25 years of Kudumbashree
Syllabus: GS1/ Social, Women Empowerment, GS2/ Government policies & intervention
• President Droupadi Murmu recently inaugurated the silver jubilee celebrations of Kudumbashree, the country’s largest network of self-help groups.
- The State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) of the Government of Kerala implements the Kudumbashree poverty eradication and women’s empowerment program.
- In Malayalam, the name Kudumbashree means “prosperity of the family.”
- In 1997, Kudumbashree was established based on the recommendations of a three-member Task Force appointed by the government of Kerala.In 2011, the Government of India’s Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) designated Kudumbashree as the State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM).
- It has a three-tiered structure for its women’s community network, with Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs) at the bottom, Area Development Societies (ADS) in the middle, and Community Development Societies (CDS) at the local government level.
- Kudumbashree has performed the most significant role in bringing women to the forefront in Kerala. They assist women with microfinancing and the establishment of microbusinesses, as well as with institutions for the disabled and the male-dominated construction industry.
- Studies and surveys, such as NITI Aayog’s Multidimensional Poverty Index, have highlighted Kudumbashree’s success in reducing poverty.
- It has established “Janakeeya Hotels” throughout the state, which provide inexpensive meals. Currently, it operates 125 restaurants that offer dishes for 20 rupees.
- In numerous ways, the talents and abilities of the Kudumbashree women were utilized to manage COVID-19 in the state.
- Women members have also ventured into organic farming, tourism, agribusiness, poultry, food processing, and a number of microbusinesses as a result of the mission. The state mission has a platform for e-commerce to market Kudumbashree products.
- Amrutham Nutrimix, a branded nutritional food mix produced and disseminated by Kudumbashree for children at anganwadis, won the Glenmark Nutrition Award for 2022, which was organized in partnership with the World Food Programme of the United Nations.
• Struggle for power: The Kudumbashree units have become effective at mobilizing individuals and gaining access to financial resources. Increasing financial strength and independence of Kudumbashree, as well as its potential to become a political training ground for women, have begun to cause concern among many local government officials.
• Politicalization – the emergence of ‘Janashree’: It is alleged that they are compelled to perform work for political parties and instructed to attend meetings and rallies of political parties that control the local government in question.
• Social exclusion: Due to financial and time constraints, it was difficult for women from the poorest households to perform leadership roles, and some were unable to join the groups at all.
• Delayed service: The deliberate delaying of funds to Kudumbashree by local governments, as well as the diversion or non-disbursement of funds intended for the program.
• Unsustainable micro enterprises: About 80 percent SHG members who are conducting micro enterprises lack entrepreneurial skills. Over sixty percent of businesses are deemed unsustainable, but continue to operate in order to receive government subsidies and other benefits.
• Microcredit: insufficient monitoring: There is no appropriate monitoring or follow-up system in place to ensure that the loan is used for its intended purpose.
• The process of community development is characterized by the concerted efforts of community members to take action and generate solutions to shared problems. Thus, development can only be achieved through the effective operation of CBOs. In Kerala, the presence of Kudumbashree’s women’s community network contributes to the women affiliated with this CBO’s empowerment, livelihood management, and capacity enhancement.
2023 World Health Statistics
Syllabus: GS2/ Health
• The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released World Health Statistics 2023.
About the World Health Statistics
• Since 2005, the WHO has published an annual compendium of health and health-related indicators in this report.
• Each edition of the World Health Statistics reports contains the most up-to-date health statistics for WHO Member States.
- COVID damage:
- According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) updated estimates in a new report, the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused over 20 million fatalities. 336,8 million life-years have been lost worldwide as a result of the pandemic.
- Years of life lost (YLL) is a measure of premature mortality that considers both the frequency and age of death. The YLL is highest between the ages of 55 and 64, with a total of more than 90 million years of life lost.
- Globally, 14.9 million excess fatalities could be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic by the end of 2021, according to WHO.
- The official death toll is approximately seven million, but the actual number could be closer to 20 million.
- Those aged 45 and older were also disproportionately afflicted by the pandemic.
- Stalled progress on key health indicators:
- The report found that progress on important health indicators has significantly stalled since 2015, compared to the trends observed between 2000 and 2015.
- The COVID-19 pandemic was also responsible for the worsening of numerous health-related indicators.
- Non-attainment of SDGs:
- The stagnation of health advancements poses a threat to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets mandated by the United Nations.
