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Stay informed with relevant current affairs from trusted sources like The Hindu, Indian Express, PIB, and more. Our daily news analysis includes Prelims Facts and Important Editorials presented in a concise and bulletised format. Get free daily updates at 12 noon (except Sundays). Don’t miss the Daily Revision Quiz to reinforce your knowledge. Good luck!
Here are the topics covered for 24 August 2023: One Health, National Curriculum Framework, Indian Citizenship, Social Security, BRICS Expansion, G20 Jaipur Meet, Onion Exports, Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS), Trade Deficit, Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), LUPEX, Processed Food, India Post Payment Bank.
Table of Contents:
GS Paper 1:
- One Health
- National Curriculum Framework
GS Paper 2:
- Indian Citizenship
- Social Security
- BRICS Expansion
- G20 Jaipur Meet
GS Paper 3:
- Onion Exports
- Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS)
- Trade Deficit
- Graphics Processing Units (GPUs)
Facts for Prelims:
- Processed Food
- India Post Payment Bank
GS Paper 1
What is the One Health Approach (OHA)
- According to the WHO, one Health’ is an integrated, unifying approach to balance and optimize the health of people, animals, and the environment. It is particularly important to prevent, predict, detect, and respond to global health threats such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
History & Origin of One Health Approach (OHA):
- An early articulation can be found in the writings of Hippocrates (460-367 BC), who contemplated the relationships between public health and clean environments.
- Since the 1800s, scientists have noted the similarity in disease processes among animals and humans, but human and animal medicine were practised separately until the 20th century.
- The 19th-century German physician and pathologist Rudolf Virchow (1821-1863) later wrote: “Between animal and human medicines there are no dividing lines – nor should there be.”
- Virchow. One of his first publications was titled, “The Relation of Animals to Man.”
- More recently, the eminent veterinarians James Steele (1913-2013) and Calvin Schwabe (1927-2006) have championed the value of ecology for both animal and human health.
Significance of OHA:
- Human population growth, urbanization, and industrialization have compounded the damage to biodiversity and ecosystems. These harmful environmental changes are linked to zoonoses – diseases shared between animals and humans.
- Researchers have estimated that 60% of emerging diseases that can infect humans are zoonotic. They include bird flu, Ebola, rabies, and Japanese encephalitis.
- Increasing incidence of anti-micro bail resistance, food safety and security, and the control of vector-borne diseases. Taken together, these issues warrant both the intersectoral management and the efficiency that characterizes the One Health strategy.
- The one health approach is very important for resource use efficiency, coordination and among various government agencies and departments including the Ministries of Health and Family Welfare, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Environment, Science and Technology, and private institutes.
- For example, Taking a One Health approach allows researchers to, for example, share their laboratories and findings, and ultimately make decisions that lead to resilient, sustainable, and predictable policies.
National Curriculum Framework
- The NCF has been drafted by the union government-appointed national steering committee headed by former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Kasturirangan.
About the Framework
- The NCF recommended board exams should be held twice a year, and there should be no restriction on students choosing subjects within streams such as science or commerce.
- The NCF defines benchmarks for NCERT textbooks taught in the schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in classes 3 to 12, teaching and learning practices, and assessment methods adopted by the schools.
- However, these will remain recommendatory in nature for state education boards given that education is a state subject.
- The NCF was last revised in 2005.
- The NCF’s suggestion that at least two languages, one of them being an Indian language, will be offered to students in classes 11 and 12, is one such change.
- The choices for languages would include Sanskrit and other modern/classical languages and literature of India, including classical Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Pali, Persian, and Prakrit, among others.
- In addition to this, foreign languages, such as French, German, Japanese, and Korean would also be offered.
- Students can then appear for a board examination in courses they have completed and feel ready for.
- This process could be made possible through the creation of a comprehensive test item bank which can be used to create tests using suitable software.
- This will enable the movement towards a system of on-demand examinations in the near future as described in NEP 2020.
- It also recommended a semester system for classes 11 and 12, and “no hard separation between arts, humanities, and sciences”.
- In the long term, all (education) boards should change to semester or term-based systems, where students can test in a subject as soon as they have completed the subject, which would further reduce the content load being tested in any one examination.
GS Paper 2
- An increasing number of Indians are renouncing their nationality, mainly pursuing enhanced economic prospects and improved social welfare overseas.
More about the news
- In the last ten years, over 5 million Indians have renounced their citizenship, with a significant number migrating to the United States.
- Affluent individuals are also departing India via investment migration, with an anticipated 6,500 set to emigrate this year, marking the second-largest global outflow after China.
- The top destination for these migrants is the USA, trailed by Canada, Australia, and the UK.
- According to the MEA, approximately 12 million Indians were residing overseas in 2021.
Reasons for Renouncing
- Seeking improved job prospects and higher income abroad.
- Seeking advanced healthcare, superior education, and enhanced social welfare in another nation.
- Aiming for an elevated standard of living, security, and general well-being.
- Choosing nations with advantageous tax regulations and lower financial constraints.
- Pursuing advanced educational courses not offered in their native country.
- Acquiring a passport that grants more global visa-free travel options.
- Evading home country’s political turmoil, disputes, or governance
- Relocating to regions with a preferable climate and environmental
- Joining relatives or close ones previously established in a foreign land.
- Exploring business prospects or financial ventures
- According to the ILO Social security is the protection that a society provides to individuals and households to ensure access to health care and to guarantee income security, particularly in cases of old age, unemployment, sickness, invalidity, work injury, maternity or loss of a breadwinner.
Coverage of Social Security in India
- Around 53% of all of the salaried workforce does not have any social security benefits in India, according to the Periodic Labour Force Survey Annual Report 2021-22.
