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Current Affairs 08 September 2023


  1. Heat Index
  2. One-Hour Settlement of trades
  3. Service Charge in Restaurants
  4. Assessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control
  5. Marine Sand Watch
  6. Zero Draft Plastic Pollution Treaty
  7. Dementia

Heat Index


Earlier in August, Iran recorded a scorching heat index of 70 degrees Celsius (°C) in the coastal part of the country, a metric at which survival of life is unfathomable, if not impossible. The country had also declared public holidays on August 2 and 3 on account of “unprecedented heat,” Reuters reported.


GS I: Geography

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is heat index?
  2. Heat Index Calculation: Understanding the Science Behind It
  3. The Significance of Measuring Heat Index

What is heat index?

Heat index, also known as apparent temperature, is a measure of how the temperature feels to humans. Relative humidity is an important factor that determines heat index, along with air temperature.

Color Codes for Experimental Heat Index:

The Experimental Heat Index uses color codes to represent different ranges of “feel like” temperatures:

  • Green: Experimental Heat Index below 35°C
  • Yellow: Experimental Heat Index between 36°C and 45°C
  • Orange: Experimental Heat Index between

Heat Index Calculation: Understanding the Science Behind It

Origins of the Formula
  • Dr. Robert Steadman, a professor at Colorado State University, unveiled a complex formula for calculating the heat index in 1979.
  • His work included two pivotal papers: “The Assessment of Sultriness – Part I: A Temperature-Humidity Index Based on Human Physiology and Clothing Science” and “Part II: Effects of Wind, Extra Radiation, and Barometric Pressure on Apparent Temperature.” These papers detailed his intricate calculations for the heat index.
Standard Assumptions
  • Dr. Steadman’s study employs a hypothetical “typical adult human of either sex,” characterized by a height of 1.7 meters and a weight of 67 kg.
Dew Point’s Significance
  • The heat index calculation places significant importance on the dew point, which marks the temperature at which gas transitions into a liquid state.
  • In terms of atmospheric moisture, it signifies the temperature at which air becomes saturated with water vapor, leading to the formation of water droplets.
  • Dr. Steadman’s calculations use a dew point of 14°C.
National Variations
  • Various countries have devised their unique heat index systems instead of relying on Dr. Steadman’s formula.
  • Canada, for instance, uses the “Humidex,” its distinct measure of heat index, based on specific criteria.
  • The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) utilizes its chart to determine the heat index.
  • India’s Forthcoming Heat Index
  • India is poised to launch its heat index in 2024, tailored to gauge the impact of heat on its population.
  • This initiative will also generate location-specific, impact-based heat wave alerts, enhancing public safety.

The Significance of Measuring Heat Index

Effect of Temperature and Humidity
  • As temperature increases, the air’s capacity to hold moisture rises, impacting the apparent temperature or heat index.
  • Heat waves often coincide with elevated humidity levels, resulting in a heat index higher than the actual temperature.
  • Humid air can make heat feel more intense to humans.
Heat-Related Stress
  • High humidity can lead to heat stress, where the body struggles to dissipate excess heat.
  • The human body typically maintains a core temperature between 36.1 to 37.2°C.
  • Inability to shed excess heat can elevate heart rate, causing heat-related issues like exhaustion and rashes.
  • If not addressed promptly, heat stress can be fatal.
The Role of Humidity
  • At high temperatures, the body can cool itself through perspiration.
  • However, in high humidity, it’s challenging for sweat to evaporate as the air is already moisture-saturated.
  • Low humidity, on the other hand, supports efficient sweat evaporation, making the apparent temperature closely align with the actual air temperature.
Heat Index’s Value
  • The heat index serves as a more comprehensive metric than mere temperature in assessing heat’s impact on humans.
  • For instance, the U.S. National Weather Service’s chart illustrates that at 31°C, a 40% relative humidity calls for caution with prolonged exposure and physical activity.
  • However, at the same temperature, a 95% relative humidity implies a risk of heat cramps, exhaustion, and heat stroke during prolonged exposure or physical exertion.
Addressing Extreme Heat
  • Heat index values exceeding 67°C pose severe danger to individuals and animals with direct, prolonged exposure.
  • As climate change drives record-breaking heat indices worldwide, preparations and adaptations are crucial.
  • Strategies include investing in early warnings, adjusting work schedules, and implementing sustainable cooling solutions to combat extreme conditions.

