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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 09 August 2016




Insights Daily Current Affairs, 09 August 2016


Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


MAA– a programme to promote breastfeeding


Government has launched National Breastfeeding Promotion ProgrammeMAA (mothers’ absolute affection) to ensure adequate awareness is generated among masses, especially mothers, on the benefits of breastfeeding.


  • The goal of the Programme is to enhance optimal breastfeeding practices, which includes initiation of breastfeeding within an hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and continued breastfeeding for at least two years.
  • The government will train nurses in government hospitals, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA), Auxiliary Nurse Mid-wives (ANM) to provide relevant information and counselling support to mothers for breastfeeding.
  • Monitoring and impact assessment is also an integral part of MAA programme. Progress will be measured against key indicators, such as availability of skilled persons at ground for counselling, improvement in breastfeeding practices and number of accredited health facilities.
  • Dedicated funds— Rs 4.3 lakhs per district, have been allocated to states for the programme, which is in addition to the funds approved under National Health Mission’s annual project implementation plans.
  • To ensure effective roll-out of the programme ministry of health has established MAA secretariat and a steering committee will be created in all states and at the district level.
  • The programme will be monitored by UNICEF and other partners. Unicef has roped in actor Madhuri Dixit as brand ambassador to promote breastfeeding.

Importance of breast feeding:

  • 13%: children die below 5 yrs of age, owing to poor breastfeeding practices.
  • 823 000: child deaths can be averted every year.
  • 1,56,000: child deaths could be reduced in India with breastfeeding.breastfeeding benefits
  • 4 million: respiratory infection episodes can be reduced.
  • 9 million: Diarrhoea episodes can be reduced.
  • 15 times: children are more likely to die of pneumonia who are not breastfed.
  • 11 times: children are more likely to die of diarrhea.
  • 20,000: mothers’ deaths due to breast cancer can be averted globally f mothers breastfeed for more than a year.
  • 3 to 4 points: Increase in IQ, depending on the duration of breastfeeding.

Indian Scenario:

  • 7%: deliveries take place in hospitals.
  • 6%: children receive breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  • 9%: exclusively breastfed for the first six months.
  • 5%: children between 6-8 months given complementary foods.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.


Ponzi schemes not under our purview: SEBI


The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has denied any regulatory purview over ponzi schemes, squarely placing the responsibility of protecting investors on State governments.


This was clarified by the SEBI while responding to the Supreme Court’s poser as to what the government and the market regulator were doing to check the “menace” of schemes running across the country in various forms which robbed the poor and small investors of their hard-earned money.

What has the SEBI said?

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Ponzi schemes are banned under the Prize Chit and Money Circulation (Banning) Act, 1978 and the State government concerned is the enforcement agency. Though it is a Central Act, the respective State governments are the enforcement agency of this law.

What are Ponzi Schemes?

A Ponzi can be any scheme in which the returns to promised to older investors are paid from the money collected from new investors, and not actual profits from the investments. Ponzi schemes were named after Charles Ponzi, a clerk in Boston who, almost a century ago, duped thousands of investors into speculating on phenomenal returns from the humble postage stamp.

  • Those running a Ponzi scheme reel in their first set of investors by introducing them to a great opportunity. They may even pay up the fanciful returns out of their personal funds. But once investors begin to bite, they build a house of cards, using money from the stream of new entrants, to pay the older patrons.
  • Even if profits are made from the investments, more often than not, the scheme operators siphon it off to private accounts. As long as new investors are willing to sign up, the Ponzi scheme works. But when the flow of fresh money dwindles, the house of cards collapses.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Madras HC disposes of pleas challenging classical status to Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam


Madras High Court has disposed of a batch of public interest litigation petitions which challenged the classical language status accorded to Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Odia.

What has the court said?

The court has made it clear that only experts can verify whether the languages satisfy the norms set for according the classical status. Also, the court could not be converted into a forum for debate on such matters. If the petitioner still felt that the particulars furnished by the respective States would not satisfy the criteria, the court said: “It is open to them to approach the authorities. Similarly, they can also give suggestions for determination of the type of literature that can be the benchmark for qualification for consideration to the concerned authorities.”

