DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 21st February 2023

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  • February 21, 2023
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NAVDEX 23 and IDEX 23

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  • Prelims –International Relations

Context: Indian Naval Ship Sumedha reached Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to participate in Naval Defence Exhibition – NAVDEX 23 and International Defence Exhibition – IDEX 23


  • INS Sumedha is the third ship of the indigenously built Saryu class Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (NOPV)which was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 2014.
  • The ship has been designed and built by Goa Shipyard Limited.
  • The first INS SUMEDHA was built in Goa and was commissioned in the Indian Navy in 2011.

About NAVDEX 23 and IDEX 23:

  • IDEX and NAVDEX, and the International Defense Conference are organized by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense and the General Command of the UAE Armed Forces.
  • IDEX/NAVDEX takes place biennially.
  • The exhibitions showcase the latest technologies and innovations in the global defense sector, support the growth of UAE’s defense industry, and forge new relationships between major international companies.
  • IDEX is the only international defense exhibition and conference in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa region) region which includes countries like Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

About India and UAE Defense Relations:

    • Desert Eagle II, a ten-day air combat exercise, was held between the air forces of India and UAE.
    • The inaugural edition of the Indian & UAE Navy bilateral exercise GULF STAR-1 was conducted in March 2018.

Source:  All India Radio

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) What is “Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)”, sometimes seen in the news? (2018)

  1. An Israeli radar system
  2. India’s indigenous anti-missile programme
  3. An American anti-missile system
  4. A defense collaboration between Japan and South Korea

Q.2) With reference to Agni-IV Missile, which of the following statements is/are correct? (2014)

  1. It is a surface-to-surface missile.
  2. It is fueled by liquid propellant only.
  3. It can deliver one-ton nuclear warheads about 7500 km away.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Tamil-Brahmi script

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  • Prelims – Art and Culture

Context: Artefacts with Tamil-Brahmi script unearthed at Keeladi to find a special place in the museum.

About River Vaigai:

  • Vaigai is a river in Tamil Nadu.
  • The river is also referred to as Shiva Ganga in many places.
  • The river originates in the Varusanadu Hills, the Periyar Plateau of the Western Ghats range.
  • The river finally empties into the Palk Strait
  • Its main tributaries are Suruliyaru, Mullaiyaru, Varaaga Nadhi, Manjalaru, Kottagudi, Kridhumaal and Upparu.
  • The Vattaparai Falls are located on this river.

About Tamil-Brahmi script:

    • Tamil-Brahmi, was a variant of the Brahmi script in southern India.
    • It was used to write inscriptions in the early form of old Tamil.
    • The Tamil-Brahmi script has been paleographically and stratigraphically dated between the third century BCE and the first century CE.
    • It constitutes the earliest known writing system evidenced in many parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Sri Lanka.
    • It is also known as Tamizhi or Damili.

About Brahmi script:

  • Brahmi was the main script used in India since the 3rd century.
  • The Ashokan inscriptions dating to the third century BCE used the Brahmi script, and are the earliest evidence of the use of Brahmi.
  • It is the ancestor of the Brahmic family of scripts, which includes all Indian scripts, like Devanagari, Odia, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, etc from India, and some of the ancient scripts of Sri Lanka, Burma, and south-east Asian countries of Java, Sumatra, and Cambodia.
  • James Prinsep was responsible for deciphering Brahmi in 1838.

About Sangam Age:

  • The period roughly between the 3rd century B.C. and 3rd century A.D. in South India (the area lying to the south of river Krishna and Tungabhadra) is known as Sangam Period.
  • The Sangam literature includes Tolkappiyam, Ettutogai, Pattuppattu, Pathinenkilkanakku, and two epics named – Silappathikaram and Manimegalai.
  • The first Sangam, held at then Madurai, was attended by gods and legendary sages but no literary work of this Sangam is available.
  • The second Sangam was held at Kapadapuram, but all the literary works had perished except Tolkappiyam.
  • The third Sangam at Madurai was founded by Mudathirumaran. It was attended by a large number of poets who produced voluminous literature, but only a few survived.

