10 December, 2020 - Daily Current Affairs Analysis & MCQs - The Daily News Simplified from The Hindu

  • Takeaways from the discussion
  • Malnutrition - challenges- (Social Issues)
  • Cabinet decisions (Economy)
  • Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary - (Environment)
  • Indus valley Civilization - (Art & culture)
  • Question for the day (Environment)

Prelims Quiz


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    UPSC Current Affairs: Thousand days of nutrition, and a billion dreams – Article | Page 6

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Social Issues | Mains – GS Paper II – Social Issues

    Sub Theme: Problem of Malnutrition in achieving demographic dividend | Challenges faced by malnourished children | Poshan Abhiyan - National nutrition Mission | UPSC

    Context: The article highlights that the biggest hurdle in realizing the potential of demographic dividend for India will be malnutrition. Malnutrition is particularly important for the Children of the nation who are the foundation of the future of this nation.

    Challenges faced by malnourished children

    • They tend to fall short of their real potential — physically as well as mentally.
    • Malnutrition leaves their bodies weaker and more susceptible to illnesses.
    • In 2017, a staggering 68% of 1.04 million deaths of children under five years in India was attributable to malnutrition.
    • Children who survive malnutrition do not do as well as they could.
    • Without necessary nutrients, their brains do not develop to the fullest.
    • They end up performing poorly at school than they otherwise would.
    • About half of all children under five years in the country were found to be stunted (too short) or wasted (too thin) for their height, estimated the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey, carried out by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with support of UNICEF three years ago. 

     Poshan Abhiyan - National nutrition Mission

    • POSHAN Abhiyaanis a multi-ministerial convergence mission with the vision to ensure attainment of malnutrition free India by 2022.
    • The objective of POSHAN Abhiyaan to reduce stunting in identified Districts of India with the highest malnutrition burden by improving utilization of key Anganwadi Services and improving the quality of Anganwadi Services delivery.
    • Its aim to ensure holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children.
    • TheMinistry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) is implementing POSHAN Abhiyaan
    • There are a number of schemes directly/indirectly affecting the nutritional status of children (0-6 year's age) and pregnant women and lactating mothers.
    • In spite of these, level of malnutrition and related problems in the country is high.
    • POSHAN Abhiyaan through robust convergence mechanism and other components would strive to create the synergy.

    Post COVID Challenges

    • 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.
    • Pandemic-prompted lockdowns disrupted essential services — such as supplementary feeding under anganwadi centres, mid-day meals, immunisation, and micro-nutrient supplementation which can exacerbate malnutrition.

    What needs to be done?

    • India already has some of the world’s biggest early childhood public intervention schemes such as the Integrated Child Development Scheme, the mid-day meal programme, and Public Distribution System.
    • India needs to ensure coverage of every single child and mother, along with 12 months of Poshan Maah (Nutrition Month), 52 weeks of breastfeeding weeks and 365 days of take-home ration.
    • India needs to retain its financial commitments for the nutrition schemes it already runs and earmark additional funds to preserve nutritional security in vulnerable communities, particularly women and children in slum areas, migrants, the population in tribal areas and districts with malnutrition rates.  
    • Economic insecurities often force girls into early marriage, early motherhood, discontinue their schooling, and reduce institutional deliveries, cut access to micronutrient supplements, and nutritious food which largely tend to be perishable, all of which may worsen malnutrition
    • Efforts should be made to address such hardships which have been exacerbated by the Pandemic.
    • Gathering important data related to malnutrition is one the most important step in having an understanding of the gravity of situation.
    • Filling in the nutrition gaps will guarantee a level-playing field for all children and strengthen the foundations for the making of a future super-power.


