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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 27-06-2020

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June 27, 2020

India TB Report 2020

  • The report was released recently by the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare.
  • According to the report, National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme has comprehensively moved closer to near-complete online notification of all TB cases in the country through the NIKSHAY portal.
  • Under the programme, in 2019, Nagaland and Tripura have been awarded for being the best performing among small states (Population - less than 50 lakh)
  • Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh were awarded as best performing States among larger states (Population - more than 50 lakh)
  • Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu were chosen as the best performers in the category of Union Territory.


  • It is the web enabled patient management system for TB control under the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP).
  • It is developed and maintained by the Central TB Division (CTD), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with the National Informatics Centre (NIC), and WHO.
  • It functions as the National TB Surveillance System and enables reporting of various surveillance data to the Government of India.

Amendments in Postal Ballot System

  • Recently, Union Law Ministry has reduced the age limit for senior citizens who opt for postal ballot in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
  • Now, the voters aged above 65 years or a Covid-19 suspect can opt for postal ballot.
  • Earlier, in 2019, the Law Ministry had amended the Conduct of Election Rules to allow persons with disabilities and those who are 80 years of age or above to opt for postal ballot during Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
  • Voters of Bihar will be the first to benefit from the amended rules, since Bihar will be the first state to have assembly polls after the coronavirus outbreak in India.

Postal Ballots System

  • Ballot papers are distributed electronically to electors and are returned to the election officers via post.
  • Currently, only the following voters are allowed to cast their votes through postal ballot:
  1. Service voters (armed forces, the armed police force of a state and government servants posted abroad),
  2. Voters on election duty,
  3. Voters above 80 years of age or Persons with Disabilities (PwD),
  4. Voters under preventive detention.
  • The exception to the above-mentioned category of voters is provided under Section 60 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

World Drug Report 2020

  • The report was released recently by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
  • It has highlighted the possible consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on Illegal Drug Production, Supply and Consumption.
  • According to it, due to economic hardship, people may resort to illicit activities linked to drugs to make a living.
  • According to the report, India is one of the major hubs of illicit drug trade ranging from age-old cannabis to newer prescription drugs like tramadol, and designer drugs like methamphetamine.
  • India is in the middle of two major illicit opium production regions in the world, the Golden Crescent (Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan) in the west and the Golden Triangle (South-East Asia) in the east.

  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), established in 1997, acts as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division of the United Nations Office at Vienna.

Nasha Mukt Bharat: Annual Action Plan

  • Recently, the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has released the 'Nasha Mukt Bharat: Annual Action Plan (2020-21)'.
  • It is released on the occasion of 'International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking'.
  • It is a three-pronged attack combining efforts of Narcotics Bureau, Outreach/Awareness by Social Justice and Treatment through the Health Department.
  • The Action Plan has the following components:
  1. Awareness generation programmes;
  2. Focus on Higher Educational institutions, University Campuses and Schools;
  3. Community outreach and identification of dependent population;
  4. Focus on Treatment facilities in Hospital settings; and
  5. Capacity Building Programmes for Service Provider.

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

  • The UN General Assembly in 1987, decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
  • The theme for the 2020 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking “Better Knowledge for Better Care”.


  • Maareech is an Advanced Torpedo Defence System (ATDS) that is capable of being fired from all frontline ships.
  • It has been designed and developed indigenously by DRDO.
  • It is capable of detecting, locating and neutralizing incoming torpedoes.
  • It applies counter-measures to protect the naval platform against attact.
  • Bharat Electronics Limited, a Defence PSU, would undertake the production of this decoy system.
  • Torpedoes are self-propelled weapons with a warhead and can be used under or on the water surface.
  • They are one of the mainstay of sea-warfare attack systems.

Sea Plane Project

  • Ministry of Shipping has reviewed the seaplane projects on Indian water bodies.
  • Seaplane projects will provide faster and hassle free travel option for the long, treacherous and hilly regions of the country.
  • Till now, 16 seaplane routes have been identified under Regional Connectivity Routes under UDAN scheme.
  • Sabarmati and Sardar Sarovar- Statue of Unity route is included in these 16 sea plane routes and hydrographic surveys of this route have been completed.
  • Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) will manage the Project of Seaplane in Inland Waterways and Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL) will manage the Projects of seaplane in Coastal Areas.


Source: PIB, AIR, the Hindu

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