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[Mission 2024] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 15 August 2023

 

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 ina 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

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

  1. The NMC Registered Medical Practitioner (professional conduct) Regulations 2023
  2. Scheduled Caste (SC) status for Dalit Christians

 

GS Paper 3:

  1. Drought Declaration Norms

 

GS Paper 4:

  1. Example of Ethics: Chef Pillai

 

Content for Mains Enrichment

  1. Telangana on track to become a leader in AI
  2. Graphene-Aurora Program

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Matangini Hazra and Kanaklata Barua
  2. Kirti Chakras and Shaurya Chakras
  3. Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA) scheme
  4. Remittances to India
  5. NCCF and NAFED
  6. Metagenome sequencing

 

Mapping 

  1. Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary (Maharashtra)

 


 

The NMC Registered Medical Practitioner (professional conduct) Regulations 2023

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Government Policies and Interventions

 

Source: IE, IE

 Context: The National Medical Commission (NMC) has issued comprehensive guidelines for the professional conduct of registered doctors in India under The NMC Registered Medical Practitioner (professional conduct) Regulations 2023

 

Some key points from the guidelines include:

AspectGuidelines
Use of Social MediaDoctors can use social media for providing information or announcements
The information must be verifiable and not misleading.
The guideline warns against soliciting patients through social media
Prohibited: discussing patient treatment specifics, and sharing patient scans online. Patient privacy must be maintained
Advised to follow decorum when interacting online
Prescription PracticesDoctors required to prescribe generic medicines
Exceptions for cases requiring specific brand names due to narrow therapeutic index or exceptional situations
Encouraged to educate patients about the equivalence of generic and branded medicines
Right to Refuse TreatmentDoctors have the right to refuse treatment for abusive, unruly, or violent patients and relatives
Must not refuse treatment in medical emergencies
Prohibited from discrimination based on various grounds.
Continuous Professional DevelopmentDoctors mandated to undergo continuous learning throughout active years
Accumulate 30 credit points in relevant fields every five years
Annual sessions of at least three credits (ideally six)
No more than 50% of training online
Professional ConductDoctors prohibited from participating in conferences, CPD sessions sponsored by pharmaceutical companies
Each Doctor shall display the unique registration ID assigned to them in prescriptions, certificates, and money receipts given to patients.
Doctors cannot be involved in fee splitting, commission from diagnostic services, endorsement of a product or person, operating an open to all medical stores, etc
Prohibited from receiving gifts, hospitality, or monetary benefits from pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, or corporate hospitals.
Disciplinary actionFive levels of disciplinary actions ranging from warning to permanent debar from practice for RMP

 

Issues with the guidelines:

Related to Generic Medicines:

  • Quality of Generic Medicines: Doctors express concerns about the quality of generic medicines available
  • Limited Availability of Generic Medicines: The availability of these medicines in pharmacies is limited due to low-profit margins.
  • Ineffectiveness of Generic Substitutes: Since the quality of generic medicines can vary across companies, prescribing generics without standardized quality control might lead to ineffective treatments.
  • Loss of Doctor’s Choice: Doctors might lose the ability to prescribe the best-suited medication for a patient, considering their medical history and specific needs.

 

Other issues:

  • Consultation Fees Disclosure: While doctors must disclose consultation fees upfront, estimating surgical or treatment costs accurately might be challenging.
  • CPD Implementation: The requirement for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) might burden doctors with additional training
  • Sponsorship Restrictions: The prohibition of pharmaceutical industry sponsorship for conferences and educational activities could limit the availability of educational opportunities for doctors.
  • Patient Privacy: Balancing social media use with patient privacy might be complex, as even images posted online can be owned by social media companies or the public.

 

What are Generic medicines?

They are pharmaceutical products that are equivalent to brand-name drugs in terms of active ingredients, dosage, strength, route of administration, quality, and intended use. Generic medicines provide cost-effective alternatives to branded drugs while maintaining the same therapeutic effects.

 

Examples of generic medicines include:

  • Paracetamol: Generic version of the brand-name drug Tylenol.
  • Amlodipine: Generic version of the brand-name drug Norvasc.

 

About National Medical Commission (NMC): 

Establishment: Enacted through the National Medical Commission Act of 2019.

 Responsibilities: Overseeing all aspects of medical education, practice, and institutions.

 

Boards within NMC:

  • Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB)
  • Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB)
  • Medical Assessment and Rating Board
  • Ethics and Medical Registration Board

 

Composition: Consists of 25 members, including the Chairperson, Presidents of Postgraduate Medical Education Boards, Presidents of Undergraduate Medical Education Boards, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and Director General of Health Services.

