Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Feb 15, 2021

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List of Today’s Factly Articles

  1. “Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities” -World Bank report on road accidents in India
  2. What is the “Arjun Main Battle Tank” MK-1A?
  3. Fossils of ‘Dickinsonia’ found at Bhimbetka
  4. “Arka Vyapar App” to connect farmers with market
  5. Data on participation of marginalised Communities in leading IITs
  6. CFS endorses “Voluntary guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition”

Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities” -World Bank report on road accidents in India

What is the News?

The World Bank released a report titled “Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities: The Burden on Indian Society”. It highlights the Socio-Economic impacts of road accidents in India.

About the Report:

  • Published by: World Bank in collaboration with SaveLIFE Foundation.
  • The report highlights the socio-economic impact of road accidents. It analyses the  Medical care access and post-accident financial distress of various categories of people.
  • The data was collected from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra — a State each from northern, southern, western, and eastern regions.

Key Findings:

Road accidents in India:

  • India tops the world in road crash deaths and injuries. It has 1% of the world’s vehicles but accounts for 11% of all road crash deaths. It is witnessing 53 road crashes every hour and killing 1 person every 4 minutes.
  • India has seen around 4.5 lakh road accidents in the past year. It resulted in at least 1.5 lakh deaths over the past few years.
  • According to a 2018 World Health Organization report, India tops the world in road crash deaths, with more than 400 fatalities per day.

Socio-Economic Impact of Road accidents in India:

  • There are more fatalities from road crashes among poor families compared to rich families. The risk of a victim undergoing disability after a crash was also 2 times more likely among poor families.
  • The socio-economic burden of road crashes is disproportionately borne by poor households. Accidents result in a decline of 75% of total household income among low-income groups. Whereas, the decline among high-income groups is only 54%. It underlines poor access to insurance schemes among the less privileged.
  • Impact on Women: About 50% of women were severely affected by the decline in their household income after a crash. About 40% of women reported a change in their working patterns post-crash. While around 11% reported taking up extra work to deal with the financial crisis.
  • Urban-Rural Divide: The severe impact of the decline in income was highest among poor households in rural areas (56%) compared to those in urban areas (29.5%).
  • Insurance Coverage: There is an asymmetry in insurance coverage. About 1/4th  of respondents from high-income households (24%) said that they received compensation.  Whereas, among poorer respondents, only 14%  received compensation.


  • There is a need to institutionalize post-crash emergency care and make health infrastructure and coverage more accessible and inclusive.
  • The central and state governments should provide a social security net for crash victims from low-income households through state support.
  • The Central government should create schemes to increase insurance coverage and penetration for low-income households.

Source: The Hindu

What is the “Arjun Main Battle Tank” MK-1A?

What is the news?

Prime Minister has handed over the indigenously developed Arjun Main Battle Tank (MK-1A) to the Indian Army. The ceremony was held in Chennai.

Arjun Main Battle Tank:

  • It is a third-generation main battle tank. Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) initiated this project in 1972.  The Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment(CVRDE) is its lead laboratory in this project.
  • However, The Indian Ordnance Factory’s production facility in Avadi, Tamil Nadu began its mass production only in 1996.
  • Objective: This state-of-the-art tank created to provide the Indian army with superior firepower, high mobility, and excellent protection.
  • Named after: The tank is named after Arjun, the archer prince. He is one of the main protagonists of the Indian epic Mahabharata.


  • The main feature of Arjun tanks is its ‘Fin Stabilised Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS)’ ammunition and 120-mm calibre rifled gun.
  • It also has a computer-controlled integrated fire control system. This system has a  stabilised sighting that works in all lighting conditions.
  • Tank has secondary weapons including, a coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun for anti-personnel and a 12.7-mm machine gun for anti-aircraft and ground targets.

How is Mk-1A different from earlier versions?

  • It is a weapon platform with superior firepower, high mobility, excellent protection and crew comfort.
  • However, the biggest achievement of the latest version is, it is made up of 54.3% indigenous content. It is 41% in the earlier model.

Source: Indian Express

Fossils of ‘Dickinsonia’ found at Bhimbetka

What is the News?

Researchers discovered three fossils in Madhya Pradesh. These fossils are possibly of the earliest known living animal named ‘Dickinsonia’(550-million-year-old).

About the discovery:

    • The fossils are found on the roof of Auditorium Cave at Bhimbetka Rock Shelters. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The fossil can be identified from the white leaf-like patches with a central vertebra (central midrib) and connecting veins.
  • These are the only Dickinsonia fossils available in the country. They are similar to those seen in South Australia.
  • The Dickinsonia fossils found in other parts of the world exceeded 4 feet in length. However, the Bhimbetka fossil is only 17 inches long.

