December 2019

Daily Current Affairs (27-12-19)



Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Governance [Paper-I]: Public Policy and Governance

Why in News?

  • Union Human Resource Development Minister launched the 5 documents developed by UGC covering the 5 verticals of Quality Mandate in New Delhi.
  • These five documents cover evaluation reforms, eco-friendly and sustainable university campuses, human values & professional ethics, faculty induction and academic research integrity.

News in Detail

  • To improve the quality in Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs), University Grants Commission has adopted the Higher Education Quality Improvement Programme Mandate.
  • The quality mandate aims at evolving higher education system to equip country’s next generation with vital skills, knowledge and ethics for leading a rewarding life.
  • In order to make student assessment more meaningful, effective and linked to ‘Learning Outcomes’, the report ‘Evaluation Reforms inHigher Educational Institutions in India’ is beneficial for HEIs.
  • SATAT– Framework for Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Campusdevelopment in Higher Educational Institutions encourages universities to adopt reflective policies and practices to enhance the environmental quality of the campus and to adopt sustainable green and sustainable methods in its future.
  • UGC has also developed a policy framework- “MulyaPravah – Guidelines for Inculcation of Human values and Professionals Ethics in Higher Educational Institutions”.
  • Guidelines for Guru-Dakshta – A guide to Faculty InductionProgramme (FIP) will fulfill its main objective to sensitise and motivate the faculty to adopt learner centred approaches, ICT integrated learning and new pedagogic approaches to teaching-learning, assessment tools in higher education.
  • UGC has set up a Consortium for Academic and Research Ethics (UGC-CARE) to continuously monitor and identify quality journals across disciplines.
[Source:  PIB]




Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

History [Paper-I]: Modern Indian History significant events, personalities and issues


The distasteful tweet on Periyar by leader of a political party on his 46th death anniversary has triggered a firestorm of protests in Tamil Nadu.

Who was E V Ramasamy ‘Periyar’?

  • Born in 1879, Periyar is remembered for the Self Respect Movement to redeem the identity and self-respect of Tamils.
  • He envisaged a Dravida homeland of Dravida Nadu, and launched a political party, Dravidar Kazhagam (DK).
  • Periyar started his political career as a Congress worker in his hometown Erode.
  • After failing to bend the Congress to his view, Periyar resigned from the party in 1925, and associated himself with the Justice Party and the Self Respect Movement, which opposed the dominance of Brahmins in social life, especially the bureaucracy.
  • The Justice Party had a decade earlier advocated reservation for non-Brahmins in the bureaucracy and, after coming to power in the Madras Presidency, issued an order to implement it.

Vaikom Satyagraha

  • Periyar’s fame spread beyond the Tamil region during the Vaikom Satyagraha of 1924, a mass movement to demand that lower caste persons be given the right to use a public path in front of the famous Vaikom temple.
  • In 1925, the Madras Presidency (Tamil Nadu) Congress passed a resolution unanimously praising E. V. Ramasami’s contribution to the Vaikom Satyagraha and hailing him as the Vaikom Veerar (Vaikom Hero) in the Kanchipuram Session.

Legacy of Periyar

  • During the 1920s and 30s, Periyar combined social and political reform, and challenged the conservatism of the Congress and the mainstream national movement in the Tamil region.
  • He reconstructed the Tamil identity as an egalitarian ideal that was originally unpolluted by the caste system, and counterposed it against the Indian identity championed by the Congress.
  • Periyar stands for a politics that foregrounded social equality, self-respect, and linguistic pride.
  • As a social reformer, he focused on social, cultural and gender inequalities and his reform agenda questioned matters of faith, gender and tradition.
  • He argued that women needed to be independent, not mere child-bearers, and insisted that they be allowed an equal share in employment.
  • The Self Respect Movement that he led promoted weddings without rituals, and sanctioned property as well as divorce rights for women.
  • He appealed to people to give up the caste suffix in their names, and to not mention caste. He instituted inter-dining with food cooked by Dalits in public conferences in the 1930s.
  • Over the years, Periyar has transcended the political divide as well as the faultlines of religion and caste, and come to be revered as Thanthai Periyar, the father figure of modern Tamil Nadu.
[Source: Indian Express]




Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

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


  • Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare inaugurated the second edition of the ‘Eat Right Mela’ at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.
  • The theme of the event is Heathier Diets.’ The mela is a part of the Eat Right Movement.