 

Insta Links:

Sansad TV: Bills and Acts- National Medical Commission Act

Scheduled Caste (SC) status for Dalit Christians

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Government Policies and Interventions

 

Source: TH

 Context: The Union Government established a commission, led by former Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, to explore the possibility of granting Scheduled Caste (SC) status to Dalit Christians.

  • The Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a resolution to amend the 1950 Presidential (SC) order to include them.
  • The Justice Ranganath Misra Commission (2007) and studies by Deshpande and Bapna (2008) favoured extending reservation benefits to Dalit Christians.

 

Hindu Dalits converted to Christianity to escape caste-based discrimination but haven’t achieved the expected equality due to lingering social hierarchies. The article highlights the need to recognize the unique struggles of Dalit Christians through the “Theory of Intersectionality,” which considers multiple forms of oppression like race, gender, and religion intersecting.

 

The term “Dalit Christians” reflects a distinct identity, challenging the misconception that conversion erases caste discrimination. The legal framework’s focus on single-axis categorization has led to exclusion, and amending the SC list through the 1950 order is proposed as a solution.

Constitutional ProvisionsDescription
Article 15(4)Special provisions for the advancement of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
Article 16(4A)Provides for reservation in promotion to certain posts in favour of SCs/STs where they are underrepresented.
Article 17Abolishes Untouchability, ensuring the elimination of caste-based discrimination.
Article 46Mandates the State to promote the educational and economic interests of weaker sections, particularly SCs and STs, and protect them from social injustice and exploitation.
Article 335Requires considering the claims of SCs and STs in appointments to services and posts, balancing with administrative efficiency.
Article 330 and Article 332Reserves seats in the House of the People (Parliament) and legislative assemblies of States respectively for SCs and STs.
Part IX and Part IXA of the ConstitutionEnvisages and provides reservations for SCs and STs in local bodies (Panchayats and Municipalities).
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Who is included in the Constitution Order of 1950?

  • When enacted, the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order of 1950, initially provided for recognising only Hindus (with exceptions) as SCs, to address the social disability arising out of the practice of untouchability.
  • The Order was amended in 1956 to include Dalits who had converted to Sikhism (in entirety) and once more in 1990 to include Dalits who had converted to Buddhism. Both amendments were aided by the reports of the Kaka Kalelkar Commission in 1955 and the High-Powered Panel (HPP) on Minorities, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in 1983 respectively.
  • The Union government in 2019 rejected the possibility of including Dalit Christians as members of SCs, rooting the exclusion on an Imperial Order of 1936 of the then colonial government, which had first classified a list of the Depressed Classes and specifically excluded “Indian Christians” from it.

  

Why are Dalit Christians excluded?

  • The Office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) had cautioned the government that SC status is meant for communities suffering from social disabilities arising out of the practice of untouchability, which it noted was prevalent in Hindu and Sikh communities.
  • It also noted that such a move would significantly swell the population of SCs across the country.
  • In 2001, RGI referred to a 1978 note and added that like Dalit Buddhists, Dalits who converted to Islam or Christianity belonged to different sets of caste groups and not just one, as a result of which they cannot be categorised as a “single ethnic group”, which is required by Clause (2) of Article 341 for inclusion.

  

Insta Links:

Scheduled Caste

Example of Ethics: Chef Pillai

GS Paper 4

 Syllabus: Ethics in Human Lives

 

Source: IE

 Context: Award-winning Famous Chef Suresh Pillai recently shared a heartwarming story that highlights the ethical aspect of compassion and assistance.

In a viral post, the Chef recounted how his team helped relocate the family members of one of their employees from conflict-ridden Manipur to Kerala. The employee, Susmitha, was visibly distressed due to her family’s situation back in Manipur.

Chef Pillai and his team took action, bringing Susmitha’s mother and sister to Kochi, providing them with accommodation, and even assisting them in finding jobs at the restaurant.

Despite the language barrier, the family members quickly adapted to their roles, showcasing their dedication and resilience.

This story demonstrates the importance of empathy and support for employees’ personal challenges, reflecting Chef Pillai’s caring nature and ethical responsibility towards his team. Netizens praised his compassionate actions, hailing him as a “wonderful soul.”

Drought Declaration Norms

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Disaster management

 

Source: DTE

 Context: Amid an extended dry period of monsoon rain, Karnataka has written to the Central government, urging a reevaluation of drought declaration norms.

 

What are Droughts?

Drought is defined as a deficiency in rainfall/precipitation over an extended period, causing adverse impacts on vegetation, animals, and people. There is no single, legally accepted definition of drought in India, with states having their own criteria.

