1stFebruary,2022 ; Daily Current Affairs 

Daily Current Affairs   Date : 1stFebruary,2022

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

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint


  • A) Schemes, Policies, Initiatives, Awards and Social Issues
  • Services e-Health Assistance and Teleconsultation (SeHAT) (PIB)
  • India National Tech Excellence Award for Women 2022 (PIB)
  • Fortification of Rice & its Distribution under Public Distribution System(TH, pg 10)
  • B) Indices, Reports, Surveys, Committees and Organisations
  • Indian Coast Guard (ICG):Mission and Duties (PIB)
  • C) Science and Technology, Defence, Space
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) (PIB)
  • Von Neumann Architecture(PIB)
  • Perovskite Solar Cells(PIB)
  • D) International Relations
  • Africa Union suspends Burkina after coup as envoys head for talks (TH, pg 11)
  • Minsk Agreement and the Normandy Process (TH, pg 11)
  • E) Polity, Bills, Acts and Judgments
  • Relationship Between the Governor and the Chief Minister (TH, pg 8)


A) Schemes, Policies, Initiatives, Awards and Social Issues

  1. Services e-Health Assistance and Teleconsultation (SeHAT) (PIB)
  • Context: Services e-Health Assistance and Teleconsultation (SeHAT) is the tri-services teleconsultation service of the Ministry of Defence designed for all entitled personnel and their families.


  • SeHAT stay home OPD is a patient-to-doctor system where the patient can consult a doctor remotely through the internet using his Smartphone, laptop, Desktop or Tablet.
  • It aims to provide quality healthcare services to patients from the comfort of their homes.


  1. India National Tech Excellence Award for Women 2022 (PIB)
  • Context:Applications have been invited from Indian Women Scientists and Entrepreneurs to felicitate a select few with the prestigious India National Tech Excellence Award for Women 2022 for pursuing, prevailing, creating an impact, and etching out stories of inspiration for future young girls.


  • Technology Development Board, a statutory Body of the Department of Science and Technology, on the special occasion of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, has instituted the award to honour the outstanding contribution of women scientists and entrepreneurs in commercializing innovative indigenous technologies.
  • The awards will be presented on International Women’s Day on 8thMarch, 2022.
  • The awards are categorized under two categories National Women Scientist Award for Excellence in Translational Research and National Women Entrepreneur Award.
  • Both the awards will be presented in two distinct subcategories of Senior (45 years and above) and Young (Below 45 years).
  • The contributions made by women across sectors have been evident over the centuries, science and technology being one of the most benefitted.
  • Women like, Leelavati, a mathematician and astrologer; Janaki Ammal, first Indian scientist to have received the Padma Shri Award in 1977; Kadambini Ganguly, one of the first female physicians of South Asia to be trained in western medicine; Anna Mani, an Indian physicist, and meteorologist, also the former DDG of the Indian Meteorological Department; Indira Hinduja, the first Indian women who delivered a test tube baby; Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman & Managing Director, Biocon Limited, Kalpana Chawla, a first Indian woman in space, Renu Swaroop, first Woman Secretary to lead DST and Dr. Alka Mittal, first woman CMD of ONGC have made significant contribution to sectors such as aerospace, medical science, biotechnology, meteorology.


  1. Fortification of Rice & its Distribution under Public Distribution System(TH, pg 10)
  • Context: The Centre has distributed 3.38 lakh metric tonnes of fortified rice till December 2021 through anganwadis and mid-day meal schemes at government schools, according to the Economic Survey released on Monday.


  • In 2019, the government approved a Centrally sponsored pilot scheme for fortification of rice for a period of three years beginning 2019-2020.
  • The scheme is being implemented in 15 districts across as many States.
  • In 2018, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had set standards for fortification for five category of staples which includes wheat flour and rice (with iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid), milk and edible oil (with Vitamins A and D) and double fortified salt (with iodine and iron).
  • The fortification norms are currently voluntary.


B) Indices, Reports, Surveys, Committees and Organisations

  1. Indian Coast Guard (ICG):Mission and Duties (PIB)
  • Context: Indian Coast Guard (ICG) under the Ministry of Defence celebrated its 46thRaising Day on February 01, 2022.
  • As the fourth largest Coast Guard in the world, it has played a significant role in securing the Indian coasts and enforcing regulations in the maritime zones of India.


Indian Coast Guard (ICG):Mission

  • Mission to protect our ocean and offshore wealth including oil, fish and minerals.
  • To assist mariners in distress and safeguard life and property at sea.
  • To enforce maritime laws with respect to sea, poaching, smuggling and narcotics.
  • To preserve marine environment and ecology and protect rare species.
  • To collect scientific data and back-up the navy during war.


