Daily Current Affairs : 26/6/2019

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Healthy State Progressive India Report
  2. Analysis of the country’s food and nutrition security Report
  3. PMAY (U)
  4. DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill 
  5. Atomic Fuel, Green fuel, Ashes
  6. Sinha Panel
  7. Facts for Prelims : Impressed

1 . Healthy State Progressive India Report

Context : NITI Aayog released the Second Edition of “Healthy States, Progressive India” 

About the Report

  • The report is an annual systematic performance tool to measure the performance of the States and UTs.
  • It ranks states and union territories on their year on year incremental change in health outcomes, as well as, their overall performance with respect to each other.
  • The ranking is categorized as Larger States, Smaller States and Union Territories (UTs), to ensure comparison among similar entities.
  • The Health Index is a weighted composite Index based on 23 indicators grouped into the domains of Health Outcomes, Governance and Information, and Key Inputs/Processes.  . Each domain has been assigned weights based on its importance and has been equally distributed among indicators.
  • States are categorized on the basis of reference year Index score range: Front-runners: top one-third), Achievers: middle one-third, Aspirants: lowest one-third. The States are categorized into four groups based on incremental performance:  not improved (<=0 incremental change); least improved (0.01 to 2 points increase); moderately improved (2.01 to 4 points), and most improved (>4 points increase).

Details of the Reports

  • Among the Larger States, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh & Maharashtra ranked on top in terms of overall performance, while Haryana, Rajasthan and Jharkhand are the top three ranking States in terms of annual incremental performance.
  • Among Smaller States, Mizoram ranked first followed by Manipur on overall performance, while Tripura followed by Manipur were the top ranked States in terms of annual incremental performance. 
  • Among UTs, Chandigarh and Dadra and Nagar Haveli were ranked on top in terms of overall performance (Chandigarh-1 and Dadra and Nagar Haveli-2) as well as annual incremental performance (Dadra and Nagar Haveli-1 and Chandigarh-2). 
  • The report stated that only about half the States and UTs showeds an improvement in the overall score between 2015-16 (base year) and 2017-18 (reference year).
  • The report added that among the eight Empowered Action Group States, only three States — Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh — showed improvement in the overall performance.

2 . Analysis of the country’s food and nutrition security Report

Context : Almost one in three Indian children under five years will still be stunted by 2022 going by current trends, according to an analysis of the country’s food and nutrition security

About the Report

  • The report, which is a baseline analysis of the country’s progress in achieving the second Sustainable Development Goal to end hunger, was prepared by the UN World Food Programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

Details of the Report

  • Over the last decade, child stunting which is a measure of chronic malnutrition has reduced at a rate of about 1% per year, the slowest decline among emerging economies.
  • At this rate, 31.4% of children will still be stunted by the 2022 deadline. India must double its rate of progress to reach the target of 25% by that time
  • Foodgrain yields have risen 33% over the last two decades, but are still only half of 2030 target yields. Even so, the Indian farmer is producing more foodgrains than ever before, making the country self-sufficient in this regard. Unfortunately, the consumer’s access to rice, wheat and other cereals has not increased at the same rate, due to population growth, inequality, food wastage and losses, and exports. As a result, the average per capita consumption of energy among the poorest 30% of the population is 1811 kilo calories, much lower than the norm of 2155 kilo calories per day.
  • In States like Bihar (48%) and Uttar Pradesh (46%), almost one in two children are stunted, while it is only one in five children in Kerala and Goa (20% each). There are high rates of stunting among children in the poorest wealth quintile (51.4%), Scheduled Tribes (43.6%) and Scheduled Castes (42.5%), and children born to mothers with no education (51%).


  • World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.
  • WFP has 5,000 trucks, 20 ships and 92 planes on the move, delivering food and other assistance to those in most need.
  • WFP’s efforts focus on emergency assistance, relief and rehabilitation, development aid and special operations. Two-thirds of our work is in conflict-affected countries where people are three times more likely to be undernourished than those living in countries without conflict. 
  • WFP development projects focus on nutrition, especially for mothers and children, addressing malnutrition from the earliest stages through programmes targeting the first 1,000 days from conception to a child’s second birthday, and later through school meals.
  • WFP is the largest humanitarian organisation implementing school feeding programmes worldwide and has been doing so for over 50 years. Each year, WFP provides school meals more than 16 million children in 60 countries, often in the hardest-to-reach areas.
  • WFP is governed by a 36-member Executive Board. It works closely with its two Rome-based sister organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

3 . PMAY (U)

Context : The government’s target of constructing one crore houses by 2022 under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) could be completed by the end of 2020, 

About PMAY (Urban)

  • The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Programme launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), in Mission mode envisions provision of Housing for All by 2022, when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence
  • The Mission seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through following programme verticals:
    • Slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource
    • Promotion of Affordable Housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy
    • Affordable Housing in Partnership with Public & Private sectors
    • Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction /enhancement.


