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Day Against Malaria

Tags: GS 2, Health

In News

  • World Malaria Day is celebrated on April 25.

World Malaria Day

  • It is an annual international celebration commemorating global efforts to combat malaria.
  • Theme – “Time to deliver zero malaria: invest, innovate, implement”.
  • The first World Malaria Day was observed in 2008. It originated with Africa Malaria Day.
  • Only HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and hepatitis have disease-specific global awareness days officially endorsed by WHO.


  • Malaria is a potentially fatal disease caused by parasites (Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium malariae, and Plasmodium ovale) transmitted by infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
  • Parasites in the human body proliferate in liver cells before attacking Red Blood Cells (RBCs).
  • There are five species of Plasmodium parasites that cause malaria in humans, P. falciparum and P. vivax being the most dangerous.
  • It is prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, South America, and Asia. • It can be prevented and treated.
  • Malaria is characterized by fever, shivers, a headache, and other flu-like symptoms.
  • Infants, children under 5 years of age, expectant women, travelers, and individuals with HIV or AIDS are at a greater risk of contracting a severe infection.

India’s Malaria Burden

  • India accounted for 79% of all malaria cases in Southeast Asia in 2021, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Malaria Report 2022.
  • Approximately 83% of all malaria fatalities in the region occurred in India.

Critical challenges on road to elimination

  • Malaria prevention is complicated by COVID-related disruptions, prospective climate change effects, humanitarian crises, health system shortfalls, and limited donor funding.
  • Absence of the private sector in the fight, hidden malaria burden, absence of intersectoral action, exclusion of private health providers (local/traditional healers), and lackadaisical communication regarding behavior change.

Malaria Vaccines

  • RTS,S:
  • RTS,S (marketed as Mosquirix) reduces malaria risk by nearly 40%.
  • It prepares the immune system to eliminate the malaria parasite
  • The Hyderabad-based company Bharat Biotech has been granted permission to manufacture this vaccine.
  • R21:
  • R21, also known as Matrix-M malaria vaccine, is the second vaccine ever developed for a disease (NOT APPROVED BY WHO YET)
  • Ghana and Nigeria have granted approval
  • manufactured by SII (Serum Institute of India), the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world.



  • WHO’s Initiatives: 
  • Under its ‘E-2025 Initiative’, the WHO has also designated 25 countries with the potential to eradicate malaria by 2025.
  • The Global technical strategy for malaria 2016–2030 developed by the World Health Organization seeks to reduce malaria case incidence and mortality rates by at least 40% by 2020, at least 75% by 2025, and at least 90% by 2030, relative to a 2015 baseline.
  • The World Health Organization has launched the High Burden to High Impact (HBHI) initiative in 11 countries with a high malaria burden, including India.
  • India’s Initiatives:
  • National Malaria Elimination Strategy (2016-2030)- India’s goal is to eliminate malaria by 2030 and be malaria-free by 2027.
  • MERA-India (Malaria Elimination Research Alliance-India)
  • Founded by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
  • The Health Ministry and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs have initiated a joint action plan for malaria elimination in tribal areas.
  • Monitoring of real-time data via an integrated health information platform (HIP-Malaria Portal).

Source: IE

Invented in India Portal

Tags: GS 2, Government Policies & Interventions, GS 3, Indian Economy & Related Issues

In News

  • The Ministry of Textiles has created an E-Commerce portal for the sector of handicrafts and handlooms.

About the Portal

  • This is an authentic Indian handloom and handicraft virtual store where artisans and weavers will be directly connected to consumers via a centralized platform.
  • Diverse authentic vendors, including artisans, weavers, producer companies, SHGs cooperative societies, etc., can register on this portal.
  • It offers a vast array of products, including clothing, home decor, jewelry, and more.


  • There will be multiple, secure payment gateways for a seamless transaction experience.
  • Sellers will receive free assistance from registration to order fulfillment to facilitate “ease of doing business.”
  • Sellers will receive free assistance from registration to order fulfillment to facilitate "ease of doing business."


