13 May, 2020
91 Min Read
|GS-I||Odisha Helpline “Bharosa’’||Social issues|
|GS-II||Rajya Sabha Analysis- Do numbers matter in Rajya Sabha?||Indian Polity|
|SC & 4G Services in J&K||Governance|
|India caught in U.S.-China spat over Taiwan’s status at WHO|
|GS-III||Steps to control Climate Change – Analysis by Dr.Anil Kakodkar|
|Atmanirbhar Bharat - Fiscal Stimulus Package||Economic Issues|
|Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)-BPPI|
|Self-reliant India based on 5 pillars||Economic Issues|
|Ethalin hydropower project|
|Global Nutrition Report 2020|
|PT Pointer||CHAMPIONS portal - MSME||Economic Issues|
|UV Radiation and classification|
|GI tag for Jharkhand’s Sohrai Khovar painting, Telangana’s Telia Rumal||Economic Issues|
Part of: GS-I- Social issue (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
To relieve the distress of the student community during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has launched the Central University of Odisha Helpline “Bharosa’’.
Mental Health Care Act, 2017
Rajya Sabha Analysis- Do numbers matter in Rajya Sabha?
By, (M. Venkaiah Naidu is Chairman of Rajya Sabha)
The Indian Constitution provides for parity of powers between the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in law, making an exception in some cases.
The Money Bill or Finance Bills can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha which only can approve the Demands for Grants.
On the other hand, the Rajya Sabha has some special powers as requiring to adopt a resolution allowing Parliament to legislate on subjects in the State List (A.249) and creating All India Services (A.312), besides approving proclamations of Emergency and President’s Rule when the Lok Sabha is dissolved.
Renowned British philosopher and political economist John Stuart Mill as early as in 1861 said in his great treatise Considerations on Representative Government that management of free institutions requires conciliation; a readiness to compromise; a willingness to concede something to opponents and mutual give and take.
Famous constitutionalist Abbe Sieyes pithily noted that if a second chamber dissents from the first, it is mischievous; if it agrees, it is superfluous.
To understand these in perspective, a scrutiny of law-making in the country since 1952 may be in order.
Elections to the Lok Sabha are held every five years and before that on dissolution of the House. For the Rajya Sabha, one-third of the members are chosen every second year reflecting its permanent nature.
While the Lok Sabha elections hold a mirror to the recent will of the people, the Rajya Sabha is envisaged to convey the same in different phases of development marking some continuity.
The Executive lasts only as long as it has a majority in the Lok Sabha, but in law-making, both the Houses are at par. Given the possible variations in the composition of both the Houses on account of different modes of election to them, did it impact the nature and speed of legislation?
Unlike Lok Sabha
An analysis undertaken by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat recently revealed that during the past 68 years since the first general elections in 1952, the government of the day had a majority in the Rajya Sabha only for 29 years and was in a minority for 39 years, including an unbroken stretch for the past 31 years.
This pronounced divergence in numbers in the two Houses of Parliament does not indicate any adverse impact on the broader course of legislation except in a few cases.
Since 1952, the Rajya Sabha held 5,472 sittings and passed as many as 3,857 Bills till the Budget Session this year. There are, however, a few discordant notes during this long journey of legislation. But there is no case for terming Rajya Sabha as “obstructionist”.
So far, Parliament held only three Joint Sittings to resolve differences between both the Houses.
1. The first instance was in 1961 when the then Nehru government enjoyed a majority in the Rajya Sabha but the Dowry Prohibition Bill, 1959 suffered a defeat.
2. In 1978, the Banking Services Commission (Repeal) Bill, 1977 was rejected by the Rajya Sabha and in 2002,
3. The Prevention of Terrorism Bill, 2002 could not pass the Rajya Sabha scrutiny.
The Rajya Sabha was taunted as regressive when it rejected the Constitution (Twenty-fourth Amendment) Bill, 1970 for abolishing privy purses to erstwhile rulers after it was passed by the Lok Sabha.
