Daily Current Affairs – 10-06-2023

    0
    417


    Har Ghar Jal Programme

    Syllabus: GS2/ Government policies & intervention

    In News

    • The World Health Organization (WHO) released a report highlighting benefits of the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ programme in India.

    ‘Har Ghar Jal’ programme:

    • About:The Har Ghar Jal Programme was launched in 2019 under the Jal Jeevan Mission and is impemented by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
    • Objective:The program aims to provide every rural household with a fully functional tap water connection by 2024.
      • A fully functional tap water connection is defined as a household getting at least 55 litres of per capita per day of potable water all through the year. 
    • Significance: The program’s components are aligned with the following Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators –
      • Indicator 6.1.1: proportion of the population using safely managed drinking water services.
      • Indicator 3.9.2: mortality related to unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene.

    Achievements under programme

    • Five States – Goa, Telangana and Haryana, Gujarat and Punjab and three Union Territories — Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Daman Diu & Dadra Nagar Haveli and Puducherry have reported 100% coverage. 
    • Burhanpur district in Madhya Pradesh has become the first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ certified district in the country.

    Findings of WHO report

    • The ‘Har Ghar Jal’ report focuses on diarrheal diseases as they contribute significantly to the overall disease burden related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) issues.
    • Currently about 12.3 crore rural households, or 62%, have piped water connections up from 3.2 crore or about 16.6% from 2019 when the scheme was launched.
    • The report estimates that ensuring safely managed drinking water for all households in the country could avert nearly 400,000 deaths caused by diarrheal diseases.
    • Additionally, this would avoid 14 million DALYs (Disability Adjusted Life Years) from diarrhoea and save around $101 billion.
    • It has saved the time and efforts of women of 66.6 million hours every day that would otherwise have been spent collecting water.
    • Also investing in water and sanitation results in many benefits, including economic, environmental, quality of life, and health. Every dollar invested in sanitation interventions gives a $4.3 return in the form of reduced health care costs.

    DALYs (Disability Adjusted Life Years)

    • DALYs (Disability Adjusted Life Years) represents the loss of the equivalent of one year of full health and are a way to account for the years of life lost due to premature mortality (YLLs) and the years lived with a disability (YLDs),due to prevalent cases of a disease or a health condition, in a population.

    Diarrhoeal disease

    • What is it? Diarrhoea is defined as the passage of three or more loose or liquid stools per day (or more frequent passage than is normal for the individual).It  is usually a symptom of an infection in the intestinal tract, which can be caused by a variety of bacterial, viral and parasitic organisms.
    • Common causes: E.coli,Salmonella (bacteria),Rotavirus(virus),Giardia, Cryptosporidium(parasites).
    • Transmission: Infection is spread through contaminated food or drinking-water, or from person-to-person as a result of poor hygiene.
    • There are three clinical types of diarrhoea:
    1. Acute watery diarrhoea – lasts several hours or days, and includes cholera;
    2. Acute bloody diarrhoea – also called dysentery; and
    3. Persistent diarrhoea – lasts 14 days or longer.
    • Prevention:safe drinking-water, use of improved sanitation and hand washing with soap can reduce disease risk.
    • Treatment:Diarrhoea should be treated with oral rehydration solution (ORS), a solution of clean water, sugar and salt. In addition, zinc tablets and nutrient rich food shortens diarrhoea duration and improves outcomes.

    Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight

    • It was launched in 2014 by the centre with the aim of ‘zero child deaths due to childhood diarrhoea’.
    • During the fortnight health workers visit the households of under five children to increase awareness about the use of ORS and Zinc in diarrhea.

    Source: TH

    Cyclone Biparjoy

    Syllabus: GS1/ Physical Geography

    In News

    • A cyclonic storm “Biporjoy” has developed over the east-central and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
      • The system intensified from depression to deep depression and a cyclonic storm.

    About

    • ‘Biparjoy’ was suggested by Bangladesh and the word means ‘disaster’ or ‘calamity’ in Bengali.
    • It is not rare for cyclones to develop in the Arabian Sea. There are fewer cyclones compared to the Bay of Bengal, but it is not uncommon.
    • Between 1980–2019, Cyclone Gonu in June 2007 — the strongest cyclone in the Arabian Sea
    • June is one of the favorable months for the formation of cyclones in the Arabian Sea.

