UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 14th March 2022
Topics for the day:
- COVID-19 vaccination for the 12-14 age
- The International Criminal Court (ICC)
- Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act
- Enactment of the Dandi March
- Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2020-21
COVID-19 vaccination for the 12-14 age
- The Union Health Ministry has decided to start COVID-19 vaccination for the 12-14 age group (those born from 2008 to 2010) from March 16
- The vaccine to be administered would be Corbevax, manufactured by Biological E. Ltd., Hyderabad.
- Those above 14 years are already being administered COVID-19 vaccine.
- The Ministry has also decided that the condition of co-morbidity for COVID-19 precaution dose for the population aged over 60 will be removed
What is the Corbevax ?
- Corbevax is a “recombinant protein sub-unit” vaccine, which means it is made up of a specific part of SARS-CoV-2 ie.the spike part
- The spike protein allows the virus to enter the cells in the body so that it can replicate and cause disease.
- However, when this protein alone is given to the body, it is not expected to be harmful as the rest of the virus is absent.
- The body is expected to develop an immune response against the injected spike protein.
- Therefore, when the real virus attempts to infect the body, it will already have an immune response ready that will make it unlikely for the person to fall severely ill.
Different types of vaccines :
- Viral vector and mRNA vaccines use a code to induce our cells to make the spike proteins against which the body has to build immunity
- mRNA vaccines work by using messenger RNA (mRNA), which is the molecule that essentially puts DNA instructions into action. Inside a cell, mRNA is used as a template to build a protein.
- Viral vector vaccines use a safe virus to deliver specific sub-parts called proteins of the germ of interest so that it can trigger an immune response without causing disease. To do this, the instructions for making particular parts of the pathogen of interest are inserted into a safe virus. The safe virus then serves as a platform or vector to deliver the protein into the body. The protein triggers the immune response
- Live vaccines use a weakened (or attenuated) form of the germ that causes a disease.
- Because these vaccines are so similar to the natural infection that they help prevent, they create a strong and long-lasting immune response.
- The limitation of this approach is that these vaccines usually cannot be given to people with weakened immune systems.
- The first way to make a vaccine is to take the disease-carrying virus or bacterium, or one very similar to it, and inactivate or kill it using chemicals, heat or radiation.
- This approach uses technology that’s been proven to work in people – this is the way the flu and polio vaccines are made and vaccines can be manufactured on a reasonable scale.
- However, it requires special laboratory facilities to grow the virus or bacterium safely, can have a relatively long production time, and will likely require two or three doses to be administered.
- It is one that only uses the very specific parts (the subunits) of a virus or bacterium that the immune system needs to recognize.
- It doesn’t contain the whole microbe or use a safe virus as a vector.
- The subunits may be proteins or sugars.
The International Criminal Court (ICC)
- Amid mounting calls to prosecute Russian president Vladimir Putin, the International Criminal Court (ICC) earlier this month launched an investigation into the alleged war crimes committed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
What is the ICC ?
- The ICC is the world’s first permanent international criminal court.
- It investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.
- The International Criminal Court (ICC), located in The Hague is governed by the Rome statute.
More about the ICC
- The Court may exercise jurisdiction in a situation where genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes were committed on or after 1 July 2002
- The crimes were committed by a State Party national, or in the territory of a State Party, or in a State that has accepted the jurisdiction of the Court
- India is not a party to the Rome Statute along with US and China.
- The ICC is intended to complement, not to replace, national criminal systems; it prosecutes cases only when States do not are unwilling or unable to do so genuinely.
- ICC is not a UN organization but is has a cooperation agreement with the United Nations.
- When a situation is not within the Court’s jurisdiction, the United Nations Security Council can refer the situation to the ICC granting it jurisdiction. This has been done in the situations in Darfur (Sudan) and Libya.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act
- Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) organised a seminar on “25 Years of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act.
What is the TRAI ?
- Established by an Act of Parliament, called the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 TRAI is an independent regulator of Telecom industry in India.
Objectives the TRAI :
- TRAI’s mission is to create and nurture conditions for growth of telecommunications in the country.
- TRAI regulates telecom services including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services which were earlier vested in the Central Government.
- It also aims to provide a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.
More about the TRAI :
- The TRAI consists of a Chairperson, two whole-time members and two part-time members, all of which are appointed by the Government of India.
- The Chairperson and other members shall hold their office for a term of three years or till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- The recommendations of the TRAI are not binding upon the Central Government.
Enactment of the Dandi March
- 81 persons will embark on the same 386-km long foot-march from Dandi on March 12 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence
Gandhi’s offer before the march
- Gandhi presented eleven demands to the government and gave an ultimatum of January 31, 1930 to accept or reject these demands.
The demands were as follows:
- Reduce expenditure on Army and civil services by 50 per cent.
- Introduce total prohibition.
- Carry out reforms in Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
- Change Arms Act allowing popular control of issue of firearms licences.
- Release political prisoners.
- Accept Postal Reservation Bill
- Reduce rupee-sterling exchange ratio
- Introduce textile protection.
- Reserve coastal shipping for Indians
- Reduce land revenue by 50 per cent.
- Abolish salt tax and the government’s salt monopoly.
How the march happened :
- On March 2, 1930, Gandhi informed the viceroy of his plan of action. According to this plan Gandhi, along with a band of seventy-eight members of Sabarmati Ashram, was to march from his headquarters in Ahmedabad through the villages of Gujarat for 240 miles.