In 1989, the Constitution (Sixty-fourth and Sixty-fifth Amendment) Bills seeking to empower local governments fell short of the required special majority in the Rajya Sabha, though the government had the numbers.
The required spirit of cordiality between the two Houses suffered a dent on some occasions.
1. First when Rajya Sabha members were not included in the Public Accounts Committee in 1952.
2. Again, when the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 1953, was introduced in the Rajya Sabha, some members questioned its certification as a Money Bill by the Lok Sabha Speaker. When the controversy was thickening, Prime Minister Nehru intervened, asserting that “For those who are interested in the success of the great experiment in nation building that we have embarked upon, it is a paramount duty to bring about this close cooperation and respect for each other (House).”
3. Rajya Sabha members objected to when the Lok Sabha Speaker referred the Major Port Trust Bill, 1963 to its Select Committee without involving Rajya Sabha members and this Bill was later referred to its own Select Committee again.
Continuing with some reservations voiced in the Constituent Assembly about having a second chamber, some members of the Lok Sabha moved resolutions as early as in 1954 and again later in 1971, 1972 and 1975 for the dissolution of the Rajya Sabha. But wise counsel prevailed and such efforts were thwarted.
As per the constitutional provisions, the Rajya Sabha at best could hold a Money Bill for 14 days during when it has to return such Bills without or with amendments for the consideration of the Lok Sabha.
There were some occasions when such amendments of the Rajya Sabha were accepted by the other House as in cases of the Travancore Cochin Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill, 1956, The Union Duty of Excise (Distribution) Bill and the Estate Duty and Taxes on Railway Passenger Fares (Distribution) Bill, 1957 and the Income Tax Bill, 1961.
During these years, the government of the day enjoyed a majority in the Rajya Sabha.
At the same time, there were instances when amendments proposed by the Rajya Sabha were rejected by the other House.
There were occasions when the Rajya Sabha sat over Bills passed by the Lok Sabha for a long time including the Prevention of Corruption Bill, 1987 and the Dock worker (Safety, Health and Welfare) Bill, 1986.
If this was checking hasty legislation, the Rajya Sabha had passed five Constituent Amendment Bills in one day on Auguest 25, 1994 when the government of the day did not have the numbers.
The Rajya Sabha has also made amendments to several Bills passed by the Lok Sabha and these were accepted in several cases by the other House.
Though the present government, too, does not have the required numbers in the Rajya Sabha, members of different parties rose to the occasion in passing landmark legislation relating to the GST, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, Triple Talaq, Unlawful activities, Reorganisation of Jammu & Kashmir, Citizenship amendment and so on.
This goes to prove that numbers in the Rajya Sabha is not an issue as far as law-making is concerned. It is a different concern which applies broadly to the legislatures of the country.
An analysis by the Secretariat revealed that the productivity of the Rajya Sabha till 1997 has been 100% and above and the past 23 years have thrown up a disturbing trend of rising disruptions. Productivity fell to 87% during 1998-2004, 76% during 2005-14 and 61% during 2015-19.
While the time spent by the Rajya Sabha on legislation since 1978 remained the same at about 29%, a concern emerges in respect of the ‘Oversight’ function of the House. Legislatures ensure accountability of the executive through Questions, Calling Attention Notices etc. Time share of this important Oversight function of the Council of States in the total functional time of the House during 1978-2004 was 39.50%. This fell to 21.99% during 2005-14 and to 12.34% since 2015.
This decline is primarily on account of disruptions forcing cancellation of Question Hour frequently. Disruptions also dent the quality of law-making as seen in passing of Bills without discussion sometimes.
However, the Rajya Sabha is proving to be more and more a ‘deliberative’ body with increasingly more time being spent on this function. The time share on deliberations under instruments like Short Duration Discussions, Zero Hour, Special Mentions, Discussion on Budgets and working of ministries, Motion of Thanks to President etc was 33.54% during 1978-2004. It rose to 41.42 % during 2005-2014 and to a high of 46.59% during 2015-19.
After the initial frictions, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha have proved to be constructive partners in steering the socio-economic transformation of the country since 1952, co-scripting pioneering laws.