    How are Cyclones named?

    • The naming of cyclones is done by countries on a rotational basis, following certain existing guidelines.
    • Worldwide, there are six regional specialised meteorological centres (RSMCs) and five regional Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs) mandated for issuing advisories and naming of tropical cyclones.
    • IMD is one of the six RSMCs to provide tropical cyclone and storm surge advisories to 13 member countries under the WMO/Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP) Panel including Bangladesh, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

    Importance for naming tropical cyclones

    • It helps to identify each individual tropical cyclone. 
    • It facilitates disaster risk awareness, preparedness, management and reduction. 
    • Local and international media become focused on the tropical cyclone.
    • It removes confusion where there are multiple cyclonic systems over a region.

    Worldwide terminology

    • Tropical storms are given different names around the world:
      • hurricanes in the US and the Caribbean
      • cyclones in South Asia
      • typhoons in East Asia
      • willy-willies in Australia
    • They all develop in the same way, have the same characteristics and are all tropical storms.

    What is a Cyclone?

    • A cyclone is any low-pressure area with winds spiralling inwards and is caused by atmospheric disturbances around a low-pressure area distinguished by swift and often destructive air circulation. 
    • They originate over oceans in tropical areas and move over to the coastal areas bringing about large scale destruction due to violent winds (squalls)
    • The air circulates inward in an anticlockwise direction in the Northern hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern hemisphere.
    • The amount of pressure drop in the center and the rate at which it increases outwards gives the intensity of the cyclones and the strength of winds.

     

    • The centre of a cyclone is a calm area. It is called the eye of the storm. The diameter of the eye varies from 10 to 30 km. It is a region free of clouds and has light winds.
    • Around this calm and clear eye, there is a cloud region of about 150 km in size. In this region there are high-speed winds (150–250 km/h) and thick clouds with heavy rain. Away from this region the wind speed gradually decreases.
    • A large cyclone is a violently rotating mass of air in the atmosphere, 10 to 15 km high. 
    • The criteria followed by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to classify the low pressure systems in the Bay of Bengal and in the Arabian Sean are given in the following Table:

    Formation of Cyclone

    • Tropical storms usually form between 5° and 30° latitude.
    • When the ocean surface waters reach at least 27°C due to solar heating, the warm air above the water rises quickly, causing an area of very low pressure.
    • As the air rises quickly more warm moist air is drawn upwards from above the ocean creating strong winds.
    • The rising warm air spirals upward and cools. The water vapour it carries condenses and forms cumulonimbus clouds.
    • These cumulonimbus clouds form the eye wall of the storm.
    • When tropical storms reach a land surface, they begin to lose their energy and die out. This is because they are no longer receiving heat energy and moisture from the ocean, which is needed to drive them.

     

    Classifications of Cyclones

    • Cyclones are classified as extra tropical cyclones (also called temperate cyclones); and tropical cyclones.
    • Tropical cyclones are the progeny of ocean and atmosphere, powered by the heat from the sea; and driven by easterly trades and temperate westerlies, high planetary winds and their own fierce energy.
    • In India, cyclones are classified by:
      • Strength of associated winds,
      • Storm surges
      • Exceptional rainfall occurrences.

    Major Factors Influencing Cyclone Formation

    • Formation of Low Pressure: Cyclones form due to low-pressure systems over warm waters. The Bay of Bengal is slightly warmer, but the Arabian Sea is also getting warmer due to climate change, leading to an increase in cyclones.
    • Coriolis Effect: In a depression or low-pressure situation, the air blows in an anticlockwise direction in the northern hemisphere, influenced by the Coriolis Effect.

    Tropical storms and climate change

    • Climate change could lead to tropical storms in more and different locations.
    • Warmer seas could allow the storms to extend further north and south of the equator.
    • Southwesterly winds associated with tropical cyclones over the Arabian Sea bring ample moisture onto the Indian subcontinent, enhancing the monsoon rainfall.
    • Climate change may increase the number of cyclones with more intensity.
    • Rising sea levels will make tropical storms more damaging, increasing coastal flooding.
    • Cyclones in the Bay of Bengal can cause winds to turn around, inhibiting the northward progression of the monsoon winds over the region.

