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Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS)

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Why in the news?

  • The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has found that 35 percent of children under the age of 5 years in the country are stunted, while 17 per cent are wasted and 33 per cent are underweight.
  • The survey, conducted between 2016 and 2018, also found that 24 per cent of adolescents were thin for their age, 4-8 per cent of adolescents were overweight or obese, 6 per cent of adolescents were overweight, and 2 per cent had abdominal obesity.
  • The study also found that 10.4 percent of 10-19 year-olds in India are pre-diabetic, which experts say is largely due to consumption of processed foods and sedentary lifestyles.
  • A number of the most populous states including Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, and had a high (37-42 per cent stunting prevalence. The lowest prevalence of stunting (16-21 per cent) was found in Goa and Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • A higher prevalence of stunting in under-fives was found in rural areas (37 per cent) compared to urban areas (27 per cent). 
  • Also, children in the poorest wealth quintile were more likely to be stunted (49 per cent), as compared to 19 per cent in the richest quintile.
  • According to the survey, 17 per cent of Indian children age 0-4 years were wasted. High prevalence (20 percent) states including Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand. The states with the lowest prevalence of under-five wasting were Manipur, Mizoram and Uttarakhand (6 per cent each).
  • The study also found that 41 percent of preschoolers, 24 percent of school-age children and 28 percent of adolescents were anaemic. Anaemia was a moderate or severe public health problem among preschoolers in 27 states, among school-age children in 15 states, and among adolescents in 20 states.

About the CNNS:

  • Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS), the first-ever nationally representative nutrition survey of children and adolescents in India, was commissioned by the ministry and carried out by experts from various institutes, including PGIMER Chandigarh, Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital in New Delhi, along with experts from UNICEF and other development partners.
  • Some of the figures in the CNNS survey, conducted between 2016 and 2018, are marginally lower than the malnutrition data from the National Family Health Survey that dates back to 2015-16.


Technical Assistance Programme (TAP)

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Why in the news?

  • India will be announcing the launch of the second phase of the Cotton Technical Assistance Programme (TAP) for Africa at the Partners Conference in Geneva today. In the five year long second phase, the programme will be scaled up in size and coverage and will be introduced in five additional countries, namely Mali, Ghana, Togo, Zambia and Tanzania. 
  • The Cotton TAP programme will now cover 11 African countries including the C4 (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali). India implemented a Technical Assistance Programme (TAP) for cotton in 6 African countries, namely – Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda from 2012 to 2018.

What is the Technical Assistance Programme?

The Technical Assistance Programme (TAP) covers the following broad areas:-  

  • Increasing cotton production (area expansion and productivity enhancement)  
  • Improving Extension & Support Service Efficiency  
  • Enhancing R&D/ Quality Control  
  • Marketing/Distribution Infrastructure  
  • Strengthening/development of cotton residue based value addition industry  
  • Creating/Strengthening Downstream Industry in Textiles and Clothing 

Bharat Stage VI Emission Norms

Paper: General Studies 3

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

Why in the news?

The Country will shift to BS VI vehicular emission norms from BS IV by April 2020. BS VI petrol/diesel is already available in Delhi/NCR

What are Bharat Stage Emission Norms?

  • The Bharat Stage emission standards are norms instituted by the Government of India to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles. India has been following the European (Euro) emission norms, though with a time-lag of five years.
  • The major difference in standards between the existing BS-IV and the new BS-VI auto fuel norms is the presence of sulphur. The newly introduced fuel is estimated to reduce the amount of sulphur released by 80%, from 50 parts per million to 10 ppm. 
  • As per the analysts, the emission of NOx (nitrogen oxides) from diesel cars is also expected to reduce by nearly 70% and 25% from cars with petrol engines.
  • It will involve installation of new technology like Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) Reduction Technology.

Bru Tribe Repatriation Issue

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas

Why in the news?

Mizoram Bru refugees housed in makeshift camps in north Tripura stalled another repatriation initiative on Monday. Hundreds of women inmates dressed in black fatigues and carrying black flags staged noisy protests around the vehicles sent by Mizoram government to take back the refugees.

What is the issue?

  • A conflict with the majority Mizos in 1995 made influential organisations like the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (students’ union) demand that the Brus, labelled a non-indigenous tribe, be deleted from Mizoram’s electoral rolls.
  • As a consequence to this, an armed movement began by the extremist Bru National Liberation Front. This armed movement killed a Mizo forest official on October 21, 1997.
  • Further, many Bru villages were burnt down and scores were allegedly raped and killed.
  • Nearly 40,000 Brus fled to North Tripura where they were given shelter in relief camps. Most of the refugees were from Mamit and a few from Kolasib and Lunglei.
  • Resistance by Mizo NGOs to their return made the refugees relevant only during elections, with Mizoram official’s crossing over to Tripura for facilitating their franchise.


What is being done?

  • Centre signed an agreement with the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum and the governments of Mizoram and Tripura for repatriation of Bru families to Mizoram.
  • The package covers 32,876 members of 5,407 Bru families, entailing a one-time assistance of Rs.4 lakh in fixed deposit within a month of repatriation, monthly assistance of Rs.5,000 through direct benefit transfer, free rations for two years, and Rs.1.5 lakh in three instalments for building houses.
  • The refugees were given a September 30 deadline to move or face harder times in the camps. But the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Coordination Committee (MBDPCC), another refugee group, has demanded a better package that includes resettlement in clusters and an autonomous council for Brus.
  • A few families have accepted the package offered by the Centre and returned, but most of the internally displaced refugees have refused to budge unless they get a better deal. This has created an impasse that needs to be resolved urgently.


Prelims Specific

  • eDantseva website and mobile application, the first ever national digital platform on oral health information and knowledge dissemination was launched. It will reach out to more than one billion people with one click in the form of a dedicated website and mobile application.It contains information about the National Oral Health Program, detailed list of all the dental facility and colleges, Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material and a unique feature called the ‘Symptom Checker’, which provides information on symptoms of dental/oral health problems, ways to prevent these, the treatment modes, and also directs the user to find their nearest available dental facility (public and private sectors both).  The website also provides GPRS route/images/satellite images of the facility for easier access to the general population.


  • Ganga Aamantran Abhiyan is a pioneering and historic exploratory open-water rafting and kayaking expedition on the Ganga River to be held between 10th October 2019 to 11 November 2019. Starting at Devprayag and culminating at Ganga Sagar, the expedition will cover the entire stretch of over 2500 kms of the Ganga River. This is the first ever effort by National Mission for Clean Ganga to raft across the entire stretch of the river and also the longest ever social campaign undertaken through an adventure sporting activity to spread the message of River Rejuvenation and Water Conservation on a massive scale.