Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - October 2, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

The Cat Que Virus Is Not New – and the ICMR Study Was ‘Proactive’

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Context

  • Scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) discovered the CQV and have claimed that this specific virus has a potential to cause disease in the country.
  • The presence of the Cat Que virus has been reported in Culex mosquitoes in China and in pigs in Vietnam.

Background

  • The ICMR has warned, there’s a possibility of the virus causing disease across India due to the spread of similar species of the Culex mosquitoes in the country.
  • The Cat Que virus was first isolated in 2004 from mosquitoes in Vietnam.

About Cat Que Virus

  • CQV comes under the category of Arthropod-borne viruses.
  • It infects both animals as well as humans.
  • Cat Que virus can cause febrile illnesses, meningitis, and paediatric encephalitis in humans.
  • The domestic pigs are the primary mammalian host of CQV and birds such as the Jungle Myna may also act as a host.
  • Humans can get infected through mosquitoes as well. 

Source: Hindustan Times.

Rajnath Singh launches Defence India Startup Challenge-4, releases PMA guidelines for iDEX

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.


Context

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched the Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC 4) during the iDEX event, featuring the initiatives aimed at expanding the horizons of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) ecosystem in New Delhi.
  • Mr Singh also launched the iDEX4Fauji initiative and Product Management Approach (PMA) guidelines during the event.

About iDEX

  • iDEX4Fauji is a first of its kind initiative, launched to support innovations identified by members of the Indian Armed Forces and will bolster frugal innovation ideas from soldiers and field formations.
  • iDEX initiative stands out as one of the most effective and well-executed defence Startupecosystem created in the  country.
  • It would be a decisive step towards achieving self-reliance in the spirit of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat campaign.
  • The government has taken certain steps like partnerships with private sector, technology transfer, 74 per cent FDI through automatic route and the recently   released negative list of 101 items for import ban after a stipulated period.
  • The government launched Defence Acquisition procedure 2020 which seeks to encourage the private industry to participate in the defence sector.

Source: AIR News.

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PM inaugurates Six Major Projects in Uttarakhand to make River Ganga Nirmal and Aviral

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Context

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated 6 mega development projects in Uttarakhand under the Namami Gange Mission through video conference. 
  • He released a book “Rowing Down the Ganges” and the new logo for the Jal Jeevan Mission.
  • The Prime Minister also unveiled the ‘Margadarshika for Gram Panchayats and Paani Samitis under Jal Jeevan Mission’ (Guidelines for the Village Panchayats and Water Committees) on the occasion.

Background

  • The Jal Jeevan Mission aims at providing every rural household in the country with piped-water connection. 
  • The new logo of the Mission shall continue to inspire the need to save every drop of water.

About four pronged strategy

  • First- started laying a network of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) to prevent the waste water from flowing into the Ganges.
  • Second, The STPs were built by keeping in mind the demands for the next 10 - 15 years.
  • Third - By making around hundred big towns/cities and five thousand villages along the River Ganga Open Defecation Free (ODF).
  • And Fourth - By making an all-out effort to stop the pollution in the tributaries of River Ganga.

About Jal Jeevan Mission

  • Jal Jeevan Mission, is envisioned to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India.
  • The programme will also implement source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, such as recharge and reuse through grey water management, water conservation, rain water harvesting.
  • The Jal Jeevan Mission will be based on a community approach to water and will include extensive Information, Education and communication as a key component of the mission.
  • JJM looks to create a jan andolan for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.

Source: PIB.

Amnesty to halt work in India after its bank account ‘frozen’

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.


Context

  • Amnesty International says it is halting work in India due to a “continuing crackdown” and “harassment” by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The human rights watchdog said the bank account of its India branch has been frozen by the right-wing government, forcing it to lay off staff and stop campaign and research work in the South Asian nation.
  • It also accused the government of running an “incessant witch hunt” campaign against human rights organisations over “unfounded and motivated” allegations.

Background

  • The group said it has been facing a crackdown over the past two years over allegations of financial wrongdoing that it said were baseless. Its bank accounts were frozen on September 10, the group said.
  • The continuing crackdown on Amnesty International India over the last two years and the complete freezing of bank accounts is not accidental.

About Amnesty International

  • Amnesty International (also referred to as Amnesty or AI) is a non-governmental organization with its headquarters in the United Kingdom focused on human rights.
  • The organization says it has more than eight million members and supporters around the world.
  • The stated mission of the organization is to campaign for "a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments."
  • Amnesty International was founded in London in 1961, following the publication of the article "The Forgotten Prisoners" in The Observer on 28 May 1961, by the lawyer Peter Benenson.
  • Amnesty draws attention to human rights abuses and campaigns for compliance with international laws and standards.
  • It works to mobilize public opinion to generate pressure on governments where abuse takes place.
  • Amnesty considers capital punishment to be "the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights."
  • The organization was awarded the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for its "defence of human dignity against torture," and the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 1978.

Source: Hindustan Times.

