Wednesday, 29th March 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day


Healthcare in India

2   Daily Current Affairs


Biofuel exports from SEZs and EOU


CAMPA Policy at Odds with IPCC Report


Captive employment Initiative


North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme” (NESIDS)


Sticky Inflation


Green Wall of Africa (GGW)


Geomagnetic Solar Storm


Berry Borere Infestation


Affinity test cannot be the litmus test to decide a caste claim


Open ballot system


Index Providers


Universal Acceptance



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Editorial of the day

Healthcare in India

Exam view: National Family Health Survey – 5, Challenges in healthcare in India

In News: The most recent National Family Health Survey - 5 (NFHS-5) shows that healthcare in India has advanced significantly, but challenges still exist. The issues that need to be addressed include the rise in obesity and lifestyle risk factors, vast infrastructure differences between states, and low health insurance penetration.

The challenges in healthcare in India

  • Rise of Chronic diseases
    • They all share four behavioural risk factors
      • an unhealthy diet,
      • lack of physical activity and
      • use of tobacco and alcohol.

    • Deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has increased from around 38 per cent in 1990 to 62 per cent in 2016.
    • Obesity has increased from 19 per cent to 23 per cent between NFHS-4 and NFHS-5, in both urban and rural areas.
    • This increases the risk of diabetes, hypertension, and Cardiovascular diseases (CVD).
  • Infrastructure Gaps:
    • Inter-state: There are huge variations between states. Some northeastern states like Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland were found to have better arrangements followed by Gujarat and Chhattisgarh. The lowest proportions of primary health facilities with full institutional capacity were in Jharkhand, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.
    • Urban agglomerations vs tier II and tier III cities: Just 16 per cent of the district hospitals in Tamil Nadu offered all key services. In states like Assam, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and UP, it was found to be just 1 per cent.
  • Dependency on private sector:
    • People have to bank on the private sector, which owns two-thirds of the country’s hospital beds.
    • Large hospital chains like Apollo, Fortis, Max, and Narayana Hrudayalaya account for just 4-5 percent of the beds in the private sector.
    • Standalone hospitals and nursing homes provide 95 percent of private hospital beds. Though these institutions provide a much-needed service, they are unable to provide multi-specialty, leave alone tertiary and quaternary care.
  • Low health insurance penetration
    • Despite the Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme for 10 crore poor families, several state-run insurance schemes, the Employees State Insurance (ESIC), group insurance and CGHS, millions still remain uninsured.
    • Out-patient doctor consultation costs, diagnostics, and drugs account for the biggest chunk of out-of-pocket (OOP) personal expenditure. Presently this is pegged at 50 per cent of the total health expenditure.
  • Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital technology
    • It is an emerging concern. Surgery assisted by robots, the use of genetic codes, clinical judgements based on AI, and even pandemic forecasting are already widespread and are to be welcomed.
    • But ethical and regulatory concerns abound, which recently prompted the Indian Council of Medical Research to release guidelines foreseeing the problems of a lack of accountability for machine-made medical decisions.

The NFHS-5 Survey results – achievements and failures.

  • Total Fertility Rate (TFR): India achieved a TFR of 2.1 (replacement rate) by 2020.
  • Infant Mortality Rate (IMR): It has marginally declined in nearly all states.  Assam has seen one of the largest drops in IMR, from 48 deaths (per 1,000 live births) to 32 deaths.  IMR remains high in Bihar.
  • Sex Ratio at Birth for children born in the last five years is below 950 for seven (of the 17) states.
  • Women empowerment:
    • Significant progress has been recorded between NFHS-4 and NFHS-5 in regard to women operating bank accounts from 53 percent to 79 percent at all-India level.
    • Gender based violence still remains high. The graph shows the proportion of women who have ever faced spousal violence.
  • Obesity: No state recorded a decrease in percentage of both men and women who are overweight or obese.
  • Anaemia: More than half of the children and women (including pregnant women) are anaemic in all the phase-II States/UTs and all-India levels compared to NFHS4.



