19 September, 2019

3 Min Read

GS-I :
International Migrant Stock 2019

GS-I: International Migrant Stock 2019


India has emerged as the leading country of origin for immigrants across the world, with 17.5 million international migrants in 2019 coming from India, up from 15.9 million in 2015.

International Migrant Stock 2019

  • The data is released by the UN DESA’s Population Division.
  • Data shows that the number of international migrants in the world had reached an estimated 272 million 2019 51 million more than in 2010.
  • The percentage of international migrants of the total global population has increased to 3.5% from 2.8% in 2000.

India at the top

  • While India remained as the top source of international migrants, the number of migrants living in India saw a slight decline from 5.24 million in 2015 to an estimated 5.15 million in 2019 – both 0.4% of the total population of the country.
  • Bangladesh was the leading country of origin for migrants in India.

Global scene

  • In a statement, the UN DESA Population Division said that one-third of all international migrants originated from 10 countries.
  • After India, Mexico ranked second as the country of origin for 12 million migrants, followed by China (11 million), Russia (10 million) and Syria (8 million).
  • The European region hosted the highest number of the immigrants at 82 million in 2019, followed by North America (59 million) and Northern Africa and Western Asia (49 million).
  • Among countries, the U.S. hosts the highest number of international migrants (51 million), about 19% of the global population.
  • Forced displacements continue to rise, with the number of refugees and asylum seekers increased by about 13 million from 2010 to 2017.


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New FCRA Rule

GS-II: New FCRA Rule


The Union home ministry has revised its rules on NGOs receiving foreign funding.

New FCRA Rules

  • In a notification, the ministry announced the changes in the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011, which include that individuals need not declare personal gifts to the tune of ?1 lakh anymore.
  • Earlier, gifts worth more than ?25,000 were required to be declared.
  • The office bearers, key functionaries and members of the organizations will have to declare that they are neither prosecuted nor convicted of religious conversion nor charged with sedition.
  • It is also mandatory for office bearers and key functionaries and members to certify that they have not been “prosecuted or convicted” for “conversion” from one faith to another and for creating “communal tension and disharmony”.
  • Earlier, as per the FCRA 2010, only applicants such as directors who sought permission to receive foreign funds were required to make such a declaration.
  • Now, every member of an NGO must, under oath, through an affidavit, declare that they have never been involved in diverting foreign funds or “sedition” or “advocating violent means”.

About FCRA

  • Government of India enacted the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) in the year 1976 with an objective of regulating the acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution.
  • The act was majorly modified in 2010 with several amendments because many NGOs were found using illegal use of foreign funding.
  • It is a consolidating act whose scope is to regulate the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by certain individuals or associations or companies.
  • It aims to prohibit funding for any activities detrimental to the national interest and for matters connected therewith.
  • In 2016 license of about 20,000 NGOs were cancelled after reviewing their work


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Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS)

GS-II: Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS)


The RBI has expanded the scope of the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) by adding other categories of recurring payments through the portal.

Why in news?

  • With the expansion of the scope of the payment facility, other recurring payments such as school fees, municipal taxes, insurance premiums can also be paid via BBPS.
  • Till now, the Bharat Bill Payment System used to cater to just five segments direct to home (DTH), electricity, gas, telecom and water.

About BBPS

  • The Bharat Bill Payment System was launched by the National Payment Corporation of India on 31 August 2016 under the recommendation of RBI executive director G. Padmanabhan committee.
  • The platform allows customers across the country to use one single website or outlet to pay all their bills with reliability and safety of transactions.
  • According to a report, a total of 338 million transactions took place on the BBPS network over the course of 2018-19.
  • BBPS payments can be made using cash, cheques as well as through digital methods such as internet banking, debit, credit card, among others.
  • The payment service is provided to customers through a network of agents, enabling multiple payment modes, including cash, and an instant confirmation of payment is provided after the transaction.
  • It even has a standardized system to handle grievances for both online and offline transactions.

Source: Live Mint

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The burden of malnutrition in under-5 children in India

GS-II: The burden of malnutrition in under-5 children in India


A report published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health gives comprehensive estimates of disease burden due to child and maternal malnutrition and the trends of its indicators in every state of India from 1990 to 2017.

