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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 25th July 2022

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  • July 25, 2022
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(PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)


Swadesh Darshan 2.0 (SD2.0)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Government & Policies
  • Mains – GS 3 (Economy)

In News: The Ministry of Tourism has revamped its Swadesh Darshan scheme as Swadesh Darshan 2.0 (SD2.0)

  • It aims to develop sustainable and responsible destinations with tourist & destination centric approach and has shared the guidelines for SD2.0 scheme.
  • The Ministry of Tourism under its schemes of ‘Swadesh Darshan’ and ‘PRASHAD’ provides financial assistance to State Governments/Union Territory (UT) Administrations/Central Agencies etc. for development of tourism infrastructure in the country.
  • The projects under this scheme are sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitable Detailed Project Reports (DPR), adherence to scheme guidelines and utilization of funds released earlier etc.

Swadesh Darshan

  • Swadesh Darshan, a Central Sector Scheme, was launched in 2014 -15 for integrated development of theme based tourist circuits in the country.
  • This scheme is envisioned to synergise with other schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, and Make in India
  • Under the scheme, the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for infrastructure development of circuits.
  • One of the objectives of the scheme is to develop theme-based tourist circuits on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner.

Tourism Circuits:

  • Under the scheme, fifteen thematic circuits have been identified– Buddhist Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Heritage Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Krishna Circuit, North East Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Sufi Circuit, Tirthankar Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Wildlife Circuit.

PRASHAD Scheme

  • The ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD)’ was launched by the Ministry of Tourism in the year 2014-15 with the objective of holistic development of identified pilgrimage destinations.
  • The projects identified under this scheme shall be implemented through the identified agencies by the respective State/ Union Territory Government.

Objective:

  • Rejuvenation and spiritual augmentation of important national/ global pilgrimage and heritage sites
  • Follow community-based development and create awareness among the local communities.
  • Integrated tourism development of heritage city, local arts, culture, handicrafts, cuisine, etc., to generate livelihood
  • Strengthen the mechanism for bridging the infrastructural gaps.

Funding:

  • Under it, the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments for promoting tourism at identified destinations.
  • For components within public funding under this scheme, the Central Government will provide a 100% fund.
  • For improved sustainability of the project, it also seeks to involve Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as well.

Source: Pib.Gov

Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which of the following are the objectives of ‘National Nutrition Mission’? (2017)

  1. To create awareness relating to malnutrition among pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  2. To reduce the incidence of anemia among young children, adolescent girls and women.
  3. To promote the consumption of millets, coarse cereals and unpolished rice.
  4. To promote the consumption of poultry eggs.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Marburg virus

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: The first two cases of the Marburg virus, a highly infectious Ebola-like disease, have been confirmed officially by Ghana.

  • Two deaths have been reported till now.
  • This outbreak is only the second time that the disease has been detected in West Africa.

Marburg virus disease

  • Marburg virus disease (MVD), earlier known as Marburg haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal hemorrhagic fever.
  • Marburg, like Ebola, is a filovirus; and both diseases are clinically similar.
  • Rousettus aegyptiacus, fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, are considered to be natural hosts of Marburg virus.

  • The Marburg virus is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads among humans through human-to-human transmission.
  • The disease has an average fatality rate of around 50%. However, it can be as low as 24% or as high as 88% depending on virus strain and case management
  • African green monkeys imported from Uganda were the source of the first human infection, the WHO points out.
  • It was first detected in 1967 after simultaneous outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany; and in Belgrade, Serbia.

Symptoms of MVD

  • After the onset of symptoms, which can begin anytime between 2 to 21 days, MVD can manifest itself in the form of high fever, muscle aches and severe headache.
  • Patients report abdominal pain, vomiting, severe watery diarrhoea and cramping.
  • In this phase, the appearance of patients has been often described as “ghost-like” with deep-set eyes, expressionless faces, and extreme lethargy.
  • After some time patients report bleeding from nose, gums and blood appearing in vomits and faeces.
  • Severe blood loss leads to death, often between 8 to 9 days after symptoms begin.

Transmission

  • Initially, human MVD infection results from prolonged exposure to mines or caves inhabited by Rousettus bat colonies.
  • Marburg spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.
  • People remain infectious as long as their blood contains the virus.

