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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th May 2022

  • IASbaba
  • May 26, 2022
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(PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)


National Achievement Survey (NAS)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs – important reports, surveys etc
  • Mains – GS 2 (Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

In News: The Ministry of Education released its National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021 report

  • The objective of NAS 2021 is to evaluate children’s progress and learning competencies as an indicator of the efficiency of the education system, so as to take appropriate steps for remedial actions at different levels
  • The survey assesses the health of the school education system in the country through a survey of children’s learning competencies at Classes 3, 5, 8 and 10.
  • The survey is conducted every three years, and the last one was held in 2017.
  • Nearly 34 lakh students of 1.18 lakh schools in 720 districts from government, government-aided and private-unaided schools participated in the exercise.
  • The survey was conducted via an OMR (optical mark recognition)-based achievement test comprising multiple-choice questions along with questionnaires in 22 different languages.
  • This nationwide survey was administered by the Central Board of Secondary Education in one single day at the same time.

Key Findings

  • A DEEP learning crisis has set in during the Covid pandemic; there is fall of up to nine percentage points between 2017 and 2021 in the performance of students in subjects ranging from maths to social sciences
  • The dip has happened across subjects, and grades.
  • It is also found that as many as 24 per cent of the students surveyed did not have access to digital devices at home, 38 per cent said they faced difficulty carrying out learning activities at home during the pandemic, while 80 per cent said they learn better at school with the help of peers.
  • It found that out of a score of 500, students across various classes performed better in languages but lagged behind in subjects like mathematics and science.
  • It also shows that across various subjects and classes, SC, ST and OBC students performed worse than general category students.
  • For instance, while general category students in Class 8 scored an average of 260 marks in mathematics, SC students scored 249 marks, ST scored 244 marks and OBCs scored 253 marks.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) As per the NSSO 70th Round “Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households”, consider the following statements (2018)

  1. Rajasthan has the highest percentage share of agricultural households among its rural households.
  2. Out of the total agricultural households in the country, a little over 60 percent belong to OBCs.
  3. In Kerala, a little over 60 percent of agricultural households reported to have received maximum income from sources other than agricultural activities.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Source: The Hindu & Indian Express


Sugar export curbs and their impact

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Geography – important crops of India
  • Mains – GS 3 (Major Crops – Cropping Patterns in various parts of the country)

In News: The GOI has notified that sugar exports will be restricted, or allowed only with permission

  • The government decided to “restrict” the export of sugar, effective from June 1

What are the latest curbs?

  • The government has moved export of sugar from the ‘open category’, which requires no government intervention, to ‘restricted’ category.
  • This means that export of sugar is allowed only with specific permission from the Directorate of Sugar, Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD), Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.

Why the curbs now?

  • The curbs, the first such move in four years, have been ordered to maintain “domestic availability and price stability of sugar”
  • During the festival period of October and November, the demand for sugar increases and therefore, the Centre is committed to ensure availability of sugar for the lean period
  • Also the global situation reflects a shortage of sugar, especially due to lower production in Brazil.
  • This may trigger the demand globally and so as to safeguard domestic availability and interests, government issued an order to maintain domestic availability and price stability of sugar in the country during sugar season 2021-22.

Exports

Increase in exports

  • Increase in export is because of the fact that Brazil produced more ethanol than sugar given the exceptional rise in fuel prices.
  • This, and drought hitting other big sugar producers like Thailand helped India venture in countries which otherwise were dependent on Brazilian sugar.
  • India is the second largest sugar producer in the world after Brazil. However, Brazil has always led in terms of exports.

Sugarcane

Climate

    • Sugarcane is predominantly a tropical crop. It requires hot (21°-27°C) and humid (75- 150 cm) climate.
    • Sugar beet (tuber crop) is the temperate alternative for sugarcane. It requires 10 to 18 months to mature depending upon the geographical conditions.
    • Too heavy rainfall results in low sugar content & deficiency in rainfall produces fibrous crop.
    • Temperature above 20°C combined with open sky in the second half of the crop season helps in acquiring juice and its thickening.
    • Short cool dry winter season during ripening and harvesting is ideal.
    • Frost is detrimental to sugarcane. It must be harvested before frost season in northern parts where frost is a common phenomenon.
    • On the other hand, hot dry winds like “Loo” are hostile to sugarcane. Both frost and loo are absent in South India. So south is ideal for sugarcane cultivation.
    • Coastal plains and western side of Western Ghats are generally avoided as the gusty winds (monsoon winds) damage the crop.

Soil

    • Sugarcane can tolerate any kind of soil that can retain moisture.

Manual labour

    • Cheap abundant labor is a prerequisite for successful cultivation of sugarcane

Production

    • India has the largest area under sugarcane cultivation in the world.
    • But in production India lags behind Brazil – world’s largest producer of sugarcane
    • Top Sugarcane Producing States: Uttar Pradesh > Maharashtra > Karnataka > Tamil Nadu > Bihar.

