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IASbhai Daily Current Affairs for UPSC is an initiative to dilute major articles from leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Hence we choose articles on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC PRELIMS2020.

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Pench tiger death raises COVID-19 fears.


Pench tiger death raises COVID-19 fears

Advisory regarding containing and management of COVID-19 in National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves.

      WHY IN NEWS:

In view of the spread of COVID 19 in the country and a recent news report on a Tiger being infected with the COVID 19 in New York, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued an advisory regarding containing and management of COVID-19 in National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves as it is felt that there are possibilities of spread of the virus amongst animals in National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves and also transmission of the virus from humans to animals and vice-versa.

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases


For PRELIMS it is still not clear the mode of transmission of COVID-19 yet ! Wait and watch

For MAINS note down the following steps being taken to stop the pandemic.



The death of a 10-year-old ailing male tiger, in the Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) — the country’s most munificent reserve —that succumbed to a ‘respiratory illness’ last Saturday would have been a routine affair.

The people who handled the dead tiger and were involved in its post-mortem would be tested for the infection.

Swabs from the throat and nose to test for rhinotracheitis, a viral infection that afflicts cats and causes respiratory illness were collected.

“The animal came to the pond frequently for water possibly because it was running a high fever.

NTCA mulls test after a big cat tested positive for the virus in a U.S. zoo.

The advisory has asked Chief Wildlife Wardens of all States/UT’s to:

  1. Take immediate preventive measures to stop the transmission and spread of the virus from humans to animals and vice versa, in National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves.
  2. Reduce the human wildlife interface.
  3. Restrict the movement of people to National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves.
  4. Constitute a Task Force/Rapid Action Force with Field Managers, Veterinary doctors, Frontline staff, to manage the situation as quickly as possible.
  5. Create a ‘round the clock’ reporting mechanism with a Nodal Officer for swift management of any cases noticed.
  6. Set up essential services for emergency treatment of animals and their safe release back to their natural habitats, as and when required.
  7. Enhance disease surveillance, mapping and monitoring system through coordinated effort amongst various Departments.
  8. Maintain all other stipulations issued by the Health Ministry in the movement of staff/tourists/villagers, etc. in and around National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves.
  9. Take other possible steps to control the spread of the virus.
  10. Report the action taken to this Ministry.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Still a confirmed cause of death is not known .


Amma Canteen Scheme


Amma Canteen Scheme: An unexpected, but pleasant gift amid COVID-19

      WHY IN NEWS:

Amma canteen scheme an effective mechanism to serve migrants during lockdown



For PRELIMS understand the important features of this scheme.

For MAINS compare this scheme with other state wise sponsored schemes.


The Amma Canteen, a delivery system to provide urban food security in Tamil Nadu, has become an effective mechanism in reaching the needy during lockdown. This can be seen through the functioning of the twelve amma canteens in Madurai.

An Amma Canteen in Adyar, Chennai in Tamil Nadu Photo: Wikimedia Commons



  • Breakfast is served from 6-8.30 am, with idli and pongal on the menu. A person can have both. No parcels are entertained.
  • Approximately 650 plates of idli and pongal are prepared and served in steel plates daily in each canteen. No coffee or tea is served.
  • Hot water mixed with turmeric, pepper and ginger, however, is offered in steel glasses.
  • Migrants from north India usually benefit from this canteen scheme. A number of people from nearby villages who come to Madurai on foot to purchase vegetables in the morning also have their breakfast there.
  • A register to record the names of the beneficiaries, with their places of original residence is maintained by the canteens.
  • It is not uncommon to see policemen, municipal workers and people from the media having their breakfast in these canteens.
  • Food was made freely available in the canteen since the lockdown began. A donation box is kept in the canteens for people to contribute. The boxes are opened in the respective municipal offices.
  • Lunch — consisting of sambar rice, curd rice, lemon rice and tomato rice — is served in the canteen between 12-2.30 pm.
  • Dinner is not served in Amma Canteens during regular times. The canteens began serving sambar rice between 6.30-7.30 pm when the lockdown began, for the benefit of migrant workers.


  • Care is taken to ensure there is no wastage by distributing left over food to those who come to the canteen late.
  • Hand sanitisers are also provided in the canteens to ensure good hand washing.
  • The Amma Canteen system, in short, has ensured urban food security and is a boon to migrants during lockdown. There are, thus, unexpected but pleasant benefits from this scheme.