Treatment

  • There is no approved antiviral treatment or vaccine for MVD as of now.
  • It can be managed with supportive care.
  • According to the WHO, rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids and treatment of specific symptoms can help prevent death.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which one of the following statements is not correct? (2019)

  1. Hepatitis B virus is transmitted much like HIV.
  2. Hepatitis B. unlike Hepatitis C, does not have a vaccine.
  3. Globally, the number of people infected with Hepatitis B and C viruses arc several times more than those infected with HIV.
  4. Some of those infected with Hepatitis B and C viruses do not show the symptoms for many years.


Places in News

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Geography

Island of Kyushu

In News: A volcano on Japan’s major western island of Kyushu, called Sakurajima, erupted on July 24.

  • There were reports of volcanic stones raining down at a distance of 2.5 km (1.5 miles) from the volcano.
  • Sakurajima is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes and eruptions of varying levels take place on a regular basis.
  • In 2019 it spewed ash 5.5 km (3.4 miles) high.
  • Most of the city of Kagoshima is across the bay from the volcano but several residential areas within about 3 km (1.9 miles) of the crater have been ordered to evacuate.

Japan Islands

  • The territory of Japan comprises the four large islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, and other smaller islands.

Source: The Hindu

Yosemite National Park

  • In News: A fast-moving brush fire near Yosemite National Park exploded in size on Saturday into one of California’s largest wildfires of the year, prompting evacuation orders for thousands of people and shutting off power to more than 2,000 homes and businesses.

Source: The Hindu

Kurung Kumey district, Arunachal Pradesh

  • In News: Seventeen days after they fled a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) construction project in Arunachal Pradesh’s Kurung Kumey district, eight of 19 labourers were rescued recently.
  • They were found near the road construction project, after “wandering in the dense forests for days.
  • The Sarli-Huri road construction project, now nearing completion, is about 90 km from the India-China border.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following pairs: (2022)

Regions in News                Country

  1. Anatolia –                 Turkey
  2. Amhara –                 Ethiopia
  3. Cabo Delgado –       Spain
  4. Catalonia –               Italy

How many pairs given above are correctly matched?

  1. Only one pair
  2. Only two pairs
  3. Only three pairs
  4. All four pairs

Q.2) Consider the following pairs: (2018)

Regions sometimes mentioned in the news        Country

  1. Catalonia – Spain
  2. Crimea – Hungary
  3. Mindanao – Philippines
  4. Oromia – Nigeria

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

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

Chandrashekar Azad

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – History
  • Mains – GS 1 (History)

In News: Using soil from Alirajpur, the birthplace of Chandrashekar Azad, Madhya Pradesh government will install the freedom-fighter’s statue in Bhopal.

Chandrashekar Azad

  • Azad was born on 23rd July 1906 in the Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Chandrashekhar Azad was a great Indian freedom fighter.
  • His fierce patriotism and courage inspired others of his generation to enter the freedom struggle.
  • He was the mentor of Bhagat Singh, another great freedom fighter, and along with Bhagat Singh, he is considered one of the greatest revolutionaries that India has produced.

As a revolutionary

‘Azad’:

  • In December 1921, when Gandhiji launched the Non-Cooperation Movement, Chandra Shekhar, then a 15-year-old student, joined.
  • As a result, he was arrested.
  • On being presented before a magistrate, he gave his name as “Azad” (The Free), his father’s name as “Swatantrata” (Independence) and his residence as “Jail”.
  • From that day he came to be known as Chandra Shekhar Azad among the people.

Became famous for:

  • Involved in the Kakori Train Robbery of 1925, in the attempt to blow up the Viceroy of India’s train in 1926, and at last the shooting of J. P. Saunders at Lahore in 1928 to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpat Rai.

What inspired him:

Formed:

  • He was the chief strategist of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).

A terror for British police:

  • He was on their hit list and the British police badly wanted to capture him dead or alive.
  • On February 27, 1931 Azad met two of his comrades at the Alfred Park Allahabad.
  • He was betrayed by an informer who had informed the British police.
  • The police surrounded the park and ordered Azad to surrender.
  • Azad fought alone valiantly and killed three policemen.
  • But finding himself surrounded and seeing no route for escape, he shot himself. Thus, he kept his pledge of not being caught alive.

Source: The Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Who among the following were the founders of the “Hind Mazdoor Sabha” established in 1948? (2018)

  1. Krishna Pillai, E.M.S. Namboodiripad and K.C. George
  2. Jayaprakash Narayan, Deen Dayal Upadhyay and M.N. Roy
  3. P. Ramaswamy Iyer, K. Kamaraj and Veeresalingam Pantulu
  4. Ashok Mehta, T.S. Ramanujam and G.G. Mehta

China's space station

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: China successfully launched first lab module for its space station.