-Source: The Hindu

One-Hour Settlement of Trades


SEBI plans to introduce One-Hour Settlement of trades by March 2024 to improve trade settlement efficiency. Additionally, they will introduce an Application Supported by Blocked Amount (ASBA)-like facility for Secondary Market trading by January 2024.


GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Application Supported by Blocked Amount (ASBA)
  2. Trade Settlement
  3. SEBI’s Groundbreaking Real-Time Trade Settlement Plan
  4. Benefits of One-Hour Trade Settlement

Application Supported by Blocked Amount (ASBA):

ASBA is a system introduced by SEBI to simplify the application and allotment process for various securities offerings, including IPOs and rights issues.

  • Efficiency and Investor-Friendly: ASBA aims to streamline and enhance the application process, making it more efficient and user-friendly for investors.
  • Deferred Payment: With ASBA, investors don’t need to transfer the full application amount upfront; the amount is only debited once shares are allotted.

Trade Settlement:

  • Trade Settlement Essence: Trade settlement is a pivotal procedure within financial markets facilitating the transfer of funds and securities between trading parties.
  • Finalizing Transactions: This process ensures the completion of transactions in securities trading, guaranteeing that buyers obtain the securities they’ve purchased, while sellers receive the agreed-upon funds.
T+1 Settlement Cycle Unveiled:
  • Introduction in January 2023: India embraced the T+1 settlement cycle at the beginning of 2023, where “T” signifies the trade date.
  • One Business Day Settlement: Under this system, trade settlements occur swiftly, within a single business day or 24 hours from the actual trade.
  • India’s Second Implementation: India followed China as the second country to institute the T+1 settlement cycle, initially in top-listed securities.
  • Favorable Outcomes: This transition delivered various benefits, encompassing heightened operational efficiency, accelerated fund transfers, prompt share delivery, and enhanced convenience for stock market participants.

SEBI’s Groundbreaking Real-Time Trade Settlement Plan:

One-Hour Trade Settlement:
  • Swift Settlement Scheme: This pioneering initiative aims to complete trade settlement processes at an unprecedented pace.
  • Seller’s Benefit: When an investor sells a share, the sale proceeds will be promptly credited to their account within a mere one-hour timeframe.
  • Buyer’s Acquisition: Simultaneously, buyers will have the purchased shares transferred into their demat accounts within the same rapid one-hour interval.
  • Remarkable Time Reduction: This marks a substantial reduction in settlement duration compared to the existing T+1 cycle.
Instantaneous Trade Settlement:
  • Acknowledgment of Complexity: SEBI recognizes that achieving instantaneous settlement is a more complex endeavor, necessitating additional technological advancements.
  • Stepwise Approach: Consequently, SEBI plans to first implement the one-hour trade settlement system and subsequently progress towards achieving instantaneous settlement.
  • Targeted Timeline: The envisioned timeframe for the launch of instantaneous settlement is set to be realized by the conclusion of 2024.

Benefits of One-Hour Trade Settlement:

  • Expedited Access: Investors will encounter substantially shortened settlement durations, allowing for more rapid access to both funds and securities.
  • Enhanced Liquidity: The expedited settlement process can contribute to improved market liquidity. With funds becoming available for reinvestment at a faster pace, the market can experience heightened trading activity.
  • Risk Mitigation: The reduction in settlement time plays a pivotal role in mitigating counterparty and market risks. By accelerating the transfer of funds and securities, it bolsters overall market stability.
  • User-Friendly Experience: Investors will benefit from the accelerated access to their funds and securities, creating a more user-friendly and efficient trading environment.

-Source: The Hindu

Service Charge in Restaurants


The Delhi High Court in an interim order has directed members of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI) to replace the term ‘service charge’ with ‘staff contribution’.

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Service Charges
  2. Context of the Current Case
  3. Reasons Behind CCPA’s Guidelines

Service Charges

  • A service charge is a fee charged to customers for something specific, such as a bank charging a fee for using an ATM that’s not part of its network or a vendor charging a fee for making a payment with a credit card.
  • Alternative Terms: It may also be referred to as a customer service fee or maintenance fee.
Service Charges in Restaurants and Hotels
  • Typical Practice: Restaurants and hotels commonly apply a service charge of around 10% to the food bill.
  • Optional Nature: While the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a compulsory component, the service charge is generally considered optional.
  • Comparison: It is akin to the concept of gratuity or tips seen globally.
  • Independence: Most restaurants independently determine the service charge rate, usually denoted at the menu’s bottom with an asterisk.

