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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 19-10-2020

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October 19, 2020

Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2020

  • Global Hunger Index report, jointly published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Concern Worldwide, and Welthungerhilfe (WHH).
  • The GHI is calculated by using a three-step process and the indicators used are
  1. Percentage of undernourished population,
  2. Percentage of children under five years suffering from wasting and stunting, Child mortality.
  • India has ranked 94 among 107 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2020.
  • It continues to be in the “serious” hunger category, though it has made some progress, particularly since the enactment of National Food Security Act.
  • Last year, India’s rank was 102 out of 117 countries.
  • Highlights of the Report
  1. India’s score has decreased consistently, a positive sign in this ranking, from 32.2 in 2010 to 31.1 in 2018 and last year the score was 30.3.
  2. In the 2020 report, India’s score stood at 27.2. Going by this pace of progress, it is likely to take some more years for India to be in the “moderate” category.
  3. Countries that have scores between 10 and 19.9 are categorised as moderate ones.
  4. The report said 14% of India’s population was undernourished and the country recorded a 37.4% stunting rate among children under five and a wasting rate of 17.3%.
  5. The under-five mortality rate in India stood at 3.7%.
  6. The neighbouring countries of Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan too were in the “serious” category but ranked higher than India.

Buldhana Pattern

  • 'Buldhana Pattern' of water conservation' has won national recognition, NITI Aayog is in the process of formulating National Policy on water conversation based on it.
  • It is based on the synchronization of national highway construction and water conservation.
  • It was achieved for the first time in Buldana district of drought-prone Vidarbha region, (Maharashtra) by using soil from the water bodies, nallas and rivers.
  • This leads to the increase in capacity of water storage across the water-bodies and it came to be known as ‘Buldana Pattern’.
  • Creation of State Water Grid and adopting water Conservations works under this pattern will increase the agriculture production.
  • With this activity 225 lakh cubic metre of soil was used in National Highway construction and the resultant widening / deepening resulted in increase of 22,500 Thousand Cubic Metre (TMC) of water storage capacity with no cost to state government.

First route of Seaplane project

  • The Seaplane project is part of a directive of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.
  • As per the directive, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) requested state governments of Gujarat, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the administration of Andaman & Nicobar to propose potential locations for setting up water aerodromes to boost the tourism sector.
  • The first seaplane services in Gujarat will connect Sabarmati River in Ahmedabad to the Statue of Unity in Kevadia in Narmada district.
  • The service will be inaugurated on October 31, the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
  • The proposed sea plane routes in Gujarat are
  1.  Dharoi Dam in Mehsana district to connect Ambaji
  2. Shatrunjay dam in Palitana of Bhavnagar district to Tapi.

Sex Ratio at birth

  • Recent Sample Registration System (SRS) reports show that sex ratio at birth in India, measured as the number of females per 1,000 males, declined marginally from 906 in 2011 to 899 in 2018.
  • Biologically normal sex ratio at birth is 1,050 males to 1,000 females or 950 females to 1,000 males.
  • There is considerable son preference in all states, except possibly in Kerala and Chhattisgarh.
  • The UNFPA State of World Population 2020 estimated the sex ratio at birth in India as 910, lower than all the countries in the world except China.
  • Other findings of are
  1. Total Fertility Rate (TFR) – In India the number of children a mother would have at the current pattern of fertility during her lifetime, as 2.2 in the year 2018.
  2. According to various findings Fertility is likely to continue to decline and it is estimated that replacement TFR of 2.1 would soon be, if not already, reached for India as a whole.
  • But the most troubling statistics in the SRS report are for sex ratio at birth.

United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)

  • The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) was established in 2005.
  • It was the political initiative of Mr. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General and co-sponsored by the Governments of Spain and Turkey.
  • The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations High Representative and Secretariat are based and operating from New York.
  • It is an initiative that seeks to galvanize international action against extremism through the forging of international, intercultural and interreligious dialogue and cooperation.
  • Recently UNAOC has condemned the beheading of a teacher in the north-western suburbs of Paris in France.

Laser ATGM

  • Anti-Tank Guided Missiles s are missile systems that can strike and neutralise armoured vehicles such as tanks.
  • DRDO has been working on ATGMs that can be launched from different platforms as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
  • The indigenously developed laser-guided version of the Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) was successfully test fired by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on two separate occasions recently.
  • The laser-guided ATGM, mainly differs in one aspect from other ATGMS developed till date.
  • This ATGM is designed to be fired from tanks.
  • Its range is limited to 1.5 to 5 kilometres, it locks and tracks the targets with the help of laser designation to ensure precision in striking the target.
  • The missile uses a ‘tandem’ High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead.
  • The term tandem refers to the missiles using more than one detonation in order to effectively penetrate the protective armours.


Source: PIB, AIR News, Indian Express, Times of India


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