  • China successfully launched the first lab module for its under-construction space station, the latest step in the country’s ambitious programme to complete it by year’s end.
  • The giant Long March-5B Y3 carrier rocket, carrying Wentian, blasted off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of the southern island province of Hainan.
  • The new module will function both as a backup of the core module, Tianhe, and as a powerful scientific experiment platform in the space station currently being built by the country.
  • China is on the track to completing the construction of its space station as it successfully launched the first lab module.
  • The construction of China’s space station called Tiangong is expected to be completed this year.
  • It will then evolve from a single-module structure into a national space laboratory with three modules — the core module, Tianhe, and two lab modules, Wentian and Mengtian.
  • Once ready, China’s low-flying space station will be the only country to own a space station. The International Space Station (ISS) of Russia is a collaborative project of several countries.
  • China Space Station (CSS) is also expected to be a competitor to the ISS built by Russia.
  • Once ready, China’s low-flying space station will be the only country to own a space station.
  • As the International Space Station (ISS) is a collaborative project of several countries.
  • China Space Station (CSS) is also expected to be a competitor to the ISS built by Russia.

Source: The Hindu


Delayed Payments

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 3 (Economy)

In News: A critical problem faced by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector is delayed payments.

Stats

  • It’s the smallest establishments — the micro and small units — which have been hit the hardest post-Covid with their pending dues touching Rs 8.73 lakh crore, almost 80 per cent of the total pending for the entire MSME sector until 2021.
  • Delayed payments, as percentage of sales, have seen a sharp spike from 46.16 per cent in 2020 to 65.73 per cent in 2021 for the micro segment and from 28.85 per cent to 31.10 per cent for small units.

Reasons

  • A Crisil report showed that more than a quarter of India’s MSMEs lost market share of over 3 per cent due to the pandemic.
  • And half of them suffered a contraction in their earning margins because of a sharp rise in commodity prices during 2021 fiscal, compared with 2020. This is exacerbated by delayed payments.

Note:

  • According to information from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the share of MSME in India’s manufacturing output during FY’20 was 36.9 per cent and the share of export of specified MSME-related products to all-India exportts during FY21 was 49.5 per cent.

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME)

  • Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSME’s) are entities that are involved in production, manufacturing and processing of goods and commodities.
  • The concept of MSME was first introduced by the government of India through the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006.

Classification of MSME’s

Size of the Enterprise Investment Annual Turnover
Micro Not more than Rs.1 crore Not more than Rs. 5 crore
Small Not more than Rs.10 crore Not more than Rs. 50 crore
Medium Not more than Rs.50 crore Not more than Rs. 250 crore

 

Must Read: Delayed payments – Foregoing business opportunities due to lack of liquidity

MSMEs and Global Value Chain

Source: Indian Express


Rule of Law

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance)

Context: In Satender Kumar Antil v. Central Bureau of Investigation (2022), the Supreme Court expressed its unhappiness with the current state of India’s criminal justice system.

  • The court said there was scant regard for the violation of basic human rights.
  • It noted that indiscriminate arrests are indicative of a colonial mindset and create the impression of India being a “police state”.

Issues

Arrest

  • The essence of the court’s charge was that law-enforcement agencies make far too many arrests in violation of basic human rights.
  • Arrest and confinement to police custody or judicial custody often smacks of vindictiveness.
  • An average police officer invariably believes that it is only in the rigour of custody that a suspect will cough out the truth. This is unfortunate.
  • It is distressing that the practice of arresting suspects at the drop of a hat remains the style of policing in our country.

Overcrowding

  • The Supreme Court also drew attention to the problem of overcrowding of prisons, which has attendant issues such as corruption, crime and hygiene within prisons.
  • An overwhelming majority of the inmates are undertrials.

The Court’s role

  • The court noted that need for a cultural change at all levels in the police has never been felt more than now.
  • That bail is the rule and jail the exception has been reiterated in several judicial and other forums.
  • This has been violated by the police in cases where they enjoy discretion as well as by the lower courts, some of which are downright rude to those arraigned before them.
  • The Supreme Court’s latest order should awaken their conscience and make them understand that when they grant bail, they are not doling out charity but implementing the dictates of law.

The Satender Kumar case to the Bail Act of the U.K.

