Daily Current Affairs : 22nd July

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM)
  2. Metamaterials
  3. Social Security Number
  4. Manodarpan Initiative
  5. Sero Survey Study
  6. Facts for Prelims

1 . Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM)

Context : The key populations affected by HIV/AIDS — sex workers, transpeople, gay and bisexual men, drug users, and people living with HIV/AIDS have written to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM).

About the news

  • The key populations affected by HIV/AIDS are facing a deprived source of livelihood due to the pandemic have written to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) protesting against being ignored by government and multilateral agencies in COVID-19-related emergency relief efforts.
  • They are demanding allocation to meet their basic survival needs of food, shelter, and emergency medical care.
  • In the petition to GFATM it is being asked to issue notification to governments to repurpose funds to ensure direct support for food, shelter, and emergency medical care for populations affected by HIV/AIDS

Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM)

  • The Global Fund is a 21st-century financing vehicle which brings together all stakeholders involved in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria for effective investment.
  • A new approach to public health financing, it is based on shared responsibility among all partners so that people on the ground can be empowered to take responsibility for solving their problems.
  • The Global Fund was the brainchild of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who sought to create what he called a “war chest” to fight AIDS. TB and malaria were added because together these three diseases are the greatest barrier to socioeconomic development.
  • Leaders of the G8 acknowledged the need for resources in their 2000 meeting in Okinawa, Japan, and approved the creation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at their 2001 meeting in Genoa.
  • The Global Fund was established as a private Swiss foundation and the Secretariat opened its doors in January 2002.
  • The Global Fund was formed as an independent, non-profit foundation under Swiss law and hosted by the World Health Organization in January 2002. In January 2009, the organization became an administratively autonomous organization, terminating its administrative services agreement with the World Health Organizatio
  • The Global Fund was conceived as a financing institution – in other words, it supports countries in their fight against the three diseases by providing funding, but the Global Fund neither implements nor manages programs on the ground.
  • The Global Fund supports country-driven programs of prevention, treatment and care; it does not provide funding for medical research.
  • India joined the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria or the Global Fund as a donor in 2006, and has contributed a total US$46.5 million to date. The Government of India pledged US$22 million to the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment for 2020-2022, demonstrating shared commitment toward ending the epidemics of HIV, TB and malaria.


  • The work of the Global Fund is structured around three core principles.
    • The first, country ownership, reflects the belief that countries can and should be responsible for meeting their challenges head on, given necessary support and appropriate tools. Thus each country determines its own needs and priorities, and is also responsible for implementing its response to the three diseases.
    • Performance-based funding is the second core principle underpinning the work of the Global Fund. Countries are awarded initial funding on the basis of well-thought-out proposals, but continuing funding is dependent upon demonstrated results against agreed-upon targets.
    • The third core principle, partnership, is perhaps the most important. In the Global Fund context, partnership means that everyone involved in the fight against the three diseases must be involved in the decision-making process. This includes not only the government, but also the private sector, academics, bilateral and multilateral partners, faith-based organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and, in particular, the communities living with and affected by the diseases.

2 . Metamaterials

Context: IIT Madras and the University of Nairobi researchers have used metamaterials to enhance detection resolution of defects by guided wave ultrasound.

What are metamaterials?

  • Metamaterials are artificially crafted materials with unique internal microstructures that give them properties not found in nature.
  • The constituent artificial units of the metamaterial can be tailored in shape, size, and interatomic interaction, to exhibit unusual properties

Research findings

  • Researchers in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and the University of Nairobi have used metamaterials to improve detection of defects in large structures by guided wave ultrasound.
  • Guided Ultrasound Waves can be used for remote testing of engineering structures like buildings, pipelines & rails to prevent catastrophic failures that can occur due to corrosion, impact & strain.
  • In guided wave testing (GWT), the sound waves are sent along the length of the structure rather than into the structure, allowing the waves to travel longer distances.

What was the need of the research?

  • Bulk ultrasound are widely used for non-invasive and non-destructive testing of structural materials. However, conventional bulk ultrasonic inspection is tedious and time-consuming, as it involves point-by-point assessment of structures, and this is especially challenging in large-scale assets.