  • 74% of India’s districts are vulnerable to extreme drought situations

 

Process of Drought Declaration in India:

StepsProcess Description
State Governments have the authority to declare drought-affected regions.
1The first step involves examining two mandatory indicators:

·        Rainfall deviation

·        Dry spell

2The second step involves evaluating four impact indicators: agriculture, vegetation indices (remote sensing), soil moisture, and hydrology. States may choose any three of the four impact indicators (one from each) to assess drought intensity and categorize it as severe or moderate.
3If all three chosen impact indicators are in the ‘severe’ category, it indicates severe drought. If two of the three chosen impact indicators are in the ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’ category, it indicates moderate drought.
4After the previous triggers are set off, States conduct a sample survey on the ground to determine the final intensity of drought. Field verification findings determine if the drought is ‘severe’ or ‘moderate’.
5Once the intensity of the drought is determined, the state government issues a notification specifying the geographical extent of the drought-affected area. The notification is valid for six months unless de-notified earlier.

 

Issues with the Drought Declaration process in India:

IssueDescription
One-Size-Fits-All ApproachThe existing norms for drought declaration follow a uniform approach without considering the diverse challenges faced in different agro-climatic regions of the state.
Lack of Local Ecological FactorsThe current criteria do not account for local ecological factors, water availability, and agricultural practices, which vary across regions and impact drought severity.
Inadequate Capturing of DistressThe Manual for Drought Management integrates meteorological, agricultural, and hydrological aspects but fails to adequately address agricultural distress in rural areas.
Rainfall Deficit RecoveryThe manual’s focus on rainfall deficit recovery overlooks the impact of scanty rainfall during the initial sowing season, causing agricultural damage and triggering drought.
Rigid Definition of Dry SpellsThe existing three to four-week dry spell definition does not consider variations in soil type, crop variety, temperatures, and vegetative state that influence crop damage.

 

Suggestions:

  • Karnataka has proposed region-specific criteria that take into account local ecological factors, water availability, and agricultural practices for declaring drought.
  • Redefining dry spells from the current three to four weeks to less than two weeks of consecutive dry spells.
  • Factors such as soil type, crop variety, temperatures, and vegetative state must be considered, as even a two-week dry spell can lead to irreversible crop damage.

 

Conclusion:

There must be a balance between the need for accurate assessments and resource allocation, and the need for a flexible approach to address unique challenges and requirements in different regions within the state.

  

Insta Links:

 

Mains Links:

The interlinking of rivers can provide viable solutions to the multi-dimensional inter-related problems of droughts, floods, and interrupting navigation. Critically examine. (UPSC 2020)

Telangana on track to become a leader in AI

Content for Mains Enrichment

 

Source: TH

A report highlights Telangana’s organized approach to developing and spreading Artificial Intelligence (AI) across various sectors. The report suggests that due to the rapid adoption of AI, Telangana is on track to become a global leader in the AI field, not just within the country but on an international level.

 

  • Telangana AI Mission (T-AIM): Collaborative effort with Nasscom to develop an AI ecosystem.
  • Transformative Projects: AI-driven solutions in agriculture, pension authentication, pothole detection, and more.
  • Generative AI Advancements: Novel content creation across domains.
  • Innovation Ecosystem: Robust research and development fostering AI growth.

 

Usage: The example can be used for an S&T question.

Graphene-Aurora Program

 

Source: PIB

The “Graphene-Aurora Program” was launched by MeitY Maker Village in Kochi, Kerala. This initiative, led by Digital University Kerala, aims to bridge the gap between graphene research and commercialization. The establishment of the India Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (I-GEIC) will play a pivotal role in this effort.

What is Graphene?

Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, forming a two-dimensional structure. It is known for its remarkable properties, including exceptional strength, electrical conductivity, and thermal conductivity.

 

Uses of Graphene:

Graphene’s unique characteristics make it a versatile material with various potential applications across different industries. It is used in electronics for creating faster and more efficient devices, in materials science for reinforcing composites, in energy storage for enhancing battery performance, and in medical fields for drug delivery and biosensors, among other uses.

Usage: The example can be used in the S&T question to show the government programme in the field of Nano Tech/ Graphene development.

Matangini Hazra and Kanaklata Barua

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  

Source: IE 

Context: President Droupadi Murmu, during her address on the eve of Independence Day, paid tribute to women freedom fighters. She mentioned two notable figures:

 

Matangini Hazra: Born in 1869 in a village near Tamluk, West Bengal, she was married at a young age and became widowed by 18. After her husband’s death, she dedicated herself to social causes and became deeply involved in the Nationalist movement, supporting Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals. Hazra participated in various protests, including the Civil Disobedience Movement and the Salt March.

