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29 Nov, 2022

29 Min Read

The Country's First Suicide Prevention Policy

GS-II : Governance Health

The Country's First Suicide Prevention Policy

  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently announced the "National Suicide Prevention Strategy."
  • It is the country's first of its kind, with time-bound action plans and cross-sector collaborations aimed at reducing suicide mortality by 10% by 2030.
  • The strategy is consistent with the World Health Organization's South East Asia Region Suicide Prevention Strategy. The Country's First Suicide Prevention Policy

More information on the policy

  • The newly launched National Suicide Prevention Strategy is the country's first of its kind.
  • The suicide prevention policy includes time-bound action plans and cross-sector collaborations to reduce suicide mortality by 10% by 2030.
  • The strategy aims to establish effective suicide surveillance mechanisms within three years, psychiatric outpatient departments that will provide suicide prevention services through the District Mental Health Programme in all districts within five years, and
  • Within the next eight years, all educational institutions will have a mental health curriculum.
  • The policy calls for the development of guidelines for responsible media reporting of suicides, as well as the restriction of access to means of suicide.
  • Support from the community and society:
  • The emphasis is on strengthening community resilience and societal support for suicide prevention.
  • In line with global strategy, the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.4 aims to reduce premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases by one-third through prevention and treatment, while also promoting mental health and well-being.
  • The suicide rate is one indicator of this.
  • While the strategy is consistent with the WHO's South East Asia Region Suicide Prevention Strategy, it promises to remain true to India's cultural and social milieu.

More on Suicide

What is suicide?

  • Suicide occurs when people intentionally harm themselves in order to end their lives and die as a result.
  • Suicide claims more than one lakh lives in India each year, and it is the leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 29.
  • Suicide rates increased from 10.2 to 11.3 per 100,000 people between 2019 and 22.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently published the report "Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India Report 2021." It provides the following records by category:

Daily Wager:

  • Daily wage earners continued to be the most common profession among suicide victims in 2021, accounting for 42,004 suicides (25.6%).
  • For the first time, the proportion of daily wagers dying by suicide has surpassed a quarter.
  • The number of suicides in the United States increased by 7.17% between 2020 and 2021.
  • During this time, however, the number of suicides in the daily wage group increased by 11.52%.

Farming Sector:

  • In 2021, the overall share of "Persons engaged in the farming sector" among total recorded suicides was 6.6%.

Distribution by Profession:

  • "self-employed persons" had the highest increase of 16.73%.
  • The only group that saw a decrease in suicides was "unemployed persons," with the number falling by 12.38% from 15,652 in 2020 to 13,714 in 2021.

Suicide Motivations:

  • Family Issues: 33.2% (other than marriage-related problems)
  • Marriage-Related Issues: 4.8%
  • Illness: 18.6%
  • State: In terms of the number of suicides reported in 2021, Maharashtra led the country, followed by Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.

Brief Interventions in Treatments and Therapies

  • Safety Planning: It has been shown that personalized safety planning can help reduce suicidal thoughts and actions.
  • Follow-up phone calls: Studies have shown that at-risk patients who receive additional screening, a Safety Plan intervention, and a series of supportive phone calls have a lower risk of suicide.


  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): It can assist people in learning new ways to cope with stressful situations.
  • When suicidal thoughts arise, CBT assists individuals in recognizing their thought patterns and considering alternative actions.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT has been shown to reduce suicidal behavior in adolescents.

Initiatives of the Government of India

  • 1982: National Mental Health Programme (NMHP):
  • To ensure the availability and accessibility of basic mental health care for all in the near future, with a focus on the most vulnerable and underserved segments of the population.
  • The Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 decriminalizes suicide attempts.
  • It was passed in 2017, went into effect in May 2018, and replaced the 1987 Mental Health Act.
  • To the delight of most Indian medical practitioners and mental health advocates, the act decriminalised suicide attempts in India.
  • It also followed WHO guidelines for categorising mental illnesses.
  • The most important provision in the act was "advanced directives," which allowed people with mental illnesses to choose their own treatment and appoint someone to be their representative.
  • It also restricted and prohibited the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on minors, finally introducing measures to combat stigma in Indian society.
  • Manodarpan Initiative: It is part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • Its goal is to provide students with psychosocial support for their mental health and well-being.
  • Kiran Helpline: The helpline is a huge step forward in suicide prevention and can provide support and crisis management.
  • The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) will manage the helpline, which will provide early screening, first-aid, psychological support, distress management, mental well-being, and psychological crisis management.


