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01 Aug, 2022

66 Min Read


GS-II : Governance Policies and Programmes


  • It is observed from 1st to 7th August 2022.

  • World Breastfeeding Week theme for 2022 is "Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support.
  • It is also the celebration of Motherhood and the healthy life of the newborn.
  • World breastfeeding week 2022 will focus on strengthening the capacity of actors that have to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding across different levels of society.
  • Government, health system, workplace, and communities will be informed, educated, and empowered to strengthen their capacity to provide and sustain breastfeeding-friendly environments in the post-pandemic world as said to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action.


World Breastfeeding Week was first celebrated in the year 1992.

Initially, just 70 countries participated in the celebration but now the number increased to 170 countries.

The objectives of World Breastfeeding Week are:

  • To create awareness among the parents about the breastfeeding
  • Must restore the breastfeeding support system to pre-pandemic levels and strengthen the capacity of this system to achieve the global nutrition target of 2025
  • To Encourage parents to adopt breastfeeding
  • Creating awareness about the importance of initiation and exclusive breastfeeding, and adequate & appropriate complementary feeding.
  • Providing advocacy material about the importance of breastfeeding.

Significance of Breastfeeding

  • It is one of the most nutritious foods for the baby as it contains lots of antibodies. These antibodies not only shape the immune system of newborn babies but also provide efficient protection against pathogens.
  • Increased breastfeeding could avert 20,000 maternal deaths each year due to breast cancer so it can reduce the risk of mothers developing diseases like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease as said by the WHO.
  • By breastfeeding, a baby's chances of being overweight, obese, and prone to diabetes are comparatively lesser than the ones who aren't breastfed.
  • It promotes better health for mothers and children alike.
  • It prevents infections like diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections in early infancy and thus reduces infant mortality
  • It protects infants from obesity-related illnesses, and diabetes, and increases their IQ.

Norm for breastfeeding

  • Initiation of Breastfeeding within an hour of birth.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life which means only breast Milk 'NO' other milk, food, drink, or water.
  • Appropriate and adequate complementary feeding from six months of age while continuing breastfeeding.
  • Continued breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond.

Challenges for breastfeeding in India

  • Awareness about breast milk and early nutrition is very poor among new mothers.
  • Even experts maintain that inappropriate complementary feeding practices are having a significant impact on the nutritional status of children.
  • 6 out of 10 babies born in the country are not able to begin breastfeeding within one hour of birth due to C-section delay highlighted by The 5th Report of Assessment of India’s Policy and Programmes on Breastfeeding.

Government initiatives

MAA - Mothers Absolute Affection

It is a program of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to promote the system of breastfeeding and provides counselling services for supporting breastfeeding through health systems.

The program has been named ‘MAA’ to highlight the support a lactating mother requires from family members and health facilities to breastfeed successfully.

The objective of the program:

  • Build an enabling environment for breastfeeding through awareness generation activities, targeting pregnant and lactating mothers, family members, and society to promote optimal breastfeeding practices.
  • Breastfeeding is to be positioned as an important intervention for child survival and development.
  • Reinforce lactation support services at public health facilities through trained healthcare providers and skilled community health workers.
  • To incentivize and recognize those health facilities that show high rates of breastfeeding along with processes in place for lactation management

Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh- a National Human Milk Bank and Lactation Counselling Centre has been established in the Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC), Delhi. It has been established in collaboration with the Norwegian government, Oslo University under Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI).

Way forward

Breast milk cannot be substituted by any other milk so the culture of breastfeeding should be promoted by the government by empowering the key actor to raise awareness about breastfeeding.

The Promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding must become an important activity of the health systems.


Source: The Hindu


GS-II : International Relations International Organizations


Recently, two BSF personnel who were part of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), were among five people killed during a protest in an eastern town near the border with Uganda.

Background of UN peacekeeping force

  • The U.N. formed its Peacekeeping efforts in the year 1948, to deploy military observers to West Asia.
  • The Peacekeeping mission’s role was to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbour.
  • It aims to assist host countries to transition from situations of conflict to peace.

Aim: to provide security as well as political and peacebuilding support to conflict-ridden countries.

Coverage: There is approximately 81,820 personnel serving on 13 peace operations led by UNDPO on four continents currently. This also represents a nine-fold increase since 1999.

The three basic principles that guide U.N.’s Peacekeeping missions are:

  • Consent of the parties
  • Impartiality
  • Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate

County and strength: A total of 119 countries have contributed military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping. Currently, 72,930 of those serving are troops and military observers, and about 8,890 are police personnel.

