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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 22 November 2018

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 22 November 2018


Paper 1:

Topic: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India, Social empowerment.


Who are the Sentinelese?

What to study?

  • For Prelims: Who are Sentinelese? Where is North Sentinel Island located?
  • For Mains: Threats and challenges faced by tribes in India, how they shall be protected, legal and legislative measures necessary.


Why in News? An American national was killed allegedly by the Sentinelese tribe in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands after he illegally entered the protected zone on November 16.


Who are the Sentinelese?

The Sentinelese are a negrito tribe who live on the North Sentinel Island of the Andamans. The inhabitants are connected to the Jarawa on the basis of physical, as well as linguistic similarities. Their numbers are believed to be less than 150 and as low as 40.

Based on carbon dating of kitchen middens by the Anthropological Survey of India, Sentinelese presence was confirmed in the islands to 2,000 years ago. Genome studies indicate that the Andaman tribes could have been on the islands even 30,000 years ago.


How are they protected?

The Govt. of India issued the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation, 1956 to declare the traditional areas occupied by the tribes as reserves. It prohibited entry of all persons except those with authorisation. Photographing or filming the tribe members is also an offence. The rules were amended later to enhance penalties.

But restricted area permits were relaxed for some islands recently. In a major step earlier this year, the Indian government excluded this island and 28 others in the Union Territory from the Restricted Area Permit or RAP regime till December 31, 2022. The lifting of RAP means foreigners can go to the island without permission from the government.


Why are they said to be vulnerable?

It is said they have made little to no advancement in the over 60,000 years and still live very primitive lives, surviving mainly on fish and coconuts.

  • They are very vulnerable to germs since they have not had contact with the outside world. Even a common flu virus carried by a visitor could wipe out the entire tribe.
  • Since the 1960s, there have been a handful of efforts to reach out to the tribe but all have largely failed. They have repeatedly, aggressively made it clear that they want to be isolated.


What is Restricted Area Permit (RAP) regime?

RAP regime was notified under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963.

  • Under it, foreign nationals are not normally allowed to visit protected or restricted area unless Government is satisfied that there are extra-ordinary reasons to justify their visit.
  • Every foreigner, except citizen of Bhutan, who desires to enter and stay in protected or restricted area, is required to obtain special permit from competent authority having power to issue such permits to foreigner, seeking it.
  • Citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin are exception and are not allowed to enter such areas.


Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2:

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


‘Institution’s Innovation Council (IIC)’Program

What to study?

  • For Prelims: About IIC Program.
  • For Mains: Significance of the programme and the need for promotion of innovation in the country.


Context: The government has launched the ‘Institution’s Innovation Council (IIC) program under Innovation cell of MHRD.


About ‘Institution’s Innovation Council (IIC) program:

  • The purpose of formation of network of Institution’s Innovation Councils (IICs) is to encourage, inspire and nurture young students by exposing them to new ideas and processes resulting in innovative activities in their formative years.
  • The program aims to institutionalize innovation and develop a scientific temperament in the country.
  • More than 1000 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have already formed IICs in their campuses and enrolled for the IIC network managed by MHRD’s Innovation cell to promote innovation through multitudinous modes leading to an innovation promotion eco-system in their campuses.


Way ahead:

The educational advancement in higher education can only be achieved by encouraging best practices in innovation and advance research and Innovation Cell has undertaken many initiatives in this direction such as implementing programs like Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievement (ARIIA), Smart India Hackathon (SIH)- 2019, etc.


Innovation cell:

Ministry of Human Resource Development has established an “Innovation cell” at AICTE with a purpose to systematically foster the culture of Innovation in all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the country.


Sources: pib.

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


e-registration must for jobs in 18 countries

What to study?

  • For Prelims: What is non- ECR status?
  • For Mains: About the new rule, its significance, challenges involved and why it is needed?


