Every child to get Rota virus vaccine by September

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Rotavirus

Mains level : Nothing much


NEWS

Health Ministry has decided to provide Rotavirus vaccine to every child across all States and Union Territories by September 2019.

Background

  1. Diarrhoea is one of the biggest killers in children and Rotavirus was one of the most common causes of severe diarrhoea in children less than 2 years of age.
  2. Rotavirus vaccine along with proper sanitation, handwashing practices, ORS and zinc supplementation will go a long way in reducing the mortality and morbidity due to diarrhoea in children.
  3. In India, every year, 37 out of every 1,000 children born are unable to celebrate their 5th birthday, and one of the major reasons for this is diarrhoeal deaths. 
  4. Out of all the causes of diarrhoea, Rotavirus is a leading cause of diarrhoea in children less than 5 years of age.
  5. Rotavirus diarrhoea can be prevented through vaccination. Other diarrhoea can be prevented through general measures like good hygiene, frequent hand washing, safe water and safe food consumption, exclusive breastfeeding and vitamin A supplementation.

Rotavirus Vaccine

  1. Rotavirus vaccine was introduced in 2016 and is now available in 28 States/Union Territories. It is expected to be available in all 36 States/Union Territories by September 2019.
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Home buyers can start bankruptcy cases against errant builders

Mains Paper 3 : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways Etc. |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Details of the bill

Mains level : Nothing much


NEWS

Supreme Court upheld the validity of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Act which empowered harassed home buyers to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against errant real estate builders.

Background

  1. Many real estate builders have been under fire for incomplete projects leaving home buyers in dire straits.
  2. The Act had brought the home buyers on par with the creditor banks of the property builder.
  3. Before the Amendment Act of 2018 came into existence, the assets of the bankrupt builder were divided among his employees, creditor banks and other operational creditors. Home buyers had hardly figured.

Arguments

  1. The builders argue that home buyers were already armed with the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA).
  2. SC reasoned that IBC and the RERA operate in different spheres and can be used harmoniously.
  3. IBC deals with the replacement of the bankrupt builder and lead to a resolution plan. The RERA’s purpose is to protect individual home buyers by requiring the promoter to strictly adhere to the purchase deal and complete the project within a stated period.
  4. As home buyers were a large, amorphous group, their presence in the CoC would be a nuisance. But, home buyers finance from 50% to even 100% of a housing project. Their absence from the CoC and denying them a voice on future plans would be “manifestly arbitrary.”
Real Estate Industry

‘Samagra Shiksha-Jal Suraksha’

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Details of the scheme

Mains level : Nothing much


The Department of School Education & Literacy, MHRD has launched the ‘Samagra Shiksha-Jal Suraksha’ drive to promote water conservation activities for School Students.

Five Major Objectives:

  1. To educate Students learn about conservation of water
  2. To sensitize Students about the impact of scarcity of water
  3. To empower Students to learn to protect the natural sources of water
  4. To help every Student to save at least one litre of water per day
  5. To encourage Students towards judicious use and minimum wastage of water at home and school level

Target

One Student            –       One Day      –       To Save One Litre of Water

One Student            –       One Year     –       To Save 365 Litres of Water

One Student            –       10 Years      –       To Save 3650 Litres of Water

Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

One nation, one ration card: Govt launches pilot project

Mains Paper 3 : PDS, Buffer Stock & Food Security |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : One Nation One Ration card

Mains level : Nothing much


The government launched inter-state portability of ration cards between Telangana-Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra-Gujarat as a pilot project to implement ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’.

In detail

  1. Beneficiaries in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Maharasthra and Gujarat, can now buy their quota of ration from ration shops in either state.
  2. Government is planning to roll out ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ across the country by June 1, 2020.
Food Procurement and Distribution – PDS & NFSA, Shanta Kumar Committee, FCI restructuring, Buffer stock, etc.

PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana

Mains Paper 3 : Issues Related To Farm Subsidies & Msp |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Details of the scheme

Mains level : Nothing much


The scheme has been envisioned with an aim to improve the lives of small and marginal farmers of the country.

