DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 24th AUGUST 2020

  • IASbaba
  • August 24, 2020
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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Nuakhai Juhar celebrated

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

Key takeaways 

  • Celebrated in: Western Odisha and adjoining areas of Simdega in Jharkhand.
  • It is an agricultural festival. 
  • It is observed to welcome the new rice of the season. 
  • It is observed on the fifth day of the lunar fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada or Bhaadra (August–September), the day after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
  • People offer the newly harvested crop called Nabanha to their respective presiding deities, as a part of the rituals

‘Status of sex ratio at birth in India’ released

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

In News:

  • Recently, a report titled ‘Status of Sex Ratio at Birth in India’ was released by the Vice – President of India. 
  • Brought out by: The Indian Association of Parliamentarians for Population and Development (IAPPD).

Key findings of the report

  • There has not been any change in the sex ratio at birth in India from 2001-2017. 
  • The number of girl children born is much less than the natural norm.
  • Suggestions: Rigorous implementation of Pre-conception & Pre-natal Diagnostics Techniques law to bring about a balance in the sex ratio.
  • The sex ratio at birth is an important indicator and reflects the extent to which there is a reduction in the number of girl children born by sex-selective abortions.

Helium-enhanced cool bright stars among Omega Centauri discovered

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-III – Space

In News:

  • Helium-enhanced cool bright stars among the metal-rich parts of Omega Centauri globular cluster have been recently discovered. 
  • This is the first-ever spectroscopic determination of Helium-abundance in Omega Centauri.
  • Omega Centauri: The brightest and the largest globular cluster in the Milky Way Galaxy. 

Important value additions 

Global clusters

  • These are the stellar systems with millions of stars formed from the same gaseous cloud. 
  • The stars formed will be homogeneous in their chemical composition.
  • However, the different stars of Omega Centauri do not show the same metal content

Magnetic Hyperthermia-Mediated Cancer Therapy (MHCT)

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

In News:

  • Efforts are being made to make magnetic hyperthermia-mediated cancer therapy as desired therapy for inoperable tumours.

Important value additions 

Magnetic hyperthermia-mediated cancer therapy (MHCT) 

  • It is a non-invasive cancer treatment.
  • The technique: Delivery and localisation of magnetic materials within the targeted tumour site followed by subsequent application of an alternating magnetic field (AMF), thereby generating heat at the tumour site.
  • It can efficiently act against deep-seated inaccessible solid tumours like glioblastoma (aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord)
  • It is highly thermo-sensitive towards normal cells with minimal toxicity against healthy counterparts.
  • Scientists are on the lookout for new materials which can make this treatment more efficient.


Srisailam Dam

  • Nine people were killed after a massive fire at the Srisailam hydroelectric plant, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Dam is constructed across the Krishna River, Andhra Pradesh near Srisailam temple town.
  • It is the 2nd largest capacity working hydroelectric station in India.
  • It is constructed in a deep gorge in the Nallamala Hills in between Kurnool and Mahabubnagar districts.

Perseids Meteor Shower

  • The shower is active from August 17-26.
  • The Perseids are one of the brighter meteor showers of the year. 
  • They occur every year between July and August. 
  • They are made of tiny space debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle. 
  • They are named after the constellation Perseus. 
  • They are visible in the Northern Hemisphere and can be viewed in skies all across.



Topic: General Studies 1,2:

  • Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections 

Women & Abortion Services

Context: The more serious ramifications of the pandemic has been the rather extensive, even if unintended, disruption of health-care services.

What impact did Pandemic have on Contraceptive & Abortion Services?

