IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


24th December, 2019


South has higher prevalence of mental disorders: study




Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh account for a higher prevalence of mental disorders that manifest primarily during adulthood in depression and anxiety, according to the first comprehensive estimates of disease burden attributable to mental health from 1990 prepared by the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative and published in the Lancet Psychiatry.

Findings of the study:

-       The study finds that roughly one in seven Indians, or 197 million persons, suffered from mental disorders of varying severity in 2017.

-       The contribution of mental disorders to the disability adjusted life year (DALY) — the sum of total years of life lost and years lived with disability — has doubled between 1990 and 2017 increasing from 2.5% to 4.7%.

-       These include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, idiopathic developmental intellectual disability, conduct disorders and autism.

-       In its State-wise analysis, the study divides different States into three categories on the basis of their socio-demographic index (SDI), i.e. low, medium and high SDI States.

-       The SDI is a composite measure of per-capita income, mean education and fertility rate in women younger than 25 years and is calculated on a scale of one.

-       Prevalence of depressive disorders was highest in Tamil Nadu, Kerala (loss of 641 years), Goa and Telangana in the high SDI State group and Andhra Pradesh in the middle SDI State group.

-       Similarly, anxiety disorders were found to be more common in Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, and Maharashtra in the high SDI State group and Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, and West Bengal in the middle SDI State group.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/south-has-higher-prevalence-of-mental-disorders-study/article30382976.ece


Airlines may fly into a $600-mn loss: CAPA



Aviation consultancy Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) estimates a full-year loss of $500-600 million for Indian carriers primarily due to a sharp fall in airfares on some of the most profitable routes as the airlines mounted additional capacity in a bid to capture coveted airport slots owned by the now defunct Jet Airways.


-       Latest estimate for India’s domestic market was its sharpest downward revision from one quarter to the next in 16 years.

-       It had earlier predicted a profit of $500-700 million for Indian airlines.

-       CAPA estimates Air India to post a loss of $500 million in FY 2020 after posting a net loss of $1.2 billion in the last fiscal.

Challenges to airlines:

-       Complexity of operations due to the induction of Jet Airways’ aircraft configured differently from its own to include business class.

-       Significant cost increase, as these were older planes, which required more maintenance.

-       Further, a lack of financial support for Air India from the government has resulted in as many as 26 of its planes being grounded due to a shortage of funds to replace engines as well as buy spare parts.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/airlines-may-fly-into-a-600-mn-loss-capa/article30382780.ece


Beijing attacks Washington for ‘weaponisation’ of outer space

Beijing warned that the U.S. was turning the cosmos into a “battlefield”, after Washington announced a new military arm called the Space Force.

About Space force:

-       The Space Force will be the sixth formal force of the U.S. military, after the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.

-       It will be comprised of about 16,000 air force and civilian personnel, some already taking part in the Space Command.

-       China and Russia have both developed “robust and capable” space services for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, which necessitates space force.

Chinese arguments:

-       Violate the international consensus of the peaceful use of outer space.

-       Poses a direct threat to outer space, peace, and security.

-       Need to adopt a prudent and responsible attitude to prevent outer space from becoming a new battlefield.

-       USA is pursuing the weaponisation of outer space.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/beijing-attacks-washington-for-weaponisation-of-outer-space/article30383016.ece

Russia hopeful of India’s free trade pact with EAEU

Russia is looking forward to India concluding a new Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

Comments of Russia:

-       Both countries would move forward on military and technical cooperation based on commitments with Russia seeking de-escalation of the domestic challenges that arose after the adoption of the new citizenship law in India.

-       In 2020, we are hopeful of an early conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement between the EAEU and India and the next round of the Russian-Indian Strategic Economic Dialogue with the focus on transport, agriculture, small and medium enterprises.

-       Moscow and Delhi were going to reach a new level of security partnership by increasing oil and natural gas supplies through “long-term arrangements”.

About Eurasian Economic Union:

-       The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is an economic union of states located in central and northern Asia and Eastern Europe.

-       EAEU has an integrated single market of 180 million people and a gross domestic product of over Int$5 trillion.

-       Member States: Russia, Krygstan, Kazakastan, Belarus and Armenia.

