Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 19 Apr, 2021

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“Inclusive Internet Index 2021” Released

What is the News?

Inclusive Internet Index 2021 has been released.

About Inclusive Internet Index, 2021

  • Facebook Commissions the Inclusive Internet Index, 2021, and The Economist Intelligence Unit develops the index.
  • Purpose: It seeks to measure the extent of accessibility and affordability of the Internet. Also, the internet should be able to enable positive social and economic outcomes at the individual and group levels.
  • Countries Covered: The index assesses the performance of 120 countries representing 98% of global GDP and 96% of the global population.
  • Categories: The Index score is based on the scores of 4 categories;
    1. Availability: It examines the quality and breadth of available infrastructure required for access and levels of Internet usage.
    2. Affordability: It examines the cost of access relative to income and the level of competition in the Internet marketplace.
    3. Relevance: It also examines the existence and extent of local language content and relevant content.
    4.  Readiness: Furthermore, it examines the capacity to access the Internet. It includes skills (literacy), cultural acceptance, and supporting policy. Literacy measures the level of education and preparedness to use the Internet

Key Findings Related to India:

  • India’s Rank: 49th out of 120 countries in the Index.
  • India is set to reach one billion internet users by 2025. There were over 687.6 million internet users in India in 2020.

Other Findings:

  • Topped by: Sweden ranks 1st in the index, followed by the US and Spain.
  • The majority of countries (77 out of 120) saw improvements in internet inclusion overall, in part because of increased availability.
  • People in low and lower-middle-income countries relied more on online education during the pandemic in comparison to wealthier countries.

Source: EIU

Meghalaya Records India’s First “Disc Footed Bat” with Sticky Disks

What is the News? 

Researchers from the Zoological Survey of India(ZSI) discovers India’s first disc footed bat with sticky nodes, near the Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary in Meghalaya. This location is about 1,000 km west of its nearest habitat in Myanmar.

Also ReadOther Species in News for Prelims, 2021

About Disc Footed Bat:

  • This bat(Eudiscopus denticulus) is a bat species that is very different. It has a flat skull, prominent disk-like pads in the thumb, and bright orange colouration.
  • This bat rests inside bamboo internodes. Their sticky disks and flattened skull help them in this.
  • Habitat: So far, this species only thrive in a few localities in Southern China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar.
  • The disc-footed bat is genetically very different from all other bats bearing disc-like pads.

Significance of this discovery:

  • The disc footed has raised Meghalaya’s bat count to 66, the most for any State in India.
  • Further, it has also helped add a genus and species to the bat fauna of India taking the species count of the flying mammal in the country to 130.

Source: The Hindu

“Gender Samvaad” Event Organised by Ministry of Rural Development

What is the News? 

The Ministry of Rural Development has organized the Gender Samvaad Event.

About Gender Samvaad Event:

  • Gender Samvaad is a cooperation between Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission(DAY-NRLM) and Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE).
  • Aim: It aims to generate greater awareness about gender-related interventions under DAY-NRLM across the country. It focuses on hearing opinions from the states and the field.

Activities under Gender Samvaad: Gender Samvaad provides states with opportunities to:

  • Understand best practices/initiatives that other states are undertaking to improve women’s organisations.
  • Understand gender interventions globally;
  • Engage with experts and other colleagues on suggestions regarding how to handle issues/implementation barriers;
  • The creation of a ‘gender repository’. It will have resource materials on best practices for gender interventions across the country/other countries;
  • Build advocacy on the need to focus on gender issues across State and National Rural Livelihoods Missions.

Click Here to Read about DAY-NRLM


  • In 2016, DAY-NRLM launched a gender operational strategy to mainstream gender issues. Its focus was on training and capacity building of staff, cadres, and institutions on gender issues.
  • This was coupled with the establishment of institutional platforms (e.g. social action committees and gender resource centres) at the field level. So that women could approach them for their grievances and claim their rights and entitlements.

 About IWWAGE:

  • Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy(IWWAGE) is an initiative of LEAD.
  • LEAD is an action-oriented research center of IFMR Society (a not-for-profit society registered under the Societies Act).
  • Aim: To build on existing research and generate new evidence to inform and facilitate the agenda of women’s economic empowerment.

Source: PIB

“National Startup Advisory Council” – First Meeting Held

What is the News? The Minister of Commerce & Industry chaired the first meeting of the National Startup Advisory Council(NSAC).

About the National Startup Advisory Council(NSAC):

  • National Startup Advisory Council(NSAC) was constituted by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade(DPIIT).
  • Purpose: To advise the Government on measures required to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country.

Functions of NSAC:

  • To foster a culture of innovation amongst citizens and students, in particular. Further, it also promotes innovation in all sectors of the economy across the country.
  • To facilitate public organisations to assimilate innovation. This includes innovations in improving public service delivery, promote the creation, protection, and commercialization of intellectual property rights.
  • To make it easier to start, operate, grow and exit businesses. It aims to achieve this by reducing regulatory compliances and costs, promote ease of access to capital for startups.

