December 2019

Daily Current Affairs (05-12-19)



Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus: 

Economy [Paper-II]: Public Sector enterprises and their performance


Union Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Prakash Javadekar informed the Lok Sabha about the criteria laid down by the Government for grant of Maharatna, Navratna and Miniratna status to Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).

Criteria for grant of Maharatna status to CPSEs

  • Having Navratna status
  • Listed on Indian stock exchange with minimum prescribed public shareholding under SEBI regulations
  • An average annual turnover of more than 25,000 crore during the last 3 years
  • An average annual net worth of more than 15,000 crore during the last 3 years
  • An average annual net profit after tax of more than 5,000 crore during the last 3 years
  • Should have significant global presence/international operations

Criteria for grant of Navratna status to CPSEs

CPSEs which are Miniratna I, Schedule ‘A’ and have obtained ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ MOU rating in three of the last five years and having composite score of 60 or above in following six selected performance indicators are eligible to be considered for grant of Navratna status.

Criteria for grant of Miniratna status to CPSEs

Miniratna Category-I status

The CPSEs which have made profit in the last three years continuously, pre-tax profit is Rs.30 crores or more in at least one of the three years and have a positive net worth are eligible to be considered for grant of Miniratna-I status.

Miniratna Category-II status

The CPSEs which have made profit for the last three years continuously and have a positive net worth are eligible to be considered for grant of Miniratna-II status.

  • Miniratna CPSEs should have not defaulted in the repayment of loans/interest payment on any loans due to the Government.
  • Miniratna CPSEs shall not depend upon budgetary support or Government guarantees.

[Source: PIB]




Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:  

Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Public Health and Community Medicine, Health Care


World Malaria Report 2019 was released by the World Health Organization (WHO) recently.

About the Report

  • It provides a comprehensive update on global and regional malaria data and trends.
  • The report tracks investments in malaria programmes and research as well as progress across all intervention areas: prevention, diagnosis, treatment, elimination and surveillance.
  • It also includes dedicated chapters on the consequences of malaria on maternal, infant and child health, the High Burden to High Impact approach as well as biological threats to the fight against malaria.
  • The 2019 report is based on information received from more than 80 countries and areas with ongoing malaria transmission.
  • This information is supplemented by data from national household surveys and databases held by other organizations.

Key Highlights

  • Nineteen countries in sub-Saharan Africa and India accounted for 85 per cent of the global malaria burden in 2018.
  • Globally 228 million malaria cases were reported in 2018, which is marginally lower than the number of cases in 2017 (231 million).
  • More than 85% of the global malaria deaths in 2018 were concentrated in the 20 countries of WHO’s African region and India.
  • Nigeria had the highest burden of all malaria cases, at 24%.

  • Incidence of P vivax malaria (the second most common form of the disease) was the highest in India, which accounts for 47% of all cases in 2018, or roughly 3.5 million.
  • WHO region-wise: The highest estimated cases of all malaria forms were in Africa, at 93% of the cases (213 million), followed by South-East Asia (9 million), East Mediterranean (4.9), Western Pacific (1.98) and the Americas (9.29).
  • The number of cases has increased from 206 million in 2016 and 212 million in Africa.
  • It has declined in all other regions except Western Pacific, where it has risen from 1.7 million in 2016 and 1.8 million in 2017 to 1.98 million in 2018.
  • In 2018 there were 4,05,000 deaths from malaria globally, compared to 4,16,000 in 2017 and 5,85,000 in 2010.
  • Africa had the highest number of deaths due to malaria in 2018, at 3,80,000.

Indian Scenario

  • Seven states account for about 90% of the burden of malaria cases in India.
  • These are Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Compared to 2017, India reported 2.6 million fewer cases in 2018.
  • This makes India the country with the largest absolute reductions among the countries that share 85% of the malaria burden.
[Source: Indian Express, Down To Earth]




Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:   

Environment [Paper-II]: Carbon Emission, Global Warming. National action plans on climate change and Disaster Management

Why in News?

Global Carbon Budget 2019 was released recently.

What is Global Carbon Budget?

  • Global Carbon Project has established an international consortium of institutions to track the trends in carbon emissions.
  • The project publishes the state of global carbon cycle annually since 2007, which is known as the Global Carbon Budget.

About Global Carbon Project

  • It is a Global Research Project of Future Earth and a research partner of the World Climate Research Programme.
  • It was formed to work with the international science community to establish a common and mutually agreed knowledge base to support policy debate and action to slow down and ultimately stop the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • It was established in 2001 by a shared partnership between the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and Diversitas.
  • This partnership constituted the Earth Systems Science Partnership (ESSP) which subsequently evolved into Future Earth.

Key Highlights

  • Global carbon emissions are set to grow more slowly in 2019, with a decline in coal burning offset by strong growth in natural gas and oil use worldwide.
  • This lower rate of growth is due to substantial declines in coal use in the EU and US, and slower growth in coal use in China and India compared to recent years.
  • Weaker economic growth has also contributed to this trend.

