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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 30 June 2018

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 30 June 2018


Paper 1:

Topic: population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.


Ranking of Aspirational Districts


Context: The NITI Aayog has launched the first Delta ranking (incremental progress) for the Aspirational Districts.


Delta ranking:

The ranking is based on self-reported data of districts across five developmental areas of Health and Nutrition, Education, Agriculture and Water Resources, Financial Inclusion and Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure. Districts to provide real-time data points by filling up the Champions of Change Dashboard.


Significance of delta ranking:

  • The ranking is also a tool to identify sectors and indicator specific challenges so that Team India, which is driving this programme, can take immediate corrective measures.
  • This Delta ranking takes a step further and looks into specific aspects of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and analyses how districts have performed in last two months across important sectors.
  • This grouping and positioning would aid the District Magistrates/Collectors to focus more on these sectors and improve their ranking in future.


Performance of various districts:

  • Dahod district of Gujarat improved 19.8 points to rank first.
  • West Sikkim district in Sikkim stood second with 18.9 points.
  • Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh is ranked 6th position.


About the scheme:

  • Launched in January this year, the ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ programme aims to quickly and effectively transform some of the most underdeveloped districts of the country.
  • The broad contours of the programme are Convergence (of Central & State Schemes), Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors), and Competition among districts driven by a Mass Movement or a Jan Andolan.
  • With States as the main drivers, this program will focus on the strength of each district, identify low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress, and rank districts.


Focus of the programme:

To enable optimum utilization of their potential, this program focuses closely on improving people’s ability to participate fully in the burgeoning economy. Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure are this programme’s core areas of focus.


Significance of the scheme:

If these districts are transformed, there would be tremendous improvement in the internal security environment of the country. If Prabhari officers can bring convergence in the development efforts of different Ministries and state Governments and the schemes specially launched by Home Ministry in these districts, it would serve as a great opportunity to ensure rapid development in the country.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: About the scheme for transformation of backward districts.
  • For Mains: Development of backward districts- need, challenges and efforts.


Sources: the hindu.

Paper 2:

Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.


Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA)


Context: ‘IPledgefor9′ Achievers Awards were given recently to the individuals and teams of doctors from the private sector and States for their exemplary services, outstanding support of institutions and commitment from support partners in achieving PMSMA’s objectives of safe motherhood to every woman in the country.

‘IPledgeFor9’ Achievers Awards have been devised to celebrate individual and team achievements and acknowledge voluntary contributions for PMSMA in states and districts across India.


About PMSMA:

  • The Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan has been launched by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India.
  • The program aims to provide assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care, free of cost, universally to all pregnant women on the 9th of every month.
  • PMSMA guarantees a minimum package of antenatal care services to women in their 2nd/3rd trimesters of pregnancy at designated government health facilities.
  • The programme follows a systematic approach for engagement with private sector which includes motivating private practitioners to volunteer for the campaign; developing strategies for generating awareness and appealing to the private sector to participate in the Abhiyan at government health facilities.
  • Different colour stickers will be Red Sticker for Serious patients, Blue Sticker for High blood pressure and Yellow Sticker for Other diseases.



Data indicates that Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in India was very high in the year 1990 with 556 women dying during child birth per hundred thousand live births as compared to the global MMR of 385/lakh live births. As per RGI- SRS (2011-13), MMR of India has now declined to 167/lakh live births against a global MMR of 216/lakh live births (2015). India has registered an overall decline in MMR of 70% between 1990 and 2015 in comparison to a global decline of 44%.


Way ahead:

While India has made considerable progress in the reduction of maternal and infant mortality, every year approximately 44000 women still die due to pregnancy-related causes and approximately 6.6 lakh infants die within the first 28 days of life. Many of these deaths are preventable and many lives can be saved if quality care is provided to pregnant women during their antenatal period and high risk factors such as severe anemia, pregnancy-induced hypertension etc are detected on time and managed well.


Facts for Prelims:

SDG 3.1 By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 live births.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: ‘IPledgefor9′ Achievers Awards, PMSMA- key features.
  • For Mains: Efforts by government to achieve SDG 3 target.


Sources: pib.

Topic: e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential.



What is it? It is a mobile application launched by Indian Railways which helps to track and trace missing and abandoned children in India. The application has been developed by Bachpan Bachao Andolan & Capgemini.


