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August 30, 2019
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31 August Current Affairs

Fit India Movement

In News:

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Fit India Movement on the occasion of National Sports Day.


The Fit India movement is aimed at encouraging people to inculcate physical activity and sports in their day to day life.

PM Modi said many lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension are increasing in India and small lifestyle changes can prevent these diseases. He asserted that the Fit India Movement is to inspire the country for these changes.

Sports has a direct relation to fitness but ‘Fit India Movement’ aims to go beyond fitness. Fitness is not just a word but an essential pillar to a healthy and prosperous life.

In his words, “Fitness is zero percent investment with infinite returns.”

E-Course On Vulnerability Atlas

In News:

Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs launched an e-Course on Vulnerability Atlas of India.


The objective of the course is to create awareness and understanding about natural hazards and help in identification of regions with high vulnerability such as earthquakes, and landslides.

The e-course would be a tool for effective and efficient disaster mitigation and management in the field of architecture, civil engineering, urban and regional planning, housing and infrastructure planning, construction engineering.

The course would be offered by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs in collaboration with School of Planning & Architecture (SPA), New Delhi and Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC).

Angikaar Campaign

In News:

Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs announced “Angikaar”, a campaign for change management.


The campaign will be rolled out in all Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) [PMAY (U)] cities.

It will be initiated in all target cities on 2nd October 2019 and culminate on the occasion of Human Rights Day, 10th December, 2019.

Angikaar has been launched for social behaviour change, focusing on issues such as water & energy conservation, waste management, health, tree plantation, sanitation and hygiene for beneficiaries of completed houses under PMAY (U), through community mobilisation.

For this purpose, the campaign will converge with schemes/services of various urban missions and other central ministries dealing with these subjects.

The convergence would especially focus on Ujjwala for gas connection and Ayushman Bharat for health insurance to the beneficiaries of PMAY (U).

North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP)

In News:

Ministry of DoNER has informed that North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP) has improved livelihoods of 300,000 households in 11 districts of Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.


Bodies involved: NERLP is World Bank aided, multi-state livelihood project under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).

Launched in: 2012.

Coverage: The project has been implemented in 11 districts of Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.

Objective: To improve rural livelihoods especially that of women, unemployed youth and the most disadvantaged, in four North Eastern States.

Strategy: The project has focussed on five development strategies, namely, social empowerment, economic empowerment, partnership development, project management and livelihood & value chain developments.

Influenza A (H1N1) In India – Changing Epidemiology And Its Implications (2019 Study)

In News:

In the National Medical Journal of India, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) researchers recently published a study titled ‘Influenza A (H1N1) in India – changing epidemiology and its implications’.

Key Findings:

In April 2009, the first case of influenza A H1N1 was reported in Mexico. Later the infection spread and a total of 214 countries were affected by the pandemic worldwide.

In India, the past decade (2009-2019) saw as many as 1.58 lakh persons being infected by the virus and over 10,000 succumbing to it.

Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases (33,284) and deaths (3,637) since pandemic influenza struck in 2009.

H1N1 Flu Virus (Swine Flu):

Swine flu is an infection caused by type A influenza viruses.

Who are infected? It’s named for a virus that pigs can get. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. In 2009 a strain of swine flu called H1N1 infected many people around the world. The virus is contagious and can spread from human to human.

Symptoms: Symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

Status Of Policing In India Report 2019

In News:

A new report titled “Status of Policing in India Report 2019: Police Adequacy and Working Conditions” was released by Common Cause and the Lokniti programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS).

Key findings of the report: 

28% police personnel believe that pressure from politicians is the biggest hindrance in a crime investigation. The other obstacles cited were related to society, legal systems and internal working systems in police.

38% personnel reported always facing pressure from politicians in cases of crime involving influential persons. Roughly one third also reported “always” facing pressure from their seniors in the police force.

50 % of police personnel feel that Muslims are likely to be “naturally prone” to committing crimes.

35 % of police personnel think it is natural for a mob to punish the “culprit” in cases of cow slaughter, and 43 % think it is natural for a mob to punish someone accused of rape.

37 per cent personnel feel that for minor offences, a small punishment should be handed out by the police rather than a legal trial.

Study To Check Antibiotic Resistance In Ganga

In News:

The Union Government has commissioned a study to assess the microbial diversity along the entire length of the Ganga and test if stretches of the river contain microbes that may promote “antibiotic resistance”.


Duration: The project is expected to last two years.

It is will be undertaken by: Motilal Nehru Institute of Technology, Allahabad; National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur; Sardar Patel Institute of Science & Technology, Gorakhpur, as well as start-up companies, Phixgen and Xcelris Labs.

Parent programme: The research project will be undertaken by the National Mission for Clean Ganga under the Jal Shakti Ministry.

Aims of the study: 

To assess the microbial diversity along the entire length of the Ganga.

