Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - June 13, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB

World Day against child labour

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Social empowerment.


Context

  • According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are about 152 million children globally who are engaged in child labour, 72 million of whom are in hazardous work.
  • With the coronavirus pandemic set to lead the world into a recession, these children are now at an even greater risk of facing circumstances even more difficult and working longer hours.

About the Background

  • The World Day against Child Labour, held every year on June 12, is intended to foster the worldwide movement against child labour in any of its forms.
  • This year's theme focuses on the urgent need to protect children from under-age labour, especially in the world of Covid-19.

About the day

  • The World Day against Child Labour was first launched in 2002 to raise awareness and prevent child labour.
  • The ILO, the United Nations body that works on global labour-related issues, launched the World Day against Child Labour to bring attention and join efforts to fight against child labour.
  • This day brings together governments, local authorities, civil society and international, workers and employers organizations to point out the child labour problem and define the guidelines to help child labourers.
  • According to ILO's data, hundreds of millions of girls and boys throughout the world are involved in work that deprives them of receiving an adequate education, health, leisure and basic freedoms, violating this way their rights.
  • Of these children, more than half are exposed to the worst forms of child labour.
  • These worst forms of child labour include work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict.
  • The theme for 2020 is Covid-19: Protect Children from Child Labour, now more than ever!

Source: Business Standard.

QS World University Rankings 2021

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


Context

  • The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2021 were released on June 10 and as in recent years, India’s performance wasn’t all that good.
  • The QS World University Rankings 2021 feature not a single Indian institute among the top 100 universities across the world.
  • IIT Bombay, IISc Bengaluru, and IIT Delhi featured in the top 200 list.

About the top rankers

  • The top 10 universities of the world comprised mainly the top-notch Ivy League colleges from the US, the UK and even one from Switzerland.
  • While Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) secured Rank 1, Stanford and Harvard universities secured the next two ranks in the list of the world’s best universities.
  • A large number of IITs dominated the top 10 universities from India in the QS World University Rankings 2021 -- 8 to be precise.
  • This is in line with what every average college-goer thinks while planning their higher education IITs are the institutes to go for if you want a brilliant education in India.

About Indian institutions

  • Delhi University was the only central university to secure a spot among the top 10 universities in India. If the top 11 are to be considered,Jadavpur University also made it among the top few Indian institutes.
  • IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, University of Hyderabad, Jamia Millia Islamia, Calcutta University are some of the other names from these 21 institutes.
  • Though IIT Bombay, IISc Bengaluru, and IIT Delhi are the same three Indian universities which secured the top three spots from India in the QS Rankings, all three saw a drop in their ranks this year.
  • The QS World University Rankings measures institutes on 6 factors reputation, faculty/student ratio, citations per faculty, employer reputation, international faculty ratio, and student ratio.
  • IIT Roorkee secured the seventh spot, while IIT Guwahati secured the eight spot among Indian institutes in the QS Rankings 2021.

Source: Indian Express.

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Nature Index, 2020

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Context

  • Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Kolkata, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore and S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences are the three autonomous institutes of the Department of Science and Technology that have been ranked among the top 30 Indian institutions in the Nature Index 2020 ratings.
  • IASC Kolkata is at the seventh position, JNCASR at 14th and S N Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences at 30th position, a statement from the ministry of science and technology said.

About the Background

  • The other positions in the table are occupied by universities, Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs)Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research ( IISERs) and research institutions and laboratories.
  • The rankings are based on the research work published in top journals.

About the Highlights

  • While IACS is among the top three institutions in quality chemistry research in India, JNCASR ranks 4th among academic institutions.
  • It has been ranked for its work on life sciences, 10th for its work in chemistry and physical sciences, 10th among Indian academic institutions, and 469th in the global ranking.
  • It is extremely heartening that the DST's hot spots of knowledge are consistently rated in the top institutions of the country in the quality of research as judged by the papers published in the selected top-quality journals.
  • Globally, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) which is a group of 39 institutions have been placed at the 160th position.
  • Indian Institute of Science Bangalore has been placed at the 184th position.
  • While the research carried out in the academia and research labs has shown good quantitative enhancement, the need for a greater emphasis on quality, relevance and translational aspects are now being understood as acted upon.

Source: The Hindu.