Focus is not up to par:

  • According to a recent National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, 1.64 lakh people committed suicide in 2021
  • This is 10% more than COVID deaths in India in 2020, and 6.8 times more than maternal deaths (23800) in 2020.
  • Despite this, we have placed far more emphasis and effort on COVID protocols and maternal health than on suicide prevention.

Collaboration is required:

  • Suicide is a complex issue that will necessitate cross-sector collaboration to address.
  • According to the 2021 NCRB data, family issues (33.2%), unemployment/indebtedness/career problems (7.7%), and health concerns (18.6%) are some of the major causes.
  • To work on prevention, we need the collaboration of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the MoHFW, among others.

The following are the requirements for effective implementation:

  • The strategy should now be passed on to the states, who should develop locally relevant action plans before cascading to the district, primary health care, and community levels.
  • As a public health priority, more efforts are now needed to prevent suicides.
  • Suicide affects all segments of society, necessitating concerted and collaborative efforts from individuals and the community at large.

Source: The Hindu

Norms to Prevent False Online Reviews

GS-II : Governance e-Governance

Norms to Prevent False Online Reviews

  • The Department of Consumer Affairs recently announced new regulations to protect consumers from "false and misleading reviews."
  • It is part of the Bureau of Indian Standards norms, which will go into effect on November 25.

Important Guidelines:

  • E-commerce platforms will be required to voluntarily disclose paid customer reviews of products and services.
  • The e-commerce company or restaurant must create a code of conduct, as well as the necessary terms and conditions for accessibility, and ensure that the content does not contain financial information.
  • Identity: Reviews should not be misleading, and reviewers' identities should not be revealed without their permission.

Purchased evaluation:

  • If a review is purchased or you are rewarding the person for writing the review, it must be clearly labelled as such.


  • IS 19000:2022, the standard, will apply to all organisations that publish consumer reviews online. These will include product and service suppliers who collect customer feedback, third parties contracted by suppliers, and independent third parties.

The BIS distinguishes between solicited and unsolicited reviews:

  • The person in charge of overseeing the review in any organisation is referred to as the review administrator.
  • Solicited reviews are those that are requested by the supplier or review administrator.

Time frame:

  • If a product receives a rating of 4-5 stars, the organisation must specify when the data was collected and whether an average was calculated.

The requirement for such a regulation:

  • Online reviews play an important role in purchasing decisions, and consumers rely heavily on reviews posted on e-commerce platforms to see the opinion and experiences of users who have already purchased the good or service.

The move's significance:

  • Increased transparency: The new online review guidelines are intended to increase transparency for both consumers and brands while also promoting information accuracy.
  • Consumer protection: Regulations aim to protect consumers from fake and misleading reviews.
  • Building Trust: Because e-commerce involves a virtual shopping experience with no opportunity to physically view or examine the product, genuine, authentic, and trustworthy reviews are essential.
  • Penalty: If they engage in unfair trade practises, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) or a consumer court may take penal action under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. The CCPA usually treats such cases as a "class," while the consumer commission treats them as individual cases.

Way Forward

  • The government will first establish a voluntary compliance mechanism, and if the threat persists, it will make it mandatory.
  • Some countries make rules, and some make legal provisions, but India is the first to create a standard.

About Bureau of Indian Standards

  • It is India's National Standard Body. Since 2017, the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016, has been in effect.
  • It is in charge of the smooth development of standardization, marking, and quality certification of goods, as well as matters related to or incidental to these activities.
  • BIS is headquartered in New Delhi. It operates five Regional Offices (ROs) in Kolkata (Eastern), Chennai (Southern), Mumbai (Western), Chandigarh (Northern), and Delhi (Central).
  • Apart from benefiting consumers and industry, the BIS standards and certification scheme also supports various public policies, particularly in the areas of product safety, consumer protection, food safety, environmental protection, building and construction, and so on.

READ ALSO: E-commerce rules in India

Source: The Financial Express

Development of Great Nicobar

GS-III : Economic Issues Infrastructure

Development of Great Nicobar

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change recently approved an ambitious Rs 72,000 crore development project on the strategically important Great Nicobar Island.
  • Over the next 30 years, the project will be implemented in three phases.

