Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2023
Current Affair 1:
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has modified National Organ Transplantation Guidelines, allowing those above 65 years of age to receive an organ for transplantation from deceased donors.
In India, Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 provides various regulations for the removal of human organs and its storage. It also regulates the transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and for the prevention of commercial dealings in human organs.
What are the Highlights of the New Guidelines?
Removed Age Cap: The upper age limit has been removed as people are now living longer.Earlier, according to the NOTTO (National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization) guidelines, an end-stage organ failure patient above 65 years of age was prohibited from registering to receive the organ.
No Domicile Requirement: The ministry has removed the domicile requirement to register as an organ recipient in a particular state under a ‘One Nation, One Policy’ move. Now a needy patient can register to receive an organ in any state of his or her choice and will also be able to get the surgery done there.
No Fees for Registration: There will be no registration fee that states used to charge for this purpose, the Centre has asked states that used to charge for such registration to not do so. Among the states that sought money for registration were Gujarat, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Kerala. Certain states asked for anything between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 to register a patient on the organ recipient waitlist.
Legal framework regarding human organs transplantation in India:
Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA) 1994 was enacted to provide a system of removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and for the prevention of commercial dealings in human organs.
THOA is now adopted by all States except Andhra and J&K, who have their own similar laws.
Under THOA, source of the organ may be:
Near Relative donor (mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, spouse).
Other than near relative donor: Such a donor can donate only out of affection and attachment or for any other special reason and that too with the approval of the authorisation committee.
Deceased donor, especially after Brain stem death e.g. a victim of road traffic accident etc. where the brain stem is dead and person cannot breathe on his own but can be maintained through ventilator, oxygen, fluids etc. to keep the heart and other organs working and functional. Other type of deceased donor could be donor after cardiac death.
Due to an acute shortage of harvestable organs Government of India amended and reformed the THOA 1994 and consequently, the Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act 2011 was enacted.
Current Affair 2:
vibrant village program
Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved raising of seven new ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) battalions and allocated Rs 4,800 crore under the Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) to bolster the social and security framework along the China border.
The Cabinet has also cleared a 4.1-km Shinku-La tunnel on the Manali-Darcha-Padum-Nimmu axis to allow all-weather connectivity to Ladakh.
Significance of Vibrant Village Programme
The program envisages coverage of border villages on the Northern border having sparse populations, limited connectivity, and infrastructure, which often get left out of the development gains. The scheme will help encourage people to stay in their native locations in border areas and reverse the out-migration from these villages, adding to improved security of the border.
The scheme will provide funds for the development of essential infrastructure and the creation of livelihood opportunities. The scheme will help to strengthen India’s cooperative sector and to deepen its reach to the grassroots as it will enable cooperative societies to set up and modernize the necessary infrastructure. The also aims to develop sustainable agricultural, dairy, and fishery cooperatives in each village.
It will be supported by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), and the National Fisheries Development Board. The plan aims to establish viable Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) in each uncovered Panchayat
Key focus areas: It focuses livelihood generation, road connectivity, housing, rural infrastructure, renewable energy, television and broadband connections. This objective will be met by strengthening infrastructure across villages located near the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Why need such scheme: The programme is a counter to China’s model villages but the name has been carefully chosen so as to not cause any consternation in the neighbouring country.China has established new villages along the LAC in the past few years particularly across the Arunachal Pradesh border. While China has been the settling new residents in border areas, villages on the Indian side of the frontier have seen unprecedented out-migration.
Border Security Force (BSF)
It is India’s border guarding forces along the borders of Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Administrative Control: Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Purpose: It was raised in the wake of the 1965 War on 1 December 1965 as India’s first line of defence for ensuring the security of the borders of India and for matters connected therewith.
Deployment: On-Line of Control (LoC) along with the Indian Army and in Anti-Naxal Operations.
Officials: The BSF has its own cadre of officers but its head, designated as a Director-General (DG), since its raising has been an officer from the Indian Police Service (IPS).
Current Affair 3:
Deep sea fish conservation
Supreme Court (SC) has given permission to fishermen using Purse Seine Fishing gear to fish beyond territorial waters (12 nautical miles) and within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (200 nautical miles) of Tamil Nadu but observing certain restrictions.
This comes in the backdrop against the banning of purse seine fishing by the Tamil Nadu Government in February 2022.SC has restricted the purse seiner to fish on two days, Monday and Thursday from 8am to 6pm revoking the complete ban imposed by Tamil Nadu government.