Keywords: GS Paper-3: Health
Daily Current Affairs

Biofuel exports from SEZs and EOU

In News: The government amended the policy for export of biofuel from special economic zones (SEZs) and export oriented units (EOU), which now allows its export for both fuel as well as non-fuel purposes without any restriction, if the biofuel is produced by using imported feed stock.


  • The August 2018 notification restricted the export of biofuels, requiring a license for both exports and imports of biofuels. Biofuels include ethyl alcohol, petroleum oil and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, bio-diesel and mixtures.
  • The amendment continues the restriction for export of biofuel for non- fuel purposes outside the SEZ and EOU. However, inside SEZ and EOU, export is allowed for fuel as well as non-fuel purposes without any restriction when produced using only imported feed stock.

About Biofuels:

  • Any hydrocarbon fuel i.e. solid, liquid or gas that is produced from an organic matter which may be living or once living material, in a short period of time is considered a biofuel. For example
    • Solid: Wood, manure
    • Liquid: Bioethanol and Biodiesel
    • Gaseous: Biogas
  • Biofuels can be produced from biomass, such as corn or sugar, vegetable oils or waste feedstock.
  • As biofuels emit less carbon dioxide (CO2) than conventional fuels they can be blended with existing fuels as an effective way of reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector.

Classification of Biofuels:

  • 1st generation biofuels are also called conventional biofuels.
    • They are produced directly from food crops by abstracting the oils for use in biodiesel or producing bioethanol through conventional methods like fermentation.

  • 2nd generation biofuels are often called “advanced biofuels.”
    • They are produced from non-food crops such as wood, organic waste, food crop waste and specific biomass crops.
  • 3rd generation biofuels are biofuel derived from algae.
    • The algae are cultured to act as a low-cost, high-energy and entirely renewable feedstock.
  • 4th generation biofuels are aimed at not only producing sustainable energy but also a way of capturing and storing CO2.
    • At all stages of production the carbon dioxide is captured using processes such as oxy-fuel combustion and is then be geo-sequestered by storing it in old oil and gas fields or saline aquifers.

Significance of Biofuels:

  • Environment friendly: Biofuel is renewable, causes less harmful carbon emission and reduces greenhouse gasses up to 65% compared to fossil fuel.
  • Energy security: The large-scale production of biofuels would reduce import dependency for crude oil, save forex and ensure energy security.
  • Infrastructural Investment in Rural Areas: Addition of 2G bio refineries across the Country will spur infrastructural investment in the rural areas.
  • Economic Security: Shift towards biofuels can reduce dependence on fossil fuels and make fuelling homes, businesses and vehicles less expensive.
  • Employment generation: The establishment of bio-refineries would create jobs in Plant Operations, Village Level Entrepreneurs and Supply Chain Management.

Government policies to promote biofuels:

  • National Policy on Biofuels 2018 aims at increasing the utilization of biofuels in the energy and transportation sectors by promoting the production of biofuels from domestic feedstock.
  • Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana, 2019: To create an ecosystem for setting up commercial projects and to boost Research and Development in the 2G Ethanol sector.
  • GOBAR (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources) DHAN scheme focuses on managing and converting cattle dung and solid waste in farms to useful compost, biogas and bio-CNG
  • Repurpose Used Cooking Oil (RUCO): Launched by FSSAI, it aims for an ecosystem that will enable the collection and conversion of used cooking oil to biodiesel.



Keywords: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation
Daily Current Affairs

CAMPA Policy at Odds with IPCC Report

In News: The recently released Synthesis Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that natural ecosystems rank second only to solar power in their potential to mitigate climate change.

The IPCC report also concluded that not degrading existing ecosystems in the first place would be more effective in reducing the impact of climate change than restoring ecosystems that have been destroyed.

