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Current Affairs 04 February 2023

CONTENT

  1. Cholera
  2. Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF)
  3. Macrosomia
  4. Startup India Seed Fund Scheme
  5. Juno Probe

Cholera Vaccine Shortage


Context:

African countries are facing Cholera vaccine shortage, that is a looming threat amid increasing cholera cases in the region.

Relevance:

GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Details
  2. About Cholera
  3. Initiatives to Curb Cholera

Details:

  • 27,300 new cases of cholera and 687 deaths reported in 5 African countries in 2023.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) links increased frequency of cholera epidemics to climate change.
  • Warmer water is believed to facilitate faster reproduction of the bacteria causing cholera.

About Cholera:

  • Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
  • The infection can range from mild to severe and is considered a public health hazard.
Symptoms:
  • Profuse watery diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Leg cramps
Transmission:
  • Cholera can spread through contaminated food or water.
  • The disease can quickly spread in areas with inadequate sewage and drinking water treatment.
Vaccine:
  • Three WHO-approved oral cholera vaccines (Dukoral, Shanchol, and Euvichol-Plus) are available.
  • These vaccines require two doses for full protection.

Initiatives to Curb Cholera:

  • A global strategy, “Ending Cholera: A Global Roadmap to 2030,” aims to reduce cholera deaths by 90% by 2030.
  • The WHO has revitalized the Global Task Force for Cholera Control (GTFCC) to support the implementation of evidence-based strategies to control cholera.

-Source: The Economic times


Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF)


Context:

Finance Minister recently announced that government will set up an Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF) of Rs 10,000 crore per year for creating infrastructure in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.

Relevance:

GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF)
  2. Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF)

Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF)

  • The UIDF will be created using priority sector lending shortfall and will be managed by the National Housing Bank.
  • The fund will provide resources for public agencies to create urban infrastructure in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
  • The UIDF will be established on the lines of the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).
  • States will be encouraged to access the UIDF by leveraging resources from the 15th Finance Commission grants and other existing schemes.
Classification of Cities:
  • Tier-2 cities: Cities with a population between 50,000 to 100,000
  • Tier-3 cities: Cities with a population between 20,000 to 50,000

Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF)

  • The RIDF was established by the government in 1995-96 for financing ongoing rural infrastructure projects.
  • The Fund is managed by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
  • Domestic commercial banks contribute to the Fund to fulfill their shortfall in priority sector lending to agriculture.
  • The main objective of the RIDF is to provide loans to state governments and state-owned corporations for completing ongoing rural infrastructure projects.
  • The loan must be repaid in equal annual installments within seven years from the date of withdrawal, with a grace period of two years.

-Source: The Hindu


Macrosomia


Context:

Recently, a mother in Brazil gave birth to a two-foot-tall baby weighing 16lb (7.3kg).

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Macrosomia
  2. Impacts of Macrosomic Babies

Macrosomia

  • Macrosomia is a term used to describe large babies, weighing more than 4kg.
Causes of Macrosomia
  • The mother’s body weight: Obesity in mothers increases the risk of having a macrosomic baby.
  • Gestational diabetes: Mothers with gestational diabetes are more likely to have a macrosomic baby.
  • Age of the mother: Women who are older when they get pregnant have an increased risk of having a macrosomic baby.
  • Overdue pregnancy: Pregnancies that run past 40 weeks, particularly at 42 weeks or more, increase the risk of a macrosomic baby.
  • Previous pregnancies: Having a history of previous pregnancies increases the risk of having a macrosomic baby.

Impacts of Macrosomic Babies

  • Shoulder dystocia: A macrosomic baby can get stuck in the birth canal, which may cause permanent harm to their shoulders and prevent them from breathing.
  • Increased risk for the mother: Macrosomic babies increase the risk of vaginal tears during delivery and postpartum hemorrhage.

-Source: The Economic times


Startup India Seed Fund Scheme


Context:

The Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS), a flagship scheme under Startup India initiative has been implemented with effect from 1st April 2021. Under the Scheme, Rs. 477.25 crore has been approved to 133 incubators of which Rs. 211.63 crore has been disbursed as on 31st December 2022.

Relevance:

GS III- Growth and Development

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Seed Fund Scheme:
  2. What is Seed Funding?

About Seed Fund Scheme:

  • The scheme aims to provide financial assistance to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization.
  • 945 Crore corpus will be divided over the next 4 years for providing seed funding to eligible startups through eligible incubators across India.
  • The scheme is expected to support about 3600 startups.
  • It will Secure seed funding, Inspire innovation, Support transformative ideas, Facilitate implementation, and Start startup revolution.
  • It will create a robust startup ecosystem, particularly in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns of India, which are often deprived of adequate funding.
  • Objective: Fund has been set up to provide initial capital to the startups. After that start-ups will be provided with the Govt. Guarantees, to help them raise debt capital. 
  • Funding: The Scheme will offer startups up to Rs. 20 Lakhs as a grant for Proof of Concept. Upto Rs. 50 Lakhs can also be availed through convertible debentures or debt or debt-linked instruments for commercialization. 

What is Seed Funding?

  • Seed funding or seed-stage funding is a very early investment which aims at helping a business grow and generating its own capital.
  • Also referred to as seed money or seed capital, investors often get an equity stake in exchange for the capital invested.
  • The investors can themselves be the founders and use their savings as seed money for their new company — also known as bootstrapping.

-Source: Indian Express


Juno Probe


Context:

Recently, NASA’s Juno spacecraft experienced a glitch that caused it to lose over 200 images taken during a Jupiter flyby.

Relevance:

GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Juno Probe
  2. Key Facts About Jupiter

Juno Probe:

  • Juno is a spacecraft that was launched in 2011, with the mission to explore Jupiter.
Goal:
  • The main objective of Juno is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter and gather important data about the planet.

Objectives:

Juno aims to:

  • Look for a solid planetary core.
  • Map the magnetic field.
  • Measure water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere.
  • Observe auroras.

Key Facts About Jupiter:

  • Jupiter is a gas giant planet with a diameter of about 89,000 miles.
  • The interior of Jupiter, based on data gathered by Juno, has a large “diluted” core representing 5-15% of the planet’s mass, comprised of rocky and icy material mixed with light elements like hydrogen and helium.
  • Jupiter has three moons – Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto.

-Source: Indian Express


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