IASbhai DAILY UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS  (THE HINDU+LIVEMINT+PIB)

Dear Aspirants
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.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.– Confucius

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

Ruhdaar

      HEADLINES:

Team led by IIT Bombay student develops low-cost mechanical ventilator Ruhdaar

      WHY IN NEWS:

Design has been incubated at Design Innovation Centre, IUST, Pulwama

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Human Resource Development
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Science and technology

      ISSUE: 

VENTILATORS ARE THUS AN IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF THE MEDICAL INFRASTRUCTURE REQUIRED FOR TREATING INFECTED PATIENTS, PROVIDING CRITICAL BREATHING SUPPORT TO THOSE FALLING CRITICALLY ILL.

RUHDAAR :

  • A team of engineering students from IIT Bombay, NIT Srinagar and Islamic University of Science & Technology (IUST), Awantipora, Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir is one such group of creative individuals who have come forward to solve the problem of ventilator requirement.
“Ruhdaar provides necessary functionalities which can provide adequate breathing support necessary to save the life of a critically ill COVID-19 patient.”

 

 

  • Once it is approved, it will be taken for mass production. The effort is to make it amenable for production by small scale industry.
The idea was to design and develop a low-cost alternative to the conventional ventilator.
  • Our team has been able to achieve control of basic parameters such as tidal volume, Breaths per Minute and Inspiratory: Expiratory Ratio and to also monitor pressure continuously during its operation.”
  • Facilities at the Centre such as 3-D printing and laser-cutting technologies also were instrumental in the success of the prototype.
  • The Centre is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The prototype costed the team around Rs. 10,000 and that the cost will be much lower, when we go for mass production.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

What fiscal steps are needed to ensure food security?

      HEADLINES:

COVID-19: What fiscal steps are needed to ensure food security

      WHY IN NEWS:

Procurement at the doorstep, direct income support and reaching out to farmers can help in easing farming operations at this crucial time

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Economy

      ISSUE: 

A farmer in Uttarakhand ploughs his field with his pair of bullocks. Photo: Samrat Mukherjee / CSE

  • The extension of the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), though necessary, will lead to a further suspension of work and no wages and means for families to support themselves.
  • The rabi harvest is starting soon and most farmers are struggling due to the lack of mobility of labour, machinery and necessary equipment during this lockdown period.
  • Apart from logistical and administrative problems, farmers are facing financial crunch at a time when the rabi crop is ready to be harvested and the kharif season is to soon start.
In this context, let us discuss the status of food grain stocks in India and what actions are needed in easing farming operations during this crucial period.

PROCURE AT THE DOORSTEP

  • The quantity of food grains in buffer stocks that has been set aside for the central pool by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) is based on the principles of operational stocks and strategic reserve.
Operational stock is required for regular distribution of food grains to the beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act as well as other various welfare schemes of the government. The strategic reserve is maintained to meet the supply constraints.
  • So, five million tonnes of food grain is maintained under strategic reserve throughout the year.
  • As on March 1, 2020, the country had a food grain stock of 58.5 million tonnes, consisting of 31 million tonnes of rice and 27.5 million tonnes of wheat in the central pool.
  • The government of India, through FCI and the state governments or their agencies, should procure rabi crops immediately before farmers are compelled to sell their produce to middlemen in villages.
  • The distress sale to ease the ready cash required for kharif preparation can be averted if procurement happens at the village level.
  • A target was set to double farmers’ income by 2022, taking 2015-16 as the base year through a number of schemes and programmes such as Pradhan Mantra Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), increase in Minimum Support Price etc.
THEME
The government is to re-priorities such public expenditure interventions, at times when the situation demands ready cash for the farmers to carry out agricultural activities.

DIRECT INCOME SUPPORT

  • The government should have allocated extra funds beyond the provision already made under PM-KISAN, that would have helped farmers in many ways.

Secondly, instead of waiting for the scheduled time period to pay the second and third installments to farmers, the government should plan to transfer the funds now, when the farmers are facing a funds crunch in taking up farm operations for kharif cultivation.

CHEAP CREDIT AND REACHING OUT TO FARMERS:

  • Farmers are in dire need of funds owing to the rabi harvest, preparatory work for kharif cultivation and for personal consumption purposes.
The Union government allocates funds under the Interest Subvention category for agriculture and allied sectors that ensures two per cent subsidy on the interest rate for agricultural loans.
  • Besides, an additional three per cent incentive is given to farmers for prompt repayment of the loan, thereby reducing the effective rate of interest to four per cent for farmers.
  • The maximum amount of this credit target should be disbursed at the earliest so that the cash-starved rural sector can drive the wheel of economic growth.
  • Besides these provisions to provide credit, there are bottlenecks in availing the institutional credit.
  • The norms to avail institutional credit should be relaxed at least during the time of this crisis.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • One of the most challenging tasks would be the disbursement of credit to those farmers who do not have land rights or any collateral against institutional credit.
  • Similarly, both, PM-KISAN and the interest subvention scheme for institutional credit often exclude sharecroppers and tenant farmers who constitute a high share in the farming community.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Travel demands in post-COVID-19 societies?

      HEADLINES:

How cities can manage travel demands in post-COVID-19 societies

      WHY IN NEWS:

Public transit services suffer the most in this time.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Transport

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS nothing much here !

For MAINS figure out whether  transit agencies convince their commuters to continue with existing systems in a post-COVID-19 world?

      ISSUE: 

Cities now caution people to not to use any public or shared mode of transport

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a massive decline in transit ridership across the world Photo: Pxhere

  • The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has shaken the world economy, reducing it to a complete standstill: Transportation services and industries are on hold, with social distancing a new norm in societies.

This has been pushing cities across the world to re-invent and re-plane mobility strategies.

CHANGES IN VISITS AT TRANSIT STATION AREAS IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES

Source: Google Mobility Data (from February 15, 2020 to April 11, 2020)

  • The sharp declines in France and India are primarily due to the lockdown that was imposed in the countries on March 17 and March 23, respectively.
  • It is, however, difficult to point out the actual loss or how deep the dent is, as people in every region are either staying at home or working from home.

HOW CITIES CAN RE-INVENT PUBLIC TRANSIT

  • Transit authorities in Switzerland, for instance, created a temporary barrier within buses using plastic tapes or other means, to separate bus drivers — as well as conductors — from people.
  • Detroit in the United States has provided portable toilet facilities to its drivers.
Berlin, Bejing, cities in Switzerland and Poland are promoting electronic and contactless payments in transit.
  • Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has initiated campaigns and created posters and social media information informing passengers to wear a face mask while traveling, along with other details.
  • Almost all transit operators asked for ways to improve their cleansing mechanism.
Shanghai has begun to use advanced ultaviolet light to clean their vehicles, while Hong Kong now uses robots to disinfect vehicles.
  • City authorities are also going beyond transit management to deploy other mobility strategies, to manage overall travel demand.
  • Cities like Berlin in Germany, Bogota in Columbia have begun to open cycle lanes.
  • Similarly, city authorities are identifying areas with major pedestrian footfall —railway stations, bus terminals, busy market places — to create pedestrian-friendly zones.
  • Segregated office timing may help to reduce peak demand and subsequently overcrowding situations.
  • This needs an awareness campaign to promote an active mode of transport and encourage their employees to cycle or walk to office as much as possible.
Cities should demark on-street parking areas properly to manage parking spaces, introduce dynamic parking pricing to avoid maximum gathering at peak and all the parking spaces should have provisions for freecycle parking.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

This pandemic is an opportunity to replan and rethink mobility strategies in the post-pandemic period to keep traffic volume low to control pollution, congestion and exposure.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 

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