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Current Affairs 09 September 2022

CONTENTS

  1. Human Development Index (HDI) 2021
  2. Subhas Chandra Bose
  3. Legionellosis Disease
  4. National Centre for Disease Control

Human Development Index (HDI) 2021


Context:

India ranks 132 out of 191 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) 2021, after registering a decline in its score over two consecutive years for the first time in three decades.

Relevance:

GS III: Indian Economy (Growth and Development)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Human Development Index:
  2. Highlights of the Report:
  3. India’s Performance:

About Human Development Index:

  • HDI emphasizes that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone.
  • As a part of the Human Development Index, every year United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) releases the Human Development Report (HDR).
  • The Human Development Report was first launched in 1990 and has been released annually ever since, except in 2012.
HDI measures average achievement of a country in three basic dimensions of human development:
  • A long and healthy life,
  • Access to knowledge, and
  • A decent standard of living.
It is calculated using four indicators:
  • life expectancy at birth,
  • mean years of schooling,
  • expected years of schooling,
  • Gross National Income (GNI) per capita.

Highlights of the Report:

  • The drop is in line with the global trend since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic during which 90% of the countries have fallen backward in human development.
  • The world over, nine out of 10 countries have slipped in their human development performance due to multiple crises such as COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and environmental challenges, indicating that human development globally has stalled for the first time in 32 years.
  • A large contributor to the HDI’s recent decline is a global drop in life expectancy, down from 72.8 years in 2019 to 71.4 years in 2021.

India’s Performance:

  • India’s HDI score of 0.633 places it in the medium human development category, lower than its value of 0.645 in 2018, indicating a reversal in progress.
  • Like global trends, in India’s case, the drop in HDI from 0.645 in 2018 to 0.633 in 2021 can be attributed to falling life expectancy at birth — 70.7 years to 67.2 years.
  • India’s expected years of schooling stand at 11.9 years, and the mean years of schooling are at 6.7 years. The GNI per capita level is $6,590.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated gender inequality, which increased 6.7% globally. India has, however, shown a slight improvement in its Gender Inequality Index value in the latest report as compared to the 2020 index (0.490 vs 0.493), after gender inequality worsened between 2019 and 2020 (0.486 vs 0.493).
  • The index measures inequality in achievement between women and men in three dimensions — reproductive health, empowerment and the labour market.
  • The report notes that the uncertainty due to multiple global crises has fuelled support for polarisation in many parts of the world which is detrimental for democratic freedom and human rights.

-Source: The Hindu


Subhas Chandra Bose


Context:

Recently, A 28-ft black granite statue of Subhas Chandra Bose was unveiled by Prime Minister at India Gate. The statue is placed under the Grand Canopy of the monument and has been inaugurated along with the Kartavya Path, formerly known as Rajpath.

Relevance:

GS III: History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Subhas Chandra Bose’s early life
  2. Bose’s Disagreements with Gandhi
  3. The rift within the Congress
  4. A dramatic escape
  5. The INA and World War II

Subhas Chandra Bose’s early life

Parents:
  • Born to an upper-class Bengali family in 1897 in Cuttack, Subhas Chandra Bose was the ninth child of Janakinath and Prabhavati Bose.
  • A well-known lawyer, Janakinath sent his sons to an English-medium school where Bengali was not taught, so that they could learn perfect English which he considered essential for assimilating into English society.
  • Prabhavati, on the other hand, was a devout Hindu and observed Bengali Hindu customs and pujas which all her children had to attend.
Education:
  • In 1909, Subhas Chandra Bose moved to Ravenshaw Collegiate School, where he completed his secondary education.
  • Here, he was taught Bengali and Sanskrit, as well as the Vedas and Upanishads.
  • While he continued his European education throughout his life, he became less drawn to Anglicized ways than his family members during his schooling, and according to historian Leonard Gordon, “began to make his own synthesis of the cultures of the West and India”.
  • Influenced by the teachings of Ramakrishna and his disciple Swami Vivekananda, as well as the themes of Bengali novelist Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in his novel Ananda Math, Gordon notes that Subhas found what he was looking for: “his Motherland’s freedom and revival”
  • After school, he entered the Presidency College in Calcutta in 1913, where he studied philosophy.
Earliest battle with British:
  • His earliest battle with British authority occurred while he was a student, against Professor of History E F Oaten, who had once in class spoken about England’s civilizing mission in India.
  • The students felt insulted by his remarks and their anger later boiled over after a run-in with the teacher, leading him to be beaten with sandals by Bose and his friends.
  • Expelled for his actions, he resumed his studies at the Scottish Church College in Calcutta.

