- Anti-Microbial resistance
- Violence in South Africa
- Draft Drone Rules, 2021
- Palaeolithic cave paintings found in near Delhi could be among oldest.
- World Youth Skills Day 2021
- Kamaraj Plan
#GS3 #Economics of Animal-Rearing #Food Processing and Related Industries in India #Bio-technology
Context: A new joint inter-agency report has found positive associations between antimicrobial use (AMU) in animals and antimicrobial resistance in animals as well as in humans.
Highlights of the report:
- The report by EU Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and others, analysed six classes of antibiotics- cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, polymyxins, aminopenicillins, macrolides and tetracyclines.
- These are part of WHO’s AWaRe (Access, Watch, Reserve) classification.
- Except tetracyclines, all remaining five classes are critically important antimicrobials (CIA) categorised by WHO as critical for use in human health.
- Data on AMR in E. coli, K. pneumoniae, S. aureus and C. jejuni were included in report.
- While E. coli and K. pneumonia are common infection causing bacteria, S. aureus and C. jejuni are food-borne bacteria.
- The report also established significant correlations between AMU in humans and animals with AMR in humans, animals respectively and also across sectors.
- The consumption of colistin, a last resort antibiotic and an HPCIA was higher in food-producing animals than in humans across EU.
- The report suggested that strong interventions to reduce and improve antimicrobial consumption will have a beneficial impact on the occurrence of AMR.
- It underlined the need to promote prudent use of antimicrobial agents and infection control and prevention in both humans and in food-producing animals, in a ‘One Health’ approach.
- Appropriate data on the use of CIAs in humans and animals, and understanding on their linkages to AMR can help inform necessary policy decisions related to restricting the use of CIAs in animals or adoption of preventive measures to reduce dependence on antibiotics in food-animal production.
What is Anti-microbial Resistance?
- Antimicrobial resistance is the resistance acquired by any microorganism (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasite, etc.) against antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics) that are used to treat infections.
- As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.
- Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”.
Reasons for Spread of Antimicrobial Resistance:
- The misuse of antimicrobials in medicine and inappropriate use in agriculture.
- Contamination around pharmaceutical manufacturing sites where untreated waste releases large amounts of active antimicrobials into the environment.
- AMR is already responsible for up to 7, 00,000 deaths a year.
AMR in India:
- India, with its large population, rising incomes that facilitate purchase of antibiotics, high burden of infectious diseases and easy over-the-counter access to antibiotics, is an important locus for the generation of resistance genes.
- The multi-drug resistance determinant, New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1), emerged from this region to spread globally.
- Africa, Europe and other parts of Asia have also been affected by multi-drug resistant typhoid originating from South Asia.
- In India, over 56,000 newborn deaths each year due to sepsis are caused by organisms that are resistant to first line antibiotics.
Steps taken by India to address AMR:
- National Programme on Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance.
- Medicines with the Red Line media campaign.
- The National Action Plan on AMR
- Enrolment in WHO Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS).
- FSSAI released “Antibiotic Residues limits” in food from animal origin.
- Violence in South Africa
#GS2 #International relations #Indian Diaspora
Context: The unrest in South Africa, set off last week after the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma, has claimed 72 lives so far.
- The police and the military have resorted to firing stun grenades and rubber bullets to contain the situation.
- Riots have hurt thousands of businesses and damaged major infrastructure.
- It is the worst civil unrest since the end of white minority rule in 1994.
What triggered the protests?
- Protests began over calls for release of former president Jacob Zuma, who served the country from 2009-18 and is facing corruption charges.
- Former Cabinet ministers, high-ranking government officials and executives of state-owned enterprises have implicated Jacob Zuma in corruption.
- Zuma also faces charges related to bribes that he allegedly received during South Africa’s 1999 arms procurement deal.
- Many feel that his successor as president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has failed to provide decisive leadership – either to calm anger over Zuma’s imprisonment or to reassure South Africans that they will be safe.
- While the violence may have been spurred on by the imprisonment of Jacob Zuma, it’s being fanned by underlying problems in the country amid a raging pandemic and failing economy.
- In 2020, the country had witnessed its sharpest decline in annual Gross Domestic Product since 1946, with a contraction of 7 per cent in the economy.
- Unemployment stood at a record high of 32.6% in the first three months of 2021.