Indian Handloom Industry

  • Handloom is the process of weaving cloth using a manually operated loom.
  • Handloom weaving is one of the largest economic activities after agriculture, providing direct and indirect employment to 35.23 lakh weavers and allied workers. India produces 95% of the world’s hand-woven fabric.
  • Indian Handloom Industry
  • The sector directly and indirectly employs 43.31 million weavers across the country, with 77% of them being women.
  • Nearly every Indian state has its own distinctive handloom product, such as Jacquard from Uttar Pradesh, Chanderi from Madhya Pradesh, Phulkar from Punjab, Brocade from Benares, and Daccai from West Bengal.

Indian  Handicrafts Industry

  • Handcrafted items are crafted by experienced artisans using traditional methods.
  • India manufactures woodware, artmetal artifacts, hand-printed textiles, embroidered goods, zari goods, imitation jewelry, sculptures, pottery, glassware, attars, and agarbattis, among other products.
  • Over 56% of the artisans in India’s handicraft industry are women, making up the majority of the industry.
  • There are 744 handicraft communities in the country that employ nearly 212,000 artisans and offer over 35,000 products. Major concentrations include Surat, Bareilly, Varanasi, Agra, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Chennai, and Mumbai.
  • India is one of the largest exporters of handicrafts and the market leader in terms of volume and value for handmade carpets.
  • India’s main export markets for handicrafts are the United States, the United Kingdom, Latin America, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, and Switzerland.
Indian  Handicrafts Industry

Indian Handicrafts Industry

Source: PIB


Day of the Panchayati Raj

Tags: GS 2, Polity and Governance

In News

  • Together with the Government of Madhya Pradesh, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj observed National Panchayati Raj Day (NPRD).

Major Highlights of the Day

  • The Prime Minister launched an integrated e-GramSwaraj and GeM portal for Panchayat-level public procurement.
  • The integration intends to enable panchayats to market their products and services via GeM by utilizing the e-GramSwaraj platform.
  • The Prime Minister presented SVAMITVA Property Cards to a select group of beneficiaries, marking the distribution of 1.25 crore property cards under the SVAMITVA Scheme in India.
  • The Prime Minister launched a website and mobile application for the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – SAMAAVESHI VIKAS” campaign.

About National Panchayati Raj Day

  • It is observed annually on April 24 in India to commemorate the introduction of the Panchayati Raj System in the country.
  • The Panchayati Raj System is a decentralized system of governance in India in which local bodies or Gram Panchayats have the authority to govern themselves and make decisions for the development of their respective regions.
  • This system was introduced in 1993 by the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, which intended to empower people in rural areas and bring democracy to the grassroots level.


Historical Linkages 

  • The Panchayati Raj System has its origins in ancient India, where the village council or Panchayat served as the primary governing body.
  • It was not until 1993 that the Panchayati Raj System was given constitutional status and made mandatory in all Indian states.
  • The Panchayati Raj System was revived in the early 1950s when the first National Development Council recommended the establishment of a democratic system of governance at the grassroots level.



  • The Panchayati Raj System has contributed significantly to the transformation of India’s rural landscape.
  • It has provided rural residents with a voice and the opportunity to participate in decision-making, resulting in the development of their respective regions. As decisions are made at the local level, the system has also assisted in decentralizing power and reducing corruption at higher levels of government.
  • The system has been effective in fostering socioeconomic development, advancing social justice, and empowering rural women.



•         SVAMITVA (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas): It is a Central Sector Scheme launched on National Panchayati Raj Day, April 24, 2020, by the Prime Minister.

•         It seeks to provide “Records of Rights”/Property Cards to rural household owners of the inhabited area of the village.

•          It encompasses multiple facets, including facilitating monetisation of properties and enabling bank loans; reducing property-related disputes; and comprehensive village-level planning.

•         It will further improve the socioeconomic profile of Panchayats, allowing them to become self-sufficient.

Source: ET

The First Water Body Census in India

Tags: GS 3, Conservation

In News

  • The Ministry of Jal Shakti has just published India’s first water bodies census report.

More about the census 

  • About:
  • The first water bodies census in India includes a comprehensive database of the country’s ponds, tanks, lakes, and reservoirs.
  • In 2018-19, the census counted more than 2,4 million bodies of water across all states and Union Territories.
  • Background:
  • Previously, the Center maintained a database of water bodies receiving central assistance through the Repair, Renovation, and Restoration (RRR) of water bodies program.
  • Recommendation for the census:
  • In 2016, a parliamentary standing committee recommended conducting a separate census of water bodies.
  • In 2018-19, the government commissioned the first census of aquatic bodies and the sixth census of Minor Irrigation (MI).
  • Objective of carrying out census:
  • The goal was to gather data “on all significant aspects of the subject, including their size, condition, status of encroachments, use, storage capacity, status of storage filling, etc.”