About the proposal

  • A greenfield city with an International Container Trans-shipment Terminal (ICTT), a greenfield international airport, and a power plant has been proposed.
  • The Indian Navy will control the port, while the airport will serve dual military-civilian purposes as well as tourism.
  • A total of 166.1 sq km along the island's southeastern and southern coasts have been identified for project along a coastal strip with widths ranging from 2 km to 4 km.
  • Some 130 square kilometres of forest have been designated for diversion, and 9.64 lakh trees are expected to be felled.

What is the Goal of Development on this Island?

  • Great Nicobar is located equidistant from Colombo to the southwest and Port Klang and Singapore to the southeast, and is close to the East-West international shipping corridor, which transports a significant portion of the world's shipping trade.
  • The proposed ICTT could serve as a hub for cargo ships travelling along this route.
  • The proposed port, according to the NITI Aayog report, will enable Great Nicobar to participate in the regional and global maritime economies by becoming a major player in cargo transshipment.

Strategic Motives:

  • The idea of developing Great Nicobar was first proposed in the 1970s, and its significance for national security and the consolidation of the Indian Ocean Region has been emphasised time and again.
  • In recent years, increasing Chinese assertiveness in the Bay of Bengal and the Indo-Pacific has added urgency to this imperative.

What are the Concurrent Concerns?

  • Many environmentalists are concerned about the proposed massive infrastructure development in an ecologically important and fragile region.
  • The loss of tree cover will have an impact on the island's flora and fauna as well as increased runoff and sediment deposits in the ocean, affecting the coral reefs in the area.
  • Environmentalists have also raised concerns about the island's loss of mangroves as a result of the development project.

What steps is the government taking to address the concerns?

  • The Zoological Survey of India is currently determining how much of the reef must be relocated for the project.
  • India has successfully translocated a coral reef from the Gulf of Mannar to the Gulf of Kutch earlier.
  • A conservation plan for the leatherback turtle is also being put in place.
  • The project site, according to the government, is outside the eco-sensitive zones of Campbell Bay and Galathea National Park.

What are the main attractions of the Great Nicobar Islands?

  • Great Nicobar, the southernmost of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, has an area of 910 sq km.
  • The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a cluster of about 836 islands in the eastern Bay of Bengal, the two groups of which are separated by the 150-km wide Ten Degree Channel.
  • The Andaman Islands lie to the north of the channel, and the Nicobar Islands to the south.
  • Indira Point on the southern tip of Great Nicobar Island is India’s southernmost point, less than 150 km from the northernmost island of the Indonesian archipelago.
  • It covers 1,03,870 hectares of unique and threatened tropical evergreen forest ecosystems.
  • It is home to a very rich ecosystem, including 650 species of angiosperms, ferns, gymnosperms, and bryophytes, among others.
  • In terms of fauna, there are over 1800 species, some of which are endemic to this area.
  • The Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve is home to a diverse range of ecosystems, including tropical wet evergreen forests, mountain ranges reaching a height of 642 metres (Mt. Thullier) above sea level, and coastal plains.
  • Two national parks and a biosphere reserve are located on Great Nicobar. National Parks: Campbell Bay National Park and Galathea National Park Biosphere Reserve: Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve
  • The Mongoloid Shompen Tribe, which numbers around 200 people, lives in the biosphere reserve's forests, particularly along rivers and streams.
  • Another Mongoloid tribe, the Nicobarese, numbered around 300 people and lived in settlements along the west coast.

Source: The Indian Express

Coal: Dominant energy source in India

GS-III : Economic Issues Energy

Coal: Dominant energy source in India

Despite efforts to transition to renewable energy, coal will continue to be India's dominant energy source.

What is the country's current energy capacity?

  • According to Climate Action Tracker projections, fossil fuel accounts for more than half of the country's installed energy capacity and is expected to reach around 266 gigatonnes by 2029-2030.
  • Domestic coal demand is expected to rise from 678 million tonnes in 2021-2022 to 1,018.2 million tonnes in 2031-32.
  • This means that India's coal consumption will rise by 40%.

What is the Cause of Rising Coal Demand?