Classical languages:

In 2004, the Government of India declared that languages that met certain requirements could be accorded the status of a “Classical Language in India”. Languages so far declared to be Classical are Tamil, Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, and Odia.

Criteria to determine the eligibility of languages to be considered for classification as a “Classical Language”:

  1. High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500–2000 years.
  2. A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers.
  3. The literary tradition should be original and not borrowed from another speech community.
  4. The classical language and literature being distinct from modern, there may also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or its offshoots.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.


Saudi King orders resolution of foreign workers’ issues


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered authorities to address “once and for all” the grievances of distressed foreign workers, especially Indians and the Filipinos, stranded in the Kingdom after not being paid for months.

  • The king has ordered the authorities to oblige companies who have contracts with the government to pay the salaries of their employees in accordance with the government’s Wage Protection Programme.

Background:current affairs

The King’s directives come amid increasing complaints by workers that they have not been paid their salaries for months. Mainly affected are India and Philippines communities. Currently, a total of 7,700 affected Indian workers are living in 20 camps in the country and the Indian embassy is in the process of collecting information about others residing in different parts of Saudi Arabia.

What is the issue?

The Saudi government was forced to cut its spending last year on the back of plummeting oil prices. As a result, it created pressure on the financials of local construction companies. Such firms employ foreign workers and rely on state contracts. The resultant strain on the firms led to nearly 10,000 workers being laid off, and left them with no money to even eat food. More than 2,500 Indians are said to be living in labour camps with no food for the past 10 days.

What has the Indian government done?

The government has announced that it will be evacuating all the workers that are stuck there and bring them back home. Indian Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh also visited Saudi Arabia to resolve the issue. The citizens are likely to be evacuated by airlifting them. The Centre will also be urging authorities in Saudi Arabia to help with exit visas and release the arrears of Indian workers as well.

A Crisis Management Group has also been set up by the Ministry of Labour to settle all issues related to Indian workers. The Saudi government will soon be appointing a lawyer and the exact procedure regarding the issue of salary and other dues pending to the Indian workers there will be established in the next 2-3 days.

Sources: the hindu.


Facts for Prelims:

  • The seventh India-Japan International Conference on ‘Science and Technology: Future Challenges and Solutions’, was recently held in Mysore, Karnataka.


  • Global Green Award: Dr. Dhrubajyoti Ghosh has received the Luc Hoffman award, one of the highest international awards in environmental leadership. Dr. Ghosh was involved in mapping East Kolkata
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    Dr. Dhrubajyoti Ghosh

    Wetlands and calculating its economic value. He is the first Indian environmental activist to receive the Luc Hoffman award.


  • Mission Bhagiratha: PM Modi recently inaugurated a massive 40,000-crore Telangana state water grid ‘Mission Bhagiratha’. It aims to provide safe drinking water through a pipeline. The objective is to provide 100 liters of clean drinking water per person in rural households and 150 liters per person in urban households. This project aims to provide water to about 25,000 rural habitations and 67 urban habitations.


  • New Gujarat CM: Vijay Rupani has sworn in as the 16th Chief Minister of Gujarat after Anandiben Patel who resigned recently.


  • TWRIS: Telangana Irrigation Department has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Space Research Organisation for setting up a Telangana Water Resources Information System (TWRIS) on the ‘Bhuvan’ web portal. The objective is to capture every field-level irrigation network including dams/barrages, anicuts, main and field channels, etc. and mark every irrigation structure on satellite visualisation tool Bhuvan (similar to Google Earth).


  • Tiantong-01: China has successfully launched its first satellite for mobile telecommunication, Tiantong-01. It is the first satellite of China’s homemade satellite mobile telecom system, and a key part of the country’s space information infrastructure.


  • Sachet: The RBI, in line with its efforts to curb illegal and unauthorised pooling of funds by unscrupulous firms, has launched a website – Sachet. The step aims at helping people get information about legalised entities, who are allowed to collect public deposits/ provide investment management services, entities barred from doing so, besides receiving on-the-ground information on illegal entities.