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Daily Current Affairs : 3-Dec-2019

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Part of GS- Health

Why in news?

  • Nationwide vaccination drive launched to prevent eight diseases under Mission Indradhanush 2.0

  • @NHPINDIACentre is launching nationwide vaccination drive to prevent eight diseases under Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 across the country.


  • The government's flagship scheme is aimed at immunizing children under the age of 2 years and pregnant women against eight vaccine preventable diseases.

  • The IMI covers vaccines for diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, measles, meningitis and Hepatitis B.

  • Vaccines for Japanese encephalitis and hemophilus influenza are also being provided in selected areas.

  • The IMI 2.0 aims to achieve targets of full immunization coverage in 272 districts spread over 27 States.

  • The IMI 2.0 will be carried out between December 2019 and March 2020.

  • In Rajasthan, Intensified Mission Indradhanush- 2 campaign has been launched.

  • This campaign will be conducted in four phases across the state.

  • Under this campaign, vaccination services will be provided free of cost to the drop out and left out children and pregnant women.

  • Over 88.5 per cent children and pregnant women have been vaccinated under routine immunization in Rajasthan and a target has been set to reach 100 per cent under this campaign. Regarding this, a list of left out and drop out children and pregnant women has been prepared through which such children and women in far flung rural areas and urban slum areas will be approached.

  • Under first phase, six thousand 71 vaccination sessions will be conducted and more than 10 thousand pregnant women and more than 42 thousand children will be immunized.

  • Apart from medical department, women and child development department, Panchayati Raj department, education department, Nehru Yuva Kendra are also supporting this campaign.

  • In Madhya Pradesh, Mission Indradhanush for vaccination of children and pregnant women also started in the state from today.

  • The reports that during the next four months, under Mission Indradhanush, a target has been set to vaccinate around one lakh children and more than thirty thousand pregnant women.

  • The campaign will be carried out in 260 development blocks of 43 districts of the state including the capital Bhopal and Indore.

  • In addition , the mission will be running in four-phases in state. Children will be vaccinated under the National Mission Indradhanush in the months in January , February and March next year.

  • Public Health and Family Welfare Minister Tulsiram inaugurated this campaign in Indore district. The Project Officers of the District Urban Development Agency has been made the nodal officer for the successful operation of the mission.

Source: AIR


Part of GS-Health

Why in news?

Parliament has passed the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019, with the Rajya Sabha approving it today after an elaborate discussion. The Lok Sabha has already passed the bill.


He reasoned that controlling any social evil after allowing it to grow would be challenging. The Minister asserted that the ordinance brought earlier on e-cigarettes was with pious intentions to wean away the country’s youth from the harmful substance.

Punishment: For a subsequent offence, there will be imprisonment of up to 3 years and fine up to Rs. 5 lakh.

Storage of electronic-cigarettes shall also be punishable with an imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs 50,000 or both.

Authorized Officers: The Sub-Inspector of Police has been designated as the Authorized Officer to take action under the Ordinance.

The Central or State Governments may also designate any other equivalent officer(s) as Authorized Officer for enforcement of the provisions of the Ordinance.

Electronic-cigarettes- are battery-operated devices that produce aerosol by heating a solution containing nicotine, which is the addictive substance in combustible cigarettes.

These include all forms of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), Heat Not Burn Products, e-Hookah and the like devices.

Their use has increased exponentially and has acquired epidemic proportions in developed countries, especially among youth and children.

These products are usually marketed as being safer alternatives for conventional cigarettes but such notions of safety are false.

Minister said that 28 per cent of the people in India are now using one or other forms of tobacco, therefore, an outright ban on all tobacco products at this stage would be challenging.

The Minister said global tobacco companies have gone into the manufacture of e-cigarettes as the conventional cigarette industry is facing a decline in sales and turnover.

He also warned that e-cigarette is not a tobacco product but has the ability to bring serious health complications. He also said the intention of the bill is not to criminalize users but to prevent the availability of e-cigarettes and their use in India.

A total of 28 members participated in the discussion on the bill in the Rajya Sabha.

The Prohibition of the Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019 bans production, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisements of e-cigarettes with stringent punishments for any violation. It replaces the ordinance promulgated on the 18th of September this year.

Source: AIR


Part of GS- Health

Why in news?

The data, based on the findings of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) IV (2015-16), divide the incidence of anaemia into ‘Mild’, ‘Moderate’ and ‘Severe’ kinds for both rural and urban India.


  • As many as 58.5% of children between the ages of 6 months and 59 months, and 53.1% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 years, are anaemic in the country, the government told Lok Sabha last week (November, 2019).

  • As per the details of anaemic women and children in urban and rural India given by the government, 29.8% of children in rural India suffer from moderate anaemia, and 40.3% of women in the villages are mildly anaemic.

  • The data, based on the findings of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) IV (2015-16), divide the incidence of anaemia into ‘Mild’, ‘Moderate’ and ‘Severe’ kinds for both rural and urban India.

Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) Strategy:

The AnaemiaMukt Bharat- intensified Iron-plus Initiative aims to strengthen the existing mechanisms and foster newer strategies for tackling anaemia.

It focusses on six target beneficiary groups, through six interventions and six institutional mechanisms to achieve the envisaged target under the POSHAN Abhiyan.

There are many causes of anaemia, out of which iron deficiency accounts for about 50 percent of anaemia in school children and among women of reproductive age-group, and 80 percent in children 2–5 years of age.

Other nutritional deficiencies besides iron, such as vitamin B12, folate and vitamin A, can cause anaemia although the magnitude of their contribution is unclear.

Infectious diseases - in particular malaria, helminth infections, tuberculosis and haemoglobinopathies - are other important contributory causes to the high prevalence of anaemia.

The reduction of anaemia is one of the important objectives of the POSHAN Abhiyaan launched in March 2018.

Complying with the targets of POSHAN Abhiyaan and National Nutrition Strategy set by NITI Aayog, the AnaemiaMukt Bharat strategy has been designed to reduce prevalence of anaemia by 3 percentage points per year among children, adolescents and women in the reproductive age group (15–49 years), between the year 2018 and 2022.

About Anaemia:

Anaemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet the body’s physiological requirements, which vary by age, sex, altitude, smoking habits, and during pregnancy.

The manifestations of anaemia vary by its severity and range from fatigue, weakness, dizziness and drowsiness to impaired cognitive development of children and increased morbidity.

Anaemia in pregnancy is associated with post-partum haemorrhage, neural tube defects, low birth weight, premature births, stillbirths and maternal deaths.

In malaria endemic regions, anaemia is one of the most common preventable causes of maternal and child deaths. In its most severe form, anaemia can also lead to death.

Source: The Hindu


Part of GS-3 Defence and Security

Why in news?

The 8th India-China joint training exercise 'HAND-IN-HAND 2019' with the theme counter terrorism under United Nations mandate is scheduled to be conduct at Umroi, Meghalaya from 07 to 20 December 2019.


The Chinese contingent from the Tibet Military command comprising of 130 personal and the Indian Contingent of similar strength will participate in the 14 day long training exercise.

The exercise is planned at the company level with respective Battalion Headquarters controlling the training.

The aim of the exercise is to practice joint planning and conduct of counter terrorist operations in semi urban terrain.

The exercise schedule is focused upon training on various lectures & drills associated with counter terrorist handling & firing with each others weapons, special heliborne operations and case studies of various operations carried out in counter terrorist environment.

Two tactical exercises are scheduled during the training; one on counter terrorism scenario and the other on Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.

Source: PIB


Part of GS-3 Economy

Why in news?

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced a “review” of the bullet train project, sending out signals of uncertainty over the prestigious enterprise. (the bullet train project like Aarey car shed)


Controversy is not new for India’s bullet train. From its inception, the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), the body implementing the project, has been facing controversies over land acquisition in tribal-dominated areas, and cases filed by farmers in court.

There is fundamental opposition to the idea of a Rs 1.1 lakh crore train corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad - even though the project is being funded by an 80% loan from Japan.

The implementing company now says it is on course to do a trial run between Surat and Bilimora in Gujarat in August 2022, and to open the full service to the public around December 2023.

NHSRCL officials say they are hopeful of getting most of the land required for the project by the time tenders are finalised in mid-2020.

At present, India doesn’t have an HSR. In 2015, India and japan signed an agreement for HSR line between Ahmedabad and Mumbai which will be built on Japan’s Shinkansen technology, and is expected to be operational by 2022-23.

Both Gujarat and Maharashtra own 25% each in the project, while the remaining 50% is owned by the Government of India. The total project cost is around 1 lakh crore. Of this Government of India is to pay Rs. 10,000 crore to the NHSRCL.

The two states involved, Gujarat and Maharashtra, are to pay Rs. 5,000 crore each.

The rest is to be paid by Japan through a loan at 0.1 % interest.

  • The new Maharashtra government scrap the project:

  • Maharashtra is not investing any money per se in the project.

  • Its equity is through land.

  • The state government can change the rules for land acquisition, as that is within its purview.

  • However, the contract with Japan that the Centre has entered into, cannot be impacted.

High Speed Railways (HSR):

A railway system designed for speeds above 250kmph is generally called high speed.

The success of the Shinkansen network of HSR in Japan (which started in 1964), triggered HSR investments in other countries.

Source: Indian Express


Part of GS-2 Polity and Governance

Why in news?

On the first day of the Assembly session in Maharashtra on November 30, former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis alleged that the oath-taking ceremony of the new government had violated the Constitution.


  • He was referring to the invocation - by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and each Minister - at the start of the oath, before reading out the text, which he alleged had altered the oath itself.

  • Thackeray invoked Chattrapati Shivaji and “my parents”; Eknath Shinde named Bal Thackeray, Ananda Dhige, a Thane Shiv Sena leader who died in 2000, Uddhav Thackeray, and Shivaji.