  • Coal is used in the production of iron and steel, and there are few technologies available to replace it immediately.
  • The Indian economy is expected to expand further between 2022 and 2024, with annual average GDP growth of 7.4%, fueled in part by coal.
  • Because of India's push for domestic coal mining via Coal India and the auction of coal blocks to private companies, coal usage in India is expected to rise as it does in other parts of the world, including China.
  • The central government has allowed private coal mining, claiming it as one of its most ambitious coal sector reforms.
  • The government expects it to increase coal production efficiency and competition, attract investments and best-in-class technology, and help create more jobs in the coal sector.

About coal

  • It is a type of fossil fuel found in sedimentary rocks and is commonly referred to as "Black Gold."
  • It is a common and widely available source of energy. It is used as a domestic fuel, as well as in industries such as iron and steel, steam engines, and electricity generation. Thermal power is the term used to describe coal-fired electricity.
  • China, the United States, Australia, Indonesia, and India are the world's top coal producers.

Coal Distribution in India:

  • Coal Fields of Gondwana (250 million years old):
  • Gondwana coal accounts for 98% of total reserves and 99% of coal production in India.
  • Gondwana coal is metallurgical grade as well as superior quality coal in India.
  • It can be found in the valleys of Damodar (Jharkhand-West Bengal), Mahanadi (Chhattisgarh-Odisha), Godavari (Maharashtra), and Narmada.
  • Tertiary Coal Fields (aged 15 to 60 million years):
  • The carbon content is extremely low, but it is high in moisture and sulphur.
  • Tertiary coalfields are mostly found in extra-peninsular areas.
  • Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, the Himalayan foothills of Darjeeling in West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Kerala are all important areas.
  • Anthracite (80-95 percent carbon content, found in small quantities in J&K).
  • Bituminous (has a carbon content of 60 to 80% and is found in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh).
  • Lignite (high moisture content, 40 to 55% carbon content) is found in Rajasthan, Lakhimpur (Assam), and Tamil Nadu.
  • Peat (which contains less than 40% carbon and is in the process of being converted from organic matter (wood) to coal).

Way Forward

  • Retraining the coal-dependent society is a critical step in establishing a post-coal economy.
  • Recognizing the need to train workers displaced by their profession is critical for employment opportunities in the renewable energy sector.
  • The federal transition programmes in the United States, such as solar training and education for professionals and the Partnerships for Opportunity, Workforce, and Economic Revitalization dislocated worker grant, can set a precedent for India to design and develop its own schemes.

Read Also: ILLegal Mining in Meghalaya

Source: Down To Earth

Olive Ridley Turtles

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Conservation

Olive Ridley Turtles

A large number of Olive Ridley turtles have begun to arrive in Odisha for mating at the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary.

Concerning Olive Ridley turtles

  • Lepidochelys olivacea is the scientific name for the Pacific ridley sea turtle.
  • Found in the warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans.
  • One of the tiniest sea turtles on the planet.
  • Their shell is an olive green colour.
  • They can grow to be two and a half feet long and weigh up to 45 kilogrammes.
  • Food consists primarily of shrimp, crab, mollusks, fish, and crabs.
  • Known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada (Spanish for "arrival by the sea"), where thousands of females congregate on the same beach to lay eggs.
  • It takes 45 to 60 days for them to hatch.
  • Gender: determined by the temperature at which they are hatched.
  • A male turtle is born if the egg hatches at a temperature below 29 degrees Celsius.
  • Above that, the hatchling is a female.

Sea Turtles in India: There are five species of sea turtles in Indian waters viz.,

  • Leatherback,
  • Loggerhead,
  • Hawksbill,
  • Green and
  • Olive Ridley.

Conservation Status of Olive Ridley Turtle:

Nesting sites:

  • Rushikulya rookery coast (Odisha),
  • Gahirmatha beach (Bhitarkanika National park) and
  • Mouth of the Devi River.


  • More frequent and intense flooding and cyclones
  • Sex ratio is getting skewed because of global warming.
  • Hunted for meat and shell.
  • Anthropogenic factors like fishing trawlers etc.

About Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary

  • It is a marine wildlife sanctuary located in Odisha.
  • It is the world's largest nesting beach for Olive Ridley Turtles.
  • It extends from Dhamra River mouth in the north to Brahmani river mouth in the south.
  • Gahirmatha was declared a turtle sanctuary in 1997 by Odisha after considering its ecological importance and as part of efforts to save the sea turtles.

Source: The New Indian Express

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