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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 19th February 2020

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  • February 19, 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 19th February 2020

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Pakistan to remain FATF’s ‘Grey List’

Part of: GS Prelims –Polity and GS-II- International relations

In news:

  • The International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommended that Pakistan be retained on the ‘Grey List’.
  • Pakistan was placed on the grey list by the FATF last year for failing to curb anti-terror financing

Why?

  • Due to it’s failure to completely implement the 27-point action plan to check terror financing

From Prelims Point Of View:

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

  • Inter-governmental body established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7.
  • Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.
  • Generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in various areas
  • to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures
  • Combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

New claimant for kambala record

Part of: GS Prelims –Art & Culture  and GS-I- Culture

In news:

  • Claims and counterclaims on the fastest kambala jockey have been surfacing ever since Srinivas Gowda of Moodbidri hit the headlines for covering 142.5 metres in 13.62 seconds

From Prelims Point Of View:

Kambala

  • Traditional buffalo race in paddy fields filled with slush and mud
  • Coastal Karnataka (Udupi and Dakshina Kannada) from November to March.
  • Observed as thanksgiving to gods for protecting the animals from diseases
  • Sponsored by local Tuluva landlords
  • Tuluva people are an ethnic group native to Southern India. They are native speakers of the Tulu language.

Concerns

  • Kambala involves acts of cruelty on animals 
  • it violates the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.

Karbis against ST status for hill Bodos

Part of: GS Prelims –Polity and GS-II- Vulnerable section

In news:

  • Assam-based insurgent group of Karbishas demanded that the Bodos in the hill areas not be given the Scheduled Tribe status as it will affect the “identity of the Karbis”.
  • Recently The Home Ministry, the Assam government and Bodo groups signed the pac tto redraw and rename the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD)

Click here to read about BODOLAND ISSUE 

From Prelims Point Of View:

Karbis (Mikir) 

  • One of the major ethnic communities in Northeast India( especially Assam)
  • The great artist-scholar Bishnu Prasad Rabha refer to them as the Columbus of Assam

UIDAI seeks proof of citizenship

Part of: GS Prelims –Polity and GS-II- Govt Policy

In news:

  • Resident of Hyderabad was reportedly asked to prove his Indian citizenship by the Unique Identification Authority of India move to the High Court 
  • UIDAI in a release has said that Aadhaar has got nothing to do with citizenship. 
  • People had obtained Aadhaar on false pretences because they were found to be illegal immigrants. Such Aadhaar numbers are liable to cancellation.

IASBABA’s Value Addition :

  • Recently the Parliament has passed the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which allows voluntary use of Aadhaar as proof of identity.

From Prelims Point Of View:

Unique Identification Authority of India

  • statutory authority established under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Aadhaar Act 2016)
  • Initially set up by the Government of India under the aegis of the Planning Commission
  •  UIDAI is mandated to assign a 12-digit unique identification (UID) number (Aadhaar) to all the residents of India.

SC voices concern over deforestation

Part of: GS Prelims –Environment  and GS-III- Conservation

In news:

Chief Justice of India said:

  • Deforestation is so rapid that before anyone knows everything will be lost
  • Condemned humanity’s tendency to abuse natural resources for greed and profit.
  • Estimate the value of a tree, factoring in the value of the quantum of oxygen it emits in its lifetime.

From Prelims Point Of View:

Deforestation

  • Large-scale removal of trees from forests (or other lands) for the facilitation of human activities. 
  • Result in the loss of biodiversity, damage to natural habitats, disturbances in the water cycle, and soil erosion.
  • Contributor to climate change and global warming.

Reasons:

  • Agriculture – small-scale and large scale farming
  • Logging – cutting of trees for use as raw material
  • Mining and urban expansion – clearing of forest area for the construction of infrastructure

(MAINS FOCUS)


Society & Governance

Topic: General Studies 1, 2:

  • Social empowerment (Children)
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections (Children)

Children’s Right to Protest and Safeguards for Child Witness

Context

Supreme Court’s took suo motu cognisance of children taking part in demonstrations in Shaheen Bagh in Delhi. This is in the background of an infant dying in the cold during protests.