Context of the Current Case

  • Initial Directive: In July 2022, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) released directives stating that restaurants and hotels should not automatically include service charges on the bill or collect them using alternative names.
  • Challenges Filed: The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) contested this directive in the Delhi High Court.
  • Court’s Interim Stay: In response, the Delhi High Court, in the previous year, temporarily suspended the CCPA guidelines. However, this suspension came with the condition that members of these associations clearly display the imposition of service charges on menus or other noticeable locations, in addition to the customer’s responsibility to pay them.
  • Consumer Complaints: The Ministry of Consumer Affairs and CCPA reported to the High Court that more than 1,105 consumer complaints regarding unjust service charge levies were filed after the release of the guidelines.
  • Court’s Extension: Following this development, the court granted the petitioner associations (NRAI & FHRAI) an extended period to respond to the government’s position while preserving the interim stay.

Reasons Behind CCPA’s Guidelines

  • Staff Compensation: Service charges collected by restaurants and hotels are typically intended to remunerate their staff and employees. These charges are not applied for the dining experience or the food provided to consumers.
  • Consumer Advocacy: Consumer advocacy groups contended that imposing service charges was inherently arbitrary and constituted an unfair and restrictive trade practice according to the Consumer Protection Act of 2019.
  • Consumer Redressal: If a consumer identifies that a hotel or restaurant is imposing a service charge against the guidelines, they have the right to request the establishment to exclude it from the bill.
  • Complaint Mechanisms: Consumers have several avenues to voice their concerns. They can lodge complaints with the National Consumer Helpline (NCH) by calling 1915 or using the NCH mobile app. Alternatively, they can file complaints with the Consumer Commission, utilizing the e-Daakhil portal for swift and efficient dispute resolution.
  • E-Daakhil Portal: The E-Daakhil portal, initiated by the Indian National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in 2020, facilitates both offline and online complaints related to the Consumer Protection Act of 2019. It serves as a platform for consumers to register and address their grievances effectively.

-Source: Indian Express

Assessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control


The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has recently released an “Assessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control.”


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Major Highlights of the Report
  2. Invasive Alien Species
  3. Impacts of Invasive Alien Species

Major Highlights of the Report:

  • Extensive Alien Species: The report identifies the presence of approximately 37,000 alien species introduced by human activities across diverse regions and biomes.
  • Invasive Threat: Over 3,500 of these introduced species are categorized as invasive alien species, posing substantial threats to local ecosystems.
  • Invasive Categories: Among these invasive species, about 6% are plants, 22% are invertebrates, 14% are vertebrates, and 11% are microbes, each known to have invasive characteristics.
  • Top Invasives: The water hyacinth holds the top position globally as the most widespread invasive alien species on land. Lantana, a flowering shrub, and the black rat rank second and third in terms of global invasiveness.
  • Intentional Introduction: Many invasive alien species were intentionally introduced for perceived benefits in sectors like forestry, agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, and the pet trade, with insufficient consideration of their adverse impacts on biodiversity and local ecosystems.
  • Extinction Role: Invasive alien species have played a significant role in driving 60% of documented global plant and animal extinctions. They are recognized as one of the five primary drivers of biodiversity loss, alongside land and sea use change, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, and pollution.
  • Negative Impacts: Nearly 80% of the documented impacts of invasive species on nature’s contributions to people are negative.
  • Regional Distribution: The negative impacts of biological invasions are distributed across regions, with 34% reported from the Americas, 31% from Europe and Central Asia, 25% from Asia and the Pacific, and approximately 7% from Africa.
  • Habitat Affected: Most negative impacts occur on land, especially in forests, woodlands, and cultivated areas.
  • Island Vulnerability: Invasive alien species have the most detrimental effects on islands. On over 25% of all islands, the number of alien plants now exceeds that of native plants.
  • Impact on Native Species: A significant 85% of the impacts of biological invasions on native species are negative.

Invasive Alien Species:

Invasive alien species, also known as invasive exotic species or non-native species, are organisms introduced to regions or ecosystems outside their native range. These species establish self-sustaining populations and often outcompete native species, disrupting ecosystem balance and causing negative impacts.

Factors Contributing to the Rise of Invasive Species:
  • Global Trade and Travel: Increased international trade and travel have unintentionally facilitated the movement of species across borders. Cargo ships, airplanes, and vehicles can carry invasive species within cargo, ballast water, or attached to surfaces, aiding their spread.
  • Climate Change: Elevated temperatures and shifts in precipitation patterns create environments suitable for invasive species. Altered seasonal timings can disrupt native species’ life cycles, making them vulnerable to invasive competitors and predators.
  • Deliberate Introductions: Introducing non-native species intentionally for purposes like gardening, landscaping, and pest control can lead to invasions if these species escape cultivation.
  • Historical Factors: Some invasive species, like the Black Rat introduced to Australia in the late 1800s, have historical origins associated with shipwrecks and industries like pearling. These species are now recognized as some of the “World’s Worst” invasive species.

