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20th May 2023

Centre writes to States to curb trend of unnecessary hysterectomies


The Ministry of Health has communicated with all relevant parties, urging them to collaborate in addressing the issue of unnecessary hysterectomies performed by specific medical institutions.

What is hysterectomy?
  • Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, and sometimes surrounding organs and tissues.
  • Main types of hysterectomy include:
    • Total hysterectomy: The entire uterus, including the cervix, is removed. The ovaries and fallopian tubes may or may not be removed along with the uterus.
    • Partial hysterectomy: This surgery involves removing the upper part of the uterus while leaving the cervix intact.
    • Radical hysterectomy: It involves the removal of the uterus, cervix, the upper part of the vagina, and nearby tissues, such as lymph nodes.
  • These procedures may be done through the vagina (with no incisions in the abdomen) or through an incision (cut) in the abdomen.
  • The procedure is carried out under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana as well as other government schemes related to healthcare.

What is the issue?

  • Health threats (due to unawareness): Women who could have been offered alternative treatments were unnecessarily subjected to hysterectomies, posing significant risks to their health.
    • Most women who were subjected to hysterectomies of this kind belonged to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, or Other Backward Communities.
  • Misuse: Several healthcare institutions misuse the procedure only to claim high insurance fees from governments under various health insurance schemes.
  • Threat to health rights: There has been a serious violation of the fundamental rights of the women (Article 21) who underwent unnecessary hysterectomies

The prevalence of hysterectomy was 3.6 per cent among women in the age group of 30 to 39 years and 9.2 per cent among those between 40 and 49 citing the National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-16) estimates.

Gujarat working to become India’s green hydrogen hub


Gujarat is initiating the process to establish itself as India's primary hub for green hydrogen production, aiming to maintain its leading position in the industrial sector.

Why the focus is on ‘green hydrogen’?

  • India has set its sight on becoming energy independent by 2047 and achieving Net Zero by 2070.

Types of Hydrogen (based on extraction methods)

  • Grey Hydrogen: It is produced via coal or lignite gasification (black or brown), or via a process called steam methane reformation (SMR) of natural gas or methane (grey).
  • Blue Hydrogen: It is produced via natural gas or coal gasification combined with carbon capture storage (CCS) or carbon capture use (CCU) technologies to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Green Hydrogen: It is produced using electrolysis of water with electricity generated by renewable energy.
  • To achieve this target, increasing renewable energy use across all economic spheres is central to India's Energy Transition.
  • Green Hydrogen is considered a promising alternative for enabling this transition.
  • Hydrogen is the simplest and smallest element in the periodic table. No matter how it is produced, it ends up with the same carbon-free molecule. 
  • Hydrogen can be utilized for:
    • long-duration storage of renewable energy
    • replacement of fossil fuels in industry
    • clean transportation
    • decentralized power generation, aviation, and marine transport

India’s Target

  • Under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), India has set a target of becoming a net-zero emissions country by 2070.
  • The country also aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 by sourcing 50% of its energy from renewable sources.

National Green Hydrogen Mission

  • The National Green Hydrogen Mission was approved by the Union Cabinet on 4 January 2022, with the intended objectives of:
    • Making India a leading producer and supplier of Green Hydrogen in the world
    • Creation of export opportunities for Green Hydrogen and its derivatives
    • Reduction in dependence on imported fossil fuels and feedstock
    • Development of indigenous manufacturing capabilities
    • Attracting investment and business opportunities for the industry
    • Creating opportunities for employment and economic development
    • Supporting R&D projects
  • In April 2022, the government launched the country’s only pure green hydrogen pilot plant with an installed capacity of 10kg per day at its Jorhat pump station in Assam.
  • In January this year, the government commissioned India’s first green hydrogen blending project in the piped natural gas network.

Jerusalem Day

  • In an annual procession that Palestinians view as provocative, Israeli nationalists were scheduled to march through the Muslim neighbourhood of the Old City to commemorate the 1967 conquest of East Jerusalem.

What is Jerusalem Day?