Issues involved in the case which SC has to take note of

  • The child should be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly or through a representative (Article 12 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC))
  • While many schools encourage children to read newspapers and watch news channels, attending a protest is also a way for children to receive information and ideas
  • A protest is also a space where children get to experience and assert citizenship
  • It could also be a space for children to celebrate their unity as Indians.
  • The case has a direct impact on children’s right to participate in or witness a protest as well as on their mothers’ right to protest.
  • If by saying that women should not be allowed to take their children to protests, we would be effectively rendering impossible women’s own mobility and pushing them back into their homes.
  • It is generally acceptable for children to participate in an anti-pollution protest in peak winter, but not in the protests at Shaheen Bagh. The court needs to decide the basis on which it is decided that one is a valid exercise of the child’s agency and the other is not
  • Article 5 of CRC recognises the “evolving capacities” of children. This means that as children acquire enhanced competencies, there is a diminishing need for them to be protected. 

Also recently the Bidar sedition case and the process of interrogation of Children by Police has raised concerns about State protection to Children

  • Centre of the case is a school play that expressed dissent against PM Modi and the new citizenship law.
  • This led to imprisonment of a mother of a student for having contributed to the script of school play and the arrest of the principal for allowing it to be performed in her school.
  • Also children were interrogated by uniformed police officers in the absence of any child welfare workers.

These traumatic experiences are not only a violation of the fundamental rights of the child but are severely damaging to their mental health. 

Indian Laws dealing with Child Witness

  • Under Section 118 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, there is no minimum age for a witness. Children as young as three years old have deposed before trial courts in cases of sexual abuse.
  • Delhi High Court has come up with guidelines for recording evidence of Vulnerable witnesses like Children – process to be age-appropriate & sensitive, provision of facilitator for effective communication between stakeholders etc.
  • Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015  -the police to not be in their uniform while dealing with children; Special Juvenile Police Unit in each district and city to interview children; and  Child Welfare Committee in every district to take cognisance of any violations by the authorities in their handling of children
  • Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 – investigation a child should not be made to recount the incident multiple times.

Conclusion

  • In the silence over violence being perpetrated against children, the country appears to have lost its moral compass. 
  • In order to ensure that Children have a productive upbringing free of any mental torture imposed due to structural reasons (poverty, insensitivity of bureaucracy)- government should bring in long term reforms. 
  • This includes enhanced spending on education and health, proper implementation of JJ Act and POSCO Act, societal awareness programmes about significance of Child’s mental health and sensitization of personnel involved in Child Welfare programmes.

Connecting the dots!

  • Kashmir Unrest and its impact on Children – their upbringing, future livelihood prospects and their rights under UN convention
  • Donald Trump administration in the USA implemented its policy to reduce illegal immigration by separating children from their parents at the U.S. border with Mexico – consequences on the mental health of the children.

Governance

Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources 

  • Awareness in the fields of IT

Powering the health-care engine with innovation

Context

It been 18 months since the launch of Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), or the national health protection scheme.

About Ayushman Bharat

  • Ayushman Bharat adopts a continuum of care approach, comprising of two inter-related components, which are:
    1. Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs).
    2. Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY).
  • It aims to bring quality healthcare to around 50 crore poor and vulnerable Indians (based on the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data)
  • PM-JAY is world’s largest health insurance fully financed by government which will provide free coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year at any government or even empanelled private hospitals all over India for secondary and tertiary medical care facilities.
  • Centrally sponsored scheme with contribution from both Centre and State 
  • Cashless access to health care services for the beneficiary at the point of service.
  • Wellness Centres: The 1.5 lakh sub-centres that are converted into wellness centres will cater to majority of services such as detection and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, screening for common cancers, mental health, care of the elderly, eye care, etc.

Performance of the Scheme

  • The scheme is currently being implemented in 32 of 36 States and Union Territories. (Delhi, Odisha, Telangana and West Bengal have opted out of the scheme saying that their own state schemes provides better coverage than PM-JAY)
  • The scheme has resulted in saving of over ₹12,000 crore to the beneficiary families in one year of its operations.
  • It has provided 84 lakh free treatments to poor and vulnerable patients for secondary and tertiary ailments at 22,000 empanelled hospitals, countrywide. 
  • Under PM-JAY, there is one free treatment every three seconds and two beneficiaries verified every second.

