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  • 22 Jun 2022
  • 44 min read
Social Justice

Global Trends Report on Forced Displacement in 2021

For Prelims: UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Internal Displacement, 1951 Refugee Convention

For Mains: Challenges associated with climate refugees and way out, Government Policies & Intervention

Why in News?

Recently, the 2022 annual Global Trends Report was published by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

  • June 20 is designated as World Refugee Day by the United Nations. The theme for World Refugee Day 2022 is whoever, whatever, whenever. Everyone has got a right to seek safety.

What is Global Trends Report?

  • It presents key statistical trends and the latest numbers of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced and stateless persons worldwide as well as numbers of people who have returned to their countries or areas of origin.
  • The report is published once a year and reflects on the previous year.
  • The figures are based on data reported by governments, non-governmental organizations and UNHCR.

What are the Highlights of the Report?

  • Global Overview:
    • Globally 100 million people were forced to flee their homes last year due to violence, human rights abuses, food insecurity, the climate crisis, war in Ukraine, and other emergencies from Africa to Afghanistan.
    • There were 23.7 million new internal displacements globally due to disasters (these are in addition to those internally displaced due to conflict and violence). This represented a decrease of seven million, or 23%, compared to the previous year.
    • The largest displacements in the context of disasters in 2021 occurred in China (6.0 million), the Philippines (5.7 million), and India (4.9 million).
    • The majority of the internally displaced persons returned to their home areas, but 5.9 million people worldwide remained displaced at the end of the year due to disasters.
    • The number of people forced to flee their homes has increased every year over the past decade and stands at the highest level since records began, a trend that can be only reversed by a new, concerted push towards peacemaking.
  • India:
    • Nearly five million people in India were internally displaced due to climate change and disasters in 2021.

What is Internal Displacement?

  • Internal Displacement (Meaning):
    • Internal displacement describes the situation of people who have been forced to leave their homes but have not left their country.
  • Factors of Displacement: Millions of people are uprooted from their homes or places of habitual residence each year in the context of conflict, violence, development projects, disasters and climate change and remain displaced within their countries’ borders.
  • Components: Internal displacement is based on two components:
    • The person’s movement is coerced or involuntary (to distinguish them from economic and other voluntary migrants);
    • The person stays within internationally recognised state borders (to distinguish them from refugees).
  • Difference from Refugee: According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, a “refugee” is a person who has been persecuted and forced to leave his native country.
    • A precondition of being considered a refugee is that a person crosses an international border.
    • Unlike refugees, internally displaced people are not the subject of any international convention.
    • At the international level, no single agency or organisation has been designated as the global lead on protection and assistance of internally displaced persons.
    • However, there are United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.
  • Challenges Faced by Internally Displacement Persons (IDPs): IDPs can live under threat of physical attack, sexual- or gender-based violence, and run the risk of being separated from family members.
    • They are frequently deprived of adequate shelter, food and health services, and often lose their property, land or their access to livelihoods.

What are the Challenges associated with Internal Displacement?

  • Lack of Proper and Commonly Accepted Statistics: In terms of the statistics relating to displacement in the context of climate change, simply put, what is not defined cannot be quantified, and what cannot be quantified cannot be predicted.
  • Lack of Legal Status to Climate Refugees: From a legal perspective, UNHCR does not support the term “climate refugee” which does not exist in international law.It is also very difficult to assess whether someone who has been displaced in the context of climate change would have been displaced anyway had there been no climate change.
  • Lack of historical precedent: Secondly, the lack of historical precedent for many situations that will arise as human-related climate change progresses, whose impact on human mobility has never been observed before. This means that it remains unclear how the changing climate will impact people’s decisions and behaviour in the future.
  • Non-existent relationship between climate change and displacement: Finally, the link between climate change and (forced) displacement remains not fully measurable and there is no consensus that it is a direct causal link, with, for example, only limited information available on the impact of climate change on mounting poverty, political instability and armed conflict.

Way Forward

  • Return to Home country: For most refugees, returning to their home country based on a free and informed choice would be a preferred solution to bring their temporary status as refugees to an end. To realize this, political stability and economic opportunities are essential to ensure that the environment refugees face upon their return allows them to reintegrate in safety and with dignity. To ensure that the returns are sustainable
  • Resettlement: While several countries have signalled their commitment to resettlement, demonstrating their solidarity with host countries, it is an option for fewer and fewer refugees due to a significant reduction in the number of places offered by States. Resettlement is a crucial protection tool and solution, and is a core activity mandated by UNHCR’s Statute, helping to protect some of the most vulnerable refugees, who may face specific or urgent risks
  • Local Integration: In the absence of the possibility to return safely or be resettled, pathways are available in some countries for refugees to remain long-term or permanently in their country of asylum. Local integration helps ensure that refugees can build new lives in these countries.

