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Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 17 October 2019

Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 17 October 2019

Table of contents:


GS Paper 2:

  1. What is a Waqf?
  2. Van Dhan Internship Programme.
  3. Food Safety Mitra (FSM) scheme.
  4. State of the World’s Children report.


GS Paper 3:

  1. 20th Livestock Census.
  2. Project Soli.


Facts for prelims:

  1. ‘Eat Right Jacket’.
  2. ‘Eat Right Jhola’.
  3. GOAL: Digital Skill Training Programme for Tribal Women.
  4. Tulagi Island.



GS Paper 2:


Topics Covered:

  1. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.


In News- What is a Waqf?


What to study?

For Prelims and mains: What is Waqf, compositions and functions.


Context: Sunni Waqf Board has offered to drop its claim to the disputed temple-mosque site in Ayodhya and has no objection to the land being taken over by the government for a Ram Temple, a mediation panel of the Supreme Court has said in its report.


What is a waqf?

Property given in the name of God for religious and charitable purposes.

In legal terms, permanent dedication by a person professing Islam, of any movable or immovable property for any purpose recognised by the Muslim law as pious, religious or charitable.


How is waqf created?

  • A waqf can be formed through a deed or instrument, or a property can be deemed waqf if it has been used for religious or charitable purposes for a long period of time.
  • The proceeds are typically used to finance educational institutions, graveyards, mosques and shelter homes.
  • A person creating the waqf cannot take back the property and the waqf would be a continuing entity.
  • A non-Muslim can also create a waqf but the individual must profess Islam and the objective of creating the waqf has to be Islamic.


How is a waqf governed?

  • Governed by the Waqf Act, 1995.
  • A survey commissioner under the Act lists all properties declared as waqf by making local investigation, summoning witnesses and requisitioning public documents.
  • The waqf is managed by a mutawali, who acts as a supervisor. It is similar to a trust established under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882, but trusts can be set up for a broader purpose than religious and charitable uses. A trust established can also be dissolved by the board unlike a waqf.


What is a Waqf Board?

It is a juristic person with power to acquire and hold property and to transfer any such property.

The board can sue and be sued in a court as it is recognised as a legal entity or juristic person.



Each state has a Waqf Board headed by a chairperson, one or two nominees from the state government, Muslim legislators and parliamentarians, Muslim members of the state Bar Council, recognised scholars of Islamic theology and mutawalis of the waqfs with an annual income of Rs 1 lakh and above.


Powers and functions:

The Waqf Board has powers under the law to administer the property and take measures for the recovery of lost properties of any waqf, to sanction any transfer of immovable property of a waqf by way of sale, gift, mortgage, exchange or lease. However, the sanction shall not be given unless at least two thirds of the members of the Waqf Board vote in favour of such transaction.


Sources: Indian Express.

Topics Covered:

  1. Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.


Van Dhan Internship Programme


What to study?

For Prelims: Van Dhan Vikas Kendras.

For Mains: MFP and its significance.


Context: Van Dhan Internship Programme of TRIFED launched.


Key features of the programme:

  • Organised by TRIFED under Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
  • 18 interns (to be called Minister’s interns) from some of the reputed Institutes of Rural Management/ Management Institutions/ Institutes of Social Work/ Social Services of the country are participating.
  • These Interns will help the tribal population in becoming self reliant and entrepreneurs.
  • They will support the TRIFED activities on livelihood promotion, value addition of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFTs), marketing and credit linkages.
  • They will develop tools and techniques on institutional development including mechanism for determination of a just price or producer price of Minor Forest Products.  


About Van Dhan Vikas Kendras initiative:

The initiative aims to promote MFPs-centric livelihood development of tribal gatherers and artisans.

It mainstreams the tribal community by promoting primary level value addition to MFP at grassroots level.

Significance: Through this initiative, the share of tribals in the value chain of Non-Timber Forest Produce is expected to rise from the present 20% to around 60%.



Implemented through Ministry of Tribal Affairs as Nodal Department at the Central Level and TRIFED as Nodal Agency at the National Level.

At State level, the State Nodal Agency for MFPs and the District collectors are envisaged to implement at grassroot level.

Locally the Kendras are proposed to be managed by a Managing Committee (an SHG) consisting of representatives of Van Dhan SHGs in the cluster.

Composition: As per the plan, TRIFED will facilitate establishment of MFP-led multi-purpose Van Dhan Vikas Kendras, a cluster of 10 SHGs comprising of 30 tribal MFP gatherers each, in the tribal areas.


Significance of MFP:

  • Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a major source of livelihood for tribals living in forest areas. The importance of MFPs for this section of the society can be gauged from the fact that around 100 million forest dwellers depend on MFPs for food, shelter, medicines and cash income.
  • It provides them critical subsistence during the lean seasons, particularly for primitive tribal groups such as hunter gatherers, and the landless. Tribals derive 20-40% of their annual income from MFP on which they spend major portion of their time.
  • This activity has strong linkage to women’s financial empowerment as most of the MFPs are collected and used/sold by women. MFP sector has the potential to create about 10 million workdays annually in the country.


Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

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


Food Safety Mitra (FSM) scheme


What to study?

For Prelims: Key features of the movement, what are TPCs, need for a limit.

For Mains: Significance and the need for staying healthy, government measures to keep the country healthy and raise awareness about it.


Context: Food Safety Mitra (FSM) scheme for strengthening and scaling up ‘Eat Right India’ movement launched.


What is FSM scheme?

A scheme to support small and medium scale food businesses to comply with the food safety laws and facilitate licensing and registration, hygiene ratings and training.


Significance of the scheme:

Apart from strengthening food safety, this scheme would also create new employment opportunities for youth, particularly with food and nutrition background.


How it works?

Food Safety Mitras will be chosen.

They undergo training and certification by FSSAI to do their work and get paid by food businesses for their services.


About Eat Right Movement:

It was launched by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

The movement aims to cut down salt/sugar and oil consumption by 30% in three years.

It also aims to engage and enable citizens to improve their health and well-being by making the right food choices.


Measures in place:

FSSAI has put in place robust regulatory measures under three major pillars: Eat Safe, Eat Health and Eat Sustainably for the programme.

FSSAI has prescribed a limit for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) at 25% in cooking oil to avoid the harmful effects of reused cooking oil.


Significance of the campaign:

The country is in need of a movement on preventive health for all in the backdrop of the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases including diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases, widespread deficiencies of vitamins and minerals and rampant food-borne illnesses.

The Eat Right India movement acts as a crucial preventive healthcare measure to trigger social and behavioural change through a judicious mix of regulatory measures, combined with soft interventions for ensuring awareness and capacity building of food businesses and citizens alike.


Sources: pib.

Topics Covered:

  1. Issues related to health.


State of the World’s Children report


What to study?

For Prelims: Key findings of the report.

For Mains: Concerns and challenges raised, ways to address them.


Context: UNICEF released its State of the World’s Children report for 2019. 

Ranking of countries: The report has ranked countries in the order of ‘highest burden of death among children of under-5’ to the ‘lowest burden of death among children of under-5’. 

The report analyses the global state of children’s health vis-a-vis malnutrition, obesity, anaemia and other health issues.


Key findings:

Global scenario:

  • One in three children under the age of five years — around 200 million children worldwide — are either undernourished or overweight.
  • This puts them at risk of poor brain development, weak learning, low immunity, increased infections and, in many cases, death.
  • It describes a triple burden of malnutrition: Undernutrition, hidden hunger caused by a lack of essential nutrients, and overweight among children under the age of five.


India specific:

  1. In India, every second child is affected by some form of malnutrition.
  2. 35% of Indian children suffer from stunting due to lack of nutrition, 17% suffer from wasting, 33% are underweight and 2% are overweight. 
  3. Among countries in South Asia, India fares the worst (54%) on prevalence of children under five who are either stunted, wasted or overweight. 
  4. It has the highest burden of deaths among children under five per year, with over 8 lakh deaths in 2018.
  5. One in five children under age 5 has vitamin A deficiency, which is a severe health problem in 20 states.
  6. Every second woman in the country is anaemic, as are 40.5% children.
  7. One in ten children are pre-diabetic.
  8. Poverty, urbanisation as well as climate change are some of the factors that are driving poor diet.


Efforts by government recognised:

  1. The report said POSHAN Abhiyaan or the National Nutrition Mission is playing a major role in improving nutrition indicators across India.
  2. The Anaemia Mukt Bharat programme to fight anaemic prevalence has been recognized as one of the best programmes implemented by governments across the world to address malnutrition.
  3. The 6X6X6 strategy (six target beneficiary groups, six interventions and six institutional mechanisms) of the programme has been highlighted for using anaemia testing and treatment as the entry point to provide information on healthy diets.


India’s neighbours:

Afghanistan and Bangladesh have 49% and 46% children under five who are either stunted, wasted or overweight. Sri Lanka and the Maldives are the better performing countries in the region, at 28% and 32%, respectively.


UNICEF has laid out recommendations for nutritious, safe and affordable diets for children across the world: 

  1. Empower families to reduce demand for unhealthy food. 
  2. Incentivize food suppliers to provide healthy, affordable food. 
  3. Create accurate, easy-to-understand labelling.  
  4. Scale up nutrition by protecting water and sanitation systems. 
  5. Collect and analyzing quality date to track progress. 


Sources: the Hindu.



GS Paper 3:


Topics Covered:

  1. economics of animal-rearing.


20th Livestock Census


What to study?

For Prelims: Overview and key findings.

For Mains: Livestock rearing in India- significance, challenges and ways to address them.


Context: Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying releases 20th Livestock Census.

Significance: The Census will prove beneficial not just for policy makers but also for agriculturists, traders, entrepreneurs, dairying industry and masses in general.


key results of the Census:

  1. Total Livestock population is 535.78 million- an increase of 4.6% over Livestock Census-2012.
  2. Total Bovine population (Cattle, Buffalo, Mithun and Yak)-79 Million in 2019- an increase of about 1% over the previous census.
  3. A decline of 6 % in the total Indigenous/ Non-descript cattle population over the previous census.