    Source: DTE

    Gauhati HC quashed Nagaland govt’s notification banning dog meat’s sale

    Syllabus: GS2/ Government Policies & Interventions

    In News

    • The Kohima bench of the Gauhati High Court recently quashed a 2020 government notification, which had banned the trade and sale of dog meat in Nagaland.

    About 

    • In a 2020 government notification, Nagaland had banned dog markets, the commercial import and trading of dogs, as well as the commercial sale of dog meat in markets and in dine-in restaurants.
    • This had come after a 2014 circular by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) stating that the slaughter of any species other than the ones listed in Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011 is not permissible. 
      • Regulation 2.5.1(a) of the 2011 Regulations defines “animal” as any animal belonging to the species of ovines [sheep family], caprines [goat family], suillines [pig family], bovine [cattle], and including poultry and fish.
    • The Nagaland government order had stated that the ban was necessary to “regulate the safety of food articles safe for human consumption”.

    HC Observation on Meat Regulation

    • The HC observed that dog meat “appears to be an accepted norm and food amongst the Nagas even in modern times.”
    • The court noted that the long-standing consumption of dog meat by various tribes in Nagaland has been recorded in multiple texts such as ‘The Angami Nagas, With Some Notes on Neighbouring Tribes’ authored by J.H. Hutton in 1921.
    • The court also underlined that the definition of ‘food’ in the FSSA as primarily meaning “any substance, whether processed, partially processed or unprocessed, which is intended for human consumption.” The court noted that this definition is “wide and liberal enough” to include dog meat.
    • The court stated, there can be remedial measures to ensure the enforcement of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Indian Penal Code.

    Consumption of Dog Meat

    • Dog meat is considered a delicacy among certain communities of Nagaland and some other parts of the Northeast — has been traditionally consumed in parts of the state for decades. 
    • Certain communities in Nagaland also consider dog meat to have medicinal properties.

    Source: IE

    EU’s Asylum Policy

    Syllabus:GS2/International Relations

    In News

    • European Union ministers have agreed on a deal to overhaul the bloc’s asylum procedures.

    What is the European Union (EU)?

    • The European Union (EU) is a political and economic alliance of 27 European countries. 
    • The EU promotes democratic values in its member nations and is one of the world’s most powerful trade blocs. 
    • Nineteen of the countries share the euro as their official currency.
    • Purpose: The European Union was created to bind the nations of Europe closer together for the economic, social, and security welfare of all. It is one of several efforts after World War II to bind together the nations of Europe into a single entity.

    Asylum

    • An asylum seeker is a person who has left their country and is seeking protection from persecution and serious human rights violations in another country, but who hasn’t yet been legally recognized as a refugee and is waiting to receive a decision on their asylum claim.

    Background

    • More than a million asylum seekers and refugees crossed into Europe in 2015, due to conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
    • The bloc has since tightened external borders and its asylum laws, and struck deals in the Middle East and North Africa to have more people stay there. 
    • For years the EU has been struggling to harmonise asylum policy. That is difficult with 27 member states, each with their own police force and judiciary.

    Need of the Asylum Procedure Regulation (APR)

    • Common Procedure: It establishes a common procedure across the EU that member states need to follow when people seek international protection. 
      • It streamlines the procedural arrangements (e.g. the duration of the procedure) and sets standards for the rights of the asylum seeker (e.g. being provided with the service of an interpreter or having the right to legal assistance and representation).
    • Prevention of abuse of the system: The regulation also aims to prevent abuse of the system by setting out clear obligations for applicants to cooperate with the authorities throughout the procedure.
    • Border Procedures: The APR also introduces mandatory border procedures, with the purpose to quickly assess at the EU’s external borders whether applications are unfounded or inadmissible. 
      • Persons subject to the asylum border procedure are not authorised to enter the member state’s territory.
    • Preventing abuse and secondary movements: It also contains measures aimed at preventing abuse by the asylum seeker and avoiding secondary movements (when a migrant moves from the country in which they first arrived to seek protection or permanent resettlement elsewhere). 
      • The regulation for instance sets obligations for asylum seekers to apply in the member states of first entry or legal stay and discourages secondary movements.

