ART AND CULTURE
1. UNESCO PICKS SRINAGAR AS CREATIVE CITY
THE CONTEXT: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has picked Srinagar among 49 cities as part of the creative city network under the Crafts and Folk Arts category.
- The inclusion is likely to pave way for the city to represent its handicrafts on the global stage through UNESCO.
- Only Jaipur (Crafts and Folk Arts) in 2015, Varanasi and Chennai (Creative city of Music) in 2015 and 2017 respectively have so far been recognized as members of the UCCN for creative cities.
- It was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.
- The Network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music.
INDIAN POLITY, GOVERNANCE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
2. OVER 33 LAKH CHILDREN ARE MALNOURISHED IN INDIA
THE CONTEXT: PTI reported that more than 33 lakh children are malnourished in India and over half of them are in a severe category.
- According to the Women and Child Development Ministry, there were 17,76,902 severely acute malnourished children and 15,46,420 moderately acute malnourished children in the country.
- The World Health Organization defines severe acute malnutrition as very low weight for height, nutritional oedema or a mid-upper arm circumference of less than 115 millimetres.
- The world body defines moderate acute malnutrition as moderate wasting and/or a mid-upper arm circumference greater than 115 millimetres but less than 125 millimetres.
- Maharashtra had the highest number of malnourished children at 6, 16,772, followed by Bihar (4,75,824) and then Gujarat (3,20,465).
- Other states with a high number of malnourished children are Andhra Pradesh (2,67,228), Karnataka (2,49,463), and Uttar Pradesh (1,86,640).
- The Poshan Tracker app was developed by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development to track all Anganwadi centres and their beneficiaries.
- The 2021 Global Hunger Index ranked India at the 101st position out of 116 countries. The rank fell from 94 last year and the country was also behind its neighbours Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. However, the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development claimed that the methodology used for the index was unscientific.
3. GLOBAL DRUG POLICY INDEX
THE CONTEXT: The Global Drug Policy Index, by the Harm Reduction Consortium, ranks Norway, New Zealand, Portugal, the UK, and Australia as the five leading countries on humane and health-driven drug policies.
- The five lowest-ranking countries are Brazil, Uganda, Indonesia, Kenya, and Mexico. India’s rank is 18 out of 30 countries.
- It is a data-driven global analysis of drug policies and their implementation. It is composed of 75 indicators running across five broad dimensions of drug policy: criminal justice, extreme responses, health and harm reduction, access to internationally controlled medicines, and development.
- It is a project of the Harm Reduction Consortium, whose partners include: the European Network of People Who Use Drugs (EuroNPUD), the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), the Eurasian Network of People who Use Drugs (ENPUD), the Global Drug Policy Observatory (GDPO) / Swansea University, Harm Reduction International (HRI), the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), the Middle East and North Africa Harm Reduction Association (MENAHRA), the West African Drug Policy Network (WADPN), the Women and Harm Reduction International Network (WHRIN), and Youth RISE.
- Norway, despite topping the Index, only managed a score of 74/100. And the median score across all 30 countries and dimensions is just 48/100.
- India has an overall score of 46/100. On the criteria of use of extreme sentencing and responses, it has a score of 63/100, on health and harm reduction, 49/100; on proportionality of criminal justice response, 38/100; on availability and access of internationally controlled substances for the relief of pain and suffering, 33 /100.
SOURCE : IE
ENVIRONMENT, GEOGRAPHY AND AGRICULTURE
4. KANPUR’S ZIKA OUTBREAK
THE CONTEXT: Zika Virus is creating havoc in Northern parts of India. With 13 new cases of the Zika virus in Kanpur, the total tally of the mosquito-borne disease in the district stands at 79.
ABOUT ZIKA VIRUS
- It is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae.
- It is spread by daytime-active Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (which can also spread dengue fever, chikungunya, Mayaro and yellow fever viruses).
- Its name comes from the Zika Forest of Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947
- It often causes no or only mild symptoms, similar to a very mild form of dengue fever.
- While there is no specific treatment, paracetamol (acetaminophen) and rest may help with the symptoms.
- Zika can spread from a pregnant woman to her baby. This can result in microcephaly, severe brain malformations, and other birth defects. Zika infections in adults may result rarely in Guillain–Barré syndrome (a rapid-onset muscle weakness caused by the immune system damaging the peripheral nervous system).
- Zika can be transmitted from men and women to their sexual partners.
5. LEADS 2021
THE CONTEXT: Ministry of Commerce and Industry released report on Logistics Ease across Different States (LEADS) 2021.
- The inputs given by report can lead the way to bring down logistics cost by 5% over the next 5 years.
- LEADS report to push healthy competition for improvement in logistics development among States.
- Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab emerge as top performers in LEADS 2021
- Inputs of the report to act as significant stimulants to PM GatiShakti National Master Plan.
ABOUT LEADS REPORT
- The report ranks the states on the basis of their logistics ecosystem, highlights the key logistics related challenges faced by the stakeholders and includes suggestive recommendations.
- The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) had launched a study, “Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS)” in 2018 with the main objective of ranking States and UTs on the efficiency of their logistics ecosystem.
- The first version of the report, LEADS 2018, focused on export-import trade and assessed the efficiency of the logistics ecosystem in each State and UT.
- The second edition of the study – LEADS 2019, covered both international and domestic trade.
- The LEADS 2021 exercise has gone one-step ahead in analysing domestic and EXIM logistics ecosystem of the state.
- Specifically, two improvements have been done in the overall assessment framework. Firstly, objective parameters have been used along with the perception-based indicators for index formulation.Secondly, the statistical methodologies to build the index has been updated to get more robust results, given change in the overall framework.
- Alternatively, a total of 21 perception and objective variables have been statistically analysed to prepare a composite index basis upon which the states have been ranked.
- The perception survey was administered to the four different categories of logistics stakeholders, viz. traders/ shippers, transport service providers, terminal operators, and logistics service providers.
- The States’ objective survey collected binary responses in the context of the areas related to policy, institutional framework, current enforcement mechanism, warehousing approvals and processes, smart enforcement, city logistics, drivers’ empowerment, etc. to understand the initiatives taken by the different state governments towards improving the logistics environment in their respective States.
- The secondary dataset was compiled with the assistance of the central government ministries, department and associated agencies.
- LEADS is a continuous exercise, and the MoCI is enthused to provide a pivotal role in initiating, creating, and connecting all the stakeholders to bring in the required improvements in the logistics space collaboratively.
6. GOA MARITIME CONCLAVE – 2021
THE CONTEXT: The third edition of Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC) – 2021 is being hosted by the Indian Navy from 07 to 09 November 2021 under the aegis of Naval War College, Goa.
- The theme for this year’s edition is “Maritime security and emerging non-traditional threats: a case for a proactive role for IOR Navies”.
- The Navy chiefs and heads of maritime agencies of Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand are taking part in the conclave
- Navy chief Admiral laid emphasis on common efforts on information exchange for maritime domain awareness in the region and capacity building.
- India’s efforts are spearheaded by the Information Fusion Centre for IOR (IFC-IOR) located in Gurugram which also has several international liaison officers.
- India has supplied equipment, vessels and aircraft to friends like Vietnam, Mozambique, the Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
- India is in the process of making a Standard Operating Procedure for dealing with disasters in the Asia-Pacific which would be shared with all nations concerned.
- The Navy would continue to work for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief as a first responder and net security provider.
7. UAE ANNOUNCED FAMILY LAW REFORMS
THE CONTEXT: The ruler of Abu Dhabi has issued a decree allowing non-Muslims residing in the UAE to marry, divorce and get joint child custody under civil law.
- The law covers civil marriage, divorce, alimony, joint child custody and proof of paternity, and inheritance.
- It aims to enhance the position and global competitiveness of the emirate as one of the most attractive destinations for talent and skills.
- The report described the civil law regulating non-Muslim family matters as being the first of its kind in the world in line with international best practices. It maintains its competitive edge as a regional commercial hub.
- A new court to handle non-Muslim family matters will be set up in Abu Dhabi and will operate in both English and Arabic.
PRELIMS PRACTICE QUESTIONS
Q1. Consider the following statements about UNESCO Creative Cities Network:
- It was created in 2004 to promote cooperation among the cities for sustainable urban development.
- Varanasi and Chennai cities have been added to the network under the category of music.
- Srinagar and Jaisalmer have been added to the network under the category of craft and folk art.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 only
b) 1 and 2 only
c) 2 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3
ANSWER FOR NOVEMBER 8th, 2021 PRELIMS PRACTICE QUESTIONS
- NCRB was set up in 1986 under the Ministry of Home Affairs to function as a repository of information on crime and criminals so as to assist the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators.
- Statement 1 is correct: The solar magnetic cycle that works in the deep interior of the Sun creates regions that rise to the surface and appear like dark spots. These are the sunspots.
- Statement 2 is correct: Solar flares are highly energetic phenomena that happen inside the sunspots. In a solar flare, the energy stored in the sun’s magnetic structures is converted into light and heat energy. This causes the emission of high energy x-ray radiation and highly accelerated charged particles to leave the sun’s surface.
- Statement 3 is correct: Sometimes solar flares also cause hot plasma to be ejected from the Sun, causing a solar storm, and this is called Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). Coronal Mass Ejections can harbour energies exceeding that of a billion atomic bombs.