”UPSC News Diary For Today” is every day published in the evening between 6-7 PM and contains all current affairs articles from the day on a single platform. ”UPSC News Diary For Today” covers various topics from UPSC Syllabus and is very helpful and time managing for UPSC Aspirants. The framing of this daily current affairs compilation article is easy to read and understandable also.
In the ”UPSC News Diary For Today” article, we focus on both UPSC Preliminary and Mains exam-oriented current affairs & prepare a gist of daily important news articles from leading National Newspapers, PIB, and other various official sources.
Why In News?
On August 13, Sri Lanka approved the arrival of a Chinese satellite-tracking vessel to its Chinese-funded Hambantota port.
About Yuan Wang
- Yuan Wang 5 was described by the Sri Lankan government as a “scientific research ship”.
- The BRISL (Belt & Road Initiative Sri Lanka), a Colombo-based organisation studying China’s ambitious connectivity project, was the first to draw attention to the visit in a Twitter post late July.
- It said that the Yuan Wang 5 will conduct “satellite control and research tracking in the northwestern part of the Indian Ocean Region” through August and September.
- Vessels of the Yuan Wang class are said to be used for tracking and supporting satellite as well as intercontinental ballistic missiles by the People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force.
National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP)
Why in News?
A study of 18 major States’ budgets by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) shows that although they have factored in slower growth this year, the States aim to reduce revenue spending by 0.13% of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) and increase capex by 0.24% of GSDP.
- The National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) is a centre for research in public economics and policies. Founded in 1976, the institute undertakes research, policy advocacy and capacity building in areas related to public economics.
- One of the major mandates of the institute is to assist the Central, State and Local governments in formulating and reforming public policies by providing an analytical base.
- The institute was set up as an autonomous society, at the joint initiative of the Ministry of Finance, Planning Commission, several State governments and distinguished academicians.
- It is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
Atal Pension Yojana (APY) account opening rule 2022
Why in News?
The terms and conditions for becoming an APY account have been changed by the Government.
About APY New Rule
- Named after former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the scheme provides a minimum guaranteed pension of Rs 1000 to Rs 5000 per month to subscribers after they attain 60 years of age.
- The pension amount depends on the contribution made by subscribers. However, the account will not be open for subscription for everyone soon.
- According to the new rule, individuals who file their Income Tax Returns or pay tax will not be allowed to open APY accounts from October 1, 2022.
Who can join APY?
Currently, Indian citizens aged 18-40 are eligible to join Atal Pension Yojana. You can subscribe to the scheme through the bank or post office branches where you have your savings bank account. According to official data, the total number of APY subscribers at the end of March 2022 was 4.01 crore.
Pacific nations play US v China for climate action
Why In News?
- At the latest meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum, held in Suva, Fiji, during July 11-14, both China and the US attempted to woo the nations with investment pledges for coastal economic development and fisheries deals.
- But the nations, which are some of the worst affected by climate impacts, countered with the demand that the world’s two biggest carbon emitters double their climate financing.
- The Forum also adopted stern language to declare a climate emergency, and pushed for meaningful discussions at the 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held later this year.
- In addition, the Forum called for the International Court of Justice to rule on countries’ legal duties to stop climate change.
- The 17 member nations of the Pacific Islands Forum are of great geopolitical importance to major trade rivals, US and China. Their exclusive economic zones, spanning a total of 30 million sq km, provide half of the world’s tuna, the most consumed fish.
About Pacific Islands Forum
- The Pacific Islands Forum is the region’s premier political and economic policy organisation. Founded in 1971, it comprises 18 members: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
- The Forum’s Pacific Vision is for a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity, so that all Pacific people can lead free, healthy, and productive lives.
- The Pacific Islands Forum works to achieve this by fostering cooperation between governments, collaboration with international agencies, and by representing the interests of its members.
- Since 1989, the Forum has organised an annual meeting with key Dialogue Partners at Ministerial level. The Forum currently recognises 18 dialogue partners: Canada, People’s Republic of China, Cuba, European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.
- The work of the Forum is guided by the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, which was endorsed by Forum Leaders in July 2014.
Return Of Diptheria & Measles
Why In News?
In early July, Australia reported two cases of diphtheria in young children. This is the first time this century the disease has been seen in the country.
What is the reason?
- The return of some diseases is a result of covid-19 disruptions to global immunisation campaigns.
