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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 28 July 2020

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 in 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.

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Hurricane Hanna hits Texas.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA).

2. Scheme for promotion of Bulk Drug Parks.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020 (SOFI 2020).

2. Why is spyware, stalkerware gaining traction during the pandemic?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Blue poppy.

2. ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ contest.

3. Mobile App “Mausam”.

4. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

5. Tuting-Tidding Suture Zone (TTSZ).

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

Hurricane Hanna hits Texas:

Hurricane Hanna has made landfall recently near Texas.

  • It is expected to produce heavy rains across portions of southern Texas and northeastern Mexico.

What Are Hurricanes?

Hurricanes are large, swirling storms. They produce winds of 119 kilometers per hour (74 mph) or higher. 

They form over warm ocean waters. 

What Are the Parts of a Hurricane?

Eye: The eye is the “hole” at the center of the storm. Winds are light in this area. Skies are partly cloudy, and sometimes even clear.

Eye wall: The eye wall is a ring of thunderstorms. These storms swirl around the eye. The wall is where winds are strongest and rain is heaviest.

Rain bands: Bands of clouds and rain go far out from a hurricane’s eye wall. These bands stretch for hundreds of miles. They contain thunderstorms and sometimes tornadoes.

rain_bands

How Does a Storm Become a Hurricane?

A hurricane starts out as a tropical disturbance. This is an area over warm ocean waters where rain clouds are building.

  1. A tropical disturbance sometimes grows into a tropical depression. This is an area of rotating thunderstorms with winds of 62 km/hr (38 mph) or less.
  2. A tropical depression becomes a tropical storm if its winds reach 63 km/hr (39 mph).
  3. A tropical storm becomes a hurricane if its winds reach 119 km/hr (74 mph).

What Makes Hurricanes Form?

  1. Warm ocean waters provide the energy a storm needs to become a hurricane. Usually, the surface water temperature must be 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher for a hurricane to form.
  2. Winds that don’t change much in speed or direction as they go up in the sky. Winds that change a lot with height can rip storms apart.

rain_bands

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Factors responsible for the genesis of hurricanes.
  2. Naming of cyclones/hurricanes in various regions of the world.
  3. Why more cyclones in Eastern coast of India?
  4. What is Coriolis force?
  5. What is latent heat of condensation?

Mains Link:

Discuss the factors responsible for the formation of tropical cyclones.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Issues related to education.

Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA):

Context:

TRIFED has entered into a partnership with IIT Delhi for the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA).

  • Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) functions under the Tribal Affairs Ministry.

 Significance of the move:

With the partnership with IIT Delhi and ‘Unnat Bharat Abhiyan’, the tribal forest dwellers engaged in Minor Forest Produce will get exposure to newer processing technologies, product innovation, mentorship, transformational digital systems and handholding.

About UBA:

  • It is a flagship program of the Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD).
  • It aims to link the Higher Education Institutions with a set of at least (5) villages,so that these institutions can contribute to the economic and social betterment of these village communities using their knowledge base.
  • Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0 (UBA 2.0) is the upgraded version of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 1.0. UBA 2.0 was launched in 2018. The scheme is extended to all educational institutes; however under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0 participating institutes are selected based on the fulfillment of certain criteria.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Unnat Bharat Abhiyaan is related to?
  2. Participants in the scheme.
  3. When was it started?
  4. Unique features of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0.
  5. Implementing Ministry.

Mains Link:

Write a note Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: 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.

Scheme for promotion of Bulk Drug Parks:

Launched by the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers in line with the vision and clarion call for making India Atma Nirbhar in the pharma sector. 

Scheme for promotion of Bulk Drug Parks: 

  • The scheme envisages creation of 3 bulk drug parks in the country. 
  • The grant-in-aid will be 90% of the project cost in case of North-East and hilly States and 70% in case of other States.
  • Funding: Maximum grant-in-aid for one bulk drug park is limited to Rs.1000 crore.

Need of the Scheme:

Despite being 3rd largest in the world by volume the Indian pharmaceutical industry is significantly dependent on import of basic raw materials, viz., Bulk Drugs that are used to produce medicines. In some specific bulk drugs the import dependence is 80 to 100%.

  • The scheme is expected to reduce manufacturing cost of bulk drugs in the country and dependency on other countries for bulk drugs.
  • The scheme will also help in providing continuous supply of drugs and ensure delivery of affordable healthcare to the citizens.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key features of the scheme mentioned above.
  2. Funding.
  3. Targets.
  4. What are active pharmaceutical ingredients?
  5. APIs in fixed- dose vs single- dose drug combinations.
  6. What are excipients in Medicine?

Sources: pib.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Issues of buffer stocks and food security.

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020 (SOFI 2020):

InstaFact:

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World is an annual flagship report jointly prepared by:

  1. Food and Agriculture Organization.
  2. International Fund for Agricultural Development.
  3. United Nations Children’s Fund.
  4. World Food Programme.
  5. World Health Organization.

Objective of the report: To inform on progress towards ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition and to provide in depth analysis on key challenges for achieving this goal in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Context:

The latest edition (SOFI 2020) was released on July 13th.

  • A new feature of SOFI 2020 is a detailed analysis of the “cost and affordability of healthy diets around the world”.