Bose’s Disagreements with Gandhi

  • Afterwards, Bose went to Cambridge University to prepare for the Indian Civil Services (ICS) exam in 1920.
  • But later, determined to join the struggle for India’s freedom, he abandoned the project and resigned from the ICS to join the Mahatma Gandhi-led national movement.
  • After reaching Bombay, now Mumbai, in 1921, he obtained an audience with Gandhi to get a better understanding of his plan of action.
  • While he had great respect for the Mahatma, Bose left the meeting dissatisfied with the answers he received.
About the ideological divide between the two leaders:
  • Gandhi was willing to wait a long time for Independence, Bose wanted immediate action, if not immediate results.
  • Gandhi was anti-materialistic and hostile to modern technology, Bose saw technology and mass production as essential to survival and dignity.
  • Gandhi wanted a decentralized society and disliked the modern state; Bose wanted a strong central government and saw the modern state as the only solution to India’s problems.
  • And finally, Bose did not share Gandhi’s dedication to non-violence.
  • Despite tensions between the two, Bose was well aware of the significance of a leader like Gandhi.
  • Bose was the first to call him the “father of the nation” during an address from the Azad Hind Radio from Singapore in July 1944.

The rift within the Congress

  • Over the next two decades, Bose devoted his life to the nationalist movement, gaining considerable political influence and becoming one of the most powerful leaders in the Congress party.
  • In 1938, he was elected Congress president in the Haripura session, where he tried to push for swaraj as a “National Demand” and opposed the idea of an Indian federation under British rule.
  • He stood for re-election in 1939 and defeated Dr Pattabhi Sitaramayya, the Gandhi-backed candidate.
  • Gandhi took this as a “personal defeat” and 12 of the 15 members of the Working Committee resigned from their roles. These included Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Rajendra Prasad.
  • Bose tried to set up another working committee, but after being unable to do so, was forced to resign and was replaced by Prasad.
  • Within a week, he proposed the creation of the “Forward Bloc” within the Congress Party, in order to bring the radical-left elements of the party together.

A dramatic escape

  • Bose was arrested in 1940 before he could launch a campaign to remove the monument dedicated to the victims of the Black Hole of Calcutta, an incident when a number of European soldiers died while imprisoned in 1756.
  • After going on a hunger strike, he was released from jail in December.
  • He soon began his escape from India, travelling by road, rail, air and foot in various disguises to avoid British surveillance.
  • He entered Soviet-controlled Kabul via the northwest of India and finally reached Nazi Germany, where he remained for two years.
  • He was provided assistance to defeat the British, and Bose was allowed to start the Azad Hind Radio and was provided with a few thousand Indian prisoners of war captured by Germany.
  • Bose soon turned his focus to South East Asia, specifically Singapore, a British stronghold that had been taken over by Japan.
  • However, leaving Europe at the peak of World War II was no easy task. In February 1943, he left Germany with his aide Abid Hasan in a submarine and travelled down the Atlantic Ocean, crossing the Cape of Good Hope in Africa before entering the Indian Ocean past Madagascar.
  • Here, Bose and Hasan were taken on a small rubber boat provided by the Japanese, before taking them to Sumatra and finally arriving in Tokyo by air, marking the end of a gruelling and dangerous 90-day journey.

