DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 31st October 2022

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  • October 31, 2022
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Salmonella and Salmonellosis

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  • Prelims – Science and Technology

Context: The rapid and unselective use of traditional antibiotics gives rise to the emergence of drug resistant phenotype in typhoidal and non-typhoidal Salmonella serovars, which has increased the difficulties in curing Salmonella-induced food-borne illnesses (majorly typhoid or paratyphoid fever, gastroenteritis, and diarrhoea) worldwide.

About Salmonella Typhimurium:

  • It is often associated with animals and animal products that are eaten.
  • Salmonella Typhimurium can be transferred to humans through raw or undercooked infected food including meat and eggs.
  • Salmonella Typhimurium causes gastroenteritis (inflammation of the gut).
  • Salmonella typhimurium ST313, an invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella serovar, causes bloodstream infection in the malnourished and immunocompromised population of sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Recent studies have reported the emergence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) phenotype in Salmonella tphimurium DT104, which causes infection in humans and cattle.
  • The continuous adaptation of this bacteria to the available antibiotics creates a risk of developing antimicrobial resistance in the future.

About Salmonellosis:

  • Salmonellosis is an infection with a bacteria called Salmonella.
  • Salmonella live in the intestinal tracts of animals, including birds.
  • Salmonella are usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with animal faces.
  • Contaminated foods are often of animal origin, such as poultry, pork, beef, poultry, milk, or eggs, but all foods, including vegetables may become contaminated.
  • Thorough cooking kills Salmonella.
  • Commonly infected foods include:
    • Raw meat, poultry and seafood
    • Raw or undercooked eggs
    • Unpasteurized dairy products
    • Fruits and vegetables

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which one of the following statements best describes the role of B cells and T cells in the human body?  (2022)

  1. They protect the environmental allergens. body
  2. They alleviate the body’s pain and inflammation.
  3. They act as immunosuppressants in the body.
  4. They protect the body from the diseases caused by pathogens.

Q,2) In the context of hereditary diseases, consider the following statements:

  1. Passing on mitochondrial diseases from parent to child can be prevented by mitochondrial replacement therapy either before or after in vitro fertilization of the egg.
  2. A child inherits mitochondrial diseases entirely from the mother and not from the father.

Which of the statements given above is’/are correct?  (2021)

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

UNEP’s Emission Gap Report 2022c

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  • Prelims – Environment

Context: Recently, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released ‘Emissions Gap Report 2022.

  • This is the 13th edition of the Report.
  • Title: ‘The Closing Window — Climate Crisis Calls for Rapid Transformation of Societies’
  • An overview of the difference between where greenhouse emissions are predicted to be in 2030 and where they should be to avert the worst impacts of climate change.

Key Findings:

  • The world is falling short of the goals set forth in the Paris Climate Agreement adopted in 2015.
  • No credible pathway is currently in place to restrict global warming to under 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
  • The top seven emitters (China, the EU27, India, Indonesia, Brazil, the Russian Federation and the United States of America) plus international transport accounted for 55 percent of global GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in 2020.
  • In India and six other top emitters, emissions have rebounded in 2021, exceeding pre-pandemic 2019 levels.
  • Collectively, G20 members are responsible for 75 percent of global GHG emissions.
  • The global average per capita GHG emissions was 6.3 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) in 2020.
  • The report finds that the world must cut emissions by 45 percent to avoid global catastrophe.


  • The world needs to reduce greenhouse gasses by unprecedented levels over the next eight years.
  • There is a need for alternative technologies in heavy industry, to reverse the rise in carbon intensity of global steel production.
  • Urgent transformation is needed to deliver the enormous cuts needed to limit GHG emissions by 2030.
  • To be on the most cost-effective path to limiting global warming to 2°C or 1.5°C, these percentages must reach 30% and 45%.


Source: DownToEarth


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  • Prelims – Current Affairs

Context: Clothing giant Adidas recently announced that it would be cutting all ties with Kanye West because of a series of tweets by him that were widely deemed to be anti-Semitic.