- In 2021, the share of children who received three doses of the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine—a global marker of vaccination coverage— fell to 81 per cent from 86 per cent in 2019, according to the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
- Other childhood diseases that were considered to be under control are also seeing a comeback: over the last four months, Tanzania, Malawi and Israel reported fresh outbreaks of wild poliovirus, while the UK also detected its presence in sewage drains but did not identify any cases.
- Afghanistan, Somalia and South Africa in recent months have also seen a rise in measles cases.
- Diphtheria is a serious infection caused by strains of bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheriae that make a toxin (poison). It is the toxin that can cause people to get very sick.
- Diphtheria bacteria spread from person to person, usually through respiratory droplets, like from coughing or sneezing. People can also get sick from touching infected open sores or ulcers.
- Diphtheria can infect the respiratory tract (parts of the body involved in breathing) and skin. Symptoms of diphtheria depend on the body part that is affected.
- It can cause:
- Sore throat
- Mild fever
- Swollen glands in the neck
- Measles is very contagious and can be serious. An unvaccinated child can get measles.
- Two doses of MMR vaccine provide the best protection against measles for your child.
- Measles isn’t just a little rash. Measles can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children.
- Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 9 out of 10 people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.
- Measles typically begins with:
- high fever (may spike to more than 104°),
- runny nose (coryza), and
- red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis).
Unfulfilled Zero-Hunger Targets
Unfulfilled Zero-Hunger Targets: Introduction
- Hunger has surged worldwide, and those who get to eat, are not eating healthy food. As a result, there is now a high prevalence of malnutrition, particularly undernourishment.
- Nearly every 10th person in the world does not have access to proper nourishment, as per the UN’s latest “State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World” report.
Unfulfilled Zero-Hunger Targets: What is Malnutrition?
- Malnutrition includes undernutrition, hidden hunger and overweight conditions. So, a country, where households are enduring both hunger and nutrition crises, is actually raising a generation of unhealthy citizens.
- Such high levels of malnourishment also means that people—particularly children— are not eating according to the need or nutritious value.
- Malnutrition is a foundational challenge: a malnourished child would grow up to be an unhealthy adult. A country with a high level of malnourishment, thus, will have an unhealthy population.
Unfulfilled Zero-Hunger Targets: How Covid-19 Pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine War impact Zero-hunger targets?
- The covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have stalled the global progress on achieving zero-hunger and malnourishment targets under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.
- In 2021, nearly 30 per cent of the world’s population —2.3 billion—was food insecure.
- This was an increase of 350 million people over 2019. This lack of access to food or inability to afford food has a direct link with the level of malnutrition.
- The UN report says that the prevalence of undernourishment in the world has gone up from 8 per cent in 2019 to 9.8 per cent in 2021.
- In 2030, some 8 per cent of the global population will be malnourished—this was the level in 2015 when SDGs were set.
Unfulfilled Zero-Hunger Targets: What has changed since 2015?
- In 2015, the world agreed to eradicate hunger and malnutrition with adequate and healthy food.
- But the clock has now reversed, and the world is in the same crises as it was before 2015.
Unfulfilled Zero-Hunger Targets: How Malnutrition is a development challenge?
- While hunger can be tackled with food supply, the menace of malnutrition is difficult to fight with this approach.
- Malnutrition is also a development challenge that will haunt us in future because a country cannot base its growth on an unhealthy workforce.
- Rather, the disease burden of a malnourished generation will be too high for the country to fund and sustain. This makes the availability and affordability of healthy diet or good food an existential as well as an economic challenge.
Bal Aadhaar Initiative
Bal Aadhaar Initiative- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Bal Aadhaar Initiative in News
- Recently, Ministry of Electronics and IT informed that Unique Identification Authority (UIDAI) has enrolled more than 79 lakh children in the 0 – 5 age group during the first four months (April-July) of the current financial year.
- While 2.64 crore children in the 0-5 age group had Bal Aadhaar by the end of March 31, 2022, this number has increased to 3.43 crore by the end of July 2022.
Bal Aadhaar Initiative
- About: Children in the age group of 0-5 years are issued Bal Aadhaar by UIDAI.
- Collection of biometrics (fingerprints and iris) is a key feature in issuing Aadhaar as the same is required to establish uniqueness based on de-duplication of these biometrics.