What needs to be addressed by all the stakeholders is that while enabling Rajya Sabha to retain its independence, it should not be seen as ‘disruptive’ as evidenced over the past two decades. Political passions should not be the basis of such disruptions, if the perception is that they are.
The line between obstruction and disruption is very thin and we should guard against it. Both the sides of the House have a stake in proper functioning of Rajya Sabha.
Part of: GS-II- Governance and Federal Issues (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently, the Supreme Court refused to restore 4G services in Jammu & Kashmir and ordered the setting up of a high-powered committee to look into the contentions raised by petitioners against limited 2G services in the Union Territory.
In August 2019, the Central government had suspended all modes of communications in the wake of the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, granted under Article 370. Eventually, services were partially restored, with internet speed restricted to 2G. A plea was filed by ‘The Foundation for Media Professionals for the restoration of high-speed internet in Jammu and Kashmir in view of the Covid-19 situation.
Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India (2020)
The judgement declared that the freedom of speech and expression and the freedom to practice any profession or carry on any trade, business or occupation over the medium of Internet enjoys constitutional protection under Article 19(1)(a) and Article 19(1)(g) respectively. It also ruled that such freedom is not absolute, the restrictions imposed on it should be in consonance with the mandate under Article 19(2) and Article 19(6) of the Constitution.
It had also directed authorities to pass internet suspension orders with respect to only those areas, where there is absolute necessity of such restrictions to be imposed.
The Court also directed the government to constitute a review committee to review orders leading to suspension and shutting down of Internet, mobile and fixed line telecommunication services.
All orders leading to suspension and shutting down of Internet, mobile and fixed line telecommunication services are issued under Rule 2 (2) of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services [Public Emergency or Public Service] Rules, 2017.
These are the rules to be followed if the government intends to temporarily suspend telecom services in any part of the country.
These rules have been framed by the government on the basis of the powers conferred by section 7 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885. The Review Committee shall consist of State as well as Central level officials as the issue involved affects not only the UT of Jammu and Kashmir but also the whole country.
Need of 4G and National Security
India caught in U.S.-China spat over Taiwan’s status at WHO
As tensions between the U.S. and China rise over the novel coronavirus pandemic, India, which is set to take over as the next Chairperson of the World Health Organisation’s decision-making executive body in May, is faced with a major choice on whether to support a U.S. move to reinstate Taiwan’s observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA) or to China’s opposition to it.
Washington is making efforts to gain support for its move to effect changes at the WHO.
The U.S. has, in the recent past, accused WHO of acting as a “PR agency” for China during the pandemic.
U.S. Senate passed an Act (S.249) to “direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization”, beginning with its decision-making body, the WHA.
The Geneva-based WHA will hold a virtual meeting on May 18 and 19 to elect members to the 34-nation Executive Board.
Officials have confirmed that India’s nominee will take over as the Chairperson, replacing Japan.
India is likely to hold the post for the next three years. The timing of the appointment is crucial, given the worldwide debate on the role of the WHO during the pandemic, and criticism of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
China has also stepped up warnings on any attempt to include or support Taiwan’s role at the WHA, referring to the “One-China” principle as “a widely accepted universal consensus of the international community including the Indian government.”
China's position on Taiwan region’s participation in WHO activities, including WHA is clear and consistent. It must be handled according to the ‘One China’ principle.
World Health Assembly
The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board.
The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget.
It is the world's highest health policy setting body and is composed of health ministers from member states.
The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Executive Board is composed of 34 individuals technically qualified in the field of health, each one designated by a Member State elected to do so by the World Health Assembly. Member States are elected for three-year terms.
The Board meets at least twice a year; the main meeting is normally in January, with a second shorter meeting in May, immediately after the Health Assembly.
The main functions of the Executive Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work.
What is Taiwan's relationship with the WHO?
Why is Taiwan's exclusion a problem?