About livestock census:

  • Conducted periodically since 1919-20.
  • Covers all domesticated animals and its headcounts.


Significance of livestock in poverty alleviation:

  1. Livestock rearing is a key livelihood and risk mitigation strategy for small and marginal farmers, particularly across the rain-fed regions of India.
  2. Share in agricultural gdp: Livestock products comprised 32 per cent of the total value of agriculture and allied activities in 2006-07 which was a noticeable increase from 27 per cent in 1999-2000 and from 1980-81 when it represented 14 per cent of the agricultural gross domestic product.


Why livestock rearing needs special attention?

Livestock rearing at the household level is largely a women-led activity, and therefore income from livestock rearing and decisions related to management of livestock within the household are primarily taken by women.

Livestock rearing, particularly in the rain-fed regions of the country, is also emerging as a key risk mitigation strategy for the poorest. They face increasingly uncertain and erratic weather conditions which negatively impact crop productivity and wage labour in the agriculture sector.


Challenges ahead:

  1. Although livestock products make important contributions to food security and poverty reduction for many low-income rural families, the policy and institutional framework has failed to serve the needs of these poorest households and to get them onto the conveyor belt of development.
  2. A lack of public services in animal health that reach out to the poorest in rural areas and a failure to link small holder livestock keepers to better paying markets.
  3. The institutional and policy frameworks tend to support intensive and commercial livestock rearing, both in the provision of services and also in facilitating access to markets.
  4. Livestock producers, including traditional pastoralists and smallholders, are both victims of natural resource degradation and contributors to it.
  5. Animal health systems have been neglected in many parts and this has led to institutional weaknesses that in turn lead to poor delivery of animal health services and higher risks to livelihoods and human health.


Way ahead:

Livestock wealth is much more equitably distributed than wealth associated with land. Thus, when we think of the goal of inclusive growth, we should not forget that from equity and livelihood perspectives, livestock rearing must be at the centre of the stage in poverty alleviation programmes.


Sources: pib.

Topics Covered:

  1. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


Project Soli


What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key features and significance of the project.


Context: Recently launched Google Pixel 4 uses a radar-based Soli chip to introduce Motion Sense, a feature that provides similar touchless gesture-based controls.


What is Project Soli?

Google announced Project Soli in 2015. Since then, Google’s ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) division has been developing the technology, which can be used in wearables, phones, computers, cars and IoT devices.


What is Google’s Soli chip?

Google’s Soli is a purpose-built chip to track your motion on a microscopic scale.

It uses miniature radar for real-time motion tracking of the human hand; it’s able to track sub-millimetre motion at high speeds with great accuracy.



  • The Soli chip measures just 8mm x 10mm and it incorporates the sensor and antenna array into a single device, meaning it can be used in even the smallest wearables.
  • It has no moving parts, consumes very little energy, isn’t affected by light conditions and works through most materials making it a pretty exciting bit of technology.


How does Google’s Soli chip work?

The Google Soli chip uses radar, so it works by emitting electromagnetic waves with objects within the beam reflecting information back to the antenna.

Information gathered from the reflected signal – things like time delay or frequency changes – give the device information about the interaction. 


Why does India not allow the Soli chip?

The Soli radar chip works on the 60 GHz spectrum frequency as it has the least interference for the kind of minute movements Google wants to track. However, the 60 GHz spectrum is not commercially usable in India.

The 60 GHz band is also known as V-band or WiGig band (Wi-Fi at 60 GHz) using IEEE 802.11ad protocol.


Sources: the Hindu.



Facts for prelims:


‘Eat Right Jacket’:

  • Launched recently by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • These jackets will be used by the field staff.
  • Features: This jacket has a smart design to hold tech devices like tablets/smart phone, a QR code and RFID tag for identification and tracking.
  • Significance: Apart from providing safety to field staff on duty, this would bring in efficiency, professionalism and transparency in food safety administration and bring in a sense of ownership & visibility of FSOs.  


‘Eat Right Jhola’:

  • Launched recently by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • It is a reusable cloth bag shall replace plastic bags for grocery shopping in various retail chains.
  • These cloth bags are being provided on rental basis through a private textile rental service company.


2nd phase of GOAL: Digital Skill Training Programme for Tribal Women:

  • Jointly launched by Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Facebook.
  • Aims at encouraging, inspiring and guiding tribal women from across India to become local level digitally literate leaders.
  • The program will give technical support to the socially and economically marginalized women for their needs to succeed, using the technology they may otherwise have not had access to.


Tulagi Island:

  • It is a part of Solomon Islands.
  • A Chinese company recently signed an agreement to lease this entire island after Beijing recruited the Pacific nation as its latest ally in the strategically important region.
  • Tulagi, an island about two square kilometres (0.8 square miles) with a population of 1,200, is the site of a former Japanese naval base and was the scene of fierce fighting in World War II.