  • Long lockdown periods led to disruption in family planning and contraception services i.e. it reduced the access to these services due to restrictions imposed.
  • About two million women missed out on services between January and June; 1.3 million were in India alone

Factors that caused disruption in contraceptive services are:

  • Diversion of Health Services: The bulk of health-care services shifting to cater to COVID-19 related emergencies led to shortage in abortion services
  • Disruption of Transport: India listed abortions as essential services under the lockdown, but the disruption of transport services hampered access to centres of care
  • Lack of awareness about these services being available during this period also restricted the ability to access these services
  • Shortage of drugs: A study in six States by the Foundation for Reproductive Health Services India, showed a severe shortage of medical abortion drugs in pharmacies.

What has been the consequences?

Reduced access to contraceptive & abortion serviced has led to 

  • Unwanted pregnancies: UNFPA projections indicate an additional 7 million unintended pregnancies are expected to occur.
  • Increase in domestic violence
  • Increased maternal mortality
  • Constrained the reproductive rights of women

Way Ahead

  • The need for contraceptive services remains high in India, with over 1 in 3 women (35%) reporting a need for contraceptive advice
  • Providing uninterrupted abortion and contraceptive counselling, devices and care services are essential to safeguard women
  • Contraceptive & Abortion services must continue through measures such as telemedicine, incentives to local clinics to open their doors, resolving drug supply chain disruption.

Connecting the dots:

  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act amendments


Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education

New Educational Policy: Ignores the role of Parents

Context: The NEP has been received with broad praise. 

The goal of universalisation of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) and the focus on achieving universal foundational literacy and numeracy (FLN) is especially laudable.

Challenges ahead for NEP

  1. Translating policy into action on the ground at scale 
  • This is challenging because most of the policy suggestions are not new – several state governments have been trying hard to implement such reforms
  • However, the lack of consistent political will and the slow pace of adopting emerging technologies have stymied these efforts. 
  1. Parents are not involved
  • Parents, from less-privileged backgrounds find it difficult to understand the value of the current reforms such as curriculum overhaul, teacher-training or activity-based learning in schools
  • Parents are only mentioned 25 times, as compared to 221 mentions for teachers
  1. Poor Perception of Public Schools due to technological backwardness
  • Private schools take huge pains to attract their most critical constituency — parents — through fancy brochures or computer labs.
  •  Public educators tend to be poor publicists.
  • As a result, the public-school system has lost the perception battle to the private system.
  1. Lack of Political Incentives & Visibility
  • There is opaqueness of progress of Child’s learning levels and lack of value realisation by the constituents (Parents) 
  • This is why politicians across the spectrum have, in turn, not paid attention to education, as compared to other sectors such as infrastructure and skills training. 
  • As a result, Education reform attempts come and go, based on the whims and fancies of officials and their unpredictable tenures.

Way Ahead

  • Regular Interactions with Parents: Models should be designed to include teachers as key facilitators for parent interactions. This increases community respect for teachers and also makes parents as stakeholders in Child’s educational progress
  • Leveraging technology: Tech- and media-enabled models of leveraging government infrastructure to build parental aspiration, information gateways and, social motivation
  • Increase Political Incentive: We need initiatives and technology that achieve both educational and political success, as was the case with the midday meal scheme. The initiatives must create a virtuous cycle of governments pulling parents along and vice versa


Governments will do the hard slog only if their efforts are visible and impressive to parents, a key voting bloc

Connecting the dots:

  • Mid Day Meal Scheme
  • Right to Education


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


  • 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 Nuakhai Juhar is an agricultural festival of which of the following state of India? 

  1. Odisha 
  2. Jharkhand 
  3. Chhattisgarh 
  4. Both (a) and (b)

Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding Magnetic Hyperthermia-Mediated Cancer Therapy: 

  1. It cannot act against deep-seated inaccessible solid tumours. 
  2. Heat is generated at the tumour side by applying alternative magnetic field.

Which of the above is/are correct? 

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

Q.3 Srisailam Dam, seen recently in news, is the second largest capacity working hydroelectric station in the country. Where is it situated? 

  1. Andhra Pradesh 
  2. Karnataka 
  3. Kerala 
  4. Tamil Nadu


1 D
2 A
3 A

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