November 2019

Daily Current Affairs (11-11-19)



Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Social Justice [Paper-I]: Rights Issues (Human rights, Women rights, SC/ST rights, Child rights, etc.)

Economy [Paper-II]: Indicators of development, Kerala model development – Achievements of Kerala in Health Sector


The latest Sample Registration System (SRS) 2015-2017 bulletin for MMR was released recently.


  • The government has categorised states into three groups: Empowered Action Group (EAG), Southern States and Other States.
  • It was done mainly to understand the maternal mortality situation in the country better and to map the changes, especially at the regional level.
  • Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand and Assam fall under the EAG.
  • Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are in the Southern States group.
  • Others” comprise the remaining States and Union Territories.

Key Findings

  • India’s Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has seen a decline from 130 per 1 lakh live births in 2014-2016 to 122 per 1 lakh live births in 2015-2017.
  • The figure has declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016 and to 122 in 2015-17, registering a 6.15 per cent reduction since the last survey figures of 2014-2016.
  • Karnataka has shown the highest percentage decline in MMR (13 points).
  • Retaining its first position, Kerala has reduced its MMR from 46 in 2014-2016 to 42 in 2015-2017.
  • Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have shown an increase by 15 points each in MMR.
  • For Assam, which recorded the highest MMR, the 229 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births is still an improvement from the 2014-16 MMR of 237.
  • The decline has been most significant in EAG States from 188 to 175.
  • The ratio has reduced considerably from 77 to 72 per 1,00,000 live births among Southern States and in the Other States from 93 to 90.
  • Independent MMR data of Jharkhand (76), Chhattisgarh (141) and Uttarakhand (89) has been released for the first time.
  • The States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab have not shown any change in the ratio.


  • The decline in MMR is important for India as 11 States have achieved the National Health Policy target of MMR 100 per lakh live births well ahead of 2020.
  • Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have already met the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target of 70 per 100,000 MMR.
  • The achievements have been made possible in view of the gains made in institutional deliveries and focused approach towards Aspirational districts and inter-sectoral action to reach the most marginalised and vulnerable mothers.
  • Focus on quality and coverage of health services through public health initiatives under the National Health Mission such as LaQshya, Poshan Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram, Janani Suraksha Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana have contributed to this decline.
  • The recently launched Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan Initiative (SUMAN) will ensure that not a single mother or newborn dies due to a preventable cause and move towards zero preventable maternal and newborn deaths.

[Source: The Hindu, Indian Express]




Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

History [Paper-I]: Medieval Period – Art, culture, literature and Architecture


  • In the Ayodhya judgment delivered recently, the Supreme Court relied in part on centuries-old travelogues, gazetteers and books to provide an account of the faith and belief that the Hindus placed in the Janmasthan.
  • The travelogues that the court took note of included European travellers Joseph Tieffenthaler, William Finch, and Montgomery Martin – these being written before the building of the grill-brick wall in front of the mosque during British rule.

William Finch (died in 1613)

  • William Finch’s account has been recorded in the 1921 book ‘Early Travels in India (1583-1619)’ by the historiographer Sir William Foster.
  • Finch is known to have arrived in India in 1608 at Surat with Sir William Hawkins, a representative of the East India Company.

Joseph Tieffenthaler (1710-1785)

  • He was an 18th-century missionary who travelled in India for 27 years, and wrote his travelogue titled “Description Historique et Geographique De l’Inde”.
  • Hailing from Bozano in present-day Italy, Tieffenthaler underwent religious training in the Jesuit order before setting sail for Goa from Portugal in 1743.
  • In India, he was commissioned at the famous observatory of Sawai Jai Singh, the Raja of Jaipur.
  • He was later attached at the Jesuit College in Agra which was built with the patronage of Akbar.

