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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 2nd October 2021

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  • October 2, 2021
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Diabetes

Part of: Prelims and GS – II – Health 

Context A first-of-its kind report of long-term survivors of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) from India, a multi-centric study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics. 

What is diabetes? 

  • Diabetes is a Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar, or glucose), or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
  • Type I diabetes: It mostly affects children of age 14-16 years. This type occurs when the body fails to produce sufficient insulin. They must take artificial insulin daily to stay alive.
  • Type 2 diabetes: While the body still makes insulin, unlike in type I, the cells in the body do not respond to it as effectively as they once did. The population with 45 and above age group is the most affected with it.
    • This is the most common type of diabetes and it has strong links with obesity.
  • Diabetes affects the five major organs – Kidney, Heart, Blood vessels, Nervous System, and Eyes (retina).
  • Responsible factors: Unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, harmful use of alcohol, overweight/obesity, tobacco use, etc.

Do you know? 

  • Individuals with T1D have increased morbidity and excess premature mortality compared to those without diabetes 
  • Their life expectancy is reduced by an estimated 15-20 years, even with the life-saving insulin to their assistance
  • India is home to more than 95,000 children with T1D, reported to be the highest in the world, according to the 9th International Diabetes Federation Atlas. 

Renunciation of Indian citizenship 

Part of: Prelims and GS II – Citizenship

Context The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has simplified the process for Indians who want to renounce their citizenship

  • Provisions have been made for applicants to upload documents online, with an upper limit of 60 days for the renunciation process to be completed.

About Citizenship 

  • In India, Articles 5 – 11 of the Constitution deals with the concept of citizenship. The term citizenship entails the enjoyment of full membership of any State in which a citizen has civil and political rights.
  • Termination of citizenship is possible in three ways according to the Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • Renunciation: If any citizen of India who is also a national of another country renounces his Indian citizenship through a declaration in the prescribed manner, he ceases to be an Indian citizen. 
  • Termination: Indian citizenship can be terminated if a citizen knowingly or voluntarily adopts the citizenship of any foreign country.
  • Deprivation: The government of India can deprive a person of his citizenship in some cases. It is applicable only in the case of citizens who have acquired the citizenship by registration, naturalization, or only by Article 5 (c) 

Landslide and Flood Early Warning System

Part of: Prelims and GS-I – Geographical phenomena and GS III – Sci and tech 

Context CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) has launched an ‘Environmental Seismology’ group to develop a ‘Landslide and Flood Early Warning System’ for the Himalayan region based on real-time monitoring with dense seismological networks, coupled with satellite data, numerical modelling and geomorphic analysis.

  • This would enable a crucial warning several hours prior, which will save precious human lives and property in future during such events. 

Climate change – Cause of landslides and floods

  • Landslides are common in India’s northern Himalayan region, particularly in the current monsoon season when heavy rains lead to subsidence of earth and rocks.
  • The situation is exacerbated by climate change making the monsoon more erratic and melting glaciers higher in the mountains. 
  • Roads in the region are also often poorly maintained.

About landslide and flood 

  • A landslide is defined as the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth down a slope. 
  • A high water level that overflows the natural banks along any portion of a stream is called a flood. Thus, Floods are commonly associated with a stream or river. 

Do you know? 

  • The National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) is a constituent research laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). 
  • It was established in 1961 with the mission to carry out research in multidisciplinary areas of the highly complex structure and processes of the Earth system and its extensively interlinked subsystems.

Ethanol production

Part of: Prelims and GS III – Environment; Agriculture 

Context Almost two million tonnes (MT) of sugar were diverted for ethanol production during the last sugar season (October 2020 to September 2021).

About Ethanol and its production 

  • Ethanol can be produced from sugarcane, maize, wheat, etc which are having high starch content.
  • In India, ethanol is mainly produced from sugarcane molasses by fermentation process.
  • Ethanol can be mixed with gasoline to form different blends.
  • As the ethanol molecule contains oxygen, it allows the engine to more completely combust the fuel, resulting in fewer emissions and thereby reducing the occurrence of environmental pollution.
  • Since ethanol is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun, ethanol is also considered as renewable fuel. 

Meningitis

Part of: Prelims and GS II – Health

Context The Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 was recently released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners.

  • This is the first-ever global strategy to defeat meningitis.
  • It aims to eliminate epidemics of bacterial meningitis and to reduce deaths by 70 per cent and halve the number of cases.
  • Significance: The strategy could save more than 200,000 lives annually and significantly reduce disability caused by the disease.

About Meningitis

  • Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
  • It is predominantly caused by bacterial and viral infection.
  • Meningitis caused by bacterial infection causes around 250,000 deaths a year and can lead to fast-spreading epidemics.
  • It kills a tenth of those infected — mostly children and young people — and leaves a fifth with long-lasting disability.