The INA and World War II

  • The Indian National Army was formed in 1942, consisting of thousands of Indian prisoners of war captured by the Japanese, and supported by Japanese troops.
  • After his arrival in Singapore, Bose announced the formation of the provisional government of the Azad Hind in October 1943.
  • The headquarters of the provisional government was moved to Rangoon in January 1944, and after fighting at the Arakan Front, the INA crossed the Indo-Burma border and marched towards Imphal and Kohima in March.
  • The Chalo Delhi campaign ended at Imphal however, as the British and British Indian armies, along with American air support were able to defeat the Japanese forces and the INA and push them out of Kohima as well.
  • In April-May 1945, Bose, along with the INA soldiers as well as women he had recruited for the Rani of Jhansi regiment was forced to retreat on foot to Thailand, while facing incessant enemy fire.
  • After the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the war came to an end.
  • After the Japanese surrendered on August 16, Bose left South East Asia on a Japanese plane and headed toward China. The plane, however, crashed, leaving Bose badly burned, but still alive, according to historians.

-Source: Indian Express


Legionellosis Disease


Context:

Recently, a mysterious pneumonia outbreak in Argentina has been identified as Legionellosis.

Relevance:

GS III: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Legionellosis
  2. Symptoms
  3. Transmission
  4. Treatment

About Legionellosis

  • A pneumonia-like condition known as legionellosis can range in severity from a mild febrile sickness to a serious and occasionally fatal form of pneumonia.
  • Legionella bacteria from water or potting mix are the harmful agents.
  • The illness is more common in patients with comorbidity conditions like smoking, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, respiratory issues, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Muscle and abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath.
Transmission:
  • The disease is primarily spread by inhaling polluted aerosols from contaminated water, which can come from whirlpool spas, evaporative condensers used for industrial cooling and air conditioning, hot and cold water systems, humidifiers, and air conditioning cooling towers.
Treatment:
  • For Legionnaires’ disease, there are currently no vaccines available, however there are treatments.
  • Following a diagnosis of Legionnaires’ illness, patients are always treated with antibiotics.
  • Implementing water safety plans by agencies in charge of building or water system safety will help to address the legionellosis hazard to public health.

-Source: Down to Earth


National Centre for Disease Control


Context:

Recently, the Union Health Minister virtually laid the foundation stone for National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) branches in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh.

Relevance:

GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)
  2. Functions of NCDC

About National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)

  • The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), formerly National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), had its origin as the Central Malaria Bureau, established at Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh) in 1909.
  • NICD was transformed into the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with a larger mandate of controlling emerging and re-emerging diseases in 2009.
  • It functions as the nodal agency in the country for disease surveillance facilitating prevention and control of communicable diseases.
  • It is also a national level institute for training specialized manpower for public health, laboratory sciences and entomological services and is involved in various applied research activities.
  • The Institute is under administrative control of the Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The Institute has its headquarters in Delhi.
  • Branches: It has eight branches located at Alwar (Rajasthan), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Kozikode (Kerela), Coonoor (Tamil Nadu), Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh), Patna (Bihar), Rajahmundry (Andhra Pradesh) and Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh).

Functions of NCDC

  • NCDC’s primary duty is to conduct investigations into disease outbreaks around the nation.
  • As a national centre of excellence for communicable disease control, NCDC was founded. A multidisciplinary integrated strategy was used to conduct many types of training and research at the institute.
  • The institute is anticipated to offer the States and Union Territories (UTs) expertise in laboratory-based diagnostic services and quick health evaluation.
  • It offers diagnostic referral services to private persons, the local community, medical schools, research facilities, and state health directorates.
  • Investigation of outbreaks and the surveillance of communicable diseases were essential components of its operations.
  • It generates and disseminates information in a variety of fields, including surveillance, laboratories, epidemiology, etc.

-Source: The Hindu


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