- The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined in Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, also known as the 2030 Agenda, are intended to mobilize global efforts to end poverty, promote peace, protect the rights and dignity of all people, and protect the planet.
- Need of investments:
- The report advocates for a significant increase in investments in health and health systems in order to get back on track with the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Globally, population health has significantly improved since 2000.
- Child mortality has decreased by half,
- Maternal mortality has decreased by a third,
- The incidence of numerous infectious diseases, including HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria, has decreased.
- The risk of premature death from noncommunicable diseases and injuries has decreased, and the global life expectancy at birth has increased from 67 years in 2000 to 73 years in 2019.
- Non-communicable diseases (NCD):
- Since 2015, the rate of progress has deteriorated and the burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) has increased dramatically.
- According to the paper, the world faces a growing hazard from noncommunicable diseases (NCD) and climate change.
- Without rapid progress, no region will meet the SDG target for NCD mortality by 2030, and only half will do so by 2048, according to the world health organization.
- Health burdon of NCDs:
- The leading cause of health burden is still noncommunicable diseases, and their impact has increased over the past two decades.
- For example, in 2000, non-communicable diseases accounted for 61% of annual fatalities. In 2019, they accounted for approximately 75% of all fatalities.
- Similarly, noncommunicable diseases accounted for 47 percent of global disability-adjusted life years (1.3 billion years) in 2000; by 2019, they will account for 63 percent (1.6 billion years).
- If this trend persists, the proportion of deaths attributable to noncommunicable diseases could reach 86 percent or 77 million per year by the middle of this century.
- Many millions could be saved through preventative measures, early detection, and treatment.
Maternal & neonatal mortality ratio:
- The annual rate of reduction (ARR) of the global maternal mortality ratio between 2000 and 2015 was 2.7%.
- However, this decreased to -0.04% between 2016 and 2020.
- The ARR decreased from 4% in the first decade (2000-2009) to 2.7% in the second (2010-2022).
- In the meantime, the ARR of the perinatal mortality rate decreased from 3.2% (2000-2009) to 2.2% (2010-2021). Since 2015, this decline has been particularly pronounced.
- Ambitious goals: According to the WHO, some indicators are far from reaching the midpoint of the required trajectories to attain their respective SDG goals.
|Sustainable Development Goals
Indian government’s Initiatives for health sector:
Project Human PanGenome
Syllabus: GS3/Science & Tech
• A new study published in the journal Nature describes a Pan genome reference map constructed from the genomes of 47 unidentified individuals.
What is a genome?
- Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid (DNA) is the molecule that stores the genetic information of all living organisms. The entirety of an organism’s DNA is referred to as its genome.
- The human genome consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes located in the nucleus of the cell as well as a minor chromosome located in the mitochondria.
- A genome contains all the necessary information for an organism to develop and function.Some genomes, such as those found in viruses and bacteria, are exceedingly small, whereas the genomes of some plants are almost inexplicably large.
- Each DNA strand is composed of four chemical units known as nucleotide bases, which make up the genetic “alphabet.” Adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C) are the bases.
- Bases on opposing strands form specific pairings: an A always couples with a T, and a C always pairs with a G. As with words, the order of the As, Ts, Cs, and Gs determines the meaning of the information encoded in that portion of the DNA molecule.
- Genome sequencing is the technique used to determine the precise order of the four letters and their arrangement in chromosomes.
- The sequencing of individual genomes allows us to comprehend human genetic diversity and disease susceptibility.
|The Human Genome Project
What is a reference genome?
• When genomes are sequenced for the first time, they are compared to a reference map called a reference genome.This allows us to comprehend the regions where the newly sequenced genome differs from the reference genome.
• The creation of the first reference genome in 2001 was one of the scientific breakthroughs of the 21st century. It helped scientists discover thousands of genes linked to various diseases, better comprehend diseases like cancer at the genetic level, and design novel diagnostic tests.
• Despite being a remarkable achievement, the reference genome of 2001 was only 92% complete and contained numerous errors. In addition, it was not representative of all humans because it was constructed primarily from the genome of a single person of mixed African and European descent.
• Since then, the complete end-to-end sequences of all 23 human chromosomes have been incorporated into the reference genome map.
What is a Pangenome map?
• Unlike the previous reference genome, which is a linear sequence, the pangenome is a graph. • The pangenome was constructed using the genomes of 19 men and 28 women primarily from Africa, but also from the Caribbean, Americas, East Asia, and Europe.