  •  A slum is defined as a compact area of at least 300 people or about 60 – 70 households of poorly built congested tenements in unhygienic environment usually with inadequate infrastructure and lacking in proper sanitary and drinking water facilities.
  • Beneficiaries include Economically weaker section (EWS), low-income groups (LIGs) and Middle Income Groups (MIGs). The annual income cap is up to Rs 3 lakh for EWS, Rs 3-6 lakh for LIG and Rs 6 + -18 lakhs for MIG. EWS category of beneficiaries is eligible for assistance in all four verticals of the Missions whereas LIG and MIG categories are eligible under only Credit linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) component of the Mission.
  • A beneficiary family will comprise husband, wife, unmarried sons and/or unmarried daughters.
  • The beneficiary family should not own a pucca house either in his/her name or in the name of any member of his/her family in any part of India to be eligible to receive central assistance under the mission.

Other Features

  • The minimum size of houses constructed under the mission under each component should conform to the standards provided in National Building Code (NBC). If available area of land, however, does not permit building of such minimum size of houses as per NBC and if beneficiary consent is available for reduced size of house, a suitable decision on area may be taken by State/UTs with the approval of SLSMC.
  • All houses built or expanded under the Mission should essentially have toilet facility.
  • The houses under the mission should be designed and constructed to meet the requirements of structural safety against earthquake, flood, cyclone, landslides etc. conforming to the National Building Code and other relevant Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) codes.
  • The houses constructed/acquired with central assistance under the mission should be in the name of the female head of the household or in the joint name of the male head of the household and his wife, and only in cases when there is no adult female member in the family, the house can be in the name of male member of the household.
  • State/UT Government and Implementing Agencies should encourage formation of associations of beneficiaries under the scheme like Resident Welfare Association etc. to take care of maintenance of houses being built under the mission.

Implementation Strategy

4 . DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill

About the Bill

  • The Bill regulates the use of DNA technology for establishing the identity of persons in respect of matters listed in a Schedule.  These include criminal matters (such as offences under the Indian Penal Code, 1860), and civil matters such as parentage disputes, emigration or immigration, and transplantation of human organs.   
  • The Bill establishes a National DNA Data Bank and Regional DNA Data Banks.  Every Data Bank will maintain the following indices: (i) crime scene index, (ii) suspects’ or undertrials’ index, (iii) offenders’ index, (iv) missing persons’ index, and (v) unknown deceased persons’ index.  
  • The Bill establishes a DNA Regulatory Board.  Every DNA laboratory that analyses a DNA sample to establish the identity of an individual, has to be accredited by the Board.  
  • Written consent by individuals is required to collect DNA samples from them.  Consent is not required for offences with punishment of more than seven years of imprisonment or death.   
  • The Bill provides for the removal of DNA profiles of suspects on filing of a police report or court order, and of undertrials on the basis of a court order.  Profiles in the crime scene and missing persons’ index will be removed on a written request.   


  • According to the provisions of the proposed law, police can ask for DNA samples of the person accused of an offence to facilitate their investigation. But unless the offence is of a very serious nature, punishable by death or by imprisonment for at least seven years, the DNA sample can be obtained only on the written consent of the accused. It can be also be obtained if an authorised magistrate is satisfied that a DNA test is absolutely necessary for investigation of the crime.
  • People who are witness to a crime, or want to locate their missing relatives, or in similar other circumstances, can volunteer to give their DNA samples, again through written consent.
  • The samples, collected by an authorised technician or medical practitioner, would have to be sent to an accredited laboratory for tests and analysis. The information generated from these tests would have to be mandatorily shared with the nearest DNA data bank, which in turn, would be required to share it with the national data bank.
  • Under the provisions, the data banks are required to store the information under one of the five indices — a crime scene index, a suspect or undertrial index, an offenders’ index, a missing persons’ index, and an unknown deceased persons’ index.
  • People whose DNA samples have been collected, either from the crime scene, or through voluntary written consent, can also request the removal of their information from the index. DNA samples of people who are not suspects or undertrials cannot be matched with already stored information in the suspects/undertrial index or the offenders’ index.