About Anti-Semitism:

  • Anti-Semitism refers to any form of prejudice against the Jewish people.
  • However, the term itself is a misnomer as Semitic designates a language group, not a race.
  • Though anti-Semitism can linguistically be used to describe a prejudice against speakers of the Semitic languages (including Arabs and Ethiopians,) in practical terms, it is commonly used specifically to pertain to Jews.
  • According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, an intergovernmental organisation formed in 1998, the following should be used as a working definition of anti-Semitism:
    • Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.
    • Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.
  • Five distinct categories of anti-Semitism:
    • Racial anti-Semitism, most commonly associated with the Nazis, stems from a belief that Jews are a distinct, inferior race with inherent genetic traits.
      • This form usually manifests in the belief that Jews need to be exterminated altogether.
    • Religious anti-Semitism traces its roots to the early days of Christianity and is accompanied by a notion that Jews should be converted to other faiths.
    • Social anti-Semitism is a form of exclusion of Jews from social situations.
      • An example of the practice was reported in in 1959 that claimed that Jews in America were routinely excluded from golf and sports clubs.
    • Economic anti-Semitism, the most prevalent amongst the biases, posits that Jews have a disproportionate degree of control over global and national financial institutions, and that their stronghold over those institutions ought to be diminished.
    • Political anti-Semitism is the attempt to keep Jews out of power.
      • It is often conflated with anti-Zionism, a movement that denies the Jewish right to a national homeland.

Source: Indian Express

Kalanamak Rice/Buddha Rice

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  • Prelims – Geography

Context: Kalanamak, a traditional type of rice with a black husk and a powerful fragrance, is about to get a new look and name. The rice is thought to have been a gift from Lord Buddha to the people of Sravasti (capital of the ancient Kosala) following his enlightenment.

About Kalanamak Rice:

  • Also known as Buddha Rice, Kalanamak is a scented, one of the finest and short grain rice with an unusual black husk (kala = black; namak means salt).
  • It is currently grown in 11 districts of the Terai region of Northeastern Uttar Pradesh and in Nepal (specifically Kapilvastu).
  • This rare rice has been awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2013 which recognised Siddharth Nagar and the adjacent districts for the tag.
  • Under the One District One Product (ODOP) Scheme, it has earned the Prime Minister’s award for Excellence in Public Administration 2021.
  • It was featured in the book ‘Speciality Rice’s of the World’ by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
  • Lodging is a condition in which the top of the plant becomes heavy because of grain formation, the stem becomes weak, and the plant falls to the ground.

The dwarf varieties (Pusa Narendra Kalanamak 1638 and 1652) by IARI:

  • The plan was to combine the high yielding properties with the quality of traditional Kalanamak.
  • In that process (started in 2007), the breeding programme was conducted by bringing the dwarfing genes from the rice varieties Bindli Mutant 68 and Pusa Basmati 1176, after crossing it with Kalanamak.
  • The objective was to bring dwarfness into the variety and make the plant sturdy to prevent lodging. Attack of blight bacterial disease has also been addressed by inducting blight tolerant genes.
  • The new name is in recognition of the association the institute has with the Acharya Narendra Dev University of Agriculture and Technology in Ayodhya, where the two varieties were tested.
  • The new breed has a stronger aroma and superior nutritional characteristics. Productivity has increased to 4.5 to 5 tonnes per hectare, up from 2.5 tonnes in traditional Kalanamak.


  • This rice is rich in micronutrients such as iron and zinc and can help prevent Alzheimer’s
  • It also contains 11% protein which is almost double of common rice varieties.
  • Besides, it has a low Glycaemic Index (49% to 52%) making it sugar free and suitable for even diabetic people.
  • It also contains antioxidants such as anthocyanin which is useful in preventing heart disease and also helps in improving the health of the skin.
  • It has also been found helpful in regulating blood pressure and blood-related problems.

About Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI):

  • Commonly known as the Pusa Institute, IARI is India’s national institute for agricultural research, education and extension.
  • The current institute in Delhi is financed and administered by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  • The ICAR is an autonomous body responsible for coordinating agricultural education and research in India.
  • It reports to the Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Ministry of Agriculture and the Union Minister of Agriculture serves as its president.
  • It is the largest network of agricultural research and education institutes in the world.
  • The IARI was responsible for the research leading to the “Green Revolution in India” of the 1970s.