India Rankings 2020

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Context

  • Union Minister for Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank virtually released India Rankings-2020 for Higher Educational Institutions in New Delhi.
  • IIT, Madras retains first position in Overall Ranking as well as in Engineering.

About the Background

  • Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru tops the University list.
  • IIM, Ahmedabad tops in Management Category and AIIMS occupies the top slot in Medical category for third consecutive year.
  • Miranda College retains first position amongst colleges for third consecutive year Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, Delhi secures first position in Dental category.
  • Dental institutions included for first time in India Rankings-2020 .
About the Highlights
  • These rankings help universities to improve their performance on various ranking parameters and identify gaps in research and areas of improvement.
  • The banking of Institutions at national level instill a competitive spirit amongst institutions to perform better and secure higher rank in international ranking.
  • The Ministry of HRD has taken this important initiative of creating a National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), which is being used for past five years for ranking of institutions of higher education in different categories and domains of knowledge .
  • It is indeed a source of encouragement for all.
  • This exercise has also created a habit of organizing the data by the institutions and most of all these institutions attempt themselves to become more competitive.
  • The Minister was happy to observe that broad categories of parameters identified in the NIRF have successfully captured all the important aspects of teaching, learning and resources, research and professional practice, graduate outcomes etc. in institutions of higher education.
  • In order to provide facility of online practising in the difficult time of COVID-19, NTA recently launched National Test Abhyas app for JEE and NEET students and around 65 lakhs students have already downloaded the app for practicing online test.

Source: AIR News.

Exotic Live Species

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Context

  • The wildlife division of the Union environment ministry has issued rules for dealing with the import of exotic species and will assess the existing scale of possession within the country.
  • The Centre intends to streamline the process by officially identifying those handling such species or involved in their legal trade, as per mandates of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which India is a signatory to.

About the background

  • Exotic live species are both plants and animals that are moved from their source (original) habitat to a new one due to human intervention.
  • The decision comes in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, its suggested linkage with wet markets in China, and the zoonotic factor. 

About the Highlights

  • There are many reasons for creating these guidelines but the Covid-19 pandemic is the primary one.
  • So far there was no mechanism to regulate this, with the chief wildlife wardens (from different states) not in the loop.
  • Things were haphazard.
  • The advisory highlights a period of six months (from the date of the official order) to be given for voluntary disclosure for persons in possession of exotic live species in India.
  • The disclosure needs to be made before the chief wildlife warden of each state.
  • Forest officials will physically verify the submissions, check whether the facilities where the species are being housed are safe, and issue online certificates to owners within another six months from the date of disclosure.
  • State chief wildlife wardens have been given the power to take action as they see fit for any violations.
  • For import of live exotic species, a license needs to be obtained from the Director-General of Foreign Trade along with a no-objection certificate from the chief wildlife warden of the respective state.

Source: Hindustan Times.

International Albinism Awareness Day

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Context

On June 13, join the online celebration, in unanimity with people affected with albinism across the globe, use the hashtags #MadeToShine #standup4humanrights.

About the Background

  • The theme of the year 2020 of International Albinism Awareness Day is "Made To Shine".
  • This theme for 2020’s International Albinism Awareness Day was chosen to celebrate the successes and accomplishments of individuals with albinism globally.
  • This day is also an appeal for the masses to stand in unity and harmony with people suffering from albinism in their challenges.

About Albinism

  • As per National Institutes of Health Albinism is a non-communicable, rare and genetically inherited difference present at birth.
  • Albinism is categorized by a lack of melanin pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes, causing vulnerable to the exposure of the sun.
  • Due to which many people with albinism are visually impaired and are inclined to develop skin cancer.
  • There is no cure for the absence of melanin that is central to albinism.

Source: Hindustan Times.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements wrt Challenger Deep:
  1. The Challenger Deep is the deepest known point in the Earth's oceans, with a depth of 10,902 to 10,929 m.
  2. It is located in the Western Indian Ocean.
  3. The depression is named after the British ship HMS Challenger, whose expedition of 1872–1876 made the first recordings of its depth. 

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

     A. 1 and 2 only
     B. 2 and 3 only
     C. 1 and 3 only
     D. AOTA

Solution: C

2. Consider the following:

  • It is located in the Western Pacific Ocean.


Sahakar Mitra Scheme is related to:

     A. Agriculture
     B. Mining
     C. Chemicals
     D. Infrastructure

Solution: A

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