October 2019

Daily Current Affairs (17-10-19)


Related Topics: Livestock Sector, Census & Reports


  • Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has released the 20th Livestock Census report.

Snapshot of the Survey

Key Highlights of the Survey

Total Livestock Population

  • The total Livestock population is 535.8 million in the country showing an increase of 4.6% over Livestock Census-2012
  • While cattle accounted for 35.94 per cent of total livestock in the country, goats accounted for 27.80 per cent, buffaloes: 20.45 per cent, sheep: 13.87 per cent and pigs: 1.69 per cent.

Total Bovine Population

Total Bovine population (Cattle, Buffalo, Mithun and Yak) is 302.79 Million in 2019 which shows an increase of about 1% over the previous census.


  • The number of female cattle is 145.2 million, which is 18 per cent increase over the 122.98 million in 2012.
  • The number of male cattle, on the other hand, dropped to 47.4 million as against 67.92 million in 2012.
  • The male to female cattle ratio in the 2019 survey dropped to 1:3 from 1:1.8 in the 2012 livestock survey.
  • There is a 6 per cent decline in the total number of indigenous cattle over the previous census.
  • On the contrary, the population of total exotic/crossbred cattle has increased by 26.9 per cent in 2019 as compared to previous census.


  • There is a spectacular 16.8 per cent increase in the poultry population in the country to 851.81 million, mainly on account of a 46 per cent rise in backyard poultry birds, whose numbers have gone up to 317 million.
  • The total Commercial Poultry in the country is 537.74 million in 2019, increased by 4.5% over previous Census.


The total buffaloes in the country is 109.85 million showing an increase of about 1.0% over previous Census.

Milch Animals

The total milch animals (in-milk and dry) in cows and buffaloes is 125.34 million, showing an increase of 6.0 % over the previous census.

Sheep & Goat

  • The Sheep population in the country is 74.26 million in 2019, increased by 14.1% over previous Census.
  • The Goat population in the country in 2019 is 148.88 million showing an increase of 10.1% over the previous census.


The total Pigs in the country is 9.06 Million in the current Census, declined by 12.03% over the previous Census.

Leading States

Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of livestock of 67.8 million (68.7 million in 2012), followed by Rajasthan 56.8 million (57.7 million), Madhya Pradesh: 40.6 million (36.3 million) and West Bengal: 37.4 million (30.3 million).

Collection of data through Tablets

  • The major thrust given to 20th Livestock Census is the collection of data through tablets.
  • The 20th livestock census is indeed a unique attempt as for the first time such a major initiative has been taken to digitize household level data through online transmission from the field.
  • A mobile application software was developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) for collecting transferring the data online.
  • It was used for data collection as well as online transmission of data from the field to the NIC server.


  • The Census will prove beneficial not just for policy makers but also for agriculturists, traders, entrepreneurs, dairying industry and masses in general.
  • It also provides some key results reflecting the aggregate counts of various species as well as its comparison with previous census.
  • The initiatives on collection of breed-wise reliable information of various species will give vital information for determination of threatened indigenous breeds and to take initiatives for their conservation.

[Source: PIB, The Hindu]



Related Topics: Indices & Reports, Social Issues


India is ranked 102 of 117 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2019, behind its neighbours Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

What is Global Hunger Index?

  • It is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels.
  • GHI scores are calculated each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger.
  • It is prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe since 2000.
  • It is designed to raise awareness and understanding of the struggle against hunger, provide a way to compare levels of hunger between countries and regions, and call attention to those areas of the world where hunger levels are highest and where the need for additional efforts to eliminate hunger is greatest.
  • The GHI ranks countries on a 100-point scale, with 0 being the best score (no hunger) and 100 being the worst.
  • Values less than 10 reflect low hunger, values from 20 to 34.9 indicate serious hunger; values from 35 to 49.9 are alarming; and values of 50 or more are extremely alarming.

How does GHI measure hunger?

GHI scores are calculated using a three-step process that draws on available data from various sources to capture the multidimensional nature of hunger.



For each country, values are determined for four indicators:

  • UNDERNOURISHMENT: the share of the population that is undernourished (that is, whose caloric intake is insufficient);
  • CHILD WASTING: the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition);
  • CHILD STUNTING: the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition); and
  • CHILD MORTALITY: the mortality rate of children under the age of five (in part, a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).


Each of the four component indicators is given a standardized score on a 100-point scale based on the highest observed level for the indicator on a global scale in recent decades.


Standardized scores are aggregated to calculate the GHI score for each country, with each of the three dimensions (inadequate food supply; child mortality; and child undernutrition, which is composed equally of child stunting and child wasting) given equal weight.

Global Rankings

  • Seventeen countries, including Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey, Cuba and Kuwait, shared the top rank with GHI scores of less than five.
  • Among the BRICS grouping, India is ranked the worst, with China ranked at 25 and a score of 6.5.
  • Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan (in that order) are all ranked ahead of India.
  • Some of the other countries ahead of India are Saudi Arabia (rank 34), Venezuela (rank 65), Lesotho (rank 79), Burkina Faso (rank 88), and North Korea (rank 92).
  • Most of the countries below India on the GHI — Afghanistan, Haiti or Yemen etc — are either poorly governed or war-torn or ravaged by natural calamities.

