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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th May 2021

  • IASbaba
  • May 28, 2021
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Launch of SeHAT OPD portal

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -II – Polity and Governance 

In news

  • ‘Services e-Health Assistance & Tele-consultation (SeHAT) OPD portal was launched recently. 
  • Ministry: Ministry of Defence

Key takeaways 

  • The portal provides tele-medicine services to the serving Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families. 
  • This is the final version of the SeHAT OPD portal with advanced safety features. 
  • The trial version was made functional in August 2020.
  • Developed by: Department of Military Affairs (DMA), Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS), Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) and Centre for Development of Artificial Computing (C-DAC) Mohali 
  • The portal will help reduce the load on hospitals and patients will be able to get contactless consultations in an easy and effective manner. 

Renaming of Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -II – Polity and Governance 

In news

  • The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) will be renamed the Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF).
  • IBF is the apex body of broadcasters. 
  • It is now expanding its purview to cover digital streaming platforms

Key takeaways 

  • The move would bring broadcasters and OTT (over-the-top) platforms under one roof.
  • OTT have seen a substantial jump in their viewership base after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The IBDF would also form a self-regulatory body, the Digital Media Content Regulatory Council (DMCRC), for digital OTT platforms.

Do you know? 

  • The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) was founded in 1999.
  • It is the parent organisation of the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) which was set up in 2011. 
  • The BCCC examines content-related complaints relating to all non-news general entertainment channels in India.

Important value additions 

  • An over-the-top (OTT) media service is a media service offered directly to viewers via the Internet.
  • OTT bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms.
  • Such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar etc.

Crop in news: Jackfruit

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -III – Economy; Trade; Agriculture 

In news

  • Jackfruit was in news recently. 
  • A shipment of fresh jackfruit was exported from Tripura to London.
  • It is a major step towards harnessing exports potential of agricultural and processed food products from north-eastern region.

Important value additions 

  • Jackfruit is a species of tree in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family (Moraceae).
  • It is a multiple fruit, composed of hundreds to thousands of individual flowers, and the fleshy petals. 
  • Scientific Name: Artocarpus heterophyllus.
  • Major producers in world: India, Thailand, Indonesia and Nepal.
  • Major Production States of India: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Assam. 
  • Kerala is the largest producer of jackfruit in the world. 
  • It is the state fruit of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. 

Do you know? 

  • Recently, the first consignment of ‘red rice’ was sent to the USA from Assam. 
  • Iron rich ‘red rice’ is grown in Brahmaputra valley of Assam, without the use of any chemical fertilizer. 
  • The rice variety is referred to as ‘Bao-dhaan’, which is an integral part of Assamese food.

Related articles

Shahi Litchi


Launch of Ayush Clinical Case Repository (ACCR) portal and Ayush Sanjivani App

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Policies and interventions; Health 

In news

  • Ayush Clinical Case Repository (ACCR) portal and the third version of Ayush Sanjivani App was recently launched. 
  • Ministry: Ministry for Ayush

Key takeaways 

Ayush Clinical Repository (ACCR) portal:

  • It will serve as a platform to support both Ayush practitioners and general public.
  • Aim: To aggregate information about clinical outcomes achieved by Ayush practitioners on a large scale.
  • It is expected to document the strengths of Ayush systems for treatment of various disease conditions.
  • It has dedicated section for reporting and publishing details of Covid 19 cases treated through Ayush Systems. 

Ayush Sanjivani App

  • It facilitates a significant study/ documentation regarding the efficacy of selected Ayush interventions, including Ayush 64 and Kabasura Kudineer medicines in the management of asymptomatic & mild to moderate Covid 19 patients.

Miscellaneous

Auroville

  • Aurovillian Christoph Pohl’s documentary EverSlowGreen has been officially selected for screening at the prestigious ChangeNow summit in Paris.

  • It tells the story of Auroville’s unique afforestation project that took root on an eroded desert plateau at Villupuram district in Tamil Nadu.
  • Auroville is an experimental township in Viluppuram district. 
  • It was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa (known as “the Mother”) a French spiritual guru and a collaborator of Sri Aurobindo, who considered her to be of equal yogic stature to him and called her by the name “The Mother”. 

(Mains Focus)


ECONOMY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors

Crisis in Dairy Sector

Significance of Dairy Sector

  • Livelihood: In the farm-dependent population comprising cultivators and agricultural labourers, those involved in dairying and livestock constitute 70 million.
  • Women Empowerment: Moreover, in the total workforce of 7.7 million engaged exclusively in raising of cattle and buffalo, 69 per cent of them are female workers, which is 5.72 per cent of the total female workforce in the country, of which 93 per cent live in rural areas.
  • Economic Growth: In the Gross Value Added (GVA) from agriculture, the livestock sector contributed 28 per cent in 2019-20. 
  • Provides Safety Net: A growth rate of 6 per cent per annum in milk production provides a great support to farmers, especially during drought and flood. Milk production rises during crop failures due to natural calamities because farmers bank more on animal husbandry then.