- The government has condemned the violence and has stated that there is no justification for the violence. A lot of criminals or opportunistic individuals are trying to enrich themselves during this period.
- It has deployed its army to support the South African police.
What has been the cost of rioting?
- According to reports, over a billion rands have already been incurred in damages.
- Economists, however, predict a doubling of this cost as businesses are forced to shut down and some have been set on fire.
- More than 10 million people, nearly a sixth of the population, had experienced hunger over the past seven days since the start of violence.
India- South Africa Relations:
- India’s links with the struggle for freedom and justice in South Africa date back to the period during which Mahatma Gandhi started his Satyagraha movement in South Africa over a century ago.
- India was at the forefront of the international community in its support to the anti-apartheid movement; it was the first country to sever trade relations with the apartheid Government (in 1946) and subsequently imposed a complete — diplomatic, commercial, cultural and sports -embargo on South Africa.
- After a gap of four decades, India re-established trade and business ties in 1993, after South Africa ended its institutionalised racial segregation (apartheid).
- In November 1993, diplomatic and consular relations were restored.
- South Africa is home to the highest number of Indian Diaspora in the African continent, with a total strength of 1,218,000 thereby constituting 3% of South Africa’s total population.
India and the Liberation Struggle in Africa:
- India has consistently supported the Liberation Movements in various African countries and took up the cause of the African countries in the United Nation, the commonwealth Conferences and other international forums.
- First, India tried to impress on the United States that the Trusteeship System should be worked in the interest of dependent people and there should not be any parcelling out of territories on the basis of strategic needs.
- India also insisted that the Trusteeship powers must supply regular information to the United Nations Organization regarding the measure taken by them or proposed to be taken by them with a view to expediting the grant of independence or self-government to the trust territories.
- After South Africa achieved democracy in 1994, it was the Red Fort Declaration on Strategic Partnership between India and South Africa, signed in March 1997 which set the parameters for a rekindled relationship.
- The Strategic Partnership between the two countries was again reaffirmed in the Tshwane Declaration (October 2006).
- India is South Africa’s fifth-largest export destination, and fourth-largest import origin and is the second-largest trading partner in Asia.
- Bilateral trade between India and South Africa currently stands at USD 10 billion.
- In 2016, both the countries agreed to collaborate in the defence sector, especially in terms of the opportunities available for South African private sector under ‘Make in India’ initiative, energy sector, agro-processing, human resource development, and infrastructure development.
3.Draft Drone Rules, 2021
#GS3 # Security Challenges and their Management in Border Areas
# Role of External State and Non-state Actors in creating challenges to Internal Security. #GS2 #Government policies
Context: The Ministry of Civil Aviation has unveiled the Draft Drone Rules, 2021 for public consultation.
Highlights of Draft rules:
- The new rules would replace the existing Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, notified in March, 2021.
- These rules were built on premise of trust, self-certification and non-intrusive monitoring
- As per new rules, there will be minimal human interface on digital sky platform and most permissions will be self-generated.
- Manufacturers may generate their drone’s unique identification number on the digital sky platform through the self-certification route.
- Digital sky platform is an initiative by the Minister of Civil Aviation (MoCA) to provide a secure and scalable platform that supports drone technology frameworks, such as NPNT (no permission, no take-off).
- The platform will be under India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
- The number of forms to be filled to seek authorisation before operating a drone has been reduced from 25 to 6.
- Many important approval requirements have been abolished, like Unique prototype identification number, certificate of maintenance, Import clearance, etc.
- Further, no such approvals will be required for drones used for R&D by entities and educational institutions recognized by the Central government, State governments, or Union Territory Administrations.
- Digital Sky platform will also serve as a unified platform for users to obtain the mandatory registration number and remote pilot license. However, people will need to check the service to determine if any restrictions are in place before they fly a drone at a location.
- No pilot licence will be required for micro drones used for non-commercial use, nano drones.
- The draft Drone Rules 2021 also have safety features such real-time tracking beacon, and geo-fencing, which are expected to be notified in future, and a six-month lead time will be provided for compliance.
- An interactive airspace map with green, yellow, and red zones will be displayed on the digital sky platform. The zones pertain to what is known as geofencing, which prohibit or limit the use of drones at some places, like close to an airport or over-sensitive military and VIP locations.
