Daily Prelims Newsletter for upsc 15 Mar 2022

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

15 Mar 2022-Tuesday

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

India's Maternal Mortality Rate

Why in the news?

The Registrar General of India’s Sample Registration System (SRS) recently published the most recent special bulletin on Maternal Mortality in India (2017-19).

According to the World Health Organization, maternal death is defined as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of a pregnancy termination from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management.

The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) is defined as the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births during a given time period.

What is the role of the Registrar General of India?

It is overseen by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Aside from conducting the Population Census and monitoring the implementation of the Registration of Births and Deaths in the country, it has been providing fertility and mortality estimates using the Sample Registration System (SRS).

SRS is the country’s largest demographic sample survey, providing direct estimates of maternal mortality through a nationally representative sample, among other indicators.

On a regular basis, VA instruments are administered for deaths reported under the SRS in order to produce a cause-specific mortality profile for the country.

What is India’s position on MMR?

India’s MMR has dropped by ten points. It fell from 113 in 2016-18 to 103 in 2017-19. (8.8 percent decline).

The MMR in the country had gradually decreased from 130 in 2014-2016 to 122 in 2015-17, 113 in 2016-18, and 103 in 2017-19.

India was on the verge of meeting the National Health Policy (NHP) target of 100/lakh live births by 2020, and on track to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals target of 70/lakh live births by 2030.

Many developed countries have succeeded in reducing MMR to single digits. The lowest MMR is two in Italy, Norway, Poland, and Belarus, while it is seven in Germany and the United Kingdom, ten in Canada, and 19 in the United States.

The majority of India’s neighbours have a higher MMR, including Nepal (186), Bangladesh (173), and Pakistan (140). China and Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are far ahead, with MMRs of 18.3 and 36, respectively.

What are the findings specific to each state?

The number of states that have met the SDG target has increased from five to seven, with Kerala (30), Maharashtra (38), Telangana (56), Tamil Nadu (58), Andhra Pradesh (58), Jharkhand (61), and Gujarat among them (70). Kerala has the lowest MMR, which puts it well ahead of the national MMR of 103.

Kerala has the lowest MMR, which puts it well ahead of the national MMR of 103.

The Maternal MMR in Kerala has fallen by 12 points. The most recent SRS bulletin (2015-17) put the state’s MMR at 42. (later adjusting it to 43).

There are now nine states that have met the NHP’s MMR target, including the seven mentioned above, as well as Karnataka (83) and Haryana (96).

Uttarakhand (101), West Bengal (109), Punjab (114), Bihar (130), Odisha (136), and Rajasthan (141) have MMRs ranging from 100 to 150, while Chhattisgarh (160), Madhya Pradesh (163), Uttar Pradesh (167), and Assam (205) have MMRs that exceed 150.

What are some examples of related government initiatives?

The National Health Mission’s Janani Suraksha Yojana will link cash assistance to institutional deliveries.

On the 9th of every month, the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) provides a fixed day for assured, comprehensive, and quality antenatal care to pregnant women at no cost.

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, Poshan Abhiyan, and LaQshya Guidelines are examples of government initiatives.

The Way Forward

Maternal mortality in a region is a measure of the reproductive health of the region’s women.

The WHO has already praised India’s efforts to reduce maternal mortality. India must pay special attention to states with higher MMR.

Detailed Project Report on River Rejuvenation

Why in the news?

The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change recently released Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) worth Rs. 19,000 crore on the rejuvenation of 13 major rivers through forestry interventions.

Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, Yamuna, Brahmaputra, Narmada, Godavari, Mahanadi, Krishna, Cauvery, and Luni are among the 13 rivers.

What was the motivation behind these DPRs?

It is modelled after the work done for the river as part of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in 2015-16, and it recognises that the growing water crisis is caused by the degradation of river ecosystems.

To achieve the broad objectives of ‘Aviral Dhara’ (uninterrupted flow), ‘Nirmal Dhara’ (clean water), and ecological rejuvenation, the project took a multi-scale, multi-stakeholder, multidisciplinary, and holistic approach.

How much land/landscape is expected to be revitalised?

