Print Friendly, PDF & Email

[Mission 2024] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 17 August 2023

 

InstaLinks :  help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions ina your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

  1. SC guidelines for eliminating gender stereotypes

 

GS Paper 2:

  1. Limitations of India’s new Digital Personal Data Protection law (DPDP) 2023
  2. Lancet Study on Nutrition and TB Linkage

 

GS Paper 3:

  1. Tourism’s Ecological Toll

 

Content for Mains Enrichment

  1. “Karnataka’s ‘Koosina Mane’ Creches: Redefining Childcare
  2. Redwoods Rising

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. PM e-Bus Sewa scheme
  2. Global Initiative on Digital Health
  3. India’s first drone common testing centre
  4. First-ever Global Summit on Traditional Medicine
  5. STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) mission
  6. Aditya-L1
  7. Scientists detect ‘microplastics’ in the human heart for the first time: Report
  8. ‘Termination-level Transition’

 

Mapping

  1. Gandhidham (Gujarat)
  2. Sulina Channel (Danube River)

 


 

SC guidelines for eliminating gender stereotypes

GS1/ GS4 Paper 

 Syllabus: Women and related Issues/ Legal values

 

Source: TH

 

Context: The Supreme Court has released a 30-page handbook aimed at eliminating gender stereotypes from legal language and proceedings.

 

The “Handbook on Combating Gender Stereotypes” addresses unjust gender-based terms frequently used in Indian courts and offers accurate alternatives. It emphasizes the importance of using language that respects the rights and dignity of all individuals.

Significance of the “Handbook on Combating Gender Stereotypes:

Significance Explanation
Eliminating Gender Stereotypes The handbook aims to remove gender-based terms and assumptions from legal language, promoting fairness and impartiality.
Promoting Equal Justice By encouraging the use of accurate terms, the handbook helps ensure equal treatment and justice for all individuals.
Challenging Biased Assumptions The handbook challenges stereotypes about women’s emotional capacity and rational thinking, emphasizing that gender does not dictate one’s ability for rational thinking
Fostering Respect and Dignity Using respectful language respects the dignity and rights of all individuals involved in legal proceedings.
Enhancing Legal Communication The handbook underscores the importance of language in legal proceedings, promoting clear and accurate communication.
Aligning with Constitutional Values Removing gender stereotypes aligns legal practices with the constitutional principles of equality and human rights
Empowering and Inspiring Legal Professionals The handbook empowers legal professionals to use language that upholds justice, equality, and dignity in legal proceedings.

 

Conclusion: 

The handbook’s release reflects the Supreme Court’s commitment to promoting equitable and unbiased legal practices, reinforcing the notion that language shapes not only legal interpretations but also societal perceptions.

 

Insta Links:

 

 Mains Link:

What are the continued challenges for women in India against time and space? (Mains 2019)

Limitations of India’s new Digital Personal Data Protection law (DPDP) 2023

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Governance/ Government Policies and Interventions

 

Source: TOI

 Context: This article is in continuation to yesterday’s article on the Impact of the DPDP Bill on the RTI Act

 

Digital Personal Data Protection in India is criticized for granting extensive state control over citizens’ lives and privacy.

 

Limitation of the DPDP Bill:

The bill has an emphasis on data collection and commercialization, potentially overshadowing robust protection of citizens’ rights and data privacy.
Weak Notice Provision Data collecting companies (data fiduciaries) are not required to inform users (data principals) about sharing their data with third parties
Consent Issues ‘Legitimate uses’ of data are vaguely defined, potentially leading to consent-related issues. E.g., reasons like ‘State functions’ and ‘medical reasons’, do not require user consent, possibly undermining privacy
Government Immunity The government is granted extensive powers to gather and process citizens’ data.
Compromised Independence The Data Protection Board’s lack of independence due to government-appointed members
Undefined Data Fiduciary Category Unclear criteria for ‘significant data fiduciaries’ exemptions from notifying users about data collection, storage, or sharing

 

In September 2018, nearly a year after its decision on the fundamental right to privacy, the Supreme Court upheld but also limited the Aadhaar programme. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, in his dissenting judgment, drew from Nobel Prize-winning author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s experience in Stalinist Russia: “The invisible threads of a society networked on biometric data had grave portents for the future and unless the law mandates an effective data protection framework, the quest for liberty and dignity would be as ephemeral as the wind.”