Also readAim Prime For science based start Ups

Composition of the National Startup Advisory Council:

  • Chairman: Minister for Commerce & Industry.
  • Convener of the Council: Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
  • Ex-officio Members: Nominees of the concerned Ministries/ Departments/ Organisations not below the rank of Joint Secretary.
  • Non-official members: They are nominated by the Government from various categories like:
    • Founders of successful startups
    • Veterans who have grown and scaled companies in India
    • Persons capable of representing the interests of investors into startups, etc.

Note: The term of the non-official members will be for a period of two years or until further orders whichever is earlier.

Source: PIB

Railways to Map Local Festivals Near Tracks

What is the News?

The Ministry of Railways will map local festivals celebrated along the railway tracks across the country. It aims to stop the unusual incidents resulting in casualties.

About Railway’s Initiative

  • People in India celebrate several local festivals near Railway tracks. During this, the crowd gathers near the railway premises and crosses the track in groups to take part in the event.
  • Such occasions resulted in casualties in the past.
  • Example: In a previous year, 61 people killed when a crowd was watching a burning ‘Ravana’ effigy as part of the Dasara celebrations near Amritsar. During the festival, People were crossing the railway track and a high-speed train ran over them.

Railways Advisory:

  • Indian Railways advised all divisional railway managers to prepare a list of local festivals. The list will contain all such festivals that create the possibility of crowds gathering on and around railway tracks in all States.
  • The loco pilot of all trains passing through such locations on the festival day would receive suitable advice. It would contain speed restrictions and other safety aspects.

Source: The Hindu

“Global Diabetes Compact” – To Increase Access to Treatment

What is the News? 

The World Health Organization (WHO) launches a Global Diabetes Compact Initiative.

About Global Diabetes Compact Initiative:

  • Global Diabetes Compact aims to reduce the risk of diabetes. It will ensure that all people diagnosed with diabetes have access to equitable, comprehensive, affordable, quality treatment and care.
  • This initiative launched at the Global Diabetes Summit. WHO and the government of Canada Co-hosted the summit with the support of the University of Toronto.
  • Global Targets: The initiative will set standards for tackling the disease in the form of ‘global coverage targets’. It will ensure a wider reach of diabetes care. A “global price tag” will also quantify the costs and benefits of meeting these new targets.
Need of Global Diabetes Compact
  • Diabetes is one of the major comorbid conditions. It is linked to severe COVID-19 infections.
  • The number of people with diabetes quadrupled in the last 40 years. It is also the only major non-communicable disease for which the risk of dying early is going up rather than down.
  • About half of all adults with type 2 diabetes remain undiagnosed. And 50% of people with type 2 diabetes don’t get the insulin they need.

Also readIncreasing cases of getational Diabetes

About Diabetes:

  • Diabetes is a Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar, or glucose) or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.

Types of Diabetes:

  • Type I diabetes: It is also known as juvenile diabetes (as it mostly affects children of age 14-16 years). It occurs when the body fails to produce sufficient insulin. People with type I diabetes are insulin-dependent which means they must take artificial insulin daily to stay alive.
  • Type 2 diabetes: It affects the way the body uses insulin. While the body still makes insulin, unlike in type I, the cells in the body do not respond to it as effectively as they once did. This is also the most common type of diabetes, and it has strong links with obesity.
  • Gestational diabetes: This type occurs in women during pregnancy when the body sometimes becomes less sensitive to insulin.

Source: Down To Earth

India to Import “Medical Oxygen” to cater demand 

What is the News? 

A number of states are reporting shortages of medical oxygen for a growing number of Covid-19 patients. Hence, India is planning to import 50,000 metric tonnes of medical oxygen to cater to the rising demand.

About Medical Oxygen:

  • Medical oxygen is high purity oxygen suitable for use in the human body. So it is used for medical treatments.
  • No other types of gases shall be present in the medical oxygen cylinder to prevent contamination.

Applications in the medical field:

It’s applications are to:

  • Provide a basis for virtually all modern anesthetic techniques.
  • Restore tissue oxygen tension by improving oxygen availability in a wide range of conditions such as shock, severe hemorrhage, carbon monoxide poisoning, major trauma, cardiac/respiratory arrest
  • Aid resuscitation (action or process of reviving someone from unconsciousness or apparent death)
  • Provide life support for artificially ventilated patients, etc.

Why is there a need for Medical Oxygen?

  • During diseases such as Covid-19, oxygen levels are low. It results in low oxygen levels in the cells in the body, not sufficient to do their normal function.
  • If the oxygen levels are low for a long time without any treatment then the cells themselves stop working completely and can actually die.
  • This may impact the organs such as the brain, heart, lungs, and kidney which may start malfunctioning, Hence, it is useful as a life-saving treatment in these extreme cases.

Manufacturing and distribution of Cylinders

  • Manufacturers prepare Medical oxygen cylinders with 99.5% high purity liquid oxygen.
  • This high-purity liquid oxygen stores in jumbo tankers. Then their distribution takes place through transportation in cryogenic tankers at a specified temperature.
  • At the distributor level, a process of regasification takes place, to convert the oxygen into gaseous form and fill it in jumbo cylinders and dura cylinders. These cylinders then go to smaller suppliers or directly to hospitals.

Source: Indian Express

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