The 13 rivers cover a total basin area of 18,90,110 square kilometres, accounting for 57.45 percent of the country’s geographical area.

Within the delineated riverscapes, the length of 13 rivers, including 202 tributaries, is 42,830 km.

The Brahmaputra Riverscape had the most tributaries (30) and the largest area (1,54,456 sq km).

The documents propose various types of river afforestation. Timber species, medicinal plants, grasses, shrubs, fuel fodder, and fruit trees are among them.

What Interventions are in the Works?

The DPRs recognise the value of using a holistic riverscape approach for forestry interventions in three types of landscapes within a riverscape, namely natural, agricultural, and urban, as well as conservation interventions such as soil and moisture conservation measures, riverine and riparian wildlife management, and wetland management.

Supporting activities include policy level interventions, strategic and adaptive research, capacity development, awareness creation, project management, and participatory monitoring and evaluation.

What are the Proposed Interventions’ Potential Benefits?

Increased Forest Coverage: It is expected to increase total forest cover by 7,417.36 square kilometres across 13 riverscapes.

Help with CO2 Sequestration: The proposed interventions would aid in CO2 sequestration to the tune of 50.21 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 10-year-old plantations, while the estimated CO2 sequestered in 20-year-old plantations would be 74.76 million tonnes of CO2.

They would help recharge groundwater, reduce sedimentation, and generate Rs. 449.01 crore from non-timber and other forest produce.

Employment Generation: They are also expected to contribute significantly to job creation, with nearly 344 million man-days of work.

Meeting International Commitments: These efforts would assist India in meeting its international climate commitments of creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through increased forest and tree cover by 2030 under the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),

Under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Sustainable Development Goals, restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 and halt biodiversity loss by 2030.

At the COP26 meeting, India pledged to reduce its projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes by 2030, to meet half of its energy needs with renewable energy by 2030, to increase non–fossil energy capacity to 500 gigatonnes by 2030, to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by 45 percent by 2030, and to achieve net zero emissions by 2070.

In addition, as part of the Bonn Challenge, India pledged in 2015 to restore five million hectares of degraded land by 2030.

What are the associated difficulties?

Growing water scarcity as a result of depleting fresh water resources, particularly due to the shrinking and degradation of river ecosystems, is a major impediment to achieving national environmental, conservation, climate change, and sustainable development goals.

The project’s success is dependent on a number of factors, including the proper method of plantation and climate changes.

The Way Forward

To avoid risks associated with plantation and climate change, the forest department should ensure “quality of planting stock, particularly age and size are important aspects,” and that soil and moisture conservation should be done prior to plantation to further mitigate risk.

The RBI's Microfinance Loan Regulatory Framework

Why in the news?

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently granted Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) the freedom to set the interest rates they charge borrowers, with the caveat that the rates not be usurious.

The guidelines will go into effect on April 1st, 02022.

Earlier in 2021, the RBI proposed raising the MFI interest rate cap.

What are the Guidelines’ Key Points?

A microfinance loan is defined as follows:

The RBI redefined a microfinance loan as a collateral-free loan made to a household with an annual income of up to Rs. 3 lakh. Previously, the upper limits for rural borrowers were Rs.1.2 lakh and Rs.2 lakh for urban borrowers.

Regulated Entities (REs):

According to the revised norms, Regulated Entities (REs) must implement a board-approved policy for microfinance loan pricing, as well as a ceiling on interest rates and all other charges applicable to microfinance loans.

Each RE must provide pricing information to a prospective borrower in the form of a standardised, simplified factsheet.

Microfinance Loan Penalty:

There will be no prepayment penalty on microfinance loans.

If a penalty is imposed for late payment, it will be applied only to the overdue amount and not to the entire loan amount.

Any change in interest rate or other charge must be communicated to the borrower in advance, and these changes must take effect only prospectively.

Loan Recovery: RE would have to put in place a mechanism for identifying borrowers who are having repayment difficulties, engaging with such borrowers, and providing them with the necessary guidance about the recourse available.

While initiating the recovery process, the RE will provide the borrower with the details of recovery agents to ensure due notice and appropriate authorisation.