Previous Year Questions

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

Site of Ashoka’s major rock edicts                      Location in the State of

  1. Dhauli                                                              Odisha
  2. Erragudi                                                          Andhra Pradesh
  3. Jaugada                                                           Madhya Pradesh
  4. Kalsi                                                                 Karnataka

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) Which one of the following statements about Sangam literature in ancient South India is correct? (2022)

  1. Sangam poems are devoid of any reference to material culture.
  2. The social classification of Varna was known to Sangam poets.
  3. Sangam poems have no reference to warrior ethics.
  4. Sangam literature refers to magical forces as irrational.

National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) Conference

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  • Prelims – Science and Technology

Context: Recently, the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare organized NOTTO Scientific Dialogue 2023.

About NOTTO:

  • National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) is a National level organization set up under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
  • NOTTO would function as apex centre for All India activities of coordination and networking for procurement and distribution of Organs and Tissues and registry of Organs and Tissues Donation and Transplantation in the country.
  • It lays down policy guidelines and protocols for various functions.
  • Network with similar regional and state level organizations.
  • It handles the dissemination of information to all concerned organizations, hospitals and individuals.

Source:  PIB

Previous Year Questions

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

  1. Biofilms can form on medical implants within human tissues.
  2. Biofilms can form on food and food processing surfaces.
  3. Biofilms can exhibit antibiotic resistance.

Which of the statements given above is correct?

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

Q.2) Which 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 diseases caused by pathogens.

Oder river

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  • Prelims – Environment and Ecology

Context: A new report by the European Union (EU), has confirmed that the ecological disaster that killed hundreds of tonnes of fish in the Oder river in 2022  was caused by toxic algal bloom .

About River Oder:

  • Oder River, is a river in east-central Europe.
  • It is one of the most significant rivers in the catchment basin of the Baltic Sea, second only to the Vistula in discharge and length. 
  • It is Poland’s second-longest river.
  • The Oder rises in the Czech Republic and flows through western Poland, later forming the border between Poland and Germany.

About Algal Blooms:

  • An algal bloom is a rapid increase in the population of algae in an aquatic system. These are also called  ‘red tides
  • They may occur in freshwater as well as marine environments.
  • Algal Blooms deprive aquatic organisms of Sunlight and oxygen and negatively impact a variety of species that live below the water surface.
  • Harmful Algal Blooms( HABs)- colonies of algae that grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds.
  • Algal blooms in freshwater lakes and reservoirs are most commonly caused by blue-green algae (also known as cyanobacteria) whose growth is supported by Eutrophication (nutrient enrichment). 
  • Another type of bloom that occurs nearly every summer along Florida’s Gulf Coast is caused by a species of dinoflagellate known as Karenia brevis.
  • Algal Bloom Information Service: ABIS provides timely information on harmful algal blooms, which are detrimental to coastal fisheries, and water quality and also tend to induce respiratory problems within the coastal population from time to time.
  • ISRO’s Oceansat-2 satellite launched in 2009 can cover larger areas and provide global ocean color.

SOURCE:         The Hindu

Previous Year Questions 

Q.1) Which one of the lakes  West Africa has become dry and turned into a desert?(2022)

  1. Lake Victoria
  2. Lake Faguibine
  3. Lake Oguta
  4. Lake Volta

Q.2)  Consider the following kinds of organisms: ( 2021)

  1. Copepod
  2. Cyanobacteria
  3. Diatoms
  4. Foraminifera

Which of the above are primary producers in the food chains of oceans?

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


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  • Prelims – Environment and Ecology

Context: Rhododendrons carpet Darjeeling, Sikkim Himalayas.

About Rhododendrons:

  • Rhododendron is a large genus of flowering plants that are found mainly in the Eastern Himalayas, Western Himalayas, and Nilgiris.
  • They are native to many regions of the world, including Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia.
  • The species is found in varied habitats from subtropical forests to alpine shrubs, rhododendrons range from dwarf shrubs to large trees.
  • Some plants of Rhododendron are evergreen while others are deciduous in nature.
  • The species has been designated as the State tree of Uttarakhand.
  • Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas are home to one-third (34%) of all Rhododendron types and comprise only 0.3% of India’s geographical area.
  • Rhododendrons are indicator species.
  • They are facing a high threat due to anthropological pressures and climate change.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) With reference to “Gucchi” sometimes mentioned in the news, consider the following statements. (2022)

