Current Affairs Analysis

10th August 2017 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

National Deworming Day (NDD); National Deworming Programme; Albendazole; Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH); 2017 Global Retirement Index (GRI); What is Anti-dumping duty? Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (IIUS); Modified Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (MIIUS); Kyoto Protocol; National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC); ‘SUNRISE’ project; Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite (HySIS); etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
August 10, 2017


Polity & Governance

  • French index for retirement says India is worst place to retire

Issues related to Health & Education

  • National Deworming initiative


  • Anti-dumping duty on 93 products from China
  • Approval of Industrial Parks in Andhra Pradesh

Bilateral & International Relations

  • India ratifies second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol

Defence & Security Issues

  • National Cyber Coordination Centre made operational: IT Minister

Science & Technology

  • ‘SUNRISE’ project for India
  • ISRO to develop full-fledged Earth observation satellite

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Polity & Governance

French index for retirement says India is worst place to retire

India was ranked last at 43rd position in 2017 Global Retirement Index (GRI) published by French asset management company Natixis Global.


About the index:

  • The index ranks countries on the basis of four factors —
  1. the material means to live comfortably in retirement;
  2. access to quality financial services to help preserve savings value and maximize income;
  3. access to quality health services; and
  4. a clean and safe environment.
  • The index ranks 43 countries which include International Monetary Fund (IMF) advanced economies, members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

Highlights of 2017 GRI:


  • Top three countries in 2017 GRI are Norway, Switzerland and Iceland.


India’s performance

  • India ranks 43rd and has the same score compared to 2016 GRI.
  • India also ranks the lowest among the BRIC economies.
  • India’s rank in all sub-indices is also in the bottom five.
  • Compared to last year’s report, India declines in the Material Wellbeing (41st) and Health (43rd) sub-indices but gains ground in Finances (39th) and Quality of Life (43rd).


  • India has the lowest income per capita of all countries in the GRI. Additionally, its score for the income equality indicator has declined compared to 2016 GRI.
  • India ranks first in old-age dependency, second in tax pressure and sixth in interest rates.
  • In terms of governance indicator India ranks as the fifth worst among all countries in the GRI.
  • It also has the tenth-lowest score for the bank non-performing loans indicator. India ranked last in the Quality of Life sub-index.
  • India’s environmental factors indicator has improved due to progress in CO2 emissions per GDP. But it still ranks in bottom for happiness, water and sanitation, and air quality as well as scores second-worst for biodiversity and habitat among all GRI countries.
[Ref: Economic Times]


Issues related to Health & Education

National Deworming initiative

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched its 2nd round of National Deworming Day (NDD) 2017 in 33 States/UTs targeting.

ias toppers PIB National Deworming Day

  • A total of 7.8 crore children are targeted in private schools and 3.5 crore out of school children will be covered in this program through Anganwadi workers and ASHAs.

About National Deworming Day (NDD):

Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare had first launched National Deworming Day (NDD) in 2015 which was implemented in 11 States/UTs across all Government and Government-aided schools and Anganwadi centres targeting children aged 1 to 19 years.


  • The National Deworming Day 2016 is launched to cover the whole country, aiming towards a massive target of 27 crore children in 536 districts of the country.
  • The National Deworming Day aims to create mass awareness about the most effective and low-cost Soil Transmitted Helminth (STH) treatment— administering Albendazole tablets.
  • Along with Albendazole administration, behaviour change practices in terms of cleanliness, hygiene, use of toilets, wearing shoes/chappals, washing hands etc. is also important to reduce incidents of re-infection. 
  • At the state and local level, community mobilisation and outreach efforts are underway to engage community-based health workers, like ASHAs, Gram Sabhas and others, to spread awareness and encourage participation in the program. 


Alarming situations in India:

  • India has the highest burden of parasitic worms in the world.
  • Parasitic worms in children interfere with nutrient uptake, and can contribute to anaemia, malnourishment, and impaired mental and physical development.
  • According to the 2012 report ‘Children in India’, published by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, 48% of children under the age of 5 years are stunted and 19.8% are wasted, indicating that half of the country’s children are malnourished. 


Significance of the initiative:

  • School-based mass deworming program is safe, cost-effective, and can reach millions of children quickly.
  • Deworming has been shown to reduce absenteeism in schools; improve health, nutritional, and learning outcomes; and increase the likelihood of higher-wage jobs later in life. 
  • The National Deworming Day will mobilize health personnel, state governments and other stakeholders to prioritize investment in control of Soil Transmitted Helminth (STH) infections—one of the most common infections.

iastoppers National Deworming Day benefits

About National Deworming Programme:

  • To combat Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) infections, government has adopted a single day strategy called National Deworming Day (NDD).
  • The programme is being implemented through the combined efforts of Department of School Education and Literacy under Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
  • During NDD single dose of Albendazole is administered to children from under 1 to 19 years of age group through the platforms of schools and aanganwadi centers.