There was no change in the broad structure of the scheme, even though different parties came to power. It may be noted that the popularity of a scheme may not be replicated in another state.

The coverage of the schemes in these states, however, was limited. Such schemes were also  implemented in an adhoc manner.

The benefits of the schemes were not realised to the expected extent in these states, in the absence of a good delivery system.

These states should explore the possibility of utilising available infrastructure in existing private canteens and hotels (closed during lockdown).

This measure would not only help migrant workers but also provide employment to workers who remained unemployed since the lockdown came into effect.

The Amma Canteen Scheme created a ripple effect in other states: The Anna Canteen came up in Andhra Pradesh, Indira Canteen in Karnataka, Ahaar Centres in Odisha and Deendayal Kitchen in Madhya Pradesh.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Care must be taken to minimise such errors as political parties in the opposition do not miss the opportunity to capitalise such situations.

Welfare schemes deliver unexpected but pleasant benefits sometimes.


Non-operation of MPLADS for two years


Cabinet approves Non-operation of MPLADS for two years (2020-21 and 2021-22) for managing COVID 19

      WHY IN NEWS:

As a part of Government’s continued efforts to contain spread of COVID 19, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has decided not to operate Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) for two years (2020-21 and 2021-22).

MINISTRY?Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation



For PRELIMS it is important to understand this scheme and the new transformations.

For MAINS these points could fetch you an extra edge in coming MAINS 2020.


As a part of Government’s efforts to contain spread of COVID – 19, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has taken several preventive measures.
It issued a circular granting one-time dispensation for utilizing funds under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) to address the challenges in the fight against COVID-19.


The Members of Parliament Local Area Development Division is entrusted with the responsibility of implementation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).


Each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency.


The Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament can recommend works in one or more districts in the State from where he/she has been elected.


The Ministry has issued the guidelines on MPLADS Scheme including implementation and monitoring of the scheme.

  1. The MPLADS is a Plan Scheme fully funded by Government of India.
  2. MPs are to recommend every year, works costing at least 15 per cent of the MPLADS entitlement for the year for areas inhabited by Scheduled Caste population and 7.5 per cent for areas inhabited by S.T. population.
  3. In order to encourage trusts and societies for the betterment of tribal people, a ceiling of Rs. 75 lakh is stipulated for building assets by trusts and societies subject to conditions prescribed in the scheme guidelines.
  4. Lok Sabha Members can recommend works within their Constituencies and Elected Members of Rajya Sabha can recommend works within the State of Election (with select exceptions).
  5. All works to meet locally felt infrastructure and development needs, with an emphasis on creation of durable assets in the constituency are permissible under MPLADS as prescribed in the scheme guidelines.
  6. Nominated Members of both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha can recommend works anywhere in the country.
  7. Expenditure on specified items of non durable nature are also permitted as listed in the guidelines.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

These funds will be used to strengthen Government’s efforts in managing the challenges and adverse impact of COVID19 in the country.


Module Innovations: nCoVSENSEs


DST supported healthcare startup developing rapid test for detection of COVID-19

      WHY IN NEWS:

The Department of Science & Technology has funded ‘Module Innovations”, a Pune based healthcare startup working on point of care diagnostics to build up on its platform technology for rapid diagnosis of diseases to develop a product for detecting COVID 19 with a 10 to 15 minute test.

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Science & Technology
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Technology:Innovation
Using the proven concept from its flagship product USense, Module is now developing nCoVSENSEs (TM) which is a rapid test device for detection of antibodies that have been generated against the COVID 19 in the human body.



  • With the current stage that India is in, doing a mass screening is of extreme importance. 
  • With the rapid test device it will be possible to confirm infection in patients and also determine whether an infected patent has recovered and also identify the stage of infection in the patients.
  • The current confirmatory method of Real-TimeReverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) though a gold standard is costly, takes longer time and needs trained manpower.
  • This new rapid test will help manage the problem in a more efficient way at a lesser cost.
The nCoVSENSe test is aimed at detecting the IgG and IgM antibodies generated in the human body upon the onset of viral infection and is targeted against the Spike proteins making it specific for COVID 19.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

“While not being a substitute for the PCR based confirmatory technique, the tests based on the detection of antibodies are being deployed globally for the purposes of rapid mass screenings that take some of the burden off from limited number of PCR machines, and help in the formulation of strategies and decision making, among other things”.


 Let us ‘Discuss’

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Let us know what you think about this in the comment section.



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