    UPSC Current Affairs:(i) Cabinet nod for public WiFi networks (ii)  Cabinet approves EPF subsidy for new workers (iii)  Lakshadweep to get optical fibre cable | Page 1-10-8

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: General Science | Mains – GS Paper III – Science & Technology  

    Sub Theme: | PM-WANI Project | Employee Provident Fund | Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana | Submarine Optical Fibre Cable Connectivity | UPSC    

    PM-WANI Project

    The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the proposal of Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for setting up of Public Wi-Fi Networks across India. The Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) project aims at delivering broadband connectivity speeds to every user through the public Wi-Fi hotspots at affordable rates.


    • As part of WANI, any entity (company, proprietorship, societies, non-profits, etc.) can set up a paidpublic Wi-Fi Access Point.
    • There shall be no license fee for providing Broadband Internet through these public Wi-Fi networks.
    • Users would be easily able to discover WANI compliant network, do one-click authentication and payment, and connect one or more devices in a single session.


    Promote the growth of Public Wi-Fi Networks in the country and, in turn, will help in proliferation of Broadband Internet, enhancement of income and employment and empowerment of people.

    Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana

    The Union Cabinet has given its approval for Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY) to boost employment creation in formal sector. Under this scheme, the Government would bear the burden of the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) contributions of Employees and Employers.

    Details about Employee Provident Fund (EPF)

    • What is it? EPF is a social security scheme aimed at salaried individuals and is run by EPFO, which comes under the labour ministry.
    • Coverage: Organizations that employ 20 people or more need to offer EPF benefits to their employees.
    • Is it Compulsory?: The EPF is not compulsory for all employees. Only those who earn up to Rs 15,000 a month have to contribute 12% of their basic salary plus dearness allowance to EPF. The employer contributes an equal percentage (12%) to the corpus out of which 3.67% goes to the EPF and the rest 8.33% goes towards employees’ pension scheme (EPS). For those who earn above the threshold of Rs 15,000, contribution to EPF is optional.

    Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY)

    • A new scheme to incentivize job creation during COVID-19 recovery has been launched. The scheme will be effective from October 1, 2020 and operational till 30thJune 2021.

    Eligibility criteria for Employees:

    • any new employee joining employment in EPFO registered establishments on monthly wages less than Rs.15,000
    • EPF members drawing monthly wage of less than Rs.15,000 who made exit from employment during COVID Pandemic between 1st March 2020 to 30th September 2020 and is employed on or after 1st October 2020.

    Benefits to be given by Centre

    • Central Govt. to provide subsidy for two years in respect of new eligible employees engaged on or after 1st October 2020 at following scale:
    • Establishments employing up to 1000 employees: Employee’s contributions (12% of Wages) & Employer’s contributions (12% of wages) totalling 24% of wages.
    • Establishments employing more than 1000 employees: Only Employee’s EPF contributions (12% of EPF wages).

    Note: The subsidy support to get credited upfront in Aadhaar seeded EPFO Account (UAN) of eligible new employee.

    Submarine Optical Fibre Cable Connectivity

    • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for Provision of Submarine Optical Fibre Cable Connectivity between Mainland (Kochi) and Lakshadweep Islands (KLI Project).
    • The Project envisages provision of a direct communication link through a dedicated submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) between Kochi and 11 Islands of Lakshadweep viz. Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Agati, Amini, Androth, Minicoy, Bangaram, Bitra, Chetlat, Kiltan& Kadmat.

    Need for such a project

    • Union Territory of Lakshadweep comprising a number of Islands is situated in the Arabian Sea and of immense strategic significance for India. Provision of secure, robust, reliable and affordable Telecom facilities is of utmost importance for the people living in these islands as also from a strategic point of view for the whole country.
    • Presently only medium of providing telecom connectivity to Lakshadweep is through satellites, but the bandwidth available is limited to 1 Gbps.
    • Lack of bandwidth is a major constraint in providing data services, which is a pre-requisite for providing e-governance, e-education, e-banking etc. for inclusive growth of society.