PM Poshan Shakti Nirman Scheme

Part of: Prelims and GS II – Policies and interventions 

Context The existing Mid-Day Meal scheme, which provides hot meals to students, has been renamed as the National Scheme for PM Poshan Shakti Nirman.

Key propositions in the PM POSHAN Scheme

  • Supplementary nutrition: Supplementary nutrition for children in aspirational districts and those with high prevalence of anaemia.
  • States to decide diet: It essentially does away with the restriction on the part of the Centre to provide funds only for wheat, rice, pulses and vegetables. Currently, if a state decides to add any component like milk or eggs to the menu, the Centre does not bear the additional cost. Now that restriction has been lifted.
  • Nutri-gardens: They will be developed in schools to give children “firsthand experience with nature and gardening”.
  • Women and FPOs: To promote vocals for local, women self-help groups and farmer producer organisations will be encouraged to provide a fillip to locally grown traditional food items.
  • Social Audit: “Inspection” by students of colleges and universities for ground-level execution.
  • Tithi-Bhojan: Communities would also be encouraged to provide the children food at festivals etc.
  • DBTs to school: States will be asked to do direct benefit cash transfers of cooking costs to individual school accounts, and allowances to the bank accounts of cooks and helpers.
  • Holistic nutrition: Use of locally grown traditional foods will be encouraged, along with school nutrition gardens.

About the Mid-Day meal scheme

  • The National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) was launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in 1995. 
  • Objective: To enhance enrolment, retention and attendance and simultaneously improve nutritional levels among children. 
  • In 2001 it became a cooked Mid Day Meal Scheme.
  • The Scheme covers children of classes I-VIII studying in government, government-aided schools, special training centres (STC) and madarsas/ maqtabs supported under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). 
  • It is the largest school feeding programme in the world.
  • It is covered by the National Food Security Act, 2013.


(News from PIB)


Indo-US Defence Industrial Security

Part of: GS-Prelims and Mains GS-II: International Relations

Context: The Industrial Security Agreement (ISA) summit between India and the United States was organised to develop protocol for the exchange of classified information between the defence industries of both the nations. 

The ISA was signed in December 2019 to 

  • Facilitate the exchange of classified information between the defence industries of both the countries 
  • Create a roadmap for the implementation of the ISA
  • In-principle agreement to establish Indo-US Industrial Security Joint Working Group
  • Group to meet regularly to align policies for defence industries to collaborate on critical defence technologies

News Source: PIB


National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)

Part of: GS-Prelims and Mains GS-III: Environment, Conservation

In News: Chacha Chaudhary declared Mascot for Namami Gange Programme.

  • Content to be designed with the objective of bringing about behavioral change amongst children towards Ganga and other rivers.

Proposal for conserving and sustainably managing Gangetic floodplain wetlands in Bihar:

  • Major components of the project will be Wetland inventory and assessment, Wetland management planning, Wetland’s monitoring, and Capacity development and outreach.
  • Aims at creating a knowledge base and capacities for effective management of floodplain wetlands in the 12 Ganga districts in Bihar to ensure sustained provision of wetlands ecosystem services and securing biodiversity habitats.

Kalpvas: Simariya Ghat is popular for Kalpvas, an ancient tradition in which devotees live on ghats, sing and meditate during the Magh Mela.

News Source: PIB


The State Nutrition Profiles

Part of: GS-Prelims 

In News: NITI Aayog, in a joint effort with International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Indian Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), UNICEF and Institute of Economic Growth (IEG) has launched ‘The State Nutrition Profiles” for 19 States and Union Territories.

  • Give insights on nutrition outcomes, immediate and underlying determinants and interventions based on NFHS-rounds 3, 4 and 5. 
  • The SNPs include a comprehensive compilation of crucial data that can positively affect policy decisions and facilitate research in the area. The trend analysis of key indicators such as wasting, stunting, anemia, underweight and overweight and NCDs (Diabetes and High blood pressure) showcase the variability of performance across districts. 
  • The reports highlight the best and worst performing districts, highest burden districts and top coverage districts of the country. 
  • The SNPs are based on the headcount-based analyses and use of data from NFHS-5 to provide evidence that helps identify priority districts and number of districts in the state with public health concern as per WHO guidelines. Each SNP has incorporated key takeaways for children, women and men and identifies areas where the state has the potential to improve further.