Steps to control Climate Change – Analysis by Dr.Anil Kakodkar
On the occasion of National Technology Day, a day which marks the anniversary of Pokhran Nuclear Tests of 1998, Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Chairman, Rajiv Gandhi Science & Technology Commission, Padma Vibhushan Dr. Anil Kakodkar, has conveyed a message to the people of India, about Dealing with energy needs in the Context of Climate Crisis.
Relation between HDI and Per Capita Energy Consumption
In his presentation, he explained about the correlation between Human Development Index (HDI) and Per Capita Energy Consumption all over the world. As per the statistics, countries with higher HDI where citizens enjoy high quality of life have higher per capita consumption of energy.
However with the rising climate issues, a developing country like India faces the challenge where we are caught between energy security on one side and climate security on the other. “The need of the hour is to strike a balance between enhancing the quality of human life as well as keeping a control over the climate crisis.”
Researchers across the globe are studying about climate change on how to control CO2 emissions, which is a serious threat to the environment. As per the report of Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change, “staying below 1.5 degree increase in 2,100 will require cuts in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions of 45% below 2010 levels by 2030 and to net zero by 2050”; which means we have only 10 years left to realise deep CO2 emission cuts while ensuring development aspirations of many countries across the world.
To achieve this, the world has to act now by leveraging available/rapidly deployable technologies. This is where the requirement of nuclear energy, which can easily meet the ‘zero emission’ target, arises. With the contribution of nuclear energy, the cost of deep decarbonisation can be reduced. Decarbonising means reducing carbon intensity, i.e. reducing the emissions per unit of electricity generated (often given in grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour).
Decarbonisation of energy production in the country is essential since the demand for electric power from industries/commercial sector is high. Decarbonisation is possible by increasing the share of low-carbon energy sources, particularly renewables like solar, hydro and biomass together with nuclear which can greatly contribute in achieving zero emissions to a great extent.
Even when many countries are making active efforts in the field of energy efficiency the CO2 emission is still high when compared to preceding years. This shows we need better plans to control the same.
Global strategies to be adopted
In order to control CO2 emission, different levels of consumption strategy need to be observed by different countries based on their HDI. For example, those countries with high Human Development Index, should reduce their energy consumption since it may not affect their HDI, much. In addition to this they should also decarbonise their electricity generation. And the countries with moderate HDI should focus on non-fossil electricity consumption while countries with low HDI should be able to provide subsidised source of cleaner energy to their citizens. This way every country can actively contribute towards low / zero emission.
Role of Japan
Japan is a country which has seen the brunt of the negatives of nuclear energy – the cruellest nuclear bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki that raised the global sensitivity of nuclear energy. But still the country has drafted an energy plan, to generate 20% to 22% of their total energy consumption as nuclear energy, to reduce CO2 emissions by 2030. Countries like Germany and Japan are already planning to cut GHG emission by 2020 and 2030 respectively which has allotted huge amount on production of renewable energy.
Role of India
For a country like India, in order to decarbonise the energy consumption, we need a 30-fold increase in renewable energy, 30-fold increase in nuclear energy and doubling of thermal energy which would make 70% of energy carbon free.
Indian nuclear power at a glance:
To meet the energy requirements of the country, currently there are 66 units with the capacity of 49180 MWe (including projects that are operating, under planning, under construction and those that are approved).
The major concern that pops up now is of how to manage the nuclear wastes, that is produced during energy generation.
Dr. Kakodkar said, India adopts the policy of ‘Nuclear Recycle Technology’ - where the nuclear fuel - Uranium, Plutonium etc, once used for generation of energy, is reused as a resource material by the commercial industries to be recycled.
More than 99% of Nuclear waste is reused as the waste management program in India prioritises recycling.
PM announces special economic package; a comprehensive package of Rs 20 lakh crore- package equivalent to 10% of India’s GDP
PM gives a call for a self-reliant India; lays down five pillars of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Talking about the pre and post-COVID worlds, Prime Minister observed that in order to fulfil the dream of making the 21st century India, the way forward is through ensuring that the country becomes self-reliant.