Sugarcane Pricing: Sugarcane prices are determined by:

  1. Central Government: Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP)
  • The Central Government announces Fair and Remunerative Prices which are determined on the recommendation of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and announced by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA)
  • The FRP is based on the Rangarajan Committee report on reorganizing the sugarcane industry.
  1. State Government: State Advised Prices (SAP)
  • The SAP are announced by the Governments of key sugarcane producing states.
  • SAP is generally higher than FRP.

Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP)

  • The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) is an attached office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India.
  • The CACP is an expert body that recommends the MSPs of the notified Kharif and Rabi crops to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
  • However, its suggestions are not binding on the Government.

Composition

The CACP is currently composed of five people. It consists of:

  • A Chairman
  • Member Secretary
  • One Official Member
  • Two Non-Official Members
  • The two non-official members are usually representatives of the farming community and have an active association with the farming community.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1)With reference to the current trends in the cultivation of sugarcane in India, consider the following statements: (2020)

  1. A substantial saving in seed material is made when ‘bud chip settleings’ are raised in a nursery and transplanted in the main field.
  2. If bad weather conditions prevail when setts are directly planted, single-budded setts have better survival as compared to large setts.
  3. Sugarcane can be cultivated using settlings prepared from tissue culture.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Source: Indian Express


Common Development Vision

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – International Relations
  • Mains – GS 2(Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests)

In News: China wants 10 Pacific nations to endorse sweeping agreement

  • China’s move comes as its Foreign Minister and a 20-strong delegation begin a visit to the region (Pacific islands) this week.

Common Development Vision

  • It is a draft agreement
  • China wants 10 small Pacific nations to endorse a sweeping agreement covering everything from security to fisheries
  • A draft of the agreement shows that China wants to train Pacific police officers, team up on “traditional and non-traditional security” and expand law enforcement cooperation.
  • China also wants to jointly develop a marine plan for fisheries – which would include the Pacific’s lucrative tuna catch – increase cooperation on running the region’s internet networks, and set up cultural Confucius Institutes and classrooms.
  • The agreement would also see the nations “expand exchanges between governments, legislatures and political parties.”
  • The agreement says that China and the Pacific countries would jointly formulate a marine spatial plan “to optimize the layout of the marine economy, and develop and utilize marine resources rationally, so as to promote a sustainable development of blue economy.”
  • It also outlines – immediate incentives that China is offering to the Pacific nations – China says it will fully implement 2,500 government scholarships through 2025; it will build criminal investigation laboratories as needed by the Pacific nations that can be used for fingerprint testing, forensic autopsies, and electronic forensics etc
  • The draft agreement also stipulates that the Pacific countries “firmly abide” by the one-China principle, under which Taiwan, a self-ruled island democracy, is considered by Beijing to be part of China.
  • It would also uphold the “non-interference” principle that China often cites as a deterrent to other nations speaking out about its human rights record.
  • The countries China hopes will endorse the “Common Development Vision” – the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, the Cook Islands, Niue and the Federated States of Micronesia
  • Micronesia has opposed the agreement citing it as the single most game-changing proposed agreement in the Pacific region, it “threatens to bring a new Cold War era at best, and a World War at worst.”

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ is sometimes mentioned in the news in the context of the affairs of (2016)

  1. Africa Union
  2. Brazil
  3. European Union
  4. China

Source: Economic Times

 


LGBTIQ+

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs – reports, surveys etc
  • Mains – GS 2 (Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population by the Centre and States and the Performance of these Schemes; Mechanisms, Laws, Institutions and Bodies constituted for the Protection and Betterment of these Vulnerable Sections)

In News: International Labour Organisation (ILO) released a document “Inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) persons in the world of work”

Recommendations

  • Report recommended member countries, employers’ organisations and representatives of workers to launch social protection programmes to remove barriers that LGBTIQ+ persons face in society
  • The ILO document said discrimination has an economic cost not just to LGBTIQ+ persons and their families but also to enterprises and national economies.
  • The ILO added that around the world, LGBTIQ+ persons face harassment, violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.
  • It said a national policy and labour law review will allow governments to assess their country’s work policy environment for LGBTIQ+ persons – This will allow the identification of concrete steps for improving the legal and policy environment, ending discrimination and exclusions, and complying with international instruments
  • The ILO said consultation with LGBTIQ+ communities and social dialogue with employers’ and workers’ organisations are key – This will allow the identification of barriers faced by LGBTIQ+ persons when entering the labour market and accessing government schemes
  • Studies have shown that diversity in the workplace, including LGBTIQ+ persons, is better for business.
  • It signals a creative environment that creates the right conditions for economic growth