  • “Vayam Rakshamah” – We Protect

Indian Coast Guard (ICG): Charter of Duties

  • Safety and Protection of Artificial Islands and Offshore Terminals
  • Protection of Fishermen
  • Assistance to Fishermen in Distress at Sea
  • Preservation and Protection of Marine Environment
  • Prevention and Control of Marine Pollution: It has developed the capability to be the “first-responder” for oil-spills in Indian waters.
  • Assisting the Customs and other authorities in anti-smuggling operations
  • Enforcement of Maritime Laws and other regulations and international treaties to which India is a signatory
  • Safety of Life and Property at Sea: Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft operations mitigate the effect of maritime accidents, and help in ensuring safety and security from natural or man-made disasters.
  • Collection of Scientific Data: Whilst on patrol, ICG ships collect relevant information regarding meteorological and oceanographic data for analysis and use by the scientific fraternity.


C) Science and Technology, Defence, Space

  1. Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) (PIB)
  • Context:Observing the 3rd World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) Day on 30th January, India joined close to 40 other nations to illuminate the iconic New Delhi Railway Station in purple and orange hues.


  • NTDs are a diverse group of 20 conditions that are caused by a variety of pathogens including viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi and toxins.
  • NTDs are prevalent mainly in rural areas, in conflict zones and hard-to reach-regions.
  • They thrive in areas where access to clean water and sanitation is scarce – worsened by climate change.
  • They affect over 1.7 billion people globally.
  • They are “neglected” because they are almost absent from the global health agenda of the developed countries and are associated with stigma and social exclusion.
  • 1 in 5 people around the world are affected by NTDs. India is home to the world’s largest absolute burden of at least 11 of these major neglected tropical diseases.

What are “Neglected Tropical Diseases”?

  • There are four primary criteria that define an illness as a neglected tropical disease (NTD):
  • First, there is a significant burden of mortality and morbidity.
  • Secondly, a majority of incidents occur in the world’s tropical and sub-tropical regions, and it particularly impacts the poor.
  • Thirdly, the disease is amenable to treatment, as well as prevention.
  • Finally, the overall level of investment in research addressing the disease, from prevention to diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation, is exceptionally low in comparison to its impact.

Some of the neglected tropical diseases identified by WHO are (please note that this list keeps on changing, red coloured diseases might no longer be in the latest list):

  • Buruli ulcer
  • Chagas disease
  • Dengue and Chikungunya
  • Dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease)
  • Echinococcosis
  • Foodborne trematodiases
  • Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Leprosy (Hansen’s disease)
  • Lymphatic filariasis
  • Mycetoma, chromoblastomycosis and other deep mycoses
  • Onchocerciasis (river blindness)
  • Rabies
  • Scabies and other ectoparasites
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Soil-transmitted helminthiases
  • Snakebite envenoming
  • Taeniasis/Cysticercosis
  • Trachoma
  • Yaws (Endemic treponematoses)
  • The following six NTDs can be controlled or even eliminated through mass administration of safe and effective medicines or other, effective interventions:
  • Dracunculiasis (Guinea Worm Disease)
  • Lymphatic Filariasis
  • Onchocerciasis
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Soil-transmitted Helminths (STH) (i.e., Ascaris, Hookworm, and Whipworm)
  • Trachoma