Dickinsonia :

  • It is an extinct genus of basal animal.  They lived during the late Ediacaran period in what is now Australia, Russia, and Ukraine. Ediacaran period is marked at 575 to 541 million years ago.
  • It was first described by Reg Sprigg, the original discoverer of the Ediacaran biota in Australia. He named it after Ben Dickinson, then Director of Mines for South Australia.
  • It (roughly) resembles a bilaterally symmetrical ribbed oval. Its affinities are presently unknown. As per some theories, it is the oldest known animal, visible without a microscope.

Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka:

  • It is a recognized world heritage site by UNESCO. It is located in the foothills of the Vindhya Mountains in the State of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The site spans the prehistoric Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods as well as the historic period.
  • Bhimbetka is also known as Bhima’s Lounge (Bhima was the second of the five Pandava princes in the Hindu epic Mahabharata).
  • Most of the paintings here are in red and white with occasional dashes of yellow and green. Their themes include events of everyday life, thousands of years ago.
  • The scenes depicted are mainly of dancing, playing music, hunting, horse and elephant riding, decorating bodies, and collecting honey. Household scenes too, constitute an occasional theme.

Source: The Hindu

Arka Vyapar App” to connect farmers with market

What is the News?
Indian Institute of Horticultural Research(IIHR) has launched an app called Arka Vyapar App.

About Arka Vyapar App:

  • The app aims to connect farmers with traders. It will help farmers get the best available prices for their products.
  • How the app would work? The app would have details of farmers and traders who have enrolled with the IIHR. At the same time, the app would also provide prices for different products in different markets of India.
    • Example: If a farmer has grown papaya in Karnataka, he can know the trends related to prices for papaya in different markets through the app. He can accordingly decide upon the market which is offering the best price. He can then contact the traders there for further transactions.

Source: The Hindu

Data on participation of marginalised Communities in leading IITs

What is the News?

The Hindu Newspaper has published the data obtained through the RTI queries. Data provides info. on the representation of marginalized communities such as OBCs, SCs, and STs in the leading IITs of the country.

About the data:

    • The RTI query data covers Ph.D. admissions made in the five-year period from 2015 to 2019. IITs covered are of Madras, Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, and Kharagpur.

Key Findings of the data:

  • Selection of SCs and STs in PHDs: Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe applicants are half as likely to get selected for a Ph.D. program at leading IITs in the country as aspirants from the General Category (GC) are.
  • Acceptance Rate: The acceptance rate refers to the number of students selected for every 100 students who applied. The acceptance rate stood at 4% for students from General Category. It falls to 2.7% for OBC students and further down to just 2.16% for SCs and 2.2% for STs.

Data given by Government in Parliament:

According to the Ministry of Education’s data submitted to Parliament last year:

The following data is based on the total admissions made by all IITs from 2015 to 2019:

  • Only 2.1% went to STs and 9.1% to SCs. The government’s reservation policy mandates the allocation of 7.5% seats for students from the STs and 15% from SCs.
  • Similarly, 23.2% of seats went to applicants from the OBCs against the 27% mandated by reservation.
  • The remaining 65.6% or roughly two-thirds of all the seats went to General Category(GC) applicants.

Source: The Hindu

CFS endorses “Voluntary guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition”

What is the News?

The UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) has endorsed the first-ever Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition(VGFSyN).

About the guidelines:

  • These guidelines will support countries in their efforts to eradicate all forms of hunger and malnutrition.
  • It will utilize a comprehensive food systems approach for this aim. It will be built upon the existing work and mandate of other international bodies. For example, the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition(2016-2025) and Sustainable Development Goal (2) of ‘Zero Hunger’.

These guidelines are framed around 7 Focus areas:

  1. Governance, which is Transparent, democratic, and accountable.
  2. Sustainable food supply chains to achieve healthy diets.
  3. Equal and equitable access to healthy diets.
  4. Food safety.
  5. People-centered nutrition knowledge, education, and information.
  6. Gender equality and women’s empowerment across food systems.
  7. Resilient food systems in humanitarian contexts.

Significance of the guidelines:

  • Guidelines call for the realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security for all. Its particular focus is on the most vulnerable and affected groups.
  • They focus on policy planning and governance so that food systems can be made more resilient and responsive. The food system will be mould in accordance with the needs of consumers and producers too, especially small and marginal farmers.

Committee on World Food Security(CFS):

  • It was established in 1974 as an intergovernmental body. It serves as a forum in the United Nations System for review and follow-up of policies concerning world food security including production and physical and economic access to food.
  • Secretariat: It has a permanent Secretariat. It is located in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) headquarters in Rome, Italy,
  • Reports to: The Committee reports to the UN General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and to FAO Conference.
  • Funding: It receives its core funding equally from The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and The World Food Programme (WFP).

Source: Down To Earth

9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – February 15, 2021

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