What is UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)?

  • About:
    • The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was created in 1950, during the aftermath of the Second World War, to help millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes.
    • In 1954, UNHCR won the Nobel Peace Prize for its ground breaking work in Europe. But it was not long before we faced our next major emergency.
    • During the 1960s, the decolonization of Africa produced the first of that continent’s numerous refugee crises. It helped uprooted people in Asia and Latin America over the following two decades.
    • In 1981, it received a second Nobel Peace Prize for what had become worldwide assistance to refugees.
  • The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol:
    • They are the key legal documents that form the basis of its work. With 149 State parties to either or both, they define the term ‘refugee’ and outlines the rights of refugees, as well as the legal obligations of States to protect them.
    • The core principle is non-refoulement, which asserts that a refugee should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom. This is now considered a rule of customary international law.
    • UNHCR serves as the ‘guardian’ of the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol. According to the legislation, States are expected to cooperate with us in ensuring that the rights of refugees are respected and protected.

Source: DTE


Governance

National Initiative for Promotion of Upskilling of Nirman workers (NIPUN)

For Prelims: NIPUN, DAY-NRLM

For Mains: NIPUN initiative and its importance, Government Policies & Interventions 

Why in News?

Recently, an innovative project for skill training of construction workers called ‘NIPUN’ i.e. National Initiative for Promoting Upskilling of Nirman Workers was launched.

  • NIPUN is creating a future labour force for the construction industry which will propel innovation and large-scale development in the country.
  • The construction sector is on track to become the largest employer by 2022, and it will require 45 million more qualified workers over the next ten years.

What is Project NIPUN?

  • About:
    • The basic motive of the project is to train over 1 lakh construction workers, through fresh skilling and upskilling programmes.
    • The project NIPUN is an initiative of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
    • This project is running under the flagship programme of the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM)
      • The transformational impact of the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) has reduced the vulnerability of urban poor households by providing upskilling and employment opportunities to urban dwellers, especially the youth.
  • Implementing Agency:

How will the NIPUN Project be Implemented?

  • The project implementation is divided into three parts:
    • Training through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) at construction sites.
      • Onsite skill training will be provided to approximately 80,000 construction workers through industry associations under the RPL certification, co-branded with MoHUA.
    • Training through Fresh Skilling by Plumbing and Infrastructure Sector Skill Council (SSC).
      • About 14,000 candidates will receive fresh skilling through plumbing and infrastructure Sector Skill Council (SSC) in trades having promising placement potentials.
    • International Placement through industries/ builders/ contractors.
      • The courses are aligned with the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF).
      • It will be imparted at accredited and affiliated training centers only.
      • It is also envisaged that NSDC will place approximately 12,000 people in foreign countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE and other GCC countries.

What are the Benefits associated with the Project NIPUN?

  • Access to New Opportunity:
    • The NIPUN Project will enable the construction workers to seek better job opportunities, increase their wages and even pursue overseas placements.
  • Spirit of Entrepreneurship:
    • It has been encouraged and supported by giving urban workers access to self- employment and skilled wage employment opportunities.
      • This initiative will enable Nirman workers to be more proficient and skilled.
  • Skill Advancement:
    • Nirman workers can adopt advanced skills keeping in mind the future trends associated with the construction industry by upgrading their capabilities and diversifying their skill sets.
      • The Ministry also undertook technology challenges which led to implementation of six Light House Projects in a record time wherein technology and local material was used to construct sustainable green buildings.
  • Growth of Economy:
    • Construction industry is a significant contributor to the nation’s GDP so this scheme will catalyse the GDP growth.
  • Social Security:
    • It will provide trainees with ‘Kaushal Bima’, a three-year accidental insurance with coverage of INR 2 lakhs, digital skills such as cashless transactions and EPF and BOCW facilities.

Note

  • NIPUN Bharat Mission
    • The Ministry of Education has launched a National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat), for ensuring that every child in the country necessarily attains foundational literacy and numeracy (FLN) by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27.
    • It was launched in 2021 as part of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

What do we Know about DAY-NRLM?