  1. It is a fungus.
  2. It grows in some Himalayan Forest areas.
  3. It is commercially cultivated in the Himalayan foothills of north-eastern India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q.2) Which of the following are nitrogen-fixing plants? (2022)

  1. Alfalfa
  2. Amaranth
  3. Chickpea
  4. Clover
  5. Purslane (Kulfa)
  6. Spinach

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1, 3, and 4 only
  2. 1, 3, 5, and 6 only
  3. 2, 4, 5, and 6 only
  4. 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6

Services trade restrictiveness index (STRI)

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  • Prelims – Economy

Context: India’s rank in the Services trade restrictiveness index (STRI) improved a notch to 47 from 48 among 50 countries surveyed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

About STRI:

  • The STRI provides a snapshot of services regulatory regimes to help policymakers to assess reform options.
  • The index takes into consideration different sectors like road freight cover, air transport, government regulations, etc.
  • It is a unique, evidence-based tool that provides information on regulations affecting trade in services in 22 sectors across all OECD member countries and Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam.

India’s performance on STRI:

  • lowest scoring sectors (least restricted):  computer services, engineering services, sound recording, and road freight transport.
  • highest scoring sectors (most restrictive): architecture service, rail freight transport, accounting services, and legal services.
  • Government dominance: The railway sector in India is highly restrictive due to the dominance of the Indian government in it.
  • Market access for foreigners: Market access to certain key service sectors remains prohibited for foreigners or is subjected to stringent conditions.

About OECD:

    • It is an inter-governmental economic organization, founded to stimulate the economic progress of the world.
    • It was founded in 1961.
    • Its  Headquarters are in Paris.
    • It has 36 members. India is not a member but a key economic partner.
    • Reports and Indices by OECD: International migration outlook, OECD better life index.

Source:  Business Standard

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) ” Rapid Financing Instrument “and “Rapid Credit Facility” are related to the provisions of lending by which of the following:

  1. Asian Development Bank
  2. International Monetary Fund
  3. United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative
  4. World Bank

Q.2) With reference to the “G-20 Common Framework”, consider the following statements:

  1. It is an initiative endorsed by the G20 together with the Paris Club.
  2. It is an initiative to support Low-Income Countries with unsustainable debt.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Polio Virus

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  • Prelims – Science and Technology

Context: The West Bengal government announced that it was introducing an additional dose of injectable polio vaccine as part of the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) for children.

About Polio Virus:

  • Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly viral infectious disease that affects the nervous system.
  • Poliovirus can invade the central nervous system and as it multiplies, destroy the nerve cells that activate muscles, causing irreversible paralysis in hours
  • There are three individual and immunologically distinct wild poliovirus strains:
    • Wild Poliovirus type 1 (WPV1)
    • Wild Poliovirus type 2 (WPV2)
    • Wild Poliovirus type 3 (WPV3)
  • All three strains can cause irreversible paralysis or even death. However, there are genetic and virological differences, which make these three strains separate viruses that must each be eradicated individually.
  • The virus is transmitted by person-to-person mainly through the fecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (for example, through contaminated water or food).
  • It largely affects children under 5 years of age.

About Polio Vaccines:

Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI):

  • The goal of the GPEI is to complete the eradication and containment of all wild, vaccine-related, and Sabin polioviruses, so no child suffers from paralytic poliomyelitis ever again.
  • GPEI has helped countries to make huge progress in protecting the global population from this debilitating disease.
  • GPEI’s four pillars include Routine Immunization, Supplementary immunization, Surveillance, and Targeted mop-up campaigns.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) In the context of vaccines manufactured to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic, consider the following statements:(2022)

  1. The Serum Institute of India produced a COVID-19 vaccine named Covishield using an mRNA platform.
  2. The Sputnik V vaccine is manufactured using a vector-based platform.
  3. COVAXIN is an inactivated pathogen-based vaccine.

Which of the statements given above is correct?