Key features of this app:

  • The app is multiuser where parents and citizens can upload pictures of children, and provide detailed description like name, birth mark, address, report to the police station, search and identify missing kids.
  • Amazon Rekognition, web facial recognition service, is being used to identify missing kids. The app is available for both Android and iOS.


What is Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA)?

  • It is India’s largest movement for the protection of children and works along with law enforcement agencies and policymakers. It was founded by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi.
  • BBA has played a very important role in formulation of several laws for protection of child’s rights. It began from the Nithari case in 2006 which finally culminated with the Supreme Court passing the landmark judgement in 2013 ordering that FIR has to be lodged in all cases of missing children.


What’s important?

For Prelims: BBA and its significance, ReUnite.


Sources: pib.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


UN migration agency


Context: António Manuel de Carvalho Ferreira Vitorino of Portugal was recently elected by the member States of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to serve as the agency’s Director General.


About IOM:

  • IOM is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration with over 10,000 staff serving in over 400 offices across more than 150 countries.
  • It was initially established in 1951 as the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) to help resettle people displaced by World War II.
  • It provides services and advice to Governments and migrants, such as humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.
  • The agency works with its partners in the international community to help ensure orderly and humane migration management and to promote international cooperation and understanding on migration issues.


What’s important?

For Prelims and Mains: IOM- key facts.


Sources: the hindu.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

Context: OPCW has granted itself new powers to assign blame for attacks, despite protests by Russia. Until now, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) could only say whether chemical weapons were used – but not who had used them.


Significance of the move:

This is an important step forward for arms control. It strengthens the unravelling consensus against the use of chemical weapons. It marks a victory for the rules-based international order, which itself is under increasing strain given the rise of populists and nationalism in many countries.


About OPCW:

  • The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force in 1997.
  • The organisation was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”.

The Convention contains four key provisions:

  • Destroying all existing chemical weapons under international verification by the OPCW.
  • Monitoring chemical industry to prevent new weapons from re-emerging.
  • Providing assistance and protection to States Parties against chemical threats.
  • Fostering international cooperation to strengthen implementation of the Convention and promote the peaceful use of chemistry.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: OPCW.
  • For Mains: Chemical weapons- threats, concerns and international efforts to regulate them.


Sources: the hindu.


Paper 3:

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


Treasury Bill

Context: After reviewing the cash position of the Central Government, the Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to notify the amounts for the issuance of Treasury Bills for the Quarter ending September 2018.


What you need to know about Treasury bills?

  • T-bills are short term securities issued on behalf of the government by the RBI and are used in managing short term liquidity needs of the government.
  • 91-day T-bills are auctioned every week on Wednesday and 182-day and 364-day T-bills are auctioned every alternate week on Wednesdays.
  • Treasury bills are issued at a discount and are redeemed at par.


Sources: the hindu.

Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Statistics Day


Context: On the eve of 12th Statistics Day (June 29th), a commemorative coin of Rs 125 and circulation coin of Rs 5 denomination have been released. The day marks 125th Birth Anniversary of Professor P. C. Mahalanobis.


National Statistics Day:

  • In recognition of the notable contributions made by Late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in the fields of statistics, statistical system and economic planning, Government of India in 2007, has designated 29thJune as the “Statistics Day” in the category of Special Days to be celebrated every year at the National level.
  • The objective of celebration of this Day is to create public awareness about the importance of statistics in socio-economic planning and policy formulation, to acknowledge the contribution of Prof. Mahalanobis, and to pay homage to him.
  • Theme this year: ‘‘Quality Assurance in Official Statistics’.


Facts for Prelims:

  • The Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) at Kolkata, set up by Prof. Mahalanobis in 1931, and was declared an autonomous “Institute of National Importance” through an act of Parliament in 1959.
  • ISI celebrates 29th June as the “Worker Day”.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: Statistics day, ISI.
  • For Mains: Important contributions of PC Mahalanobis.


Sources: the hindu.

Facts for Prelims:


‘Mission Shaurya’:

Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently met a group of ten tribal students from Maharashtra who were a part of a team of the ‘Mission Shaurya’ initiative of the Adivasi Vikas Vibhag of the Maharashtra State Government.

What is it?

  • Under Mission Shaurya expedition,10 tribal students from “ashram shalas” (residential schools) in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra conquered Everest.
  • It was a joint initiative of the state Tribal department and Chandrapur Collectorate to scale Everest.