12thFebruary,2022 ; Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs   Date : 12thFebruary,2022

 (30+ Questions hit in Prelims 2021 from this series)

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint


  • Indo-Pacific Strategy Document(TH, pg 10)
  • Organic Farming in India (PIB)
  • National Rail Plan (NRP) (PIB)
  • Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise Scheme (PIB)
  • Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya (PIB)
  • Index of Industrial Production (IIP) (TH, pg 1)
  • Australia has listed koalas as endangered species (IE)


  1. Indo-Pacific Strategy Document(TH, pg 10)

  • Context:USA announced its long-awaited Indo-Pacific strategy recently.
  • The document focuses on building collective capacity to deal with challenges in the region — China’s assertiveness, the pandemic and climate change, among others.
  • The policies set out in the document have continuity with previous administrations’ strategies.
  • These include a focus on challenges from China, advancing the U.S. relationship, a major defence partnership with India and supporting its role as a net security provider in the region.
  • There is an emphasis on working with other countries not just from the region, but also from beyond.
  • The Quad is rolling out a plan to deliver over a billion COVID-19 vaccines to the region by the end of this year.
  • Responding to a question regarding India’s enthusiasm for greater alignment with the U.S., a U.S. official said China’s action along the Line of Actual Control (i.e., its border conflict with India) has had a “galvanizing impact” on India.
  • The strategy document says the U.S. will “continue to support India’s rise and regional leadership,” working with India bilaterally and through groups on a range of issues.
  • It refers to India as a “like-minded partner” and “driving force” in the Quad.
  • The overall increasing focus of the U.S. on the region is due to its increasing challenges, especially from China, according to the strategy document.
  • The PRC’s coercion and aggression spans the globe, but it is most acute in the Indo-Pacific.
  • From the economic coercion of Australia to the conflict along the Line of Actual Control with India to the growing pressure on Taiwan and bullying of neighbours in the East and South China Seas, our allies and partners in the region bear much of the cost of the PRC’s harmful behaviour.
  • More broadly, the U.S. will seek an Indo-Pacific that is free and open, connected, prosperous, secure and resilient.
  • On the “free” aspect — one of the strategic actions outlined is investing in civil society, a free press and democratic institutions.
  • To advance its prosperity goal for the region, the U.S.’s strategy includes seeking higher labour and environmental standards, helping to establish secure supply chains and investing in clean energy.
Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad)
  • The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue(QSD, also known as the Quad) is an informal strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia and India.
  • The dialogue was initiated in 2007 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.
  • The idea of the Quad was born in 2007, but was shelved when former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd withdrew his country’s participation.
  • The Quad made a comeback in November 2017 with a formal consultation meeting in Manila involving the four countries.
  • The upgradation of the Quad, a consultative forum of India, Australia, Japan and the United States, to the ministerial level is a good move.


  1. Organic Farming in India (PIB)

  • Context: There has been shift in demand for organic products, especially fruit and vegetables in the cities due to increased awareness about organic food in consumers including younger generation.
  • Government have also launched a dedicated web portal- www.Jaivikkheti.in/. online marketing platform for direct sale of organic products to the consumers across the country.
  • Organic foods are safe, healthy and free from chemical and pesticides.
  • Government of India (GOI) has been promoting Organic farming in the country through dedicated schemes of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Mission Organic Value Chain Development in North East Region (MOVCDNER) since 2015.
  • Farmers are provided financial assistance (RS 31000/ ha / 3 years in PKVY and 32500/ ha/ 3years under MOVCDNER) for organic inputs such as seeds, bio/organic fertilisers, bio-pesticides, botanical extracts etc.
  • In addition, Organic cultivation on either side of River Ganga, large area certification and support for individual farmers have also been introduced under PKVY.
Organic Food
  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has the mandate to regulate manufacture, distribute, sell or import “organic foods” in India under theFood Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017 notified under the provisions ofthe Food Safety Standards Act, 2006.
  • Non-food items are not covered under the mandate of FSS Act, 2006.
Which systems of certification are recognized in the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017?
  • The Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017 recognize already established two systems of certification i.e.:
  • Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) implemented by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, and
  • National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) implemented by Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • The Accredited Certification Bodies in case of NPOP and Local Group in case of PGS-India are responsible for certifying the Organic Food.
  • If a food is marked ‘organic’, it does not mean it does not contain insecticides, and contaminants. However, their limit is regulated.
  • Ministry of Commerce has implemented the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) since 2001.
  • Fruits, vegetables, fibre and animal products which do not contain chemical pesticides, fertilizers, genetically-modified organisms and induced hormones can be certified as organic food in India.
Organic Farming Policy of 2005
  • Objectives
  • Maintenance of soil fertility by encouraging and enhancing the biological cycle within farming systems involving micro-organisms, soil flora and fauna, plants and animals.
  • Identification of areas and crops suitable for organic farming.
  • Setting up of model organic farms for getting seed material for organic cultivation.
  • Assurance of production and supply of quality organic input.
  • Adoption of biological methods for pest and disease control.
  • Promotion of group certification.
  • Improvement in condition of livestock that allow them to perform all aspects of their innate behaviour.
  • Since the launch of the Organic Farming Policy of 2005, there has been an increase in the area under organic farming by about 70 percentSikkim is now a fully organic state.
  • So, despite accusations that the PKVY is merely a repackaging of previously existing schemes, it really is a more focused and targeted approach towards promotion of organic farming techniques and benefits.
  • Note:Manure contains large quantities of organic matter and small quantities of nutrients. It increases the water holding capacity of sandy soil.

