Prelims Specific Question
1) State of Food and Agriculture Report is published by?
About Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
- The FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations.
- Established in 1945, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has its headquarters in Rome, Italy.
- It was founded with a goal to provide food security for everyone and assure that people will have access to high-quality food in sufficient quantities to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
- Every year, the FAO publishes a number of major ‘State of the World’ reports related to food, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and natural resources.
2) Raikas sometimes seen in news is a?
- caste of pastoralists from northwestern India
- Medieval water storage and irrigation structures
- A medicinal herb found in Western Ghats
- Sacred groves of Kerala
The Raika tribes
- The Raika tribes are a nomadic people, occupying the western districts of Rajasthan and Gujurat, including the Thar Desert.
- One estimate put their number at about 500,000, though Raikas many are abandoning the pastoralist way of life in the face of social, economic and legal pressures.
- They are known for their Arabian camels, or dromedaries, but many Raika families raise sheep and goats.
3) Tendulkar, Lakdawala committee is related to which of the following:
- Cricket reforms
- Poverty estimation
- Recruitment Policy and selection methods
- Civil Service Reforms
Reports / Groups / IR
1) Over 50% of Bihar population multidimensionally poor: NITI
With more than 50% of the population in Bihar identified as “multidimensionally poor”, the State has the maximum percentage of population living in poverty among all the States and the Union Territories, according to Government think tank NITI Aayog’s Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).
Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Meghalaya have emerged as the poorest states in India with over 50% of the population in Bihar classified as multidimensionally poor, as per NITI Aayog’s Multidimensional Poverty Index.
India’s MPI has three equally weighted dimensions, health, education and standard of living – which are represented by twelve indicators namely nutrition, child and adolescent mortality, antenatal care, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets and bank accounts.
2) Russia, India, China meet reveals Indo-Pacific gap
Virtual meeting among the Foreign Ministers of Russia, India and China revealed the inherent differences among the three countries on the future of the Indo-Pacific region.
A statement from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs referred to Mr. Lavrov’s comments in the meeting in which he reportedly described the Indo-Pacific region as “not a partnership of equals” and supported the notion of Asia-Pacific as a more “inclusive and harmonious” framework.
Mr. Wang referred to the “democracy trap” and opposed the upcoming “Summit of Democracies” saying the summit will bring out “negative energy”.
What is RIC?
Conceived by the then Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov in 1998.
The group was founded on the basis of “ending its subservient foreign policy guided by the U.S.,” and “renewing old ties with India and fostering the newly discovered friendship with China.”
Why was it formed?
- In the early 2000s, the three countries were positioning themselves for a transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world order.
- The RIC shared some non-West (as distinct from anti-West) perspectives on the global order, such as an emphasis on sovereignty and territorial integrity, impatience with homilies on social policies and opposition to regime change from abroad.
- Their support for democratisation of the global economic and financial architecture moved to the agenda of BRIC (with the addition of Brazil).
Significance and potential of the grouping:
- Together, the RIC countries occupy over 19 percent of the global landmass and contribute to over 33 percent of global GDP.
- All three are nuclear powers and two, Russia and China, are permanent members of the UN Security Council, while India aspires to be one.
- The trio could also contribute to creating a new economic structure for the world.
- They could work together on disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.
1) ‘Tata in talks to set up $300mn chip unit’
Tata group is in talks with three States to invest up to $300 million to set up a semiconductor assembly and test unit, two sources familiar with the matter said, as part of the conglomerate’s push into high-tech manufacturing.
Tata is talking to the States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana and scouting for land for the outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) plant, the sources said, declining to be identified as the matter is not public.
While Tata has previously said it would likely enter the semiconductor business, this is the first time news about the group’s foray into the sector and its scale has been reported.
1) River Cities Alliance?
- Union Minister for Jal Shakti has launched the River Cities Alliance.
- Launched by: The alliance is a partnership of two Ministries i.e., Ministry of Jal Shakti and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
- Purpose: It is a dedicated platform for river cities in India to ideate, discuss and exchange information for the sustainable management of urban rivers.
- To provide the member cities with a platform to discuss and exchange information on aspects that are vital for sustainable management of urban rivers.
- To work towards adopting and localizing national policies and instruments with key river-related directions.
- To strengthen governance aspects for river cities and improve their liveability to attract external economic investments and access state-of-the-art knowledge.
- Themes: The alliance will focus on three broad themes-
- Capacity Building and
- Technical Support.
- Participating Cities: The 30 member cities in the alliance include: Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, etc.
- Secretariat: National Institute for Urban Affairs(NIUA) with National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) support.
1) Omicron new variant of concern
The World Health Organization (WHO) classified the B.1.1.529 variant detected in South Africa as a SARS-CoV-2 “variant of concern”, saying it may spread more quickly than other forms.
Editorials of the Day
Editorial 1 – A close reading of the NFHS-5, the health of India
About National Family Health Survey (NFHS)
- The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India.
- The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India has designated the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) Mumbai, as the nodal agency for providing coordination and technical guidance for the survey. IIPS collaborates with a number of Field Organizations (FO) for survey implementation.
How did India fare? It is a mixed verdict, containing both cheer and alarm in abundant measure.
- Population has stabilized- The biggest positive headline news from NHFS-5 is that the total fertility rate (TFR), which is the average number of children born to a woman during her lifetime, has been falling over time and is now just below the replacement rate of 2.1. This means that the total population has stabilised.
- Data on sex ratio – Nationally, there are 1,020 adult women per 1,000 men for the first time. This mean that Indian women are no longer “missing”, i.e. this signal the beginning of the end of another tenacious problem — that of deep-rooted son preference.
- The three indicators of malnutrition: stunting (low height-for-age), wasting (low weight-for-height) and underweight (low weight-for-age): show an overall improvement.
However, the overall reduction in national estimates of these three measures masks an anomaly. In Phase 1, several States revealed a worsening in one or more of these, whereas in Phase 2, none of the States showed a worsening. It would be good to understand if the novel coronavirus pandemic affected the survey in Phase 2, leading to undercounting of incidence, or whether by pure chance, all States in Phase 2 happen to be better performers on the malnutrition count (something that could not have been known at the start of the survey in 2019).
What are the concerns?
- Anaemia and malnutrition – A key health indicator that has worsened is the incidence of anaemia in under-5 children (from 58.6 to 67%), women (53.1 to 57%) and men (22.7 to 25%) in all States of India. Anaemia has debilitating effects on overall health, which is why the World Health Organization characterises it as a serious public health concern; 20%-40% incidence is considered moderate. Indian States show variation: from 39.4% in Kerala to 79.7% in Gujarat: but barring Kerala, all States are in the “severe” category. It is tempting to think of the worsening as the COVID-19 effect.
- Hidden Hunger Missing – In addition to anthropometric measures, lack of adequate nutrition is also measured by micronutrient deficiencies, i.e. lack of vitamins and minerals that are essential for body functions such as producing enzymes, hormones and other substances needed for growth and development. While the NHFS does not have data on this, the issue of micronutrients is related to diets.
The overall evidence is compelling and clear: health ought to be a matter of concern for all political parties and all governments: national and State. The survey highlights deep inequalities in health outcomes. An action plan to improve India’s health needs to be inclusive, firm in its commitment, and backed by solid resources.
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