Lancet Study on Nutrition and TB Linkage

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Social Issues: Health/ Hunger

 

Source: IE

 Context: New studies published in The Lancet and The Lancet Global Health journals provide evidence that improved nutrition can significantly reduce tuberculosis (TB) incidence and mortality in India.

  • The study is backed by India’s ICMR

 

More about the study:

The Reducing Activation of Tuberculosis by Improvement of Nutritional Status (RATIONS) trial conducted in Jharkhand (the state has a high TB burden) revealed:

  • Better nutrition among patients with lung TB can lead to a 40% reduction in all forms of TB and a nearly 50% reduction in infectious TB
  • Underweight TB patients who experience early weight gain can have their risk of mortality reduced by 60%.
  • Nearly 30 households would need to be provided nutritional supplementation to prevent one case of TB

 

Significance: The trials’ findings are particularly significant as undernutrition has emerged as a leading risk factor for TB worldwide. These results could have policy implications and contribute to India’s goal of eliminating TB by 2025

 

What is tuberculosis (TB)?

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It primarily affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body.

 

Status of TB in India and the world:

  • As per the WHO Global TB Report 2022: India’s TB incidence for the year 2021 is 210 per 100,000 population (a decline of over 18% from 2020)
  • India has a large burden of the world’s TB, with an estimated economic cost of US$100 million lost annually due to this disease.
  • As per the WHO Global TB Report 2022, TB cases are attributable to five risk factors — undernourishment, HIV infection, alcohol use disorders, smoking and diabetes.

 

For Need for new TB vaccines: Click Here

  For WHO’s Global Framework for New TB Vaccines: Click Here

  For Government initiatives to eliminate TB: Click Here  

 

Insta Links:

Tuberculosis

 

Mains Links:

Appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is a prerequisite to achieving “health for all” in India. Explain. (UPSC 2018)

Tourism’s Ecological Toll

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Environment Conservation

 

Source: TH

Context: Major tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Hawaii (USA), Spain, and Greece are facing intermittent distress and closure due to the impact of disasters related to anthropogenic development activities.

 

Tourism’s Ecological Toll:

Aspect Explanation Examples
Ecological Impact Uncontrolled tourism infrastructure development, such as widened highways and landslides, harms the environment. Frequent landslides in Himachal Pradesh often on the Char Dham Yatra route
Conflict of Discourses Disagreement between economic growth and conservation perspectives, leading to a development vs. nature clash. Development plans vs. conservationists’ concerns over protecting fragile ecosystems esp. in the Himalayas and Western Ghats
Hospitality Industry Neglect Negligence of hotels and resorts towards forest disappearance and improper waste disposal. Hotels fail to adopt eco-friendly practices, leading to environmental degradation.
Rivers as Drainage Improper waste disposal in rivers exacerbates flooding and disrupts river habitats.
Policy Perception Overemphasis on tourism’s economic benefits in policy decisions, neglecting ecological consequences.
Tourists’ Impact Unaware tourists unintentionally contribute to environmental harm through travel styles, overconsumption and preferences.

 

Steps taken to address the Issues:

  • National Strategy for Sustainable Tourism and Responsible Traveller CampaignLaunched in 2022 by the Union Ministry of Tourism
  • Kerala Tourism’s Green Carpet initiative promotes eco-friendly practices in tourism.
  • Uttarakhand’s ban on construction in the 100-meter radius of rivers to protect river ecosystems.
  • Sunderbans National Park’s management plan is to ensure wildlife conservation alongside tourism.
  • Ladakh’s promotion of electric vehicles and solar-powered accommodations for sustainable tourism.
  • Sikkim’s development of sustainable homestays and eco-lodges blend with the natural environment.
  • Amsterdam: Its mayor has decided to ban cruise ships from docking at the city centre
  • Hawaii: Residents are protesting against the high footfall of tourism, often interfering with their social and cultural life.

 

Conclusion:

While tourism offers economic benefits and cultural exchanges, its ecological impact cannot be overlooked. Governments, stakeholders, and travellers alike must collaborate to strike a balance between tourism and environmental preservation.

