UPSC CA: 21st October 2020

Anemia Mukt Bharat Index


  • Haryana State emerged as the best state in the Anemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) Index

Key Highlights:

  • Haryana was ranked at the top with an AMB Index of 46.7.
  • The state has also achieved 93% of immunization in the year 2019-2020 for the first time.
  • Haryana is one of 11 states in the country that have achieved National Health Policy targets well before 2020.
  • The institutional deliveries in the states have also increased to 93.7 % as a result of 24-hours delivery facilities.

About Anemia Mukt Bharat:

  • It is an initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and UNICEF.
  • The scheme has been launched in order to reduce the prevalence of Anemia across India. 
  • Anaemia Mukt Bharat strategy focuses on benefiting six target beneficiary groups, through six interventions and six institutional mechanisms.  
  • The programme is aimed at achieving the target of anaemia reduction under the POSHAN Abhiyan.

Provisions of the scheme:

  • The scheme provides for the supervised biweekly iron-folic acid(IFA) supplementation by the ASHA for all under-five children.
  • There is a provision of weekly IFA supplementation for 5-10 years old children
  • It provides for Annual or biannual deworming for children as well as adolescents.
  • Under the scheme, a point of care testing(POCT) and treatment is set up  for school adolescents and pregnant women that makes use of newer technologies.
  • The scheme establishes the institutional mechanisms to do advanced research in anaemia.
  • It also addresses the non-nutritional  causes of anaemia.


The North Atlantic Treaty organisation (NATO)


  • The North Atlantic Treaty organisation (NATO) will set up a new Space Centre in Ramstein, Germany. 

Key points:

  • The centre will serve as a co-ordination Centre for space observation. 
  • It will gather information regarding the possible threats that satellites might face. The centre will be developed as a command centre for defensive measures in future. 
  • This centre is being set up under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty organisation.
  • This is a countermeasure against the aggressive policies of China and Russia. 
  • NATO countries are developing anti-satellite systems in order to disable the blind satellites that create dangerous debris in the orbit.

About North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO):

  • NATO is also called the North Atlantic Alliance. 
  • It is an intergovernmental military alliance. It comprises 30 North American and European countries. 
  • It implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. 
  • The organisation constitutes a system of collective defence under which the  independent member states agree for mutual defence against the attack by any external party. 
  • It is headquartered in Evere, Brussels, Belgium while the Headquarters of Allied Command Operations is in Mons, Belgium. Originally, NATO has 12 members which has now been increased to 30. 
  • North Macedonia is the most recent member that joined the grouping on 27 March 2020.


Hybrid model of ‘smart’ fence being tested along the LoC

In News:

  • The Army is working on converting the existing border fence into a smart fence integrated with several sensors.

Key details:

  • Instead of converting the entire fence into a smart border with a hi-tech fence, a hybrid model is now being adopted in order to cut down costs.
  • The fence will be integrated with LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors, infrared sensors and cameras among others.

Steps taken to reduce infiltration:

  • The Army has beefed up troops close to the LoC to plug gaps.
  • This measure has been instrumental in decreasing border infiltrations this year.
  • The Army has significantly improved its electronic surveillance along the Line of Control (LoC) to check infiltration.
  • While the multi-tier anti-infiltration grid remains in place, the first tier has been strengthened.
  • Troops have also been given drones, both big and small, to monitor the ground.


‘CUReD’ Website


  • Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched an online portal called ‘CUReD’.

Key points:

  • The portal will provide comprehensive information about the numerous COVID-19 clinical trials that the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) is engaged in collaboration with the Industry, ministries and other government departments. 
  • The website has been named as  ‘CSIR Ushered Repurposed Drugs’ or ‘CUReD’.
  • The website provides the information about the drugs, diagnostics and devices. 
  • It also includes the current stage of the trials, partnering institutions and their role in the trials.

About Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR):

  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is the largest research and development (R&D) organisation in India. 
  • CSIR has a pan-India presence and has a dynamic network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Complexes and 5 units.
  • Established: September 1942
  • Located: New Delhi
  • CSIR is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • CSIR covers a wide spectrum of streams – from radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology.
  • It provides significant technological intervention in many areas with regard to societal efforts which include the environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, farm and non-farm sectors.
  • Organisation Structure:
    • President: Prime Minister of India (Ex-officio)
    • Vice President: Union Minister of Science and Technology (Ex-officio)
    • Governing Body: The Director-General is the head of the governing body.
    • The other ex-officio member is the finance secretary (expenditures).
    • Other members’ terms are of three years.
    • CSIR Advisory Board: 15-member body composed of prominent members from respective fields of science and technology.
    • Its function is to provide science and technology inputs to the governing body.
    • Member terms are of three years.


Gas Marketing Freedom Guidelines

  • The government has notified the Natural Gas Marketing Reforms. 

Key Highlights:

  • The guidelines have banned the natural gas and coal-bed methane (CBM) producers from buying their own produce in the newly notified gas marketing freedom guidelines.
  • The notification was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
  • The Natural Gas Marketing Reforms provides the freedom to discover the market price of gas to the producers. The producers can discover the market through a standard e-bidding process.
  • It also gives producers the liberty to market or sell the gas produced to anyone including affiliates.
  • The guidelines say that the producer or any member of its gas field consortium cannot bid and buy the fuel
  • However, the Sale to affiliates will be allowed if it affiliates to participate in the open competitive process. Though, the contractor or its constituents will not be eligible to participate in the bidding process.
  • Under the new guidelines, Seller and buyer will not be the same entity.
  • The new guideline provides the contractor to sell the natural gas through e-bidding. The bidding will be conducted by a panel maintained by the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH).

About Coal bed methane (CBM):

  • Coal bed methane (CBM) is a form of natural gas which can be recovered from coal deposits. 
  • It is an important unconventional gas occurring naturally in coal beds, and is increasingly being used for industrial and utility purposes. 
  • Especially in industries such as in cement, rolling mills, steel plants, and methanol production. 
  • In recent decades it has become an important source of energy in the United States, Canada, Australia, and other countries. India has fifth-largest proven coal reserves in the world.