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

Q.2) Consider the following :

  1. Bacteria
  2. Fungi
  3. Virus

Which of the above can be cultured in an artificial/ synthetic medium? (2022)

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

Sealed Cover Jurisprudence

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  • Prelims – Polity

Context: The Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud firmly refused the ‘suggestions’ offered by the government in a sealed cover on the formation of a proposed committee to enquire into the Hindenburg report on the Adani Group

About Sealed Cover Jurisprudence:

  • It is a practice used by the Supreme Court and sometimes lower courts, of asking for or accepting information from government agencies in sealed envelopes that can only be accessed by judges.
  • While a specific law does not define the doctrine of sealed cover, the Supreme Court derives its power to use it from Rule 7 of Order XIII of the Supreme Court Rules and Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872.
  • It is normally used in only one of two situations:
  • ongoing investigations that are part of the police journal, and
  • disclosure of confidential or private information.
  • Important cases where have been used: 2014 BCCI reforms case, Bhima Koregaon case, Rafale fighter jet deal, National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

Source:  The Hindu

Previous Year Questions

Q.1)  Consider the following statements. (2022)

  1. Pursuant to the report of the H.N. Sanyal Committee, the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 was passed.
  2. The Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court and the High Courts to punish for contempt of themselves.
  3. The Constitution of India defines Civil Contempt and Criminal Contempt.
  4. In India, the Parliament is vested with the power to make laws on Contempt of Court.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q.2)  With reference to India, consider the following statements:

  1. Judicial custody means an accused is in the custody of the concerned magistrate and such an accused is locked up in a police station, not in jail.
  2. During judicial custody, the police officer in charge of the case is not allowed to interrogate the suspect without the approval of the court.

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

Land Monetisation

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  • Mains – GS 3 (Economy)

Context: To expedite the monetisation plans for government-owned land assets across the country, the National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC) has decided to rope in international property consultancy firms to help strategize and implement transactions from start to finish.

About Land Monetisation:

  • Land Monetisation means transferring the revenue rights of the asset (could be idle land, infrastructure, PSU) to a private player for a specified period of time.
  • In such a transaction, the government gets in return an upfront payment from the private entity, regular share of the revenue generated from the asset, a promise of steady investment into the asset, and the title rights to the monetised asset.
  • In the case of land monetisation of certain spaces like offices, it can be done through a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), a company that owns and operates a land asset and sometimes, funds income-producing real estate.
  • Assets of the government can also be monetised through the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) model.

Benefits of Land Monetisation:

  • The monetisation of several lakh acres of the land pool with various central government agencies is expected to give a fillip to the Rs 111-trillion National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) in five years through FY25 and Gati Shakti connectivity projects, as well as the housing sector.
  • The monetisation process aims to capture the real estate value of public land lying idle in monetary terms to improve or strengthen the finances of government bodies and local authorities.
  • The 13th Finance Commission of India also underlined the importance of monetisation of land which has the potential for generating additional revenues from under-utilized prime lands of Public Sector Undertakings, Port Trusts, Airports, Railways, municipal corporations, etc.
  • There is an estimate of the extent of land held by various government agencies in excess of 5 lakh hectares, of which, over 160,000 hectares are held across various airports, seaports, and railways.
  • It allows certain State/ Centre funded projects to be created and financed from otherwise defunct assets or under-utilized land parcels.

Challenges faced in Land Monetization

  • Complex legal and regulatory framework: The legal and regulatory framework for land ownership, land use, and land development is often complex and varies by region, making it difficult for CPSEs to navigate the process of monetising their land.
  • Lack of fast Dispute Resolution Mechanism: More than 60% of the litigation in India is land-related and these disputes need to be resolved in a time-bound manner for timely land monetisation.
  • Meeting disinvestment targets: The success of NLMC will depend on the government’s ability to meet its disinvestment targets.
    • The government has not been able to meet its targets in the past, which could affect the performance of the NLMC.
  • Mapping the vacant lands: The estimation of surplus land may be a contentious issue in the absence of a clear land title, ongoing litigation, and encroachments.
  • Ensuring adequate investment: Private players must invest adequately in the asset to ensure its growth and sustainability.
    • The government needs to ensure that the private players are fulfilling their investment commitments.
  • Market conditions: The value of land is dependent on market conditions, which can be volatile, and subject to fluctuations.
    • Moreover, the vast difference between the state gazette valuation and market rate valuation can create problems.
  • Use of PPPs: The use of PPPs as a monetisation model can pose challenges, as seen in the case of the Railways’ PPP initiative, which did not see much interest from private players.