Major issues:

  • Afforestation, a part of India's climate commitments involves the replacement of forests in one part of the country with forests elsewhere when land is diverted to non-forest uses.
  • The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) oversees afforestation in India, but it has faced criticism for facilitating the destruction of natural ecosystems in exchange for forests in other places.

Major findings:

  • Most of the money paid into the CAMPA fund has gone unspent, despite growing from Rs 1,200 crore to Rs 23,600 crore from 2006-2012, with Rs 47,000 crore in 2019.
  • Natural ecosystems sequester more carbon than afforested land and the climate impacts of such development projects also cannot adequately be ‘compensated’ by compensatory afforestation.
  • As per IPCC report, reducing the conversion of natural ecosystems and solar power offer the most potential for mitigating climate change, while wind power ranked third.
  • However, many solar parks in India have triggered conflicts with local communities due to land inaccessibility and increased local water consumption.

IPCC Synthesis Report

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Synthesis Report for the Sixth Assessment Cycle in Interlaken, Switzerland.
  • The report emphasises the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to human-caused climate change.
  • It is a compilation of the main findings of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, based on results from three Working Groups (WGs):
    • WG I evaluated the physical science basis of climate change
    • WG II evaluated the impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability
    • WG III evaluated the mitigation

Findings of the Report:

  • The report highlights the urgency of drastically reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses to limit rising global temperatures by 1.5 C from pre-industrial levels, set by the Paris Agreement.
  • Despite the IPCC’s warnings in 2018, the increase in greenhouse gas emissions continued, leading to extreme and/or unpredictable weather events that risk human health, fortunes, and ecosystems.
  • Climate change events have made people more susceptible to food insecurity, water shortages with vulnerable populations disproportionately facing the brunt of climate change.
  • The report highlights the economic loss and damages incurred due to climate change and stressed on the need for financial resolution for a more equitable world.
  • The report suggests climate resilient development that will not only mitigate the effects of climate change but also provide wider benefits.
  • Access to clean energy, improving air quality, increasing employment opportunities, boosting healthcare through technology, and delivering equity are among the report’s recommended goals to help adapt to climate change.

Implications for India:

  • India needs to prioritise grants and policies that focus on adapting to the effects of climate change.
  • India’s priority should be to minimise loss and damage in terms of lives, livelihood, and biodiversity and accelerate equitable action mitigation and adaptation.
  • As a developing country, India can lower its per-capita emissions through energy efficiency policies already being implemented in almost every sector.
  • India can also decarbonise the energy sector by using cleaner options like solar and renewable energy.


Keywords: GS-3 Environment and Ecology
Daily Current Affairs

Captive employment Initiative

In News: Recently, Union Minister for Rural Development onboarded 19 Captive Employers, a unique initiative under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY).

About Captive employment Initiative

  • ‘Captive Employment’, is a first of its kind initiative aimed at addressing the vision of a dynamic and demand-based skilling ecosystem catering to the requirements of industry partners assuring sustainable placements for rural poor youth.
  • The initiative is a shot in the arm for the DDU-GKY programme, assuring post-training placement of candidates for a minimum of six months with a minimum CTC of Rs 10,000/-.
  • This program will be a big boon for rural poor to augment their job needs and improve their standard of living.
  • This program shall also contribute to sustainable development goals.

About DDU-GKY:

  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) is a placement linked skilling program of the Ministry of Rural Development under the aegis of National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM).
  • This program caters to the rural poor youth. It is funded by Ministry of Rural Development, Govt of India.
  • The program is currently being implemented in 27 States and 4 UTs for rural poor youth with an emphasis on placements.


Keywords: GS-3 Economy, employment
Daily Current Affairs

North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme” (NESIDS)

In News: The project “Improvement and upgradation of Mankachar Mahendraganj (Hallidayagani to Jhanjhani) Road” listed for consideration, could not be taken up in light of clarification from the Government of Assam.