Neglected Tropical Diseases − Summary

  • Dengue: A mosquito-borne infection causing flu-like illness that may develop into severe dengue and cause lethal complications.
  • Rabies: A preventable viral disease transmitted to humans through the bites of infected dogs that is invariably fatal once symptoms develop.
  • Trachoma: A chlamydial infection transmitted through direct contact with infectious eye or nasal discharge, or through indirect contact with unsafe living conditions and hygiene practices, which left untreated causes irreversible corneal opacities and blindness.
  • Buruli ulcer: A debilitating mycobacterial skin infection causing severe destruction of the skin, bone and soft tissue.
  • Yaws: A chronic bacterial infection affecting mainly the skin and bone.
  • Leprosy: A complex disease caused by infection mainly of the skin, peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and eyes.
  • Chagas disease: A life-threatening illness transmitted to humans through contact with vector insects (triatomine bugs), ingestion of contaminated food, infected blood transfusions, congenital transmission, organ transplantation or laboratory accidents.
  • Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness): A parasitic infection spread by the bites of tsetse flies that is almost 100% fatal without prompt diagnosis and treatment to prevent the parasites invading the central nervous system.
  • Leishmaniases: Disease transmitted through the bites of infected female sandflies that in its most severe (visceral) form attacks the internal organs and in its most prevalent (cutaneous) form causes face ulcers, disfiguring scars and disability.
  • Taeniasis and neurocysticercosis: An infection caused by adult tapeworms in human intestines; cysticercosis results when humans ingest tapeworm eggs that develop as larvae in tissues.
  • Dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease): A nematode infection transmitted exclusively by drinking-water contaminated with parasite-infected water fleas.
  • Echinococcosis: Infection caused by the larval stages of tapeworms forming pathogenic cysts in humans and transmitted when ingesting eggs most commonly shed in faeces of dogs and wild animals.
  • Foodborne trematodiases: Infection acquired by consuming fish, vegetables and crustaceans contaminated with larval parasites; clonorchiasis, opisthorchiasis and fascioliasis are the main diseases.
  • Lymphatic filariasis: Infection transmitted by mosquitoes causing abnormal enlargement of limbs and genitals from adult worms inhabiting and reproducing in the lymphatic system.
  • Onchocerciasis (river blindness): Infection transmitted by the bite of infected blackflies causing severe itching and eye lesions as the adult worm produces larvae and leading to visual impairment and permanent blindness.
  • Schistosomiasis: Trematode infections transmitted when larval forms released by freshwater snails penetrate human skin during contact with infested water.
  • Soil-transmitted helminthiases: Nematode infections transmitted through soil contaminated by human faeces causing anaemia, vitamin A deficiency, stunted growth, malnutrition, intestinal obstruction and impaired development.
  • Mycetomais a chronic, progressively destructive inflammatory skin disease which usually affects the lower limbs. Infection is thought to be caused by the inoculation, through a thorn prick or skin damage, of fungi or bacteria into the subcutaneous tissue.

WHO issues new 10-year plan to end suffering from neglected tropical diseases

  • The overarching 2030 global targets are:
  • reduce by 90% the number of people requiring treatment for NTDs
  • at least 100 countries to have eliminated at least one NTD
  • eradicate two diseases (dracunculiasis and yaws)
  • reduce by 75% the disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) related to NTD
  • Additionally, the road map will track 10 cross-cutting targets and disease specific targets that include:
  • a reduction by more than 75% in the number of deaths from vector-borne NTDs such as dengue, leishmaniasis and others,
  • promote full access to basic water supply,
  • sanitation and hygiene in areas endemic for NTDs and achieve greater improvement in collecting and reporting NTD data disaggregated by gender.


  1. Von Neumann Architecture(PIB)
  • Context: Mayank Shrivastava from IISc Bangalore is working on applications of emerging materials that can help computers mimic functions that the brain can perform rapidly.
  • It can help computers perform cognitive functions, identify people from a crowd, distinguish smell as well as learn and take decisions.


  • Since their inception, advanced computing systems have been using von Neumann architecture, which uses physically separated processing and memory blocks.
  • While it has been the most cost-effective approach to date, physical separation of memory from the processing blocks has become the rate limiter for pushing the computational capabilities of advanced nanoelectronic systems.
  • Besides, von Neumann’s architecture fails in real-time processing of information that human brain can process in a fraction of a second.
  • Keeping these gaps in mind, an alternative architecture, inspired by the organization of neurons (processing unit) and synapses (memory) in the human brain that emulates brain-like computing behaviour, have been explored significantly in the last decade.
  • A key element of such an architecture is a memory device called the artificial synapse, which, however, must work on biological/synaptic principles.


  1. Perovskite Solar Cells (PIB)
  • Context: Indian Scientists have devised a new process for increasing the efficiency and stability of Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanorods based on Perovskite Solar Cells (PSC). It will help develop solar cells with stable light-harvesting active layer.
  • Perovskite solar cells have become commercially attractive because of the potential of achieving even higher efficiencies and very low production costs. However, the challenge lies in its short- and long-term stability.  

What are Perovskite Solar Cells?

  • Perovskites are a family of materials with a specific crystal structure, named after the mineral with that structure.
  • Perovskite crystals are found today in ultrasound machines, memory chips, and now – solar cells.
  • When used to create solar cells, they have shown potentialfor high performance and low production costs.
  • Perovskite solar cells have shown remarkable progress in recent years with rapid increases in conversion efficiency, from reports of about 3% in 2006 to over 25% today.
  • While perovskite solar cells have become highly efficient in a very short time, a number of challenges remain before they can become a competitive commercial technology.
  • Perovskites can be tuned to respond to different colors in the solar spectrum by changing the material composition.
  • Perovskite solar cells of certain compositions can convert ultraviolet and visible light into electricity very efficiently, meaning they might be excellent hybrid-tandem partners for absorber materials such as crystalline silicon that efficiently convert infrared light.
  • It is also possible to combine two perovskite solar cells of different composition together to produce a perovskite-only tandem.
  • Doing so could lead to even higher efficiency and more cost-effective tandem photovoltaic (PV) applications.
  • Perovskite solar cells have demonstrated competitive efficiencies with potential for higher performance, but their stability is quite limited compared with that of leading PV technologies: They don’t stand up well to moisture, oxygen, extended periods of light, or high heat.
  • Despite significant progress in understanding the stability and degradation of perovskite solar cells, current operational lifetimes are not commercially viable.