  • About:
    • DAY-NULM is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, being implemented since 2014-15.
    • Its aim is to reduce poverty and vulnerability of urban poor households in the country by enabling them to access self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities.
    • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India in 2011.
  • Aim:
    • The Mission aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood and improved access to financial services.
  • Salient Features:
    • DAY-NRLM lays special emphasis on targeting the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable communities and their financial inclusion.
    • Innovative projects are to be undertaken under NRETP to pilot alternate channels of financial inclusion, creating value chains around rural products, introduce innovative models in livelihoods promotion and access to finance and scale-up initiatives on digital finance and livelihoods interventions.
    • DAY-NRLM provides for mutually beneficial working relationship and formal platforms for consultations between Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs).
    • NRLM has also developed activity map to facilitate convergence in different areas of interventions where NRLM institutions and PRIs could work together which has been disseminated to all state Rural Livelihood Missions.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQ)

Q. How does the National Rural Livelihood Mission seek to improve livelihood options of rural poor? (2012)

  1. By setting up a large number of new manufacturing industries and agribusiness centres in rural areas
  2. By strengthening ‘self-help groups’ and providing skill development
  3. By supplying seeds, fertilizers, diesel pump-sets and micro-irrigation equipment free of cost to farmers.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

  • The National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) is a poverty alleviation project implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development. This scheme is focused on promoting self-employment and organization of rural poor. The basic idea behind this programme is to organize the poors into SHGs (Self Help Groups) and make them capable for self employment.
  • Pillars of NRLM:
    • Enhancing and expanding existing livelihood options of the poor.
    • Building skills for the job market outside.
    • Nurturing self-employed and entrepreneurs.
    • Hence, 2 is correct.
  • The Mission neither focuses on setting up a large number of new manufacturing industries, nor agribusiness centres in rural areas. Its objective is not to supply seeds, fertilizers, diesel pump-sets and micro-irrigation equipment.
  • Hence, 1 and 3 are not correct.
  • Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

Source: PIB


Science & Technology

Critical Information Infrastructure

For Prelims: Critical Information Infrastructure, Cyber Attacks, NPCI, IT 2000

For Mains: Critical Information Infrastructure, Cyber Attacks, Cyber Security and Cyber Welfare

Why in News?

Recently, the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has declared IT (Information Technology) resources of ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and NPCI(National Payments Corporation of India) as ‘critical information infrastructure’.

What is Critical Information Infrastructure?

  • The Information Technology Act of 2000 defines Critical Information Infrastructure as a computer resource, the incapacitation or destruction of which shall have debilitating impact on national security, economy, public health or safety.
  • The government, under the IT Act of 2000, has the power to declare any data, database, IT network or communications infrastructure as CII to protect that digital asset.
  • Any person who secures access or attempts to secure access to a protected system in violation of the law can be punished with a jail term of up to 10 years.

Why is CII Classification and Protection Necessary?

  • Global Practice: World over governments have been moving with alacrity to protect their critical information infrastructure.
  • Backbone of Countless Critical Operations: IT resources form the backbone of countless critical operations in a country’s infrastructure, and given their interconnectedness, disruptions can have a cascading effect across sectors.
  • IT Failure leads to Crippling other Sectors: An information technology failure at a power grid can lead to prolonged outages crippling other sectors like healthcare, banking services etc.
    • Example: Wave of Denial-of-Service Attacks in Estonia: In 2007, a wave of denial-of-service attacks, allegedly from Russian IP addresses, hit major Estonian banks, government bodies – ministries and parliament, and media outlets. It was cyber aggression of the kind that the world had not seen before. The attacks played havoc in one of the most networked countries in the world for almost three weeks.
    • A Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack is an attack meant to shut down a machine or network, making it inaccessible to its intended users. DoS attacks accomplish this by flooding the target with traffic, or sending it information that triggers a crash.
  • Case of India:
    • In October, 2020 as India battled the pandemic, the electric grid supply to Mumbai suddenly snapped hitting the mega city’s hospitals, trains and businesses.
    • Later, a study by a US firm claimed that this power outage could have been a cyber-attack, allegedly from a China-linked group, aimed at critical infrastructure. The government, however, was quick to deny any cyber-attack in Mumbai.
    • But the incident underlined the possibility of hostile state and non-state actors probing internet-dependent critical systems in other countries, and the necessity to fortify such assets.

How are CIIs protected in India?