Source:  The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) “System of Rice Intensification” of cultivation, in which alternate wetting and drying of rice fields is practiced, results in:  (2022)

  1. Reduced seed requirement
  2. Reduced methane production
  3. Reduced electricity consumption

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Q.2) With reference to the current trends in the cultivation of sugarcane in India, consider the following statements:

  1. A substantial saving in seed material is made when ‘bud chip settings’ are raised in a nursery and transplanted in the main field.
  2. When direct planting of setts is done, the germination percentage is better with single budded setts as compared to setts with many buds.
  3. If bad weather conditions prevail when setts are directly planted, single-budded setts have better survival as compared to large setts.
  4. Sugarcane can be cultivated using settings prepared from tissue culture.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?  (2021)

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

Machchu River

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  • Prelims – Geography

In news: A newly renovated colonial-era suspension bridge collapsed in Morbi, Gujarat

  • At least 90 were killed and more than 350 people fell into the Machchu river.
  • This is the second major tragedy in Morbi, where over 3,000 people died when a dam broke in 1979.
  • The bridge was originally built by the erstwhile princely state of Morbi and was considered a marvel of British engineering.

Machchu River:

  • It is a river in Gujarat whose origin is Madla hills and disappears in the little Rann of Kachchh.
  • This is one of the North flowing rivers of Saurashtra.
  • Its basin has a maximum length of 130 km. The total catchment area of the basin is 2515 km2.
  • Julto Pool hanging bridge is one of the tourist attractions of Morbi, a major industrial town with thousands of factories making ceramic tiles and bathroom products and wall clocks.
  • In 1979, Machchu dam, situated on the Machchu river, failed sending a wall of water through the town of Morbi.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA):

  • NDMA was formally constituted on 27th September 2006, by the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  • NDMA is India’s apex statutory body for disaster management.
  • The Prime Minister is its chairperson and it has nine other members. One of the nine members is designated as Vice-Chairperson.
  • Disaster Management Act also envisaged the creation of State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) headed by respective Chief Ministers and the District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMA) headed by the District Collectors/ District Magistrate and co-chaired by Chairpersons of the local bodies.
  • The primary responsibility for the management of disaster rests with the State Government concerned. However, the National Policy on Disaster Management puts in place an enabling environment for all i.e., the Centre, state and district.
  • Aim: to spearhead and implement a holistic and integrated approach to Disaster Management in India. To build a safer and disaster resilient India by a holistic, pro-active, technology driven and sustainable development strategy that involves all stakeholders and fosters a culture of prevention, preparedness and mitigation.
  • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF): The Disaster Management Act has statutory provisions for constitution of NDRF for the purpose of specialized response to natural and man-made disasters.
  • In 2006 NDRF was constituted with 8 Battalions. At present, NDRF has a strength of 12 Battalions with each Battalion consisting of 1149 personnel.

Functions & Responsibilities:

  • Lay down policies on and guidelines for the functioning of Disaster Management.
  • Approve the National Plan.
  • Approve plans prepared by the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India in accordance with the National Plan.
  • Lay down guidelines to be followed by the State Authorities in drawing up the State Plan.
  • Lay down guidelines to be followed by the different Ministries or Departments of the Government of India for the Purpose of integrating the measures for prevention of disaster or the mitigation of its effects in their development plans and projects.
  • Coordinate the enforcement and implementation of the policy and plans for disaster management.
  • Recommend provision of funds for the purpose of mitigation.
  • Provide such support to other countries affected by major disasters as may be determined by the Central Government.
  • Take such other measures for the prevention of disaster, or the mitigation, or preparedness and capacity building for dealing with threatening disaster situations or disasters as it may consider necessary.

Source:  The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Gandikota canyon of South India was created by which one of the following rivers? (2022)

  1. Cauvery
  2. Manjira
  3. Pennar
  4. Tungabhadra

Q2.) Consider the following rivers: (2021)

  1. Brahamani
  2. Nagalwali
  3. Subarnarekha
  4. Vamsadhara

Which of the above rise from the Eastern Ghats?

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 and 4
  3. 3 and 4
  4. 1 and 3


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  • Prelims – Polity

In news: Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais has sought a “second opinion” in a case of office-of-profit that has triggered a political crisis in the State.