India Received ‘Above Normal’ Rainfall During 4-Month Monsoon, Says Met Department

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.


Context

  • The country received above normal monsoon during the four-month rainfall season, recording the second highest precipitation in the last 30 years, the India Meteorological Department said.
  • The country received 109% rainfall of the Long Period Average with three of four months -- June (107%), August (127%) and September (105%) -- witnessing above normal rainfall, while July recorded (90%) below deficient rainfall.

Background

  • Quantitatively the 2020 monsoon seasonal rainfall during 1 June to 30 Sept. 2020 has been 95.4 centimetres against long period average of 87.7 cm based on data of 1961-2010 (109% of its Long Period Average).
  • The monsoon season in India officially starts on June 1 and lasts till Sept. 30.

Highlights

  • The southwest monsoon delivers about 70% of the country's annual rainfall, critical for the agriculture sector that accounts for about 14% of India's GDP and employs more than half of the country's 1.3 billion population.
  • Good rains have boosted sowing of the kharif crops which farmers have sown in record 1,116.88 lakh hectares till last week as compared to 1,066.06 lakh hectares a year ago, according to the Agriculture Ministry's data.
  • The India Meteorological Department has four meteorological divisions. Of the four, the east and northeast India, central India and south India have received above normal rainfall.
  • The northwest India division has recorded deficient rainfall.
  • Nineteen states and union territories have received normal rainfall this year, while nine states and union territories saw excess rainfall.
  • Bihar, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Goa, Andhra Pradesh Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Lakshdweep islands have recorded above normal rainfall. Sikkim recorded large excess rainfall.
  • However, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir have recorded deficiency.
  • Ladakh has recorded large deficiency.

Source: AIR News.

Chemicals minister launches home delivery of fertilisers for Andhra farmers

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.


Context

  • Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister D V Sadananda Gowda  launched the home delivery facility of fertilisers for farmers in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Gowda launched POS 3.1 software, SMS Gateway and home delivery facility of fertilisers for farmers in Andhra Pradesh, an official statement said.

Background

  • The minister said the DBT (direct benefits transfer) system was launched on March 1, 2018, on a pan-India basis that has been working well.
  • The fertiliser department has successfully implemented a complex system of end-to-end computerisation of movement of fertiliser in the entire country.

Highlights

  • The system enables to monitor availability of fertiliser on a real-time basis at state, district and at the retail outlet.
  • The entire fertiliser subsidy for the last two years has been disbursed through this system, the statement said.
  • Andhra Pradesh is the only state which has launched such a unique initiative.
  • Under the POS 3.1 version, keeping in view of prevailing pandemic condition, contactless one-time password (OTP)-based authentication option has been introduced.
  • Farmer will be able to purchase fertiliser without touching finger print sensor.
  • SMS Gateway will periodically send SMS to farmer about availability of fertiliser at retail outlet from where he last purchased the fertiliser.
  • He will also be able to get information about availability of fertiliser at any retail outlet by sending retailer ID to Mobile No. 7738299899.
  • Further on purchase of fertiliser, SMS will be sent to his mobile indicating the quantity purchased and amount paid by him.
  • Under an initiative of home delivery of fertilisers in Andhra Pradesh, the state government has launched 10,641 Rythu Bharosa Kendralu (RBKs) in all gram panchayats to provide farmers with quality inputs and allied services.
  • Under these systems, farmers after biometric authentication can order fertilizers from RBK (Rythu Bharosa Kendra) in their village and fertiliser will be delivered at their door step.

Source: Business Standard.

Giriraj Singh releases booklet on Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana

Focus: GS3.                                

Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.


Context

  • Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Giriraj Singh  released a booklet on Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) that will guide beneficiaries and other stakeholders about the scheme.
  • Singh released the 2nd edition of the newsletter Matsya Sampada and the booklet on PMMSY which provides a comprehensive outline of the different components/activities of the PMMSY scheme and modalities of submission of the proposals, an official statement said.

Background

  • This booklet will act as an all-inclusive guide to all the beneficiaries and stakeholders in assisting them in knowing the modalities of availing the benefits from the PMMSY.
  • It will also serve as an indispensable tool to the beneficiaries in knowing about different activities of the PMMSY.

Highlights

  • The PMMSY scheme aims to enhance fish production to 220 lakh tons by 2024-25.
  • The ambitious scheme will result in doubling export earnings to Rs.1,00,000 crore and generate about 55 lakh direct and indirect employment opportunities in fisheries sector over a period of next five years, the statement said.

Source: PIB.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements wrt Sports Authority of India:
  • The Sports Authority of India (SAI) was established in 1984.
  • Its Headquarters is in Mumbai.
  • It is under the Department of Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

    A. 1 and 2 only
    B. 2 and 3 only
    C. 1 and 3 only
    D. AOTA

Solution: C

  • Its Headquarters is in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Delhi).

  1. BrahMos is a:

     A. Subsonic Missile
     B. Supersonic Missile
     C. Hypersonic Missile
     D. Anti Tank Missile

Solution: B

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