Current Affairs 7th March, 2019


Topics Covered

1. Women Empowerment

Nari Shakti Puraskar, 2018

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What to read?

Prelims – About the award

Mains – India’s efforts at making women empowered

President of India will present the Nari ShaktiPuraskar 2018, the highest civilian honour for women in India, at a special ceremony to be held in RashtrapatiBhavan, New Delhi, on International Women’s Day.

About Nari Shakti Puraskar

  • To acknowledge women's achievements, the Ministry of Women and Child Development confers Nari Shakti Puraskaron  women and institutions in recognition of their relentless service towards  the cause of women empowerment and social welfare.

  • This year, the Nari Shakti Puraskar has also been awarded to a One Stop Centre (OSC) and to a state which has shown exceptional progress in improving child sex ratio at birth under the BetiBachaoBetiPadhao scheme.

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One Stop Centres

The Ministry of Women and Child Development is establishing One Stop Centres for violence affected women in all districts of the country. One Stop Centres are being developed to provide 24x7 integrated services to women affected by violence under one roof, including  handholding them  in filing of FIRs, providing them legal aid, medical aid, psycho-social counseling and temporary shelter upto 5 days.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

BetiBachaoBetiPadhao is a flagship initiative of the Prime Minister touching women rights and women empowerment at the most initial foundational stage of their lives.


Topics Covered

1. Art and Culture

2. Geography

3. Governance

4. Intellectual Property Rights

Erode Turmeric gets GI tag

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains – What is GI? , Benefits of getting GI  and About Erode turmeric

After an eight-year-long process, Erode turmeric finally got a Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the Geographical Indication Registry.

Geographical Indications in India – Purpose

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  • A Geographical Indication is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.

  • Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.

  • This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed.

  • Recently the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry has launched the logo and tagline for the Geographical Indications (GI) of India.

  • The first product to get a GI tag in India was the Darjeeling tea in 2004. There is a total of 325products from India that carry this indication.

  • Darjeeling Tea, Mahabaleshwar Strawberry, Blue Pottery of Jaipur, Banaras Sarees and Tirupati Laddus are some of the GIs.

  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 (GI Act) is a sui generis Act for protection of GI in India.

  • India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Act to comply with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

  • Geographical Indications protection is granted through the TRIPS Agreement.

Erode Turmeric and its Uniqueness

  • Erode turmeric is a rhizome, both finger and bulb obtained from the Erode local cultivar.

  • In its claim for uniqueness, the application said the mean length of the fingers of Erode turmeric was about 4.15cm and the mean circumference was about 3.03cm. The mean bulb length of the mother rhizome is about 4.54cm and the mean circumference is 6.54cm.

  • Quality parameters of the turmeric included 2.5 to 4.5% of curcumin content, a golden yellow colour and resistance to pests after boiling.

  • The crop is grown in hot moist conditions prevalent in the area with temperature ranging from 20 degrees to 37.9 degrees Celsius with an average of 600 to 800 mm rainfall in a year.

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Topics Covered

1. Indian History

2. Science

Indian museum of natural history

Jurassic find: An excavated ichthyosaur fossil found near Lodai village in Kutch district of Gujarat in 2017.

What to read?

Prelims and Mains – About the museum and India’s significance of getting traced its natural historical Importance

To better conserve the prehistoric heritage of India, the government is planning to house them in one place — an ‘Earth Museum’.

About the museum

  • This museum will be modelled on the American Museum of Natural History, or the Smithsonian museum in the U.S.

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  • The museum, which will be set up as a public-private partnership, would be located somewhere in Delhi, Noida or Gurugram

Natural museum is a necessity in India- Why?

1. India – a hotspot of scientific information

From dinosaur fossils to pre-human skulls, India is home to a vast treasury of geological and palaeontological specimens that contain a wealth of scientific information about the planet and its history. But these rare specimens are scattered in different labs all over the country. So, to better conserve this prehistoric heritage, the government is planning to house them in one place — an ‘Earth Museum’.

2. Better collection and organisation of information for better analysis

Several collections of fossils and important geological specimens weren’t properly organised, and they survived only due to the efforts of individual researchers who maintained them within their labs. A single site, accessible to the public as well as researchers wanting to investigate rare and important finds, was necessary

3. To create awareness among Indians about India’s natural richness

Such a repository was necessary to make people aware of India’s paleontological and geological wealth.

Natural History

Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms including animals, fungi and plants in their environment; leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study.


Topics Covered

1. Women Related Issues

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

Poorest of poor and uneducated women left behind in ICDS

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What to read?

Prelims – About ICDS

Mains -  Observations of the study and government efforts towards the concern

Anganwadi services have a poor reach among key beneficiaries – the poorest of the poor and uneducated mothers – according to a paper published in a WHO bulletin recently.

Important Observations of the study

The study analyses the findings of the National Family Health Survey 2005-2006 and 2015-2016 to compare the coverage of ICDS over a 10-year period.

  • During this time, the average respondents benefiting from these services increased from 9.6% to 37.9% for supplementary food, 3.2% to 21% for health and nutrition education, 4.5% to 28% for health check-ups and 10.4% to 24.2% for child-specific services over a period of 10 years.