About Office of Profit:

  • The origin of this term can be found in the English Act of Settlement, 1701.
  • This was instituted so that there would not be any undue influence from the royal household in administrative affairs.
  • It is a position in the government which cannot be held by an MLA or an MP.
  • The post can yield salaries, perquisites and other benefits.
  • According to Articles 102(1)(a) and 191(1)(a) of the Constitution, an MP or MLA is barred from holding an office of profit as it can put them in a position to gain a financial benefit. Under the RPA 1951 too, holding an office of profit is grounds for disqualification.
  • The expression “office of profit” has not been defined in the Constitution or in the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
  • It is for the courts to explain the significance and meaning of this concept.
  • In 1964, the Supreme Court ruled that the test for determining whether a person holds an office of profit is the test of appointment.
  1. whether the government is the appointing authority
  2. whether the government has the power to terminate the appointment
  3. whether the government determines the remuneration
  4. what is the source of remuneration
  5. power that comes with the position
  • The essence of disqualification under the office of profit law is if legislators holds an ‘office of profit’ under the government, they might be susceptible to government influence, and may not discharge their constitutional mandate fairly.

Source:  The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following statements: (2019)

  1. The Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 exempts several posts from disqualification on the grounds of ‘Office of Profit’.
  2. The above-mentioned Act was amended five times.
  3. The term ‘Office of Profit’ is well-defined in the Constitution of India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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


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  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: The WHO released the Global TB Report 2022 which considered the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diagnosis, treatment and burden of disease for TB all over the world.

  • 21.4 lakh TB cases notified in India in 2021


  • An estimated 10.6 million people fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) in 2021, an increase of 4.5% from 2020, and 1.6 million people died from TB (including 187 000 among HIV positive people).
  • The burden of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) also increased by 3% between 2020 and 2021, with 450 000 new cases of rifampicin-resistant TB (RR-TB) in 2021.
  • The WHO report also noted the crucial role of nutrition and under-nutrition as a contributory factor to the development of active TB disease.

Indian Context:

  • While the COVID-19 pandemic impacted TB Programmes across the world, India was able to successfully offset the disruptions caused, through the introduction of critical interventions in 2020 and 2021 – this led to the National TB Elimination Programme notifying over 21.4 lakh TB cases – 18% higher than 2020.
  • India’s TB incidence for the year 2021 is 210 per 100,000 population – compared to the baseline year of 2015 (incidence was 256 per lakh population in India) and there has been an 18% decline which is 7 percentage points better than the global average of 11%.
  • Stating that India had done better in major metrics as compared to other countries over time that the figures placed India at the 36th position in terms of incidence rates (from the largest to the smallest incidence numbers).
  • It attributed this to measures including mandatory notification policy to ensure all cases were reported to the government etc. In 2021, over 22 crore people were screened for TB.
  • In this respect, the TB Programme’s nutrition support scheme – Ni-kshay Poshan Yojana – has proved critical for the vulnerable. During 2020 and 2021, India made cash transfers of 89 million dollars (INR 670 crore) to TB patients through a Direct Benefit Transfer programme.
  • In 2022, first-of-its-kind initiative, Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan was launched in India to provide additional nutritional support to those on TB treatment, through contributions from community including individuals and organisations.
  • Till date, 40,492 donors have come forward to support over 10,45,269 patients across the Country, said the Ministry in its release

MUST READ Tuberculosis

MUST READ  PM TB mukt bharat abhiyaan

Source: The Hindu

One Nation, One Uniform

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  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: Addressing the first Chintan Shivir (brainstorming session) of state home ministers and top police officers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched the idea of “One Nation, One Uniform” for Indian police forces.

  • “Just like there is a post box that has a distinct identity, police uniforms should be identifiable uniformly across the country,” Modi said.
  • Modi has also repeatedly suggested the implementation of “One Nation, One Election”, and adopting a single voter list for all polls.


  • Prime Minister Modi’s suggestion “One Nation, One Uniform” is in line with his broader attempt to introduce a uniform set of policies across the country.
  • Law and order are a State Subject:
  • The Indian Constitution puts police forces under the jurisdiction of state governments, and each of the 28 states have their own police force.
  • Both ‘public order’ and the ‘police’ are placed in List II (State List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, which deals with the division of powers between the Union and States.
  • While police personnel in India are often associated with the colour khaki, their uniforms do differ in varying degrees in different regions and there are at times inconsistencies in their official attire
  • The Kolkata Police wear white uniforms
  • Puducherry Police constables wear a bright red cap with their khaki uniforms.
  • Delhi Traffic Police personnel wear white and blue
  • This is on the same lines of “One Nation One Fertiliser” scheme of Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers and the “One Nation One Ration Card” scheme introduced in 2019 and ‘one nation, one mobility’ card; ‘one nation, one grid’ and a ‘one nation, one sign language’.