  • North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme” (NESIDS) has been approved by the Government of India as a new Central Sector Scheme.
  • Under the Scheme guidelines of NESIDS, 100% centrally funding is provided to the State Governments of North Eastern Region for the projects of physical infrastructure.
  • Infrastructure like water supply, power and connectivity enhancing tourism and Social infrastructure relating to primary and secondary sectors of education and health.

About Northeast sector Development scheme:

  • The objective of the Northeast Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS) is to take up the rehabilitation/construction/upgradation of roads (including bridges on the roads) in the Northeastern Region (NER).
  • The Scheme will be administered and monitored in the Ministry of DoNER through an Empowered Inter-Ministerial Committee under the chairmanship of the Secretary, DoNER.
  • The Ministry of DoNER will release funds through authorization to the concerned Central Ministry/Department to which the implementing agency is affiliated.
  • Projects taken up under NERSDS will include a 4-year maintenance clause with the capital cost of the project.




Keywords: GS –3 Infrastructure, GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT, inclusive growth, GS – 2 Government Policies & Interventions
Daily Current Affairs

Sticky Inflation

In News: RBI report on sticky inflation raises the possibility of a rate hike.

About Sticky Inflation:

  • Sticky inflation is an undesirable economic situation where there is a combination of stubbornly high inflation, (and often stagnant growth).
  • Inflation being sticky essentially means that inflation is taking longer than expected to fall.
    • Essentially, higher food and fuel prices have seeped into the broader economy and made other things costlier.
  • Sticky inflation is often associated with cost-push factors, i.e., factors that cause a rise in the inflation rate but also lead to lower spending and economic growth.


  • Inflation refers to a sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.
  • It is the rise in the prices of most goods and services of daily or common use, such as food, clothing, housing, recreation, transport, consumer staples, etc.
  • Inflation measures the average price change in a basket of commodities and services over time.



Keywords: GS –3 Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Green Wall of Africa (GGW)

In News: Recently, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change inaugurated the Aravali Green Wall Project on the occasion of International day.


  • Green Wall of Africa is a project launched by African union to restore the continent’s degraded landscapes and transform millions of lives in the Sahel.
  • The project plans 8km wide band of trees stretching 8,000km across Africa.
  • It aims to restore 100 million hectares of currently degraded land.
  • The project envisages to sequester 250 million tons of carbon and create 10 million green jobs by 2030.
  • Eleven countries in the Sahel-Sahara region—Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Senegal have joined to combat land degradation and restore native plant life to the landscape.

Keywords: GS-3 Environment and Ecology
Daily Current Affairs

Geomagnetic Solar Storm

In News: Earth hit by severe solar storm much stronger than expected.

About Geomagnetic Solar Storm

  • A geomagnetic storm refers to the disruptions to the Earth’s magnetic field caused by solar emissions.
  • When a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) or a high-speed solar stream reaches our planet, it slams into the magnetosphere.
  • The Earth’s magnetosphere is created by its magnetic fields and it usually protects us from the particles emitted by the Sun.
  • When a CME or a high-speed stream arrives at Earth, it peels open the planet’s magnetosphere, kind of like an onion. This allows energetic solar wind particles to stream down and hit our atmosphere over the poles.
  • Solar weather events like this can also supercharge auroras, sometimes making them visible in places where they wouldn’t have been otherwise.

Impact of Geomagnetic Storm

  • The US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gave the geomagnetic storm a severity grade of G4, which is the second-highest grade possible.
  • A G4 grade solar storm can potentially cause widespread voltage control problems for power grids.
  • It can also cause protection systems to mistakenly trip key electric assets of the grid.
  • Solar storms can hit operations of space-dependent services like Global Positioning Systems (GPS), radio, and satellite
  • Aircraft flights and space exploration programmes are vulnerable.
  • It can potentially create disturbances in the magnetosphere, the protective shield surrounding the Earth.


Keywords: GS-1 Geography
Daily Current Affairs

Berry Borere Infestation

In News: The Coffee Board has issued an advisory to coffee farmers to tackle the attack of berry borer in Robusta coffee plants.