- On reaching the coast at Dandi, the salt law was to be violated by collecting salt from the beach.
- Even before the proposed march began, thousands thronged to the ashram.
- Gandhi gave the following directions for future action :
- Wherever possible civil disobedience of the salt law should be started.
- Foreign liquor and cloth shops can be picketed.
- We can refuse to pay taxes if we have the requisite strength.
- Lawyers can give up practice.
- Public can boycott law courts by refraining from litigation.
- Government servants can resign from their posts.
- All these should be subject to one condition ie.truth and non-violence as means to attain swaraj should be faithfully adhered to.
- Local leaders should be obeyed after Gandhi’s arrest.
Spread of the Satyagraha
- In Tamil Nadu Rajagopalachari organised a march from Thiruchirapalli to Vedaranniyam on the Tanjore (or Thanjavur) coast to break the salt law
- In Malabar region K. Kelappan, a Nair Congress leader famed for the Vaikom Satyagraha, organised salt marches. Krishna Pillai, the future founder of the Kerala Communist movement, heroically defended the national flag in the face of police lathi-charge on Calicut beach
- Andhra Region – District salt marches were organised in east and west Godavari, Krishna and Guntur. A number of sibirams (military style camps) were set up to serve as the headquarters of the Salt Satyagraha.
- In Orissa under Gopalbandhu Chaudhuri, a Gandhian leader, salt satyagraha proved effective in the coastal regions of Balasore, Cuttack and Puri districts
- Assam The civil disobedience failed to regain the heights attained in 1921-22 due to divisive issues such as the growing conflicts between Assamese and Bengalis, Hindus and Muslims etc. However a successful student strike against the Cunningham Circular, which banned students’ participation in politics, was seen.
- The industrial town of Sholapur of southern Maharashtra saw the fiercest response to Gandhi’s arrest. Textile workers went on a strike from May 7 and along with other residents burnt liquor shops and other symbols of government authority
- In Dharasana – Sarojini Naidu, Imam Sahib and Manilal (Gandhi’s son) took up the unfinished task of leading a raid on the Dharasana Salt Works during which the unarmed and peaceful crowd was met with a brutal lathicharge
Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2020-21
- The Ministry of Education has released a detailed report on Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2020-21 on school education of India
About UDISE :
- The UDISE+ system of online data collection from the schools was developed by Department of School Education & Literacy in the year 2018-19.
- It was aimed to overcome the issues related to erstwhile practice of manual data filling in paper format and subsequent feeding on computer at the block or district level in the UDISE data collection system since 2012-13.
- In UDISE+ system, improvements have been made particularly in the areas related to data capture, data mapping and data verification.
Highlights of the report :
Students and Teachers in schools:
- In 2020-21 total students enrolled in school education from primary to higher secondary stood at 25.38 crore.
- There is an increase of 28.32 lakh enrolments as compared to the 25.10 crore enrolment in 2019-20.
The GER: Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER)
- Which measure the general level of participation has improved in 2020-21 at all levels of school education compared to 2019-20.
- Level wise GER in 2020-21 as compared to 2019-20 are: 2% from 89.7% in upper primary, 99.1 % from 97.8% in elementary, 79.8% from 77.9% in secondary and 53.8% from 51.4% in higher secondary respectively.
- 96 lakh teachers are engaged in school education during 2020-21. This is higher by about 8800 in comparison with number of teachers in school education in 2019-20.
The Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR)
- In 2020-21 the Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) stood at 26 for primary, 19 for upper primary, 18 for secondary and 26 for higher secondary, showing an improvement since 2018-19.
- The PTR for primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary was 28, 20, 21, and 30 respectively during 2018-19.
- In 2020-21 over 12.2 crore girls are enrolled in primary to higher secondary showing an increase of 11.8 lakh girls compared to the enrolment of girls in 2019-20.
- Schools with functional electricity have made impressive progress during 2020-21 with net addition of 57,799 schools provided electricity.
- Now 84% of the total schools have functional electricity facility in comparison with 73.85% in 2018-19
- Percentage of the schools with functional drinking water has increased to 95.2 % in 2020-21 from 93.7 % in 2019-20.
- Percentage of the school with functional girl’s toilet facility has increased to 93.91 % in 2020-21 in comparison with 93.2 % in 2019-20
- Number of schools having functional computers increased to 6 lakh in 2020-21 from 5.5 lakh in 2019-20 showing an increasing of 3 %. Now, 40% of the schools have functional computers.
- Number of schools having internet facility increased to 3.7 lakh in 2020-21 from 3.36 lakh in 2019-20 with an increase of 2.6%.
Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on enrolment:
- During 2020-21, 39.7 lakh students of government aided, private school students shifted to Government schools.
- Aimed at providing accessible, standardized and affordable generic medicines, the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras have added nutraceuticals products, including protein powder and bar, malt-based food supplements and immunity bar for its customers.
What are Nutraceuticals?
- Nutraceuticals is a broad umbrella term that is used to describe any product derived from food sources with extra health benefits in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods.
- They can be considered non-specific biological therapies used to promote general well-being, control symptoms and prevent malignant processes.
- The term “nutraceutical” combines two words – “nutrient” (a nourishing food component) and “pharmaceutical” (a medical drug).
UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 14th March 2022
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