What's New :
GS Paper-3, Batch Starts: 2nd December
GS Paper-2, Batch Starts: 2nd December

9th September 2022

President to launch “Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan”

Context

President Droupadi Murmu has launched the `Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ which aims at working towards TB elimination from the country by 2025.

Background
  • India is committed to eliminating tuberculosis from the country by 2025, five years ahead of the global target by the World Health Organisation (WHO)e. 2030.
  • National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme is aligned with the ambitious goal; the programme has been renamed from the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) to National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP).
About

About the Abhiyaan

  • The virtual event is expected to be attended by the representatives from the State & district health administration, corporates, industries, civil society and NGOs.
  • Objective:
  • Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ has been envisioned to bring together all community stakeholders to support those on TB treatment and accelerate the country’s progress towards TB elimination.
  • Need of the initiative:
  • It stated that 79,144 deaths due to tuberculosis were reported in 2019, which is much lower than the WHO estimate of 4.4 lakh fatalities. Hence, is important to eliminate Tuberculosis (TB).
  • Components of the scheme:
  • The Ni-kshay Mitra initiative will also be launched, which forms a vital component of the `Abhiyaan’.
  • The Ni-kshay Mitra portal provides a platform for donors to provide various forms of support to those undergoing TB treatment.
  • The three-pronged support includes nutritional, additional diagnostic and vocational support.
  • The donors, called Ni-kshay Mitras who can be a wide range of stakeholders from elected representatives, political parties, to corporates, NGOs, and individuals.

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection spread through inhaling tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person.
  • It mainly affects the lungs, but it can affect any part of the body, including the tummy (abdomen), glands, bones and nervous system.
  • Vaccination for TB:
  • The BCG vaccine offers protection against TB, and is recommended on the NHS for babies, children and adults under the age of 35 who are considered to be at risk of catching TB.
  • The BCG vaccine is not routinely given to anyone over the age of 35 as there's no evidence that it works for people in this age group.

Other initiatives

  • The Nikshay Ecosystem:It is the National TB information system which is a one-stop solution to manage information of patients and monitor program activity and performance throughout the country.
  • Nikshay Poshan Yojana (NPY):This scheme is aimed at providing financial support to TB patients for their nutrition.
  • TB Harega Desh Jeetega Campaign:Launched In September 2019 it is showcasing the highest level of commitment for the elimination of TB.
  • The Saksham Project:It is a project of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) that has been providing psycho-social counselling to DR-TB patients.

Queen Elizabeth II, longest-reigning monarch of U.K., dies

Context

Britain’s longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, died at the age of 96.

About
  • Elizabeth II (1926-2022) was the Queen of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • Born on April 21, 1926 in London, she was the elder daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. 
  • In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British Monarch to reign for 70 years, extending her record as the longest-reigning monarchin British history. 
  • The Queen was known to have stuck to her constitutional role, and while maintaining a deep interest in politics had a reputation for maintaining political neutrality during the seventy plus years on the throne.
  • Plans for the Queen’s death and the accession of Prince Charles (Successor to the throne) are code named as ‘Operation London Bridge’ and ‘Operation Spring Tide’

Operation Unicorn:

It was announced if the Queen died (as happened) in her Balmoral castle which signifies her death.

  • For funeral, protocol is followed and is expected to be held on the tenth day following the Queen’s death.

The Queen’s Aura

  • The Queen has remained a popular figure, not just in Britain but also globally.
  • Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • She also has built good relations with India and other Countries.

Her Views to India

  • She was the first British monarch to accede to the throne after India's Independence from colonial rule in
  • She had visited to India over the course of her reign – in 1961, 1983 and 1997.
  • In 1961, the Queen and late Prince Phillip toured major cities in India and also visited the Taj Mahal in Agra and paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat in New Delhi.
  • She and her husband later paid a visit to the scene of the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar to place a wreath at the memorial, amid widespread calls for an apology for the thousands killed at the orders of a British General during the Raj era.

India & UK Relations

  • Historical linkage: Nearly 2 million of UK citizens are tied by descent and enduring family links to India.
  • They represent one of the United Kingdom's most dynamic and successful communities.
  • Cooperation: The relations between the two countries are built on strong and deep foundations.
  • Political relations: Politically, relations between India and the UK occur mostly through the multilateral organisations of which both are members, such as the Commonwealth of Nations, the World Trade Organization and the Asian Development Bank.
  • 2017 UK-India Year of Culture: Queen hosted the official launch of the UK India Year of Culture on 27 February 2017 at Buckingham Palace with Indian Finance Minister Aru Jaitley representing Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The British Council worked with the Palace and British-Indian start-up Studio Carrom to project a peacock, India's national bird, onto the facade of Buckingham Palace.

 

 

Rajpath to Kartvyapath

Context

Prime Minister inaugurated the ‘Kartavya Path’ (the revamped Central Vista Avenue) at the India Gate and renamed it from ‘Rajpath’ denoting the freedom from the slavery and terms used during British Raj.