  • During the 1967 war, Israel fought a number of Arab armies and captured territories including East Jerusalem.
  • Israel has since annexed East Jerusalem in a move that has not been recognised internationally, and considers the entire city to be its everlasting and undivided capital.
  • Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
  • The day's celebrations conclude in a flag-waving march through downtown Jerusalem before entering the fortified Old City, which is home to Christian, Jewish, and Muslim holy sites.
  • In recent years, the parade has become a show of force by Jewish nationalists and a blatant provocation aimed at undermining Palestinian links to the city for Palestinians.

Why has it caused tensions with Palestinians?

  • The heavily-policed procession through the Old City of Damascus has caused tension between Palestinians and Arab shopkeepers, as well as Jewish pilgrims visiting the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.
  • Palestinians say the visits are an Israeli attempt to encroach on one of the few places in the city where they feel a degree of sovereignty, while Muslims say Jewish visitors are violating a decades-old ban on non-Muslim worship. Israel maintains the status quo.

How has the event led to violence in recent years?

  • Hamas has warned of an "explosion" if right-wing marchers violate the status quo at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound or attack Palestinians.
  • Palestinians have also organised flag marches in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza, with some processions set to take place near the Israel-Gaza separation fence.

SCO Nations: Enhance collaborations in science & Tech

  • The nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) have been urged by India to work together for improved cooperation in the areas of science, technology, and innovation.

Key highlights:

  • Science and Technology Minister of India addressed the SCO meeting through virtual mode and urged the member countries to jointly address the emerging challenges of the Eurasian region.

Why need for collaboration in field of Science and Technology?

  • India mentioned that SCO countries are exposed to identical challenges such as ensuring food, challenges emerging due to climate change, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, affordable healthcare, environmental issues and energy access for its people.
    • In order to resolve these challenges, it is imperative for us to join hands to innovate affordable scientific solutions.

Role of Science and Technology

  • Global economic recovery: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the global scenario of the economy. Science and technology has played a greater role in global economic recovery.
    • The SCO scientific community needs to cooperate in the field of technology-based solutions for social and economic challenges.
  • Healthcare: The Government of India has focused on innovative interventions for affordable healthcare and by 2047, India aims to be one of the world’s top markets in medical devices.
  • Research & Innovation: India is moving along the mantra -‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, and Jai Anusandhan,’ which essentially believes in coordination of various sectors to make India a global centre of research and innovation.
  • According to NSF database: India has now climbed to 3rd position in research and development.
    • During the last 8 years, the number of registered start-ups has grown from a mere 400 to an astounding 97,000. India has also reached 3rd position in terms of number of PhDs.

Flagship Initiatives:

  • In the recent past, the Government of India has launched several flagship initiatives to build scientific leadership in the emerging areas of science. Such as -
    • National Mission on Cyber Physical Systems
    • Quantum Computing
    • National Mission on Supercomputing
    • Deep Ocean Mission
  • National Hydrogen Energy Mission: India is progressing ahead to meet its commitment at COP 26 of achieving net zero emissions by 2070 and fulfilling 50 per cent of energy requirements by utilising renewable energy by 2030.

World Development Report: Wave of Migration

  • The latest World Development Report has published by the World Bank, says the world is in such a crisis that a new wave of migration among countries is needed for human survival.

Key highlights of the report:

  • Distress migration: The first migration which happened some 70,000 years ago could be called a distress migration, based on geological and paleoclimate evidence.
  • Human beings moved out from Africa, seeking food, water and a suitable climate to prosper.
  • Back then, the planet was an open geographical mass without political boundaries.

Current Status:

  • The 184 million migrants in the world are 2.3 percent of the population, with 80% of them being economic migrants.
  • Since 2014, nearly 50,000 people have died while attempting to migrate, showing the desperation of people to migrate for survival.
  • This is due to the demographic change in the world, where there is a scarcity of people who can work and have the skills to do so.
    • For Example: Italy will have its population cut in half by the end of the century. Globally, the number of people over age 65 is already larger than the number of children under age 5.
  • Middle-income countries: The population is getting older before they attain a certain income level. The share of the elderly in their population is expected to double by 2050.
  • Lower-income countries: African countries, Niger saw its population grow from 3 million in 1960 to 24 million in 2020.