Impacts of Invasive Alien Species:

Invasive species can have profound and often detrimental effects on ecosystems, economies, and human health. Here are some key impacts:

  • Competition with Native Species: Invasive species can outcompete native species for essential resources like food, water, and habitat, leading to a decline or extinction of native species.
  • Predation: Some invasive species become predators of native species, causing declines in prey populations. This can disrupt ecological food webs and ecosystems.
  • Ecosystem Disruption: These disruptions have far-reaching consequences for ecosystem stability and resilience, often altering the natural balance of ecosystems.
  • Economic Costs: The annual economic costs of invasive alien species have been steadily increasing, exceeding USD 423 billion globally in 2019. Costs can include damage to infrastructure, agriculture, and fisheries.
  • Infrastructure Damage: Species like Zebra mussels can clog water pipes and infrastructure, leading to expensive repairs and maintenance.
  • Reduction of Food Supply: Many invasive species impact food supplies, such as the Caribbean false mussel damaging fisheries in Kerala, India.
  • Spread of Diseases: Invasive species like Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti can spread diseases like malaria, Zika, and West Nile Fever, posing risks to human health.
  • Impact on Fisheries: For example, water hyacinth in Lake Victoria led to the depletion of tilapia fish, significantly impacting local fisheries and livelihoods.

Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

  • Establishment: Formed as an independent intergovernmental body in 2012.
  • Objective: Deliver unbiased scientific evaluations on Earth’s biodiversity, ecosystems, and their societal benefits.
  • Inspiration: Modeled after IPCC and Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.
Scientific Guidance for Policymakers
  • Core Role: Furnishes policymakers with objective scientific assessments.
  • Focus Areas: State of knowledge about biodiversity, ecosystems, and their human benefits.
  • Tools and Methods: Offers strategies to safeguard and sustainably utilize natural assets.
Distinct Autonomy from United Nations
  • Autonomy: Not affiliated with the United Nations.
  • Secretariat Services: UNEP provides administrative support post 2013, upon IPBES Plenary request and UNEP Governing Council approval.
Global Membership and Inclusivity
  • India’s Involvement: India is a participating member nation.

Organizational Structure

  • Plenary: Governing body comprises representatives from IPBES member States, convening annually.
  • Observers: States yet to join IPBES, CBD, other biodiversity-related conventions, relevant UN entities, and pertinent organizations.
  • Bureau: Oversees administrative functions; headed by IPBES Chair, four Vice-Chairs, and additional officers.
  • Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP): Five experts from each of the five UN regions overseeing IPBES scientific and technical endeavors.
  • Stakeholders: Encompasses all contributors to and users of IPBES outputs.
  • Expert Groups & Taskforces: Selected experts responsible for executing IPBES assessments and other deliverables.
  • Secretariat (including Technical Support Units): Ensures IPBES efficiency by supporting Plenary, Bureau, and MEP; also executes Platform’s work and administrative tasks.

-Source: Down To Earth

Marine Sand Watch


Recently, a newly launched data platform called “Marine Sand Watch” sheds light on this critical issue, revealing the scale of sand extraction and its far-reaching consequences.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Marine Sand Watch
  2. Marine Sand Extraction
  3. Impacts of Marine Sand Extraction
  4. Responses to Marine Sand Extraction

Marine Sand Watch

The Marine Sand Watch is a significant initiative aimed at monitoring and tracking activities related to marine environment dredging. Here are the key details about this platform:

  • Development: Marine Sand Watch is developed by a dedicated Centre for Analytics within the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • Scope: This platform focuses on tracking and monitoring the dredging activities involving various materials such as sand, clay, silt, gravel, and rock within the marine environment worldwide.
  • Data Provided: It offers comprehensive information on several aspects, including:
    • Areas designated for sand extraction.
    • Regions involved in capital and maintenance dredging.
    • Locations of sand trading ports and hubs.
    • Data on the number of vessels and operators engaged in these activities.
    • Monitoring of sediment extraction and various other types of operations conducted by countries with Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).