The Court's interim order against the Tamil Nadu Government's ban on purse seine fishing appears to be more concerned with administrative and transparency measures to regulate fishing than with the obligations and conservation measures that a coastal state is required to follow in its EEZ under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The order ought to have taken into consideration conservation strategies (as recommended by various regional conventions) and rulings from various tribunals (incorporating conservation strategies based on best science or pertinent scientific evidence to control overfishing and protect endangered marine living resources from extinction).
Contrary to traditional fishers employing traditional fishing gear, purse seiners frequently overfish, threatening the traditional fisher's means of subsistence.
Food security is under risk due to the declining supply of oil sardines, a favourite fish among Keralans.
Only 3,297 tonnes of sardines were taken in by Kerala in 2021, a significant drop from the 3.9 lakh tonnes taken in in 2012.
Regulation of fishing methods
Restricting purse seine fishermen to fish on specific days and hours is not enough to regulate their fishing methods.
International legal efforts are moving in the direction of abandoning the use of large-scale pelagic nets.
The huge size of purse seine nets allows maximum catch for the purse seiners, leaving behind insufficient catch for traditional fishermen.
Several regional organizations prohibit the use of large drift nets or call for their prohibition, such as the 1989 Tarawa Declaration of the South Pacific Forum.
The 1989 Convention for the Prohibition of Fishing with Long Drift Nets in the South Pacific restricts port access for drift net fishing vessels.
Although these conventions and UN General Assembly resolutions are applicable to state parties on the high seas, they are relevant in preventing overfishing in general and conserving fishery management in the EEZ.
On non-selective fishing technology
The Court must also consider non-selective fishing methods that result in the by-catch of other marine living species, including endangered species.
A party under Article XX (b) of the UN resolution can take measures to protect human, animal, or plant life provided it involves “conservation of exhaustible natural resources if such measures are made effective in conjunction with restrictions on domestic production or consumption” (Article XX(g).
In Shrimp/Turtle, the appellate body held that the U.S. measure — which prohibited imports of shrimp from any country that did not have a turtle-excluder fishing gear comparable to that of the United States — fit the Article XX(g) exception for the conservation of exhaustible natural resources.
Main types of Deep sea fishing
Fishing that takes place in the open ocean, typically far from the shore, is referred to as deep-sea fishing. Here are a few typical techniques for deep-sea fishing:
Trolling: This is a technique in which a lure or bait is drawn through the water behind a moving boat. The lure is designed to attract fish to bite.
Bottom fishing: This is a technique in which the bait is dropped to the bottom of the sea. The trick can be left on the bottom or lifted slightly off the bottom to attract fish.
Jigging is a technique in which a weighted lure is dropped to the bottom of the sea and lifted and lowered to attract fish.
Drifting: This is a technique in which the boat is allowed to drift along with the current while bait is deployed. The bait can be on the surface or suspended at a depth to attract fish.
Chumming: This is a technique in which fish bait is scattered over the water to attract fish.
Deep dropping: This is a technique in which the bait is dropped to the bottom of the sea, usually in depths of several hundred meters, to catch deep-sea species
Current Affair 4:
The widespread use of Lead has resulted in extensive environmental contamination, human exposure and significant public health problems in many parts of the world.
What is Lead Poisoning?
Lead poisoning is a type of poisoning that occurs when lead accumulates in the body, often over a period of months or years.
It is caused by the absorption of Lead in the system and is characterised especially by fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, anaemia, a dark line along the gums, and muscle paralysis or weakness of limbs.
Children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning because their bodies are still developing.
What is meant by lead poisoning?
Lead poisoning, also known as chronic intoxication, is caused by lead absorption in the body and is characterised by fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, lack of appetite, anaemia, a dark line along the gums, and muscle paralysis or weakness of limbs.
Children under the age of six are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can have serious effects on their mental and physical development.
It can be fatal at high levels.
Lead exposure also causes anaemia, renal impairment, hypertension,immunotoxicity, and reproductive organ toxicity.
More than three-quarters of global lead consumption is used in the manufacture of lead-acid batteries for motor vehicles.
Lead Poisoning Sources:
Lead can be ingested by people through occupational and environmental sources. This is primarily due to:
Inhalation of lead particles produced by burning lead-containing materials, such as smelting, recycling, stripping leaded paint, and utilising leaded aviation fuel, and
Consumption of lead-contaminated dust, water (from lead-contaminated pipes), and food (from lead-glazed or lead-soldered containers).