About Albendazole:


  • Albendazole is an extremely safe drug that has been used for decades by millions of people around the world and in India, with no or minimal side effects.
  • Side effects such as nausea and vomiting can manifest in the children with high worm load.


What is Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH)?

Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) also known as parasitic worm is a type of helminth infection (helminthiasis) caused by different species of roundworms.

  • Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) interfere with nutrients uptake in children; can lead to anaemia, malnourishment and impaired mental and physical development.
  • The situation of undernutrition and anaemia which is linked to STH ranges from 40% to 70% in different population groups across the country (WHO).
  • They also pose a serious threat to children’s education and productivity later in life.
  • India carries the highest burden of worm infestation and 64% of Indian population less than 14 years of age are at risk of Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) or worms’ infestation (WHO).
[Ref: PIB]



Anti-dumping duty on 93 products from China

Anti- dumping duty is in force on 93 products including chemicals and machinery items imported from China.

ias toppers Anti-dumping duty china

  • The other Chinese products on which India has imposed this duty include steel and other metals; fibres and yarn; rubber or plastic; electric and electronics; and consumer goods.


  • India’s exports to China include iron ore, cotton yarn, petroleum products, copper and chemicals, while imports include telecom instruments, electronic components, computer hardware, industrial machinery and chemicals.

What is Anti-dumping duty?

An anti-dumping duty is a protectionist tariff that a domestic government imposes on foreign imports that it believes are priced below fair market value.

  • Countries initiate anti-dumping probes to determine if the domestic industry has been hurt by a surge in below-cost imports. To counter it they impose duties under the multi-lateral WTO regime.
  • Anti-dumping steps are taken to ensure fair trade and provide a level-playing field to the domestic industry.
  • They are not a measure to restrict imports or cause an unjustified increase in cost of products.
  • The use of anti-dumping measure as an instrument of fair competition is permitted by the WTO.
  • When a country exports its products to other countries with a selling price below the cost price of the same product in other countries then it is called as dumping of products. This harms the profitability of domestic companies.
  • Anti-dumping steps are taken to ensure fair trade and provide a level-playing field to the domestic industry.

Mechanism for imposition:

  • Anti-Dumping Duty is imposed under the multilateral World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime and varies from product to product and from country to country.
  • In India, anti-dumping duty is recommended by the Union Ministry of Commerce (i.e. by DGAD) and imposed by the Union Finance Ministry.
[Ref: Indian Express]


Approval of Industrial Parks in Andhra Pradesh

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry has approved two projects under ‘Modified Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (MIIUS)’.

ias toppers Modified Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (MIIUS)

  • The approved projects are for development of industrial clusters at Hindupur and Bobbili in the respective districts of Ananatapur and Vizianagaram of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The objective of the above projects is to provide quality and reliable infrastructure to industrial units located in these clusters.
  • Specifically, these projects aim to provide road network, drainage, power and water supply networks and some other common services like health centres, canteens, crèches, dormitories, parking areas, etc.
  • These projects are likely to be functional by 31st March, 2018.

About the Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (IIUS):

  • Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (IIUS) was launched in 2003 with the objective of enhancing industrial competitiveness of domestic industry by providing quality infrastructure through public private partnership in selected functional clusters/locations which have potential to become globally competitive.
  • The Scheme was recast in February, 2009 on the basis of an independent evaluation to strengthen the implementation process.

About the Modified Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (MIIUS):

  • A modified version of IIUS viz ‘Modified Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (MIIUS)’ was notified in July 2013.
  • Under MIIUS, projects have been undertaken to upgrade infrastructure in existing Industrial Parks/ Estates/ Areas.
  • Greenfield Projects have also been undertaken in backward areas and North Eastern Region (NER).
  • Central assistance upto 50% (for North Eastern Region upto 80%) of project cost with ceiling of Rs. 50 crore, limiting sanction upto two projects per State.
  • Project implementation by State Implementation Agency (SIA) such as, SIDCs (Small Industrial Development Corporation) with minimum mandatory contribution of 25% of the project cost (10% in case of North Eastern Region).
  • Projects are to be sanctioned to upgrade infrastructure in Industrial Estates/Parks/Areas. Greenfield projects could be supported in backward areas, including North Eastern Region (NER).
  • Release of GoI grant (in 3 Installments viz. 30%, 40% and 30%) subject to upfront other Stakeholders’ contribution.
  • Central grant for physical infrastructure is restricted to 25% of the grant subject to a ceiling of Rs.12.5 crore.
[Ref: PIB]


Bilateral & International Relations

India ratifies second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol

India has ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (or Doha Amendment) that commits countries to contain the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs).