The function of UN peacekeeper personnel:

  • Protecting civilians and other U.N. personnel
  • Monitoring disputed borders
  • Observing the peace processes in post-conflict areas
  • Providing security mainly in the conflict zones
  • Providing security during elections
  • Assisting in-country military personnel with training and support
  • Assisting ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreement


  • Peacekeeping continued to face the performance issue.
  • Peacekeepers often go where no one else is prepared to go and they put their life at risk every day.
  • Difficulty in coping with changing nature of armed conflicts.
  • Operations to be carried out in different terrains.

India’s contribution to UN peacekeeping

History of India’s contribution:

  • India’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping began with its participation in the UN operation in Korea in the year 1950s, where India’s mediatory role in resolving the stalemate over prisoners of war in Korea led to the signing of the armistice that ended the Korean War.
  • The UN entrusted the Indian armed forces with subsequent peace missions in the Middle East, Cyprus, and the Congo.
  • India also served as Chair of the three international commissions for supervision and control of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos established by the 1954 Geneva Accords on Indochina.


India has a long history of service in UN Peacekeeping, having contributed more personnel than any other country.

  • More than 2, 53,000 Indians have served in 49 of the 71 UN Peacekeeping missions established around the world since 1948.
  • Fifth highest contributor: currently there are around 5,500 troops and police from India who have been deployed to UN Peacekeeping missions, the fifth highest amongst troop-contributing countries.
  • Force Commanders: India has also provided and continues to provide, eminent Force Commanders for UN Missions.
  • India also had the honour of providing two Military Advisers.

Role of women in Indian Peacekeeping

  • In 2007, India became the first country to deploy an all-women contingent to a UN Peacekeeping Mission.
  • The Formed Police Unit in Liberia provided 24-hour guard duty and conducted night patrols in the capital Monrovia, and helped to build the capacity of the Liberian police.

Medical care as part of India’s Missions

  • In addition to their security role the members of the Indian Formed Police Unit also organized medical camps for Liberians, many of whom have limited access to health care services.
  • Medical care is among the many services Indian Peacekeepers provide to the communities in which they serve on behalf of the Organisation.
  • Indian veterinarians serving with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) stepped up to help cattle herders who were losing much of their stock to malnutrition and disease in the war-torn nation.
  • The Hospital by India in Goma, operational since January 2005 has 90 Indian nationals including 18 specialists.

UN Medals of Honour

  • The Indian contingent in the Upper Nile region has all received UN Medals of Honour.

Trust Fund on sexual exploitation

  • India was the first country to contribute to the Trust Fund on sexual exploitation and abuse which was set up in 2016.

There is a need to provide resources and required training in emerging technologies and new ways of warfare to decrease the causalities of the peacekeeping forces.

Data and facts

A total of 175 Indian peacekeepers have so far died while serving with the United Nations.

India has lost more peacekeepers than any other UN Member State.

India has been the largest troop contributor to UN missions since its inception.

Blue Helmets:

Blue Helmets are the military personnel of the U.N. that work alongside the U.N. Police and civilian colleagues to promote stability, security, and peace processes.

The personnel gets the name from the iconic blue helmets or berets they wear.

Read also - Karikiyoor Rock Paintings

Source: The Indian Express

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV): Explained

GS-III : Economic Issues Renewable energy

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV): Explained

Automakers like Maruti, Toyota, and Honda have launched more hybrid electric vehicles in India.

What is a hybrid electric vehicle?

  • A hybrid electric vehicle uses an Internal Combustion engine ICE (a petrol/diesel) and one or more electric motors to run. It is powered by the electric motor alone, which uses energy stored in batteries by the ICE or both.
  • In addition to the internal combustion engine, they also have an electric motor and a battery.
  • The HEV is more complex as it has electric vehicle (EV) components and a conventional ICE (the cars we use as of now) component.
  • HEV contains a low-voltage auxiliary battery, a traction battery pack to store electricity for the electric motor, an electric generator, an AC/DC converter, a power electronics controller, a thermal system to maintain working temperature, an ICE, a fuel tank, a fuel filler, a transmission, and an exhaust system.

How do HEV powertrains work?

[Powertrains means an assembly of gears and associated parts by which power is transmitted from the engine to the driving axel.]