Source of lead poisoning
Lead is a toxic element that occurs naturally in the Earth's crust.
Lead is distributed throughout the body, including the brain, liver, kidneys, and bones. It's stored in the teeth and bones, where it builds up over time.
Human exposure is often measured by measuring the amount of lead in the blood.
During pregnancy, lead in bone is released into the blood and constitutes a source of exposure for the developing foetus.
There is no amount of lead exposure that is known to be without harmful effects.
Exposure to lead is preventable.
Small exposure to lead causes symptoms like headaches, nausea, irritability, tiredness and stomach ache. Hence, it has a tendency to go undiagnosed. Most children with lead poisoning do not show any outward symptoms unless blood lead levels are extremely high. Consequently, many cases go undiagnosed
Large exposure affects development of brain, especially in children and lowers IQ.
Lead exposure also makes the body susceptible to anemia as it prevents formation of hemoglobin. Lead replaces minerals, notably iron and calcium, in the body and prevents hemoglobin
It also increases risk of early death.
Lead Poisoning Prevention
Identification of victims: People suffering from lead pollution needs to be identified through BLL monitoring and training health workers. This will help locate the most vulnerable groups.
Identifying sources: Intensified research needs to be conducted to identify new sources of lead pollution. This will help policymakers to take mitigating measures.
Battery handling: Being a major Source of lead Poisoning, battery recycling process needs to be regulated. Strict measures have to be implemented to prevent exposure.
Regular testing: Regular testing of products, suspected of containing lead, has to be conducted. This includes food products, paints, toys and medicines. Gradual phasing out of toxic products is necessary.
Awareness creation: Mitigating lead pollution needs state-level measures. There is a need to engage regional bureaucracy, local press and vernacular language to spread awareness about lead pollution.
Treatment: Medicines use can bind lead so it can be eliminated from the body. Chelation therapy can be used in children when lead blood levels are higher.
Legislative policy: Policies have to be brought on that control and regulate practices involving lead.
Current Affair 5:
Marine spatial planning
Puducherry has launched the country’s first Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) framework as part of a pact under the Indo-Norway Integrated Ocean Initiative.
Puducherry and Lakshadweep were chosen as coastlines to pilot the MSP initiative after a 2019 Memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Norway.
What is Marine Spatial Planning?
MSP is an ecosystem-based spatial planning process for analysing current and anticipated ocean and coastal uses and identifying areas most suitable for various activities.
It provides a public policy process for society to better determine how the ocean and coasts are sustainably used and protected - now and for future generations.
MSP will be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) through National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) for India and the Norwegian Environment Agency through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway.
Aim: To ensure that human activities at sea take place in an efficient, safe and sustainable manner in areas such as energy, transportation, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, etc.
In its primary phase, NCCR will develop an MSP framework for Puducherry and Lakshadweep.
These sites have been chosen due to their setups with unique opportunities for multiple sectors such as industries, fisheries, tourism, etc.
The Government of India's initial investments for undertaking the studies and planning are estimated to be around Rs. 8-10 crores per annum.
In the future, the MSP framework of these two areas can be replicated in other coastal regions of the country.
Both countries have decided to extend support for sustainable ocean resources utilisation to advance economic and social development in coastal areas.
The World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have also shown interest in supporting MoES in conducting MSP.
It will aid the development of multiple economic sectors and stakeholders in a greater number of coastal areas of India.MSP is globally identified as a tool for sustainable and integrated ocean management.It is a noted area for work in India’s (draft) Blue Economic Policy, which is under development by MoES. The Government of India’s vision of New India by 2030 highlights the blue economy as one of the core dimensions of growth.
MSP is not an end in itself, but a practical way to create and establish a more rational use of marine space and the interactions among its uses.
It balances demands for development with the need to protect the environment, and delivers social and economic outcomes in an open and planned way.
NCCR (National Centre for Coastal Research)
The NCCR, an attached office of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, monitors shoreline changes along the Indian coast.
NCCR is envisaged to develop and improve the country’s capabilities in addressing the challenging problems prevailing in the coastal zone, which have societal, economical and environmental implications.
These activities of NCCR would be an integral part of the Ministry’s mission to offer scientific and technical support to coastal communities and stakeholders for integrated and sustainable use of resources towards the socio-economic benefit of the society
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