Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022

Mar 02, 2022

Current Affair 1:
5 major sources of AMR: UNEP Report


The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) identified five major contributors to the global development, transmission and spread of antimicrobial resistance(AMR) in a new report February 28, 2022.

The spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the environment is increased by pollution from human activities, which affects both humans and animals.

The major sources of AMR mentioned in the UNEP report released on the sidelines of the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly include:

Poor sanitation, sewage and waste effluent; Effluent and waste from pharmaceuticals manufacturing; Effluent and waste from healthcare facilities; Use of antimicrobial and manure in crop production; Releases, effluent and waste in animal production.

Poor sanitation, sewage and waste effluent: Over 56 per cent of domestic and industrial wastewater globally is released into the environment with little or no treatment. The lack of sanitation, poorly functioning sanitation or fragmented systems (open defecation, poorly contained pit latrines, septic tanks and sewers) that contaminate water sources spread AMR.

This also includes releases from unused drugs disposed of in toilets, bins or waste dumps and leaching from open waste dumps.

Pharmaceuticals manufacturing: Release of active pharmaceutical ingredients and high concentrations of antimicrobials in the environment without its proper treatment is one of the critical drivers of AMR. This also includes the solid waste and effluents from these institutions because of the presence of residual antimicrobials.

Healthcare facilities: As antimicrobials are frequently used in healthcare, effluent and hospital solid waste from healthcare facilities is an important source of discharges of resistant microbes, antimicrobial pollution and antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) into the environment.

Antimicrobials and manure in crop production: Pesticides with antimicrobial properties such as antibiotics and fungicides are widely used in industrial crop production and could impact AMR in the environment. This includes untreated manure and wastewater that may contain pharmaceuticals residues, ARGs and resistant microbes intentionally applied to soil and crops.

Releases, effluent, waste in animal production: The report emphasises the environmental contamination caused by pharmaceuticals residues, ARGs and resistant microbes derived from aquatic as well as terrestrial animal production manure and effluent.

Another source of concern in aquaculture is the use of antibiotics and parasiticides, which are then released into the environment. The improper disposal of unused drugs, which results in these drugs entering the environment, is a source of concern for the entire animal production industry.

Current Affair 2:
Longitudinal Ageing Study of India


LASI is a full–scale national survey of scientific investigation of the health, economic, and social determinants and consequences of population ageing in India. It is India’s first and the world’s largest ever survey that provides a longitudinal database for designing policies and programmes for the older population in the broad domains of social, health, and economic well-being.

The evidence from LASI will be used to further strengthen and broaden the scope of National Programme for Health Care of the Elderly and also help in establishing a range of preventive and health care programmes for older population and most vulnerable among them.

Important features of LASI:

The LASI has embraced state-of-the-art large-scale survey protocols and field implementation strategies including representative sample of India and its States, socioeconomic spectrum, an expansive topical focus, a longitudinal design, and the use of Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) technology for data collection, quality control, and Geographic Information System (GIS).

A unique feature of LASI is the coverage of comprehensive biomarkers. No other survey in India collects detailed data on health and biomarkers together with information on family and social network, income, assets, and consumption.

Agencies Involved:

The National Programme for Health Care of Elderly, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has undertaken the Longitudinal Ageing Study of India, through International Institute for Population Sciences, (IIPS), Mumbai in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health, University of Southern California, USA, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and National Institute on Ageing.

About United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. Our mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.


Current Affair 3:
India gets 1st preprint server back — ‘IndiaRxiv’


Indian researchers again have a dedicated server to upload pre-prints of their research. IndiaRxiv (pronounced India Archive) was relaunched on 24 February after a temporary run two years ago.

Preprints are research papers that have not yet undergone a peer review, as is the norm to establish verified results from scientific research. Preprints have proved useful in advancing science during the pandemic, making findings public much quicker, before the time-consuming peer-review process. Conversely, the lack of peer review enables academics to upload and make public findings that may not be the result of complete rigour.

Global preprint servers such as arXiv (general) and bioRxiv (for life sciences) exist already. With IndiaRxiv, the work of Indian researchers can be collated in one place, say the scientists behind the server.