Key findings

  • The death rate attributable to malnutrition in under-5 children in India has dropped by two-thirds from 1990 to 2017.
  • Malnutrition is, however, still the underlying risk factor for 68% of the deaths in under-five children in India.
  • The Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALY) rate attributable to malnutrition in children varies 7-fold among the states a gap between a high of 74,782 in Uttar Pradesh and a low of 11,002 in Kerala.
  • Other states with a high burden are Bihar, Assam and Rajasthan followed by Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Nagaland and Tripura.
  • The proportion of under-5 deaths attributable to malnutrition, which is 68.2% across India, ranges between a high of 72.7% in Bihar and a low of 50.8% in Kerala.
  • Among the malnutrition indicators, low birth weight is the largest contributor to child deaths in India, followed by child growth failure which includes stunting, underweight, and wasting.

Under 5 mortality:

  • The proportion of under-5 deaths attributable to malnutrition, which is 68.2% across India, ranges between a high of 72.7% in Bihar and a low of 50.8% in Kerala.
  • Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh are states with a high such proportion, while Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Goa have the lowest proportions of such deaths.
  • Among the malnutrition indicators, low birth weight is the largest contributor to child deaths in India, followed by child growth failure which includes stunting, underweight, and wasting.

Source: Indian Express

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Cabinet approves ban on e-cigarettes

GS-II: Cabinet approves ban on e-cigarettes


The Union Cabinet approved a ban on e-cigarettes, citing the need to take early action to protect public health.

Prohibition of E-cigarettes Ordinance, 2019

  • Upon promulgation of the ordinance, any production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale (including online sale), distribution or advertisement (including online advertisement) of e-cigarettes shall be a cognizable offence.
  • It is punishable with imprisonment of up to one year, or fine up to ?1 lakh, or both for the first offence and imprisonment of up to three years and fine up to ?5 lakh for a subsequent offence.
  • Storage of electronic-cigarettes shall also be punishable with imprisonment of up to 6 months or a fine of up to ?50,000 or both.
  • The sub-inspector has been designated as the authorised officer to take action under the ordinance.
  • The Central or State governments may also designate any other equivalent officer as authorised officer for enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance.

What are e-cigarettes?

  • E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a solution of nicotine and different flavours to create aerosol, which is then inhaled.
  • These devices belong to a category of vapour-based nicotine products called ENDS.
  • E-cigarettes and other ENDS products may look like their traditional counterparts (regular cigarettes or cigars), but they also come in other shapes and sizes and can resemble daily use products, including pens and USB drives.
  • Several companies selling ENDS in India have positioned these products as a safer, less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes or as devices that could help users quit smoking.

Why does the government want to ban these devices?

  • The Health Ministry and Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation, India’s drug regulatory authority, had attempted in the past to ban the import and sale of these products citing public health concerns.
  • Before the ordinance was announced, the government had been facing hurdles in the form of court cases against the move, as ENDS were not declared as ‘drugs’ in the country’s drug regulations.
  • These products have neither been assessed for safety in the national population, nor been approved under provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.Yet, they have been widely available to consumers

Does this mean traditional tobacco products are safer?

  • Traditional tobacco products like cigarettes and chewing tobacco are already known to be harmful.
  • According to the CDC in the US, cigarette smoking harms “nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general”.
  • A study published in The Lancet found tobacco use was the “leading” risk factor for cancers in India in 2016.
  • ICMR estimates that India is likely to face over 17 lakh new cancer cases and over eight lakh deaths by 2020.
  • In 2018, India had nearly 27 crore tobacco users and a “substantial” number of people exposed to second-hand smoke, putting them at an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases, according to WHO.

Who gains from the move?

  • The government feels its decision will help “protect the population, especially youth and children, from the risk of addiction through e-cigarettes”.
  • It says enforcement of the ordinance will complement its efforts to reduce tobacco use and, therefore, help in reducing the economic and disease burden associated with it.
  • Apart from this, traditional tobacco firms, too, could potentially gain from the ban.

Source: Indian Express

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