(Example of PPE kits N-95 masks, whose production in India has gone up from almost being negligible to 2 lakh each, on a daily basis.)
The definition of self-reliance has undergone a change in the globalized world and clarified that when the country talks about self-reliance, it is different from being self-centred.
Five pillars of a self-reliant India
Self-reliant India will stand on five pillars :
1. Economy, which brings in quantum jump and not incremental change;
2. Infrastructure, which should become the identity of India;
3. System, based on 21st-century technology-driven arrangements;
4. Vibrant Demography, which is our source of energy for a self-reliant India; and
5. Demand, whereby the strength of our demand and supply chain should be utilized to full capacity. He underlined the importance of strengthening all stakeholders in the supply chain to increase, as well as fulfil, the demand.
Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan
Prime Minister announced a special economic package and gave a clarion call for Atmanirbhar Bharat. He noted that this package, taken together with earlier announcements by the government during the COVID crisis and decisions taken by RBI, is to the tune of Rs 20 lakh crore, which is equivalent to almost 10% of India’s GDP.
Prime Minister observed that the package will also focus on land, labour, liquidity and laws- Factors of Production.
It will cater to various sections including cottage industry, MSMEs, labourers, middle class, and industries, among others.
Prime Minister remarked that self-reliance will prepare the country for tough competition in the global supply chain, and it is important that the country wins this competition.
The package will also focus on empowering the poor, labourers, migrants, etc., both from organized and unorganized sectors.
BPPI Contributes Rs.25 Lakh to PMCARES fund
To support government in its fight against COVID-19, Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India(BPPI) Under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has contributed Rs. 25 Lakh to PMCARES fund.
Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India(BPPI) Under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers . The bureau has been registered as an independent society under Societies Registration Act,1860 as a separate independent legal entity in April 2010.
BPPI is the implementing agency of the PMBJP has been keeping a close tab on the situation in all of its area of operations.
BPPI has been standing with its stakeholders and consumers in these challenging times as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendra (PMBJK) are functional and maintaining operations as part of their commitment.
BPPI is committed to ensure uninterrupted availability of essential medicines at the PMBJK. As the product basket of PMBJP consists of all the essential medicines enlisted in the NLEM other than lab regents & stents, BPPI has adequate stock of the medicines which are currently under demand viz. Face mask, Hydroxychloroquine, Paracetamol and Azithromycin.
Supporting the governments initiative of practicing social distancing, pharmacists at the PMBJK, now popularly known as “Swasth Ke Sipahi” are undertaking delivery of medicines to patients and elderly people at their doorstep.
“Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana” (PMBJP)
What is PMBJP?
The scheme aims at educating the masses about the generic medicines and that high prices are not always synonymous with high quality. It intends to cover all therapeutic groups and create demand for generic medicines through medical practitioners.
Jan Aushadi Sugam Application
The PMBJP launched a mobile application in order to help people locate the Janaushadhi Kendras in the areas around them.
Since smartphones are seen accessible to all the groups of the society, the PMBJP aims to promote their affordable healthcare scheme through available technology. Affordable healthcare seeker can easily find these PMBJK and get generic medicines at a substantially low cost compared to that of the branded OTC (over-the-counter) ones.
Part of: GS-III- Economy -Agriculture (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently, Gujarat’s state government has cleared the Gujarat Agricultural Produce Markets (Amendment) Ordinance 2020, earlier it was conducted by MP gov. It has ended the monopoly of state-run Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) and has allowed private entities to set up their own market committees or sub-market yards.
Highlights of the Ordinance
Agricultural Produce Market Committee
It is a statutory market committee constituted by a State Government in respect of trade in certain notified agricultural or horticultural or livestock products, under the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act issued by that state government.
**Agriculture is a state subject.
The Ministry of Agriculture, formulated a model law on agricultural marketing, State Agricultural Produce Marketing (Development and Regulation) Act, 2003 and requested the state governments to suitably amend their respective APMC Acts. Union Budgets of 2014-15 and 2015-16 had suggested the creation of a National Agricultural Market (NAM) following which e-NAM was launched on 14th April 2016 as a pan-India electronic trade portal to link APMCs across the States.