Do you know?

  • Organic farming is also supported under Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) and National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF), Network Project on Organic Farming under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).


  1. National Rail Plan (NRP) (PIB)

  • Context: Indian Railways have prepared a National Rail Plan (NRP) for India – 2030.


Some of the main features of the National Rail Plan

  • Formulate strategies to increase modal share of the Railways in freight to 45% (To achieve this objective all possible financial models including Public Private Partnership (PPP) are being considered).
  • NRP is aimed to reform Railways to make it more efficient and greener mode of transportation both for the passenger and freight movement.
  • Reduce transit time of freight substantially by increasing average speed of freight trains to 50Kmph. 
  • Identify new Dedicated Freight Corridors.
  • Identify new High Speed Rail Corridors.
  • Sustained involvement of the Private Sector.
  • As part of the National Rail Plan, Vision 2024 has been launched for accelerated implementation of certain critical projects by 2024 such as
  • 100% electrification,
  • multi-tracking of congested routes,
  • upgradation of speed to 130kmph on all other Golden Quadrilateral-Golden Diagonal (GQ/GD) routes
  • elimination of all Level Crossings on all GQ/GD route. 
  • Note:The NRP is for the entire Indian Railways network and not only for districts connected to the existing rail network but also districts indirectly impacted by rail transportation.


  1. Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise Scheme (PIB)

  • Context:The Department of Social Justice & Empowerment is launching the Central Sector scheme “SMILE: Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise.”
  • Under this includes two sub-schemes – ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons’ and ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of Begging’.
  • The Sub-scheme – ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons’ includes the following components-
  • Scholarships for Transgender Students: Scholarships for students studying in IX and till post-graduation to enable them to complete their education.
  • Skill Development and Livelihood: Skill Development and Livelihood under PM-DAKSH scheme of the Department.
  • Composite Medical Health: A comprehensive package in convergence with PM-JAY supporting Gender-Reaffirmation surgeries through selected hospitals.
  • Housing in the form of ‘GarimaGreh’: Shelter Homes ‘Garima Greh’ where food, clothing, recreational facilities, skill development opportunities, recreational activities, medical support etc. will be provided.
  • Provision of Transgender Protection Cell: Setting up of Transgender Protection in each state to monitor cases of offences and to ensure timely registration, investigation and prosecution of offences.
  • E-Services (National Portal & Helpline and Advertisement) and other Welfare Measures.
  • The focus of the sub-scheme ‘Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of Begging’ are as follows-
  • Survey and identification: Survey and Identification of beneficiaries shall be carried out by the Implementing Agencies.
  • Mobilisation: Outreach work will be done to mobilise the persons engaged in begging to avail the services available in the Shelter Homes.
  • Rescue/ Shelter Home: The shelter homes will facilitate education for children engaged in the act of Begging and children of persons engaged in the act of Begging.
  • Comprehensive resettlement.
  • Skill development/vocational training will be provided to attain capacity, capability and desirability so that they can sustain and live a life of dignity by engaging in self-employment.
  • Pilot projects initiated on Comprehensive Rehabilitation in ten cities namely Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna and Ahmedabad.