About
  • Rajpath, and formerly known as Kingsway, is a ceremonial path in New Delhi, India, that runs from Rashtrapati Bhavan on Raisina Hill through Vijay Chowk and India Gate to National Stadium, Delhi.
  • The avenue is lined on both sides by huge lawns, canals and rows of trees.
  • Considered to be one of the most important roads in India, it is where the annual Republic Day parade takes place on 26 January.
  • Rajpath runs in east-west


History related to the Name

  • When built the road was built, named as the King's Way, or Kingsway, in honour of the Emperor of India George V, who had visited Delhi during the Durbar of 1911.
  • The name was similar to Kingsway in London which was also a custom-built arterial road, and which had been named in honour of George V's father, Edward VII.
  • Following the independence of India the road was given its Hindi name, 'Rajpath', in place of its English designation. However, it was mere a translation of the English word to Hindi.

Design

The area of the present day central vista was designed by British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker from (1921-1927).

The Redevelopment Project:

  • The Central Vista Redevelopment Project started construction on 4 February 2021 and is planned to be finished in 2026 in phases.
  • A number of new features like planned landscapes, lawns with walkways, green spaces, refurbished canals, amenity blocks, new pedestrian underpasses, improved parking spaces, new exhibition panels, and upgraded night lighting were added.
  • New sustainability features like solid waste management, storm-water management, recycling unit, rainwater harvesting, water conservation and energy efficient lighting systems were implemented.

The New Kartvya Path (Indianised feeling)

  • There is not only change in the names but also several features were added for glorifying the beauty of Azaadi ka Amrit Mahostav.
  • The statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, is being installed which was crafted by Arun Yogiraj, the main sculptor, carved from a monolithic granite stone and weighs 65 metric tonnes. 
  • It also envisages a new triangular Parliament building, a common central secretariat, revamping the three-km Rajpath, a new prime minister's residence and office, and a new vice-president's enclave.

Eliminating the Colonial Hangover

These are several recent steps taken by the government for Shifting from terms used, symbols and other works at that time;

  • Renaming of Andaman Islands after Netaji Bose,
  • To rename the Race Course Road as Lok Kalyan Marg
  • The Indian Navy has also adopted Chhatrapati Shivaji’s symbol
  • The time and date of the Indian Budget, which was following the times of the British Parliament for so many decades, have also been changed.
  • Inclusion of Regional Languages in the New Education Policy.

SC to examine Quota for EWS

Context:

A Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court, hearing petitions against the 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in government jobs and admissions, would be examining ‘whether it violates the basic structure or not’.

What is 103rd Amendment Act?

Criteria for reservation

  • Annual income of the person should be less than 8 lakh.
  • The person should have no less than 5 acres of farmland.
  • People who have a house but less than 1000 square feet in a town.
  • The 103 Constitution Amendment Act provides the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes with a 10% reservation for-
    • admission to central government and private educational institutions
    • recruitment into central government jobs
About

Article amended

Addition of new clause (6) in Articles 15 and 16.

  • Article 15(6) empowers states to make special provision for advancement of any EWS other than those mentioned and to make a special provision on their admission to educational institutions — including aided or unaided private — other than the minority educational institutions referred to in clause (1) of Article 30.
    • This is in addition to existing reservation and subject to a maximum of 10 per cent of the total seats in each category.
  • Article 16 (6) empowers the State to make any provision for reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any EWS other than classes mentioned in clause (4), in addition to the existing reservation and subject to a maximum of 10 per cent of the posts in each category.

Key-points highlighted in the petitions

Basic structure doctrine of the Constitution is like the main pillar of the Indian Constitution. The basic structure cannot be damaged and destroyed.

As per the petitioners:

  • amendments were ‘ultra vires’ as they alter the basic structure of the Constitution
  • amendments run contrary to the majority judgment in Indra Sawhney & Ors. V. Union of India case, that a backward class cannot be determined only and exclusively with reference to economic criterion
  • reservation of 10 per cent of vacancies, in available vacancies/posts, in open competition on the basis of economic criterion will exclude all other classes of those above the demarcating line of such ten per cent seats
  • reservation in unaided institutions violates the fundamental right under Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution
  • Under which the state cannot insist on any private educational institutions which receive no aid from it to implement the policy on reservation for granting admission on any criterion except merit.

Invasive south red-eared slider turtle poses threat to Indian biodiversity

Context

Recently, it has been observed that the presence of invasive and non-native south red-eared slider turtles would lead to the extinction of native species of their own kind in Indian waters.

About
  • The red-eared slider are native to south-eastern USA and Mexico, but have found their way across the globe.
  • These species are brought for sale and trading purposes to different countries including India.

    Is it legal?

    • In India, keeping indigenous turtles as pets is prohibited under the wildlife protection act. But the foreign breeds are not restricted and are kept as pets in many families across the country.
  • Features:
    • Scientific name: Trachemys scripta elegans
    • It is considered to a good pet, as it needs less maintenance.
    • They are also
    • As they grow bigger, people sometimes release them into waterbodies.