 

Insta links

 Tourism in the Himalayas is not uniform; its impacts though are detrimental

  

Mains Links:

Define the concept of the carrying capacity of an ecosystem as relevant to an environment. Explain how understanding this concept is vital while planning for the sustainable development of a region. (UPSC 2019)

Discuss the risks and benefits of Eco-Tourism with examples in India? (250 words)

“Karnataka’s ‘Koosina Mane’ Creches: Redefining Childcare

Content for Mains Enrichment

 

Source: TH

 Context: Karnataka government has introduced the ‘Koosina Mane’ initiative, which aims to provide childcare support for women enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and other working mothers.

The scheme involves setting up child homes or creches across 4,000-gram panchayats, offering healthcare, nutrition, and safety for children.

 

Significance of the scheme:

  • Boosting Women’s Labor Force Participation
  • Acknowledging Working Mothers
  • Redistribution of Childcare Burden from women, enhancing their ability to engage in better paying and more sustainable work.
  • Addressing Child Safety by providing a well-managed childcare infrastructure with trained caregivers.
  • Enabling Maternity Protection.
  • Fostering Women’s Employment

 

Other schemes: Shakti scheme (free state bus travel for women); Gruha Jyothi scheme (Raising the living conditions of residents by subsidizing electricity up to 200 units per month)

Redwoods Rising

 

Source: IE

A conservation initiative known as Redwoods Rising aims to restore California’s damaged redwood forests by mimicking the traits of healthy young forests, using methods like thinning and prescribed fires.

The project, carried out by Redwood National and State Parks and the Save the Redwoods League, seeks to combat the impacts of unchecked logging and address the challenges posed by climate change.

Redwoods, known for their ability to store carbon, face increasing threats from rising temperatures and wildfires.

Sequoioideae, commonly referred to as redwoods, is a subfamily of coniferous trees. It includes the largest and tallest trees in the world. These trees can live for thousands of years.

PM e-Bus Sewa scheme

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 Source: TH

 Context: The Union Cabinet has approved the PM e-bus Sewa scheme, aiming to introduce 10,000 electric buses in city bus services across India.

Features:

  • Objective: The scheme aims to introduce 10,000 electric buses (e-buses) in city bus services across India and enhance urban infrastructure for green mobility.
  • Financial Allocation: Central government will provide ₹20,000 crore in subsidies
  • Duration: The scheme will support bus operations for a duration of 10 years.
  • Implementation Segments: The scheme will be implemented in two segments:
    • In 169 cities (selected through challenge mode for cities with a population of 3-40 lakhs), 10,000 e-buses will be deployed through a public-private partnership (PPP) model.
    • For cities with less than 5 lakh population: 50 e-buses
    • For cities with 20-40 lakh population: 150 e-buses
    • In 181 cities, infrastructure will be upgraded to support green urban mobility initiatives.
    • Behind-the-meter power infrastructure like substations will be created.
  • Operation Responsibility: States or cities will be responsible for running the e-bus services and making payments to the bus operators.
  • Employment Generation: The scheme aims to generate 45,000 to 55,000 jobs and reduce noise, air pollution, and carbon emissions.

 

Other Schemes of Government for Green Mobility:

Global Initiative on Digital Health

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: TH

Context: India and the World Health Organization (WHO) are set to launch the Global Initiative on Digital Health during the ongoing G-20 summit in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

  • This innovative initiative aims to promote data convergence, enhance the interface of health platforms, and encourage investments in the digital health sector on a global scale.
  • The summit also focuses on establishing an interim Medical Countermeasure (MCM) network to respond effectively to health emergencies.
  • The initiative is designed to improve healthcare services worldwide through digital solutions, aligning with the goal of universal health coverage.

 

The summit additionally seeks to launch a Climate and Health Initiative in collaboration

with the Asian Development Bank, along with a patient and healthcare workforce mobility portal.

India’s first drone common testing centre

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: Business Line

 

Context: Tamil Nadu is establishing the country’s first Common Testing Centre for Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones).

  • The initiative is led by the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) as part of the TN Defence Industrial Corridor, aimed at nurturing the aerospace and defence industry ecosystem.
  • The lack of a Common Testing Centre has been a barrier for organizations in this sector. TIDCO has initiated the setup of such testing centres under the Centre’s Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme.