• The graph of each chromosome resembles a bamboo stem with nodes where a stretch of sequences from all 47 individuals converge (are similar) and internodes of varying lengths representing genetic differences among those individuals of diverse ancestries.
• Long-read DNA sequencing technologies generate tens of thousands of nucleotide-long contiguous DNA strands. These technologies were utilized by the researchers in the pangenome project to generate complete and continuous chromosome maps.
o Using extended reads enables the assembly of sequences with fewer errors and the sequencing of repetitive regions of chromosomes that were previously difficult to sequence using short-read technologies.
Genome not included
• Although the initiative represents a significant advancement, genomes from many populations are not yet included. In the current iteration of the pangenome map, more genomes from Africa, the Indian subcontinent, indigenous groups in Asia and Oceania, and West Asian regions are not represented.
Why is a pangenome map important?
• Although the DNA of any two humans is over 99% identical, there is still a 0.4% difference between any two individuals.
• Given that the human genome is composed of 3.2 billion nucleotides, the difference between any two individuals is a staggering 12.8 million nucleotides.
• A complete and error-free map of the human pangenome will help us better understand and explain these differences and human diversity.It will also help us comprehend the genetic variations that result in underlying health conditions in certain populations.
• The pangenome reference map has already aided in the discovery of 150 new genes linked to autism by adding nearly 119 million new letters to the existing genome map.
Panthera and the WildCRU at Oxford University collaborate to protect Africa’s lions.
Syllabus: GS3/ Conservation
• Panthera, the global organization for the conservation of wild cats, has appointed Andrew Loveridge as Lion Program Director, a position shared with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) of Oxford University.
- WildCRU is a research unit within the Department of Biology at Oxford University, with a concentration on wild carnivore research and threat mitigation, and the host of a notable early-career conservation training program.
- Panthera and WildCRU, under the direction of Dr. Loveridge, seek to develop programs that help reverse lion declines in sites with recovery potential, preserve genetic diversity, and safeguard and connect priority populations through comprehensive threat mitigation.
- Both organizations have supported conservation efforts in 12 countries, including landscapes covering 67 percent of the lion’s range and 70 percent of Africa’s remaining 24,000 lions.
- The efforts will include high-tech law enforcement and anti-poaching partnerships, community engagement, conservation education, behavior change campaigns, monitoring of lions and their prey, and meaningful local incentives for conservation.
• In Africa, wild lion populations have experienced catastrophic declines in recent decades due to poaching for the illicit wildlife trade, habitat loss, and human-animal conflict.
• In the 1970s, it was estimated that approximately 100,000 lions roamed Africa, representing a decline of 75% over the past five decades.
• Cooperation is the optimal strategy. The consolidation of institutions can only be a good thing. Combining thought and action increases fortitude and resiliency.
Syllabus: GS3/ Environment
• As part of the Namami Gange initiative, over 4,000 Ganga Prahari volunteers have been preventing littering and poaching in the river to preserve its flora and fauna.
• Ganga Prahari (guardian) is a volunteer task force established by the National Mission for Clean Ganga and the Wildlife Institute of India (NMCG-WII) as part of the Namami Gange initiative to cover 8,61 billion square kilometers of the river basin.
• The Ganga Prahari project commenced in 2016.
• The task force now includes more than 4,000 volunteers in 100 districts throughout Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, and West Bengal.
• It monitors river protection, prevents pollution, and reports instances of poaching.
• The ‘Namami Gange Programme’ is an Integrated Conservation Mission designated as the ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in 2014 in order to achieve the twin goals of effective pollution abatement, conservation, and revitalization of the National River Ganga.
• Namami Gange’s primary pillars are Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure, River-Surface Cleaning, Reforestation, Industrial Effluent Monitoring, River-Front Development, Bio-Diversity, Public Awareness, and Ganga Gram.Entry-Level Activities (for immediate visible impact), Medium-Term Activities (to be implemented within 5 years), and Long-Term Activities (to be implemented within 10 years) comprise its implementation.
• In December 2022, the United Nations acknowledged the initiative as one of the top 10 World Restoration Flagships devoted to revitalizing the natural world during the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) – a global movement coordinated by the UN Environment Programme and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
Subsidy for 2-wheel electric vehicles
Syllabus: GS – 3 / Economy
• Effective 1 June, the Ministry of Heavy Industries will reduce the subsidy to?10,000 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from the current?15,000. The reduced subsidy would apply to all electric motorcycles registered on or after June 1st.FAME I
• The National Electric Mobility Mission launched the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) initiative in 2015.