  • NCIIPC as Nodal Agency:
    • Created in January 2014, the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) is the nodal agency for taking all measures to protect the nation’s critical information infrastructure.
  • Mandate of NCIIPC:
    • It is mandated to guard CIIs from unauthorized access, modification, use, disclosure, disruption, incapacitation or distraction.
    • It will monitor and forecast national-level threats to CII for policy guidance, expertise sharing and situational awareness for early warning or alerts.
    • In the event of any threat to critical information infrastructure the NCIIPC may call for information and give directions to the critical sectors or persons serving or having a critical impact on Critical Information Infrastructure.
  • Basic Responsibility:
    • The basic responsibility for protecting the CII system shall lie with the agency running that CII.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions

Q. In India, it is legally mandatory for which of the following to report on cyber security incidents? (2017)

  1. Service providers 
  2. Data centers
  3. Body corporate

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (d)

Exp:

  • According to section 70B of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act), the Union Government by notification should appoint an agency named Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERTIn) to serve as the national agency for incident response.
  • The Union Government under section 70B of the IT Act, 2000 established and notified rules of CERT-In in 2014. According to Rule 12(1)(a), it is mandatory for service providers, intermediaries, data centers and corporate bodies to report cyber security incidences to CERT-In within a reasonable time of occurrence of the incident. Hence, 1, 2 and 3 are correct.
  • Therefore, option (d) is the correct answer.

Source: IE


Social Justice

One Nation One Ration Card

For Prelims: National Food Security Act, Fair Price Shop, Migrant Workers, AtmaNirbhar Bharat

For Mains: One Nation One Ration Card, significance and Challenges

Why in News?

Assam has become the 36th State/UT to implement One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC).

  • With this, the ONORC programme has been successfully implemented in all states and Union Territories, making food security portable throughout the country.
  • The government has also rolled out the 'MERA RATION' mobile application to take maximum advantage of the ONORC plan. The mobile app is providing a host of useful real-time information to the beneficiaries and is available in 13 languages.
  • During the last two years of Covid-19 pandemic, ONORC plan has significantly contributed in ensuring subsidized foodgrains to National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries, especially migrant beneficiaries.

What is ONORC?

  • About:
    • The ONORC scheme is being implemented under National Food Security Act (NFSA).
    • This system allows all NFSA beneficiaries, particularly migrant beneficiaries, to claim either full or part foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) in the country through existing ration card with biometric/Aadhaar authentication in a seamless manner.
    • The system also allows their family members back home, if any, to claim the balance foodgrains on same the ration card.
    • The implementation of ONORC was initiated in August 2019.
  • Objectives:
    • To empower all NFSA beneficiaries to become AtmaNirbhar for their food security anywhere in the country, through portability of their existing ration cards enabling them.
    • To seamlessly lift their entitled subsidized foodgrains (in part or full) from any Fair Price Shop of their choice.
    • To enable family members to lift balance/required amount of foodgrains on the same ration card at their native/ any place from the FPS of their choice.

What is the Significance of ONORC:

  • Enabling Right to Food: Previously, ration cardholders can avail their entitlement of subsidised food grains under the National Food Security Act, only from the designated Fair price shop (FPS) within the concerned state.
    • However, if a beneficiary were to shift to another state, he/she would need to apply for a new ration card in the second state.
    • Thus, ONORC envisages removing the geographical hindrance to social justice and enabling the right to food.
  • Supporting One-Third of Population: Nearly, 37% of the population is that of migrant labourers. The scheme is therefore important for anyone who is going to move from one place to the other.
  • Reducing Leakages: The ONORC can reduce leakages, because the fundamental prerequisite of this scheme is deduplication.
    • This will ensure that the same person does not figure as a beneficiary in two different locations of the country.
    • Further, the scheme is linked with Aadhaar and biometrics, this removes most possibilities of corruption.
  • Reducing Social Discrimination: ONORC will be particularly beneficial for women and other disadvantaged groups, given how social identity (caste, class and gender) and other contextual factors (including power relations) provide a strong backdrop in accessing PDS (Public Distribution System).

What are the Associated Challenges?

  • Exclusion Error: The digitisation of this PDS process, through Aadhaar-linked ration cards and smart cards, has been pushed in an effort to reduce leakages. However, there has been a rise of exclusion errors in post-Aadhaar seeding.
    • There are many sections of society who still don’t have Aadhar Cards, thereby depriving them of food security.
  • Domicile-Based Social Sector Schemes: Not only PDS, most of the anti-poverty, rural employment, welfare and food security schemes were historically based on domicile-based access and restricted people to access government social security, welfare and food entitlements at their place of origin.
  • Disrupting Supplies At FPS: An FPS receives the monthly quota of products strictly in accordance with the number of people assigned to it.
    • The ONORC, when fully operational, would disrupt this practice, as some FPSs may have to cater to more numbers of cards even as others cater to less, owing to migration of people.