    UPSC Current Affairs: Too many cattle robbing rhinos of nutrition in ‘Mini Kaziranga’| Page – 4

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Environment | Mains – GS Paper III – Environment   

    Sub Theme: | Protected Areas | Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary | Conditions of Rhino | UPSC       

    Context: Too many cattle are robbing the one-horned rhinos of Assam’s Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, referred to as ‘Mini Kaziranga’ for similar features, of their nutritious food.

    Now knowledge about these Protected Areas are very important from the perspective of Prelims test Series. Consider this:     

    Which of the following are in Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve?

    (a)Neyyar, Peppara and Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuaries; and KalakadMundanthurai Tiger Reserve

    (b)Mudumalai, Sathyamangalam and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Silent Valley National Park

    (c)Kaundinya, GundlaBrahme-swaram and Papikonda Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Mukurthi National Park

    (d)Kawal and Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve

    Similarly Pobitora is also important because of it is home to single horned rhino

    About Pobitora    

    • Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra in Morigaon district in Assam, India.
    • Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, situated in the flood plains of River Brahmaputra in the district of morigaon.
    • Pobitora originally was a grazing reserve of erstwhile nagaon district, came into limelight during the year 1961-62 for sighting of One Horned Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis).
    • The natural boundary of the Pobitara wildlife sanctuary is the Garanga Beel on the south and the river Brahmaputra on the North, rest of the boundary are artificial and surrounded by 27 villages.
    • Significantly, the PA is free from human habitation.

    What is condition of Rhinos?

    • In Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, there are now around 102 rhinos, a 10% increase over the last six years. Pobitora has exceeded its rhino-bearing capacity and is overpopulated.

    The Problem?

    • Death of two rhinos revealed that their alimentary canals had a high load of worms because of nutritional stress caused by dry reeds and other such “junk food” of the wilderness, veterinarians said.


    • One of the factors behind the crisis of nutritional grass in Pobitora is the competition from some 10,000 cattle that graze on the fringes of the sanctuary measuring 38.81 sq km on paper but with only 16 sq km for an estimated 102 rhinos to inhabit.
    • Non-rejuvenation of nutritious grass due to change in flood pattern has also combined with the expansion of woodland in the sanctuary, leaving the rhinos with less than 8 sq km of grassland to feed on.


    UPSC Current Affairs: Cattle, buffalo meat residue found in Indus Valley vessels | Page - 1

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: History & Culture | Mains – GS Paper I – History & Culture

    Sub Theme: Indus Valley Civilisation-presence of animal products in ceramic vessels | Economy | Animal Domestication | UPSC

    Context: A new study has found the presence of animal products, including cattle and buffalo meat, in ceramic vessels dating back about 4,600 years at seven Indus Valley Civilisation sites in present-day Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The high proportions of cattle bones may suggest a cultural preference for beef consumption across Indus populations, supplemented by the consumption of mutton/lamb.

    Planned Towns

    Harappa (Punjab, Pakistan), Mohenjo-Daro (Sindh, Pakistan), Dholavira, Lothal, and Surkotada (Gujarat, India), Kalibangan and Banawali (Rajasthan, India), and Rakhigarhi (Haryana, India) are the major cities in
    the Harappan period.


    • Agriculture was an important source of subsistence for the Harappans.
    • The Harappans cultivated diverse crops such as wheat, barley, lentil, chickpea, sesame and various millets.
    • Rice was cultivated ate Lothal.
    • The Harappans used ploughs. They perhaps ploughed the land and then sowed the seeds.
    • Ploughed fields have been found at Kalibangan. They used both canal and well irrigation.

      Animal Domestication

    • Pastoralism was also practised by the Harappans.
    • They domesticated sheep, goat and fowl.
    • They had knowledge of various other animals including buffalo, pig and elephant.
    • Horse was not known to them.
    • The Harappan cattle are called Zebu.
    • It is a large breed, often represented in their seals.
    • They also ate fish and birds.

    Evidence of boar, deer and gharial