Robert Montgomery Martin (1801-1868)

  • Originally from Dublin in Ireland, Martin was an Anglo-Irish author and civil servant.
  • He practised medicine in Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka), East Africa and Australia.
  • Martin then went on to work in Kolkata where he established the journal ‘Bengal Herald’, with which Raja Ram Mohan Roy and his friends Dwarkanath Tagore and Prasanna Kumar Tagore were also connected.
  • He wrote the three-volume work ‘History, Antiquities, Topography and Statistics of Eastern India’.

[Source: Indian Express]




Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Science & Technology [Paper-II]: Environmental Science, Biodiversity


  • Scientists have recently unearthed an extraordinary specimen of pliosaurs in Krzyżanowice, Poland.
  • Remains of pliosaurs are rare in Europe.

What is Pliosaur?

  • Pliosaurs were a group of large carnivorous marine reptiles characterized by massive heads, short necks, and streamlined tear-shaped bodies.
  • They have been found as fossils from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods (about 200 million to 65.5 million years ago).
  • They are classified in the order Plesiosauria, along with their long-necked relatives, the plesiosaurs.
  • Pliosaurs possessed powerful jaws and large teeth, and they used four large fins to swim through Mesozoic seas.
  • They were the largest aquatic carnivorous reptiles that have ever lived, often dubbed as “sea monsters”.
[Source: Indian Express,]



  • Venu Srinivasan, chairman of TVS Motor Company and Sundaram Clayton, was conferred with the prestigious Deming ‘Distinguished Service Award For Dissemination and Promotion Overseas’, at a ceremony held in Tokyo.
  • He became the first industrialist from India to be bestowed this prestigious award for his contributions in the field of Total Quality Management (TQM).
  • The Deming Prize is the highest award for TQM in the world and is sponsored by Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE).
  • Candidates for this award require recommendation from the members of the Deming Prize Committee, and whose primary activities must be limited to outside Japan.
  • Mexican archaeologists announced that they have made the first ever discovery of pits built around 15,000 years ago to trap mammoths.
  • The two pits contained about 824 bones from at least 14 mammoths.
  • Hunters may have used torches to scare the mammals into the area with the traps, which are about 6ft (1.70m) deep and 25 yards in diameter, but one of the skulls found also had marks of a spear wound on the front.
  • The discovery marks a watershed in the study of the relationship between prehistoric hunting and gathering communities and the huge herbivores.
  • A mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus, one of the many genera that make up the order of trunked mammals called proboscideans.
  • Indian Air Force launched the multiplayer version of its interactive mobile game “Indian Air Force – A Cut Above”, which lets users experience the thrill of flying a combat aircraft.
  • The single-player version of the game was launched on May 31, 2019.
  • The game is a combat simulator which lets the players choose from an array of fighter aircraft, including Tejas, Rafale Mirage-2000, Su-30 among others.
  • The multiplayer version has two modesteam battles, where players team up, and death match, a free for all where the last man standing is the winner.
  • The game allows IAF aspirants to experience first-hand the roles of an air warrior, as well as means to apply and appear for recruitment from the comfort of a mobile phone.
  • Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture congratulated the Kung Fu Nuns for receiving Asia Society’s Game Changer Award.
  • Kung Fu Nuns, Himalayas’ most prominent human rights advocates received the award for their path-breaking work to empower women and dismantle gender stereotypes in the Himalayas.
  • They represent a new generation of Buddhists who use their teachings to take real action and effect meaningful change in the world by promoting gender equality and environmentalism with tagline BE YOUR OWN HERO’.
  • They belong to the Drukpa Lineage, a thousand-year-old Buddhist tradition that began in the Himalayas.
  • The Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual leader and founder of the Drukpa order, encouraged his nuns to train in Kung Fu to build confidence as leaders.
  • They are the only Buddhist nuns in the world to practice Kung Fu.
  • Indra Nooyi, Mukesh Ambani, and Dev Patel were also honored by the Asia Society in previous years for breaking the glass ceiling with their courage and inspiring their fellow citizens.

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