- However, for Aadhaar enrolment of children in the age group of 0-5 years, these biometrics are not collected.
- Issuing Authority: Bal Aadhaar is issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
- Key Data Collected: Aadhaar enrolment of children in the age group of 0-5 years are carried out based on a facial image of the child, and biometric authentication of the parent/guardian (having a valid Aadhaar).
- A proof of relationship document (preferably birth certificate) is collected at the time of enrolment for Bal Aadhaar.
- Colour of Bal Aadhar: To differentiate the Bal Aadhaar from normal Aadhaar, it is issued in blue colour.
- Validity: Bal Aadhaar is issued with a remark that this is valid till the child attains the age of 5 years.
- Mandatory Biometric Update (MBU): On attaining the age of 5, the child is required to furnish his or her biometrics at an Aadhaar Seva Kendra to complete a process called mandatory biometric update (MBU).
- The MBU process goes through a de-duplication process.
- After completion of this process, the child is issued a normal Aadhaar without any change in the Aadhaar number.
- Significance: Bal Aadhaar works as a facilitator in availing several welfare benefits, and also works as a digital photo identity for children right from birth.
Unique Identification Authority of India- Key Points
- About: UIDAI is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 by the Government of India.
- Earlier, UIDAI was created through a government notification in 2009 and was functioning as an attached office of the then Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog).
- Parent Ministry of UIDAI: It functions under the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) of the then Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
- Objective of UIDAI: To issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India
Mandate of UIDAI
- Under Aadhaar Act 2016, UIDAI is responsible for
- Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of Aadhaar life cycle
- Developing the policy, procedure, and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals and
- Perform authentication and the security of identity information and authentication records of individuals.
The Editorial Analysis- A Tryst with the Past
A Tryst with the Past- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 1: Indian History- Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
A Tryst with the Past in News
- Recently, India celebrated its 76th years of Independence. Seventy-five years ago, on this day, India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru made first PM address from the Red Fort. Few Lines of the speech are given below-
“The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?”
- In this context, we will discuss the various achievements and missed opportunities over these seventy five years for India.
A Tryst with the Past- Achievements and Missed Opportunities
- Achievements: There have been significant achievements —
- A constitutional scheme guaranteeing rights that included freedom of speech, religion and a secular state,
- Implementation of universal adult franchise in periodic elections,
- A thriving legislature,
- Establishments allowing for a formal separation of powers,
- A quasi-federal union of States that were reorganised on a linguistic basis,
- The building of institutions (industrial, educational, medical) that heralded progress, and
- The unleashing of knowledge and communication sectors that tied India beneficially to the world economy.
- Missed Opportunities: There have also been missteps and failings —
- The inability to eradicate extreme poverty and marginalisation even though these did come down dramatically since 1947,
- The strains in implementing the constitutional order and values,
- Burgeoning communal majoritarianism, which was decidedly rejected by both the freedom fighters as well as the framers of the Constitution,
- The incomplete nature of decentralisation of power, and
- Rising economic inequality.
- India’s Potential: India stands tall as-
- One of the world’s emerging economies with an advantageous demographic dividend,
- A vibrant democracy that ensures enthusiastic participation in elections,
- A diverse polity, and
- A diversified economy.
A Tryst with the Past- Associated Challenges
India also faces humongous challenges.
- Global Conservatism and Climate Change: Its people live in a more chaotic world where cooperation and liberal trade relations have taken a beating and where climate change is a challenge.
- Over Centralization: The emergence and consolidation of a dominant political force that seeks to centralise power and homogenise the idea of India.
- This has threatened to unravel the constitutional structure of recognition of diversity and inclusion as the means for overall progress.
- Economic progress through inclusive growth — a process that was accelerated following comprehensive reforms in the early 1990s and the institution of a rights-based approach towards welfare in the mid-2000s — has slowed down in the last few years.
- Inter-State Disparity: There is an exacerbation of inter-State disparities, with southern and western India delivering better outcomes in education, health care and thoroughgoing economic growth than other regions.
- This is an issue that requires careful deliberation in the near future.
- India must continue policies, framed in the 1990s, of allowing entrepreneurial energies to flourish while relying on comprehensive welfare with a rights approach, which was given impetus in the late 2000s, to help utilise its demographic potential.
- India’s progress in the 21st century would depend upon the re-ignition of the values like social justice, equality and unity in diversity.