Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs – 14th September 2023



Today’s Topics List:

  1. Operation Polo

  2. Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia

  3. Sickle cell patients – Disability certificate

  4. C 295 Transport Aircraft

  5. Zoonotic diseases – Unified approach



Operation Polo


  • 13th September 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of Operation Polo.


  • Hyderabad was one of the largest princely states in India at the time, ruled by the Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan.
    • The integration of princely states into India was a complex and challenging process following India’s independence from British rule in 1947. While most princely states willingly acceded to India or Pakistan, a few, including Hyderabad, resisted integration.
  • Operation Polo, also known as the “Police Action,” was a military operation conducted by the newly independent Republic of India in September 1948.
    • It aimed to integrate the princely state of Hyderabad into the newly formed Indian Union.

Why was Operation Polo launched?

  • Hyderabad is unique with predominantly Hindu population being ruled by a Muslim monarch, the Nizam.
  • The demands of Nizam either to be independent country within the heart of India or join Pakisthan was not accepted by the Indian government.
  • Tensions escalated, and the Nizam’s private army, known as the Razakars, engaged in acts of violence and intimidation.
  • In response, the Indian government, led by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, decided to use military force to integrate Hyderabad. Operation Polo was launched on September 13, 1948, and within five days, the Indian Army, led by Major General J.N. Chaudhuri, swiftly defeated the Nizam’s forces. The Nizam surrendered on September 17, 1948.



Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia


  • Recently, the 809th Ghusal Sharif (birthday celebration) of the Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia who is revered by people of all faiths and walks of life is seen.

About Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia

  • Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia was born in 1238 CE in Badayun, Uttar Pradesh, India. His full name was Muhammad Nizamuddin Auliya.
  • He is often referred as Nizamuddin Auliya or Nizamuddin Chishti, was a prominent Sufi saint and scholar in India.
  • He is one of the most revered saints in the Chishti order of Sufism and played a significant role in spreading Sufi teachings and spirituality in the Indian subcontinent.

His Teachings:

  • Nizamuddin Aulia emphasized the importance of love, devotion, and service to God.
  • He believed in the power of the heart’s connection with the Divine and encouraged his followers to seek God through love and mysticism.
  • He established his own Sufi order, known as the “Nizamuddin Silsila,” which became one of the prominent branches of the Chishti order in India.
  • Nizamuddin Aulia was known for his spiritual gatherings, or Sama, where music, poetry, and devotional songs were used to connect with the Divine.
  • The famous Sufi musician and poet Amir Khusro was one of his disciples and a frequent participant in these gatherings.

                                     Nizamuddin Aulia’s teachings and spiritual legacy had a profound influence on the development of Sufism in India. He attracted a large number of disciples and followers, and his shrine in Delhi, known as the Nizamuddin Dargah, continues to be a place of pilgrimage for people of all backgrounds.




Sickle cell patients – Disability certificate


  • A plan to get permanent disability certificates issued for Sickle-Cell Disease patients above the age of 5 years has been stuck in a quagmire between three Union Ministries for nearly three years. In a report tabled during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, a House panel urged the government to get a move on it.

What is sickle cell disease:

  • Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders.
    • Red blood cells contain haemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen. 
    • Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body.
    • In someone who has SCD, the haemoglobin is abnormal, which causes the red blood cells to become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle.”
    • The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells.
    • Also, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow.
    • This can cause pain and other serious complications (health problems) such as infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.
    • It not only causes anaemia but also pain crises, reduced growth, and affects many organs like lungs, heart, kidney, eyes, bones and the brain.

Sickle cell disease in India:

  • It is more common in the tribal population of India, but occurs in non-tribals too.
    • India has the largest density of tribal population, globally. As per Census 2011, India has an 8.6% tribal population which is 67.8 million across the Indian states.
    • The MoHFW tribal health expert committee report has listed sickle cell disease as one of the 10 special problems in tribal heath that affect the tribal people disproportionately, thus making this an important intervention.
  • Ministry of health under NHM- National Health Mission, initiated the work on hemoglobinopathies (Thalassemia & Sickle Cell Disease) in 2016 wherein comprehensive guidelines on prevention and management of heamoglobinopathies were released and provision of funds towards screening and management of Sickle cell disease were made. 

