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17th September Current Affairs

Mid-day meal scheme

In News:

The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu recently suggested that milk could be given either as part of breakfast or the mid-day meal in order to improve the nutritional levels of children.

About Mid-Day meal scheme:

The scheme guarantees one meal to all children in government and aided schools and madarsas supported under Samagra Shiksha.

Students up to Class VIII are guaranteed one nutritional cooked meal at least 200 days in a year.

The Scheme comes under the Ministry of HRD.

It was launched in the year 1995 as the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP – NSPE), a centrally sponsored scheme. In 2004, the scheme was relaunched as the Mid Day Meal Scheme.

The MDM rules 2015, provide that:

The place of serving meals to the children shall be school only.

If the Mid-Day Meal is not provided in school on any school day due to non-availability of food grains or any other reason, the State Government shall pay food security allowance by 15th of the succeeding month.

The meal shall be prepared in accordance with the Mid Day Meal guidelines issued by the Central Government from time to time.

Procuring AGMARK quality items for preparation of midday meals, tasting of meals by two or three adult members of the school management committee, including at least one teacher, before serving to children.

The School Management Committee mandated under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 shall also monitor implementation of the Mid-day meal Scheme.

The State Steering-cum Monitoring Committee (SSMC) shall oversee the implementation of the scheme including establishment of a mechanism for maintenance of nutritional standards and quality of meals.

Nutritional norms:

In terms of calorie intake, as per the MDM guidelines, the children in primary schools must be provided with at least 450 calories with 12 grams of protein through MDM while the children in upper primary schools should get 700 calories with 20 grams of protein, as per MHRD.

The food intake per meal by the children of primary classes, as provided by MHRD is 100 grams of food grains, 20 grams of pulses, 50 grams of vegetables and 5 grams of oils and fats. For the children of upper-primary schools, the mandated breakup is 150 grams of food grains, 30 grams of pulses, 75 grams of vegetables and 7.5 grams of oils and fats.

Global Multidimensional Poverty Index

In News:

NITI Aayog is in the last stage for preparation of Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) parameter dashboard and a State Reform Action Plan (SRAP).

Details:

In this regard, the Niti Aayog will leverage the monitoring mechanism of the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index.

NITI Aayog is the Nodal agency for the MPI.

Part of the “Global Indices to Drive Reforms and Growth (GIRG)” exercise:

Global MPI is part of Government of India’s decision to monitor the performance of the country in 29 select Global Indices.

The objective of the “Global Indices to Drive Reforms and Growth (GIRG)” exercise is to fulfil the need to measure and monitor India’s performance on various important social and economic parameters.

This will enable the utilisation of these Indices as tools for self-improvement, bring about reforms in policies, while improving last-mile implementation of government schemes.

What is MPI?

Global MPI is an international measure of multidimensional poverty.

It covers 107 developing countries.

It was first developed in 2010 by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for UNDP’s Human Development Reports.

When is it released?

The Global MPI is released at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development of the United Nations in July, every year.

How are the countries ranked?

Global MPI is computed by scoring each surveyed household on 10 parameters based on –nutrition, child mortality, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing and household assets.

Performance of India and its neighbours in MPI 2020:

India is 62nd among 107 countries with an MPI score of 0.123 and 27.91% headcount ratio, based on the NFHS 4 (2015/16) data.

Neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka (25th), Bhutan (68th), Nepal (65th), Bangladesh (58th), China (30th), Myanmar (69th) and Pakistan (73rd) are also ranked in this index.

India joins US, Russia, China hypersonic Missile club

In News:

India has become the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to develop and successfully test hypersonic technology.

Why?

India recently tested the Hypersonic Test Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV).

Developed by?

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Significance and implications of this test flight:

This indigenous technology will pave the way towards development of missiles travelling at six times the speed of sound (Mach 6).

What is Hypersonic Test Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV)?

The HSTDV is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic speed flight.

How it works?

The HSTDV cruise vehicle is mounted on a solid rocket motor, which will take it to a required altitude, and once it attains certain mach numbers for speed, the cruise vehicle will be ejected out of the launch vehicle. Subsequently, the scramjet engine will be ignited automatically.

Where can it be used?

It has utility for long-range cruise missiles of the future.

It can be used for launching satellites at low cost too.

What are cruise missiles? How are they different from ballistic missiles?

A cruise missile either locates its target or has a preset target. It navigates using a guidance system — such as inertial or beyond visual range satellite GPS guidance — and comprises a payload and aircraft propulsion system.

Cruise missiles can be launched from land, sea or air for land attacks and anti-shipping purposes, and can travel at subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic speeds.

Since they stay relatively close to the surface of the earth, they cannot be detected easily by anti-missile systems, and are designed to carry large payloads with high precision.

Ballistic missiles, meanwhile, are launched directly into the upper layers of the earth’s atmosphere.

They travel outside the atmosphere, where the warhead detaches from the missile and falls towards a predetermined target.

They are rocket-propelled self-guided weapons systems which can carry conventional or nuclear munitions. They can be launched from aircraft, ships and submarines, and land.

What are ICBMs?

Intercontinental ballistic missiles or ICBMs are guided missiles which can deliver nuclear and other payloads.

ICBMs have a minimum range of 5,500 km, with maximum ranges varying from 7,000 to 16,000 km.

Only a handful of countries, including Russia, United States, China, France, India and North Korea, have ICBM capabilities.