Estimation by World Bank:

  • Demographic changes have caused a global competition for workers and talent, with rich countries having to open up again, middle-income countries having to compete with those brought in from outside, and poor and developing countries having to undertake massive skill-development exercises to grab the opportunity.
  • This has caused the world to seek out the suitable among its own species in a desperate way.

Short News Article


Group of Seven (G7) Meet


Leaders of the world's wealthiest countries decided to toughen sanctions on Russia and to limit reliance on trade with China.

Kay highlights of the summit:

  • Concerning Russia: The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) vowed to ban any exports to Russia that could aid it in its 15-month invasion of Ukraine.
    • This includes exports of industrial machinery, tools, and other technology that Russia uses to rebuild its war machine.
  • Concerning China: The G7 countries increasingly perceive as a danger to economic security, they were to agree to reduce excessive reliance in vital supply chains and to combat malicious practises in technology transfer and data sharing.
    • It reiterated the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and urged China to put pressure on Russia to halt its aggression in Ukraine.
  • The G7 countries are the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Canada.

Background of Site

  • Hiroshima was destroyed 78 years ago by US nuclear strikes that concluded World War II.
  • Hiroshima, Japan, was chosen for the global assembly to draw emphasis on arms control.
  • Shifting Objective
  • The objective of net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, but it also noted what it saw as the continued role of liquefied natural gas as reliance on Russian energy was reduced.


RBI Surplus Transfer


The Reserve Bank of India has approved the transfer of Rs 87,416 crore as surplus to the Union Government for fiscal year 2022-23, offering a significant boost to its fiscal position.

Key highlights:

  • The RBI has overshot the Union Budget's target of Rs 48,000 crore as dividend from public sector banks and the RBI.
  • This was enabled by higher earnings on sale of forex, better returns on forex investments in US treasuries, revaluation of forex assets, and adjustments in reserves.
  • The fiscal buffer of RBI surplus transfer would be useful as tax buoyancy may undershoot budget estimates.
  • Liquidity conditions are likely to remain tight, requiring the RBI to add durable liquidity in the form of open market operations worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore in the second half of FY24.

Liquidity refers to the ease with which an asset, or security, can be converted into ready cash without affecting its market price.


Nonviolent Economy

About: Nonviolent Economy

  • The Nonviolent Economic Network recognizes the importance of providing support to small producer groups.
  • Equally important, it is consciously building responsible consumers whose support to the producers is vital.
  • A lot of changes can be made if we consciously buy and use local products. It will help the local economy go forward.
  • The current capitalist economy is resource-intensive and operates without any concern for tomorrow, so it can survive only by looking at profits.

What are the main principles of a nonviolent economy?

  • Nonviolent economics is based on ideas developed by Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave and J.C. Kumarappa.
  • Although Kumarappa never used the phrase nonviolent economy, he created the architecture.
  • He showed that the mainstream economy was violent and profit-oriented, while the nonviolent economy shaped economic behaviour that was human, inclusive, and consistent with nature’s laws.


Tracking SDG progress the Bhopal way


Bhopal has become the first city in India to join the growing global movement on localisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) following the release of its Voluntary Local Review (VLR).

India’s Progress

  • Centre Efforts: NITI Aayog presented India’s second VNR (Voluntary National Review) in 2020. Also, Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI) published a National Indicator Framework (NIF) for the review and monitoring of the SDGs.
  • State efforts: At least 23 States and Union Territories have prepared a vision document based on SDGs. Almost all of them have initiated steps to localise the SDGs. 
  • Cities efforts: Cities are the most important stakeholders in Agenda 2030 as at least 65% of the 169 targets could not possibly be achieved without their engagement. It is desirable to align a city’s VLR to the State-level action plan (where available) and the country’s VNR.

The Bhopal plan

  • Collaboration: Bhopal’s VLR (Voluntary Local review) is the result of a collaboration between the Bhopal Municipal Corporation, Un-Habitat and a collective of over 23 local stakeholders. It has mapped 56 developmental projects to the SDGs across the pillars, of people, planet and prosperity. 
  • Objective: The objectives of building basic infrastructure and resilience emerge as a priority for the city from the number of projects mapped to the SDGs.
  • Performance: The in-depth quantitative assessment of city-level indicators under SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities) records Bhopal’s stellar performance in solid waste management practices, public transportation, and open spaces per capita. 
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