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National Nutrition Mission

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Why in the news?

The second phase of the National Nutrition Mission (NNM) has benefited 7,712 children in 20 districts of Rajasthan by bringing them out of malnutrition. The children’s health is being monitored through anganwadi centres while the community participation has been encouraged in the malnutrition management programme.


What is the National Nutrition Mission?

  • POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), Government of India, which ensures convergence with various programmes i.e., Anganwadi Services, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG) of MWCD Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), National Health Mission (NHM), Swachh-Bharat Mission, Public Distribution System (PDS), Department Food & Public Distribution, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation.
  • The goals of NNM are to achieve improvement in nutritional status of Children from 0-6 years, Adolescent Girls, Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers in a time bound manner during the next three years beginning 2017-18.
  • NNM targets to reduce stunting, under- nutrition, anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively. Although the target to reduce Stunting is atleast 2% p.a., Mission would strive to achieve reduction in Stunting from 38.4% (NFHS-4) to 25% by 2022 (Mission 25 by 2022).
  • The NNM is a comprehensive approach towards raising nutrition level in the country on a war footing. It will comprise mapping of various Schemes contributing towards addressing malnutrition, including a very robust convergence mechanism, ICT based Real Time Monitoring system, incentivizing States/UTs for meeting the targets, incentivizing Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for using IT based tools, eliminating registers used by AWWs, introducing measurement of height of children at the Anganwadi Centres (AWCs), Social Audits, setting-up Nutrition Resource Centres, involving masses through Jan Andolan for their participation on nutrition through various activities, among others.
  • More than 10 crore people will be benefitted by this programme. All the States and districts will be covered in a phased manner i.e. 315 districts in 2017-18, 235 districts in 2018-19 and remaining districts in 2019-20 .

Green Crackers

Paper: General Studies 3

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

Why in the news?

In a bid to resolve the crisis of air pollution, especially during the festive season, the Government launched green firecrackers. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) labs have been successful in developing various environment-friendly fireworks such as sound emitting crackers, flowerpots, pencils, chakkar and sparklers. 

What are Green crackers?

  • Crackers with lower emissions than conventional ones are called Green crackers. CSIR had taken up the project to develop eco-friendly crackers in the wake of directions of the Supreme Court restricting the use of fireworks to address the growing problem of pollution in different parts of the country.
  • The researchers at CSIR- NEERI developed greener version of what are called `bijli’ crackers. Three prototypes had been developed and named SWAS (safe water releaser), SAFAL (safe minimum aluminum) and STAR (safe thermite cracker). The particulate matter was reduced by 30-35 per cent in SWAS and 35 to 40 per cent in SAFAL and STAR.
  • The project adopted a two-pronged approach. While one stream of activity was focussed on improving the traditional crackers through reduction in the level of Barium Nitrate, which is the main villain, the second pathway aimed at replacing Barium Nitrate with a more benign Potassium Nitrate.
  • As part of the exercise, the scientists also set up a new facility that could be used by manufacturers to characterise the raw material and analyse the compositions of the chemicals used in fireworks.
  • The new set of crackers would have a prominent green logo to differentiate them from the conventional ones. Further, it would carry QR code for monitoring. Scanning of the code would provide all information about the product, including the chemicals and the process used.



Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas

Why in the news?

  • Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) has started functioning as an information sharing hub of maritime data and targeting incident responses to maritime security situations through a collaborative approach.
  • The major centres with which regular exchange of maritime security information is being undertaken include Virtual Regional Maritime Traffic Centre (VRMTC), Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSCHOA), Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery (ReCAAP), IFC-Singapore and International Maritime Bureau-Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC)

What is the IFC-IOR?

  • It is a single point centre that links all coastal radar chain networks along the 7516.6km Indian coastline and some neighbouring countries.
  • The IFC tracks and monitors 75,000 – 1.5 lakh shipping vessels in real time round the clock.
  • It is situated at Information management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram.


Prelims Specific

  • Multidisciplinary drifting observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) is the largest ever Arctic expedition which will conduct a study at the North Pole for an entire year to better understand the impact of climate change and aid in improved weather projections. It comprises of scientists from around the world and is spearheaded by the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany.
  • En Esur / En Esurthey  is a 5,000-year-old city thought to be ten times larger than Jericho as well as a 7,000-year-old temple in northern Israel. It was intricately planned with large silos designed for efficient food storage, and the roads of its intricate network of streets were covered with plaster and stones to help prevent flooding.