About “Water Bodies”

  • What consists of “Water Bodies”?
  • According to the First Census Report, water bodies include “all natural or man-made units bounded on all sides with some or no masonry work used for storing water for irrigation or other purposes (e.g. industrial, pisciculture, domestic/drinking, recreation, religious, ground water recharge, etc.)”
  • According to the census, water bodies “are typically of various types with various names, such as tanks, reservoirs, ponds, etc.”
  • A structure that collects water from melting ice, streams, springs, rain, or drainage from residential or other areas, or that stores water diverted from a stream, nala, or river, will also be considered a water body.
  • Excluded Water Bodies
  • Seven distinct categories of bodies of water were omitted from the count. They were:
  • Oceans and lagoons;
  • Free-flowing rivers, streams, springs, cascades, canals, etc., with no confined water storage;
  • Swimming pools;
  • Covered water tanks created for a specific purpose by a family or household for their own consumption;
  • A water tank constructed by a factory owner for consumption of water as raw material or consumable;
  • Temporary water bodies created by digging for mining, brick kilns, and construction activities, which may fill during the rainy season; and
  • Pucca open water tanks created only for cattle to drink.

Water bodies Census Data highlights

  • Districts with highest number of water bodies:
  •  According to the report, South 24 Pargana in West Bengal is the district with the most water bodies (3.55 million) in the entire country.
  • The district is followed by Ananthapur, Andhra Pradesh (50,537) and Howrah, West Bengal (37,301).
  • Encroachment of water bodies:
  • According to the census, 1.6% of recorded water bodies, or 38,496 out of 24,24,540, had been encroached upon.
  • In nearly 63% of encroached water bodies, less than one-fourth of the area was encroached;
  • In approximately 12% of water bodies, more than three-quarters of the area was invaded.
  • Uttar Pradesh was responsible for nearly 40 percent (15,301) of encroached water bodies, followed by Tamil Nadu (8,366) and Andhra Pradesh (3,920).
  • There were no reports of encroachment in West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, or Chandigarh.
  • According to the census, 1.6% of recorded water bodies, or 38,496 out of 24,24,540, had been encroached upon.
  • More than 95 percent of these were in rural areas, which makes sense given that more than 97 percent of the water bodies surveyed were in rural areas.
  • In approximately 12% of encroached water bodies, more than three-quarters of the area was encroached upon;
  • In nearly 63% of encroached water bodies, less than a quarter of the area was encroached upon.
  • Uttar Pradesh was responsible for nearly 40 percent (15,301) of encroached water bodies, followed by Tamil Nadu (8,366) and Andhra Pradesh (3,920).
  • There were no reports of encroachment in West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, or Chandigarh.

The First Water Body Census in India

Threats faced by water bodies in India

  • Increasing temperatures: 
  •  India is experiencing a repeat of conditions from 2021, when temperatures in some sections of the country reached 40 degrees Celsius as early as February.
  • Climate Change’s Impact:
  • The effects of climate change involve heat — increased and sweltering temperatures — and variable and extreme precipitation.
  • Both have a direct relationship to the hydrologic cycle.
  • Possibility of El Nino conditions:
  • Over the past few years, the world has experienced triple-dip La Nia, the Pacific water currents known to bring lower temperatures worldwide.
  • However, global warming has neutralized this La Nia chilling effect.
  • El Nino conditions will likely aggravate the situation.
  • Varying Rain Pattern:
  • The number of rainy days in India will continue to decrease, but the number of extremely rainy days will increase.
  • This will have a significant impact on India’s water management strategies.


Significance of Water Security for India & way ahead

  • To Address Rising Demand: 
  •  The total water demand in India is projected to increase by more than 70 percent by 2025, creating a massive demand-supply gap in the future years.
  • Ensuring Health:
  • ill water quality and inadequate access to sanitation are also significant contributors to disease and ill health.
  • Access to potable water will reduce health problems and medical costs.
  • Supporting Economy: 
  •  Adequate water security will function as a potentially significant stimulant to economic growth by lowering water infrastructure costs.