Challenges Faced by LGBTIQ+ Community

  • Family: The problem of sexual orientation and gender identity leads to fighting and family disruption.
  • Lack of communication and misunderstanding between parents and their LGBTQ children increases family conflict.
  • Discrimination at Work Place: LGBTQ suffers from the socio-economic inequalities in large part due to discrimination in the workplace.
  • Health Issues: Criminalisation of homosexuality leads to discrimination and results in LGBTQ people getting poor or inadequate access to services within the health system.
  • Drug Abuse: They gradually develop low self-esteem and low self-confidence and become isolated from friends and family.
  • These people mostly get addicted to drugs and alcohol

Status of LGBTIQ+ Rights in India

  • National Legal Services Authority Vs. Union of India (2014): The SC observed that “recognition of transgenders as a third gender is not a social or medical issue, but a human rights issue”.
  • Navtej Singh Johar vs. Union Of India (2018): The SC decriminalised homosexuality by striking off parts of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which were held violative of Fundamental Rights of LGBTQ Community.
  • The SC held that Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees equality before law and this applies to all classes of citizens therby restoring ‘inclusiveness’ of LGBTQ Community.
  • Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019:
  • The Parliament has enacted the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, to prohibit discrimination against Transgender persons
  • Same Sex Marraiges: In Shafin Jahan v. Asokan K.M. and others (2018) case, the SC observed that choice of a partner is a person’s fundamental right and it can be a same-sex partner.
  • However, in February, 2021, the Central Government opposed same-sex marriage in Delhi High Court stating that a marriage in India can be recognised only if it is between a “biological man” and a “biological woman” capable of producing children.

Way Forward

It is time to recognize the rights of LGBTIQ+ community through anti-discrimination law that empowers them to build productive lives and relationships irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and place the onus to change on state and society and not the individual.

Source: The Hindu


Wanchuwa festival

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Society
  • Mains – GS 1 (Indian Culture – Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times)

In News: Tiwa tribesmen celebrated the Wanchuwa festival in Karbi Anglong district of Assam

About Wanchuwa festival:

  • The Wanchuwa festival is one of the most important celebrations in the life of the Tiwa tribe of Assam.
  • With every harvest, it comes with songs, dances, a bunch of rituals and people clad in their native attires.
  • With bamboo sticks in hand, the people proceed to rhythmically beat the rice powder, and occasionally pause to move around the circle.
  • The people of Tiwa tribe associate the bountiful harvest with the higher power from nature.

Tiwa Tribe

  • Tiwa Tribe is a community that centers itself around a traditional form of agriculture.
  • Also known as Lalung, this indigenous community is recognized as a Scheduled Tribe (ST) within the state of Assam.
  • They are also found in Meghalaya,  Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
  • The Tiwa community is far removed from the noise and influence of urban chaos.
  • The Tiwas practice Jhum or shifting cultivation.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs).

Q.1)With reference to ‘Changpa’ community of India, consider the following statement: (2014)

  1. They live mainly in the State of Uttarakhand.
  2. They rear the Pashmina goats that yield a fine wool.
  3. They are kept in the category of Scheduled Tribes.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Baba’s Explainer – Asha Workers

ASHA Workers

Syllabus

  • GS-1: Society –  Women empowerment
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 

Why in News: The one million ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers, who are at the forefront of healthcare delivery in India, have received the Global Health Leaders Award-2022 in the backdrop of the ongoing 75th World Health Assembly.

The other recipients of the Global Health Leaders Award include

  • Eight volunteer polio workers who were shot and killed by armed gunmen in Takhar and Kunduz provinces in Afghanistan in February 2022. Notably, Pakistan and Afghanistan continue to be the only two countries in the world where polio is still in transmission.
  • Dr Paul Farmer for his contribution towards providing direct healthcare services, research and advocacy for those who are sick and living in poverty;
  • Dr Ahmed Hankir for his anti-stigma programme that blends in the power of performing arts and storytelling with psychiatry;
  • Volleyball player Ludmila Sofia Oliveira Varela for facilitating access to sports as an alternative to risky behaviour in youth;
  • Yohei Sasakawa for his global fight against leprosy and the associated stigma and social discrimination.

Read Complete Details on Asha Workers


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following statements about National Achievement Survey (NAS)

  1. It is conducted by NITI Aayog and Ministry of Statistics and Programme implementation
  2. The survey is conducted once in every five years
  3. According to recent survey (2021) SC, ST and OBC students performed better than general category students

Choose the incorrect statements:

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

Q.2) Consider the following statements

  1. India is the second largest sugar producer in the world after Thailand
  2. Uttar Pradesh is the highest sugarcane producing State in India
  3. Central Government announces State Advised Prices (SAP) based on the recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP)

Choose the correct statements:

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

Q.3)Arrange the following Pacific islands from south to north

  1. Fiji
  2. Solomon islands
  3. Marshall islands
  4. Tonga
  5. Kiribati

Choose the correct code:

  1. 2-3-1-4-5
  2. 5-4-1-3-2
  3. 4-1-2-5-3
  4. 1-4-3-5-2

ANSWERS FOR ’26th MAY 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 25th MAY 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – d Q.2) – d Q.3) – c

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