Current Affair Analysis

28th July 2018 Current Affairs Analysis -IASToppers

“Mission Satyanishtha”; B N Srikrishna committee report; Personal Data Protection 2018 Bill; July 28: World Hepatitis Day; What is Hepatitis? Difference between Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C; Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme; Bombali virus strain; Ebola virus disease (EVD); What are Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs)? Western Dedicated Freight Corridor; Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL); Flash-flood forecasts; World Meteorological Organization (WMO); Karnataka became India’s leader in renewable energy: IEEFA report; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
July 28, 2018


Polity & Governance

  • “Mission Satyanishtha” launched by Indian Railways

Government Schemes & Policies

  • Justice Srikrishna Panel Submits Data Protection Report

Issues related to Health & Education

  • July 28: World Hepatitis Day
  • New strain of Ebola virus found in Bombali Sierra Leone
  • Government extends Prime Minister’s Research Fellows Scheme all potential researchers


  • Railways to get first dedicated corridor for freight trains from August 15

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • India to give flash flood warning to Asian nations

Key Facts for Prelims

  • Karnataka became India’s leader in renewable energy: IEEFA report

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Polity & Governance

“Mission Satyanishtha” launched by Indian Railways

Indian Railways has launched Mission Satyanishtha.


Aim of the mission:

  • Mission Satyanishtha aims at sensitizing all railway employees about need to adhere to good ethics and to maintain high standards of integrity at work.
  • Under it, talks and lectures on subject were organised all over Indian Railways for this purpose.

Objectives of the mission:

  • To train every employee to understand need and value of ethics in personal and public life.
  • To deal with ethical dilemmas in life and public governance.
  • To help understand policies of Indian Railways on ethics and integrity and employee’s role in upholding same.
  • To develop inner governance through tapping inner resources.
[Ref: PIB]


Government Schemes & Policies

Justice Srikrishna Panel Submits Data Protection Report

A panel headed by Justice BN Srikrishna submitted its report to the government on suggestions for the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 that will cover everything from Aadhaar biometric database and consent.

data-protection-framework_ Justice Srikrishna Panel

About the B N Srikrishna committee:

  • In August 2017, the Union Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY) has constituted an expert Committee to study and identify key data protection issues and recommend methods for addressing them.
  • The ten-member committee was headed by Supreme Court Judge (retired) Justice B N Srikrishna and comprise of members from government, academia and Industry.

Highlights of the Personal Data Protection 2018 Bill:

  • The draft bill notes that “the right to privacy is a fundamental right and it is necessary to protect personal data as an essential facet of informational privacy.”
  • The bill also notes that it is necessary to create trust between the individual who provide their data and those who process this.
  • On the right to be forgotten, the bill notes that that ‘data principal’ which means the individual or the person providing their data, has a right to “right to restrict or prevent continuing disclosure.” But the bill does not allow for a right of total erasure like the European Union does.
  • It also gives a data processor considerable leeway when it comes to deciding on this ‘right to be forgotten.’ The bill notes that “the data fiduciary may charge a reasonable fee to be paid for complying with requests.”
  • The Bill also calls for privacy by design on part of data processors, and defines terms like consent, data breach, sensitive data, etc.
  • Data Protection Authority of India (DPA): It proposes setting up of a DPA, an independent regulatory body responsible for the enforcement and effective implementation of the law, consisting of a chairperson and six full-time members.
  • In case of any appeal against an order of the DPA, an appellate tribunal should be established or an existing appellate tribunal should be granted powers to hear and dispose of any appeal.

data protection various countries

[Ref: The Hindu, Hindustan Times]


Issues related to Health & Education

July 28: World Hepatitis Day

The World Hepatitis Day is being observed every year on July 28.

World Hepatitis Day 28th july

  • The theme for World Hepatitis Day 2018 is “Test. Treat. Hepatitis”.

About World Hepatitis Day:

  • The day is being observed since 2010.
  • It is one of the 8 official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • WHO had passed a resolution for observance of this day on viral hepatitis in May 2010 had passed, providing official endorsement to it.
  • The date 28 July was chosen to mark the birth anniversary of Professor Baruch Blumberg who had discovered hepatitis B virus. He was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1976) for this discovery.

What is Hepatitis?

What is Viral Hepatitis

  • Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It may be caused by drugs, alcohol use, or certain medical conditions. But in most cases, it’s caused by a virus. This is known as viral hepatitis
  • Scientists have identified 5 unique hepatitis viruses, identified by the letters A, B, C, D, and E. While all cause liver disease, they vary in important ways.

What is the difference between Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C are diseases caused by three different viruses. Although each can cause similar symptoms, they have different modes of transmission and can affect the liver differently.

  • Hepatitis A appears only as an acute or newly occurring infection and does not become chronic. People with Hepatitis A usually improve without treatment.
  • Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can also begin as acute infections, but in some people, the virus remains in the body, resulting in chronic disease and long-term liver problems.
  • There are vaccines to prevent Hepatitis A and B; however, there is not one for Hepatitis C.
  • If a person has had one type of viral hepatitis in the past, it is still possible to get the other types.
[Ref: The Hindu]


New strain of Ebola virus found in Bombali Sierra Leone

Researchers have discovered new strain of Ebola virus in bats in northern Bombali region of Sierra Leone.

ias toppers Ebola resurfaces

  • It has been named as Bombali virus strain, after district where it was found.
  • The Bombali virus is overall sixth known virus strain Ebola virus. Others are Zaire, Sudan, Tai Forest, Bundibugyo and Reston.

About Ebola:

Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.


  • The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
  • The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
  • Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, infection prevention and control practices, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilisation.
  • Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival.
  • There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralize the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.