Issues

  1. High Susceptibility: Milk producers are highly susceptible to even minor shocks as the demand for milk and milk products are sensitive to changes in the employment and income of consumers.
  2. Lacks Political Clout: Unlike sugarcane, wheat, and rice-producing farmers, cattle raisers are unorganised and do not have the political clout to advocate for their rights.
  3. No MSP: There is no official and periodical estimate of the cost of production and Minimum Support Price for milk.
  4. Low Prices offered by Cooperatives: Even though dairy cooperatives handle about 40% of the total marketable surplus of the milk in the country, they are not a preferred option of landless or small farmers. This is because, on average, fat-based pricing in dairy cooperatives is 20 to 30% less than the price in the open market.
  5. Shortage manpower: In August 2020, the Animal Husbandry and Dairying department reported a requirement of 2.02 lakh artificial insemination (AI) technicians in India whereas the availability is only 1.16 lakh. 
  6. Slow disbursal of Loans: Out of the total 1.5 crore farmers in 230 milk unions in India, not even one-fourth of the dairy farmers’ loan applications had been forwarded to banks as of October 3, 2020.
  7. Inadequate measures by government: Dairying was brought under MGNREGA to compensate farmers for the income loss due to Covid-19. However, the budgetary allocation for 2021-22 was curtailed by 34.5 per cent in relation to the revised estimates for 2020-21. 
  8. COVID-19 impacts
    • Increased Cost & Reduced demand: The closure of shops had cut down the demand for milk and milk products while severe shortage of fodder and cattle feed has pushed up the input cost. 
    • Reduced Buyers: During the pandemic, there has been a self-imposed ban on door-to-door sale of liquid milk by households both in urban and rural areas, forcing farmers to sell the entire produce to dairy cooperatives at a much lower price.
    • Reduced access to Veterinary service: Further, private veterinary services have almost stopped due to Covid-19, which has led to the death of milch animals

Way Forward

Dairy farmers need the following to continue their vocation: 

  • One, a stable market and remunerative price (ignoring fat content or giving more weightage to the quantity of milk) for liquid milk; 
  • Two, uninterrupted supply of fodder and cattle feed at a reasonable price; and 
  • Three, regular supply of veterinary services and medicines

Connecting the dots:


ECONOMY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors

Arrest the Economic Slide

Context: Uday Kotak, the president of CII and MD of Kotak Mahindra Bank, has urged the government to provide another round of fiscal support aimed at protecting livelihoods, especially for the weaker sections of the economy. 

Issues

  • Economic Recovery difficult: After 2021-22 Union Budget, India’s GDP was expected to recover all the loss it suffered in 2020-21, when it contracted by around 8%, and would grow by over 12% this financial year. Thanks to the vicious second Covid wave, India may not be able to get back to the level of absolute GDP it had in March 2020
  • Disproportionate Burden on Poor: The second wave resulted in job losses and reduced wages across almost all income classes while making matters worse for the poor. 
  • Reduced Aggregate Demand: In the wake of reduced incomes, people are expected to severely constrain their expenditures, especially on anything they consider non-essential. This would lead to depressed demand in economy
  • Governments’ recovery strategy in danger: Depressed demand in turn, would delay, if not completely derail, the cornerstone of the government’s Covid recovery strategy — fresh investments from corporate India.
  • Vicious Cycle:  Businesses will continue to hold back investments because there is not enough consumer demand, and consumers will not demand more because they do not have enough incomes. And this vicious cycle could get worse if the pace of vaccination doesn’t pick up or if there is a deadly third wave. 

Way Ahead

  • Given the widespread devastation due to the second wave of Covid-19, this is not the time for either the government or the companies to look at their financial balance sheets.
  • Only one economic entity can break this cycle: The government. By providing additional direct monetary help to the poor and extending its existing schemes for collateral-free loans to small businesses, the government can arrest the slide.

(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 Consider the following statements regarding launch of ‘Services e-Health Assistance & Tele-consultation (SeHAT) OPD portal: 

  1. The portal provides tele-medicine services to the serving Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families. 
  2. It was launched by Ministry of Health

Which of the above is or are correct? 

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

Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding OTT Platforms:

  1. An over-the-top (OTT) media service is a media service offered directly to viewers via the Internet.
  2. The services provided are free of charge.

Which of the above is or are correct? 

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

Q.3 Which of the following is the largest producer of jackfruit in the world? 

  1. Kerala
  2. Dhaka
  3. New York
  4. Beijing

ANSWERS FOR 27th May 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

A
A

Must Read

On criticism of new IT rules:

The Hindu

On Vaccine hesitancy:

The Hindu

About Post-COVID actions:

Indian Express

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