  1. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya (PIB)

  • Context: The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has remembered Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya on his death anniversary.
  • Deendayal Upadhyaya first started the monthly Rashtra Dharma from Lucknow in the 1940s, meant for spreading the ideology of Hindutva nationalism.
  • He also started the weekly Panchjanya and then the daily Swadesh.
  • He entered politics through the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and remained a lifelong pracharak of the Sangh.
  • In 1951, Syama Prasad Mukherjee founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh along with Deendayal Upadhyaya as its general secretary.
  • Upadhyaya devised the political philosophyIntegral Humanism, which advocates the simultaneous and integrated program of the body, mind and intellect and soul of each human being.
  • He advocated a system free from social inequality where the capital and power get decentralized.
  • For India, he visualised a decentralised polity and self-reliant economy with the village being the core.
  • According to Upadhyaya, the primary concern in India must be to develop an indigenous economic model that puts the human being at center stage.
  • Deendayal Upadhyay vision of ‘education for all’ and ‘har hath kokam, harkhetkopani’ was seen culminating in his idea of Economic Democracy.
  • He opposed the idea of large scale industries based development, centralization and monopoly, he advocated swadeshi and decentralization.
  • He further said that any system which reduces the opportunity for employment is undemocratic.


  1. Index of Industrial Production (IIP) (TH, pg 1)

  • Context:India’s industrial recovery slowed sharply in December, with factory output growing just 0.4% year-on-year and manufacturing shrinking 0.1% in the month, as per quick official estimates for the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
  • IIP measures the short-term changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to that in a chosen base period.
  • It is computed and published by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, on monthly basis (with a time-lag of 6 weeks as per the norms of IMF).
  • It is a composite indicator that measures the growth rate of industry groups classified under,
  • Broad sectors, namely, Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity;
  • Use-based sectors, namely Basic Goods, Capital Goods and Intermediate Goods.
  • Currently IIP figures are calculated considering 2011-12 as base year with around 407 items.
  • The monthly figure of production value is first deflated by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) of the corresponding categories, released by the Office of the Economic Adviser, Ministry of Industry.
  • The scope of the IIP as recommended by the United Nations Statistical Office (UNSO) includes mining, manufacturing, construction, electricity, gas and water supply. But due to constraints of data availability, the IIP compiled in India has excluded construction, gas and water supply sectors.
  • Following are the three sectors of the IIP as per the revision based on 2011-12 series.
  • (i) Mining (1 item, about 14.3% weight),
  • (ii) Manufacturing (405 items, about 77.6% weight), and
  • (iii) Electricity (1 item, about 7.9% weight).
  • Electricity generation from renewable energy sources has been included under the ‘Electricity’ sector.
  • Weights are rationalised to appropriately to reflect the actual value addition of each sector incorporating effects of subsidies.
  • The all-India IIP data is used for estimation of Gross Value Added of Manufacturing sector on quarterly basis.
  • The industries are divided into six use-based sectors, in descending order of their weights:
  • Primary goods (weight 34%),
  • Intermediate goods (weight 17%),
  • Consumer non-durables (weight 15%),
  • Consumer durables (weight 13%),
  • Infrastructure/ construction goods (weight 12%),
  • Capital goods (weight 8%).