Eat Right Mela

  • Eat Right Mela of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an outreach activity for citizens to nudge them towards eating right.
  • It aims at encouraging people to have healthier diets which will help in reduction of the disease burden in the country.
  • The first Eat Right Mela was launched in New Delhi in December, 2018.


  • Union Minister also launched ‘The PURPLE Book’ a handbook on diets for diseases.
  • The book provides general guidelines for hospitals on suitable diets for common medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, gut disorders and so on in a simple format and has been developed and vetted by experts in the field of food and nutrition.

NetSCoFAN (Network for Scientific Co-operation for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition)

  • It is a network of research & academic institutions working in the area of food & nutrition along with the NetSCoFAN directory, covering detailed information of various heads/Directors and lead scientists of lead and associated partnering institutions.
  • It would comprise of eight groups of institutions working in different areas viz. biological, chemical, nutrition & labelling, food of animal origin, food of plant origin, water & beverages, food testing, and safer & sustainable packaging.
  • FSSAI has identified eight Nodal Institutions who would develop a ‘Ready Reckoner’ that will have inventory of all research work, experts and institutions and would carry out and facilitate research, survey and related activities.
  • It would identify research gaps in respective areas and collect, collate and develop database on food safety issues for risk assessment activities.

What is Eat Right Movement?

  • It is a movement launched by FSSAI to improve public health in India and combat negative nutritional trends to fight lifestyle diseases.
  • The movement which was launched on 10th July, 2018 aims to cut down salt/sugar and oil consumption by 30% in three years.
  • This movement is aligned with the government’s flagship public health programmes such as POSHAN Abhiyaan, Anaemia Mukt Bharat, Ayushman Bharat Yojana and Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • FSSAI has put in place robust regulatory measures under three major pillars: Eat Safe, Eat Health and Eat Sustainably for the programme.
  • FSSAI has prescribed a limit for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) at 25% in cooking oil to avoid the harmful effects of reused cooking oil.


  • There has been a shift in the cause of mortality from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and cancer, not only in India, but also across the world.
  • The four main factors to prevent non-communicable diseases are healthy diet, physical exercise, avoidance of tobacco and alcohol.
  • Thus, the message of ‘Eat Right’ is of great significance and should be promoted everywhere.
[Source: PIB]



  • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has announced that customers can recharge FASTags through any BHIM UPI enabled mobile app.
  • Recharge facility through BHIM UPI would now give vehicle owners the opportunity to recharge their FASTags on the go and avoid queues at toll plazas.
  • The National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) is a programme designed to meet the electronic tolling needs of the Indian market.
  • NETC FASTag is a simple to use, reloadable tag fixed on the windscreen of a vehicle, which enables automatic deduction of toll charges from the prepaid or savings account linked to it while the vehicle is in motion.
  • It offers an interoperable nationwide toll payment solution including clearinghouse services for settlement and dispute management.
  • Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that Centre government is planning to revamp ‘All India Radio’ officially known as ‘Akashvani’ by introducing Digital Radio in India by 2024.
  • The audio of digital radio will be clearer and its reach will be higher.
  • Federal Cabinet of Pakistan has decided to import polio markers from India in a bid to reduce the price of medicines.
  • The Federal Cabinet took the decision to give a one-time permission for import of polio markers from India as it would reduce prices of 89 medicines by at least 15%.
  • Pakistan had suspended trade ties with India following New Delhi’s decision to abrogate Article 370 on August 5, 2019 to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The markers used to mark the fingers of children after administering them polio vaccine are approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • There are only two WHO pre-qualified manufacturers in the world, India and China, which manufacture non-toxic markers to prevent children from swallowing the ink.
  • India’s first university for transgender community will be opened in Uttar Pradesh to facilitate its members to study right from class one to PG and even do research and get PhD degree.
  • The university, which will come up in Fazilnagar block of Kushinagar district, is being built by the Akhil Bhartiya Kinnar Siksha Seva Trust (All-India transgender education service trust).
  • Union Home Minister laid the foundation stone for the country’s first transit-oriented development (TOD) project under which a state-of-the-art infrastructure zone, including the national capital’s tallest tower, will be built in east Delhi.
  • The project has been titled as ‘East Delhi Hub’ and will be developed at Karkardooma spread over an area of 30 hectares.
  • The hub will be developed around the existing two Delhi Metro stations at Karkardooma– on the Blue and Pink Lines, and will include a massive open landscaped green area, besides a 48-storey signature tower that will come up in the first phase of the project.
  • The land is owned by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) which has chosen National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) for implementing the project’s first phase.

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