  • At the same time, the poorest of the poor or quintile 1, who were the largest beneficiaries in 2006, got left behind quintile 2 and quintile 3 by 2016 for all four indicators such as supplementary food, counselling on nutrition, health check-ups and early childhood services

  • Mothers without any schooling were the lowest beneficiaries as compared to those with primary and secondary schooling in 2006, and they continued to be so in 2016.

Related Authority

ICDSLaunched in 1975 and supported by World Bank and UNICEF

Ministry/Department :  Ministry of Women and Child Development

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  • To improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years;

  • To lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child;

  • To reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout;

  • To achieve effective co-ordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development; and

  • To enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education.


  • Following six services are provided under ICDS:

  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme implemented by States/UTs across the country. 

    • Supplementary nutrition (SNP),

    • Immunization,

    • Health check-up,

    • Referral services,

    • Pre-school non-formal education and

    • Nutrition & health education are provided. 


Topics Covered

1. Governance

Swachh Survekshan 2019

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What to read?

Prelims – About the ranking of cities

Indore has bagged the cleanest city award for third straight year under Swachh Survekshan, 2019. President Ram Nath Kovind presented Swachh Survekhshan-2019 Awards in New Delhi.

  • Cleanest Small City Award - New Delhi Municipal Council area got the cleanest small city award.

  • Best Ganga Town - Uttarakhand's Gauchar was adjudged the Best Ganga Town in the survey

  • Bhopal has been declared as the cleanest capital.

  • Ujjain has bagged the award for being the cleanest city in the population category of 3 lakh to 10 lakh.

Swachh Survekshan 2019

  • Swachh Survekshan 2019 covered 4,237 cities in a record time of 28 days, in a completely paperless, digital format for data collection.

  • Swachh Survekshan 2019 covered all Urban Local Bodies in the country, making it the largest such cleanliness survey in the world.

Swachh Survekshan

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  • Swachh Survekshan is a ranking exercise taken up by the Government of India to assess rural and urban areas for their levels of cleanliness and active implementation of Swachhata mission initiatives in a timely and innovative manner.

  • The objective of the survey is to encourage large scale citizen participation and create awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities a better place to live in. Additionally, the survey also intends to foster a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens, towards creating cleaner cities and towns.

  • The Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India takes up the Swachh Survekshan in urban areas and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in rural areas. The Quality Council of India (QCI) has been commissioned the responsibility of carrying out the assessment.

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Topics Covered

1. Governmental Intervention to protect the vulnerable

2. Indian Economy

PM releases new series of visually impaired friendly coins

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains – About the initiative and its inclusive nature of the benefits available

The Prime Minister released the new series of visually impaired friendly circulation coins,in New Delhi.Rs.1, Rs.2, Rs.5, Rs.10 and Rs.20 are the various denominations of coins released as part of the new series.

Characteristic Features of the new coin series

  • The coins are characterized by the increasing size and weight from lower to higher denominations. The newly included coin of Rs.20, will be a 12 sided coin with no serrations. The rest of the denominations would be of round shape.


  • The new series of coins have been designed and released keeping that vision in mind.

  • The new circulation coins with various differentiating features, will greatly aid the visually impaired. The new series of coins will facilitate the visually impaired, and will instil them with confidence

Note – Efforts of various institutions in the new series of coins

National Institute of Design for the design, Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited and the Ministry of Finance for the introduction of new coins.


Topics Covered

1. Conservation of the Environment

Environment Ministry plugs loophole – Amendment in Hazardous waste (Management and Transboundary movement) Rules, 2016

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains – Amendments made to the Rules and its impact on implementation

In order to strengthen the implementation of environmentally sound management of hazardous waste in the country, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has amended the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016.

Stated Purpose of the amendment – A balanced stand

The amendment has been done keeping into consideration the “Ease of Doing Business” and boosting “Make in India” initiative by simplifying the procedures under the Rules, while at the same time upholding the principles of sustainable development and ensuring minimal impact on the environment.


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  • Indian firms are importing plastic scraps from China, Italy, Japan and Malawi for recycling and the imports of PET bottle scrap & flakes has increased from 12,000 tonnes in FY 16-17 to 48,000 tonnes in FY 17-18 growing @ 290%.

  • India consumes about 13 million tonnes of plastic and recycles only about 4 million tonnes.

  • To incentivise domestic plastic recycling units, the government had banned the import of plastic waste, particularly PET bottles, in 2015.

  • In 2016, an amendment allowed such imports as long as they were carried out by agencies situated in SEZs.

  • The lack of an efficient waste collection and segregation system is the root cause for much of the plastic not making its way to recycling centres.

Some of the salient features of the Amendemt to Hazardous Waste Rules, 2016 - As a cure

  • Solid plastic waste has been prohibited from import into the country including in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and by Export Oriented Units (EOU).

  • Exporters of silk waste have now been given exemption from requiring permission from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

  • Electrical and electronic assemblies and components manufactured in and exported from India, if found defective can now be imported back into the country, within a year of export, without obtaining permission from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

  • Industries which do not require consent under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981, are now exempted from requiring authorization also under the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016, provided that hazardous and other wastes generated by such industries are handed over to the authorized actual users, waste collectors or disposal facilities.