-       The EAEU introduces the free movement of goods, capital, services and people. It provides for common policies in the macroeconomic sphere, transport, industry and agriculture, energy, foreign trade and investment, customs, technical regulation, competition and antitrust regulation.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/russia-hopeful-of-indias-free-trade-pact-with-eaeu/article30384075.ece


Cold wave continues

Cold wave continued in the capital with the maximum temperature settling at 20.6 degrees Celsius lowest of this season and the minimum temperature settling at 4.7 degrees Celsius three degrees below the normal for the season.

About Cold Wave:

-       Cold wave is characterized by a rapid fall of temperature. It describes an unusual fall in temperature that is triggered by the transport of cold air masses into a specific area.

-       The “wave” in cold wave is apparent in the upper-air flow (the jet stream), which is usually amplified into a strong ridge-trough pattern during a major cold outbreak.

-       Cold waves affect much larger areas than blizzards, ice storms, and other winter hazards.

-       The core requirement of a cold wave at the surface is a strong high pressure enters that forms during winter in high latitudes.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/cold-wave-continues/article25803469.ece


Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile completes development trials

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted twin tests of the Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur off the Odisha coast.

About QRSAM:

-       The QRSAM weapon system, which operates on the move, comprises fully automated command and control, active array battery multi-function radar and launcher.

-       Both the radars are four-walled having 360-degree coverage with search on move and track on move capability.

-       This missile is an all-weather, all-terrain surface-to-air missile equipped with electronic counter measures against jamming by aircraft radars.

-       It can be mounted on a truck and is stored in a canister.

-       QRSAM uses solid-fuel propellant and has a range of 25-30 km.

-       The single-staged missile utilized by the system is propelled using solid propellants.

-       The missile is equipped with a mid-course inertial navigation system with a two-way data link and a DRDO-developed terminal active seeker.

-       The system has the capability to search and track targets while moving.

-       QRSAM is a compact weapon system and is mobile.

-       It is expected to be ready for induction by 2021.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/quick-reaction-surface-to-air-missile-completes-development-trials/article30382246.ece



Bar-headed goose spotted near Pandalam



About Bar Headed Goose:

-       The bar-headed goose (Anserindicus) is known to be one of the highest-flying birds in the world.

-       It can fly at altitudes of 25,000 feet, while migrating over the Himalayas, where oxygen and temperature levels are extremely low.

-       The species has been reported as migrating south from Tibet, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia before crossing the Himalaya.

-       This pale grey bird is distinct from other goose in its genus because of the black bars on its head.

-       The summer habitat of the bar-headed goose is high-altitude lakes where it grazes on short grass, whereas the winter habitat is cultivated fields, where it feeds on barley, rice and wheat and could therefore cause crop damage.

-       It is classified as “Least Concerned” as per the IUCN Red List.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/bar-headed-goose-spotted-near-pandalam/article30382967.ece


First tripartite Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signed under Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund (FIDF)

The first tripartite Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the department of Fisheries Government of India, NABARD and the Government of Tamil Nadu for the implementation of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund (FIDF).

About the Agreement

-       NABARD as one of the Nodal Loaning Entities (NLEs) provides concessional finance for development of fisheries infrastructure facilities through State Governments/State Entities under the FIDF, after execution of the Tripartite MoA.

-       The project proposals of Government of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh for development of fishing harbours in their respective States form the major part of these recommended projects.

Year End Review 2019 Ministry of Women and Child Development

Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh: 

-       The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) and Bill& Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh (BPKK).

-       The BPKK will be a repository of diverse crops across 128 agro-climatic zones in India for better nutritional outcomes.

-       It will document and evaluate promising regional dietary practices and the messaging around them and develop a food atlas on regional agro-food systems.

-       The project team will select around 12 high focus states, which are representative of the geographical, social, economic, cultural and structural diversities of India. 

Poshan Maah:

-       POSHAN Maah was celebrated in September this year and in one month, 36 million POSHAN related activities were held across the country.

-       During POSHAN Maah 1.3 million Anganwadi workers, 1.2 million Anganwadi helpers and state agencies reached out to 85 million beneficiaries.

-       There is no provision under the POSHAN Abhiyaan to provide nutritious food. 

-       Providing Supplementary Nutrition is a part of Anganwadi Services scheme.

-       POSHAN Abhiyaan ensures convergence of various nutrition related schemes/interventions of various line Ministries.