  • More than 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2015, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The last outbreak in the DRC was in 2014 and killed more than 40 people. The region affected lies 1,300 km north-east of Kinshasa, close to the border with the Central African Republic.

Location of Sierra Leone:

Sierra Leone map

  • Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa.
  • It is bordered by Guinea to the northeast, Liberia to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest.
  • It has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savanna to rainforests.


[Ref: The Hindu, WHO]


Government extends Prime Minister’s Research Fellows Scheme all potential researchers

Union Government has announced that Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme will be open to all potential researchers from 2019 and not limited to candidates from IISc, IITs, NITs, IIEST and IISERs.


  • The decision was made after Government failed to find adequate number of candidates for PMRF this year.
  • Only 135 fellowships were finally offered against 1,000 positions.

About Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme:


  • The PMRF Scheme was announced in the Budget Speech 2018-19. It will be implemented for period of seven years beginning 2018-19 at total cost of Rs. 1650 crore.
  • Under it, best students who have completed or are in final year of B. Tech/Integrated M.Tech/M.Sc courses in Science and Technology streams from IISc/IITs/IISERs/ NITs/IIITs will be offered direct admission in PhD programme in IITs/IISc.
  • Maximum of 3000 Fellows would be selected in three year period, beginning 2018-19.
  • Selected students through selection process laid down in PMRF Guidelines will be offered monthly fellowship of Rs.70,000 for first two years, Rs.75,000 for 3rd year and Rs.80,000 in 4th and 5th years.
  • Each selected fellow students will be also provided research grant of Rs.2.00 lakh for period of 5 years to cover their foreign travel expenses for presenting research papers in international conferences and seminars.

Significance of PMRF Scheme:

  • The scheme will help tapping talent pool of country for carrying out research indigenously in cutting edge science and technology domains.
  • The research undertaken by fellows under this scheme will address national priorities at one hand and shortage of quality faculty in premier educational institutions of country on the other.
[Ref: PIB]



Railways to get first dedicated corridor for freight trains from August 15

Indian Railways set to get its first dedicated freight corridor on Independence Day.


  • The 190-km dedicated freight railway line between Dadri in Uttar Pradesh and Phulera in Rajasthan falls under the Western Dedicated Corridor (WDFC).

What are Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs)?

  • The DFCs are freight-only railway lines to move goods between industrial heartlands in the North and ports on the Eastern and Western coasts.
  • The dedicated freight-only lines are being built along the four key transportation routes – known as the Golden Quadrilateral and connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Howrah and its two diagonals (Delhi – Chennai and Mumbai – Howrah).

Western Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor

About Western Dedicated Freight Corridor:

  • The Western Dedicated Freight Corridor covers a distance of 1504 km of double line electric track from JNPT to Dadri via Vadodara-Ahmedabad-Palanpur-Phulera-Rewari.
  • The Western Corridor passes through 5 states- Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

Western Dedicated Freight Corridor WDC2


  • In October 2006, the Indian Government established a dedicated body, the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) to undertake planning & development, mobilisation of financial resources and construction, maintenance and operation of the Dedicated Freight Corridors.
  • DFCC has been registered as a company under the Companies Act 1956 on 30 October 2006.
[Ref: Times of India, Business Standard]


Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

India to give flash flood warning to Asian nations

India has been designated as a nodal centre for preparing flash-flood forecasts by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).


What does that mean?

  • That means India will have to develop a customised model that can issue advance warning of floods in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.

Refusal of Pakistan:

  • Though Pakistan was among the list of countries that would benefit from the forecast, it had refused to participate in the scheme.

Why we need flash-flood forecasts?

  • Like India, several southeast Asian countries depend on the monsoon and are prone to its vagaries. The WMO says flash floods account for 85% of flooding incidents across the world, causing some 5,000 deaths each year.
  • India’s Central Water Commission, which monitors India’s dams, warns of rising water levels in the reservoirs, which are usually taken to be signs of imminent floods.
  • The proposed model would provide forecasts by computing the likelihood of rainfall and the soil moisture levels to warn of possible floods.

About World Meteorological Organization (WMO):

WMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) with 191 Member States and Territories.


  • It is the UN system’s authoritative voice on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources.

Functions of WMO:

WMO programmes facilitate and promote:

  • The establishment of networks of observational stations to provide weather, climate and water-related data;
  • The establishment and maintenance of data management centres and telecommunication systems for the provision and rapid exchange of weather, climate and water-related data;
  • The creation of standards for observation and monitoring in order to ensure adequate uniformity in the practices and procedures employed worldwide and, thereby, ascertain the homogeneity of data and statistics;
  • The application of science and technology in operational meteorology and hydrology to aviation, transport (air, land and maritime), water resource management, agriculture and other focus areas;
  • Activities in operational hydrology as well as closer cooperation between National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in states and territories where they are separate; and
  • The coordination of research and training in meteorology and related fields.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Key Facts for Prelims

Karnataka became India’s leader in renewable energy: IEEFA report


  • According to the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) report, Karnataka is the new national leader in renewable energy generation.
  • Karnataka has surpassed Tamil Nadu which was India’s best renewable market, and had been for quite some time.
  • Up to March 2018, Karnataka had 12.3 gigawatts (GW) of renewable capacity installed.
  • Karnataka had been building its wind energy capacity steadily over 10 years, but it moved ahead of Tamil Nadu due to a rapid scaling up of solar capacity in 2017-18.
  • The Pavagada industrial solar park – said to be the second largest solar development currently under construction in the world – is being built at Pavagada in Karnataka’s Tumakuru district.


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