Part of: GS-III- Economy (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Addressing the nation, Prime Minister said that building a Self Reliant India was essential in a post-COVID-19 world. He highlighted that India's self-reliance would be based on 5 pillars - Economy, Infrastructure, System, Demography and Demand. He also announced Rs 20 lakh crore special package to deal CoVID pandemic, nearly 10% of India’s GDP.
The Prime Minister emphasized that self-reliance was essential for India's global competitiveness. He said that reforms over the past 6 years have to be taken forward to build a self-reliant India.
He further said that the corona outbreak had shown us the importance of local markets and local supply chains. He said that we needed to adopt the mantra of "local" and work towards its progress.
Prime Minister Modi highlighted the gravity of the pandemic which has infected more than 42 lakh people across the world and has led to the death of over 3 lakh people globally.
The Prime Minister said that the whole world is engaged in a fight for life against the virus. He said that while the crisis is unlike anything seen before, humanity must not lose faith and determination. The Prime Minister added that the 21st century is said to be the Indian century. He said that India bears a responsibility. Recalling the Shastras, he highlighted the importance of self-reliance.
He added that India had converted a disaster into an opportunity. He said that when the pandemic erupted, PPE kits and N-95 masks were not made in India. Prime Minister Modi said that the meaning of self-reliance has changed.
The world is now looking toward humanity-centric globalization. In this respect, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that India could lead the way. He praised India's ancient culture saying that the wisdom of age-old principles such as Vasudaiva Kutumbakam and harmony with nature ensure that world progress is central to India's conception of progress.
He also said India's initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance were a gift to the world. Our centuries-old conception of self-reliance has always followed the path of global progress. The Prime Minister expressed confidence in India's capabilities and manpower. He said that India will build new supply chains, create better products and lead the global recovery. Citing the recovery of the Kutch in Gujarat after the 2002 earthquake, he said that the region was laid waste, but, recovered soon. He said this was a symbol of the commitment and resolve of Indians.
*5 pillars of strategy for India*
1) Quantum jump in the economy
2) Latest infrastructure
3l Our Innovative systems for a new century
4) Our vibrant demographics for independent India
5) Demand Creation and improve SCM
*Economic Package for Self Sufficent India*-
About 20 lac crores in total ....about 10% of GDP
In 2020 = 20lac crores
Includes support already announced by RBI recently and direct transfer already effected in accounts of poor Indians
Ethalin hydropower project in Arunachal Pradesh deferred
The Forest Advisory Committee, the apex body of the Environment Ministry tasked with deciding whether forest land can be diverted for industrial projects, has once again deferred its decision on a controversial hydropower project in Arunachal Pradesh.
The 3097 MW Etalin Hydropower project, in the State’s Dibang Valley, has been delayed for over six years. This is because it required diverting 1165 hectares of forest in a region of rich biodiversity.
In 2015, the FAC had ruled that the Environment Impact Assessment commissioned by the power company had not properly accounted for the environmental impact of the project.
It recommended that an “internationally credible” institute conduct studies over multiple seasons to record the region’s ecological constitution.
It had also recommended that the National Tiger Conservation Authority be consulted, because tigers had been sighted in the region.
In 2019, the FAC reviewed the progress of the environment appraisal and said neither of its recommendations had been fully complied with, though a wildlife assessment was done by the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. This is an autonomous institute funded by the Environment Ministry.
River valley projects in north east India
River Valley Project
Note: It has been executed on the confluence of the rivers Barak and Tuibai in the district of Churachandpur in
Global Nutrition Report 2020-India may miss nutrition targets
About Global Nutrition Report
India is among 88 countries that are likely to miss global nutrition targets by 2025, according to the Global Nutrition Report 2020 released on Tuesday.
India is one with the highest rates of domestic inequalities in malnutrition.
In 2012, the World Health Assembly identified six nutrition targets for maternal, infant and young child nutrition to be met by 2025.