Emissions from fossil fuels and industry

  • Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry have increased every decade from an average of 11.4 gigatonnes of equivalent carbon in the 1960s to an average of 34.7 gigatonnes during 2009-2018.
  • Emissions in 2018 reached a new record high of 36.6 GtCO2.
  • Emissions from burning fossil fuels are projected to grow by 0.6 percent (range: -0.2 to +1.5 percent) this year.

Regional fossil fuel emissions

  • In 2018, global CO2 emissions were dominated by emissions from China (28%), the USA (15%), the EU 28 (9%) and India (7%).
  • Growth rates of these countries from 2017 to 2018 were +2.3% for China, +2.8% for the USA, -2.1% for the EU28, and +8.0% for India.

Emissions from land use change 

Net CO2 emissions from deforestation and other land-use change were 5.5±2.7 GtCO2 on average during 2009-2018, accounting for about 14% of all emissions from human activity (fossil fuel, industry, land use change).

CO2 removals by natural sinks

  • Of the total emissions from human activities during the period 2009-2018, about 45% accumulated in the atmosphere, 23% in the ocean and 29% on land.
  • During this period, the size of the natural sinks grew in response to the increasing emissions, though year-to-year variability of that growth is large.

Atmospheric CO2

  • Atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 407.4 parts per million in 2018 on average, and is projected to increase by 2.2 ppm in 2019 (+1.8 to +2.6 ppm) to reach 410 ppm averaged over the year.
  • Atmospheric CO2 concentration in 2019 is 47% above pre-industrial levels.

Cumulative Carbon Emissions

  • The cumulative carbon emissions are the sum of the total CO2 emitted during a given period of time.
  • Total cumulative emissions from 1850 to 2019 were 1649 GtCO2 from fossil fuels and industry, and 751 GtCO2 from land use change.

Indian Scenario

  • Growth in India’s carbon dioxide emissions this year was likely to be considerably lower than in the last few years.
  • India’s emissions in 2019 (2.6 billion tonnes or gigatonnes) was likely to be only 1.8 per cent higher than in 2018.
  • According to the report, the lower growth in CO2 emissions, though desirable is only a positive fallout of the slowdown in the Indian economy.


  • The numbers put out by Global Carbon Project offer important indicators to global trends in carbon dioxide emissions in near-real time.
  • The near-real time estimates put out by the project are based on datasets that monitor production and consumption trends of key indicators like electricity, oil and gas, cement, and chemicals and fertilisers.
  • The accounting of the carbon cycle allows the research community to understand and monitor the composition, processes, and trends of the global carbon cycle.
  • The carbon budget also provides a definite record of recent trends as well as a determinate idea of permissible emissions to achieve given targets.
  • While emissions levels can vary annually depending on economic growth and even weather trends, the Carbon Budget report shows how far nations still need to travel to drag down carbon pollution.

Way Forward

According to the members of Global Carbon Budget team, countries that decarbonised the fastest in the past decade generally shared three characteristics:

  • They had stable or declining energy use, from both energy efficiency and energy use
  • They deployed lots of renewable energy that replaced fossil energy
  • They had lots of climate and energy policies

[Source: Indian Express,]



  • Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have announced that they are stepping down from the leadership role of the parent company Alphabet.
  • Google CEO Indian-American Sundar Pichai will be assuming the role of Alphabet CEO, making him one of the most powerful corporate leaders of the world.
  • An announcement in this regard was made by Page and Brin in a letter to the company employees.
  • According to them, Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President and Sundar Pichai will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet.
  • World Soil Day is observed on 5th December every year to raise awareness about the importance of soil on Earth and highlight the growing problem due to population expansion.
  • The theme of World Soil Day 2019 is Stop Soil Erosion, Save our Future”.
  • In December 2013, UN General Assembly at the 68th session declared 5th December as World Soil Day.
  • The first World Soil Day was celebrated on December 5, 2014.
  • The day is celebrated on December 5 because this date corresponds to the birthday of the late Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand. He was one of the main proponents of this initiative.
  • Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik launched a smart learning phone application “MadhuApp” for school children.
  • The app named after ‘Utkal Gourab’ Madhusudan Das was developed by the Ganjam district administration in accordance with the 5T initiative of the state government.
  • This app is aimed at helping school students in learning their lessons through videos and tutorials.
  • The application is equipped with video lectures and exercises in Odia language by leading subject experts and educationists.
  • In the first phase, the study material has been created for Mathematics and Science Subjects of classes V to Vlll.
  • Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) V.G. Somani has directed all states and Union territories to prohibit sale of medicines through unlicensed online platforms till draft rules to regulate e-pharmacies are finalized and put in place.
  • Delhi High Court while hearing a PIL by Zaheer Ahmed in December 2018 had ordered the ban on sale of illegal or unlicensed online sale of medicines till the government drafts rules to regulate e-pharmacies.
  • According to Delhi HC order, drugs were sold online in violation of the Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Act.
  • However, e-pharmacies continued to sell online, after securing a stay from the Madras high court.
  • Currently, online pharmacies are operating in the country without a drug licence as there are no rules framed for the sector.

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