Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS | 26th October 2021

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1. A reminder that India still trails in the hunger fight

UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Social Justice | Mains – GS Paper II – Social Justice
Sub Theme: Global Hunger Index | UPSC

Context – The Global Hunger Report (GHR) has once again made headlines in India for the country’s poor ranking in terms of the Global Hunger Index (GHI).The report ranks India at 101 out of 116 countries, with the country falling in the category of having a ‘serious’ hunger situation.

Article covered in detail on 16th October

Malnourishment- Malnutrition refers to deficiencies or excesses in nutrient intake, imbalance of essential nutrients or impaired nutrient utilization. The double burden of malnutrition consists of both under nutrition and overweight and obesity, as well as diet-related non communicable diseases. Under nutrition manifests in four broad forms: wasting, stunting, underweight, and micronutrient deficiencies.

Key concepts-

1) Wasting is defined as low weight-for-height.

2) Stunting is defined as low height-for-age.

3) Underweight is defined as low weight-for-age.

4) Micronutrient deficiencies are a lack of vitamins (A, B, D, K etc)  and minerals (Zinc, iron, copper, manganese, cobalt, nickel etc)  that are essential for body functions such as producing enzymes, hormones and other substances needed for growth and development.

5) Macro nutrients – proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

6) Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A body mass index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese.

7) Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2).

8) Food insecurity –

 

2.  A ‘bubbles of trust’ approach

UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper II – International Relation
Sub Theme: balancing the technological and economic interests of QUAD and China | UPSC

Context– Developing a new vision of a global economy by QUAD countries and balancing the technological and economic interests of QUAD and China.

Understanding bubbles of trust approach

Present we see the global in two extremes:

1) Absolute free flow of goods, services and ideas across the world.

2) Inward looking – protectionist economies. Regionalism is its offshoot only.

Both the approaches have their own benefits. The successful example of the first approach is USA and the second approach is China.

However the popular backlash against China is pushing Quad governments towards policies of self­reliance. But this poses a challenge-inward ­looking policies often  acquire a life of their own and contribute to geopolitical marginalisation.

Bubbles of trust approach- It finds a middle path- Unlike trading blocs, which tend to be insular, bubbles tend to expand organically, attracting new partners that share values, interests and economic complementarities.

Relevance of this approach – This allows for cooperation of Quad countries and China in technological sphere especially the information industries as both are equally placed and can be mutually beneficial avoiding the long and complex negotiations typical of trade agreements.

Caution – There are fundamental differences between authoritarian and liberal democratic approaches to the information age. The quad cannot allow the differences of approach on privacy, data governance and the digital economy to widen.

 

3.  EDMC for bio-mining of legacy waste at Ghazipur

UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper III – Environment & Ecology
Sub Theme: Bio-mining | UPSC

Context – With an aim to “speed­up” the process of clearing the Ghazipur landfill site, the East  Delhi Municipal Corporation on Monday passed a proposal to implement the biomining of “50 lakh tonnes” of legacy waste.

Key concepts –

Legacy Waste – Legacy wastes are the wastes that have been collected and kept for years at some barren land or a place dedicated for Landfill (an area to dump solid waste).

1) They are more dangerous because –

2) They occupy large spaces and make the land unproductive. It is estimated that in India

3) more than 10000 ha of land is a dump site.

4) They become breeding ground for pathogens and flies

5) They also lead to water pollution via ground water contamination.

6) They also contribute to generation of greenhouse gases and pose risk of uncontrollable fire.

Bio mining (Bio- leaching) –

process of using microorganisms (microbes) to extract metals of economic interest from rock ores or mine waste.

Metals extracted from bio leaching includes – gold, silver, uranium, Nickle. Copper, cobalt and zinc

Bio-mining techniques may also be used to clean up sites that have been polluted with metals.

Bio remediation- Bioremediation is a branch of biotechnology that employs the use of living organisms, like microbes and bacteria, in the removal of contaminants, pollutants, and toxins from soil, water, and other environments. Bioremediation is used to clean up oil spills or contaminated groundwater.

Bio degradation – Natural process of decomposition.

From 2014 onwards, the Swachh Bharat Mission has been emphasising on reclamation of landfill sites to adhere to the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, 2016, and the guidelines of the Hon National Green Tribunal, with an aim to recover over an estimated 10,000 hectares of urban land that is locked in these dumpsites in India.

From 2014 onwards, the Swachh Bharat Mission has been emphasising on reclamation of landfill sites to adhere to the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, 2016, and the guidelines of the Hon National Green Tribunal, with an aim to recover over an estimated 10,000 hectares of urban land that is locked in these dumpsites in India

Advantages of Bio-mining:

1) Allows segregation of complex waste.

2) Facilitates recycling of metal waste thus adding to the financial value.

3) Helps in reclamation of Land

4) Cost effective solution

 

4.  Notes from Young India

UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper I – Indian History
Sub Theme: Tikal Swaraj Fund  | UPSC

Context: The archives highlight an extract from “Young India” in which Mahatma Gandhi has written about collection and the administration of the Tilak Memorial Swaraj Fund to achieve Swaraj in India.

Announced by Mahatma Gandhi during NCM – A year into the Non-Cooperation Movement, Mahatma Gandhi announced the Tilak Swaraj Fund.

The Fund was announced as homage to Bal Gangadhar Tilak on his first death anniversary.

The Fund aimed at collecting Rs 1 crore by June 30, 1921 to aid India’s freedom struggle and resistance to the British rule.

Maximum Contribution from Bombay – Of the collected amount, Rs 37.5 lakh was donated by Bombay, which led him to refer to the city as “Bombay the Beautiful.

Purpose of the Fund – The money was not to be spent in foreign or other propaganda, but largely in spinning, weaving and other educational activity including educating the children and ameliorate the poor condition of the suppressed classes.

Retain of Funds by the Provinces – The Congress Working Committee allotted each province to retain 75% of the collection for provincial expenditure.

Consider the following statements about “Tilak Memorial Swaraj Fund”:

The fund was constituted by Mahatma Gandhi as a tribute to Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

The fund was to be used to achieve Swaraj by investing in activities of spinning, weaving and education for children.

The fund was constituted during Civil Disobedience Movement.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 2 and 3 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c)  1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer – b

Statement 3 is INCORRECT

TILAK MEMORIAL SWARAJ FUND

Announced by Mahatma Gandhi during NCM – A year into the Non-Cooperation Movement, Mahatma Gandhi announced the Tilak Swaraj Fund.

The Fund was announced as homage to Bal Gangadhar Tilak on his first death anniversary.

The Fund aimed at collecting Rs 1 crore by June 30, 1921 to aid India’s freedom struggle and resistance to the British rule.

Maximum Contribution from Bombay – Of the collected amount, Rs 37.5 lakh was donated by Bombay, which led him to refer to the city as “Bombay the Beautiful.

Purpose of the Fund – The money was not to be spent in foreign or other propaganda, but largely in spinning, weaving and other educational activity including educating the children and ameliorate the poor condition of the suppressed classes.

Retain of Funds by the Provinces – The Congress Working Committee allotted each province to retain 75% of the collection for provincial expenditure.

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