India is home to 29 freshwater turtles and tortoise species of the 356 turtle species recognised worldwide and around 80 per cent of them are threatened, according to a 2020 report.

Existence in India

  • This species is already spread across many Indian states and poses a threat to indigenous species of its kind, including soft-shell and hard-shell
  • It is widely found in urban wetlands, such as — Sukhna lake in Chandigarh, temple ponds of Guwahati, lakes of Bengaluru, Sanjay Gandhi national park in Mumbai, Yamuna river in Delhi — among other water bodies.

Invasive species, also called introduced species, alien species, or exotic species, any non-native species are those that significantly modifies or disrupts the ecosystems it colonizes.

How it acts as an Invasive species?

  • The species is considered as one of the world’s 100 worst invasive non-native species.
  • It has been brought to India during the British era.
  • Initially introduced in Kolkata, the plant is now present across the water bodies in the country, choking them and affecting the local biodiversity.
  • These species tend to survive on weeds and food of indigenous turtle population, and destroys the natural ecosystem for them.

India ranks slips down in Human Development Index 2021

Context

India (ranked 132) has registered decline in its score over two consecutive years in Human Development Index 2021-22.

About

What is Human Development Index?

  • The HDI is a summary measure of human development.
  • It measures average achievement of a country in three basic dimensions of human development i.e.:
    • Long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy at birth)
    • Education (measured by mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling)
    • A decent standard of living (measured by GNI per capita in PPP terms in US$)
  • The Index is part of the Human Development Report 2021-2022 released by the United Nations Development Programme.


India’s stand in the Index

  • India’s HDI score of 0.633 places it in the medium human development category, lower than its value of 645 in 2018.
  • Life expectancy at birth has dropped from— 7 years to 67.2 years.
  • India’s expected years of schooling stand at 11.9 years, and the mean years of schooling are at 6.7 years.
  • The GNI per capita level is $6,590.

The neighbours

Among India’s neighbours, Sri Lanka (73rd), China (79th), Bangladesh (129th), and Bhutan (127th) are ranked above India, while Pakistan (161st), Nepal (143rd), and Myanmar (149th) are worse off. The report said around 90 per cent of countries registered a decline in their HDI value in 2020 or in 2021.

Positive developments

  • However, the country has shown improvements in several fields:
    • Over the last decade, India has lifted a staggering 271 million out of multidimensional poverty.
    • boosted access to social protection for vulnerable sections of society
    • shown a slight improvement in its Gender Inequality Index value in the latest report as compared to the 2020 index (0.490 to 0.493)

Recommendation

Implementing policies that focus on 3 Is –

  • investment: from renewable energy to preparedness for pandemics
  • insurance: including social protection, to prepare societies for the ups and downs of an uncertain world
  • innovation: in its many forms — technological, economic, cultural — can also build capacities to respond to whatever challenges come next

Editorial

Golden Chapter Continues

Context:

The last decades have been the best period in India and Bangladesh relationship, which has also been noted as “Shonali Adhhaye” (golden chapter), indicating promising future prospects.

Stability in Relationship:

  • The stability in the relationship remained in a robust state despite the external turmoil.
  • Areas of disagreement have not been allowed to upset the broad positive trend in the relationship, which exemplifies the maturity of leadership

Milestones in Bilateral Ties:

  • Comprehensive Framework of Cooperation: The Comprehensive Framework of Cooperation facilitated the grant of duty-free access to Bangladesh’s exports to India in 2011.
  • “Friendship” pipeline from Assam’s Numaligarh refinery is nearing completion and will deliver petroleum products to Parbatipur in Bangladesh
  • Water-sharing: Agreement on the water-sharing formula for the river Kushyara that flows into Bangladesh from Assam’s Silchar district. Discussions are under the finalization of the temporary water sharing accord on the Feni River.
  • Credit: $8 billion Line of Credit (LoC) has been extended to Bangladesh, including $500 million for defense-related procurement. This reduced the dependency on Chinese military hardware.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.

ThinkQ

img
QUIZ - 9th September 2022

Mains Question:

Q1. “Despite being a fast-growing economy, India has slipped on quality of life, and attainments in basic schooling and healthcare, as per the latest 2021 global Human Development Index (HDI)”. In the light of this statement, underline the need for greater investments in human development. (150 words)

Approach 

  • Introduction- brief about findings of HDI
  • Factors contributing to decline (in India and globally)
    • Pandemic and climate change
    • sweeping social and economic shifts
    • dangerous planetary changes
    • intensified health crisis
    • massive increases in polarization
  • Discuss the importance of human capital in development
  • Required measures 
    • Investment in human development
    • Investment in disaster management and health sector
    • investment in renewables because climate change crisis is imminent
  • Sum up your answer with a way forward
X

Verifying, please be patient.

Enquire Now