Performance of India

  • India is ranked 102 of 117 countries and the report termed the level of hunger in India “serious”.
  • In 2018, it was ranked 103 out of 119 countries. In 2000, the country was ranked 83 out of 113 countries.
  • GHI score of India also decelerated — from 38.9 in 2005 to 32 in 2010 and then from 32 to 30.3 between 2010 and 2019.
  • The share of wasting among children in India rose from 16.5% in 2008-2012 to 20.8% in 2014-2018.
  • However, India has shown improvement in other indicators such as the under-5 mortality rate, prevalence of stunting among children and prevalence of undernourishment owing to inadequate food.
  • The report also mentions the central government’s Swachh Bharat programme noting that open defecation is still being practised.
  • This situation jeopardises the population’s health and consequently, children’s growth and development as their ability to absorb nutrients is compromised.

Why India is ranked low on GHI?

  • With an overall GHI score of 30.3, India finds itself sandwiched between Niger (score 30.2, rank 101) and Sierra Leone (score 30.4, rank 103).
  • In 2000, India’s score was 38.8 and its hunger level was in the “alarming” category.
  • Since then, India has steadily improved on most counts to reduce its score and is now slotted in the “serious” category.
  • But the pace of India’s improvement has been relatively slow.
  • Niger and Sierra Leone had scores of 52.1 and 53.6 in 2000 and was placed in the “extremely alarming” category of hunger.
  • The present GHI scores of these countries will clearly illustrate the “slow pace” of India’s progress.
  • So, even though India has improved its score, many other countries have done more.
  • This explains why despite achieving relatively fast economic growth since 2000, India has not been able to make commensurate strides in reducing hunger.

Steps suggested in the Report

  • GHI recommends various steps the countries could take to tackle this serious problem.
  • Prioritizing resilience among the most vulnerable groups, better response to disasters, addressing inequalities, action to mitigate climate change are among measures suggested in the report.

Way Forward

  • In India, to combat the malnutrition levels both immediate and long term interventions are needed.
  • Around 85 to 90% of wasting can be managed at the community level.
  • The nutritional rehabilitation centre, which are coming up across the country can help in taking care of the institutional needs of the children who are already malnourished.
  • Mothers need to be educated about child feeding and care practices by proactive front-line workers (ASHAs, ANMs and anganwadi workers).
  • Access to clean drinking water and sanitation, immunization and deworming of children has to be ensured.
  • For immediate intervention, nutritional formulations need to be made available at community level.
  • The government can utilise the existing network of public distribution system to distribute nutrient rich traditional cereals.
  • It can have the self help groups engaged in preparation and distribution of locally packaged, adequately portioned, nutritional formulations using locally available biodiverse indigenous foods to be fed to the moderately malnourished and severely malnourished children without medical complications.
  • Having a clear cut, state specific, contextual community based solution to address acute and chronic malnutrition is the need of the hour.
[Source: The Hindu, Indian Express, Hindustan Times, globalhungerindex.org]




Kerala will become the first State in the country to bring private education sector within the ambit of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2019, with the Centre giving approval to the State government’s decision to extend maternity benefits under the Act to all employees, including teachers, in private and unaided education sector in the State. At present, the maternity leave and other benefits which are available to employees in the government sector are denied to employees in private sector. Once the new decision becomes the law, women employees in the private education sector in Kerala can avail six months’ or 26 weeks of maternity leave with salary, as stipulated under the Act.


A middle-aged family man was arrested from Nedumangadu on the charge of trafficking in child porn as a part of Operation P-Hunt launched by Kerala Police Cyberdome. The accused had harvested photographs of children from social media platforms on which parents had shared intimate family moments with their children publicly. The accused had also sourced child sex abuse content generated in other regions from the darknet, the mostly illegal underbelly of the internet. Kerala Police had launched a covert cyber-surveillance and infiltration operation, codenamed P-Hunt, to crack down on child pornography. The police had used ethical hackers, potent cyber-surveillance programmes provided by the Interpol and social engineering tactics for the crackdown. A potent cybertool aided the police geo-tag child abuse content as it moved across the internet and also social media platforms. The electronic tag assigned a geographical location to child porn photographs and videos and helped law enforcers pinpoint the physical location of the suspects by tracking down their respective IP addresses as they shared the prurient content online. Kerala Police is observing 2019 as the ‘Year of Cyber Security’ to enforce zero tolerance towards child pornography and crime against children.


The Culture Department of Uttar Pradesh government will be organising the country’s first training and performance programme of world famous KHON Ramlila, a masked form of Ramlila art of Thailand in collaboration with Thai government. Artists, who will get training from experts of Thailand as part of cultural exchange programme between two nations, will perform at Grand Deepotsav function which will be organised on 26th October, 2019 in Ayodhya. KHON Ramlila of Thailand is included in the list of UNESCO’s Intangible cultural heritage and it’s a form of masked dance depicting the scenes of Ramlila. It has no dialogues and background voices narrate the whole story of Ramayana. KHON Ramlila’s performance is also a visual delight famous for its beautiful attire and golden masks.

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