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26th July Current Affairs

ASHA for elderly

(GS-II: Government policies and intervention for vulnerable populations)

In News:

The article came in the editorial section and suggests some solutions for caring elderly with chronic diseases. You can copy a few points from this in your notes for ‘elderly care’.

Status of elderly in India:

The UN World Population Ageing Report notes that India’s ageing population (those aged 60 and above) is projected to increase to nearly 20% by 2050 from about 8% now.

By 2050, the percentage of elderly people will increase by 326%, with those aged 80 years and above set to increase by 700%, making them the fastest-growing age group in India.

A study suggests 8 per cent of the population over 75 was afflicted by dementia

Alzheimer’s Association suggests that the country is already home to 4 million people with this condition.

Dementia is a condition associated with ageing and resulting from progressive degeneration of the brain.

Lack of family support: Transition to a nuclear family means that an increasing proportion of the elderly will live only with their elderly spouse or alone.

Solution for elderly with chronic disease:

Strengthening Primary health care which integrates care for diverse health conditions, home-based nursing, palliative care and rehabilitation.

NGOs/Civil Society help: E.g. Asha Deep Foundation provides Day Care Centre for the elderly members of our community who are either neglected, have no children or are abandoned by their families.

Community-based care system for elders:

ASHA program could be used for building a community-based workforce to support the diverse health and social care needs of elders.

Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs):

They have been singularly responsible not only for the dramatic reductions in maternal and infant mortality contributing to our increased life expectancy but also for achieving our impressive Covid vaccination coverage.

They were deservedly awarded the WHO Director-General’s Global Health Leaders Award in May.

Human-animal conflict

(GS-III: Environment Conservation)

In News:

The article gives a few data points on Human-Animal Conflict. No need to remember, just notice the trend, and reasons for such conflicts and note down unique solutions and case studies in your notes.


Elephant: Between 2018-19 and 2020-21, 222 elephants were killed by electrocution across the country, 45 by trains, 29 by poachers and 11 by poisoning.

Tigers: Among tigers, too, 29 were killed by poaching between 2019 and 2021, while 197 tiger deaths are under scrutiny.

Human casualties: Elephants killed 1,579 humans in three years — 585 in 2019-20 (most in Odisha) and Tigers killed 125 humans (2019- 2021)- most in Maharastra.

Definition: Human-wildlife conflict refers to the interaction between wild animals and people and the resultant negative impact on people or their resources or wild animals or their habitat. It occurs when growing human/animal populations overlap with established wildlife/human territory, creating a reduction of resources or life for some people and/or wild animals.

Reasons for the conflict: Main causes of human-wildlife conflict include habitat loss, growth of the population of wild animals, changing cropping patterns that attract wild animals to farmlands, movement of wild animals from forests area to human-dominated landscapes for food and fodder, movement of human beings to forests for illegal collection of forest produce, habitat degradation due to the growth of invasive alien species, etc.

Suggestions and Way forward:

A Future For All Report 2021 report jointly published by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was titled: A future for all – the need for human-wildlife co-existence.

The report suggests an approach of coexistence between humans and wildlife, and involvement of local communities, as it is not possible to wholly suppress human-wildlife conflict.

Community Participation: The full participation of local communities can help reduce HWC and lead to coexistence between humans and wildlife.

Periodic awareness campaigns to sensitize guide and advise the general public on man-animal conflict, including dissemination of information through various forms of media.

It is necessary to include positive interactions, coexistence, and attitudes of tolerance toward wildlife.

Skill-development programs for people living in and around the forest would offer them better opportunities for self-employment and consequently reduce the combined pressures on agricultural land as well as forest land.

Specific targets for coexistence must be key elements within the Global Biodiversity Framework of the CBD.

Global leaders such as those at the CoP work hand-in-hand with local communities and other stakeholders across Asia and the world to secure a future in which Wildlife and people live in harmony.

Implementing Wildlife Institute of India Guidelines “Eco-Friendly Measures to Mitigate Impacts of linear infrastructure on Wildlife”

These guidelines suggest modification in the designs of the linear infrastructures by way of providing an eco-friendly structure that will ensure the safe movement of wildlife across these linear infrastructures.

Flag Code of India 2022

In News:

National Flag can now be flown day and night if  it has been hoisted in the open or on the house of a member of the public (previously it was allowed only from sunrise to sunset)

Previous amendments to the Flag Code:

2002: SC judgement: Common citizens could hoist and unfurl the national flag 24 hours a day (day and night) at their homes and office locations

The Indian national flag or Tricolour can be made of polyester and with the help of machines (previously only Khadi was allowed)

Har Ghar Tiranga: It is a campaign under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to encourage people to bring the Tiranga home and to hoist it to mark the 75th year of India’s independence. (people are encouraged to hoist a flag in their home from 13 to 15th August)

Art 51A(a) – To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.

Statutes Governing Use of Flag:

Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.

Prevention of Insults to National Honor Act, 1971.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2.0

In News:

Ministry of Tourism (MOT) revamps Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Key features of the revamped scheme:

Develop sustainable and responsible tourism

Development of benchmark and standards

Promote domestic tourism mainly in tier-II and tier-III cities

State government will designate implementing agencies for the projects (earlier ministry of tourism used to do that)

100% centrally funded

About Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

Tourism Ministry launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme in 2014 to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country using 100% central funds and CSR funding.

Funding of individual projects will vary from state to state and will be finalised on the basis of detailed project reports prepared by PMC (Programme Management Consultant).

Status of the Tourism sector: India’s Tourism is ranked in 10th position (World Travel and Tourism Council’s report in 2019 in terms of contribution to GDP). It contributed 6.8% to India’s GDP and 8% of the total employment created.

India has 40 sites listed under World Heritage List (32 cultural, 7 natural and 1 mixed site)

India recently came up with Draft National Tourism Policyfocusing on Green, and digital tourism. Its main points were-

  • Industry status of the tourism sector
  • focus on green, digital, destination management, skilling and tourism-related support to MSMEs

Other initiatives: Namaste India, Incredible India, PRASAD Scheme