Changes in police uniforms:

  • In 2018, in a bid to prevent colour variation in the uniform of its personnel, the Maharashtra police had decided to provide dope-dyed khaki fabric for its staff.
  • Members of the force buying khaki cloth on their own led to inconsistencies in the shade of the uniform, the police had argued.
  • In October 2018, the Karnataka Police announced that women personnel would no longer wear khaki saris, rather a khaki shirt and trousers while on duty.
  • This would make it easier for policewomen to do their job and improve their effectiveness in dealing with crime.
  • In 2022, the Maharashtra DGP issued a circular discontinuing the practice of wearing a “tunic uniform” for officers from the rank of Police Sub Inspectors (PSI) to Deputy Superintendent (DySP).
  • A tunic uniform is a British-era overcoat worn over the traditional uniform by the police force.
  • It was discontinued because personnel had complained that it was uncomfortable in hot, muggy weather, and that its use, restricted to ceremonial parades two to three times a year, was an unnecessary expense.

Source: Indian Express

The Dismal Case of Slashing Schemes and Cutting Funds

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  • Mains – GS 3 (Economy)

Context: Over the past three years, over 50% of existing central government-sponsored schemes have been discontinued, subsumed, revamped, or rationalized into other schemes.

About Rationalization of schemes:

  • Ministry of Women and Child Development:
    • There are just three schemes now out of 19 schemes, i.e.,
    • Mission Shakti,
    • Mission Vatsalya,
    • Saksham Anganwadi, and Poshan 2.0.
    • Mission Shakti itself replaced 14 schemes which included the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ scheme.
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare:
    • There are now three out of 20
    • Krishonnati Yojana,
    • Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Cooperatives, and
    • the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana
    • There is little information on the National Project on Organic Farming or the National Agroforestry Policy.
  • Ministry of Animal Husbandry and Dairy:
    • It has just two schemes remaining out of 12.
    • The Ministry has ended three schemes which include Dairying through Cooperatives, National Dairy Plan-II, etc.
    • There are funding cuts in the Nirbhaya fund (2013) which focuses to improve the public safety of women in public spaces was allocated Rs. 1,000 annually (2013-16) but remains largely unspent.

Challenges for the schemes:

  • Under Utilization of funds:
    • As of June 2022, ₹1.2 lakh crore of funds meant for central government-sponsored schemes are with banks that earn interest income for the Centre.
    • For instance, the Nirbhaya fund (2013) with its focus on funding projects to improve the public safety of women in public spaces and encourage their participation in economic and social activities is an interesting case; ₹1,000 crores was allocated to the fund annually (2013-16), and remained largely unspent.
  • As of FY21-22, approximately ₹6,214 crores were allocated to the fund since its launch, but only ₹4,138 crores were disbursed.
  • Of this, just ₹2,922 crores were utilized; ₹660 crores were disbursed to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, but only ₹181 crores were utilized as of July 2021.
  • A variety of women-focused development schemes across States are being turned down or ended. Meanwhile, women continue to face significant risks while in public spaces.
  • Funding Cuts:
    • Fertilizer subsidies:
    • It has been in decline over the last few years; actual government spending on fertilizers in FY20-21 reached ₹1,27,921 crore.
    • In the FY21-22 Budget, the allocation was ₹79,529 crore (later revised to ₹1,40,122 crore amidst the COVID-19 pandemic).
    • In the FY22-23 Budget, the allocation was ₹1,05,222 crore.
    • Allocation for NPK fertilizers (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) was 35% lower than revised estimates in FY21-22.
    • Such budgetary cuts, when fertilizer prices have risen sharply after the Ukraine war, have led to fertilizer shortages and farmer anguish.
    • The allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) went down by approximately 25% in the FY22-23 Budget earlier this year, with the allocated budget at ₹73,000 crores when compared to the FY21-22 revised estimates of ₹98,000 crores.
    • The Economic Survey 2022-23 has highlighted that demand for the scheme was higher than pre-pandemic levels as rural distress continues.
    • The actual funding disbursal for MGNREGA has often been delayed, leading to a decline in confidence in the scheme.
  • Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan:
    • The Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan sought to provide immediate employment and livelihood opportunities to the rural poor; approximately 50.78 crore person days of employment were provided at an expenditure of approximately ₹39,293 crores (against an announced budget of ₹50,000 crores, Ministry for Rural Development).
    • With between 60 million to 100 million migrant workers who seek informal jobs, such a scheme should have been expanded.
  • Salaries of Healthcare Workers:
    • For Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA), who are the first responders, there have been delays in salaries for up to six months.
    • Regularisation of their jobs continues to be a struggle, with wages and honorariums stuck at minimum levels.
  • Biodiversity:
    • Funding for wildlife habitat development under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has declined: from ₹165 crores (FY18-19) to ₹124.5 crores (FY19-20), to ₹87.6 crores (FY20-21).
    • Allocations for Project Tiger have been slashed — ₹323 crores (FY18-19) to ₹194.5 crores (FY20-21).