POSHAN Abhiyan:

-       POSHAN Abhiyaan empowers the frontline functionaries like Anganwadi Workers and Lady Supervisors by providing them with smart phones.

-       ICDS-Common Application Software have been developed under POSHAN Abhiyaan, which enables data capture, ensures assigned service delivery and prompts for interventions wherever required.

-       The dashboard displays data and provides reports on various programme areas to the administrative officers to interpret and use the information for improving service delivery.

-       The goal of Poshan Abhiyaan is to achieve improvement in nutritional status of Children (0-6 years), Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) in a time bound manner in next three years period beginning 2017-18 with fixed targets.

-       Poshan Abhiyaan is to ensure convergence of all nutrition related schemes of the Ministry of Women and Child Development on the target population.

POSCO act:

-       Section 28 of the POCSO Act 2012 provides for establishment of Special Courts for the purpose of providing speedy trial.

-       Section 35 of the POCSO Act provides that the evidence of the child shall be recorded within a period of thirty days of the Special Court taking cognizance of the offence and reasons for delay, if any, shall be recorded by the Special Court. 

-       Special Court shall complete the trial, as far as possible, within a period of one year from the date of taking cognizance of the offence.

Speedy dispensation of Justice:

-       Government has finalized a scheme in August 2019 for setting up of total of 1023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) across the country for expeditious trial and disposal of pending cases pertaining to rape and POCSO Act, 2012.

-       The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 was enacted for effective deterrence against sexual offences.

-       The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 was enacted to prescribe even more stringent penal provisions including death penalty for rape of a girl below age of 12 years. 

-       A “National Database on Sexual Offenders” has been launched on 20th September 2018 to facilitate investigation and tracking of sexual offenders across the country by law enforcement agencies.

-       An online analytic tool for police called “Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences” has been launched.

-       Steps have been taken to strengthen DNA analysis units in Central and State Forensic Science Laboratories.

-       The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science have trained a total number of 6023 officers.

-       A scheme namely Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children (CCPWC) has been approved under which an online cybercrime reporting portal.

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana:

-       It is a flagship scheme of the Government for pregnant women and lactating mothers has achieved a significant milestone by crossing one crore beneficiaries.

-       PMMVY is a direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme under which cash benefits are provided to pregnant women in their bank account directly to meet enhanced nutritional needs and partially compensate for wage loss.

-       Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) receive a cash benefit of Rs. 5,000 in three instalments on fulfilling the respective conditionality, viz. early registration of pregnancy, antenatal check-up and registration of the birth of the child and completion of first cycle of vaccination for the first living child of the family.

-       The eligible beneficiaries also receive cash incentive under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY). Thus, on an average, a woman gets Rs. 6,000.

One Stop Centre (OSC) Scheme 

-       Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) has been discontinued.

-       It provides a range of services including police facilitation, medical aid, psychosocial counselling, legal counselling and temporary shelter to women affected by violence in an integrated manner under one roof. 

-       So far 728 OSCs have been sanctioned and 595 OSCs have started operations.

-       The scheme is meant to provide temporary accommodation, maintenance and rehabilitative services to women and girls rendered homeless due to family discord, crime, violence, mental stress, social ostracism or are being forced into prostitution and are in moral danger. 

Nirbhaya Fund:

-       Under the Nirbhaya Fund, the proposed projects should have the features like direct impact on safety and security concerns of women, optimum use of existing infrastructure, innovative use of technology, no duplication of existing government schemes/ programmes, provision for real time intervention as far as possible. 

-       Strict privacy and confidentiality of women’s identity and information and defined monitoring mechanism.

-       Projects under it:

-       Mahila Police Volunteer Scheme

-       One Stop Centre Scheme (OSC)

-       Universalization of Women Helpline Scheme

Sexual Harassment electronic–Box (SHe-Box): 

-       An online complaint management system titled Sexual Harassment electronic–Box (SHe-Box) for registering complaints related to sexual harassment at workplace by women, including government and private employees.

-        It directly reaches to the concerned authority having jurisdiction to take action in the matter.

-       A total number of 203 cases have been disposed of so far, which includes cases under Central Government, State Government and Private sector.

-       The SHe-Box portal has been developed with the objective to facilitate the registration of complaints related to sexual harassment of women at workplace.