Current Affairs 6th March, 2019


Topics Covered

1. Women Empowerment

2. Defence

Permanent Commission to Women

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains – About the decision of the government and its impact of gender equality in Indian defence

Ministry of Defence has taken steps to ensure implementation of announcement by the Prime Minister on 15th August, 2018 regarding grant of Permanent Commission to Women officers in the Armed Forces.

Permanent Commission

A Permanent Commission means a career in the Army till one retires; it means if one gets selected through Permanent Commission entry then they have the option to serve your nation up to the age of retirement which is 60 years as of now.

Efforts in line with announcement so far

  • IAF - In so far the Indian Air Force is concerned, all Branches, including Fighter Pilots are now open for women officers.

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  • Indian Navy - In Indian Navy all non sea going Branches/Cadre/Specialisation have been opened for induction of women officers through Short Service Commission. In addition to education, Law & Naval Constructor branch/cadre, women SSC officers have been made eligible for grant of Permanent Commission in the Naval Armament branch, at par with the male officers.

  • Army

    • Women officers will be granted Permanent Commission in the Indian Army in all the ten branches where women are inducted for Short Service Commission. So, besides the existing two streams of Judge Advocate General (JAG) and Army Education Corps, now PC will be granted in Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordinance Corps and Intelligence also to women officers.

    • SSC women officers will give their option for PC before completion of four years of Commissioned Service and they will exercise option for grant of PC and their choice of specialisation.

Key arguments for not inducting women in front line were

  • Fear of women being taken PoW

  • Physically demanding nature of these jobs

  • Lower muscle mass, relatively less strength

  • Concerns like maternity, ability to withstand G-force, fear of molestation esp PoW.

Word Examples of women in combat

  • Countries that allow women in Close combat: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, North Korea etc.

  • Countries in which women allowed in combat, not necessarily close combat: USA, UK, Pakistan, South Korea etc.

PAPER – 1 and paper - 3

Topics Covered

1. Social Issues

2. Science

Elders in cities prone to hyper-tension

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What to read?

Prelims – Hyper tension

Mains – Why elders in cities are vulnerable to hyper tension?

Older Indians living in cities are more likely to suffer from hypertension as compared to their rural counterparts, states a study.

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a serious health problem which currently affects nearly 1 billion people worldwide. According to the recent analysis by the World Health Organisation (WHO), this statistic might rise to around 1.57 billion by the year 2025.

What is Hypertension?

  • An abnormally high blood pressure and a combination of high psychological stress are known as Hypertension. These patients suffering from this disorder will have their blood pressure reading greater than 140 over 90 mm.

  • Hypertension is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure. The Systolic pressure would be the first readings viz. a pressure by which the heart pumps blood through the body, and second readings would be the Diastolic pressure, meaning a pressure at which the heart relaxes and refills the blood.

Why elders in cities are vulnerable to hyper tension?

  • The study further added that this urban effect is independent of greater wealth, occupation and other privileges normally associated with Indian cities.

  • It may be due to some other city-specific stress such as social insecurity and environmental pollutants including noise

  • Approximately 44% of the older Indians living in the cities suffered from hypertension, whereas its prevalence was 35% among their rural counterparts.

PAPER – 1, PAPER – 2 and PAPER - 3

Topics Covered

1. Schemes

2. Indian Economy

3. Women Empowerment

National Rural Economic Transformation Project

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What to read?

Prelims – About the project

Mains – Benefits of the project to the rural India

The World Bank and the Government of India signed a $250 Million Agreement for the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) which will help women in rural households shift to a new generation of economic initiatives by developing viable enterprise for farm and non-farm products.   


  • to promote women-owned and women-led farm and non-farm enterprises across value chains;

  • enable them to build businesses that help them access finance, markets and networks; and

  • generate employment.

NRETP and National Rural Livelihoods Project

The National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) is an additional financing to the $500 million National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRLP) approved by the World Bank in July 2011.

Advantages of NRETP

  • The NERTP will support enterprise development programs for rural poor women and youth by creating a platform to access finance including start-up financing options to build their individual and/or collectively owned and managed enterprises.

  • The other key component of the project includes developing financial products using digital financial services to help small producer collectives scale-up and engage with the market.  It will also support youth skills development, in coordination with the Deen Dayal Upadyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana.  Peer to peer learning across States and across communities was a successful strategy under the NRLP and will also continue to be used in this project.

  • The Project will continue to give technical assistance, skills building and investment support to strengthen women-owned and women-led producer collectives diversify into high value farm and non-farm commodities such as commercial crops and livestock products, and fisheries.

Related Scheme


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Ministry/Department :  Ministry of Rural Development

Objective: To reduce poverty by enabling the poor households to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employmentopportunities, resulting in appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong grassroots institutions of the poor


  • It is also called Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – NRLM

  • Swarnjayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY) was restructured as National Rural Livelihoods Mission in 2011

  • NRLM has now been renamed as Aajeevika.

  • World Bank supported program

  • Organise rural BPL people in SHGs and make them capable for self-employment by providing capacities such as information, knowledge, skills, tools, finance and collectivization.