Limitations of GWT

  • GWT has poorer resolution than conventional ultrasound-based testing due to diffraction limitations.
  • Thus, guided waves are only a long-range screening tool and must be used in conjunction with a testing tool with better resolution for accurate detection of defects.

3 . Social Security Number

Context : The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour has recommended that the government should introduce a social security number for migrant workers, especially those in unorganised sectors that are beyond the purview of labour laws.

What Is a Social Security Number (SSN)?

  • A Social Security Number (SSN) is a numerical identifier which is assigned to workers to ensure income security and access to healthcare.
  • There is no SSN in India as there are various versions of it working in parallel like PAN, Aadhar Card, and more. But Aadhar Card is going to take place of SSN in the future.

Significance of the Social Security Number

  • A social security number will help in mapping the number of migrant workers and their migration patterns and thus avert situations such as the one at the beginning of the lockdown when several lakh workers had to walk back to their villages from big cities as they were shut out of employment overnight.
  • With these numbers the government will also have concrete figures on the number of migrant workers.

4 . Manodarpan initiative

Context : Keeping in mind the stress faced by students and their families especially during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry on Tuesday rolled out a mental health initiative named Manodarpan.

About Manodarpan Initiative

  • It is mental health initiative launched by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry keeping in mind the stress faced by students and their families especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It covers a wide range of activities to provide Psychosocial Support to students for their Mental Health & Well-being during the COVID outbreak and beyond.
  • MANODARPAN initiative has been included in ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT ABHIYAN as a part of strengthening human capital and increasing productivity and efficient reform and initiatives for the Education sector.
  • The platform includes a national toll free helpline for students of schools, universities and colleges, which will be manned by a pool of experienced counsellors, psychologists and mental health professionals.
  • Students can call 8448440632 for help during the COVID crisis and beyond.
  • Manodarpan also has a website which will host an interactive online chat platform, advisories and tips on mental and emotional health, a national database of counsellors, links to webinars and other resources.

Components of MANODARPAN initiative:

  • Advisory Guidelines for students, teachers and faculty of School systems and Universities along with families.
  • Web page on the MHRD website, which will carry advisory, practical tips, posters, videos, do’s and don’ts for psychosocial support, FAQs and online query system.
  • National level database and directory of counsellors at School and University level whose services can be offered voluntarily for Tele-Counselling Service on the National Helpline.
  • National Toll-free Helpline by the MHRD for a country wide outreach to students from school, universities and colleges. This unique helpline shall be manned by a pool of experienced counselors/ Psychologists and other mental health professionals and will continue beyond the COVID-19 situation.
  • Handbook on Psychosocial Support: Enriching Life skills & Wellbeing of Students to be published online. The booklet will include FAQs, Facts & Myths and will also cover ways and means to manage emotional and behavioural concerns (from young children to college youth) during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
  • Interactive Online Chat Platform for contact, counselling and guidance by psychologists and other mental health professionals which will be available for students, teachers, and families during COVID-19 and beyond.
  • Webinars, audio-visual resources including videos, posters, flyers, comics, and short films to be uploaded as additional resource materials on the webpage. Crowd sourcing from students all over the country will be encouraged as peer support.

5 . Sero Survey study

Context: The sero survey was conducted by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) under the Directorate General of Health Services in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare between June 27 and July 10 in Delhi

About serological survey

  • A serological survey is done to detect the presence of specific antibodies, and is used to assess the prevalence of a disease in the population.
  • The test indicates past infections (and which triggered an immune response), and is not used to detect active infections.

Findings of the survey

  • The survey indicates that one in every five individuals in Delhi has shown the presence of antibodies that indicate exposure to the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
  • The survey also indicates that a large number of infected persons remain asymptomatic

Importance of the study

  • Such scientific studies are extremely important and should be performed from time to time to understand the lessons from the past.
  • The numbers collated can be used to design disease control programme
  • This brings confdence about the strategy being followed to control the pandemic.

6 . Facts for Prelims

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