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Monthly DNA

03 Oct, 2022

28 Min Read

Midday Meal Scheme

GS-II : Governance Policies and Programmes

Midday Meal Scheme

  • The Ministry of Finance has approved an increase in the cost of cooking for each child participating in the Mid-Day Meal Program by 9.6%.
  • Cooking expenses per kid have been Rs 4.97 in primary classes (class I–V) and Rs 7.45 in upper primary schools (class VI-VIII) since the recent increase in early 2020.
  • The allocation at the primary level and higher primary levels will be Rs 5.45 and Rs 8.17, respectively after the increases take effect.

What is the Midday Meal Program?

  • Launched in 1995, the Ministry of Education's Midday Meal Program is a centrally funded initiative.
  • It is the largest school food program in the world and is intended to help primary education become universal.
  • Provides hot lunches to every student in classes I through VIII who is enrolled in the school and is between the ages of six and fourteen.
  • It was renamed the "Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman" scheme (PM Poshan Scheme) in 2021 and now includes pupils in pre-primary classrooms who are balvatikas (children between the ages of 3-5).
  • Goals: Reduce hunger and malnutrition, boost school enrollment and attendance, enhance caste socialisation, and give women, in particular, access to jobs at the local level.
  • Two or three adult members of the school administration committee taste meals to ensure they are of AGMARK standard.
  • Food Security Payment : The State Government shall provide food security payment by the 15th of the subsequent month if the Mid-Day Meal is not supplied at school on any school day due to the non-availability of food grains or for any other reason.
  • Regulation: The State Steering-cum Monitoring Committee (SSMC) is in charge of overseeing the scheme's execution, including the creation of a system for maintaining meal quality and nutritional criteria.
  • Cooked meals must meet dietary guidelines of 450 calories and 12 grammes of protein for students in grades I through V, and 700 calories and 20 grammes of protein for students in upper primary (VI-VIII class)


  • The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan supports all government-run and government-aided schools, Madarsas, and Maqtabs (SSA).
  • According to the National Food Security Act of 2013, the programme includes 11.80 crore children in Classes 1 through 8 (between the ages of 6 and 14) who attend 11.20 lakh government and government-aided schools as well as those administered by local organisations like the municipal corporations in Delhi (NFSA).
  • The Center has set out Rs. 10,233 crore for the programme in the Budget for 2022–2023; states are anticipated to invest Rs. 6,277 crore.

What are the problems and difficulties?

Corrupt Behaviors & Quality issue

  • There have been incidents where ordinary chapatis were supplied with salt, milk was contaminated with water, food poisoning occurred, etc.
  • Children are often forced to sit apart in classrooms based on their caste position because food is a key component of the caste system.


  • Covid-19 has posed significant risks to children's rights to nutrition and good health.
  • Mid-Day Meals have been affected by the statewide lockdown, which has hindered access to other necessities.
  • Advocates for food and education cautioned that while families have been given dry foodgrains or cash transfers in their place, these alternatives would not have the same impact as hot cooked meals served on school grounds, particularly for girl students who experience more discrimination at home and are more likely to drop out of school as a result of the closures.
  • Malnutrition threat: According to the National Family Health Survey-5, levels of child malnutrition have gotten worse in a number of states across the nation.
  • Nearly 50% of severely wasted children under the age of five and 30% of stunted children worldwide reside in India.

2020 Global Nutrition Report

  • India is one of 88 nations that are predicted to fall short of the global nutrition goals by 2025, according to the Global Nutrition Report 2020.
  • Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2020: India is now placed 94th out of 107 nations in the GHI 2020. India has a "severe" hunger problem.

The Way Forward

  • Years before those girls and young women become mothers, interventions to increase maternal height and education must be put in place.
  • Although nutritionists have long advocated that improving maternal health and wellbeing is the key to reducing stunting in their offspring, the fight against stunting has frequently focused on improving nutrition for early children.
  • For intergenerational benefits, school meals must be expanded and improved. School-based treatments can be quite beneficial because girls in India finish school, get married, and have children all within a short period of time.

Raed More: Mid-day Meal Scheme

Source: The Indian Express

5G Services: Advantages & Challenges

GS-III : Economic Issues Telecom sector

5G Services: Advantages & Challenges

  • On the sidelines of the India Mobile Congress 2022 opening ceremony, the Indian Prime Minister recently announced the availability of 5G services in India.


  • The fifth generation of wireless technologies or mobile networks is known as 5G. Following 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks, it is a new international wireless standard.
  • Network: 5G makes it possible for a novel sort of network, one that connects practically everyone and everything—including machines, objects, and devices—to one another.
  • Goals: 5G will offer more consumers a more consistent user experience, huge network capacity, ultra-low latency, higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, and more reliability.
  • Greater performance and greater efficiency to connect new industries and empower new user experiences.

