MAINS CURRENT AFFAIRS QUESTION Test
GS Paper III: Health
Q1. Explore the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on global emissions.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has recently released the Emissions Gap Report 2020 and it highlighted the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on global emissions. Discuss.
- Recently, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has published the annual Emissions Gap Report 2020 which measures the gap between anticipated emissions and levels consistent with the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming this century to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C.
- The world is still heading for a temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century and this could cause catastrophic weather-related events around the world.
- There is a general tendency that rich countries have higher consumption-based emissions than territorial-based emissions, as they typically have cleaner production, relatively more services and more imports of primary and secondary products.
Impact of the Pandemic:
- Carbon Dioxide emissions could decrease by about 7% in 2020 compared with 2019 emission levels, with a smaller drop expected in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions as non- Carbon Dioxide is likely to be less affected.
- The resulting atmospheric concentrations of GHGs such as methane and nitrous oxide continued to increase in both 2019 and 2020.
- Transportation sector reported the lowest dip in emission due to pandemic. The biggest changes have occurred in this sector, as restrictions were targeted to limit mobility, though reductions have also occurred in other sectors.
- Encourage green recovery for countries facing COVID-19-induced economic slumps.
- A green recovery involves investment in zero emissions tech and infrastructure, reducing fossil fuel subsidies, stopping new coal plants, and promoting nature-based solutions, according to the UN.
- Such actions could cut 25% of predicted emissions by 2030, and gives the planet a 66% chance of keeping warming below the 2°mark that the Paris pact had set as a long term goal.
GS Paper III: Health
Q2. Current times require integrated and coordinated efforts from all stakeholders directly or indirectly associated with the health care services to take forward the common agenda of ‘Health for All’. Discuss
What steps are required by all health institutions, academia and other partners to make health services accessible, affordable and acceptable to all?
All individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship is known as ‘Health for All’. It includes the full range of essential, quality health services from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care.
- Large population
- Lack of infrastructure
- Government hospitals are understaffed and under-financed
- Unaffordable healthcare expenditure
- Qualified healthcare providers are in short supply nationally and those available are mal-distributed
- India has lowest per capita healthcare expenditures in the world
- Rural-urban disparity
Steps to be taken
- Role of Partners in Population and Development (PPD) is very important as it is an intergovernmental initiative to expand and improve cooperation in the fields of reproductive health, population, and development.
- Public spending on health should be increased
- Primary health care has to be recognised as the foundational basis of an efficient and equitable healthcare system
- Emergency health services should also be given high priority provided free of cost
- Cover several services like commonly needed surgeries and treatments that can protect life
- Health work force has to be expanded
- Multi-layered, multi-skilled teams which can deliver the needed services
- Basic and specialist health professionals need to be developed in large numbers and deployed across the country
- Strengthening of primary care infrastructure and district hospitals has to be a government priority.
- Free provision of essential drugs and diagnostics
- Government funded programmes should ensure that financial barriers should not stop access to needed advanced care.
GS Paper I: Social Issues
GS Paper III: Health
Q3. Discuss the importance of nutrition to Children in the country and throw light upon the dismal picture of malnutrition.
Do you think that COVID-19 threatens to derail the gains India has made in nutrition in more than one way? Give reasons
- Malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients.
- As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 (2015-16), 35.7 per cent children below five years are underweight, 38.4 per cent are stunted and 21 per cent are wasted in the country.
- Malnutrition can be a drain on the potential human resources of India, can have a profound effect on dropout rates, educational outcomes etc. Children who pull through malnutrition find themselves in a very rocky path, in the absence of adequate necessary nutrients, their body parts do not develop to the fullest, including the brain.
- COVID-19 is pushing millions into poverty, reducing incomes of many more and disproportionately affecting the economically disadvantaged, who are also most vulnerable to malnutrition and food insecurities.
