GS PAPER I NEWS

Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav

Why in News

Recently Gender Samvaad has been launched by the Union Ministry as a part of Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav.

Gender Samvaad

  • Gender Samvaad is the joint venture of:
  • The Prime Minister of India,
  • The Ministry of Rural Development’s Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) and
  • The Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE).
  • It is a unique initiative to establish a shared platform to generate awareness on NRLM’s gender interventions across the country, with a focus on hearing voices from the states and of SHG members.
  • It is a bi-monthly webinar that will provide states with opportunities:
  • To exchange knowledge on improvement of women’s agency,
  • Share international experiences of successful gender interventions,
  • Unpack implementation barriers in gender mainstreaming, as well as
  • Create a ‘gender knowledge repository’ with resources to design and implement gender interventions across the country.

Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav

  • Recently to celebrate the 91st anniversary of the Salt March led by the Mahatma Gandhi the Prime Minister of India flagged off the Padayatra (Freedom March) to inaugurated the ‘Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav’.
  • It is the series of the events to be organized by the Government of India to celebrate 75th year of Independence of India as a milestone achievement.
  • The theme of Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav is ‘India@75’ such as a website, film, Aatmanirbhar Charkha, song, and Aatmanirbhar incubator.

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM)

  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana or DAY is one of the Government of India schemes for helping the poor in improving and providing the skill training.
  • It enables:
  • Shift from the present allocation-based strategy to a demand driven strategy enabling the states to formulate their own livelihoods-based poverty reduction action plans,
  • Focus on targets, outcomes and time bound delivery,
  • Continuous capacity building, imparting requisite skills and creating linkages with livelihoods opportunities for the poor, including those emerging in the organized sector, and
  • Monitoring against targets of poverty outcomes.

Way Forward

  • A short film was also launched highlighting the extensive efforts undertaken by DAY-NRLM in empowering women and creating model institutions to address women’s issues in rural areas.
  • It is the great initiative for merging the best of traditions with an Atmanirbhar Bharat and the self-help group movement is one such tradition.

GS PAPER II

Civil Services Day 2021

Why in News

The Prime Minister of India has wished all Civil Servants on the occasion of Civil Services Day.

Civil Services Day

  • Each year April 21 is celebrated as National Civil Service Day.
  • On 21st April 1947 the first home minister of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel addressed the newly appointed Administrative Services Officers.
  • The historic occasion took place at the Metcalf House in Delhi.
  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, had referred to the administrative officers as the ”steel frame of India” or the backbone of the country’s administration.
  • In special address of Sardar Patel, laid out the golden rules and principles of good governance for the civil servants.

Civil Service in India in Ancient Times:

  • At the time of Mauryan Period, it was mentioned in the Kautilya’s Arthshashtra about the centralized bureaucracy.
  • This centralized bureaucracy used for tax collection purposes.
  • The Gupta Empire had similar kind of Administration.
  • At the time of Mughal Empire, the bureaucracy was introduced and was named as the Mansabdari system.

Civil Service under the East India Company:

  • The Charter Act of 1853 recommended recruitment of civil servants by a merit-based system.
  • And then the competitive examinations for the civil services in 1855 was introduced.
  • The recruitment of Indian civil servants was conducted in London at that time where the requirement age for eligibility was in between 18-23 years of age.
  • The first Indian to succeed this competitive exam was Shri Satyendra Nath Tagore in 1864.
  • The Indian civil services began to take place in India from 1922 onwards and Allahabad was the first place to conduct this exam.

Union Public Service Commission:

  • On 1st October 1926 a Public Service Commission was set up in India as an official department to recruit Administrative Officers.
  • Sir Ross Barker appointed as the first chairman of the commission with four other members in it.

Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel

  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel or Sardar Patel was an Indian statesman who served as the first Deputy Prime Minister of India.
  • He was an Indian barrister, and a senior leader of the Indian National Congress.
  • He played a lead role in the Indian Independence Struggle and integrated India into a united, independent nation.
  • He also acted as Home Minister during the political integration of India and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.