  • It has a special focus on women empowerment including a dedicated component for promoting farm and non-farm based livelihoods for women farmers in rural areas

  • It is implemented across the country in all States and Union Territories (except Delhi and Chandigarh).

Three pillars of the Mission

  • Enhancing and expanding existing livelihoods options of the poor

  • Building skills for the job market outside; and

  • Nurturing self-employed and entrepreneurs.

  • PAPER – 1 AND PAPER – 2

    Topics Covered

    1. Social Issues

    2. Governmental Intervention to protect the vulnerable sections of the society

    65% of hate crimes against Dalits

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    What to read?

    Prelims – Article 14,15,16,17 of the Constitution

    Mains – Highlights of the Study

    More than 200 alleged hate crimes against marginalised people, including 87 killings, were documented by Amnesty India’s interactive “Halt the Hate” website in 2018. About 65% of the crimes were against Dalits.

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    Highlights of the Study

  • Of the 218 documented incidents, 142 were against Dalits, 50 against Muslims, and eight each against Christians, adivasis and transgender people. There were 97 incidents of assault and 87 killings reported. Of the 40 incidents of sexual violence, Dalit women were victims in 33 cases.

  • For the third straight year, Uttar Pradesh was the State with the highest number of reported crimes, with 57 such incidents. Gujarat, with 22 incidents, and Rajasthan, with 18 such cases, came next on the list.

  • Need of the hour to Halt the hate

    • The first step to ensuring justice and ending impunity for hate crimes - where people are targeted because they belong to a particular group — is to highlight their occurrence

    • Legal reforms that enable recording of hate crimes and strengthen accountability must be a priority for any government that comes to power following the upcoming general election.

    Way forward

    While criminal investigations have been initiated in some cases, several have gone unpunished. Authorities need to do much more to ensure justice for victims and their families.

    PAPER – 3

    Topics Covered

    1. Conservation of the Environment

    Fifteen of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in India

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    What to read?

    Prelims and Mains – Major Observations of the study

    Fifteen of the top 20 most polluted cities in the world are located in India, according to an analysis of air quality in several cities around the world.

    Note - The ranking — a one of its kind study that relies on ground-based sensors located in 3,000 cities from 73 countries — was compiled by IQAir Group, a manufacturer of air-monitoring sensors as well as purifiers and environmentalist group Greenpeace.

    Major Observations of the Study - World

  • Of the countries analysed, Iceland emerged as the one with the cleanest air.

  • Jakarta and Hanoi emerged as Southeast Asia’s two most polluted cities and average concentrations in the cities in China fell by 12% from 2017 to 2018.

  • Beijing ranks now as the 122nd most polluted city in the world in 2018 and China, the 12th most polluted country in the world.

  • Every single one of measured cities with data in the Middle East and Africa exceeded the WHO guideline, while 99% of cities in South Asia, 95% of cities in Southeast Asia and 89% of cities in East Asia breached this level.

  • India – Air pollution Highlights

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  • Of the cities analysed, 64% exceeded the WHO’s annual exposure guideline (10g/m3) for fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5. India’s annual guidelines range from 40-60 g/m3, depending on whether they are residential or industrial areas.

  • Gurugram, in Haryana, topped the list with an average annual particulate matter (PM 2.5) quality of 135 g/m3 (micrograms/cubic metre), in 2018.

  • Delhi — a frequent fixture on global pollution hotspots — was only the 11th most noxious city behind Lahore, Pakistan (10th) and Hotan, China (8th).

  • The other cities in India that made the list of 20 were Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Bhiwadi, Noida, Patna, Lucknow, Jodhpur, Muzaffarpur, Varanasi, Moradabad, Agra, Gaya and Jind.

  • When ranked by country, Bangladesh emerged as the most polluted followed by Pakistan and India respectively.

  • PAPER – 3

    Topics Covered

    1. Conservation of Environment

    Russia’s Arctic footprint may threaten the survival of Polar bears

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    What to read?

    Mains – Consequences of the Arctic footprint by anthropogenic activities

    As Moscow steps up its activity in the warming Arctic, conflict with the rare species is likely to increase.

    Immediate Consequence

    • More than 50 bears approached Belyushya Guba, a village on the far northern Novaya Zemlya archipelago, in February. As many as 10 of them explored the streets and entered buildings.

    • Bears in the Barents Sea are seeing the fastest ice reduction of the species’ range, having lost 20 weeks of ice a year over the last few decades, according to Polar Bears International.

    • For thousands of years, they migrated this time of year to hunt seals. This year they came to the shore and there was no ice.

    Impact on Seals

    Along the Northern Passage, constant use of icebreakers through ice where seals give birth affects populations of seals which bears feed on.

    Main Reason

    The main reason the Arctic predators came so close to humans was the late freezing of the sea. It was this that kept them from hunting seals and sent them looking for alternate food sources.

    Why Russia is increasing its Arctic footprint?

    • Russia increases its Arctic footprint for pursuing energy projects, Northern Passage navigation and strategic military interests.

    • Development in the Arctic will definitely increase conflict with humans, especially now that the polar bear is losing its life platform in several regions and coming ashore.

    Related Information

    • Polar Baer – IUCN Status - Vulnerable