Advantages of India's 5G introduction

  • 5G wireless technology will enable ultra-high Internet speeds for Indian mobile phone customers, ushering in a new digital era in the nation.
  • Socio-economic change: Industry 4.0, smart cities, financial inclusion, agriculture, health, and education are just a few of the key areas where 5G technology will bring about change.
  • Global positioning: The adoption of 5G technology will support the home tech revolution and advance India's status as a global economic and technological powerhouse.
  • Newer opportunities: will give start-ups new chances to develop creative solutions to current problems, produce jobs, and support India's economic resiliency.
  • Self Reliant: India was reliant on foreign nations for 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies. However, with 5G, India has for the first time established a global standard in telecom technology.
  • Tech Developer, not Consumer: India will now actively participate in the development and implementation of 5G-related technology rather than just being a consumer of it
  • More users: According to a recent Ericsson analysis, by 2027, 39% of India's mobile subscriptions, or over 500 million customers, could be attributed to 5G technology.
  • Infrastructure/Link Technology: A number of science and technology-driven applications that are helpful in daily life, such as Connected Ambulance (Emergency healthcare) and Community Clinic (Mass healthcare/treatment), will be connected by 5G technology.
  • Demo of a Remote Ultrasound Robot (remote healthcare)
  • Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) for Broadband Access in Rural Areas
  • 5G core for public networks that was created locally
  • Routers with high security
  • Platform for AI-based Cyber Threat Detection
  • IoT-based smart agriculture programme utilising HD cameras and drones

Problems with the 5G rollout:

  • Technical Adoption: For the widespread rollout of 5G across India (especially in rural areas), Indian telecommunications firms will need to have a strong technology foundation and sufficient capital.
  • Low Fiberization Footprint: Since only 30% of India's telecom towers are now connected by FOC, tripling fibre connectivity across the country will be necessary for effective 5G coverage.
  • Hardware issue: Due to India's ban on some major international telecom OEMs, the rollout of 5G may encounter difficulties with Indian hardware.
  • Spectrum pricing: The cost of 5G spectrum in India is far higher than the average cost worldwide, generating legitimate concerns about the eventual affordability of services for customers.

The Digital India Mission's role in the launch of 5G

  • Affordable Electronics: Atma Nirbhar Bharat has down the cost of devices. India is currently ranked second in the world for mobile device production and is a significant mobile device exporter.
  • For instance, India now has 200 manufacturing facilities, up from 2 in 2014, encouraging competition and cost-effectiveness.
  • Digital Connectivity: Broadband Subscribers: India now has 80 crore broadband users, up from 6 cr in 2014.
  • Optical Fibre Cable (OFC): From around 100 GPs in 2014, more than 1,70,000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) are now connected with OFC.
  • The number of people using the internet in rural sections of the nation is increasing more quickly than in metropolitan areas, closing the digital divide.
  • Cost of Data: In 2022, the cost of data would be Rs. 10 per GB, down from Rs. 300 per GB in 2014. The average amount of data utilised per person each month is 14 GB, and the cost of data has decreased, resulting in significant monthly savings for citizens.
  • Digital First concept: Although there were concerns about rural poor people using the internet and other digital technologies in their daily lives, rural India is quickly catching up.

Way ahead

  • The Prime Minister's objective to promote "Atma Nirbhar Bharat," "Jai Anusandhan," and "Sabbka Saath, Sabka Vishwas" will be in harmony with 5G technology.
  • It will open the door to the accomplishment of a goal to make technology accessible to the general public that functions for and with people.
  • In order to ensure that 5G has the ability to improve individuals' lives beyond the simple supply of faster internet, it should be linked into policy domains like the Digital India mission. For instance, COVID-19's telemedicine.
  • The development of India's Techade (technology decade) would undoubtedly be facilitated by the promotion of digitalization, indigenous technology (Make in India), and industrial revolution 4.0.

Read Also: Electronics manufacturing in India

Source: The Hindu

Medicinal Fungi

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Biodiversity & Environment

Medicinal Fungi

  • Researchers at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai (IMSc) have conducted an analytical study of medicinal fungi, and the results suggest that some of the substances the fungi secrete may be useful as novel therapeutics.


  • MeFSAT (Medicinal Fungi Secondary Metabolites and Therapeutics), a database that contains data on 184 medicinal fungi, including mushrooms, was used by the researchers.
  • Basidiomycota and Ascomycota are the two taxonomic divisions that comprise medicinal fungi.
  • The division of Basidiomycota includes mushrooms.
  • One such is the edible button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus.
  • Ascomycota division-related fungi are typically not mushrooms.
  • These include Shiraia bambusicola and Isaria cicadae, which are utilised in traditional Chinese medicine.