What has been the Performance of Scheme So Far?

  • This is one-of-its-kind Citizen Centric initiative in the country, which is swiftly implemented in a short-span of time covering about 80 Crore beneficiaries, after being initiated in August 2019.
  • Since 2019, about 71 crore portable transactions have taken place delivering foodgrains equivalent to about Rs 40,000 crore in food subsidy through portability.
  • At present, a monthly average of about 3 crore portable transactions are being recorded, delivering the subsidised NFSA and free PMGKAY (Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana) foodgrains with anywhere flexibility to the beneficiaries.

Way Forward

  • If emergencies continue to hamper uptake at ration shops, alternate delivery channels can be considered for delivering food grains to vulnerable groups.
  • Food security should be seen from a broader framework of nutritional security. Therefore, ONORC must allow the portability of Integrated Child Development Services, Mid-Day Meals, immunization, health care and other facilities.
  • In the longer run, the PDS system may be replaced by a fool-proof food coupon system or direct benefit transfer.
    • Wherein, a Below Poverty Line family can buy rice, pulses, sugar and oil from any Kirana store at the market price, by either paying fully through the coupon or by cash.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQ)

Q. With reference to the provisions made under the National Food Security Act, 2013, consider the following statements: (2018)

  1. The families coming under the category of ‘below poverty line (BPL)’ only are eligible to receive subsidised food grains.
  2. The eldest woman in a household, of age 18 years or above, shall be the head of the household for the purpose of issuance of a ration card.
  3. Pregnant women and lactating mothers are entitled to a ‘take-home ration’ of 1600 calories per day during pregnancy and for six months thereafter.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 3 only

Ans: (b)

Exp:

  • Issue of food security has been addressed by the Government through the Public Distribution System and the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). The National Food Security Act (NFSA) enacted on July 5, 2013 marked a shift in the approach to food security from welfare to rights based approach.
  • Salient features of National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013
  • Upto 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population will be covered under TPDS with uniform entitlement of 5 kg per person per month.
  • Pregnant women, lactating mothers and children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years will be entitled to meals as per prescribed nutritional norms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Schemes. Higher nutritional norms have been prescribed for malnourished children upto 6 years of age.
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than `6,000.
  • Prior to implementation of the NFSA, there were mainly three types of ration cards issued by State Governments such as Above Poverty Line (APL), Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Antyodaya (AAY) ration cards distinguished by different colours opted by the concerned State Government. According to NFSA 2013, APL and BPL groups have been re-classified into two categories – Non-Priority and Priority. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • Eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above is to be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing of ration cards. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers are entitled to food supplement of 600 calories of energy and 18-20 gms of protein per day in the form of Micronutrient Fortified Food and/or energy dense food as take away home ration. Hence, statement 3 is not correct. Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

Source: PIB


Social Justice

Drug Resistant Typhoid

For Prelims: Typhoid and strains

For Mains: Health

Why in News?

Bacteria that cause typhoid fever are becoming more and more resistant to some of the most widely used antibiotics, according to the study published in The Lancet Microbe journal.

  • Typhoid fever causes 11 million infections and more than 1,00,000 deaths per year. South Asia accounts for 70% of the global disease burden.

What is Typhoid?