  • Berry borer infestation is a common problem in coffee production. It is caused by a small beetle called the coffee berry borer, which lays its eggs inside coffee berries.
  • The berry borer-infested gleanings, leftover fruits, and off-season berries should be collected and disposed of by burning or burying them in the soil or disinfested by dipping them in boiling water to mitigate the attack in the next season
  • Brocca traps, an effective measure to control the berry borer population in coffee plantations, should be installed and backing irrigation should be provided for Robusta coffee plants.
  • The pupae of hairy caterpillars should be collected and destroyed in endemic areas. Ant nests in plantations should be removed to contain the spread of mealybugs


Keywords: GS-3 Economy, agriculture
Daily Current Affairs

Affinity test cannot be the litmus test to decide a caste claim

In News: An affinity test cannot be the litmus test to decide a caste claim, the Supreme Court has held in a judgment.


  • Affinity Test is used to shift through anthropological and ethnological traits to link a person to a tribe.
  • There is the likelihood that contact with other cultures, migration and modernization would have erased the traditional characteristics of a tribe.
  • The claim by an applicant that he is a part of a Scheduled Tribe and is entitled to the benefit extended to that tribe, cannot per se be disregarded on the ground that his present traits do not match his tribes.
  • These include peculiar anthropological and ethnological traits, deity, rituals, mode of marriage, death ceremonies, method of burial of dead bodies etc.
  • Worship is an integral part of the life of a community and tribes have specific modes which need to be ascertained by the officers who decide the claims (for ST status).,An%20affinity%20test%20cannot%20be%20the%20litmus%20test%20to%20decide,tribe%20claim%20in%20every%20case


Keywords: GS-2 Polity and governance
Daily Current Affairs

Open ballot system

In News: Supreme Court junks plea against open ballot system for Rajya Sabha Poll.

  • The term “open ballot system” is used to describe votes in which participant’s choices are not confidential. It is the opposite of a secret ballot.
  • SC observed that open ballot system is needed to prevent cross voting and maintain party discipline.
  • Conduct Of Election Rules makes it mandatory for an MLA and an MP to show marked ballot paper to polling agent of a political party in polls for Rajya Sabha and state legislative councils.
  • Showing a marked ballot to anyone other than one’s own party’s authorised agent will render vote invalid.


Keywords: GS-2 Polity and governance
Daily Current Affairs

Index Providers

In News: SEBI getting set to regulate index providers.

  • Index providers are those institutions that formulate and manage indices.
  • Their function is to classify and define markets or a proportion of a market and provide a benchmark of performance for that market.
  • An index allows investors and other stakeholders to get a snapshot of the market.
  • In India, it is carried out by subsidiaries of stock exchanges, as a joint venture between the exchange and an index provider.
  • Nifty50 by NSE Indices, and Sensex by a venture of S&P Dow Jones and BSE


Keywords: GS-3 Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Universal Acceptance

In News: 28 March 2023 marks the first-ever Universal Acceptance Day being celebrated worldwide.


  • India has been chosen as flag-bearer for this year to promote UA for digital inclusion.
  • UA ensures that all domain names and email addresses are treated equally and can be used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems.
  • UA means building a technical environment to allow computing devices, operating systems, browsers, social media or e-commerce to accept instructions in local language other than English.
  • UA is a priority for ICANN, a not-for-profit partnership dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable, and interoperable.


Keywords: GS-2 Polity, International Organisation
Daily Current Affairs


In News: African philosophy ‘Ubuntu’ can help us fight climate crisis


  • Word Ubuntu means ‘humanity to others’.
  • This indigenous philosophy (focusing on altruism) provides an alternative way of thinking to rampant individualism.
  • It will help us focus on and rebuild our relationship with the natural world and prioritise interconnectedness.
  • It invokes a spirit of collective, global and regional inter-governmental action, as well as communal and individual efforts to resolve complex climate crisis.,resolve%20the%20complex%20climate%20crisis


Keywords: GS- 3 Environment and Ecology
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