  • When fungi are under stress, they produce chemical substances known as secondary metabolites.
  • These are referred to be secondary since they are not strictly necessary.
  • They improve the fungus' capacity to endure.
  • The project has been made public on the BioRXiv preprint server.
  • The fungus Cordyceps species produces cordycepin, a secondary metabolite with anti-tumor effects.

Read Also: China and Pangolin Protection

Source: The Hindu

Corbett Tiger Reserve: Uttarakhand

GS-I : Indian Geography Vegetation

Corbett Tiger Reserve: Uttarakhand

  • According to a Forest Survey of India (FSI) assessment, over 6,000 trees were cut down without permission for the projected Pakhro tiger safari project in Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR).
  • The area cleared under CTR is thought to be 16.21 hectares (hac) for the Safari Project, according to the FSI's inspection.
  • When finished, the 106-hectare Pakhro Tiger Safari will have been the first tiger safari in the State to house tigers in enclosures to guarantee "100% sighting."

Characteristics of the Corbett Tiger Reserve

  • It is situated in Uttarakhand's Nainital district. The first national park in India, Corbett National Park, which is a component of Corbett Tiger Reserve, was the site of the 1973 Project Tiger launch.
  • To preserve the critically endangered Bengal tiger, Hailey National Park was created in 1936.
  • It bears Jim Corbett's name because he was instrumental in its founding.
  • The Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and reserve woods are located in the buffer zone, while the main area makes up the Corbett National Park.
  • The entire reserve is mountainous and is located in the geological provinces of the Shivalik and Outer Himalaya.
  • The main rivers that flow through the Reserve are Ramganga, Sonanadi, Mandal, Palain, and Kosi.
  • With 230 tigers living inside its 500 square kilometre territory, CTR has the highest tiger density in the world (14 tigers per 100 square kilometres).
  • There are dense damp deciduous woodlands.
  • Corbett features 600 types of flora, including trees, shrubs, ferns, grass, climbers, herbs, and bamboo, according to the Indian Botanical Survey. The three trees that stand out the most in Corbett are Sal, Khair, and Sissoo.
  • Animals: In addition to tigers, Corbett is home to leopards. There are many other creatures there, including sloths, barking deer, spotted deer, sambar deer, and jungle cats.

Other National Park of Uttarakhand

  • Nanda Devi National Park is one of Uttarakhand's other significant protected areas.
  • National Park of the Valley of Flowers.

(Valley of Flowers National Park and Nanda Devi National Park together are a).

  • Rajaji National Park
  • Gangotri National Park
  • Govind National Park.

Read Also: Tiger Reserves in India

Source: The Hindu

World Habitat Day

GS-II : International Relations Others

World Habitat Day

  • World Habitat Day will be observed annually on the first Monday in October (3 October 2022) to raise awareness of the condition of our habitats and the fundamental right of everyone to sufficient shelter.
  • At Vigyan Bhawan, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) observed World Habitat Day 2022.

About World Habitat Day

  • The Day's goal is to raise awareness of the fact that we all have the ability and obligation to influence the future of our communities and towns.
  • The goal of World Habitat Day 2022 is to raise awareness of the growing vulnerabilities and inequities that have been made worse by the Triple "C" Crises: COVID-19, Climate Change, and Conflict.
  • WHD 2022's theme is "Mind the Gap. Never leave anyone or anything behind”.
  • The theme serves as a powerful reminder that "while we work to create a more resilient future, we cannot leave behind any citizen and any area."
  • History: The United Nations established World Habitat Day on the first Monday of October in 1985.
  • The first World Habitat Day was observed in 1986 under the banner "Shelter is My Right."
  • Nairobi (Kenya) served as the event's host city that year.

Award for Habitat Scroll of Honor:

  • The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (U.N.-Habitat) established the Habitat Scroll of Honor Award in 1989.
  • Right now, it has the title of world's most prestigious human settlements award.
  • Its goal is to recognise programmes that have made remarkable contributions in a variety of areas, including providing shelter, drawing attention to the suffering of the homeless, and showing leadership in post-conflict reconstruction, among other things.

What are the WHD Celebrations at Vigyan Bhawan's Key Highlights?

  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihood Mission (DAY-NULM), Pradhan Matri Awas Yojana (PMAY), PM SVANidhi scheme, Swachh Bharat Mission, and other programmes have been designed with a focus on vulnerable and marginalised groups.
  • By 2030, India will be able to fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals' core promise to "leave no one behind."
  • Insist on making cities healthier, greener, and 25 years from now, economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.

Read Also: Melting of Arctic Ice & Ocean acidification

Source: The Hindu

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