Semiconductors VsPerovskite Solar Cells

  • All photovoltaic solar cells rely on semiconductors — materials in the middle ground between electrical insulators such as glass and metallic conductors such as copper — to turn the energy from light into electricity.
  • Light from the sun excites electrons in the semiconductor material, which flow into conducting electrodes and produce electric current.
  • Silicon has been the primary semiconductor material used in solar cells since the 1950s, as its semiconducting properties align well with the spectrum of the sun’s rays and it is relatively abundant and stable.
  • However, the large silicon crystals used in conventional solar panels require an expensive, multi-step manufacturing process that utilizes a lot of energy.
  • In the search for an alternative, scientists have harnessed the tunability of perovskites to create semiconductors with similar properties to silicon.
  • Perovskite solar cells can be manufactured using simple, additive deposition techniques, like printing, for a fraction of the cost and energy.
  • Because of the compositional flexibility of perovskites, they can also be tuned to ideally match the sun’s spectrum.


D) International Relations

  1. Africa Union suspends Burkina after coup as envoys head for talks (TH, pg 11)
  • Context:The African Union’s 15-member Peace and Security Council suspended Burkina Faso a week after the volatile country suffered its latest coup.


  • The move came three days after the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) suspended Burkina from its ranks and warned of possible sanctions pending the outcome of meetings with the junta.
  • They have previously suspended and enforced sanctions against two other members — Mali and Guinea — where coups have unfurled in the past 18 months.

Troubled country

  • In January 2022, rebel soldiers detained president Roch Marc Christian Kabore amid rising public anger at his failure to stem jihadist violence ravaging the impoverished nation.
  • The coup is the latest bout of turmoil to strike Burkina Faso, a landlocked state that has suffered chronic instability since gaining independence from France in 1960.
  • For more details, refer ‘Coup in Sudan & African Union’ from 4 Jan 2022 file.


  1. Minsk Agreement and the Normandy Process (TH, pg 11)
  • Context: India called for quiet diplomacy and the peaceful resolution of the Russia-Ukraine tensions.
  • More than 20,000 Indian nationals – including students – live in Ukraine.


  • India was one of three countries (Kenya and Gabon were the others) that abstained from a procedural vote on whether or not Ukraine would be discussed. China and Russia voted against the move.
  • The U.S., which initiated the meeting and nine other countries voted to hold the discussion.
  • India reiterated its support for a July 2020 ceasefire, the 2014 Minsk Agreement and the Normandy Process.

Normandy Format

  • The Normandy Format refers to discussions held between Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France, who have met since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea. The four countries met in Paris on January 26 and are set to meet in Berlin in two weeks.

Minsk Agreement

  • Ukraine and the Russian-backed separatists agreed a 12-point ceasefire deal in the capital of Belarus in September 2014 which is also known as the Minsk agreements on the Ukraine conflict.
  • The deal set out a series of military and political steps that remain unimplemented.
  • A major blockage has been Russia’s insistence that it is not a party to the conflict and therefore is not bound by its terms.
  • Russia-Ukraine Conflict has been covered in detail in 21 Jan 2022 file.


F) Polity, Bills, Acts and Judgments

  1. Relationship Between the Governor and the Chief Minister (TH, pg 8)
  • Context: In an unprecedented move, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said she was “forced to block” West Bengal governor on Twitter after getting “irritated” by his constant “abuse” against her.
  • The Governor in turn shared screenshot of Article 167 on social media.


  • The following provisions of the Constitution deal with the relationship between the governor and the Chief Minister:

Article 163

  • There shall be a council of ministers with the Chief Minister as the head to aid and advise the governor on theexercise of his functions, except in so far as he is required toexercise his functions or any of them in his discretion.

Article 164

  • (a) The Chief Minister shall be appointed by the governor andother ministers shall be appointed by the governor on theadvise of the Chief Minister;
  • (b) The ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of thegovernor; and
  • (c) The council of ministers shall be collectively responsible tothe legislative assembly of the state.

Article 167

  • It shall be the duty of the Chief Minister:
  • (a) to communicate to the governor of the state all decisions ofthe council of ministers relating to the administration of theaffairs of the state and proposals for legislation;
  • (b) to furnish such information relating to the administration ofthe affairs of the state and proposals for legislation as thegovernor may call for; and
  • (c) if the governor so requires, to submit for the considerationof the council of ministers any matter on which a decisionhas been taken by a minister but which has not beenconsidered by the council.

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