Prelim Bits 11-01-2024 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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January 11, 2024

World Employment and Social Outlook Report 2023

  • Released by- International Labour Organisation
  • Publication- Annually
  • Theme- The value of essential work.
  • About- It details the impact of economic slowdown on the global labour market.
  • 2023 report- It calls for a revaluation of the work of key workers to reflect their social contribution and greater investment in key sectors.
  • Key workers- Food system workers, health workers, retail workers, security workers, manual workers, cleaning and sanitation workers, transport workers, and technicians and clerical workers.


Key highlights



Global unemployment rate

5.1%, a modest improvement on 2022

Global labour force participation rate

It is expected to decline further in 2023, reaching 60.5% the lowest level since 1990.

Global labour income share

It has fallen by 3.3% points since 2004 indicating worsening of income inequality

Number of workers in extreme or moderate poverty

It is estimated to increase by 34 million in 2023, reversing the progress made in the past decade.

women workforce

They account for 38% of all key workers

globally, though they are the majority in health and retail.


The Hindu | World Employment & Social Outlook Report


Western Disturbance

  • It is an extratropical storm system that forms in the middle and upper latitudes.
  • It is a non-monsoonal precipitation pattern that causes rainfall and snowfall in northern India originating from the Mediterranean region.
  • The weather system begins in the Mediterranean as a non-monsoonal precipitation and proceeds eastward, having an impact on different regions of Pakistan, India, and surrounding nations.
  • Causes- It develops when the Himalayas and western parts of central Asia contact with the jet stream, a fast air current in the upper atmosphere. This interaction causes a low-pressure area to arise, which in turn causes the disturbance to develop.
  • Outcome- In northern India, it causes rainfall in plain and snowfall in mountain regions.
  • Declining trend- The Western disturbances is showing a declining trend in intensity in the past few years, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have experienced 47% and 40% less rain than normal during October to December in 2023.
  • Climate change-A long-term shift in weather patterns, mainly caused by human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels.
  • Impact of climate change- A declining trend in the intensity and frequency of western disturbances, leading to reduced rainfall and snowfall in the post-monsoon season, affecting agriculture and water availability in the mountains.
  • Decline in apple production- It is due to prolonged drought and lack of snow.

El Nino

India’s monsoon rainfall for the year 2023 hit a five-year low, marking the lowest since 2018 due to El Nino

  • A climate phenomenon that describes the unusual warming of the Pacific Ocean, affecting the trade winds and the monsoon rainfall in India.
  • Kashmir- The El Nino’s impact is evident through prolonged dry spells, milder winters, and diminished snowfall.
  • It causes prolonged dry spells, milder winters, and diminished snowfall in some regions.


Down to Earth | Western Disturbance


TM Module-2 in ICD-11

Recently ICD-11 was launched with the inclusion of Traditional Medicine Module 2.

  • ICD-11 International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision, the global standard for diagnostic health information.
  • Launched by – World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • Prepared by – WHO in collaboration with Ministry of AYUSH.
  • Aim - To modernize Ayush medicine by integrating it with global standards in India as well as across the world.
  • Inclusion of – Data and terminology relating to diseases based on Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani Medicine.
  • Significance – It forms a link between traditional medicines with global standards and will expand India’s healthcare delivery system, research, Ayush insurance coverage, research & development, policy making system.
  • These codes can also be used to formulate future strategies to control various diseases in the society.
  • Future prospects – Ministry of Ayush will prepare public health strategy in future, based on ICD-11, Module 2 and will implement it nationally and internationally.

Importance of ICD-11

  • Legally mandated health data standard (WHO Constitution and Nomenclature Regulations).
  • Integration of terminology and classification.
  • End-to-end digital solution (API, tools, online and offline).
  • It is accessible to everybody with up-to-date scientific knowledge.
  • Comparable statistics and semantic interoperability for 150 years.
  • ICD-11 enables, for the 1st time, the counting of traditional medicine services and encounters.



  1. PIB| Inclusion of TM Module 2 in ICD-11
  2. WHO| International Classification of Disease (ICD)


Pong dam

Recently the draft policy was prepared to declare Pong Dam Wildlife Sanctuary and the surrounding area an eco-sensitive zone.

  • It is the highest earth-fill dam in India and is one of India’s largest man made reservoir.
  • Built in1975, named after Maharana Pratap and so called as Maharana Pratap Sagar.
  • Location – Over Beas River in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Pong Dam Wildlife Sanctuary – In 1983, the entire reservoir was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary by the state government.
  • It is covered with tropical and subtropical forests.
  • It is the most important fish reservoir in the foothills of the Himalayas.
  • Pong Dam Lake Bird Sanctuary – In 1994, the Government of India declared it a ‘wetland of national importance’ and in 2002, it was declared as a Ramsar Site.
  • Every year more than 100,000 birds migrate here from Central Asia, Mongolia, Siberia and China and it is the largest congregation of the ‘Bar headed geese’.
  • Vulture Cafe – A place where cattle carcasses are made available at one spot, for vultures to ‘feast’ (scavenge) upon them.

Impact of Declaring Pond Dam an ESZ

The National Environment Policy (2006) defined the Eco-Sensitive Zones “as areas/zones with identified environmental resources having incomparable values which require special attention for their conservation” because of its landscape, wildlife, biodiversity, historical and natural values.

  • Impact – It will impose more restrictions on human activities within a radius of 1-1.5 kilometres of the dam area.
  • It will affect people living within a radius of 116 kilometres in the dam area who does farming around the dam when the water level goes down.
  • Over 25,000 families were displaced by the dam and over 7,000 rehabilitation cases are pending.