  • The HEV powers the car in a series, parallel, or series-parallel (power split) method.
  • Parallel HEV may use any of the power sources (either IEC power generators OR electric motor) based on driving conditions and will alternate between the electric motor and IEC to keep the car moving.
  • Series HEV only uses the electric motor to drive the wheels and the ICE is used to recharge batteries.
  • Series-parallel HEV offers a combination of both models and allows to split power, where the power is routed from the ICE alone or from the battery to the electric motors to drive the vehicle.

In all three, the battery is recharged through regenerative braking technology.

How does a regenerative braking System (RBS) work?

  • In RBS, the kinetic system can recover the energy lost during braking and then use this energy to recharge the high-voltage battery of the vehicle.
  • An electric system generates electricity through a motor during sudden braking and a hydraulic system uses pressurized tanks to store the vehicle’s kinetic energy and offers a high energy recovery rate ideal for the vehicle.
  • The efficiency of HEVs and EVs will in large part be determined by their ability to recover as much energy as possible while braking, with a higher degree of energy recovery lowering fuel consumption.
  • The amount of recoverable energy depends upon factors like vehicle speed and stopping pattern.
  • While regenerative braking systems are already available in most electric vehicles (EVs), the technology is also used in electric railways.

A regenerative braking system (RBS) used in automotive applications has several advantages like better braking efficiency in stop-and-go traffic which enhances fuel economy and also helps in reducing carbon emissions. Besides, RBS also helps in energy optimization resulting in minimum energy wastage.

Types Of Hybrid Vehicles:

The HEVs can be categorized into micro, mild and full hybrid vehicles, based on the degree of hybridization.

  • Full HEV will have a larger battery and a more powerful electric motor compared with a mild HEV. As a result, a full HEV can power the vehicle for longer distances using just electric mode.
  • Mild HEV cannot drive using only the electric motor and uses the battery at traffic lights or in stop-and-go traffic to support the ICE.
  • Micro hybrids do not offer electric torque assistance as they lack an electric motor, but they have an idle stop-start system and energy management functions.

Full HEVs offer better fuel economy compared with the other two types of HEVs but they also cost more than them.

  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that are just like full HEVs, but they can be charged using a wall outlet, as they have an onboard charger and a charging port. PHEVs generally use the electric motor until the battery is almost drained, and then automatically switch to the ICE.

What is the main advantage of using hybrid technology??

  • Fuel efficiency is one of the main advantages of using hybrid technology.
  • Most vehicles with hybrid technology offer fuel efficiency, more power, and minimum carbon emissions.
  • Will cut down emissions of global warming pollutants by a 1/3 to 1/2.
  • It will greatly reduce dependence on fossil fuels.


  • The high vehicle cost- Battery, a vital component of an HEV, increases the cost of the vehicle, making it pricier than vehicles powered only by an ICE. The RBS also adds to the higher cost of an HEV.
  • Import dependency- upon countries like China and Australia for lithium-ion batteries used in EVs.

Government Initiative

FAME India – Hybrid and Electric vehicles scheme

  • Union Government on 1 April 2015 launched the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME)
  • The scheme was launched as part of the National Mission for Electric Mobility to boost eco-friendly vehicle sales in the country.
  • This scheme was launched to achieve the goals of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP).
  • The Phase I-lasted from 2015 to 2019
  • Phase II of FAME started in 2019 and is expected to be completed by this year.
  • It mainly focuses on four areas such as technology development, demand creation, pilot project, and charging infrastructure.

HEV has the potential to reduce carbon emissions and achieve the Paris climate commitment. Countries need to collaborate for technology transfer and to create global as well as domestic markets for EVs.

Source: The Hindu

Myanmar/Malaysia-India-Singapore Transit (MIST) Cable

GS-III : Economic Issues Telecom sector

Myanmar/Malaysia-India-Singapore Transit (MIST) Submarine Cable System

The union environment ministry’s expert appraisal committee (EAC) on Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) has given its go-ahead for the construction of an 8,100km-long undersea, transnational fiber optic cable system connecting Mumbai to Singapore, via Chennai.

About MIST cable

  • It is an international submarine cable communication network that will traverse undersea to connect India with various other countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.
  • It will also boost telecom connectivity between India and other Asian countries, namely Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore
  • Its aim is to provide secure, reliable, robust, and affordable telecom facilities in Asia with the main trunk route being from Tuas in Singapore to Mumbai in India.
  • The MIST cable system consists of 12 fiber pairs, with more than 216Tbps system capacity. The total initial cost of the MIST cable system is approximate US$400million.
  • The project is officially known as the Myanmar/Malaysia-India-Singapore Transit (MIST) Submarine Cable System.