This initiative aligns with Tamil Nadu’s commitment to fostering a robust defence and aerospace manufacturing ecosystem, attracting investors and contributing to the self-reliance of the country in the aerospace and defence sector.

First-ever Global Summit on Traditional Medicine

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: PIB

 Context: The World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the Ministry of Ayush, is organizing a unique global summit on Traditional Medicine.

  • This unprecedented event will bring together experts, practitioners, and dignitaries to explore the latest scientific advancements and evidence-based knowledge in the field of traditional medicine.
  • This summit highlights the strides India has made in blending traditional practices with contemporary approaches, ultimately showing a path toward achieving universal health coverage through traditional medicine system
  • The summit will also feature an exhibition showcasing traditional medicine systems from around the world, including the Ministry of Ayush’s contributions.
  • This exhibition will spotlight the relationship between Traditional Medicine and the natural environment and demonstrate scientific and technological advancements led by various WHO regional centres and the Ministry of Ayush.

 

The summit signifies a significant step in the realm of traditional medicine, especially following the establishment of the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in 2022 with the support of the Indian Government. This collaborative initiative will play a pivotal role in shaping global health policies related to traditional medicine research, practices, and public health.

STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) mission

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: NASA

 Context:  The STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) mission launched twin spacecraft, STEREO-A and STEREO-B, in 2006, to study the Sun.

  • This mission achieved several milestones, including capturing the Sun as a complete sphere for the first time by reaching a 180-degree separation in their orbits.
  • STEREO-A’s recent approach to Earth offers a unique opportunity for scientific observations. By combining its views with other spacecraft, including the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), STEREO-A will provide 3D views of the Sun.
  • This stereoscopic vision allows scientists to gain depth perception and explore features like active regions and coronal loops in unprecedented detail.
  • STEREO-A’s passage through Earth’s vicinity also allows for an in-depth study of solar eruptions, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which can impact Earth’s technology.

This approach provides multipoint measurements to understand the evolution of CMEs’ magnetic fields. Additionally, as solar activity increases towards the predicted solar maximum in 2025, STEREO-A’s observations will shed light on the changes in the Sun’s behaviour during different phases of its cycle.

Scientists detect ‘microplastics’ in the human heart for the first time: Report

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  

Source: HT

 Context: Recent research from China’s Beijing Anzhen Hospital, published by the American Chemical Society, has discovered microplastics in the human heart for the first time.

  • The study involved analysing heart tissue from 15 patients who underwent cardiovascular surgery. The researchers found numerous individual microplastic pieces in most tissue samples, and plastic particles were also present in all blood samples.
  • The detection of microplastics within the human heart is concerning, prompting the need for further investigation into how these particles enter cardiac tissues and their potential long-term effects after heart surgery.
  • The study also identified specific types of plastics, such as polyethylene terephthalate (used in clothing and food containers) and polyvinyl chloride (common in window frames and pipes), in the samples.

 

About Microplastics:

Microplastics, which are less than 5 millimetres in size, can enter the human body through various openings and have been linked to health issues like obesity, diabetes, and chronic liver disease due to their impact on the gastrointestinal tract.

 

Aditya-L1

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: TOI

 Context: India’s first solar mission, Aditya-L1, intended for launch by the end of August or early September, has arrived at the Sriharikota spaceport.

 

The Aditya-L1 mission will be launched to the L1 orbit (which is the first Lagrangian point of the Sun-Earth system)

  • Aditya-L1 is the first Indian space mission to observe the Sun and the solar corona
  • L1 orbit allows Aditya-L1 to look at the Sun continuously
  • It will be launched aboard a PSLV-XL launch vehicle

 

The objective of the mission:

To study solar upper atmospheric (chromosphere and corona) dynamics and understand the physics of the solar corona and its heating mechanism.

 

Payloads: 

Aditya-L1 has seven payloads in total, of which the primary payload is the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph(VELC).

  • VELC is a solar coronagraph capable of simultaneous imaging, spectroscopy and spectro-polarimetry
  • Significance: No other solar coronagraph in space has the ability to image the solar corona as close to the solar disk as VELC can. It can image it as close to 1.05 times the solar radius.