• It was created to encourage the procurement of electric and hybrid vehicles by providing financial incentives.
In April 2019, the second phase of FAME II was initiated. It has been extended until March 31, 2024, at a cost of 10,000 crore rupees.
• It offers incentives for three-wheeled electric vehicles, four-wheeled electric vehicles, and electric buses. Electric two-wheelers registered privately are also eligible for subsidies.
• Demand is intended to be stimulated by supporting 7,000 e-buses, 500,000 electric three-wheelers, 55,000 electric vehicles, and 1 million electric two-wheelers.
- Citizen scientists and researchers have discovered the country’s first evidence of wolf-dog hybridization.
- A group of nature enthusiasts near Pune, Maharashtra, captured on camera a creature suspected to be a wolf-dog hybrid with an unusually golden pelt.
- The citizen scientists observed that the individual appeared distinct from the other members of the wolf pack. They pursued the animal and gathered hair filaments.
- The researchers then utilized 11 complete wolf genomes and 16 complete dog genomes from various parts of the globe.
• This is the first evidence of such hybridization in the country.
• The genomic results confirm the presence of wolf-dog hybridization in peninsular India and shed light on the complexity and scope of current hybridization and dog introgression into the wolf population.
• The first genetic detection of wolf-dog hybridization in Indian savannahs suggested that wolf (Canis lupus)-dog (Canis lupus familiaris) hybridisation may result in a drastic reduction of certain adaptations in wolves, ultimately resulting in a decline in wolf populations.
• Such hybridization among canid species is complicated. In contrast to the majority of other mammalian species, where males are infertile, both sexes of canid hybrids are fertile. This allows the introduction of dog DNA into wolf genomes and vice versa.
• The disintegration of wolf packs and disruption of their social structure may be caused by high population turnover and the loss of reproductive members. These factors can also enhance the hybridization rate.
• These scenarios could propel these natural populations into a vortex of hybridization, resulting in their eventual extinction due to hybridization.
Why is it the first such detection?
• The country is vast and megadiverse, and the human–wildlife interface is substantial in magnitude and scope.
• Inadequate detection rates and a dearth of laboratories to integrate field sampling with conservation genomics.
• Due to the complicated history and genetic ancestry of both subspecies, identifying hybridization events between wild species and their domestic counterparts is not simple.
- The recent availability of genomic resources for both domestic canines and wolves sheds new light on wolf-dog hybridization.
- The research results provide crucial information that can aid in the understanding of the relationship between wolves and canines and their interaction, as well as pave the way for conservation efforts.
- The work exemplifies a novel paradigm for future conservation, involving citizens and cutting-edge technology to acquire data at large spatial scales and address conservation questions to ensure species survival.
Support For Medical Device Clusters With Common Facilities Program
Syllabus: GS3/ Science and Tech / Health
• The Centre has announced a new initiative titled “Assistance to Medical Device Clusters for Common Facilities”
- The plan calls for the establishment of additional quality testing laboratories, the creation of shared infrastructure facilities, and the provision of financial assistance to manufacturers.
- The Department of Pharmaceuticals issued guidelines for the scheme in light of the recently introduced National Medical Devices Policy.The duration of the program is from 2023-24 to 2026-27.
Indian medical device industry
• The Indian market for medical devices is presently the fourth largest in Asia, behind Japan, China, and South Korea.It is estimated to be $11 billion and could reach $50 billion by 2030.
National Medical Devices Policy, 2023
• The 2023 Policy establishes a goal for India to attain a 10-12% share of the global market for medical devices, increase the sector’s size from USD 11 billion to USD 50 billion by 2030, and outlines strategies to achieve this goal. Among the important aspects of this Policy are the following:
• Regulatory simplification: This includes single-window approval for medical device licensing and revision of pricing regulations.
• Investment: Through initiatives like Make in India, Ayushman Bharat, and Start-up Mission, private investment in the sector will increase.
• Infrastructure: The Policy recommends establishing and enhancing industrial parks that develop and manufacture medical devices. Under the National Logistics Policy of 2021, these will receive logistical support and connectivity.
• Human resource development: The Policy proposes involving the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to strengthen the qualified labor force in this sector. The Policy also seeks to encourage the implementation of medical device development-focused courses in educational institutions.
• Brand positioning and awareness: An Export Promotion Council under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers will conduct research on manufacturing best practices and talent development.