News Source: PIB


(Mains Focus)


ETHICS/ MODERN HISTORY

  • GS-4: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, 

Gandhi as a Philosopher

Philosophy & Ethics

  • Philosophy was initially practised only in three civilisations — Chinese, Greek and Indian. 
  • In these civilisations, philosophy functioned as a way of life distinct from other ways of life that were rooted in a belief in supernatural powers.
  • But even the philosophical ways of life practised in those ancient times could be divided into two categories — a metaphysics-led philosophical way of life and an ethics-led philosophical way of life. 
  • Except the philosophies given by the Buddha, Socrates and Confucius all other philosophies propagated metaphysics-led ways of life.
  • In ethics-led philosophy, the attempt is to transform the person from his/her state of being to an ethically higher state of existence and in the process making him/her psychologically self-sufficient.
  • In the metaphysics-led philosophical way of life, instead of a higher ethical state of being, the philosopher tries to achieve a higher state of understanding (insight) as well as a communion with the “ultimate”. Here, ethics has only a secondary role to play.
  • Once Christianity banned all non-Christian ways of life in Europe in 529CE, philosophy re-emerged in 17th century Europe as a purely theoretical discipline without advocating life practices. With that, the idea of “philosophical ways of life” became extinct in Europe.
  • This shift from philosophy as a way of life to philosophy as a theoretical discipline is celebrated as the birth of modern Western philosophy. 

Gandhi & Philosophy

  • Gandhi was spiritual, if spirituality means reduction of self-centredness. His shift from “God is Truth” to “Truth is God” in 1929, was aimed at making ethics the “first principle” of his philosophy.
  • Gandhi’ stated way back in 1907 that “morality should be observed as a religion”.
  • Gandhi, like the Buddha, was an ethical consequentialist in that the purpose of his ethical way was to reduce self-centredness and to promote a concern for the well-being of all (sarvodaya). 
  • What makes Gandhi different from the Buddha is that Gandhi, apart from individual moksha (Buddha called it as Nirvana), wanted development of freedoms (through his constructive programmes) for humanity as a whole. Only through political action, according to Gandhian ethics, can we implement this constructive programme. 
  • Therefore, Gandhi’s philosophical way of life is an explicit desire for a socialist society — since an ethics based on the reduction of selfishness can only approve a socialist way of life, for logical reasons.
  • Even though socialist themes like the idea of a “simple life” were part of all philosophical schools of the Subcontinent, it was only in Gandhi that they achieved an explicit political/ideological dimension — Gandhi’s ashrams were such socialist communes.
  • On numerous occasions Gandhi had said that he aspired to “reduce to zero”, that is, totally eliminate selfishness/self-centeredness. For the Buddha, too, the reduction of self-centeredness through the cultivation of virtues like satya, ahimsa, aparigraha, brahmacharya, etc., was crucial for fostering sarvodaya. 

Conclusion

The politically charged, non-violent and ethical style of philosophy propagated by Gandhi is intended to make one spiritual — a practitioner is encouraged to gravitate and work for the welfare of all other beings.


GOVERNANCE/ ECONOMY

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • GS-3: Indian Economy & its challenges

Dismantling the Ordnance Factory Board

Context: The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), the first of whose industrial establishments was set up in 1801, will cease to exist from October 1, and the assets, staff, and operations of its 41 ordnance factories will be transferred to seven defence public sector units (DPSUs).

  • OFB also includes nine training institutes, three regional marketing centres, and five regional controllers of safety. 
  • A large chunk of the weapons, ammunition, and supplies used by the armed forces, and paramilitary and police forces, come from OFB-run factories. 

For-against corporatisation

  • It has been argued that OFB’s monopoly has led to innovation drying up, apart from low productivity, high costs of production, and lack of flexibility at the higher managerial levels.
  • Corporatisation of OFB: The restructuring of OFB into corporate entities (owned by the government i.e Public Sector Company) was recommended in one or the other form by at least three expert committees on defence reforms set up in the last two decades —
    • TKS Nair Committee (2000)
    • Vijay Kelkar Committee (2005)
    • Vice Admiral Raman Puri Committee (2015). 
    • A fourth committee, constituted by former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and chaired by Lt Gen D B Shekatkar, did not suggest corporatisation, but recommended regular audits of all ordnance units considering past performance.
  • The central argument has been that corporatisation, which will bring these entities under the purview of The Companies Act, would lead to 
    • Improvements in efficiency
    • Make products cost-competitive
    • Enhance their quality
  • Employees argued that corporatisation was a “move towards privatisation”. They expressed fears of job losses, and said a corporate entity would not be able to survive the unique market environment of defence products with its unstable demand-supply dynamics.

What has been the progress of Corporatisation of OFB?

