GS M Paper II
Polity and Governance
Government Policies and Implementation Issues/Food Security
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana extended till Deepawali
- Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his address to the nation took the extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY-III) until the Deepawali i.e. November 2021.
- FCI is transporting food grains all across the country to ensure smooth supply to all States/ UT Governments.
- The Government of India will bear the entire cost on account of such distribution including food subsidy, intra-state transportation, and dealer’s margin/ additional dealers margin, without any sharing by States/ UTs.
- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana facilitates the supply of free food grains to the beneficiaries amidst the ongoing COVID pandemic and provides food security to the beneficiaries.
- The Government of India announced Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) to ameliorate the hardship faced by the poor due to economic disruption caused by the Coronavirus.
- Under the scheme, free food grains @ 5 kg per person per month are being distributed to beneficiaries covered under NFSA.
National Food Security Act (NFSA)
- The act’s primary purpose is to provide for food and nutritional security by making food accessible both quantitatively and qualitatively at affordable prices to people.
- The Scheme was launched in Assam on 24th December 2015.
- The National Food Security Act (NFSA) has been notified by the Government of India on 10th September, 2013, the act comprises:
Midday meal scheme
Public Distribution System [PDS]
Integrated Child development services [ICDS]
- NITI Aayog & Piramal Foundation Launch Surakshit Hum Surakshit Tum Abhiyaan in 112 Aspirational Districts
- NITI Aayog and Piramal Foundation launched Surakshit Hum Surakshit Tum Abhiyaan in 112 Aspirational Districts to assist district administrations in providing home-care support to Covid-19 patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.
- As per NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Surakshit Hum Surakshit Tum Abhiyaan is a significant initiative that responds to immediate needs and will provide long-term support to India’s poorest communities in the Aspirational Districts by addressing the lasting impact of Covid-19.
- India elected to UN Economic and Social Council for 2022-24 term
- India to a part of the Economic and Social Council, one of the six main organs of the United Nations, for the 2022-24 term.
- India was elected in the Asia-Pacific States category along with Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Oman in the elections held on 7th June.
- India is currently serving the 2021-22 term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and will assume the Presidency of the 15-nation UN organ in August.
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
- The UN Charter established ECOSOC in 1945 as one of the six main organs of the United Nations.
- The 54-member Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is at the heart of the United Nations system to advance the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social, and environmental.
- It is the central platform for fostering debate and innovative thinking, forging consensus on ways forward, and coordinating efforts to achieve internationally agreed goals.
- It is also responsible for the follow-up to major UN conferences and summits.
- ECOSOC’s 54 members are elected for three-year terms by the General Assembly.
- Seats on the Council are allotted based on geographical representation with 14 allocated to African states, 11 to Asian states, six to Eastern European states, 10 to Latin American and Caribbean states, and 13 to western European and other states.
India and its Neighborhood
- India by his side, Maldives minister Abdulla Shahid is UNGA president
- Maldives Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid was elected president of the 76th UNGA with an overwhelming majority
- This is a post held on an annual basis, rotated among various regional groupings.
- The 76th session (2021-22) is the turn of the Asia-Pacific group.
- This is the first time the Maldives will occupy the office.
- India’s support in the election indicates an improvement in the bilateral relationship between the two maritime neighbors compared to the period of the previous regime in the Maldives when Chines domination marred the India-Maldives relations.
GS M Paper III
- CESL and Ladakh sign an MoU to make the Union Territory carbon neutral
- Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) under the Ministry of Power has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Administration of Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh, to make it a clean and green UT.
- Beginning with a pilot in the Zanskar valley area, CESL will take up solar mini and microgrid solutions, energy-efficient lighting, energy storage-based solutions, efficient cooking stoves, and electric mobility solutions in the UT.
- CESL will build the EV ecosystem for the UT, focusing on EV charging infrastructure which will utilize renewable sources of power, and electric vehicles (EVs) that are being tested for high altitudes.
- This is slated to help India achieve the sustainable development goals [SDGs] recognized under the Paris Agreement.
- A 100% owned subsidiary of EESL – Convergence Energy Services Limited (Convergence), a new energy company is focused on delivering clean, affordable, and reliable energy.
- Convergence focuses on energy solutions that lie at the confluence of renewable energy, electric mobility, and climate change.
- FDA approves much-debated Biogen’s drug Aducanumab to treat Alzheimer’s disease
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new drug developed by Biogen for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in nearly 20 years.
- At present, both Alzheimer’s disease and most causes of dementia have no cure and as a result, are irreversible.
- Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that usually appears in individuals who are in their mid-60s.
- Very rarely, it may occur in individuals younger than 65 years of age, when it is referred to as early-onset Alzheimer’s.
- The disease was first described by Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and manifests itself by disrupting the message-carrying neurotransmitters after it destroys brain cells and nerves.
- A person with Alzheimer’s also loses the ability to perform day-to-day tasks.