Shortage in Supply 

  • At present, there is one government bed for every 1,844 patients and one doctor for every 11,082 patients. 
  • In the coming years, considering 3% hospitalisation of PM-JAY-covered beneficiaries, the scheme is likely to provide treatment to 1.5 crore patients annually. 
  • This means augmentation of physical and human infrastructure capacity i.e. there is a need more than 150,000 additional beds, especially in Tier-2 and -3 cities. 

Role of Innovation in Indian Health System

  • A strong, yet under-tapped lever for accelerating health system efficiency and bridging these supply gaps, especially in short to medium term, is mainstreaming innovation in the Indian health system
  • It is estimated that there are more than 4,000 health-care technology start-ups in India that can help leapfrog infrastructure, human resources, cost-effectiveness and efficiency challenges.
  • Some of these innovation which holds promising future are:
    • Artificial Intelligence platforms that aid in rapid radiology diagnoses in low resource settings
    • Tele-ICU platforms to bridge the gap in high-skilled critical care personnel
    • Centralised drone delivery of blood, medicines and vaccines to reach remote locations cost-effectively and reliably

Challenges in mainstreaming health-care innovations:

  1. Non-uniform regulatory and validation standards. 
  • As a result, hospitals often rely on foreign regulatory certifications such as FDA and CE, especially for riskier devices and instruments.
  • In addition, it is difficult for a start-up to understand the minimum necessary validation requirements in order to qualify for procurement by hospitals
  1.  Operational liquidity crunch
  • Due to a long gestation period, health-care start-ups spend long periods of time in the early development of their product, especially where potential clinical risks are concerned.
  • The process of testing the idea and working prototype, receiving certifications, performing clinical and commercial validations, and raising funds, in a low-trust and unstructured environment makes the gestational period unusually long thereby limiting the operational liquidity of the start-up.
  1. Lack of incentives and adequate frameworks to grade and adopt innovations.
  • Health-care providers and clinicians, given limited bandwidth, often lack the incentives, operational capacity, and frameworks necessary to consider and adopt innovations. 
  • This leads to limited traction for start-ups promoting innovative solutions.
  1. Procurement challenges
  • Start-ups also face procurement challenges in both public and private procurement. They lack the financial capacity to deal with lengthy tenders and the roundabout process of price discovery. 
  • Private procurement is complicated by the presence of a fragmented customer base and limited systematic channels for distribution.

Way Forward

  • Need to focus on identifying promising market-ready health-care innovations that are ready to be tested and deployed at scale. 
  • Need to facilitate standardised operational validation studies that are required for market adoption.
  • Ease out the start-up procurement process such that these solutions can be adopted across board

Conclusion

  • India has the unique opportunity to develop a robust ecosystem where hospitals actively engage with health-care start-ups by providing access to testbeds, communicating their needs effectively and adopting promising innovations. 
  • Start-ups can be effective collaborators for the most pressing health-care delivery challenges faced by hospitals, as opposed to being mere suppliers of technology or services.

Connecting the dots!

  • Insurance model vs Public Health care provision model
  • Linkages of Health care with other developmental parameters – Education, Sanitation, governance, civic participation, social empowerment etc. 

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


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

Note: 

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. 
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q 1. A present group of nations known as G-8 started first as G-7. Which one among the following was not one of them?

  1. Canada
  2. Italy 
  3. Japan 
  4. Russia

Q 2. Consider the following statements regarding Kambala festival

  1. It is believed to be celebrated to please the Gods for a good harvest
  2. It is the annual buffalo race of Karnataka

Which of the above statement/s is/are incorrect?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 or 2

Q3. Consider the following pairs: 

            Tribe                                                              State

  1. Limboo (Limbu) :                                            Sikkim
  2. Karbi :                                                             Karnataka
  3. Dongaria Kondh :                                           Odisha
  4. Bonda :                                                           Tamil Nadu

Which of the above pairs are correctly matched?

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

Q 4. Consider the following statements :

  1. Aadhaar card can be used as a proof of citizenship or domicile.
  2. Once issued, Aadhaar number cannot be deactivated or omitted by the Issuing Authority.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q 5. The identity platform ‘Aadhaar’ provides open “Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)”. What does it imply?

  1. It can be integrated into any electronic device.
  2. Online authentication using iris is possible.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

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

Q 6. In India, the problem of soil erosion is associated with which of the following? 

  1. Terrace cultivation 
  2. Deforestation
  3. Tropical climate

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

ANSWERS FOR 18 FEB 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 D
2 B
3 B

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