GS PAPER II

European Union-India summit

Why in News

Due to uncontrollable surge of COVID-19 cases India has cancelled European Union-India Summit which was scheduled in May.

Key Points

  • It was going to be held at Portugal and had invited the leaders of all 27 countries that comprise the EU to attend the meeting with India.
  • It has been decided to hold the India-­EU Leaders’ Meeting virtually on 8 May 2021 under Portuguese leadership.
  • The India-­EU Leaders’ Meeting in the EU+27 format is the first time that such a meeting is being held.
  • It reflects the shared ambition of both sides to further deepen the strategic partnership.
  • India had held a number of bilateral meetings with European leaders, including those of the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Luxembourg, Italy and others, in which future EU­India cooperation was discussed.

Indo-EU Ties

  • India and the EU are also expected to discuss Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).
  • On April 12, the EU and Indian officials also held the 9th ‘Human Rights dialogue’.
  • In Human Rights Dialogue, they stressed on:
  • Strengthening the human rights mechanisms for the promotion of human rights and
  • The role of national human rights institutions, civil society actors and journalists.
  • The foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament introduced several discussions on
  • Critical of India on the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and
  • Restrictions on NGOs in the past year, cleared the report on India­EU ties, which contained stringent language expressing “concern at the deteriorating human rights situation in India

India-EU Summit

  • The first India-EU Summit held in Lisbon in June 2000 marked as the watershed in the evolution of the relationship.
  • The 2020 India-EU Summit held virtually in July due to rise of Pandemic and it was the 15th India-EU Summit.

India-EU Relation

  • India became the first country to establish diplomatic relations with Europe in the 1960’s.
  • The agreement signed in between both nations in 1994 for bilateral relationship beyond cooperation in trade.
  • India and the European Union are natural partners in climate change mitigation & green growth.
  • The Jal Jeevan Mission, the Namami Gange Mission & The Solar Alliance are good schemes in this regard.
  • Both nations have agreed to launch a high-level trade dialogue to foster progress on “balanced, ambitious and mutually beneficial” trade and investment agreements, address trade irritants and discuss supply chain linkages.
  • Currently, relationship of India-EU is underutilized and has not reached even half of its full potential.

Way Forward

  • It is widely believed that Indo-Pacific Region would decide the future of the world and both India & EU need to work together to actively push for a rule-based order.
  • The EU need to promote Indo Pacific strategy to safeguard its interests in the region and also to be a strategic partner for its allies in Asia.
  • More European countries are developing their strategies in the Indo-Pacific and thus more dialogue of India with European partners in the need of the hour.

GS PAPER III

Russia Space Agency

Why in news

Russia’s space agency is planning to launch its own orbital station in 2025 which indicated that they could pull out of the ISS in 2025.

Key Points

  • Roscosmos had begun on the fist module of a new station, after officials warned that Russia was considering pulling out of the International Space Station (ISS).
  • The first core module of the new Russian orbital station is in the works.
  • Russia’s Energia space corporation was aiming to have the module “ready for launch” in 2025.
  • Russia marked April as the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin becoming the first person in orbit the country’s space programme has struggled in recent years.

Roscosmos

  • It is the Russian Space Agency which was established on February 25, 1992
  • It was restructured in 1999 and 2004, as the Russian Aviation and Space Agency and the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos).

International Space Station (ISS)

  • The International Space Station (ISS) is a modular space station in low Earth orbit.
  • It is one of the most ambitious international collaborations in human history.
  • It is a multinational collaborative project representing 15 countries with five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).
  • Its first component was launched into orbit in 1998.
  • It is now the largest human-made body in low Earth orbit.