Context: Ministry of External Affairs is planning to bring in a rule according to which Passport holders with “non-Emigration Check Required (non-ECR)” status will have to get themselves registered with the Ministry of External Affairs before taking up jobs abroad.

  • The non-ECR category of passengers include Indians paying income tax and those with educational qualification above matriculation.
  • As of now only ECR category passport holders were required to get emigration clearance from the office of the Protector of Emigrants to seek employment abroad.


Key facts:

  • The rule, which takes effect on January 1, is aimed at the welfare of Indians going abroad. It applies to jobs in 18 countries, including the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations, which have the largest number of expats.
  • The objective of the directive is to protect workers with higher educational qualification from not getting into blue collar jobs. Previously only ECR stamped passport holders had to go through the mandatory e-migrate registration since 2015.
  • All those seeking employment will have to register online via the website Those failing to register at least 24 hours prior to actual departure will be off-loaded at the airports.


Indians working abroad- relevant stats:

Statistics available with the Ministry of External Affairs showed that UAE is one of the five top destination countries for Indians taking up employment. Nearly 1.5 lakh Indians had taken up employment in that country last year. This was followed by Saudi Arabia (78,611); Kuwait (56,380); Oman (43,332) and Qatar (24,759).

The job roles were that of mason (52,833); labour (49,490); carpenter (41,588); helper (23,6700; and electrician (17,703). Incidentally Uttar Pradesh has emerged as the top labour-sending State with 88,450 Indian emigrants registering with the e-migrate system. This was followed by Bihar (69,426); Tamil Nadu (38,341); West Bengal (36,599) and Rajasthan (32,184).

The other countries where registration is required are Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand and Yemen.


Sources: the hindu.

Paper 3:

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life, nanotechnology and biotechnology.


ICMR releases guidelines for antibiotics’ judicious use


What to study?

  • For Prelims: About ICMR and what is antimicrobial resistance?
  • For Mains: AMR- concerns, vulnerability, measures in place and global efforts needed in this regard.


Context: To ensure judicious use of antibiotics in healthcare facilities, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has released Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines to advise hospitals in setting up Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes (AMSP) for the purpose.


Need for AMSP:

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major public health challenge, and with very few new antibiotics in the pipeline, it is important to use the existing drugs judiciously. Since inappropriate use of antibiotics is rampant in India, there is an urgent need to improve antibiotic use in hospitals, which can be achieved through implementation of good AMS programmes.


The guidelines and their significance:

  • These guidelines provide guidance for setting up structure and processes of Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes in healthcare institutions.
  • It will help discuss essential elements of antimicrobial stewardship, diagnostic stewardship besides providing information on tools that can be used to measure progress.


What is Antimicrobial resistance and why is it on rise?

  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major public health challenge, which is recognised as high priority area by the government. The increasing consumption of antibiotics is one of the key drivers of antimicrobial resistance seen in bugs.
  • Irrational prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics, poor regulations around sale of antibiotics, self-medication, lack of education and awareness regarding responsible use of antibiotics have been identified as some of the key factors driving antimicrobial resistance in our country.
  • The National Health Policy, 2017, terms antimicrobial resistance as one of the key healthcare issues and prioritises development of guidelines regarding antibiotic use, limiting over-the-counter use of antibiotics and restricting the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in livestock.


Sources: the hindu.

Topic: Conservation related issues.


Global Stocktake


What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: What is COP and Global Stocktake?- features and significance, role of developed countries in assisting developing countries in environmental protection, BASIC Nations and their significance.


Context: Ahead of the UN climate conference in Poland next month, the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) group recently met to put pressure on developed countries to meet pre-2020 climate efforts, and to “progressively” and “substantially” scale up their financial support for future action.

  • The group, through a joint statement, urged developed countries to take urgent actions to close the pre-2020 implementation gaps by 2023 which they said can be a useful input for the first Global Stocktake (GST) — which they said should be conducted in light of equity and the best available science.


What is Global Stocktake?

‘Global stocktake’ refers to a proposed five-yearly review of the impact of countries’ climate change actions.