  1. Australia has listed koalas as endangered species (IE)

  • Context: Once found in abundance, Australia’s much-loved koalas have now been officially classified as ‘endangered’ after widespread bushfires, drought and land clearing destroyed much of their eucalyptus-rich habitat.
  • The koalas are naturally only native to Australia.
  • Koalas live in the eucalyptus forests of southeastern and eastern Australia. They rely on the eucalyptus tree for both habitat and food.
  • The size, colour and shape of koalas differs slightly across eastern Australia.
  • Koalas have strong arms, and sharp claws suitable for climbing trees.
  • Koalas are not bears—they’re marsupials.
  • Marsupials include opossums, Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, koalas, wombats, wallabies, bandicoots, and the extinct thylacine.
  • Koalas are arboreal (tree dwelling) mammals, however, they do climb down to the ground and walk to move between trees.
  • They Cannot jump through trees like monkeys.
  • They consume only eucalyptus leaves (herbivores) and also obtain most of their water requirements from the leaves.
  • Koalas can sleep for up to 20 hours a day, due to their low energy diet (The leaves are also very low in energy comprising only 5% sugars and starches on average), and the intense amount of energy required to break down toxic leaves.
  • Eucalyptus leaves contain many toxic compounds similar to that of cyanide, which most animals cannot eat.
  • The koala has an intestinal pouch where a symbiotic bacteria degrade the tannins and other toxic and complex substances abundant in eucalyptus.
  • Koalas are not born with this bacterium in their system and need to acquire it from their mother when they are young.
  • It’s because the leaves are so low in nutrients that koalas need more sleep than most animals which basically helps them conserve energy.
  • Koalas are mostly active at night (nocturnal).
  • Many koala populations are vulnerable to Chlamydia (bacterial disease) that can cause blindness, infertility and sometimes death.

Threats to survival

  • Habitat loss due to deforestation, land clearing and bushfires.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, also called IUCN Red List, is one of the most well-known objective assessment systems for classifying the status of plants, animals, and other organisms threatened with extinction.
  • The IUCN system uses a set of five quantitative criteria to assess the extinction risk of a given species. In general, these criteria consider:
  • The rate of population decline
  • The geographic range
  • Whether the species already possesses a small population size
  • Whether the species is very small or lives in a restricted area
  • Whether the results of a quantitative analysis indicate a high probability of extinction in the wild
  • It is important to understand, however, that a species cannot be classified by using one criterion alone; it is essential for the scientist doing the assessment to consider all five criteria when determining the status of the species.
  • After a given species has been thoroughly evaluated, it is placed into one of several categories. (The details of each have been condensed to highlight two or three of the category’s most salient points below.)
  • In addition, three of the categories (CR, EN, and VU) are contained within the broader notion of “threatened.” The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species recognizes several categories of species status:
  • Extinct (EX), a designation applied to species in which the last individual has died or where systematic and time-appropriate surveys have been unable to log even a single individual.
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW), a category containing those species whose members survive only in captivity or as artificially supported populations far outside their historical geographic range.
  • Critically Endangered (CR), a category containing those species that possess an extremely high risk of extinction as a result of rapid population declines of 80 to more than 90 percent over the previous 10 years (or three generations), a current population size of fewer than 50 individuals, or other factors.
  • Endangered (EN), a designation applied to species that possess a very high risk of extinction as a result of rapid population declines of 50 to more than 70 percent over the previous 10 years (or three generations), a current population size of fewer than 250 individuals, or other factors.
  • Vulnerable (VU), a category containing those species that possess a very high risk of extinction as a result of rapid population declines of 30 to more than 50 percent over the previous 10 years (or three generations), a current population size of fewer than 1,000 individuals, or other factors.
  • Near Threatened (NT), a designation applied to species that are close to becoming threatened or may meet the criteria for threatened status in the near future.
  • Least Concern (LC), a category containing species that are pervasive and abundant after careful assessment.
  • Data Deficient (DD), a condition applied to species in which the amount of available data related to its risk of extinction is lacking in some way. Consequently, a complete assessment cannot be performed. Thus, unlike the other categories in this list, this category does not describe the conservation status of a species.
  • Not Evaluated (NE), a category used to include any of the nearly 1.9 million species described by science but not assessed by the IUCN.
IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)
  • It is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations.
  • It is the only environmental organisation with official United Nations Observer Status.
  • Member organisations meet every four years at the IUCN World Conservation Congress to set priorities and agree on the Union’s work programme.
  • IUCN is the first global environmental Union.
  • Data from The IUCN Red List are used as indicators for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 15: Life on Land.
  • The IUCN Red List Categories define the extinction risk of species assessed.
  • Nine categories extend from NE (Not Evaluated) to EX (Extinct).
  • Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN) and Vulnerable (VU) species are considered to be threatened with extinction.
  • The IUCN Red List Index is used by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to monitor progress towards achieving the Aichi Targets.
  • Do you know: The year 1500 is the cut-off date for recording extinctions on the IUCN Red List.

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