Way Forward

  • For years, Russia had a monopoly on manned space flight but last year Nasa astronauts were taken to the ISS via a capsule belong to SpaceX.
  • Russia would construct the new space station by itself.
  • In March Russia had signed an agreement with China’s National Space Administration to develop a lunar research station on the surface of the Moon, in orbit or both.
  • Russia is more interested in military technology than space exploration.

GS PAPER III

Global Forum on Tuberculosis Vaccine

Why in News

Recently the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare addressed the 5th Global Forum on Tuberculosis Vaccine on a virtual meet.

Key Points

  • The Global Forum on TB Vaccines is the world’s largest gathering of stakeholders striving to develop and deploy new vaccines to prevent Tuberculosis (TB).
  • Tuberculosis is one of India’s most critical health challenges which have devastating health, social and financial consequences for the patients and communities at large.
  • India has the largest burden of TB globally with an estimate of 2.64 million TB patients.
  • High-quality drugs, digital technology, engaging the private sector and communities, integrating TB services at all levels in health system, are all being constantly aligned to reduce TB cases and mortality in the country.
  • By December 2020, India had almost returned to pre-COVID levels in TB enrolment with over 1.8 million patients notified, 11% more than the estimated projections made by us in April 2020.
  • The private sector contributed significantly by notifying over 0.5 million patients and more than 95% of the total patients notified were put on treatment.
  • The Union Territory of Lakshadweep and the District Budgam in Jammu & Kashmir have been certified as the 1st TB Free Union Territory and 1st TB Free District in the country, respectively.

TB Mukt Bharat” campaign

  • In 2018, the Union Ministry launched “TB Mukt Bharat” campaign to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) from India by 2025, five years ahead of the global target by the World Health Organisation (WHO) i.e., 2030.
  • It is a multi-sectoral engagement and participation of all stake-holders at every level to create “TB-free village, panchayat, district and state”.
  • The poor are worst affected by this communicable disease and every step taken towards eradicating tuberculosis is directly connected to their lives.

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading infectious killer in India.
  • It usually affected Lungs, though it can affect any organ in the body.
  • It is developed when Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria spread through droplets in the air.
  • Common Symptoms of Tuberculosis (TB) are: Cough, Chest pain, Coughing up blood, Tiredness, Night Sweat, Chill, Fever, loss of appetite and weight loss.
  • In 2016 India reported 28 lakh new cases of TB with over 4 lakh people succumbing to the disease, including those with TB and HIV.
  • Tuberculosis is treatable and curable disease with a standard 6-month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer.

World Health Organisation in Tuberculosis (TB)

  • According to the WHO Report every year, 10 million people fall ill with tuberculosis (TB).
  • In 1993, WHO declared TB a public health emergency and suggest the world, to make scaling up TB control an immediately priority.
  • World Health Organization marked 2005 with 8.6 million cases as the beginning point to decline of TB.
  • According to the Global TB Report 2020 published by the WHO, 465,000 people fell ill with drug-resistant TB in 2019.

Global Forum on TB Vaccines

  • It is a platform that brings together stakeholders from across the:
  • Spectrum of TB vaccine research and development to share data, concepts, and new approaches to tuberculosis vaccine R&D,
  • To promote a global dialogue on the path forward for this critical research.
  • The first Global Forum on TB Vaccines was convened in 2001 at Geneva, Switzerland conducted by the World Health Organization.
  • Goals of the Global Forum:
  • Review progress and share the latest research and data.
  • Identify and promote innovative and transformative approaches to TB vaccine R&D.
  • Encourage partnerships and collaboration to accelerate TB vaccine R&D.
  • Increase global recognition of the critical role vaccines will play in global efforts to end TB.

Way Forward

  • Through the India TB Research Consortium, the Indian Council for Medical Research is leading effort for developing new drugs, diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for TB.
  • They are also closely working with the BRICS TB Research Network for multi-country collaborations.
  • The Union Health Minister called upon the global community to re-double their efforts to ensure adequate funding to develop TB Vaccine by 2023 and end TB in India by 2025.