Under the Paris Agreement, every country must present a climate action plan in five-yearly cycles. It is supposed to be similar to the plan countries submitted in the run-up to the talks that concluded last week.

Under the Paris Agreement, the first global stocktake will happen in 2023. It will assess whether the net result of the climate actions being taken was consistent with the goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature from pre-industrial times to within 2 degree Celsius. The stocktake will help the world determine whether it needs to do more — and how much more.


What it covers?

While every country is required to participate in the global stocktake, the exercise will not assess whether actions of any individual country are adequate or not. It will only make an assessment of the “collective” efforts of the world. That is because the climate actions are supposed to be “nationally determined”, and nations have problems over being told by others what they should do. The stocktake will not go into who should do how much — and will rather focus on what needs to be done.

In accordance with the demands of developing countries, the stocktake will cover not only the results of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but of actions being taken to adapt to the effects of climate change as well. It will also include an assessment of whether developed countries are offering adequate help to developing countries by providing money and technology, as mandated by the Paris Agreement.


About BASIC Nations:

BASIC countries are bloc (geopolitical alliance) of four large newly industrialized countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China. It was formed by agreement in November 2009. They were committed to act jointly at Copenhagen climate summit 2009, including possible united walk-out if their common minimum position was not met by developed nations during climate talks.


Sources: the hindu.

Topic: Awareness in space.


International Space Station

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: All about ISS, its significance and accomplishments.


Context: The International Space Station (ISS) turned 20 years old on November 20, 2018.

  • On this day in 1998, aerospace engineers from Russia and the United States celebrated the lift-off of the Russia-built, US-funded unit Zarya (“sunrise”) as it took off from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome.


What Is the International Space Station?

The International Space Station is a large spacecraft in orbit around Earth. It serves as a home where crews of astronauts and cosmonauts live. The space station is also a unique science laboratory. Several nations worked together to build and use the space station. The space station is made of parts that were assembled in space by astronauts. It orbits Earth at an average altitude of approximately 250 miles. It travels at 17,500 mph. This means it orbits Earth every 90 minutes. NASA is using the space station to learn more about living and working in space. These lessons will make it possible to send humans farther into space than ever before.


How Old Is the Space Station?

  • The first piece of the International Space Station was launched in November 1998. A Russian rocket launched the Russian Zarya (zar EE uh) control module. About two weeks later, the space shuttle Endeavour met Zarya in orbit. The space shuttle was carrying the U.S. Unity node. The crew attached the Unity node to Zarya.
  • More pieces were added over the next two years before the station was ready for people to live there. The first crew arrived on November 2, 2000. People have lived on the space station ever since. More pieces have been added over time. NASA and its partners from around the world completed construction of the space station in 2011.


How Big Is the Space Station?

The space station has the volume of a five-bedroom house or two Boeing 747 jetliners. It is able to support a crew of six people, plus visitors. On Earth, the space station would weigh almost a million pounds. Measured from the edges of its solar arrays, the station covers the area of a football field including the end zones. It includes laboratory modules from the United States, Russia, Japan and Europe.

Why Is the Space Station Important?

  • The space station has made it possible for people to have an ongoing presence in space. Human beings have been living in space every day since the first crew arrived. The space station’s laboratories allow crew members to do research that could not be done anywhere else. This scientific research benefits people on Earth.
  • Space research is even used in everyday life. The results are products called “spinoffs.” Scientists also study what happens to the body when people live in microgravity for a long time. NASA and its partners have learned how to keep a spacecraft working well. All of these lessons will be important for future space exploration.
  • NASA currently is working on a plan to explore other worlds. The space station is one of the first steps. NASA will use lessons learned on the space station to prepare for human missions that reach farther into space than ever before.


Key facts:

  • ISS is the ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, following the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mir stations as well as Skylab from the US.
  • The ISS programme is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA.
  • The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. The station is divided into two sections, the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by many nations.


Sources: the hindu.