    Asylum Procedure Regulation (APR)

    • Initiation of Procedure: The border procedure would apply when an asylum seeker makes an application at an external border crossing point, following apprehension in connection with an illegal border crossing and following disembarkation after a search and rescue operation. 
    • Mandatory if: The procedure is mandatory for member states if the applicant is a danger to national security or public order, he/she has misled the authorities with false information or by withholding information and if the applicant has a nationality with a recognition rate below 20%.
    • Duration of the procedure: The total duration of the asylum and return border procedure should be not more than 6 months.
    • Will apply on: It would apply to all those deemed dangerous, uncooperative or coming from countries with low asylum recognition rates in the EU like India or Serbia.
      • EU countries could also apply the speedy procedure to people picked up in the sea, caught while trying to get in illegally or filing for asylum at the border rather than in advance.
    • Share of People: Each EU country would be assigned a share of the 30,000 people overall the bloc is expected to accommodate in its joint migration system at any given time.
      • It will be calculated based on the size of the country’s GDP and population, the number of irregular border crossings including via sea rescue operations, and more.
      • Countries unwilling to take in people would instead be able to help their hosting peers through cash – at least 20,000 euros per person a year – equipment or personnel.
    • The agreed measures include modified time limits for its duration:
      • the member state of first entry will be responsible for the asylum application for a duration of two years.
      • when a country wants to transfer a person to the member state which is actually responsible for the migrant and this person absconds (e.g. when the migrant goes into hiding to evade a transfer) responsibility will shift to the transferring member state after three years.
      • if a member state rejects an applicant in the border procedure, its responsibility for that person will end after 15 months (in case of a renewed application).

    Modification of Dublin rules

    • The APR should replace, the current Dublin regulation which is an agreement originally signed in 1990 and revised three times, set out rules determining which member state was responsible for the examination of an asylum application.
    • The APR will streamline these rules and shorten time limits. For example, the current complex take back procedure aimed at transferring an applicant back to the member state responsible for his or her application will be replaced by a simple take back notification.

    Concerns

    • Before eventually endorsing it, Italy and Greece voiced concerns about whether the new system would prove workable given some states’ refusal to host people.
      • The southern countries of arrival worry about being overwhelmed, while those further away from the bloc’s external borders tend to drag their feet on admitting arrivals and complex solidarity schemes take time to kick in.
      • Criticism also came from Poland and Hungary, the EU’s loudest voices against immigration from the Middle East and Africa.
    • Another challenge is keeping close tabs on the movements of people once they get inside Europe’s zone of free travel.
    • Rights groups said the scheme risked reviving tragic scenes that unfolded on the Greek islands several years ago by creating more overcrowded migration camps on the edges of the EU.
    • The new plan could lead to protracted detention of minors and is being criticised as it focuses on keeping people away rather than helping those in need.

    Source: IE

    First Loss Default Guarantee (FLDG)

    Syllabus: GS3/ Economy

    In News

    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued strict guidelines permitting the use of First Loss Default Guarantee (FLDG) arrangements in digital lending. 

    What is an FLDG arrangement?

    • The FLDG model is a lending arrangement between banks/NBFCs and a fintech or a lending service provider (LSP), where the latter compensates the former in case a borrower defaults. 
    • The LSP provides certain credit enhancement features such as first loss guarantee up to a pre-decided percentage of loans generated by it.
    • The model was struck by the RBI’s digital lending guidelines issued in August last year and was put under examination by the regulator since then. 

    What does an LSP do?

    • Lending service providers are new-age players who use technology platforms in the lending space. 
    • They are agents of a bank or Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) who carry out one or more of a lender’s functions (in part or full) in customer acquisition, underwriting support, pricing support, disbursement, servicing, monitoring, recovery of specific loan or loan portfolio on behalf of REs as per the outsourcing guidelines of the RBI.