Now or later, all the works of Indian researchers will be available at one portal and the landscape of works can show how the research is being carried out over a period of time and across various disciplines by Indian researchers.

Combating misinformation

While preprints can enable quick distribution and availability of research data, they can also contribute to misinformation in the form of sensationalised, or non-rigorous or pseudoscientific research.

As both legitimate and subpar quality papers are uploaded side-by-side, it can often lead to misinterpretation and misrepresentation of badly performed studies, a common problem with preprint servers.

To combat this, IndiaRxiv has made its publishing moderated and not self-published. The server has a “steering committee”, comprising volunteers from academia, who do initial quality checks and then approve papers for publication on the server.

Preprints can have various versions based on improvements. But when published, it will have only one version and cannot be updated.

Current Affair 4:
India Russia Trade for last 5 years


The main products that India exported to Russia were Packaged Medicaments, Broadcasting Equipment , and Tea. The main products that Russia exported to India are Crude Petroleum, Coal Briquettes and Diamonds.


Defense/weapons trade

Russia is the second largest arms exporter in the world, following only the USA. In the five-year period between 2016 and 2020 America’s share in the global arms trade was 37%, compared to 20% of Russia’s, as per the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which tracks the global arms trade and military expenditure.

For Russia, India is the largest importer, and for India, Russia the largest exporter when it comes to arms transfer. Between 2000 and 2020, Russia accounted for 66.5% of India’s arms imports.


Current Affair 5:
Three crops rule the world


Around three-fourths of the food humans consume globally comes from just 12 plant and five animal sources, with just three crops — wheat, rice and corn — accounting for 51 per cent of the calories included in the diet, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Its estimates suggest that the gross global production of all cereals in 2021-22 will be 2,800 million tonnes, 12.1 million tonnes more than in 2020-21. The total production of wheat is estimated at 776.7 million tonnes or 7.2 million tonnes more than that for 2020-21.

This year’s production of rice is estimated at 519 million tonnes (0.6 million tonnes more than last year), while maize production at 1,192 million tonnes will be 3 per cent more than last year.

An analysis of these figures suggests that maize accounts for 42.5 per cent, wheat 27.7 per cent and rice 18.5 per cent of global cereal production — around 89 per cent of the total.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the European Union accounts for 18 per cent of the total global wheat production, China accounts for 17 per cent, India 14 per cent.

The report says that both wildlife and human survival is tied to the way we eat. Repeated planting of the same crop on the same land area leads to depletion of soil nutrients. Successive crop generations then require excessive use of fertilisers and pesticides, which are detrimental to the environment and the consumers of the crops.

Insects, for instance, that live on farmland and feed on grass and other crops have seen a massive decline in populations over the last 50 years. This in turn has an effect on pollination. If insects continue to disappear, millions of plants will soon become extinct, putting agricultural production, and consequently food security, in jeopardy.

These three crops also threaten the world’s food security, by destroying the global agricultural biodiversity. Around 5,000 years ago, humans had thousands of plants to use as sources of food, including several varieties of the three important crops. However, the advent of the Green Revolution has reduced this pool to some three dozen plants.

For example, India was once home to 60,000 rice varieties, but the pursuit of high productivity promoted only a few cultivars with potential for maximum yield, at the cost of the plant’s genetic diversity. Several rice varieties have now become extinct, found only in gene banks.


This has adverse effects. First, dependence of just a few crops leaves the vulnerable to disaster in the face of famines, plant diseases, pest infestation, climate change or any other unforeseen event.

Second, the rising popularity of these three crops is homogenising human diet. Soon, there will be no region that is not dependent on either of these crops. Already, South Asia runs on rice. Daal-bhat (pulses and rice) is a staple meal in the Himalayan states of India and in Nepal. Wheat is a common kitchen ingredient all across the world. Meanwhile, China and the US alone consume 54 per cent of the maize produced globally, says USDA.

In order to ensure adequate food security for the future, we need to adapt our agricultural practices according to the principles of environmental protection and to the socio-cultural objectives of physical, intellectual, moral, emotional and psychological development.


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