Way Forward:

  • State governments should have the flexibility to ensure that the schemes benefit the targeted groups since they implement the schemes.
  • There should be proper debates and dialogues with relevant stakeholders on the restructuring of the CSS.
  • Blockages in budgetary processes in the schemes, such as delays in the flow of funds, and in releasing sanction orders for spending shall be addressed.
  • There is a need to build capacity for an efficient civil service to meet today’s challenges by providing a corruption-free welfare system, running a modern economy and providing better public goods.
  • Rather than having a target of fewer government schemes, we should raise our aspirations towards better public service delivery.

Source: The Hindu

Rainwater Harvesting

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  • Mains – GS 3 (Environment and Conservation)

Context: The NITI Aayog report (2018) says that India’s water demand will exceed water supply by a factor of two by 2030.

  • The major source of water supply is groundwater for most regions in India and rapidly depleting groundwater levels call for urgent attention for ensuring water security in the coming years.
  • India covers around 2.45% of the world’s surface area and has 4% of the world’s water resources.
  • In India, rainfall is the primary source of freshwater.
  • For a country of its size, India receives the second most amount of rainfall.
  • India receives an average of 1,170 millimeters (46 in) of rain per year, which equates to around 4,000 cubic kilometers (960 cu miles) of rain per year, or about 1,720 cubic meters (61,000 cu feet) of freshwater per person.

About Rainwater Harvesting:

  • The rainwater harvesting process incorporates collection and storage of collected rainwater with the help of artificially designed systems.
  • Rainwater harvesting systems consists of the following components
  • Catchment- Used to collect and store the captured rainwater.
  • Conveyance system – It is used to transport the harvested water from the catchment to the recharge zone.
  • Flush- It is used to flush out the first spell of rain.
  • Filter – Used for filtering the collected rainwater and removing pollutants.
  • Tanks and the recharge structures: Used to store the filtered water which is ready to use.

Some traditional water harvesting techniques:

  • Kuls: Often spanning long distances, with some over 10 km long, kuls have been around for centuries. They are present in mountain areas Jammu, Himachal Pradesh.
  • Tanka system: it is used in Rajasthan, which is a cylindrical ground pit that receives rainwater from the nearby catchment area.
  • Virdas-Virdas are shallow wells dug in low depressions called jheels (tanks) , they are found in Runn of Kutch area in Gujarat.
  • Madaka-It is a unique structure constructed on the upper reaches of undulating topography
  • Khadin- a very long (100-300 m) earthen embankment built across the lower hill slopes lying below gravelly uplands.
  • Bamboo drip irrigation: used in the northeast, suitable for irrigation in hilly terrains.
  • Tanks in Karnataka: these are artificial reservoirs to store water taking advantage of depression.
  • Zing -Tanks: for collecting water from melted ice in Ladakh.
  • Stepwell: these are found in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • Baoris / bers – they are community wells in Rajasthan.
  • Apatani –Terraced plots connected by inlet and outlet channels in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Pyne-ahar: system of south Bihar on which the cultivation of paddy depends.