  • With this, India became the 80th country to accept the amendment relating to the second commitment period (2013- 2020) of the Kyoto Protocol.

About Kyoto Protocol:

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 to fight global warming by reducing GHGs emission and came into effect in 2005.


  • It is an international GHGs emissions reduction treaty linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • It commits its Parties by setting internationally binding GHGs emission reduction targets.
  • The 1st commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol was from 2008-2012.
  • The 2nd commitment period for the period 2013- 2020 was adopted in 2012 by the Doha Amendment of the Kyoto Protocol.
  • So far, 75 countries have ratified the Second Commitment Period.
  • The protocol is based on principle of Equity and Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR).
  • It places obligations on developed nations to undertake mitigation targets to reduce emissions by 5.2% of 1990 levels during 2008-2012 period and provide financial resources and technology to developing nations.
  • Developing countries like India have no mandatory mitigation obligations or targets under the Kyoto Protocol.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Defence & Security Issues

National Cyber Coordination Centre made operational: IT Minister

The first phase of National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) has been made operational now.

ias toppers National Cyber Coordination Centre

  • The government has also made operational botnet and malware cleaning centre that will detect malicious software in devices of citizens and clean them.

About the National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC):

  • NCCC was set up to scan the country’s web traffic to detect cyber security threats.
  • NCCC, a multi-stakeholder body, will be implemented by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) at Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY).
  • The Centre derives necessary powers as per provisions of section 69B of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Rules notified there under.
  • It will be India’s first layer for cyber threat monitoring and all communication with government and private service providers will be monitored by it.
  • It will have top experts from the cyber security field and will run like similar organisation in other countries such as the US, the UK, France, Germany, etc.
  • NCCC scans internet traffic coming into the country to detect real-time cyber threat and alert various organisations as well as internet service providers for timely action.
  • The Centre will scan the cyberspace in the country for cyber security threats at metadata level to generate situational awareness.
[Ref: Economic Times]


Science & Technology

‘SUNRISE’ project for India

A consortium of 12 Indian and British universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, has received a £7 million grant from the U.K. government to build self-sufficient solar-powered buildings in remote Indian villages.


  • The grant is part of a new solar project called ‘SUNRISE’.

About the ‘SUNRISE’ project:

  • The project aimed at developing printed photovoltaic cells and new manufacturing processes which can be used to make solar energy products in India.
  • These will then be integrated into buildings in at least five villages of India, allowing them to harness solar power to provide their own energy and go off-grid.
  • One of the key aims of the SUNRISE project for India is to provide a real-life example which proves that this technology works and that it is appropriate within communities.
  • The plan is that it will encourage local industries to manufacture affordable prefabricated buildings, adapted for their environment, that can generate, store and release their own power.
  • The programme is part of a project led by the Swansea University, which has plenty of experience in the field.
  • The project is in line with the Indian government’s plans to turn the country into a solar energy leader, leap-frogging fossil fuels.
[Ref: The Hindu]


ISRO to develop full-fledged Earth observation satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch a full-fledged niche Earth observation (EO) satellite — called the Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite (HySIS).

What is Hyperspectral Imaging?


  • Hyperspectral imaging or hyspex imaging (imaging spectroscopy) combines the power of digital imaging and spectroscopy.
  • It collects and processes information from across the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Hyspex’ imaging enables distinct identification of objects, materials or processes on Earth by reading the spectrum for each pixel of a scene from space.
  • The hyspex technology is still an evolving science. In recent times, it has become trend that is being experimented globally.
  • It has ability to add a new dimension to plain-vanilla optical imagers.

Key Facts:

ias toppers Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite

  • The HySIS satellite has critical chip called an “optical imaging detector array’” indigenously developed by ISRO.
  • Its launch will allow ISRO to enter the domain of operational hyperspectral imaging from earth orbit.
  • HySIS satellite developed by ISRO can see in 55 spectral or colour bands from 630 km above ground.

Potential applications:

  • It can be used for a range of applications from monitoring the environment, crops, looking for oil and minerals, military surveillance.


  • ISRO for first time had tried out hyspex imaging technology in an 83-kg IMS-1 experimental satellite in May 2008. The same year, it also had mounted hyperspectral camera on Chandrayaan-1 and used to map lunar mineral resources. Globally so far, very few space agencies have such a satellite.
[Ref: The Hindu]


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