This will be the 17th such optical fiber cable system to land in Mumbai and is expected to be ready for service.


  • MIST cable system will provide secure, reliable, robust, and affordable telecom facilities in Asia.
  • This is a project of immense importance to global communications and will have a minimal footprint on Mumbai’s coastal environment.
  • It would also help to avoid conflict with various stakeholders considering the increasing number of international cable landing on the Chennai coast
  • Issue: One of the major issues is that out of a total project length of 8,100 km, 523.50 km fell in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) a sensitive zone.

Submarine Cable:

  • A submarine cable system consists of a communication cable laid on the sea bed between cable landing stations (CLS) on the land to carry the telecommunication signals across stretches of the ocean.
  • Submarine cable systems generally use optical fiber cables to carry international traffic.


Source: The Hindu


GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Conservation


Loktak Lake Authority of Manipur recently issued a notice to remove all floating houses and fishing structures on Loktak lake. This has received a sharp reaction from the local Fishing Community & Homestay Operators.

What are the Issues?

  • There is a Lack of regulation.
  • There is a growing number of homestays and huts that are constructed and have put the lake at vital risk, and even impacting the environment.
  • There has been a sharp reduction in fish production and the traditional fisheries due to a major hydropower project that was started in the year 1983.
  • The Ithai barrage, commissioned in 1983, has brought about drastic changes in the characteristics of the wetland.
  • Also, there is a loss of huge agricultural land due to inundation and increased levels of sediments and pollutants by untreated rivers.
  • This step was taken to rejuvenate the ecological condition of Loktak lake and delist it from the Montreux record.

The lake covers 61 per cent of the total identified wetlands of the state. It plays a significant part in the socio-economic and cultural life of Manipuris. So, the locals are protesting against the government's decisions.

About Loktak lake

  • It is the largest freshwater lake in the North–East India
  • Loktak Lake is in Bishnupur District which is 48kms from the Imphal City of Manipur.
  • Fishermen living in floating islands called Phumdis in floating huts known as Phumsangs are one of the unique sights of this lake
  • The only floating National Park in the world, the Keibul Lamjao National Park located on Loktak Lake, is the last natural habitat of the “Sangai” (Rucervus Eldii), the dancing deer of Manipur.
  • In addition, the lake shelters about 230 species of aquatic plants, 100 types of birds, and 400 species of fauna like barking deer, sambar, and Indian python.
  • Loktak lake was initially designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990.
  • Later it was also listed under the Montreux Record in 1993.

Read also - Myanmar/Malaysia-India-Singapore Transit (MIST) Cable

Source: Down to Earth

Karikiyoor Rock Paintings

GS-I : Art and Culture Paintings

Karikiyoor Rock Paintings

The Researchers have discovered 5000-year-old rock paintings at Karikiyoor in Nilgiris.

About Korikiyoor painting:

  • It is located in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu.
  • It is a series of over 300 images etched on the side of the cliff-face in Kothagiri.
  • A variety of subjects are depicted in great detail that includes:
  • communities that lived in the area at that period.
  • the wildlife they witnessed and their relationships with them
  • the battles with other communities
  • It is believed to be more than 5,000 years old as no scientific dating has been done on the site.

Feature of painting

  • These images are all drawn using earthen paints.
  • The images depict a gradual shift from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle in the initial drawings to a pastoral and, eventually, a settled agrarian lifestyle in the later part of the drawings.
  • The shift indicates that the rock art site got added on by different groups at different stages in its history.
  • There are other smaller cave painting sites hidden deep inside the reserve forests.
  • James Wilkinson Breeks, a civil servant has documented 18 distinct rock art sites in his book “An Account of the Primitive Tribes and Monuments of the Nilgiris.”
  • Local indigenous communities, especially the Irulas and the Kurumbas, have an attachment to these sites.
  • Most of these sites are located near the settlements of these aboriginal groups.
  • They believe the sites are the ancestral abodes of their forefathers, and this belief has helped in conserving these sites so far.
  • The Kurumbas claim a link to the Vellarikombai rock art site while in Karikiyoor and Sigur, the rock art sites are claimed by the Irulas.
  • Vandals have defaced some of the rock art, painting political and religious symbols on the images.

Read also - Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV)

Source: The Hindu

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