Declining groundwater is a concern:

  • According to the World Water Development Report 2015 (UNESCO), India is a frontrunner in groundwater extraction.
  • The water table is going down in several areas and there are many reasons for this decline
    • Overexploitation of shared water resources.
    • Mismanagement of water resources.
    • Climate change impact.
  • Several metropolitan cities are already facing difficulties meeting water demand due to high population density and limited water resources.
    • For example, Delhi has a water supply of approximately 930 million gallons a day (mgd) while its demand is 1,380 mgd.
    • The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) plans to meet this growing demand through groundwater sources which will lead to over-exploitation of groundwater sources.

Government efforts to reduce groundwater depletion:

  • For improving access to water, the government has given special focus to implementing “source sustainability measures” such as
    • Recharge and reuse through grey water management.
    • Water conservation.
    • Rainwater harvesting (RWH)
  • A campaign to “Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls”, has been launched which aims to create appropriate rainwater harvesting structures.
  • Several government schemes such as Atal Bhujal Scheme are focusing on aquifer mapping to construct artificial reservoirs and rainwater harvesting structures.
  • These mapping techniques consider hydrogeology and source water availability.

Significance of rain water harvesting:

  • Ensuring Food Security:
    • Modern hybrid crops & fertilizer depend on continuous supply of irrigation water.
    • More than 60% of net sown area in India is rainfed and to address the rising cases of drought in the dry belt of India and ensure food security RWH is essential.
  • More than 3/4th of the precipitation In India occurs during 4 months of monsoon season and significant part of which is lost in runoff and evaporation, this can be controlled by rain water harvesting.
  • Rapid urbanization and Industrial development demands huge water hence severe water crunch can be addressed by water harvesting.
  • In dry and hilly areas women face hardship in fetching water and in such remote areas RWH can provide a decentralized source of water which would reduce their hardships.

Way Forward:

  • There is a need to enhance efforts to reduce dependency on groundwater with a focus on
    • Enhancing water security.
    • Rejuvenation and recharge of natural and constructed water bodies.
    • Increased reuse of treated wastewater through local sewage treatment plants.
  • Build well-designed rainwater harvesting systems across residential and commercial areas.
  • These efforts must be facilitated by cooperation of Central and State governments.
  • There is a need for stringent policy initiatives for long-term and sustainable solutions.
  • An integrated water management plan must be brought up by local bodies and implemented at the local level.

Therefore, the need of the hour is to promote rainwater harvesting using a mix of traditional ecologically safe, viable and cost-effective systems with modern rainwater saving techniques, such as percolation tanks, injection wells and subsurface barriers to rejuvenate India’s depleted water resources. But using only traditional methods is not enough. Productively combining these structures could be the answer to India’s perennial water woes.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following pairs:

Wetland/Lake:                       Location

  1. Hokera Wetland         Punjab
  2. Renuka Wetland        Himachal Pradesh
  3. Rudrasagar Lake        Tripura
  4. Sasthamkotta              Tamil Nadu

How many pairs given above are correctly matched?

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

Gender Inclusion and MUDRA scheme

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  • Mains – GS1 Women Empowerment, GS 2 Govt schemes

Global Context:

  • The World Economic Forum estimates that it would take at least 268 years to close the gender gaps in economic participation and opportunities across the world.
  • The Global Gender Gap Report 2021 also shows that despite improvements towards skill development and wage equality—albeit slow—the lack of women in leadership positions remains persistent, limiting progress in parity.
  • The G20 economies are attempting initiatives that hold promise in advancing women’s entrepreneurship through financial assistance, knowledge creation, and governance for nurturing entrepreneurial conditions.

Indian Context:

  • India has nearly half-a-million working-age women and 15 million women-owned micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that directly or indirectly provide employment to almost 27 million people.
  • By 2030, an estimated 30 million women-owned MSMEs are expected to flourish in India, providing employment to nearly 150 million people.
  • India launched comprehensive schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY), Startup India, and Stand-Up India.


  • Women, accounting for nearly one-half of the global population, contribute only 37 percent to the global gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Globally, the number of hours that women spend on unpaid care work is three times (3X) that of men; in India, this difference is 8X.
  • In India, decline in female labour force participation rates, which stood at 25.1 percent in 2020-21.
  • The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2021, which looks at the progress of women in business, ranked India at 57th position among 65 countries. India has 13.5–15.7 million women-owned enterprises, representing 20 percent of all enterprises.
  • Nearly 90 percent of women-owned businesses in India are microenterprises, and they are disproportionately smaller in size than other businesses.
  • The Findex found that 32.3 percent of women in India have inactive bank accounts because they do not have access to mobile phones and the internet, or else they are unable to operate the accounts because of lack of digital literacy; there is also no regular inflow of cash, and they are often uncomfortable dealing with male bank or business agents.
  • The disproportionate burden of unpaid domestic work directly reduces female labour force participation rates; financial inclusion is therefore an indispensable goal.
  • Lack of knowledge about inheritance and property ownership rights, as well as social limitations and a lack of financial literacy force female entrepreneurs to seek financing from informal sources.