  • About:
    • Typhoid fever is a life-threatening systemic infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (commonly known as Salmonella Typhi) carried only by humans – no other animal carrier has been found.
  • Transmission:
    • Typhoid fever is transmitted by the faecal-oral route, through ingestion of contaminated food or water.
    • Without treatment, about one person in 20 who recovers from typhoid becomes a ‘carrier’. Despite having no symptoms of illness, they have bacteria in their faeces and urine, and can infect others for a period of about three months (sometimes up to one year).
    • Travellers are at high risk of developing typhoid fever in many typhoid endemic countries. This includes parts of Asia (especially India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh), Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the Middle East.
  • Symptoms:
    • Symptoms and signs of typhoid range from mild to severe, can last for about one month without treatment, and may include: fever, fatigue or tiredness, malaise (general feeling of unwellness), sore throat, persistent cough, headache.
  • Prevention:
    • Vaccine:
      • The typhoid vaccine is available as an oral medication or a one-off injection:
        • Capsule: For adults and children over the age of 6 years, this is a live, attenuated vaccine.
        • Shot: For adults and children over the age of 2 years, this is an inactivated vaccine a person needs to get 2 weeks before travel.
        • The typhoid vaccine is only 50–80% effective.
  • Treatment:
    • Typhoid fever requires prompt treatment with antibiotics.
  • Drug Resistance:
    • The effectiveness of antibiotics for typhoid fever is threatened by the emergence of drug resistant strains.
      • The existence of resistant strains of bacteria means antibiotics or drugs designed to kill them no longer work, allowing them to spread rapidly, posing a risk to public health.
    • Since 2000, multi-drug-resistant (MDR) typhoid has declined steadily in Bangladesh and India, remained low in Nepal, and increased slightly in Pakistan.
      • However, these are being replaced by strains resistant to other antibiotics, according to the study conducted by researchers from Stanford University, Christian Medical College Vellore and other institutions.
      • Multi-drug resistance (MDR) is defined as lack of susceptibility to at least one agent in three or more chemical classes of antibiotic.
      • Strains were classified as MDR if they had genes giving resistance to antibiotics ampicillin, chloramphenicol, and trimethoprim/ sulfamethoxazole.
    • A new type of drug resistance is observed in strains termed XDR typhoid. Strains resistant to the antibiotic (azithromycin) have been seen in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.
      • Extensive Drug Resistance (XDR) typhoid is caused by a strain that is resistant to at least five antibiotic classes recommended for treating typhoid fever.

Way Forward

  • An integrative approach and a comprehensive policy framework are required to be in place for the prevention, control and elimination of typhoid fever.
  • India’s Health Ministry is considering introducing new typhoid conjugate vaccines into the national immunization program. Two WHO prequalified vaccines have been developed in India (by Bharat Biotech and Biological E).

Source: IE


Important Facts For Prelims

8th International Day of Yoga

Why in News?

Eighth International Day of Yoga (21st June 2022) is being celebrated across the world.

  • Theme 2022: ‘Yoga for Humanity’.

What is Historical Background and Significance?

  • Background:
    • The idea of International Day of Yoga (IDY) was proposed by India during the opening of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), held in 2014.
    • The UN proclaimed 21st June as IDY by passing a resolution in December, 2014.
    • The first Yoga Day celebrations in 2015 at Rajpath in New Delhi created two Guinness World Records.
      • It was the world's largest yoga session with 35,985 people.
      • 84 nationalities participated in it.
  • Yoga and its Significance:
    • Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India.
    • The word ‘yoga’ is derived from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.
    • Today it is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity.
    • Yoga plays an important role in the psycho-social care and rehabilitation of Covid-19 patients in quarantine and isolation.
    • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also asked its member states to practice Yoga and has included it in its Global Action Plan for physical activity 2018-30.

What is the Significance of the Day?

  • The International Yoga Day is observed to spread awareness about the practice of yoga and its holistic approach to physical and mental well-being.
  • The International Day of Yoga aims to inculcate a habit of meditation for the peace of mind and the self-awareness which is necessary to survive in a stress-free environment.

What are the Related Initiatives?

  • M-Yoga App:
  • New website for International Day of Yoga (IDY):
    • This web portal provides all the updated and relevant information relating to International Day of Yoga.
    • It has a social wall where all the social media interactive platforms are available for the visitors to keep track on the discussions and participate in them.
    • The portal is also linked to important web pages such as Swachh Bharat, Make in India, etc.
  • Yoga recognised as a Sports Discipline:
    • The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, after reviewing categorization of various Sports disciplines, recognised Yoga as a sports discipline and placed it in the ‘Priority’ category in September 2015.
  • Common Yoga Protocol:
    • The Ministry of AYUSH in its ‘Common Yoga Protocol’ has listed Yama, Niyama, Asana, etc. among popular yoga ‘sadhanas’.
  • Vocational Education Courses in Yoga:
    • The Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council (B&WSSC) has vocational education courses in Yoga for CBSE schools.
    • B&WSSC is established as a non-profit organization under the aegis of National Skill Development Corporation, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
  • Various Skilling initiatives:
    • Thousands of candidates have been trained as yoga instructors and trainers through various skilling initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).
    • PMKVY is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
  • Fit India Movement:
    • Yoga is also a part of the Fit India Movement.
    • Fit India Movement is a nation-wide campaign that aims at encouraging people to include physical activities and sports in their everyday lives.

Source: IE


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