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Prelim Bits 20-06-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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June 20, 2023

Direct Seeding Vs Transplanting


  • Origin - South India.
  • Scientific name - Oryza sativa.
  • Top producing country – China.
  • 2nd largest rice producing country – India.
  • Top producing state in India – West Bengal.
  • Paddy (rice with husk) is a highly water-intensive crop.
  • Temperature - High temperature above 25-degree Celsius
  • Rainfall - High humidity with annual rainfall above 100 cm.

Transplanting of Rice

  • Transplanting consists of preparing seedlings in nursery and then planting these seedlings in the prepared main field.
  • Transplanting ensures a uniform plant stand.
  • In transplanting, the flooded fields basically deny oxygen to the weed seeds in the soil, thus acting as a natural herbicide.

Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR)

  • Paddy is sown directly in the field without any nursery preparation, puddling or flooding.
  • DSR is effective against weeds and saves water compared to transplanting.
  • Direct seeding is more cost-effective than transplanting.
  • Plants mature faster when grown via direct seeding.
  • It is not necessary to disturb root systems when planted via direct seeding.
  • Disadvantages
    • Higher seed rates
    • Seeds exposed to birds and pests
    • Weed management
    • Higher risk of lodging



The Indian Express | Paddy and the price of water


ICMR's Recent Report on Diabetes

ICMR’s recent study says that India has 101 million people living with diabetes

  • Published by - The Madras Diabetes Research Foundation and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
  • Findings - More than a quarter of the population was either diabetic or in pre-diabetic stage.
  • 11.4% of India’s population or 101 million people are living with diabetes.
  • Hypertension - Around 35.5% of the population or 315 million people are living with the hypertension or high blood pressure.
  • Obesity - The study found that 28.6% of the population would be considered to be obese as per the BMI measure, 39.5% of the population had abdominal obesity.
  • BMI (body mass index) - Generally used as a measure for obesity.
  • Hypercholesterolemia - 24% of the population were living with hypercholesterolemia (a condition where the bad cholesterol or LDL levels are high).

Diabetes & its Types

  • Diabetes is a condition that happens when your blood sugar (glucose) is too high.
  • It develops when your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or any at all, or when your body isn’t responding to the effects of insulin properly.
  • Diabetes affects people of all ages.
  • Type 1 diabetes - It is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in pancreas.
  • It’s usually diagnosed in children and young adults, but it can develop at any age.
  • It is non-curable.
  • Type 2 diabetes - With this type the body doesn’t make enough insulin and body’s cells don’t respond normally to the insulin (insulin resistance).
  • This is the most common type of diabetes.
  • It mainly affects adults, but children can have it as well.
  • Other types
    • Gestational diabetes
    • Type 3c diabetes
    • Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA)
    • Maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY)
    • Neonatal diabetes
    • Brittle diabetes


The Indian Express | India has 101 million people living with diabetes


Intersex-Inclusive Progress Pride Flag

The new variation of Intersex-Inclusive Progress Pride Flag, a representation of the LGBTQIA+ community is increasingly being accepted by many organizations in India.

  • LGBTQIA+ - Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, and the + holds space for the expanding and new understanding of different parts of the very diverse gender and sexual identities.

Pride flag

  • It represents the pride associated with LGTQIA+ social movements and allies as a symbol of resistance and acceptance.
  • In 2021, Intersex Equality Rights (UK) decided to adapt the Pride Progress flag design to incorporate the intersex flag, creating the Intersex-Inclusive Pride flag.
  • The recent flag is created by Valentino Vecchietti of Intersex Equality Rights UK in 2021.
  • This is a new version of the previous Progress Pride Flag created in 2018 by Daniel Quasar.
  • Various color representation and its meanings
    • Red= Life
    • Orange= Healing
    • Yellow= New Ideas
    • Green= Prosperity
    • Blue= Serenity
    • Violet= Spirit
    • Chevron Part
    • Black and brown= people of colour
    • White, blue and pink= transpeople
    • Yellow with purple circle= Intersex people.

India’s case

  • In India, section 377 in Navtej Singh Johar vs Union of India case (gay sex) was decriminalised in 2018.
  • India’s 2011 Census was the first census in its history to incorporate the number of ‘trans’ population of the country.
  • According to the 2011 Census, the number of persons who do not identify as ‘male’ or ‘female’ but as ‘other’ stands at 4,87,803 (0.04% of the total population).

Yogyakarta Principles recognise that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and can fulfil that precious birthright.


The Indian Express | The new Pride flag


Prevalence of Anaemia in India

The 6th round National Family Health Survey (NFHS), is scheduled to begin on July 1.


  • Anaemia is linked to insufficient healthy red cells (haemoglobin) that carry oxygen in the body.
  • Reasons - Iron deficiency, deficiencies in folate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, chronic conditions such as diabetes or inherited genetic disorders.
  • There are 5 documented types of anaemia:
    • Aplastic anaemia,
    • Iron deficiency anaemia,
    • Sickle cell anaemia,
    • Thalassemia,
    • Vitamin deficiency anaemia.

Anaemia in India

  • An estimate shows 1.3% of the GDP for children and 4% of the GDP for children and adults combined are lost due to anaemia-related illnesses in India.
  • NFHS-5 showed at least 67% of children having anaemia as compared to 58.6% in the last survey conducted in 2015-16.
  • World Bank data shows one in two Indian women is anaemic, 20% higher than the world average.
  • India has recognised anaemia as a public health challenge.
  • Schemes related to Anaemia

WHO standard on Haemoglobin diagnostic cut-off for

  • Men - 14 gm/deciliter,
  • Women 12 gm/decilitre
  • Boys and girls - Between 11 and 12 gm/deciliter.


The Hindu | Can the new Diet and Biomarker Survey trace the roots of India’s anaemia problem


Curiosity Rover

NASA’s Curiosity rover sends a beautiful postcard image from Mars.

  • Launch Year – 2012.
  • It is a part of Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission of NASA.
  • It is the largest and most capable rover ever sent to Mars.
  • Aim - To climb onto the layered deposit in the center of the Gale Crater to assess its possible origins.
  • Gale crater, located just south of the Martian equator was formed by the impact of a large meteorite sometime between 3.5 and 3.8 billion years ago.
  • Findings - Curiosity's scientific tools found chemical and mineral evidence of past habitable environments on Mars.
  • It continues to explore the rock record from a time when Mars could have been home to microbial life.

687 Earth days = One Mars year

Mars Missions










Mars 2 and Mars 3





The Indian Express | NASA’s Curiosity rover sends a beautiful postcard


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