Lessons from India:

  • Aadhaar and the India Stack’s biometric e-KYC verification capability makes it easier for women who often do not have the required documents, to establish their identity before bank officials.
  • PMMY allows small borrowers with no credit history easier access to credit in a flexible manner.
  • To improve last-mile delivery of credit, ‘Last Mile Financiers’ have been roped in, such as companies, trusts, societies, associations, and other networks that provide informal finance to small businesses.
  • The credit guarantee scheme for assurance to financial institutions to mitigate the issue of collateral under the “Credit Guarantee Fund for Micro Units” has increased the appetite of financial institutions to disburse loans to first-time entrepreneurs.
  • The use of digital technology has created greater transparency and promoted credit quality, thereby reducing NPAs.
  • MUDRA Card is a RuPay debit card, it can also be used for drawing cash from an ATM or to make purchases and repay loan amounts.
  • MUDRA is a reliable alternative to local money lenders and its strength lies in its collateral-free loans and easy documentation.
  • The scheme’s focus on women entrepreneurs has also helped in a higher share of loan disbursements to women—leading to increased monthly household incomes and savings.

Suggestions to G20:

  • Ensuring gender-inclusivity among financial service providers:
  • Greater inclusion of women as users, providers, and regulators of financial services would have spillover effects beyond addressing gendered economic inequality.
  • Banks with higher shares of women board members often have higher capital buffers, a lower proportion of NPAs, and increased resistance to stress.
  • Gender impact assessments
  • Adoption of non-discriminatory hiring practices
  • Adopting a gender-sensitive approach for widespread financial literacy:
  • Women take primary responsibility for childbearing, daily decision-making about the allocation of household resources, and transmitting financial habits and skills to children.
  • Financial education programs must focus on behavioural aspects like self-confidence and technical assistance.
  • Financial education in schools to make young girls aware of financial issues and skills.
  • Utilisation of self-help groups and rotating savings and credit societies.
  • Promotion of women-led small enterprises:
  • Increased public procurement from women-led businesses.
  • Strategies such as subsidised interest rates for women accessing credit for setting up their businesses; and employment composition-linked incentives.

Way forward:

  • The G20 can provide the right platform to promote thought-leadership, delivery of financial and technical assistance, and knowledge sharing among its members and for the rest of the world to advance women’s economic and social empowerment.
  • India, poised to take the helm of the G20 in 2022, can identify strategies to further advance its efforts towards achieving gender equity in all economic domains, in turn creating scope for social mobility.
  • Most importantly, the financial inclusion of informal women-led businesses will help push the process of formalisation, thereby making women’s contribution to the economy more tangible and measurable.
  • What remains untapped, however, is the greater deployment of fintech to finance micro loans and bring down operational costs and create greater flexibility and transparency.


Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana is aimed at (2016)

  1. bringing the small entrepreneurs into formal financial system
  2. providing loans to poor farmers for cultivating particular crops
  3. providing pensions to old and destitute persons
  4. funding the voluntary organizations involved in the promotion of skill development and employment generation

Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Regarding “Machchu river”, consider the following statements

  1. It originates from Lushai Hills in Mizoram
  2. Julto Pool bridge is located on the river.

Which of the following statements are correct:

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

Q.2) With reference to Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, consider the following statements:

  1. It is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
  2. It provides loans upto 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises.
  3. More than 60% PMMY accounts are held by women entrepreneurs.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q.3) In the context of Salmonellosis disease, consider the following statements:

  1. Salmonellosis is an infection with a virus called Salmonella.
  2. It is Zoonotic disease.
  3. Salmonella live in the intestinal tracts of animals, including birds.

Which of the above is/are correct?

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

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

ANSWERS FOR ’31st October 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st

ANSWERS FOR 29th October – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – d

Q.2) – c

Q.3) – a

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