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Prelim Bits 18-03-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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March 18, 2023

H3N2 Virus

India is witnessing H3N2 subtype of seasonal influenza and has lost 2 people this year.

  • Seasonal influenza or the ‘flu’ is a respiratory infection caused by the Influenza viruses.
  • There are 3 types of Influenza viruses that infects humans: A, B, and C
  • The influenza A virus is divided into subtypes based on 2 proteins found on the surface of the virus: hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N).
  • There are 18 H-subtypes and 11 N-subtypes.
  • More than 130 influenza A subtype combinations have been identified in nature so far, but many more subtypes are possible.
  • H1N1 virus (a.k.a.  Swine flu) is an influenza A subtype.

Virus reassortment is a process by which influenza viruses swap genetic information, making different subtypes.

  • The H3N2 is an Influenza A subtype which appears to cause more hospitalisations than other influenza subtypes in India.
  • Symptoms - It has classic flu symptoms like fever, cough, body ache, breathlessness, wheezing and pneumonia.
  • Risk - Children below 5 years of age, people who are above 65 years of age, pregnant people, and people with certain long-term health conditions are at higher risk.
  • Diagnosis - Nasal swab and pharyngeal swab sample collected and diagnosed through RT PCR laboratory testing.
  • Cure - WHO recommended Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is used and made available free of cost through public health systems in Inida.
  • The sale of oseltamivir in India is allowed under Schedule H1 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.


  1. The Hindu - H3N2 virus: symptoms, prevention, and cure
  2. TOI - How to differentiate between H3N2 virus and H1N1 infection


The newly created platform ‘herSTART’ aimed at supporting women-led start-ups was recently inaugurated by the President of India.

  • ‘herSTART’ is an initiative of the Gujarat University Start-up and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC).
  • The platform has been introduced to promote women start-ups and to encourage women entrepreneurs.
  •  The platform includes a digital platform to provide resources and training modules free of cost to aspiring women entrepreneurs.
  • It also provides a digital community for them, and a digital publication to spread their success stories.
  • It also includes an accelerator which provides the following facilities to women entrepreneurs.



  1. PIB - herSTART’ platform was inaugurated recently
  2. PIB - President of India launches 'HERSTART' platform
  3. herSTART

Mission Sahbhagita

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has launched Mission Sahbhagita, on the occasion of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

  • Mission Sahbhagita was launched by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) in 2022.
  • It enables a society ownership approach for participatory conservation and wise use of Wetlands.
  • Save Wetlands Campaign’ was launched as part of this Mission on the occasion of World Wetlands Day 2023 at Goa.
  • World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2nd of February, the date of the adoption of the Ramsar Convention in 1971.

As on 14 August 2022 (75th Independence Day), India has 75 Ramsar Sites.

MoEF&CC and Wetlands

  • The Ministry has constituted wetlands authorities in States/UTs through Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules 2017.
  • The State authority is responsible for notification, conservation and management of wetlands in that State.
  • National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-systems (NPCA) is a centrally sponsored scheme for conservation and management of identified wetlands (includes lakes) in the country.
  • Under the NPCA scheme, MoEF&CC has sanctioned central assistance for conservation of 165 wetlands across the country, including 42 Ramsar sites.
  • Ministry has launched “Wetlands of India Portal” (indianwetlands.in), a publicly available information and knowledge platform for wetlands.


  1. PIB - Mission Sahbhagita: For wise use of wetlands
  2. The Indian Wire - Mission Sahbhagita for Wetland conservation
  3. Vikaspedia - World Wetlands Day

Lakhpati Didi Initiative

The Ministry of Rural Development has signed a MoU with the Ministry of Ayush to collaborate in making Lakhpati Didis from the SHGs.

Lakhpati Didis are women with annual earnings of Rs. 1 lakh and more.

  • The Ministry of Rural Development launched Lakhpati Didi initiative on creating Lakhpati SHG women.
  • The initiative aims to enable rural SHG women to earn at least Rs.1 lakh per annum.
  • The Ministry provides livelihood support to 25 million rural SHG women in the next 2 years.
  • Earlier, Uttarakhand government launched ‘Lakhpati Didi Yojana’ to make 1.25 lakh women from self-help group 'Lakhpati' by 2025.

There are 86,000 Self Help Groups (SHGs) in India which include 9 crore women.

  • MoU - Ministry of Rural Development signs MoU with Ministry of Ayush for skilling of rural youth and empowering women.
  • The collaboration will impart training to rural poor youth and women for Ayush healthcare system under DDU-GKY.
  • The training is given priority to SHG women to realize an annual income of INR 1 lakh.
  • Training - The collaboration will train rural poor youth under NSQF compliant courses like Panchakarma Technician, Cupping Therapy Assistant, etc., under DDU-GKY.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana


  • DDU-GKY is one of the flagship poverty alleviation programs under National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM).
  • DDU-GKY was launched on 25th September 2014 by Ministry of Rural Development.
  • The scheme is aimed at skilling the poorest of the poor youth between the ages of 15 and 35 years from Rural India.
  • The NRLM mission has made successful strides through the Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana, bringing focus on the role of women as farmers.


  1. PIB - Skilling to make Lakhpati Didis from SHGs
  2. MoRD - SHG women on the path of becoming Lakhpatis

Foreign lawyers in India

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has allowed foreign lawyers and law firms to practise in India and notified in the official gazette.

  • The Bar Council of India (BCI) notified the Rules for ‘Registration and Regulation of Foreign Lawyers and Foreign Law Firms in India, 2022’.
  • The foreign lawyers and firms can now set up offices in India and practice transactional and corporate work on a reciprocal basis.
  • Earlier - BCI was opposed to allowing foreign law firms in India.
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court upheld previous HC judgments disallowing foreign law firms and lawyers in India.

Reciprocal laws are statutes of one state that give rights and privileges to the citizens of another state if it extends similar privileges to the citizens of the former.

  • Rules - A foreign lawyer or law firm is not entitled to practice law in India without registering with the BCI.
  • Foreign lawyers and law firms are entitled to register with BCI to practise in India if they are entitled to practise law in their home countries.
  • Foreign lawyers will only be allowed to advice on international laws.
  • They will not be permitted to appear before any Indian courts and tribunals and cannot practise Indian law.
  • Indian lawyers working with foreign law firms will also be subject to the same restriction.
  • The reciprocity rule will not be applicable if a foreign lawyer or law firm works on a ‘fly in and fly out’ basis.

Bar Council of India

  • The Bar Council of India (BCI) is a statutory body established under the Advocates Act, 1961.
  • It regulates legal practice and legal education in India.
  • According to the Advocates Act, advocates enrolled with the Bar Council alone are entitled to practise law in India.
  • All others, such as a litigant, can appear only with the permission of the court, authority or person before whom the proceedings are pending.


  1. IE - Foreign lawyers can practise in India but not appear in court
  2. Business Standard - BCI allows foreign lawyers to practice in India
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