  • During the Quit India Movement in 1942, at the age of 73, she led a large procession of around 6,000 protesters, advocating for the takeover of the Tamluk police station. In the ensuing clash with British authorities, she was shot and killed, becoming a martyr for the cause of Indian independence.

 

Kanaklata Barua: Kanaklata Barua was a young martyr of the Quit India Movement and a symbol of courage and determination. At just 17 years old, she led the Mrityu Bahini, a group of freedom fighters, in an attempt to hoist the Tricolour at the Gohpur police station in Assam on September 20, 1942. Despite her age, she was determined to lead the procession, and her brave efforts left a lasting impact.

  • During the confrontation with the police, she was shot and killed while holding onto the flag. Her sacrifice inspired many during a time when women’s involvement in the freedom struggle was gaining momentum. In 2020, a Coast Guard vessel was named after her as a tribute to her bravery.

These women, Matangini Hazra and Kanaklata Barua exemplified the spirit of India’s struggle for independence and their contributions continue to be honoured and remembered.

Kirti Chakras and Shaurya Chakras

 

Source: TH

 

Context: President Droupadi Murmu has sanctioned 76 gallantry awards for armed forces and Central Armed Police Forces personnel on the eve of India’s 77th Independence Day.

  • Among these, the Kirti Chakra, the second-highest peacetime gallantry award, will be presented to four Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) members who lost their lives during an anti-Naxal operation in Chhattisgarh in April 2021.
  • Additionally, eleven individuals will receive the Shaurya Chakra, the third-highest peacetime gallantry award, including personnel from the Army, Jammu and Kashmir Police, and CRPF.
  • Five of these awardees will be posthumously honoured.

 

The approved awards consist of 54 Sena Medals (Gallantry), three Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry), and four Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry). The President has also granted 30 Mention-in-Despatches to the Army and one to an Air Force personnel, acknowledging their significant contributions in various military operations.

Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA) scheme

 

Source: TH

 Context: Fourteen States and Union Territories, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal, have not yet signed a crucial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Education Ministry to implement the National Education Policy (NEP) as part of the Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA) scheme.

 

Why have states not joined PM-USHA?

PM-USHA scheme mandates that States implement the National Education Policy in order to avail funds worth almost ₹13,000 crore for the next three years. Also, 40% of the fund has to be arranged by States themselves. States argue they don’t have funds for bringing in NEP-related changes.

 

About PM-USHA
RUSA (Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan) Scheme has been renamed as “Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA)” (a Centrally Sponsored Scheme ) in June 2023 in light of National Education Policy
ObjectiveEnhance quality in higher education institutions, ensure compliance with norms and accreditation standards, foster governance and academic reforms, and encourage research and innovation.
FocusPM-USHA aims to transform higher education, ensure quality and equity, and foster innovation, research, and employability in alignment with the National Education Policy.
Key Features·        MERU (Multidisciplinary Education and Research University) Transformation: Rs 100 crore support to each of 35 state universities for multi-disciplinary education and research.

·        Model Degree Colleges establishment

·        Grants for Strengthening Universities

·        Targeting remote, LWE-affected, aspirational, and low Gross Enrollment Ration regions

·        Aid to state government for gender inclusion, equity, and ICT-based employability skills.

What was RUSA?RUSA, as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme launched in October 2013, aimed at providing strategic funding to higher education institutions throughout the country.

Remittances to India

 

Source: FE

Context: Remittances to India surged by 26% to reach approximately $112 billion in FY23, marking a significant increase from the approx $89 billion recorded in FY22.

 

This growth in remittances reflects the heightened demand for Indian professionals globally following the pandemic.

 

What are Remittances?

Remittances are funds sent by migrants to their families and friends in their home countries. They serve as vital income and foreign exchange for numerous developing nations, particularly in South Asia.

  • Private remittances significantly contribute to India’s current account, helping offset the trade deficit that often arises from merchandise trade.
  • Remittances are typically classified as part of the current account in a country’s balance of payments.

 

India’s Status:

  • India has consistently remained the leading global recipient of remittances for several years.
    • This is in contrast with FDI inflows, which were lower at about $71 billion in FY23, down from about $85 billion in FY22
  • The top five recipient countries for remittances in 2022 were India, Mexico, China, the Philippines, and Pakistan
  • The top sources for inward remittances to India in 2020-21 were the
    • USA (over 23%)
    • UAE (18%)
    • UK (about 7%)
    • Singapore (about 6%)
    • Saudi Arabia (about 5%)

 

In January 2023, The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) allowed NRIs living in 10 countries to use UPI using their international mobile numbers, for real-time fund transfers, allowing remittances to be sent and received instantly.

 

Read the CA in PDF format here: 

 


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