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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | PDF Download

Date: 08 April 2019

MCQ

Choose correct regarding Pseudomonas putida

  1. Pseudomonas putida is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped saprotrophic soil bacterium
  2. A variety of P. putida, called multiplasmid hydrocarbondegrading Pseudomonas, is the first patented organism in the world
  3. is an opportunistic human pathogen.

(A) 1 & 2

(B) 2 & 3

(C) All

(D) None

  • Pseudomonas putida is a Gram-negative, rodshaped, saprotrophic soil bacterium. Based on 16S rRNA analysis, P. putida was taxonomically confirmed to be a Pseudomonas species (sensu stricto) and placed, along with several other species, in the P. putida group, to which it lends its name.
  • A variety of P. putida, called multiplasmid hydrocarbon-degrading Pseudomonas, is the first patented organism in the world. Because it is a living organism, the patent was disputed and brought before the United States Supreme Court in the historic court case Diamond v. Chakrabarty, which the inventor, Ananda Mohan Chakrabarty, won.
  • It demonstrates a very diverse metabolism, including the ability to degrade organic solvents such as toluene.
  • This ability has been put to use in bioremediation, or the use of microorganisms to degrade environmental pollutants.
  • Use of P. putida is preferable to some other Pseudomonas species capable of such degradation, as it is a safe species of bacteria, unlike P. aeruginosa, for example, which is an opportunistic human pathogen.

MCQ 

  1. The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a large-scale, multiround survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India
  2. Its an annual survey
  3. Government of India, designated the International Institute for Population Sciences(IIPS) Mumbai, as the nodal agency
  • Choose correct

(A) 1 & 2

(B) 2 & 3

(C) 1 & 3

(D) All

  • The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India.
  • Three rounds of the survey have been conducted since the first survey in 1992-93.
  • The survey provides state and national information for India on fertility, infant and child mortality, the practice of family planning, maternal and child health, reproductive health, nutrition, anaemia, utilization and quality of health and family planning services.

Each successive round of the NFHS has had two specific goals:

  1. a) to provide essential data on health and family welfare needed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other agencies for policy and programme purposes, and
  2. b) to provide information on important emerging health and family welfare issues. •
  •  The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), Government of India, designated the International Institute for Population Sciences(IIPS) Mumbai, as the nodal agency, responsible for providing coordination and technical guidance for the survey.
  • IIPS collaborated with a number of Field Organizations (FO) for survey implementation. Each FO was responsible for conducting survey activities in one or more states covered by the NFHS.
  • Technical assistance for the NFHS was provided mainly by ORC Macro (USA) and other organizations on specific issues. The funding for different rounds of NFHS has been provided by USAID, DFID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, UNFPA, and MOHFW, GOI.

MCQ 

  1. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 8 December 2005 declared that 4 April of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
  2. ‘United Nations Promotes SDGs – Safe Ground – Safe Earth’
  • Choose correct

(A) Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) Both

(D)None

  • The Theme ‘United Nations Promotes SDGs – Safe Ground – Safe Home’ highlights the fact that “All people have the right to live in security, and not fear their next step” and calls for mine action, which “clears paths and creates safe ground on which homes can be built or rebuilt” and “changes mindsets so that people know how to protect themselves”.
  • The theme links mine action, sport and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by showing how clering minefields, bring communities together and raises awareness about mine victims, and survivors of armed conflict.
  • Further, the United Nations has launched “Safe Ground”, a new strategy and campaign to “ensure that no one, no State, and no war zone is left behind”....

About United Nations Mine Action Strategy (UNMAS) 2006-2010

  • The United Nations mine action activities are guided by four strategic objectives identified in the United Nations Mine Action Strategy (UNMAS) for 2006-2010. They are:
  • For reduction of death and injury by at least 50 per cent;
  • To mitigate the risk to community livelihoods and expand freedom of movement for at least 80 per cent of the most seriously affected communities;
  • For integration of mine action needs into national development and reconstruction plans and budgets in at least 15 countries;
  • To assist the development of national institutions to manage the landmine/explosive remnants of war threat, and at the same time prepare for residual response capacity in at least 15 countries.