Marine Sand Extraction

Marine sand extraction is a significant activity involving the removal of sand from the seabed or coastal areas. It serves various purposes, including construction, land reclamation, beach nourishment, and even mining. Here’s an overview of the process:

  • Dredging: Dredging is the most commonly used method for marine sand extraction. It employs vessels equipped with suction pipes or mechanical grabs to scoop up sand from the seabed. This sand is then transported to the shore or other locations for different applications.
  • Mining: Mining is an alternative method for marine sand extraction. It involves specialized equipment, like drills, cutters, or jets, to break up sand deposits and extract valuable minerals or metals from them.
  • Harvesting: Harvesting is a less common approach, relying on natural forces like waves, currents, or tides to collect sand from coastal zones and deposit it onshore.
Extraction Estimates:
  • According to the platform’s data, the scale of marine sand extraction is substantial.
  • It is estimated that between four and eight billion tonnes of sand are dredged from the ocean floor annually.
  • Moreover, the extraction rate is projected to increase to a range of 10 to 16 billion tonnes per year.
  • This rate is close to the natural replenishment rate, which is crucial for maintaining the structure and function of coastal and marine ecosystems.

Impacts of Marine Sand Extraction

The extraction of marine sand has several significant environmental and socio-economic impacts:

  • Water Turbidity: Sand extraction can increase water turbidity, which measures the relative clarity of a liquid. This reduces water clarity and can negatively affect aquatic ecosystems.
  • Nutrient Disruption: Sand extraction can disrupt nutrient availability in marine environments, potentially harming marine flora and fauna.
  • Noise Pollution: The extraction process generates noise pollution, which can disturb marine organisms and their habitats.
  • Coastal Risks: Coastal communities rely on sand for coastal defense structures, which are critical for mitigating rising sea levels and storm impacts.
  • Offshore Infrastructure: Marine sand is essential for building offshore infrastructure, such as wind and wave turbines, which play a role in renewable energy production.
  • Salinization: Coastal or near-shore extraction can lead to the salinization of aquifers, impacting freshwater resources.
  • Tourism Impact: Sand extraction can hinder future tourist development in coastal areas, affecting local economies.

Responses to Marine Sand Extraction

Governments and international organizations have taken various responses to address the challenges of marine sand extraction:

India – Sand Mining Regulations:
  • Sand is categorized as a “minor mineral” under India’s Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, 1957.
  • Administrative control over minor minerals, including sand, rests with state governments.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued “Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines 2016” to promote environmentally friendly sand mining practices.
  • Several countries, including Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Cambodia, have banned marine sand exports in the past two decades.
International Seabed Authority (ISA):
  • The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an intergovernmental organization that regulates deep-sea mining and exploration in international waters.
  • Established in 1982 under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), ISA plays a role in governing activities in the international seabed area.

Way Forward:

  • Sustainable alternatives to marine sand extraction are needed, including reducing demand through innovative construction materials, recycling, and circular economy principles.
  • Exploring alternative sources of sand, such as manufactured sand from crushed rock, quarry dust, desert sand, or volcanic sand, is essential.
  • Effective governance and regulation of marine sand extraction, including clear standards for environmental assessments, licensing, reporting, and auditing, are crucial.
  • Initiatives like the UNEP Marine Sand Watch can contribute to better data and policymaking, but more cooperation and support from stakeholders are necessary for sustainable practices.

-Source: The Hindu

Zero Draft Plastic Pollution Treaty


The second meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) concluded with the member states mandating the INC secretariat to develop a zero draft to end plastic pollution including in the marine environment.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Zero Draft Plastic Pollution Treaty
  2. Plastic Pollution: A Global Environmental Crisis
  3. Plastic Pollution in India: Alarming Statistics

Zero Draft Plastic Pollution Treaty

  • International Commitment: The Zero Draft Plastic Pollution Treaty is an international agreement with legally binding provisions aimed at addressing and ultimately eradicating plastic pollution, particularly in marine environments.
  • Content Framework: The zero draft encompasses various key aspects, structured into 10 placeholders. These placeholders encompass critical topics including the treaty’s preamble, definitions, fundamental principles, and the scope of its application. Additionally, it covers institutional arrangements and final provisions.
  • Importance of Scope: During the second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-2), several member states such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and China emphasized the significance of defining the precise scope of the legally binding instrument. This suggests that the treaty’s coverage and applicability are central points of discussion and negotiation.
  • India’s Position: India has aligned with the proposal to establish a clear definition of the treaty’s scope, underlining the country’s commitment to addressing plastic pollution in a comprehensive and effective manner.