  • The Bill will add value in empowering the criminal justice delivery system by enabling the application of DNA evidence, which is considered the gold standard in crime investigations.


  • The main debate over the proposed law has been around three issues — whether the DNA technology is foolproof, whether the provisions adequately address the possibility of abuse of DNA information, and whether the privacy of the individual is protected.
  • DNA information can be extremely revelatory. It can not only establish a person’s identity but also reveal a lot about physical and biological attributes of the person like eye, hair or skin colour, susceptibility to diseases, possible medical history, and possible clues to biological relatives.
  • For years, critics of the Bill have been claiming that collecting and storing such intrusive information could lead to abuse, besides being violative of a person’s privacy.

5 . Atomic Fuel, Green fuel, Solar sails

Context : Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy spacecraft on its third mission, and the most complex one yet by the company. Among the various reasons which make the mission important, one is its huge payload — 24 satellites from various organisations, including government agencies it includes Deep Space clock, Green fuel, Solar sails, and Ashes of the dead

Deep Space Atomic Clock

  • Accurate timekeeping is crucial to the performance of GPS, and atomic clocks work by observing the behaviour of atoms as precisely as possible.
  • DSAC is expected to be stable to better than one microsecond per decade (one second per 10 million years), which would be about 50 times more accurate than atomic clocks already abroad GPS satellites.
  • At present, satellites rely on an exchange of signals with Earth, where atomic clocks calculate the time it takes for the signals to arrive.
  • The new technology targets aims at helping spacecraft navigate by themselves, relying on the new atomic clock in space. The DSAC project will perform a year-long demonstration in space.

ASCENT green fuel

  • One of the satellites will be a test spacecraft for a safer rocket fuel. The traditional fuel used in satellites is hydrazine, which is extremely toxic to humans as well as the environment.
  • The new alternative is called ASCENT (Advanced Spacecraft Energetic Non-toxic Propellant), formerly called AF-M315E, which is a hydroxyl ammonium nitrate fuel/oxidiser blend.
  • ASCENT is described as a fuel with significantly reduced toxicity levels compared to hydrazine, and potentially shorter launch processing times, resulting in lower costs.

Solar-powered sail

  • LightSail 2 is a crowd-funded solar sail project from the Planetary Society.
  • It seeks to become the first orbiting spacecraft to be propelled solely by sunlight.

6 . Sinha Panel

Context : A committee formed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), headed by former SEBI Chairman U.K. Sinha, has recommended a ₹5,000 crore distressed asset fund for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

About Sinha Panel

  • Committee was formed to address the issues faced by MSME panel

Recommendations of the Committee

  • 5000 crore distressed asset fund for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will assist units in a cluster where there is a change in the external environment such as plastic ban, which had resulted in large number of such entities becoming non-performing. This would be of significant size which makes equity investments that help unlock debt or help revive sick units.
  • The panel also suggested that the RBI should increase the limit for non-collateralised loans to ₹20 lakh, and this would address a significant proportion of the sector needs.
  • In addition, it also suggested revision in loan limit sanctioned under MUDRA by the Finance Ministry to ₹20 lakh from ₹10 lakh.
  • The committee has also recommended banks that wish to specialise in MSME lending, their sub-targets for farm loans under the priority sector lender could be waived off, and instead can be given a target for loans to the SME sector. The targets, committee said, could be of 50% of the net bank credit for universal banks and 80% for small finance banks.

7 . Facts for Prelims


  • A tortoise considered beautiful enough to be named ‘impressed’ has been discovered in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • This is the first record of the tortoise in India, taking the count to five and the non-marine chelonian count to 29. Chelonian is an order of reptile that includes turtles, terrapins and tortoises.
  • There are only two species of tortoises under the Manouria genus. India was known to be the home of only the Asian Forest Tortoise (Manouria emys) until the discovery of the Impressed Tortoise
  • The Asian Forest Tortoise, the largest in mainland Asia, is found only in the northeast, as are 20 of the other 28 species of chelonians.
  • IUCN Red list status :
    • Manouria impressa (Impressed Tortoise) – Vulnerable
    • Manouria emys Asian Giant Tortoise – Critically endangered

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