Source: IE

JNPP, the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant

Tags: GS 3, Science & Technology

In News 

  • Recently, Electricite de France (EDF) stated that nuclear liability issues for the Jaitapur project had not been resolved.

About Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP)

  • In 2008, an Indo-French agreement on the “peaceful use of nuclear energy” was signed, primarily for the construction of the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP).
  • India has announced plans to build six 1,650 MW nuclear power facilities at Jaitapur in Ratnagiri, which, once completed, could become the country’s largest nuclear power site with a 9,900 MW capacity.
  • Importance for India 
  • Nuclear power is clean and environmentally friendly, in addition to having enormous potential to assure the nation’s long-term energy security.
  • This initiative will represent the strong partnership between India and France, a commitment to a low-carbon future, and will directly benefit Maharashtra by creating tens of thousands of jobs.
  • It would provide power for seven billion households.
Nuclear liability conventions Across the globe

·         The IAEA serves as a depositary for several international legal instruments on civil liability for nuclear damage, which aim to ensure compensation is available for damage, including transboundary damage, caused by a nuclear incident at a nuclear installation or in the course of transporting nuclear material to an installation.

·         These include the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage and the Protocol to amend it, the Joint Protocol Relating to the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage and the Protocol to Amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability

  • Indian Scenario 
  • The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act came into existence in 2010.
  • The Act provides for civil liability for nuclear damage and prompt compensation to the victims of a nuclear incident.
  • Features 

•         Compensation for victims through a no-fault system

•         Exclusive jurisdictional competence and a compensation mechanism

•         Transfer of liability to the Operator

•         Limiting the quantity and duration of the operator’s liability

·         • Compulsory coverage by the operator through financial security or insurance


  • The issue stems from India’s Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act.
  • The act is deemed excessive by foreign corporations, which could be required to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in the event of a nuclear accident.
  • Consequently, despite having signed civil nuclear agreements with a number of nations, including the United States, France, and Japan, the only foreign presence in India is that of Russia in Kudankulam, ventures that predate the Law.
  • India has ratified the international convention on nuclear energy accident liability, which was viewed as an impediment to foreign investment in the nation.
  • It is believed that international manufacturers have been hesitant to launch nuclear projects in India due to the country’s domestic liability law, which holds everyone, including equipment suppliers, liable for any untoward incident.

Suggestions  and Way Forward 

  • India has taken measures to address the issue of civil nuclear liability in the past.
  • It published a list of frequently asked questions on “Civil Nuclear Liability” in February 2015 and launched the India Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP) in June of the same year.
  • INIP is an insurance pool that covers the prospective liability risk of equipment suppliers.
  • Technical, financial, and civil nuclear liability issues must be resolved as soon as possible.
  • Additional measures to increase the nation’s nuclear power plant output.
  • Administrative approval and financial sanction for the construction of ten (10) indigenous 700 MW Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) in fleet mode with equity support.
  • Resolving issues associated with the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act and establishing the Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP).
  • Amendment of the Atomic Energy Act to permit public-private partnerships to establish nuclear power initiatives.


Assisted Bomb

Tags: GS 3 Defence

In News

  • According to the Ukrainian government, the number of guided bomb attacks by Russian forces has increased.
  • According to Ukrainian military experts, Russia presently possesses two types of guided bombs.
  • The satellite-directed UPAB-1500B
  • High-explosive FAB-type warhead with wing attachments

What are Guided Bombs?

  • A guided bomb (also known as a smart bomb, guided bomb unit, or GBU) is a precision-guided munition intended to attain a lower circular error probable (CEP).
  • Unlike conventional bombs, guided bombs have small wings and tail surfaces that enable them to glide.
  • Guided bombs contain a guidance system that is typically monitored and controlled by an external device. To accommodate the guidance mechanisms, a guided bomb of a given weight must contain less explosives.

Reasons behind Increased use of Guided Bombs

  • By operating outside the range of most Ukrainian anti-aircraft and air defense systems, Russia can mitigate the risk of further aviation losses.
  • The Russian forces are delivering more guided bombs because they are running out of missiles and guided bombs are cheaper.

Challenges to Ukraine

  • Ukraine lacks air-to-air missiles with sufficient range to hit jets over Russian-controlled territory in order to destroy guided bombs.

Source: IE