  1. Down To Earth| Draft policy of ESZ in Pong Dam
  2. Kangra District| Pong Dam


Critically Important Antimicrobials (CIA)

The findings of a new survey by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) underscored the need for properly monitoring critically important antimicrobials to mitigate AMR.

  • CIAs – They represent a class of antimicrobials.
  • Categorised by – World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • 3 groups – Based on their importance to human medicine and the urgency to preserve their effectiveness in treating infectious diseases.
  • HPCIAs – Highest priority critically important antimicrobials constitute a subcategory within CIAs, signifying antimicrobials of the highest priority in preserving their effectiveness.
  • Limitation – It is limited to antibacterial drugs of which most are also used in veterinary medicine and  on how much and what kind of antibiotics are used in food animals and crops.
  • Key findings3rd generation cephalosporins tops in overall antibiotic prescriptions with Ceftriaxone as top in this class.
  • Aminoglycosides is 2nd highest in overall antibiotic prescription where amikacin is the most commonly prescribed antibiotic.

3rd generation cephalosporins are categorised as the highest priority critically important antimicrobials (HPCIA) by WHO.

  • Other CIAs were belonging to the classes of carbapenems, penicillins, fluoroquinolones, glycopeptides and macrolides.
  • Recommendations – Antimicrobial consumption tracking efforts, like seen for human consumption, should be considered for use of antibiotics in India’s food animal production sector.
  • Significance of listing – It assists in managing antimicrobial resistance, ensuring that all, especially CIA are used prudently both in human and veterinary medicine.

Report by Centre for Science and Environment in 2021

  • It highlighted the use of CIAs in food-producing animals in India.
  • Findings – The 3rd generation cephalosporins, were found in the Indian dairy sector and aminoglycosides were reported in the Indian poultry sector.
  • Use of antibiotics – To prevent, control or treat diseases.
  • Recommendations – Hospitals should adopt standard treatment guidelines and to have well-defined antibiotic policies in place.
  • It further highlights the need for conducting point prevalence surveys periodically in hospitals to monitor changes in antibiotic usage with time.

Recent data from the Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Surveillance Network of the ICMR as well as National Antimicrobial Surveillance Network (NARS-Net) of NCDC also showed a trend of increasing resistance towards CIAs, including 3rd generation cephalosporins and aminoglycosides.


  1. Down To Earth| NCDC Survey on CIA
  2. WHO| Critically Important Antimicrobials


Other Important Topics

National Sports and Adventure Awards 2023

  • The National Sports and Adventure Awards were established in 2002 to honor athletes who contribute to sports and continue to promote sports events after retirement.
  • The 2023 awards included
    • Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Awards-2023;
    • Dronacharya Awards-2023;
    • Arjuna Awards-2023;
    • Dhyan Chand Awards-2023;
    • Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards-2022;
    • Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar-2023; and
    • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy-2023.

Global FinTech Forum

  • On the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, PM interacted with prominent business leaders in the Global FinTech Leadership Forum at GIFT city in Gujarat recently.
  • The Global Fintech Forum is a space for shareholders, customers, and participants to share experiences and experiment.

Zero Defect, Zero Effect Scheme

  • Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) is a certification scheme for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • The scheme's goal is to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of MSMEs, and to help them become national and international champions.
  • The ZED scheme has 3 levels of certification - Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
  • The certification is based on parameters such as quality, safety, production, cleanliness, energy, and the environment.

‘Swayam Siddha’

  • Swayam Siddha is a financial product from the State Bank of India (SBI) that provides loans to women entrepreneurs from Self Help Groups (SHGs).
  • The loans can be up to 5 lakh rupees.


  • W1935 is a brown dwarf star that is 47 light-years away from Earth.
  • It is the 1st auroral candidate outside of the solar system that has been identified through methane emission signatures.
  • It is also the coldest auroral candidate outside of our solar system, with a temperature of about 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
  • Astronomers using NASA's James Webb Space Telescope discovered W1935.


  • It is an all-in-one AI platform that can create content as well as enhance productivity.
  • The application has been developed by New York-based software engineer Rohit Das and New Jersey-based software engineer David Laub.
  • Vondy is free and there are no message limits unlike ChatGPT and also has an AI assistant that’s a social media influencer.

Green Hydrogen from Whisky Distillery

  • Researchers at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh used wastewater from the whisky distilling industry to produce green hydrogen, which is a type of sustainable fuel.
  • They did this by developing a new nanoscale material, nickel selenide that allowed distillery wastewater to replace fresh water in the green hydrogen production & it treats the wastewater.

Fo Guang Shan

  • Fo Guang Shan Cultural and Educational Centre, received registration under ‘religious, cultural, economic, educational and social purpose’ category recently.
  • Fo Guang Shan (FGS) is one of the largest Buddhist organization and monastic order based in Taiwan.
  • The name translates to "Buddha's Light Mountain".
  • FGS practices Humanistic Buddhism, which has roots in the Linji school of Chan Buddhism.

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP)

  • The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP) is a zoo in Darjeeling, India.
  • It's also known as the Darjeeling Zoo and is the largest high-altitude zoo in the country.
  • The zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation and is known for its breeding programs for red pandas, Himalayan salamanders, Tibetan wolves, and snow leopards.
  • World Association for Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) has recently annpunced that it has the world’s largest number of snow leopards in captivity.


  • Munagapaka is a village in the Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh, India.
  • Munagapaka, known for sugarcane cultivation, is gearing up to organise the 15th edition of the traditional sports like Horse, bullock cart races during Sankranti.
  • The races were quite different from Jallikattu organised in Tamil Nadu or similar competitions held in Krishna and Guntur.
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