 

About Lagrange points:

The Lagrange points are points of equilibrium for small-mass objects under the influence of two massive orbiting bodies. At Lagrange points, the gravitational pull of two large masses precisely equals the centripetal force required for a small object to move with them. These points in space can be used by spacecraft to reduce fuel consumption needed to remain in position.

 

‘Termination-level Transition’

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: DTE

The rapid increase of methane in Earth’s atmosphere since 2006, driven by biological emissions rather than fossil fuel burning, raises concerns about a potential major transition in Earth’s climate.

 

What is ‘Termination-level Transition’?

A ‘termination-level transition’ refers to a significant and rapid shift in Earth’s climate from one state to another, often marking the end of a glacial period and the onset of a warmer interglacial period.

For example, during past terminations, like Termination II around 131,000 years ago, Earth’s climate shifted from glaciers in certain regions to warmer conditions, leading to changes in ecosystems and weather patterns.

 

What are biological emissions?

Biological emissions refer to the release of gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere as a result of natural biological processes.

For example, in the context of methane, biological emissions can occur during processes like microbial digestion in the stomachs of ruminant animals (like cows) or the decomposition of organic matter in wetlands.

 

About Methane

It is a flammable hydrocarbon used as a global fuel source. However, it also serves as a potent greenhouse gas, with over 80 times the warming impact of carbon dioxide within the first two decades of its presence in the atmosphere. It has a shorter atmospheric lifespan than carbon dioxide. Its main sources include oil and natural gas operations, agricultural practices, coal mining, and waste management.

 

Initiatives to curb Methane Emission:

Initiative Description
Indian Initiatives
‘Harit Dhara’ (HD) Anti-methanogenic feed supplement developed by ICAR to reduce cattle methane emissions by 17-20% and increase milk production
India Greenhouse Gas Program Led by WRI India, CII, and TERI, a voluntary framework to measure and manage greenhouse gas emissions in industries.
National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) Launched in 2008, it raises awareness about climate change and outlines steps to address it among government, industries, communities, and more.
Bharat Stage-VI Norms The transition from BS-IV to BS-VI emission norms in India aims to reduce vehicle emissions.
Global Initiatives
Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) Integrates satellite data to detect methane emission events worldwide and notifies stakeholders to take action.
Global Methane Pledge Voluntary pledges from nearly 100 countries, including the commitment to cut methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 compared to 2020 levels.
Global Methane Initiative (GMI) An international partnership focused on removing barriers to using methane as a clean energy source.

Gandhidham (Gujarat)

Mapping

Source: Krishi Jagran

Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah, inaugurated the IFFCO Nano DAP (Liquid) Plant in Gandhidham, Gujarat, highlighting its significance in achieving the nation’s agricultural prosperity.

The plant, funded by IFFCO’s equity, aims to reduce urea imports and achieve self-sufficiency while promoting environmental sustainability.

Gandhidham, initially known as Sardarganj, is the largest and most populous city in Kutch District, Gujarat. It was created in the early 1950s for the resettlement of Sindhi Hindu refugees from Sindh in the aftermath of the partition of India. It was named after M.K. Gandhi.

Sulina Channel (Danube River)

Mapping

 

Source: IE

The Sulina Channel holds immense importance for Ukraine’s grain trade as an alternative passage after Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal. This deal was used to provide safe passage for cargo ships carrying grain from Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

The Sulina Channel, a distributary of the Danube, plays a crucial role in this new trade route, connecting major Ukrainian ports to the Black Sea within Romania’s borders.

The Danube is the second-longest river in Europe, after the Volga in Russia. It rises in the Black Forest mountains of western Germany and flows for 2,850 km to its mouth on the Black Sea.

 

 

Errata:

 16th August CA: In the article Mapping: Georgia: Georgia was shown as a country. However, the article was about Georgia (a USA state).

14th August CA: Fact for Prelims: Asian Elephant: In the Status of Elephants in India, it was incorrectly given as “More than 60% of the World’s elephant population is in India”. However, the correct sentence would be “More than 60% of the Asian elephant population is in India”

 

 

Read the CA in PDF format here: 

 


Follow us on our Official TELEGRAM Channel HERE

Subscribe to Our Official YouTube Channel HERE

Please subscribe to Our podcast channel HERE

Official Facebook Page HERE

Follow our Twitter Account HERE

Follow our Instagram Account HERE

Follow us on LinkedIn: HERE