Global Nutrition targets-2025 (6 nutritional targets)
According to the Global Nutrition Report 2020, India will miss targets for all four nutritional indicators for which there is data available, i.e. stunting among under-5 children, anaemia among women of reproductive age (19-49 years), childhood overweight and exclusive breastfeeding.
Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition or POSHAN Abhiyaan
The Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition or POSHAN Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission, is Government of India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
Launched by the Prime Minister on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on 8 March, 2018 from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, the POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) Abhiyaan directs the attention of the country towards the problem of malnutrition and address it in a mission-mode.
NITI Aayog has played a critical role in shaping the POSHAN Abhiyaan. The National Nutrition Strategy, released by NITI Aayog in September, 2017 presented a micro analysis of the problems persisting within this area and chalked out an in-depth strategy for course correction.
Most of the recommendations presented in the Strategy document have been subsumed within the design of the POSHAN Abhiyaan and now that the Abhiyaan is launched, NITI Aayog has been entrusted with the task of closely monitoring the POSHAN Abhiyaan and undertaking periodic evaluations.
With the overarching aim to build a people’s movement (Jan Andolan) around malnutrition, POSHAN Abhiyaan intends to significantly reduce malnutrition in the next three years
Four pillars of the mission are:
The task of implementation of POSHAN Abhiyaan is to be carried out through the Technical Support Unit (TSU) established at NITI Aayog which, in addition to the M&E, will also provide research, policy and technical support to the Abhiyaan.
National Council on India’s Nutritional Challenges
As per the mandate of Government of India, MoWCD has constituted the National Council on India’s Nutritional Challenges under the Chairmanship of Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog with the following objectives:
In a major initiative, the Union Ministry of MSME has launched the CHAMPIONS portal.
About CHAMPIONS portal
UV Radiation and classification
UVGI (Ultra violet germs irradiation) Working Method:
Jharkhand’s Sohrai Khovar painting and Telangana’s Telia Rumal were given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag on Tuesday by the Geographical Indications Registry headquartered in Chennai.
“The Sohrai Khovar painting is a traditional and ritualistic mural art being practised by local tribal women during local harvest and marriage seasons using local, naturally available soils of different colours in the area of Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand.
Traditionally painted on the walls of mud houses, they are now seen on other surfaces, too. The style features a profusion of lines, dots, animal figures and plants, often representing religious iconography.
In recent years, the walls of important public places in Jharkhand, such as the Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi, and the Hazaribagh and Tatanagar Railway Stations, among others, have been decorated with Sohrai-Khovar paintings.
Telia Rumal cloth involves intricate handmade work with cotton loom displaying a variety of designs and motifs in three particular colours — red, black and white.
Telia Rumal can only be created using the traditional handloom process and not by any other mechanical means as otherwise, the very quality of the Rumal would be lost.
During the Nizam’s dynasty, Puttapaka, a small, backward village of the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh had about 20 families engaged in handloom weaving, who were patronised by rich Muslim families and the Nizam rulers.
The officers working in the court of the Nizam would wear the Chituki Telia Rumal as a symbolic representation of status.
Telia Rumals are offered at the dargah of Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan, with some devotees offering 50 or even 100 clothes. Telia Rumals were worn as a veil by princesses at the erstwhile court of the Nizam of Hyderabad, and as a turban cloth by Arabs in the Middle East.
The Year 2000 problem, also known as the Y2K problem, the Millennium bug, Y2K bug, the Y2K glitch, or Y2K, refers to events related to the formatting and storage of calendar data for dates beginning in the year 2000. Problems were anticipated, and arose, because many programs represented four-digit years with only the final two digits – making the year 2000 indistinguishable from 1900. The assumption of a twentieth-century date in such programs could cause various errors, such as the incorrect display of dates and the inaccurate ordering of automated dated records or real-time events.
