treaties such as Montreal is that the onus of compliance remains on the country while the environmental effects remain global, pushing countries to do their best .Justify.
  • Efforts to replace chemicals with less harmful ones like hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have begun to pay off. Substantiate.


TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • 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.

25 years of National Family Health Survey (NFHS)


  • The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India.
  • International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) is nodal agency.
  • Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) {United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) support}

First  National Family Health Survey (NFHS-1):

  • Conducted in 1992-93.
  • Survey collected extensive information on population, health, and nutrition, with an emphasis on women and young children.

The Second National Family Health Survey (NFHS-2)

  • Conducted in 1998-99
  • added features on the quality of health and family planning services, domestic violence, reproductive health, anemia, the nutrition of women, and the status of women.

The Third National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3)

  • carried out in 2005-2006.
  • The National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and the National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) are providing technical assistance for the HIV component.

The Fourth National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4)

  • was carried out in 2014-2015.
  • The first of the NFHS series that collects data in each of India’s 29 States and all 7 Union Territories.
  • Also, NFHS-4, for the first time, will provide estimates of most indicators at the district level

Salient findings of NFHS-4:

  • Fewer children are dying in infancy and early childhood – (51 deaths per 1,000 live births)
  • Infant mortality rates range from a low of 10 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands to a high of 51 deaths per 1000 live births in Madhya Pradesh. (variability)
  • Better care for women during pregnancy and childbirth contributes to reduction of maternal deaths and improved child survival
  • Almost all mothers have received antenatal care for their most recent pregnancy
  • More and more women now give birth in health care facilities and rates have more than doubled in some States in the last decade. (9 in 10 in some states)
  • The total fertility rates, or the average number of children per woman, range from 1.2 in Sikkim to 3.4 in Bihar.
  • Full immunization coverage among children age 12-23 months varies widely (At least 6 out of 10 children have received full immunization in 12 of the 15 States / Union Territories).
  • There has been an increase in the use of modern family planning methods only in the States of Meghalaya, Haryana, and West Bengal. The decline is highest in Goa followed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • Fewer children under five years of age are now found to be stunted(previous survey, it is found that in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Meghalaya more than 40% of children are stunted)
  • Wasting is still very high by international standards in all of the States/Union Territories.
  • Anaemia has also declined, but still remains widespread.
  • Over-nutrition continues to be a health issue for adults.
  • Over two-thirds of households in every State/Union Territory have access to an improved source of drinking water, and more than 90% of households have access to an improved source of drinking water
  • More than 50% of households have access to improved sanitation facilities
  • Use of clean cooking fuel, which reduces the risk of respiratory illness and pollution, varies widely among (18% of households in Bihar to more than 70% of households in Tamil Nadu and more than 80% of households in Puducherry and Goa)
  • Lack of HIV awareness in Indian adults – Nearly 82 % women and nearly 70 % men in the 13 States lacked comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS and safe sex practices.
  • Tobacco use among men has fallen from 50 per cent in 2005-06 to 47 per cent in 2015.
  • Alcohol consumption among men has fallen from 38 per cent to 34 per cent.


  • Difficulties in obtaining reliable, high quality data


  • Set realistic goals and use creative strategies.
  • Adapt to changing institutional and technological environment for data collection.


  • This is the data that guides the policies affecting millions of Indians and must be faithfully collected.
  • Unless we pay systematic attention to the data infrastructure, we are likely to have the national discourse hijacked by poor quality data as has happened in the past with a measurement of poverty or inconsistent data on GDP.

Also read: Link 1 : https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/minding-the-gaps-in-indias-data-infrastructure/article29779725.ece

Connecting the dots:

  • Can India’s existing data infrastructure support high quality data collection or whether deteriorating data quality will lead evidence-based policy development astray? Examine.


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) MSP is form of agricultural market intervention undertaken by Central Government in order to insure agricultural producers are protected against any sharp fall in farm prices. Which of the following statements are correct regarding MSP?

  1. It is announced for all the crops by Central Government prior to sowing season.
  2. Its purpose is to incentivize cultivators to adopt modern technology and raise productivity and overall production in line with the emerging demand pattern in the country.
  3. The Prices are decided by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

Select the code from following:

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1 and 3
  4. All of the above

Q.2) Which of the following are the objectives of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP)?

  1. To stabilize agricultural prices.
  2. To ensure meaningful real income levels to the farmers.
  3. To protect the interest of the consumers by providing essential agricultural commodities at reasonable rates through public distribution system.

Choose the correct option:

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

Q.3) Assertion (A):  The market price of a crop does not fall below its minimum support price (MSP).

Reason (R): Minimum support price (MSP) is the price at which the government guarantees to buy unlimited quantity of an agricultural commodity.

  1. Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A
  2. Both A and R are true but R is not a correct explanation of A
  3. A is true but R is false
  4. A is false but R is true

Q.4) Which of the following are Rabi crops?

  1. Rice
  2. Maize
  3. Wheat
  4. Barley

Select the correct code:

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

Q.5) Which of the following statement [s] is/are correct with reference to India’s Air Quality Index (AQI)?

  1. The index is launched under Swacch Bharat Abhiyan
  2. PM10 , PM 2.5 and Lead are considered in calculating the value of Air Quality Index
  3. Both Central Pollution Control Board and State Pollution Control Board administer National Air Monitoring Program

Choose the appropriate code

  1. 2 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. None of the above

Q.6) Which among the following atmospheric gases are normally considered in calculating the value of Air Quality Index in India?

  1. Carbon dioxide
  2. Carbon monoxide
  3. Nitrogen dioxide
  4. Sulfur dioxide
  5. Methane

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1, 2 and 3 only
  2. 2, 3 and 4 only
  3. 1, 4 and 5 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Q.7) Government of India has introduced SAFAR system in important metropolitan cities of India for

  1. Forecasting the condition of roads in different weather
  2. Providing precise Indian navigation system
  3. Providing location specific information on air quality in near real time
  4. Providing details of tourist places and hotels in and near the cities

Q.8) Consider the following statements about The Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP)

  1. It is world’s first joint initiative that aims to conserve the snow leopard.
  2. All 12 snow leopard range countries are a part of this initiative.
  3. The initiative aims to secure at least 20 snow leopard landscapes by 2020.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

Q.9) Consider the following statements about ‘Snow Leopard’

  1. It is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
  2. Brazzaville declaration deals with the Conservation of the Snow Leopard
  3. It is protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

Select the correct statements

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1 and 3
  4. 3 Only


Need for balance: On web content regulation

The Hindu

A case against judicial recusal

The Hindu

 Treading cautiously on the final Naga peace agreement 

The Hindu

For a dedicated peer group, Motivation & Quick updates, Join our official telegram channel – https://t.me/IASbabaOfficialAccount

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Explainer Videos, Strategy Sessions, Toppers Talks & many more…

Search now.....

Sign Up To Receive Regular Updates