Features of the scheme

  1. It is voluntary and contributory for farmers in the entry age group of 18 to 40 years
  2. Monthly pension of Rs. 3000/- will be provided to them on attaining the age of 60 years
  3. Farmers will have to make a monthly contribution of Rs.55 to Rs.200, depending on their age of entry till they reach the retirement date i.e. 60 years
  4. Central Government will also make an equal contribution of the same amount in the pension fund
  5. Spouse is also eligible to get a separate pension of Rs.3000/- upon making separate contributions to the Fund
  6. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) shall be the Pension Fund Manager and responsible for Pension payout
  7. In case of death of the farmer before retirement date, the spouse may continue in the scheme by paying the remaining contributions until the remaining age of the deceased farmer
  8. If the spouse does not wish to continue, the total contribution made by the farmer along with interest will be paid to the spouse
  9. If there is no spouse, then total contribution along with interest will be paid to the nominee
  10. If the farmer dies after the retirement date, the spouse will receive 50% of the pension as Family Pension
  11. After the death of both the farmer and the spouse, the accumulated corpus shall be credited back to the Pension Fund
  12. The beneficiaries may opt voluntarily to exit the Scheme after a minimum period of 5 years of regular contributions. On exit, their entire contribution shall be returned by LIC with an interest equivalent to prevailing saving bank rates
  13. The farmers who are also beneficiaries of PM-Kisan Scheme will have the option to allow their contribution debited from the benefit of that Scheme directly
  14. In case of default in making regular contributions, the beneficiaries are allowed to regularize the contributions by paying the outstanding dues along with prescribed interest
  15. The initial enrollment to the Scheme is being done through the Common Service Centres in various states
  16. The enrollment is free of cost. The Common Service Centres will charge Rs.30/- per enrolment which will be borne by the Government.
  17. Target of 10 crore beneficiaries for this year.
Rural Distress, Farmer Suicides, Drought Measures

[op-ed snap] Climate on the farm

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Climate change due to agriculture

Mains level : Climate change


A report released on Thursday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that better management of the world’s farms and forests is necessary to tackle climate change.

Background

  1. Land use has always been part of conversations on climate change and activities like afforestation have held an important place in the fight against global warming.
  2. Discourse on combating global warming has given more thrust to curbing vehicular and industrial emissions. 

What the report says

  1. The IPCC report warns that clean energy, clean transport and reducing emissions alone will not cut global emissions enough to avoid warming beyond 2 degrees Celsius.
  2. It points out that the global food system is responsible for 21 to 37% of the world’s GHG emissions.
  1. About a quarter of the Earth’s ice-free land area is subjected to “human-induced degradation”. 
  2. Rapid agricultural expansion has led to the destruction of forests, wetlands and grasslands and other ecosystems.
  3. Soil erosion from agricultural fields is 10 to 100 times higher than the soil formation rate.
  4. When land is degraded, it becomes less productive, restricting what can be grown and reducing the soil’s ability to absorb carbon. 
  5. Agriculture and allied activities like cattle rearing are major sources of methane and nitrous oxide and are more dangerous GHGs than carbon dioxide.

Way ahead

  1. It raised a key scientific input for future climate negotiations, such as the CoP of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and the UNFCCC CoP25.
  2. It could pressure developing countries like India to ramp up their global warming mitigation targets.

India should pay heed to the IPCC report’s recommendations on curbing land degradation and soil erosion by improving knowledge systems.

Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

[op-ed snap] Incisive interventions that blunt the RTI’s edge

Mains Paper 2 : Governance, Transparency & Accountability, Citizens Charters |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Challenges posed by amendments to RTI


CONTEXT

The RTI Act, 2005 proved transformative to India’s democracy; it revolutionized the citizen’s ability to engage with the state, arming people with a mechanism to ferret out some of the truth from the government’s otherwise secretive operations.

Amendments to the act

  1. Amendments have been passed without scrutiny by a parliamentary committee.
  2. It changes the term in office of the information commissioners (ICs) and the manner of determination of their salaries.
  3. In place of the existing five-year term, it grants to the Union government the power to notify their terms through executive regulations.
  4. It deletes the RTI Act’s mandate that the salary paid to the CIC and the ICs should be equivalent to that of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.
  5. Now, the salary, allowances, and terms and conditions of service of the CIC and the ICs will be determined by executive guidelines.

Challenges it poses

  1. Supreme Court has affirmed RTI’s position as intrinsic to the right to freedom of expression (for example, in PUCL v. Union of India, 2004)
  2. For democracy to be valuable, citizens must possess a right to freely express themselves and have a right to know what the state is up to.
  3. When a plea for information goes unheeded, CIC and the ICs play an especially vital role. 
  4. These amendments subvert the independence of the information commission.
  5. The delegation of the power to fix the tenure and the salaries of the CIC and the ICs to the political executive places the information commission’s autonomy in a state of peril. 

Efficacy of RTI

  1. Through a response to an RTI request, it was discovered that between 2006 and 2010 more than ₹700 crore had been diverted from Delhi’s special component plan for the development of Scheduled Caste communities to projects related to the Commonwealth Games.
  2. An exposé into the horrifying processes of the “Foreigners Tribunal” in Assam was made by securing information through the RTI Act.
RTI – CIC, RTI Backlog, etc.