What will be the Guidelines’ applicability?

All Commercial Banks (excluding Payments Banks) (including Small Finance Banks, Local Area Banks, and Regional Rural Banks).

Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks, State Co-operative Banks, and District Central Co-operative Banks

All Non-Banking Financial Institutions (including Microfinance Institutions and Housing Finance Companies).

What are the advantages?

Increase Market Opportunity: Raising the income cap to Rs. 3 lakh will increase market opportunity, and removing the interest rate cap will encourage risk-based underwriting.

Encourage Healthy Competition: It will go a long way toward harmonising the regulatory framework for various types of lenders, encouraging healthy competition, and allowing customers to make informed decisions about their credit needs.

Financial Inclusion: The new framework will help the industry scale up even further, while also ensuring better risk mitigation and financial inclusion.

Level Playing Field: It will level the playing field, giving both borrowers and lenders options.

Provide for the Needy: It will protect the interests of borrowers while also assisting the sector in providing for the needs of needy borrowers.

What exactly is a Microfinance Institution (MFI)?

A microfinance institution (MFI) is a company that provides financial services to low-income people.

Microloans, microsavings, and microinsurance are examples of these services.

MFIs are financial institutions that make small loans to people who do not have access to banking services.

Although the so-called interest rates are typically lower than those charged by traditional banks, some critics of the concept accuse microfinance institutions of profiteering by manipulating the money of the poor.

The microfinance sector has grown rapidly over the last few decades, and it now serves approximately 102 million accounts (including banks and small finance banks) of India’s poor population.

Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), cooperatives, community-based development institutions such as self-help groups and credit unions, commercial and state banks, insurance and credit card companies, telecommunications and wire services, post offices, and other points of sale have emerged as new providers of financial services to the poor.

In India, NBFC-MFIs are governed by the Reserve Bank of India’s Non-Banking Financial Company -Micro Finance Institutions (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2011. (RBI).

Other’s News

ESA Vigil Mission

It was formerly known as “Lagrange,” and it is the European Space Agency’s upcoming space weather mission (ESA).

It is the first mission of its kind, designed to monitor our active and unpredictable Sun and assist us in protecting ourselves from its violent outbursts.

The mission will provide us with early warning of impending solar storms.

This will be critical in protecting the Earth’s infrastructure, satellites, inhabitants, and space explorers from unpredictable but violent solar events such as solar flares and ‘Coronal Mass Ejections.’

This mission will be launched in the mid-2020s and placed in orbit around the 5th Lagrange point.


The United States and NATO allies are rushing weapons into Ukraine, including highly sensitive items like Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems (MANPADS).

Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems (MANPADS) are surface-to-air missiles that are short-range, lightweight, and portable, and are used to destroy aircraft or helicopters.

[Man-Portable Anti-Tank Systems (MANPATs) function similarly but are used to destroy or disable military tanks.]

MANPADS are frequently referred to as shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.

Individuals or small groups can shoulder-fire them, or they can be launched from atop a ground vehicle, or fired from a tripod or stand, or from a helicopter or boat.

They aid in the protection of troops from aerial attacks and are most effective when targeting low-flying aircraft.

The United States and the Soviet Union were the first to introduce MANPADS in the 1960s.

The most common type of MANPAD is the Stinger missile, which is manufactured in the United States.

MANPADS have a maximum range of 8 kilometres and can engage targets at altitudes of 4.5 kilometres. They weigh between 10 and 20 kg and are no longer than 1.8 m long.

The majority of MANPADS have passive or ‘fire and forget’ guidance systems, which means the operator is not required to guide the missile to its target, allowing them to run and relocate immediately after firing. The missile remains locked on to the target, requiring no active guidance from the soldier.

The missiles are outfitted with infrared (IR) seekers, which detect and target the airborne vehicle using heat radiation emitted by the latter.

Objections – Non-state actors, such as rebel and terrorist groups, are known to have illegally obtained MANPADS and used them during civil wars and other high-intensity conflicts over time.

Russia is by far the largest exporter of MANPADs, having sold over 10,000 such systems to countries such as Iraq, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, and Libya between 2010 and 2018.

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