Factly articles for 17th July 2020

1.India registers a steep decline in maternal mortality ratio

News: The Office of the Registrar General’s Sample Registration System(SRS) has released a special bulletin on Maternal Mortality in India 2016-18.


  • Maternal Mortality Ratio(MMR): The Maternal Mortality Ratio(MMR) in India has declined to 113 in 2016-18 from 122 in 2015-17 and 130 in 2014-2016.
  • Highest MMR: Assam had the highest MMR in the country at 215 followed by Uttar Pradesh at 197 and Madhya Pradesh at 173.
  • Lowest MMR: Kerala reported the lowest MMR of 43 followed by Maharashtra at 46 and Tamil Nadu at 60.

Additional Facts:

  • Maternal Death: It is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.
  • Maternal Mortality Ratio(MMR): It is defined as the number of maternal deaths during a given time period per 100,000 live births during the same time period.
  • SDG 3.1: The target 3.1 of Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) set by the United Nations aims at reducing the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.

2.India’s population may peak by 2047: Lancet

News:  Lancet has released a study on world population trends in 195 countries.


  • The study was conducted by the researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation(IHME).
  • The researchers used data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.
    • The Global Burden of Disease Study is a comprehensive regional and global assessment of mortality and disability from major diseases, injuries and risk factors.

Key Takeaways:

  • World Population: World population will peak in 2064 at 9.73 billion. This is 36 years earlier than the 11 billion peak projected for 2100 by the UN World Population Prospects report 2019.
  • Total Fertility Rate(TFR): Global total fertility rate(TFR) which indicates the average number of children expected to be born to a woman during her reproductive span of 15-49 years is predicted to steadily decline from 2.37 in 2017 to 1.66 in 2100.
  • Most Populated in 2100: The five largest countries in 2100 (are projected) to be India, Nigeria, China, the U.S and Pakistan.

India Specific Data:

 Indicators             Projections By Lancet
PopulationIndia’s population is forecasted to peak in 2048 at around 1.6 billion up from 1.38 billion in 2017 which will be followed by a 32% decline to around 1.09 billion in 2100.
Working-age adults The number of working-age adults (20–64 years) in India is projected to fall from 748 million in 2017 to around 578 million in 2100. However, this will be the largest working-age population in the world by 2100
 GDP of IndiaFrom 2017 to 2100, India is projected to rise up the rankings of countries with the largest total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) globally from 7th to 3rd, in terms of nominal GDP
Total Fertility Rate (TFR)India’s TFR is already below 2.1 in 2019. It will reach 1.29 in 2100.
Immigration India is projected to have the second largest net immigration in 2100, with an estimated half a million more people immigrating to India in 2100 than emigrating out.
Life Expectancy By 2100, India is projected to have one of the lowest life expectancies (79.3 years in 2100, up from 69.1 in 2017).

3.HRD Minister launches first online NISHTHA programme for 1,200 Key Resources Persons of Andhra

News: Union HRD Minister has launched the first online National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement(NISHTHA) programme for 1,200 key resources persons of Andhra Pradesh.


  • NISHTHA: It is an Integrated Teacher Training Programme at the elementary stage under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.
  • Aim: To train teachers and school principals at the elementary stage so that they can encourage and foster critical thinking in students.
  • Coverage: It aims to build capacities of around 42 lakh participants by:
    • Covering all teachers and heads of schools at the elementary level in all Government schools,
    • Faculty members of State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs) and District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs),
    • Block Resource Coordinators and Cluster Resource Coordinators in all States and UTs.
  • Implementation: The training will be conducted by Key Resource Persons(KRPs) and State Resource Persons (SRP) identified by the State and UTs who will in turn be trained by 120 National Resource Persons identified from NCERTs among others.

Additional Facts:

  • Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan: It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme launched as an integrated scheme for school education extending from pre-school to class XII to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education.

4.Azad Pattan Hydropower Project

News: Pakistan and China have signed an agreement for the Azad Pattan hydel power project.


  • Azad Pattan hydel power project: It is a 700 MW hydroelectric project on the Jhelum River in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(PoK).

Additional Facts:

  • Kohala hydropower project: It is a Hydroelectric power project to be built on the Jhelum river.It is being set up by China under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC).
  • Diamer-Bhasha Dam: It is located on the Indus River in northern Pakistan between Kohistan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Diamer district in Gilgit Baltistan.It is being built with the help of China.
  • Jhelum River: It is one of the tributaries of the Indus River.It rises from Verinag Spring situated at the foot of the Pir Panjal in the southeastern part of the Kashmir Valley.

5.Maharashtra seeks alternative route for rail line through Melghat Tiger Reserve

News: Maharashtra has asked the Union government for an alternate alignment to be considered for the upgradation of the railway line passing through Melghat Tiger Reserve(MTR).


  • Melghat Tiger Reserve: It lies in Amravati district in the state of Maharashtra bordering Madhya Pradesh.It is also a part of the Satpura-Maikal landscape.
  • Vegetation: The forests are of deciduous nature and have been classified as ‘dry deciduous forests’.
  • Significance: It was the first Tiger Reserve to be declared in the State of Maharashtra in 1974.
  • River: The Tapti River and the Gawilgarh ridge of the Satpura Range form the boundaries of the reserve.

6.Disabled are entitled to same benefits of SC/ST quota: Supreme Court

News: The Supreme Court has said that persons suffering from disabilities are also socially backward and entitled to the same benefits of relaxation as Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe candidates in public employment and education.


  • Background: A petition was filed by a special needs person against the Government College of Arts, Chandigarh.The college had denied the relaxation in minimum qualifying marks in an Art course.
    • The college insisted that disabled persons too need to meet the general qualifying standard of 40% in the aptitude test whereas SC/ST candidates were given a relaxation to 35%.
  • Significance: This judgement has upheld a 2012 judgment of the Delhi High Court in Anmol Bhandari v. Delhi Technological University case which held that people suffering from disabilities are entitled to the same benefits as given to SC/STs.

Additional Facts:

Constitutional Provisions for SCs and STs:

  • Article 15(4)- It empowers the State to make special provisions for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
  • Article 16(4A) – It empowers the state to make provisions for reservation in matters of promotion to any class or classes of posts in the services under the State in favor of SC/STs which in the opinion of the State, are not adequately represented in the services under the State.
  • Article 46 – The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people and in particular of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.