    Why did the RBI Struck down the model?

    • RBI had expressed reservations on the FLDG arrangement because it felt that the model could pose a systemic risk.
    • A working group committee of the RBI  in 2021 observed that in some cases, fintechs were undertaking balance-sheet lending in partnership with a bank/ NBFC or on a standalone basis, while not satisfying the principal business criteria to remain outside regulation.
      • This was happening outside the RBI regulations. There were higher operational risks arising due to the increasing reliance of lenders on third-party service providers.
    • In the absence of clear directions, regulated entities like banks had stopped entering into such arrangements with fintech players, posing a threat to their business. The fintech industry was demanding that the RBI should allow FLDG arrangements.

    The Guidelines

    • The LSP-providing DLG must be incorporated as a company under the Companies Act, 2013.
    • As per the new framework, the default cover could be provided for up to 5% of the loan portfolio and shall be invoked within a maximum overdue period of 120 days
      • Earlier, entities were offering almost 100% FLDG to banking partners. This exposed the banks and NBFCs to high risk as they would disburse the loans taking comfort from FDLG, but when defaults happen, the fintech platform may not have money to compensate for the losses. 
    • Any other implicit guarantee of similar nature linked to the performance of the loan portfolio of the RE (regulated entity) and specified upfront shall also be covered under the definition of DLG.  
    • The lender must ensure that LSPs (lending service providers) publish the total number of portfolios and the respective amount of each portfolio on which the guarantee arrangement has been offered on their website. 
    • The RBI has allowed banks to accept DLG in digital lending only if the guarantee is in the form of a cash deposit, or fixed deposits in a bank with a lien in favour of the RE, or a bank guarantee in favour of the RE. 

    Significance

    • A well-defined structure will facilitate all players to participate in an effective and transparent manner and make the best use of the DLG facility.
    • This will facilitate entry of small and medium fintechs into the digital lending space in partnerships with banks or NBFCs.
    • It will further facilitate an orderly development of the digital lending ecosystem and enhance credit penetration in the economy. 

    Source: IE

     

    Facts In News

     

    World Food Programme

    Syllabus: GS2/ Important International Institutions, Poverty, GS3/ Economy

    News

    • The United Nations World Food Programme (WFO) has temporarily suspended food aid to Ethiopia because its supplies are being diverted to the Ethiopian military. 

    About:

    • Status: The World Food Programme (WFP) is an international organisation within the United Nations (UN). Its Parent organisation is the UN General Assembly.
    • Mandate: It is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation that provides food assistance worldwide. It aims to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 which is about creating a world free of hunger by 2030. 
    • Background: It was established In 1961 after the 1960 Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Conference. It launched its First development programme in Sudan in 1963.
    • Headquarters: Rome, Italy.
    • Award: WFP was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2020 for its efforts to provide food assistance in areas of conflict.
    • Hunger Hotspots: This report is jointly published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

    Governance: 

    • Executive Board: It is the supreme governing body of WFP. It comprises 36 States Members of the UN or Member Nations of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
    • Executive Directors: WFP is headed by an executive director, who is appointed jointly by the UN Secretary-General and the director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Sushil Dev of India served as the acting Executive Director of WFP in 1968. 

    Source: AIR

     

    Antarashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman.

    Syllabus: GS 2/Health

    In News

    • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(I&B) has announced the second edition of Antarashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman.

    About Antarashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman

    • The Ministry of I&B instituted the first Antarashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman (AYDMS) in 2019 acknowledging the positive role & responsibility of media in disseminating the outreach of Yoga in India and abroad.
    • The first edition of the awards was conferred in 2020.
    • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has decided to revive the Samman and organize the second edition in 2023.
      • Under it, thirty-three Sammans will be given out under three categories viz Print, Television, and Radio in twenty-two Indian languages and English 
      • The Samman will be recommended by an independent Jury.   
      • The Samman will comprise a special media/plaque/trophy and a citation.

    Do you know?

    • The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on 21 June since 2015. 
    • The idea of the International Day of Yoga was first proposed by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, during his address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on 27 September 2014.

    Source: News on air