- Green zone refers to the airspace from the ground up to a vertical distance of 400 feet (120 m) above ground level (AGL) that has not been designated as a red zone or yellow zone in the airspace map for drone operations. No flight permission is required up to 400 feet in green zones and up to 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter.
- Yellow zone: To fly in the yellow zone, a drone pilot will require permission from the air traffic control authority. The yellow zone has been reduced from 45 km to 12 km from nearby airport perimeter.
- In red zones, drone operations shall be permitted only under exceptional circumstances by the central government.
- There will be no restriction on drone operations by foreign-owned companies registered in India.
- MoCA will facilitate the development of drone corridors for cargo deliveries, and a drone promotion council will be set up to facilitate a business-friendly regulatory regime.
- Under the rules, import of drones & drone components will be regulated by Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
- All drone training and testing will be carried out by an authorised drone school.
Analysis of the Draft rules:
- The decision to liberalize the drone policy even after the recent drone incidents in Jammu showcases the government’s bold approach to promote the use of the drone and focus on the development of counter-drone technology to address the threat posed by rogue drones.
- The current draft is a welcome move and will go a long way in facilitating investments in drone technology in India.
Other Rules for Drone Regulations in India:
- Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2020.
- National Counter Rogue Drones Guidelines 2019.
- Palaeolithic cave paintings found in near Delhi could be among oldest.
#GS1 # Indian Culture – Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
Context: Archaeologists discovered cave paintings, believed to be of upper palaeolithic age amongst the quartzite rocks of the Aravalli Mountain ranges and forested holy grove called Mangar Bani in Haryana.
Key Details of the findings:
- The cave paintings first came to light in May 2021 when an environmental activist, Sunil Harsana, spotted them in Mangarbani hill forest in the Faridabad district of Haryana.
- Archaeologists have estimated that a prehistoric site may be up to 01 lakh years old.
- On the basis of tool topology, archaeologists have predicted the date of prehistoric habitation at the site from about 1,00,000 to about 15,000 years.
- But they have also found evidence of later habitation, even up to 8th-9th century AD.
Features of Mangar Bani Cave paintings:
- The cave paintings comprise images of human figurines, animals, foliage and geometric figures.
- The paintings are reminiscent of Bhimbetka caves, which has one of the oldest known cave arts in India (Mesolithic age)
- The colour of most paintings is ochre and some are white.
- Ochre is the earthy pigment containing ferric oxide, typically with clay, varying from light yellow to brown or red.
- Archaeologist view the painting in continuation of the Soanian culture.
- Soanian is a archaeological culture of the Lower Palaeolithic in the Siwalik region of the Indian subcontinent.
Petroglyphs discovered at the Mangerbani site.
5.World Youth Skills Day 2021
#GS3 # Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment.
Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on July 15, 2021 on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day 2021 and 6th anniversary of Skill India Mission.
About World Youth Skills Day:
- It is an event organised by the United Nations (UN) which celebrates the strategic importance of equipping the youth with skills for employment, entrepreneurship and work.
- It is observed on July 15 every year since 2014.
- The theme for 2021 is ‘Reimagining Youth Skills Post-Pandemic’, which will pay a tribute to the resilience and creativity of the youth.
- The World Youth Skills Day aims to achieve the Incheon Declaration:
- Which devotes considerable attention to technical and vocational skills development,
- Decent work and entrepreneurship,
- The elimination of gender disparity and
- Ensuring access for the vulnerable.
- The UN also listed out some important facts with regard to the state of youth employment, schools along with educational and vocational training amid the Covid-19 crisis:
- According to the estimates of UNESCO, schools were shut down for over 30 weeks in 50 per cent of the countries between March 2020 and May 2021.
- Respondents to a survey of the TVET, which was jointly collected by UNESCO, the ILO and the World Bank, revealed that distance learning was the most common way of imparting skills.
- Youth employment fell 8.7 per cent last year, compared with 3.7 per cent for adults.
Highlights of PM Modi’s address:
- In his address, Prime Minister highlighted “Skill development of youth of new generation is a national need and a huge foundation for self-reliant India”.
- According to PM, under Skill India Mission, 1.25 crore youth have been trained till date.