India-specific observations:

  1. Hundreds of millions of people in India above the international poverty line of $1.90 purchasing power parity (PPP) per person per day cannot afford a healthy or nutritious diet.
  2. This analysis confirms the fact that the problem of poor nutrition in India is largely on account of the unaffordability of good diets, and not on account of lack of information on nutrition or tastes or cultural preferences.
  3. Those we officially count as poor in India – with a cut-off that is lower than the international norm of $1.9 a day – cannot afford a nutrient-adequate diet let alone a healthy diet.
  4. Overall, the report estimates that 18% of South Asians (numbering 586 million people) cannot afford the nutrient-adequate diet and 58% of South Asians (1,337 million people) cannot afford the healthy diet.

Concerns for India:

The number of people who cannot afford a healthy diet have risen in the last three months, as employment and incomes collapsed for the majority of workers in the informal sector.

Need of the hour:

  1. Redefine poverty line: The Indian poverty line of 2011-12, as defined by the Tendulkar Committee, amounted to ₹33 per day in urban areas and ₹27 per day in rural areas, and corresponded roughly to $1 a day at international PPP prices.
  2. Affordability: If we want to reduce malnutrition and food insecurity, we have to address the problem of affordability of healthy diets.

Insta Concepts:

Three types of diet are defined:

  1. “Basic energy sufficient” diet: In which the required calorie intake is met by consuming only the cheapest starchy cereal available (say, rice or wheat). A requirement of 2,329 Kcal for a healthy young woman of 30 years is taken as the standard reference.
  2. “Nutrient adequate” diet, one where the required calorie norms and the stipulated requirement of 23 macro- and micro-nutrients are met. This diet includes least cost items from different food groups.
  3. “Healthy diet”: This is one which meets the calorie norm and the macro- and micro-nutrient norm and also allows for consumption of a diverse diet, from several food groups.

Cost of these diets:

  1. energy-sufficient diet- $1.9 a day.
  2. nutrient-adequate diet costs $2.12 a day.
  3. healthy diet costs $4.07 a day.

What constitutes a healthy diet?

It includes 30 gm of cereal, 30 gm of pulses, 50 gm of meat/chicken/fish and 50 gm of eggs, 100 gm of milk, 100 gm of vegetables and fruit each, and 5 gm of oil a day. In short, a balanced and healthy meal but not excessive in any way.

  • The Indian recommendation for a healthy diet includes consumption of items from six groups: starchy staples, protein-rich food (legumes, meat and eggs), dairy, vegetables, fruits, and fats.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. SOFI report is released by?
  2. About International Fund for Agricultural Development.
  3. What is World Food Programme?
  4. Types of diet mentioned above.
  5. International poverty line.
  6. Poverty definition in India.

Mains Link:

The number of people who cannot afford a healthy diet have risen in the last three months in India. Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Cyber security related issues.

Why is spyware, stalkerware gaining traction during the pandemic?

Context:

There was a 51 per cent increase in the use of spyware and stalkerware during the lockdown period from March to June.

What are spy and stalkerware apps?

  • Spy and stalkerware apps, like viruses and other malware, infect devices that are connected to the internet.
  • While viruses and malware can be detected by anti-virus software, spyware and stalkerware apps disguise themselves as useful and send out stolen data to central servers without the knowledge of the users.

How are they installed?

  1. A spyware app can be installed remotely.
  2. A stalkerware app can be installed only when someone has physical access to the digitally connected device. 

What do they do?

A spyware app accesses the data usage pattern of the device, gains access to photos and videos as well as other personal information of the user, and then passes it off to a central server.

A stalkerware app works in a manner similar to spyware apps. It also gives out the location of the device to a master device which controls the stalkerware app.

Most stalkerware apps work in stealth mode with no trace of the app having ever been installed. Once installed, such apps can allow the master device to control, intercept, and even change your emails, text messages and your communication on social media platforms.

Why has the usage of such apps increased during lockdown?

Increased usage of internet by everyone due to various lockdown measures in place. This provides enough opportunities for cyber criminals.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Spyware.
  2. Stalkerware.
  3. Trojan.
  4. Virus.
  5. Worms.
  6. Hoax.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims


Blue poppy:

  • Scientific name: Meconopis acculette.
  • It is considered the Queen of Himalayan Flowers.
  • Found from Kumaon to Kashmir at elevations of 3,000 to 5,000 meters.

Why in News?

A recent study indicated that it is slowly depleting at lower altitudes and rocky moraines.

Not only the Blue Poppy but several other flowering plants, found at very high altitudes, are facing the “climb higher or die” situation due to climate change.

blue_poppy

‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ contest:

It is an open challenge to promote the innovators and startups of the country.

  • The winners will be decided after due evaluation by an expert committee.
  • Award money, up to Rs 10 lakh for startup and Rs five lakh to individual category, will be given to the winners.
  • Launched by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • On the 5th death anniversary of former President and noted scientist Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

Mobile App “Mausam”:

Ministry of Earth Sciences launches Mobile App “Mausam” for Indian Meteorological Department.

  • Users can access observed weather, forecasts, radar images and be proactively warned of impending weather events.
  • The mobile app has been designed and developed jointly by ICRISAT’s Digital Agriculture & Youth (DAY) team, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and India Meteorological Department.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS):

It is the national Standards Body of India working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.

  • It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986.
  • The Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department having administrative control of the BIS is the ex-officio President of the BIS.
  • Composition: As a corporate body, it has 25 members drawn from Central or State Governments, industry, scientific and research institutions, and consumer organisations.

Tuting-Tidding Suture Zone (TTSZ):

TTSZ is a major part of the Eastern Himalaya, where the Himalaya takes a sharp southward bend and connects with the Indo-Burma Range.

According to a recent study, TTSZ is generating moderate earthquakes at two different depths in Arunachal Pradesh.

 

To be covered tomorrow:

1. Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR).

2. Raffle jets.

3. Chinese app ban.


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