Disability Certificates – Sickle cell diseases (SCD)

  • The Health Ministry is responsible for determining the criteria and rules for disability certificates, while the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry actually issues the certificates.
    • Disability certificates are used for availing reservations and other scheme benefits.
  • SCD was included in the list of disabilities under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, patients could only avail disability certificates with a one-year validity.
    • Complaints are coming in from patients about the cumbersome procedure for renewal and experts.
    • The disability only progresses among patients, the Tribal Affairs Ministry in 2020 initiated dialogue with the DEPwD about the possibility of issuing permanent disability certificates
    • The DEPwD eventually increased the validity of disability certificates for SCD patients to three years, requiring a minimum of 25% disability.
  • So, for current patients of the sickle cell disease, they are eligible for the disability certificates with a three-year validity. But there is a need for issuing permanent disability certificates due to the prolonged nature of illness.


  • the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Empowerment of Women, had examined issues related to the health of tribal women across India.
    • In the report, the Committee noted that it understood SCD as a “lifelong illness” with a blood and bone marrow transplant being the only cure
    • Only very few people, specially amongst the tribal population can undertake it.
  • It thus recommended the government to find a way to issue permanent disability certificates to SCD patients who are above the age of 5 years and meet the required criteria.
    • But it also told the government that if this is not feasible, it should at least consider increasing the validity of the temporary certificates to five years.




C 295 Transport Aircraft


  • Indian Air force received the first C-295 transport aircraft from Airbus out of 56.
  • The C295 aircraft will replace Indian Air Force ageing Avro-748 fleet.
  • Indigenous radar warning receiver and missile approach warning systems made by Bharat Electronics Ltd.
  • And counter measure dispensing system made by Bharat Dynamics Ltd. have been certified and installed on the first aircraft.

Features of C295:

  • C-295 is a medium-sized, twin-turboprop military transport
  • The C­295, has a carrying capacity of 5-10 tonne, can carry up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers
  • The C-295s, which will be equipped with indigenous electronic warfare systems, also have rear ramp doors for quick-reaction and para-dropping of troops and cargo.
  • The C295 is designed to provide outstanding low-level flight characteristics for tactical missions, flying at speeds as slow as 110 knots.
  • It has short take-off and landing (STOL) characteristics and the ability to use unprepared airstrips.
  • On medical evacuation missions, the C295 can be fitted with 24 stretchers and seven medical attendants.




Zoonotic diseases – Unified approach


  • Nipah virus is again wreaking havoc in Kozhikode, the fourth outbreak of the disease in Kerala over the last five years. It is cause by a Zoonotic spillover.

What are Zoonotic diseases:

  • A zoonotic disease is a disease or infection that can be transmitted naturally from vertebrate animals to humans or from humans to vertebrate animals. (Zoonotic spillover).
  • Humans, animals, and the environment play a significant role in the emergence and transmission of different infectious diseases
    • More than 60% of human pathogens are zoonotic in origin.
    • This includes a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, parasites, and other pathogens. 
  • Zoonoses is a great public health concern and a direct human health hazard that may even lead to death. 

Classification of Zoonoses:

  • Based on etiology, Zoonotic diseases are caused by a wide range of pathogens and are classified into,
    • Bacterial Zoonoses such as: anthrax, salmonellosis, Tuberculosis, Lyme disease, Brucellosis, and plague.
    • Viral Zoonoses such as, Rabies, AIDS, Ebola, and Avian Influenza.
    • Parasitic Zoonoses such as, trichinosis, toxoplasmosis, trematodosis, giardiasis, malaria, and echinococcosis.
    • Fungal Zoonoses such as, ring worm.
    • Rickettisal Zoonoses – Q-fever
    • Chlamydial zoonoses such as – psittacosis,
    • Mycoplasma zoonoses and protozoal zoonoses

Recent Zoonotic incidents:

  • One of the major Zoonotic spillovers took place in the recent history is the Covid 19 pandemic which changed the course of economy and socio-political nature of the times and took a considerable time in for the world to recover from its effects.
  • The recent case of Nipah virus, which has been resurfacing in Kerala since 2018.

What is the present approach?

  • Since 2018, and even after the Covid 19 pandemic, the situation remains verymuch the same, interms of treatment options.
    • There is no cure and supportive care remains the only way to handle the infections even in the hospital settings.
    • The strategy of contact tracing and quarantine remains the same.
    • Management, Isolation, containment and treatment – constant vigil can be the only guard against such outbreaks.

What needs to be done – Unified approach:

  • Research has shown that anthropogenic activity has a definite hand to play in zoonotic spillovers.
    • In case of Nipah, rapid expansion of agricultural activity in original habitat zones of the fruit bats has repeatedly shown up on post factor analyses.
    • As government mount strategic efforts to control outbreaks and deaths due to infectious diseases, it is increasingly clearly that the State needs to initiate a One health approach.
  • One health approach is an integrated, unifying approach to balancing and optimising the health of people, animals and the environment.
    • With conviction that humans live in symbiosis and that the health of one impact that of another significantly

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