In the Constitution:

Article 164(3) says: “Before a Minister enters upon his office, the Governor shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.”

The Third Schedule requires the taker of the oath to either “swear in the name of God” or to “solemnly affirm” to “bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution…”.

Art 164: makes it clear that the text of the oath is sacrosanct, and the person taking the oath has to read it out exactly as it is, in the given format.

If a person wanders from the text, it is the responsibility of the person administering the oath - in this instance the Governor - to interrupt and ask the person being sworn in to read it out correctly.

Source: Indian Express


Part of GS- 2 IR

Why in news?

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin inaugurated the “Power of Siberia” gas pipeline.


  • Under the contract, Russia will deliver 1 trillion cubic meters of natural gas to China over the next 30 years.

  • The 30-year project is anchored by a $400 billion gas deal.

  • From Siberia to China’s Yangtze River delta in Shanghai, the massive pipeline will cover 8,000 km, with 5,111 km inside China, passing through nine provinces and municipalities.

  • Gas is being sourced from Chayandinskoye and Kovytka fields in eastern Siberia, and is then piped to Blagoveshchensk - the last town on the Russian side of the border.

  • From there, it is tunneled under the Amur River, before entering Heihe on the Chinese side.

  • Russia has been a primary gas supplier to Europe, but the Power of Siberia is the first cross-border gas pipeline between Russia and China, adding a prominent eastern dimension to Moscow’s energy blueprint.

  • This massive cross-border undertaking is not only central to China’s energy security but also for bolstering special ties between Beijing and Moscow.

  • The brand new pipeline is an emblem of closer energy integration in Eurasia.

Source : The Hindu


Part of GS-3 S&T

Why in news?

A United States Justice Department official hinted on 2nd December, 2019, that a year’slong fight over encrypted communications could become part of a sweeping investigation of big tech companies.


  • Law enforcement and technologists have been arguing over encryption controls for more than two decades.

  • Attorney General William P. Barr, joined by his British and Australian counterparts, recently pressed Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, to abandon plans to embed end-to-end encryption in services like Messenger and Instagram.

  • WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, already provides that tougher encryption.

  • How does the encryption work?

  • End-to-end encryption scrambles messages in such a way that they can be deciphered only by the sender and the intended recipient.

  • As the label implies, end-to-end encryption takes place on either end of a communication. A message is encrypted on a sender’s device, sent to the recipient’s device in an unreadable format, then decoded for the recipient.

  • There are several ways to do this, but the most popular works like this: A program on your device mathematically generates two cryptographic keys — a public key and a private key.

  • The public key can be shared with anyone who wants to encrypt a message to you. The private key, or secret key, decrypts messages sent to you and never leaves your device.

  • Think of it as a locked mailbox. Anyone with a public key can put something in your box and lock it, but only you have the private key to unlock it.

  • Comparison with transport layer encryption:

  • Transport layer encryption relies on a third party, like a tech company, to encrypt messages as they move across the web.

  • With this type of encryption, law enforcement and intelligence agencies can get access to encrypted messages by presenting technology companies with a warrant or national security letter.

  • The sender and recipient would not have to know about it.

  • End-to-end encryption ensures that no one can eavesdrop on the contents of a message while it is in transit.

  • It forces spies or snoops to go directly to the sender or recipient to read the content of the encrypted message.

Source: Indian Express


Part of GS-3 Defence and Security

Why in news?

A batch of three trainee officers of the 7th Dornier Conversion Course (DOCC), including a woman officer, qualified as Dornier pilots and were awarded the coveted golden ‘wings’ at a ceremony held at INS Garuda here on 2nd December, 2019.


  • Sub Lieutenant Shivangi created history as the first woman pilot of the Indian Navy, on successful graduation from the course.

  • A native of Muzaffarpur in Bihar, Sub Lt. Shivangi was inducted into the Indian Navy under the Short Service Commission (SSC) - pilot entry scheme, and was part of the 27th Naval orientation course at the Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala.

Source: The Hindu


Part of GS-2 Polity and Governance

Why in news?

The Government has de-classified all records relating to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Azad Hind Fauj and placed them in the National Archives of India.


Accordingly, a total of 304 declassified records/files have been transferred to National Archives of India by above mentioned Ministries/Offices for permanent retention. Out of 304 files, 303 files are already uploaded on the Netaji web portal i.e. www.netajipapers.gov.in

The National Archives of India is the custodian of declassified files/records of the Government of India.

National Archives of India:

  • The National Archives of India is the custodian of the records of enduring value of the Government of India.

  • Established on 11 March, 1891 at Calcutta (Kolkata) as the Imperial Record Department.

  • It is the biggest archival repository in South Asia. It has a vast corpus of records viz., public records, private papers, oriental records, cartographic records and microfilms, which constitute an invaluable source of information for scholars-administrators and users of archives.

Source: PIB

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