Programmes to be launched for skill development
- PM announced about 75 newly approved JSS (Jan Shikshan Sansthan) and portal for JSS, which would help in providing vocational skill training at a minimum cost.
- An agreement will be signed between Jan Shikshan Sansthan and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
- Blended learning courses would also be announced by releasing a booklet keeping in mind the youth of the country.
- Syllabus of 57 industry new courses will be started by Directorate General of Training (DGT). Toppers will be honoured from DGT academic session 2018-20.
- Another MoU will be signed between National Council of Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) and Digi Locker.
About Skill India Mission
- Skill India is an initiative of the Government of India which has been launched to empower the youth of the country with skill sets which make them more employable and more productive in their work environment.
- Under this mission, government seeks to create an empowered workforce by 2022 with the help of several schemes and training courses.
- Skill India offers courses across several sectors which are aligned to the standards recognised by both, the industry and the government under the National Skill Qualification Framework.
- The courses help a person focus on practical delivery of work and help him enhance his technical expertise so that he is ready for day one of his job and companies don’t have to invest into training him for his job profile.
Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS)
- Jan Shikshan Sansthans were launched with the aim of providing vocational training to non-literates, neo-literates and school dropouts in rural areas. Vocational training will be provided by identifying skills which might be relevant to market in that region.
- They were launched with the objective of uplifting rural population economically by providing skills training and enabling local trades to grow & create new opportunities.
Other Steps taken by India for Skilling Youth:
- Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
- Recognition of Prior Learning: It was launched in 2015 to recognize the prior skills acquired by individuals.
- National Career Service Project: Launched in 2015 to offer free online career skills training through its National Career Service (NCS) project for job-seekers registered with it.
- Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood (SANKALP): Its focus is on district-level skilling ecosystem through convergence and coordination. It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme which is collaborated with the World Bank.
- Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement: STRIVE scheme is a World Bank Assisted-Government of India project with the objective of improving the relevance and efficiency of skills training provided through ITIs and apprenticeships.
- Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS)
- Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping : Launched in 2020, it is a portal to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities.
#GS1 #Important personalities # Post-independence Consolidation and Reorganization within the country
Context: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has paid homage to K. Kamaraj on his birth anniversary.
- Kumaraswami Kamaraj (1903 – 1975), popularly known as Kamarajar was an Indian independence activist and politician.
- Born to Kumaraswamy Nadar and Sivagami Ammal in Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu, Kamaraj had only a few years of schooling.
- From the age of twelve, he started working as a shop assistant to support his family.
- He took part in the Non-Cooperation Movement, Nagpur Flag Satyagraha and other important events.
- He was imprisoned for two years in 1930 for participating in the Salt Satyagraha at Vedaranyam led by C Rajagopalachari.
- He was arrested again in 1940 and was elected as the Municipal Councillor of Virudhunagar from jail. He later resigned because of his belief in the principle, “One should not accept any post to which one could not do full justice.”
- He was a member of the Constituent Assembly of India and then a Member of Parliament in 1952.
- He served as the Chief Minister of Madras State (Tamil Nadu) from 13 April 1954 to 2 October 1963.
- He introduced the concept of mid-day meals in schools to provide free meals to school children hailing from economically backward families. His government is credited with increasing the number of schools in Tamil Nadu.
- He was the founder and the president of the Indian National Congress (Organisation), widely acknowledged as the “Kingmaker” in Indian politics during the 1960s.
- He also served as the president of the Indian National Congress for two terms i.e. four years between 1964–1967 and was responsible for the elevation of Lal Bahadur Shastri to the position of Prime Minister of India after Nehru’s death and Indira Gandhi after Shastri’s death.
- As the president of the INC, he was instrumental in steering the party after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru.
- He was posthumously honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 1976. He is also called ‘Kalvi Thanthai’, a phrase in Tamil that translates to ‘Father of Education’.
- In 1963 he suggested to Nehru that senior Congress leaders should leave ministerial posts to take up organisational work.
- This suggestion came to be known as the Kamaraj Plan, which was designed primarily to dispel from the minds of Congressmen the lure of power, creating in its place a dedicated attachment to the objectives and policies of the organisation.
- of Jehanabad district by cadres of the now defunct Maoist Communist Centre (MCC), and they were said to be slaughtered in the village. The massacre was a sequel in the prolonged caste war between the MCC and private armies of the villagers.