Capital High

  • To retain the confidence of foreign investors, macroeconomic management is key
  • Foreign investors appear to have rediscovered India. The inflow of foreign capital into India’s stock market in the month of March hit a high of $4.89 billion, the biggest foreign inflow into Indian stocks since February 2012. As a result, the stock market rose a solid 8% in March. Foreign investment in Indian equities stood at $2.42 billion in February, as against a net outflow of $4.4 billion during the same month a year earlier, and is expected to be strong in April as well. Both cyclical and structural factors are behind this sudden uptick in foreign investment that has helped the rupee make an impressive comeback. The rupee has appreciated by about 7% since early October, when it was reeling at around 74 against the dollar. Last year, India received more foreign direct investment than China for the first time in two decades. While the Chinese economy has been slowing down considerably in the last one year, India has emerged as the fastest-growing major economy. Doubts over the robustness of the GDP calculation method notwithstanding, it is clear that investors expect India to be a major source of global growth in the coming years.
  • Other short-term reasons may also be behind some of the recent inflow of capital into the country. For one, there is a sense among a section of investors that their fears of political instability are misplaced. More important, there are clear signs that western central banks have turned dovish. Both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, for instance, have promised to keep interest rates low for longer. This has caused investors to turn towards relatively high-yielding emerging market debt. Indian mid-cap stocks, which suffered a deep rout last year, are now too attractive to ignore for many foreign investors.
  • The return of foreign capital is obviously a good sign for the Indian economy. But policymakers need to be careful not to take foreign investors for granted. Other emerging Asian economies will be competing hard to attract foreign capital, which is extremely nimble. Any mistake by policymakers will affect India’s image as an investment destination.
  • To retain investor confidence, whichever government comes to power after the general election this summer will need to increase the pace of structural reforms and also ensure proper macroeconomic management with the help of the Reserve Bank of India.
  • Long-pending reforms to the labour and land markets are the most pressing structural changes that will affect India’s long-term growth trajectory.
  • The high fiscal deficit of both the Centre and the State governments and the disruptive outflow of foreign capital are the other macroeconomic challenges. These are some issues that need to be solved sooner rather than later.

The Heat Is On

  • Local administrations must draw up plans to address heat stress and possible water scarcity
  • A forecast of a below average monsoon in 2019, after last year’s erratic rainfall that flooded Kerala and crippled agriculture in eastern and western States, is a cause for worry.
  • If the assessment from one agency, Skymet, is any indication, there is a prospect of an El Niño, often associated with drought conditions, taking hold. This must, of course, be considered along with other factors that seem to weaken the El Niño link, such as a dipole weather phenomenon in the Indian Ocean.
  • Should the monsoon, which normally sets in between June 1 and July 15 across the country, turn out to be deficient, it will add to the pressures on rural employment and the economy as a whole.
  • Things may become clearer when the India Meteorological Department also issues its forecast, although error margins and the erratic nature of rainfall in different regions render the exercise fraught with uncertainty.
  • Last year, for instance, the realization of rainfall was 91% of the long-term average, while the prediction was for 97%. More immediately, India will go to the polls in the peak of summer after an intensive campaign. It is the responsibility of State administrations to prepare for the likelihood of a heat spike, particularly during April and May, to prevent loss of life and extreme distress to communities. Official agencies and NGOs should start adopting the drill on this, using the template drawn up by the National Disaster Management Authority.
  • The key elements of protection in a heat wave are avoiding exposure during the hottest part of the day around noon, especially in the case of senior citizens, staying adequately hydrated, wearing suitable clothing including headgear, and creating shade in public places. These messages and weather alerts can be disseminated through television, mobile phone messaging and social media platforms. Urban local bodies in particular have a responsibility to care for the large number of vulnerable city dwellers. Yet, few cities have drawn up proper heat action plans to respond to extreme weather or made them public. During the current year, there is apprehension that the focus of administrators will mainly be on the conduct of the elections, relegating the public health risk of heat waves to the backburner. With the availability of advance weather alerts, there is no reason why local bodies cannot institute remedial measures. Mitigating the effect of heat waves is vital to ensuring a high turnout in the elections by making it safe for voters.
  • India is looking at another uncertain monsoon, bringing into sharp relief the neglected potential of decentralised water-harvesting. It is more than a decade since the National Commission on Farmers suggested the wider adoption of both rainwater harvesting and aquifer recharge, in order to provide irrigation for small farmers. It is time to take measures that will help communities