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UPSC Prelims News 13th September 2022

 

UPSC Prelims News of 13th September 2022

 

Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme

  • Context: The Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme has been rolled out in Rajasthan with the objective of providing economic support to the poor and needy families living in the cities through work to be provided on demand for 100 days in a year.
  • Eligibility: Those in the age group of 18 to 60 years residing within the limits of urban local bodies.
  • Wages: Wages will be paid at the rate of ₹259 a day to unskilled labourers and ₹283 a day to skilled labourers. The ‘mates’ or supervisors on top of the labourers will get ₹271 a day.
  • Categories Of Tasks
    • Environment protection, which will involve tree plantation at public places, maintenance of parks and watering plants on footpaths and dividers.
    • Water conservation, where the tasks may be allotted for cleanliness and improvement of ponds, lakes and stepwells, construction, repair and cleaning of rain water harvesting structures and restoration of water sources.
    • Other categories: Heritage conservation, removal of encroachments and illegal boards, hoardings and banners, stopping defacement of property and service-related works.
  • Similar Scheme
    • Ayyankali Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme in Kerala, Urban Wage Employment Initiative under UNNATI in Odisha, Mukhya Mantri Shramik Yojana in Jharkhand and Mukhya Mantri Yuva Swabhiman Yojana in Madhya Pradesh.
    • Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana
      • It was launched as a Centrally sponsored scheme in 1997 to provide gainful employment to the urban unemployed and underemployed poor by encouraging them to set up self-employment ventures and through the provision of wage employment.
      • It was replaced with the National Urban Livelihoods Mission in 2013. However, neither of the two was an employment guarantee scheme.

 

August Retail Inflation Data

Context: The National Statistical Office (NSO) has released retail inflation data of August, 2022.

Key Highlights of the Data

  • Retail inflation – as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) – surged to 7% in August due to higher food prices, compared to 6.71% in July.
  • The number has remained above the RBI’s upper margin of 6% for the eighth consecutive month.
  • The government has mandated the central bank to maintain retail inflation at 4 per cent with a margin of 2 per cent on either side for a five-year period ending March 2026.
  • The rise was largely driven by the food segment, with a higher inflation in cereals, pulses, milk, fruits, vegetables and prepared meals and snacks.
  • Regional variation: Ten of 22 major States recorded inflation over 7%, with West Bengal recording the highest price rise at 8.94% in August.
Consumer Price Index
Consumer Price Index

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

  • It is the measure of changes in the price level of a basket of consumer goods and services bought by households. It measures price fluctuations at the consumer level.
  • The CPI includes necessities such as food, clothing, and housing and includes services like medical care, transportation, and education.
  • It is released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on base year 2012.
  • In April 2014, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had adopted the CPI as its key measure of inflation.

 

Vembanad Lake

Context: The Vembanad lake has been undergoing degradation in the last few years.

About Vembanad Lake

  • Vembanad Lake is the second largest wetland in India and was declared a Ramsar site in 2002.
    • A Ramsar Site is a wetland that has been declared an ecological area of international importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, also known as the ‘Convention of Wetlands’.
  • Vembanad is the longest lake in India (96.5 km). It is also the largest lake in the state of Kerala and is bound by the districts of Alappuzha, Kottayam and Ernakulam.
  • The famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race is held in a portion of the lake. Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala, is located in the southern portion of the lake.
  • Rivers such as the Achenkovil, Manimala, Meenachil, Muvattupuzha, Pamba and Periyar drain into the lake.
Vembanad lake
Vembanad lake

Reasons for Degradation

  • Uncontrolled tourism: Increased and unchecked tourism activities in and around the lake area have degraded the lake.
  • Lack of sewage disposal: Improper waste disposal from the residences and resorts around the lake area have polluted the lake.
  • Increased weed growth: Lack of maintenance has increase weed growth in the lake, which is affecting the overall ecology of the lake.
  • Siltation: Regular flooding in the lake has increased siltation. This is causing the lake area to shrink.

 

Avian Flu In Cetaceans

Context: A highly virulent strain of Avian flu (bird flu) has resulted in the death of a bottlenose dolphin in Florida, USA.

Details:

  • This strain of bird flu is called as Eurasian H5N1.
  • This version of the virus has spread widely among North American and European birds.
  • This is the first time that the virus has affected Cetaceans.
  • Cetaceans are a group of marine mammals that includes dolphins, porpoises, and whales.

Significance of Discovery

  • The spread of the virus to new species poses potential risks to wildlife.
  • It has been able to adapt to mammalian hosts such as foxes, bobcats, skunks, and seals.

About Avian FLU

Reserve It typically infects wild aquatic birds and domestic poultry as it is naturally found in them.
Pathogen The disease is caused by avian influenza Type A viruses.
Human Transmission The first instance of human H5N1 infection was in 1997. It spreads when a person comes in close contact with infected birds, either dead or alive.
Symptoms Fever, cough, muscle aches, nausea, sore throat, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, severe respiratory illness, and neurologic changes.
Mortality The infection is deadly due to its high mortality rate of about 60%.

 

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