  • In May 2020, during fourth round of Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, Finance Minister announced the decision to corporatise OFB for “improving autonomy, accountability and efficiency in ordnance suppliers”.
  • An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) for Corporatisation was formed with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh as chairman “to oversee and guide the entire process, including transition support and redeployment plan of employees while safeguarding their wages and retirement benefits”.
  • In October 2020, the government declared a proposed strike by workers’ federations “invalid and illegal”.
  • As no reconciliation could be reached between government and protesting workers, the government announced this June that the OFB would be split into seven DPSUs – Munitions India Ltd, Armoured Vehicles Nigam Ltd, Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Ltd, Troop Comforts Ltd, Yantra India Ltd, India Optel Ltd, and Gliders India Ltd. 
  • Each of these PSUs will run clusters of ordnance factories involved in manufacturing similar categories of products. Training and marketing establishments that have been part of the OFB will also be divided among the seven PSUs

Connecting the dots:


(SANSAD TV – PERSPECTIVE)


Sep 17: 21st SCO Council Meet – https://youtu.be/Mj8L8_2a1ho

INTERNATIONAL / SECURITY

  • GS-II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate. 
  • GS-II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests. 

21st SCO Council Meet

In News: Prime Minister participated virtually in the 21st Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), and through video-message in the Joint SCO-CSTO Outreach Session on Afghanistan, in Dushanbe in hybrid format.  

  • Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It will be the first SCO Summit being held in a hybrid format and the fourth Summit that India will participate as a full-fledged member of SCO.
  • Coming against the backdrop of the turbulence caused by the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the current meeting will be one of the most significant gatherings in its two-decade history.
  • Iran has been accepted as the ninth full member of the organisation.

India’s Stand – 

  • Highlighted the problems caused by growing radicalisation and extremism in the broader SCO region, which runs counter to the history of the region as a bastion of moderate and progressive cultures and values. The recent developments in Afghanistan could further exacerbate this trend towards extremism.
  • Offered to share the open-source solutions that have been developed for its development programmes with other SCO members
  • Connectivity projects should be transparent, participatory and consultative, in order to promote mutual trust.  
  • Noting the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, India reiterated it’s solidarity with the Afghan people.
  • Suggestions to SCO:
    • SCO could work on an agenda to promote moderation and scientific and rational thought, which would be especially relevant for the youth of the region.  
    • SCO could develop a code of conduct on ‘zero tolerance’ towards terrorism in the region, and highlighted the risks of drugs, arms and human trafficking from Afghanistan

About Shanghai Cooperation Organization

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a political, economic, and Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of many important countries including India and its neighborhood. 
  • India is full member of the SCO. 
  • SCO Secretariat: Beijing
  • Along with India and Pakistan (2017), this intergovernmental organisation has 8 members including Russia, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. It also has several observers like Iran and Afghanistan. 
  • The internal policy of the forum is inspired by the Shanghai Spirit: based on the principles of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultations, and a desire for common development. 
  • SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS): RATS is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against terrorism, separatism, and extremism and is headquartered in Tashkent.
  • History:
    • Built on Shanghai Five: Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz Republic) and Tajikistan popularly known as Shanghai Five had come together in the post-Soviet era in 1996, in order to work on regional security, reduction of border troops, and terrorism.
    • Initial Success in resolving Boundary Disputes: The 1996 meeting of the Shanghai Five resulted in an ‘Agreement on Confidence-Building in the Military Field Along the Border Areas’ between China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which led to an agreement on the mutual reduction of military forces on their common borders in 1997. 
    • Inclusion of Uzbekistan: Subsequently, Shanghai Five helped resolve disputes between Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on border issues and the Ferghana Valley enclaves.
    • Institutionalisation: Subsequently a permanent intergovernmental international organisation called SCO was founded in June 2001. It is Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
    • Expansion: Its membership was expanded to include India and Pakistan in 2017.
  • SECURE: PM Modi’s mantra that is applicable to SCO

‘S’ for security of citizens,

‘E’ for economic development,

‘C’ for connectivity in the region,

‘U’ for unity,

‘R’ for respect of sovereignty and integrity, and

‘E’ for environmental protection

Can you answer the following question?

  1. What are India’s stakes in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)? What benefits would accrue from India’s membership of the grouping? Discuss.

(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.

Q.1 Single citizenship in India has been taken from which country? 

  1. Britain
  2. Canada
  3. Both 1 & 2
  4. USA

Q.2 Which of the following is/are true regarding Meningitis

  1. Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
  2. It is predominantly caused by fungal infection.

Select the correct statements:

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

Q.3 Which of the following is not a cause of the landslide?

  1. Snow melting
  2. Blasting and mining
  3. Earthquake 
  4. None of the above 

ANSWERS FOR 1st Oct 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1
2 A
3 B

Must Read

On MeToo movement:

Hindustan Times

On Green Hydrogen:

Financial Express

On Border Management:

Tribune

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