Plastic Pollution: A Global Environmental Crisis

Plastic pollution has emerged as one of the most pressing environmental challenges of the modern era. It is a global crisis that affects ecosystems, wildlife, human health, and the overall well-being of our planet. Here’s an overview of the key aspects of plastic pollution:

  • Pervasive Presence: Plastics have become an integral part of our daily lives due to their versatility, durability, and affordability. However, this widespread use has resulted in massive plastic production, consumption, and waste generation. Plastics now pervade our environment, from oceans and rivers to remote wilderness areas.
  • Marine Plastic Pollution: One of the most visible and concerning aspects of plastic pollution is its impact on marine ecosystems. Millions of tons of plastic waste enter the oceans each year, leading to the formation of vast “garbage patches” and entangling marine life. Marine animals often ingest or become trapped in plastic debris, leading to injury and death.
  • Microplastics: Plastic pollution extends beyond what’s visible to the naked eye. Microplastics, tiny plastic particles measuring less than 5mm, have infiltrated aquatic ecosystems and even our drinking water. These particles are ingested by marine organisms and can ultimately find their way into the food chain, posing risks to human health.
  • Environmental Impact: Plastic pollution disrupts ecosystems, as it takes hundreds of years for plastics to degrade. During this time, plastics can release toxic chemicals, harming both terrestrial and aquatic life. Plastic waste also interferes with natural processes and habitats, impacting biodiversity.
  • Human Health Concerns: While the full extent of the health impacts of plastic pollution is still being studied, there are concerns about the potential transfer of toxins from plastics to humans through the food chain. Microplastics have been found in various food items, including seafood and table salt.
  • Global Response: Recognizing the severity of the issue, governments, organizations, and individuals worldwide are taking steps to combat plastic pollution. Initiatives include bans on single-use plastics, recycling programs, and innovations in plastic alternatives.
  • Individual Responsibility: Reducing plastic pollution is not solely the responsibility of governments and industries. Individuals can contribute by reducing plastic use, recycling, properly disposing of plastic waste, and supporting policies and products that are environmentally friendly.

Plastic Pollution in India: Alarming Statistics

  • Extent of Plastic Waste: Data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) reveals that plastic waste constitutes a substantial portion, precisely 8%, of India’s total solid waste.
  • Urban Contributors: Among urban centers, Delhi emerges as the primary contributor to plastic waste, closely followed by Kolkata and Ahmedabad.
  • Massive Plastic Generation: India’s annual production of plastic waste surpasses a staggering 3 million tons, signifying a colossal environmental challenge.
  • Low Recycling Rates: Despite the substantial plastic waste output, the country struggles with an abysmally low recycling rate, hovering at a mere 30%.

-Source: Down To Earth



Recently, Dementia India Alliance (DIA), a non-profit organisation, launched a national dementia support line and DemClinic, an online memory screening clinic.


GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Dementia: A Complex Syndrome
  2. Challenges in Treatment
  3. Global Impact of Dementia

Dementia: A Complex Syndrome

  • Dementia is a syndrome stemming from various diseases, leading to the gradual destruction of nerve cells and harm to the brain.
  • It invariably results in the decline of cognitive function, affecting memory, reasoning, and daily life.
Identifying Signs and Symptoms
  • Early Behavioral Changes: Alterations in mood and behavior can manifest even before noticeable memory issues.
  • Memory Impairment: Common symptoms encompass forgetfulness, especially regarding recent events, and misplacing or losing items.
  • Spatial Confusion: Dementia may lead to disorientation, even in familiar surroundings, and incidents of getting lost while walking or driving.
  • Temporal Disorientation: Losing track of time becomes prevalent among those affected.

Challenges in Treatment

  • Lack of Cure: Currently, there exists no cure for dementia.
  • Supportive Care: The focus lies on offering substantial support to individuals grappling with dementia and their caregivers.

Global Impact of Dementia

  • Sheer Numbers: Over 55 million individuals worldwide live with dementia, with a striking 60% residing in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Rising Cases: Annually, nearly 10 million new dementia cases emerge.
A Public Health Priority
  • WHO’s Recognition: The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges dementia as a crucial public health concern.
  • Comprehensive Response: The Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia 2017-2025, endorsed by the World Health Assembly, furnishes a comprehensive framework for action.
Monitoring Progress
  • Global Dementia Observatory: To facilitate tracking the global dementia action plan, WHO introduced the Global Dementia Observatory (GDO), a data hub aggregating country-specific data related to 35 key dementia indicators spanning the action plan’s seven strategic domains.

-Source: The Hindu

September 2023