Suggestive Measures:

  • Digitization of land records: It will bring transparency to the land records maintenance system, digitize maps and surveys, update all settlement records, and minimize the scope of land disputes.
  • Ensure transparency and fairness: The selection of private players should be through a competitive bidding process to avoid the creation of a monopoly or duopoly in operating surplus government land.
  • Improve the disinvestment process: The government needs to streamline its disinvestment process and meet its disinvestment targets to generate more revenue.
    • This can be achieved by providing certainty to investors, and by setting realistic targets for disinvestment.
  • Do it in phases: Multi-phased land monetization creates value for developers and investors and increases market appetite.
    • This will make the land more attractive to potential buyers, resulting in higher value and better returns.
  • Partner with the government: Partnering with the government in a PPP model to help cover the holding costs of the land and streamline project clearances.
    • This will speed up the process and make it more efficient.

While privatisation of PSBs and PSUs has faced challenges, monetisation of idle government land requires specialised skills and expertise. Thus, NLMC will have necessary technical expertise to professionally manage and monetize land assets on behalf of CPSEs and other government agencies.

About National Land Monetisation Corporation:

  • Introduced in the Union Budget 2021-22, NLMC is a wholly owned Government of India.
  • The Board of Directors of NLMC will comprise senior Central Government officers and eminent experts to enable professional operations and management of the company.
  • It falls under the Ministry of Finance and has been set up with an initial authorised share capital of Rs.5,000 crore and a paid-up capital of Rs.150 crore.
  • NLMC is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that owns, holds, manages, and monetizes surplus land and assets of CPSEs under closure and the surplus non-core land assets of Government CPSEs under strategic disinvestment.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to ‘National Investment and Infrastructure Fund’, which of the following statements is/are correct? (2017)

  1. It is an organ of NITI Aayog.
  2. It has a corpus of Rs. 4, 00,000 crore at present.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Q.2) With reference to ‘Financial Stability and Development Council’, consider the following statements :

  1. It is an organ of NITI Aayog.
  2. (2)It is headed by the Union Finance Minister.
  3. It monitors macroprudential supervision of the economy.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (2016)

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

India’s fortified food programme

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  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance)

Context: Recently, a report “Do India’s Food Safety Regulator (FSSAI) and Indian Citizens Need Saving from (Foreign & Indian) Private Players Behind Food Fortification Initiatives?” was released.

About Food Fortification:

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) defines fortification as “deliberately increasing the content of essential micronutrients in a food so as to improve the nutritional quality of food and to provide public health benefit with minimal risk to health”.
    • For example, adding iodine and iron to edible salt.

Recent developments food fortification:

  • The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution had launched a centrally sponsored pilot scheme on “Fortification of Rice and its Distribution under Public Distribution System (PDS)” for a period of three years beginning 2019-20 with a total budget outlay of Rs.174.64 crore.
  • The pilot scheme focuses on 15 districts in 15 states.
    • Under the scheme, the blending of rice is done at the milling stage.
  • Maharashtra and Gujarat have started distribution of fortified rice under PDS in the Pilot Scheme.
  • The Scheme is funded by the Government of India in the ratio of 90:10 in respect of North Eastern, hilly and island states and 75:25 in respect of the rest.

Need of food fortification:

  • According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4):
    • 4% of children (6-59 months) are anaemic
    • 1% women in the reproductive age group are anaemic
    • 7% of children under 5 are underweight
    • Also, It is estimated that 50-70% of these birth defects are preventable. One of the major causes is deficiency of Folic Acid.
  • India has slipped to 101st position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021 of 116 countries, from its 2020 position of 94th.
  • Thus, fortification is necessary to address deficiency of micronutrients or micronutrient malnutrition.

Fortification of food in India: Currently government is promoting fortification in following 5 food items:

  • Rice: Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) has been running a “Centrally Sponsored Pilot Scheme on Fortification of Rice & its distribution through Public Distribution System”. The scheme was initiated in 2019-20 for a three-year pilot run.
    • This scheme will run till 2023 and rice will be supplied to the beneficiaries at the rate of Re 1 per kilogram.
  • Wheat: The decision on fortification of wheat was announced in 2018 and is being implemented in 12 states under India’s flagship Poshan Abhiyaan to improve nutrition among children, adolescents, pregnant mothers and lactating mothers.
  • Edible oil: Fortification of edible oil, too, was made compulsory across the country by FSSAI in 2018.
  • Milk: Fortification of milk was started in 2017 under which the National Dairy Development Board of India (NDDB) is pushing companies to add vitamin D.

