News: The Global Hunger Index 2020 report has been released.
- About the index: It is an annual report jointly published by Ireland’s Concern Worldwide and Germany’s Welthungerhilfe.
- Aim: To measure and track hunger at the global, regional and country levels.
- Indicators: The four indicators for the index are:
- Undernourishment (share of the population with insufficient caloric intake),
- child wasting (low weight for height, reflecting acute undernutrition)
- child stunting (low height for age, reflecting chronic undernutrition) and
- Child mortality rate under 5 years of age.
- Based on the values of the four indicators, the GHI determines hunger on a 100-point scale where 0 is the best possible score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst.Each country’s GHI score is classified by severity, from low to extremely alarming.
- India ranks 94 out of 107 countries in the Index lower than neighbours such as Bangladesh (75) and Pakistan (88).
- Child stunting: India has improved significantly from 54% in 2000 to less than 35% now.
- Child wasting: India’s child wasting rate is at around 17.3%.
- Child mortality rates: India has improved in child mortality rates which is now at 3.7%
- Undernourishment: India has about 14% of the total population which gets an insufficient caloric intake.
News: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has presided over an event to celebrate ‘World Food Day’.
- The event was organized by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI).
- Theme: Grow, Nourish and Sustain Together.
Initiatives launched during the event:
- Eat Right Creativity Challenge for schools: It is a poster and photography competition that aims to promote healthy dietary habits.
- Eat Smart City’(challenge): It was launched by FSSAI in partnership with Smart City Mission and The Food Foundation,UK.It aims to create an environment of right food practices and habits in India’s smart cities that can be set as an example for other cities to follow.
- Eat Right India Movement: It was launched by FSSAI in 2018.It is a preventive healthcare measure to trigger social and behavioural change among people.
- Aim: To improve public health in India and combat negative nutritional trends to fight lifestyle diseases.
- FSSAI: It is a statutory, autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.It is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
3. NIC, IEEE Computer Society and Oracle to hold Gov Tech-Thon 2020 News: Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY), National Informatics Centre (NIC), IEEE Computer Society and Oracle are organising Gov Tech-Thon 2020.
- Aim: To incubate new ideas, boost innovation and use technology in agriculture and allied sectors.
- It is a virtual hackathon open to students, working professionals, start-ups, freelancers, faculty or any one in India who has ideas or solutions to the problem statements.
- National Informatics Centre(NIC): It is an attached office of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY).It was established in 1976 and has rich experience in providing ICT and eGovernance support to the Government for the last 4 decades and helping bridge the digital divide.
News: The Asan Conservation Reserve (ACR) was declared as a site of international importance under the Ramsar Convention becoming Uttarakhand state’s first entry into the coveted list and 38th Ramsar Wetland Site of India.
- Asan Conservation Reserve: It is located on the banks of Yamuna river near Dehradun district in Garhwal region of Uttarakhand.
- Species: It is home to species such as white rumped vulture(Critically Endangered), ruddy shelduck(Least Concern), red-headed vulture (Critically Endangered), Asian woolly neck(Vulnerable) among others.
- Significance: The wetland also acts as host to several migratory birds from October till March.
- Ramsar Convention on Wetland (1971): It is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources
- Montreux Record: It is a register of wetland sites on the List of Ramsar wetlands of international importance. It shows such sites where there has been or likely to be adverse ecological changes due to anthropogenic activities. Indian sites in the Montreux Record are Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan), Loktak Lake (Manipur).
News: Nandankanan Zoological Park(NZP) which suffered a huge loss following its closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic has revived its innovative ‘Adopt-An-Animal’ programme to mobilise resources for animals.
- Nandankanan Zoological Park(NZP): It is located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.Unlike other zoos in the country, Nandankanan is built right inside the forest and set in a completely natural environment.
- It is the first zoo in the World to breed White tiger and Melanistic tiger and it is the only conservation breeding centre of Indian Pangolins in the world.
- First captive breeding centre for endangered Gharials in the year 1980.
- Kanjia Lake – A wetland of National importance (2006).
- It is the only zoological park in India to become an institutional member of World Association of Zoos and Aquarium (WAZA).
- It is the only zoo in India after which an express train Puri-New Delhi express has been named as “Nandankanan Express”.
- It is the first zoo in India where endangered Ratel was born in captivity.
News: The Ministry of Culture has issued guidelines to conduct cultural events under the central sector scheme “Kala Sanskriti Vikas Yojana”.
- Kala Sanskriti Vikas Yojana (KSVY) is an umbrella scheme under Ministry of Culture for the promotion of art and culture in the country.
- Sub-schemes: KSVY has the following sub-schemes through which financial assistance is provided to cultural organizations:
- Scheme of Financial Assistance for Promotion of Art and Culture.
- Scheme of Financial Assistance for Creation of Cultural Infrastructure.
- Scheme for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
News: Ministry of Food Processing Industries inaugurated Food and Agri Week 2020.
- It is being jointly organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Ministry of Fisheries & Animal Husbandry and Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
- Duration: 16th to 22nd October 2020
- Aim: To create a platform for the benefit of the stakeholders involved in the agriculture & allied sectors.
News: six regional political parties of Jammu and Kashmir, announced a new grouping named ‘Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration’. The Gupkar Declaration was signed in August 2019 to fight for J&K’s special status”.
News: A team of astronomers from the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA-TIFR) in Pune, and the Raman Research Institute (RRI), in Bengaluru, has used the upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) to measure the atomic hydrogen content star forming galaxies about 8 billion years ago.
- What has the study found?
- The galaxies in their high star formation activity rapidly used up atomic hydrogen, the basic fuel for star formation.
- The hydrogen then would have lasted only for the next 1-2 billion years, leading to a steady decrease in star formation later.
- Significance of the study: the cause of decline in start formation in galaxies was unknown. The study has shed light on this.
Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT): It is an array of thirty fully steerable parabolic radio telescopes. It is located near Pune, Maharashtra.
News: Three days of extremely heavy rainfall led to massive floods that killed over 70 people in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. This was due to formation of a low-pressure system that developed in the North Andaman Sea
Classification of low-pressure systems based on wind speed:
- Low pressure Area: Area in the atmosphere in which the pressures are lower than those of the surrounding region at the same level. Wind speed <17knots.
- Depression: Intense low-pressure system represented on a synoptic chart by two or three closed isobars at 2 hPa interval and wind speed from 17 to 27 Kts at sea.
- Deep Depression: Intense low pressure system represented on a synoptic chart by two or three closed isobars at 2 hPa interval and wind speed from 28 to 33 Kts at sea.
Why does the Bay of Bengal receive higher Cyclones compared to Arabian Sea?
- Higher Rainfall: Bay of Bengal receives higher rainfall which provides required humidity for cyclone formation.
- Temperature: Bay of Bengal is hotter than Arabian sea.Hot water temperature is the basic criteria for the development & intensification of cyclones.
- Location: The typhoons originating in the Pacific Ocean too influence the cyclones in BOB not the case in Arabian Sea.
- Constant Inflow of Fresh Water: The inflow from the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers makes it impossible for the warm water to mix with the cooler water making it ideal for a cyclonic depression.
- Sluggish Winds: It keeps temperatures relatively high of about 28 degrees around the year.