- Also, pandemic-prompted lockdowns disrupted essential services — such as supplementary feeding under Anganwadi centres, mid-day meals, immunisation, and micro-nutrient supplementation which exacerbated malnutrition.
- Promotion of Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Practices
- Emulating POSHAN Abhiyan Example: so that leadership of food and nutrition security rests with the Prime Minister at the national level, a Chief Minister at the State level, a district magistrate at the district and panchayat at the village level.
- Ensuring Holistic Development
- Multi-Stakeholder Approach
- Filling in the nutrition gaps will guarantee a level-playing field for all children and strengthen the foundations for the making of a future superpower.
GS Paper III: Economic Development
Q4. Discuss the potential of the Bee keeping industry and challenges facing it. Also, throw light on the efforts made by the government.
Bee keeping industry is facing many challenges in India. What efforts have been taken by the government in this regard?
Honey consumption in India has witnessed a strong growth over the last few decades. As per Food and Agricultural Organization database, in 2017-18, India ranked eighth in the world in terms of honey production (64.9 thousand tonnes) while China stood first with a production level of 551 thousand tonnes.
Further, beekeeping can be an important contributor in achieving the 2022 target of doubling farmer incomes. India has about 35 lakh bee colonies and the number of beekeepers and beekeeping companies is increasing day by day in a very fast speed
Advantages of beekeeping
- Provides honey
- Provides bee wax which is used in cosmetics industries, polishing industries, pharmaceutical industries, etc.
- Plays an excellent role in pollination, which helps in increasing the yield of several crops.
- Honey bees venom contains a mixture of proteins which can potentially be used as a prophylactic to destroy HIV that causes AIDS in humans.
Major constraints in beekeeping in India are as follows
- Using the Correct Species for Beekeeping
- Availability of Genetically Superior Queens for Increased Honey Production
- Lack of Technical Knowledge for Efficient Management of Colonies for High Honey Yields
- Beekeepers are not aware of international methods of efficient management.
- Lack of Infrastructure at the Grass Roots and National Level for Beekeeping.
Efforts by the government
- Earlier, Union Minister of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises has flagged off the Apiary on Wheels, designed by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
- It aims to address the challenges faced by the beekeepers by easy upkeep and migration of Bee Boxes having live Bee colonies.
- The National Honey Mission was launched in 2017 by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
- Aim: To Provide sustainable employment and income to rural and urban unemployed youth by conserving the honeybee habitat and tapping untapped natural resources.
- It is essential to have requisite infrastructure for the production of large volumes of genetically superior queens for supply to the beekeepers.
- There should be a hierarchy of beekeeping experts and trainers in the village’s blocks, Tehsils, Districts and then finally in the universities to be able to have effective feed back to and from the beekeepers.
- The Bee Keepers should get a reasonable price for their products.
GS Paper III: Science and Technology
Q5. India wants to build a digital inclusive society by Artificial Intelligence. In light of this statement, what are the applications of AI in India?
What are the uses of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in India so that the country can leverage AI for inclusive development, representing 'AI for All' strategy?
Recently, according to the report by PwC (a global network of firms), India reported the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) adoption (45%) that is the highest, when compared to USA, Japan and the UK. The sectors with highest COVID-19 led disruption adopted AI solutions in a more definitive manner. In the travel and hospitality sector, 89% firms have implemented AI in some form.
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
- Action of machines accomplishing tasks that have historically required human intelligence.
- Includes machine learning, pattern recognition, big data, neural networks, self algorithms etc.
Recent Government Initiatives
- National AI Strategy and National AI Portal
- AI in various sectors such as education, agriculture, healthcare, e-commerce, finance, telecommunications, etc.
- India joined the 'Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI)'
Use of AI in India
- AI-enabled Chatbot was used by MyGov
- Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) deployed the Watson Assistant
- Srishti Robotics’ ‘Nightingale-19 Robot’ in Kerala
- AI-based solutions on water management, crop insurance and pest control
- CBSE has integrated AI in the school curriculum
- MeitY had launched a “Responsible AI for Youth”