Benefits of food fortification:

  • Prevent nutritional deficiency-induced ailments: A nutritional deficiency occurs when your body doesn’t get enough nutrients, such as rickets due to vitamin D deficiency, anaemia osteoporosis or reproductive and nervous system ailments due to zinc deficiency.
    • The fortified food helps reduce rates of nutrient deficiency-related diseases.
  • Beneficial in pregnancy: There is a link between zinc deficiency and high mortality and morbidity rates in mothers and new-borns.
    • Folate deficiency can cause faulty neural development in babies in the womb.
    • Consuming fortified food during pregnancy can lower the risks of numerous congenital deformities in babies and improves the mother and baby’s health.
  • Fulfill dietary requirements: People who are strict vegetarians, vegans, lactose-intolerant, or other diet-related conditions have poor micronutrient levels, which causes various ailments.
    • Adding fortified foods to your diet can fulfill your nutrients requirement and improves your overall health.
  • Help in children’s growth and development: It is an evident-based fact that deficiency of iron, zinc, and vitamins A and D causes growth problems.
    • Including fortified foods or micronutrient supplements in the growing phase have a positive physical and mental growth response among children.
  • Helpful for elderlies: With aging, our digestive system absorbs fewer nutrients, causing a nutritional deficiency.
    • Adding fortified food to the diet help maintain healthy nutrient levels for stronger bones, better digestion, and healthy organ functioning.

Issues with food fortification:

  • Loss of natural protective substances: Sometimes, fortification can have the opposite effect.
    • Natural foods contain protective substances such as phytochemicals and polyunsaturated fat that are adversely affected by the process of blending micronutrients.
  • Impact on foetal development: Consumption of excess iron by pregnant women can adversely affect foetal development and birth outcomes.
    • These children have increased risk of contracting chronic diseases.
  • High cost: The fortification expenditure of only the rice delivered through the social safety networks will cost the public exchequer about Rs 2,600 crores annually.
  • Market-driven solution: The researchers are worried that the push towards fortification is more to help the industry than the people and is an international market driven solution and without any scientific logic.
  • Impact on small industries: Fortification creates an assured market for multinationals. It could threaten the livelihoods of small units across India. Like, in case of rice and oil processing.
  • No direct link between anaemia and iron deficiency: There is no direct link between anaemia and iron deficiency.
    • Anaemia is high among poor children in the rural areas but iron deficiency is more among the urban and rich across the country.

According to stalwarts of nutrition, food fortification is a cost-effective complementary strategy to address multiple micronutrient deficiencies. Thus, given its proven efficacy and cost-effectiveness, food fortification can help us in reducing micronutrient deficiencies and address overall health benefits. The intervention, carried out with precautions, is the key to the malnutrition issue which the nation continues to grapple with.

Source:  Down To Earth

Previous Year Question

Q.1) In the context of India, which of the following is/are considered to be of practice(s) of eco-friendly agriculture? (2020)

  1. Crop diversification
  2. Legume intensification
  3. Tensiometer use
  4. Vertical farming

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following statements regarding Polio Virus:

  1. It is a crippling and potentially deadly viral infectious disease that affects the nervous system.
  2. It is a communicable disease which can transmit from person to person.
  3. It largely affects children under 5 years of age.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

Q.2) The Services trade restrictiveness index (STRI) is often mentioned in the news is released by

  1. World Bank
  2. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
  3. World Trade Organization
  4. Asian Development Bank

Q.3) A recent report by the European Union (EU), has confirmed that the ecological disaster that killed hundreds of tonnes of fish in the Oder river in 2022  was caused by toxic algal bloom. In this context, the Oder river borders with which of the following countries?

  1. Poland and Germany
  2. Ukraine and Russia
  3. Germany and France
  4. Syria and Turkey

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

ANSWERS FOR ’ 21st February 2023 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st

ANSWERS FOR 20th February – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – c

Q.2) – b

Q.3) – b

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