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One Nation One Ration Card system. Context The timeline given to all States/UTs, under the Aadhaar notification of the Department of Food and Public Distribution dated 07.02.2017 (as amended from time-to-time) to complete the seeding of Aadhaar numbers with all ration cards/beneficiaries, has
Gandhi Peace Prize Context The Ministry of Culture invites nominations for awarding Gandhi Peace Prize every year. The nominations are to be made in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Procedure for the Gandhi Peace Prize which is available in the Ministry of Culture. About the Ga
The polar vortex brings spring snow to parts of North America Part of: GS-I- Geography (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Winter in May - snowfall covers parts of the northeast United States and Canada. A polar vortex has brought cold weather and springtime snow to parts of the northeast United
MERIT Portal ‘MERIT’ - Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency. The portal has been developed by Ministry of Power in association with POSOCO and Central Electricity Authority. It displays extensive array of information regarding the meri
City Liveability Index The index was launched by the Ministry of Urban Development. The index is for measuring the quality of life in 116 major cities including smart cities, capital cities and cities with a population of above one million each. It accesses cities on a comprehensive set of
SwasthVayu ventilator Context CSIR - National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) Bangalore, a constituent of the lab of CSIR has developed a Non-Invasive BiPAP Ventilator in a record time of 36 days to treat COVID-19 patients. About BiPAP Non-Invasive ventilator BiPAP Non-Invasive venti
Bright nights It is a phenomenon in which the night sky is bright enough to read a book even in the absence of moonlight. A new theory says it is due to slow-moving, high-altitude atmospheric waves merging together and amplifying the light from the naturally occurring airglow. The theory s
VAJRA scheme Recently, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) launched a scheme named 'Visiting Advanced Joint Research Faculty (VAJRA). Under this scheme, scientists or senior researchers abroad of Indian origin or otherwise can collaborate with Indian faculties for conducting j
NISAR NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite (NISAR) is the world’s most expensive earth imaging satellite. NISAR is dual frequency RADAR, it is an L-band and S-band RADAR. It is the first such satellite using dual frequency RADAR. The S-band is being built by ISRO and L-band b
DRUVS and NOTESCLEAN Defence Research Ultraviolet Sanitiser (DRUVS). Hyderabad-based Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) premier lab, Research Centre Imarat (RCI), has developed an automated contactless UVC sanitisation cabinet, called Defence Research Ultraviolet Sanitise
MISSION SAGAR As part of the Government of India's outreach amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Naval Ship Kesari has departed for Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, to provide Food Items, COVID related Medicines including HCQ Tablets and Special Ayurvedic Medi
COVID KAVACH ELISA Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Virology (NIV) at Pune has developed and validated the indigenous IgG ELISA test “COVID KAVACH ELISA” for antibody detection for COVID-19. ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune is the apex
MICRODOT TECHNOLOGY Microdot Technology is a process of spraying thousands of microscopic dots onto vehicles or other assets in order to provide a unique identification. Each Microdot carries this unique identification which is registered to the owner but is not visible to the naked eye. Microdot T
Stringency Index Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) A Stringency Index created by Oxford University shows how strict a country’s measures were, and at what stage of the pandemic spread it enforced these. As per the index, India imposed its strictest
The magnetic field in Uranus Recently scientists have found that Uranus’ magnetic field gets flipped on and off like a light switch every day as the planet rotates. It is based on the data from NASA’s Voyager 2 Spacecraft. Uranus magnetic field is lopsided and tilted 60 de
COMMIT Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a new training programme Comprehensive Online Modified Modules on Induction Training (COMMIT) for State Government officials. The objec
Deep Ocean Mission The government of India is all set to launch the ‘Deep Ocean Mission by January 2018 and it will improve India’s position in the ocean research field. Achievements in the field of ocean research: The program on Poly metallic nodules was initiated at C
The Reang of Tripura Reang or Riang are one of the 21 scheduled tribes of the Indian state of Tripura. They speak the Reang dialect of Kokborok language which is of Tibeto-Burmese origin and is locally referred to as Kau Bru. Education has been a pressing concern for the tribe. As
The trends shaping the post-COVID-19 world By, Rakesh Sood is a former diplomat and currently Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic began as a global health crisis. As it spread rapidly across nations, country after country responded wit
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