- In effect, this means that such employees have no access to a provident fund, pension, health care, or disability insurance.
- Another conclusion is that just 1.9% of the poorest 20% quintile of India’s workforce has access to any benefits.
- Meanwhile, gig workers, or approximately 1.3% of India’s active labor force, rarely have access to any social security benefit. India’s social security system is also ranked poorly.
- India ranked 40 out of 43 countries in the Mercer CFS ranking.
- Need Government Push The government pushed for a Code on Social Security in 2020, which sought to provide a statutory framework to enable social security for the urban and rural poor, construction workers, those in the gig industry, and informal sector workers.
- Gig Workers: Provision of life insurance, disability insurance, accident insurance, as well as maternity and health-care benefits along with old-age protection and crèche facilities for gig workers.
- Greater support is required for financing social security for the majority of India’s labor force, moving beyond construction and gig workers.
- Digitization: Digitization under the e-Shram platform has enabled the enrolment of approximately 300 million workers while expanding coverage of accident insurance (of ₹2 lakh cover) and disability (of ₹1 lakh cover).
- e-Shram puts the burden of registration on informal workers, who are required to furnish a self-declaration and share their Aadhaar card; there is no responsibility/incentive given to their employer (even temporary) to foster registration.
- Mandatory Social Security: Bringing employers into the process would have enabled the formalization of employee-employer relationships. We could have done much more, pushing informal employers to make social security entitlements mandatory and not voluntary.
- Expansion of the scheme: expansion of existing successful schemes such as the Building and Other Construction Workers Schemes to other categories of workers. Such expansion requires a loosening of existing restrictions on benefit portability, a 90-day mandatory cooling period, as well as a more straightforward registration process.
- Domestic Workers: Special attention is required for domestic workers (usually female), who are never sure when their employment may be terminated. Migrant workers often face discrimination and suspicion from authorities in their working area so coverage of social services such as child care can be expanded. Domestic workers must also organise themselves across India’s cities.
- At the plenary session of the 15th BRICS summit, PM Modi highlighted the expansion of the BRICS grouping through a consensus-based approach, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Johannesburg.
About the Expansion
- Current BRICS members are Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
- PM Modi urged Member States to take advantage of India’s digital solutions and to work for the welfare of the Global South.
- One of the main issues that are forming the backdrop of the expansion-related dialogue at BRICS is Russia’s quest to create an alternative to the G7-driven global political-economic model.
- This has acquired urgency since the Western nations unleashed economic sanctions against Russia after it launched the war against Ukraine in February 2022.
- This process has also drawn from India’s demand for changes in global multilateral systems to make them more responsive to the needs of the Global South.
- However, unlike their counterparts in Russia and China, Indian officials have not spoken aggressively for de-dollarisation.
- India has entered into local currency agreements with a few trading partners like the UAE.
- This indicates a difference among the founding members.
G20 Jaipur Meet
- Representatives of the G20 countries are gathering in Jaipur for the trade and investment ministerial meeting, scheduled on August 24-25.
G20 Jaipur Meet
- The five priority areas that are being discussed are trade for growth and prosperity; trade and resilient global supply chain; integrating MSMEs in global trade; logistics for trade; and WTO reforms.
- Strengthening mutual cooperation in the G20 to increase transparency in the use of non-tariff measures will be discussed in the meeting.
- It emphasised the rules-based, open inclusive multilateral trading system.
- On WTO reforms, the Indian Commerce Minister said that India wants the dispute settlement mechanism of the Geneva-based organisation to work smoothly.
- The Minister also added that there is a need to modernise the WTO, it should take into account the level of development in developing as well as least developed countries.
- A day ahead of the G20 trade ministers meeting here, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said the member countries are looking at reaching a consensus on a “Jaipur call for action” to help promote industry, MSMEs, and global trade.
Facts for Prelims
- Lunar Polar Exploration Mission (LUPEX) is a collaborative venture between the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Bengaluru-headquartered Indian space agency. JAXA and ISRO are developing the rover and lander, respectively.
- The rover will carry not only the instruments of ISRO and JAXA but also those of the US space agency NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).
- The LUPEX mission is aimed at exploring the lunar polar region’s suitability for establishing a base on the Moon for sustainable activities; obtaining knowledge regarding the availability of lunar water-ice resources, and demonstrating lunar and planetary surface exploration technologies such as vehicular transport and overnight survival.
- The objective of one of the proposed instruments — Permittivity and Thermo-physical investigation for Moon’s Aquatic Scout (PRATHIMA) — is in-situ detection and quantification of water-ice mixed with lunar surface and sub-surface soil using a rover/lander platform.
- The aim of another proposed instrument — Lunar Electrostatic Dust Experiment (LEDEX) — is to detect the presence of charged dust particles to confirm the dust levitation process in the volatile-rich polar region, and to estimate the approximate dust size and flux of charged levitated dust particles.
- According to an ISRO official, the LUPEX mission is slated to be launched in the year 2025.
- A recent WHO study highlighted a sharp increase in UPF sales in India over a decade.
- Diabetes extensively processed problems with many additives like preservatives and artificial flavours, including items like snacks, sodas, and fast food.
- Consuming UPFs excessively can result in obesity, digestive issues, risk of type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular problems.
- To address this, FSSAI has set up a committee to examine concerns related to nutraceuticals and UPFs.
India Post Payments Bank (IPPB)
- Established in 2018 under the Ministry of Communication, IPPB utilizes the extensive India Post network to boost the reach of banking services.
- While Payment Banks can perform most banking functions, they cannot issue loans or credit cards.
- The Indian government holds a 100% stake in IPPB.