To indicate the type of “contamination” (sewage and industrial) in the river and “threat to human health (antibiotic resistance surge)”.

To identify sources of Eschericia coli, a type of bacteria that lives in the gut of animals and humans. While largely harmless, some species have been linked to aggravating antibiotic resistance.


In News:

The Prohibition of E-cigarettes Ordinance 2019 is being sent to a Group of Ministers as directed by the Prime Minister’s Office.


The ordinance makes any violation of its provisions punishable by imprisonment of one to three years, and a fine of Rs 1-5 lakh.

The draft ordinance was necessitated by the fact that an earlier order by the Centre asking the states to crack down against e-cigarettes could not stand judicial scrutiny.

However, a recent order, in which the High Court threw out a petition asking for protection from an ordinance against e-cigarettes, has emboldened the Health Ministry.


The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended ‘complete’ ban on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), including e-cigarettes. The recommendation is based on currently available scientific evidence.

Why ICMR has recommended a complete ban?

Addictive in nature: e-cigarettes and other such devices contained not only nicotine solution, that was highly addictive, but also harmful ingredients like flavoring agents and vaporisers. Availability of flavour variants and attractive designs are adding to allure of devices, and globally there was an increasing trend of e-cigarettes consumption among youth and adolescents.

Use of ENDS or e-cigarettes can open a gateway for new tobacco addiction among the masses as on the balance, these have a negative impact on public health.

Prolonged use of ENDS or e-cigarettes has documented adverse impact on humans which includes DNA damage, respiratory/cardiovascular/ neurological Disorders, carcinogenic/cellular/molecular/immunological Toxicity and even have adverse effects on fetal development and pregnancy.

Research has found that youths using e-cigarettes (or other such devices) are more likely to use regular cigarettes in later period. The exposure to ENDS increases the likelihood to experiment with regular products and increase intention to indulge in cigarette smoking.

What are e-cigarettes?

An electronic cigarette (or e-cig) is a battery-powered vaporizer that mimics tobacco smoking. It works by heating up a nicotine liquid, called “juice.”

Nicotine juice (or e-juice) comes in various flavors and nicotine levels. e-liquid is composed of five ingredients: vegetable glycerin (a material used in all types of food and personal care products, like toothpaste) and propylene glycol (a solvent most commonly used in fog machines.) propylene glycol is the ingredient that produces thicker clouds of vapor.

Proponents of e-cigs argue that the practice is healthier than traditional cigarettes because users are only inhaling water vapor and nicotine.

Why its hard to regulate them?

As e-cigarettes contain nicotine and not tobacco, they do not fall within the ambit of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA), which mandates stringent health warnings on the packaging and advertisements of tobacco products.

Need for regulation: The current unregulated sale of e-cigarettes is dangerous for a country like India where the number of smokers is on the decline (WHO Global Report, 2015) as it increases the possibility of e-cigarettes becoming a gateway for smoking by inducing nicotine addiction and perpetuating smoking by making it more attractive, thereby encouraging persons to become users of tobacco as well as e-cigarettes.

WHO report on e- cigarettes and effects:

As per the report, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) (also known as e-cigarettes) emits nicotine, the addictive component of tobacco products. In addition to dependence, nicotine can have adverse effects on the development of the foetus during pregnancy and may contribute to cardiovascular disease.

The WHO report further says that although nicotine itself is not a carcinogen, it may function as a “tumour promoter” and seems to be involved in the biology of malignant disease, as well as of neurodegeneration.

Foetal and adolescent nicotine exposure may have long-term consequences for brain development, potentially leading to learning and anxiety disorders.

The evidence is sufficient to warn children and adolescents, pregnant women, and women of reproductive age against ENDS use and nicotine.

Project 75I

The Project 75I-class submarine is a follow-on of the Project 75 Kalvari-class submarines for the Indian Navy.

Under this project, the Indian Navy intends to acquire six diesel-electric submarines, which will also feature advanced air-independent propulsion systems to enable them to stay submerged for longer duration and substantially increase their operational range.

The procurement is under the Strategic Partnership (SP) model, and is the second project to be processed through this route after the Navy’s tender for utility helicopters.

Dindigul lock and the Kandangi saree from Tamil Nadu — were given the GI tag

The famous Dindigul locks are known throughout the world for their superior quality and durability, so much so that even the city is called Lock City.

The original Kandangi saree is manually made using a winding machine, loom, shuttle and bobbin. It is a team effort of the families who live in the town of Karaikudi and it forms part of their livelihood. These sarees are characterised by the large contrast borders, and some of them are known to have borders covering as much as two-thirds of the saree.

The sarees are usually around 5.10 meters – 5.60 meters in length. The Kandangi sarees exude brilliant colours like bright yellow, orange, red and a minimal black in the traditional pattern of stripes or checks with broad borders woven in coarse cotton. Over the years, more interesting colours have been introduced for the saree, which is worn in a particular manner.