  • The apex court’s reference in the Satender Kumar case to the Bail Act of the U.K. is appropriate.
  • The essence of that law is that arrests should be rare, and bail provisions should be uncomplicated even to the unlettered citizen.
  • There is a provision for electronic surveillance of those released on bail. This is something novel, but practicable, at least in urban India.
  • The court’s recommendation that India should consider a similar enactment is welcome.

Way Forward

  • There is a need for the agencies must be civilised towards both crime suspects and convicts
  • Judges sometimes go into the nitty-gritty of an ongoing investigation, which is undesirable if police action has to be balanced.
  • Mindset needs to change, which cannot happen unless the political and bureaucratic leadership are convinced of the role of ethics, in shaping and administering the criminal justice system.

Source: The Hindu


Adding digital layers of indignity

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance)

Context: Dehumanisation is the likely outcome when humane aspects of governance get outsourced to technologies.

  • The right to live with dignity is a constitutional imperative.
  • However, it rarely manifests in discussions surrounding digital initiatives in governance.
  • Centralised data dashboards have become the go-to mode for assessing policies, relegating principles such as human dignity and hardships in accessing rights to its blind spots.
  • Often when technological glitches prevent one from accessing rights, there is a tendency to make the rights-holder feel responsible for it.
  • Dehumanisation is the likely outcome when trust and humane aspects of governance get outsourced to opaque technologies.

Two technocratic initiatives

Two recent technocratic initiatives by the Union government underscore these issues again.

Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS)

  • In 2021, the Union government launched the Poshan Tracker, a centralised platform, to monitor all nutrition initiatives, including ICDS.
  • As per Union government circulars, the updating of Aadhaar of ICDS rights-holders, including children, on the Poshan Tracker is mandatory, and subsequent Central funds for supplementary nutrition to States is being made contingent on this.
  • Nearly three-fourths of children between the ages of 0 to 5 years do not have Aadhaar cards, and Supreme Court orders specify that children cannot be denied their rights for lack of Aadhaar.
  • And also government does not provide any data or evidence to show how many “fake” or “ghost” children there are.
  • As per the recent National Family Health Survey, 36% of children under the age of five are stunted and nearly one-third of children in this age group are underweight.
  • In such light, creating new hurdles for children — migrants or otherwise — and young mothers to access food in the name of digitisation appears cruel.

National Mobile Monitoring Software (NMMS) app to record attendance of MGNREGA workers

  • The Union government has issued an order introducing the NMMS app to record attendance of MGNREGA workers at worksites.
  • A recent study articulates the perils of such a move
  • Earlier MGNREGA workers could complete their share of work and leave.
  • This gave them time for household work or for other work that gave them supplementary income.
  • The app makes this hard as they have to now stay back at the worksite even after completing their work only to get photographed and geo-tagged.
  • Mates have to carry smartphones which many don’t own.
  • Another report shows that many Mates are forced to take loans to buy smartphones to use the app.
  • The very need for an app, its failures plus other impediments such as unstable network connectivity are likely to discourage women from MGNREGA work.
  • Both these technocratic initiatives point to a digital avatar of all-in with no evident positives for the rights-holders.
  • Further the rights-holders will be made to take the blame for technical reasons blocking their participation.
  • This further alienates and erodes the political capacities of rights-holders who usually get addressed in patronising terms such as “beneficiaries.”
  • In the process, violations of dignity get buried in the calculus of technocracy and opacity of government actions.

Way Forward

  • Design: Initiatives should be designed considering the demands of all stakeholders
  • Strengthening social audits
  • Evaluations enable better decision-making – Interim design evaluations and rapid assessments are two such techniques
  • Design evaluations can be used to check the soundness of a programme by mapping its objectives, implementation architecture, and expected results.
  • Similarly, rapid assessments are shorter exercises to check the quality of service delivery, the end-user uptake, and satisfaction with the services.

Source: The Hindu


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following statements about Swadesh Darshan

  1. It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme
  2. It is implemented by Ministry of Culture
  3. The objective of the scheme is to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country

Choose the incorrect statements:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 2
  4. None

Q.2) Consider the following statements about Marburg disease

  1. Marburg haemorrhagic fever is a bacterial disease which was first reported in Papua New Guinea
  2. Rousettus aegyptiacus, fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, are considered to be natural hosts of causative agent of Marburg disease
  3. Marburg disease does not spreads through human to human contacts

Choose the correct statements:

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

Q.3) Sakurajima volcano recently in news for its eruption, is located in?

  1. Philippines
  2. Chile
  3. Hawaii
  4. Japan

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ’25th JULY 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 23rd JULY 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – d

Q.2) – b

Q.3) – a

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