Prelim Snippets 15-08-2019


Context: Focus of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’s ODF+ phase on basic solid, liquid waste management in rural India

  • It will cover 17,450 villages in 698 districts across India and include 87,250 public places namely schools, anganwadi centers, public health centres, haat/bazaars/religious places, making it India’s largest rural sanitation survey.
  • An independent survey agency will conduct the survey in all districts and the results will be announced based on quantitative and qualitative sanitation parameters.
  • In a effort to look beyond toilets and kick off its ODF+ phase — that is, Open Defecation Free Plus — focussing on solid and liquid waste management,
  • The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) has included the prevalence of plastic litter and water-logging in villages as indicators of cleanliness in its 2019 rural survey.
  • For the last five years, ever since the SBA was launched on Gandhi Jayanti in 2014, its main focus has been on
    • Eliminating open defecation by constructing toilets and promoting their usage through widespread behaviour change programmes.
  • With the October 2, 2019 deadline looming near, and the original goal almost achieved according to government data, the mission is moving on to its next phase
  • ODF+ will have four main verticals —
    • Solid Waste Management divided into biodegradable waste and plastic waste, and
    • Liquid Waste Management divided into grey water, or kitchen waste water, and faecal waste.



Context: President approved 132 Gallantry Awards and other decorations to Personnel of Armed and Paramilitary Forces.

  • He also approved 8 Tatrakshak medals to Indian Coast Guard Personnel.
  • Abhinandan Varthaman has been awarded Vir Chakra for shooting down a Pakistani F-16 combat jet on February 27 – a day after the Balakot operation – before he was shot down and captured on the other side of Line of Control.
  • This is the IAF’s first Vir Chakra since the Kargil war.
  • Three gallantry awards namely Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra and Vir Chakra were instituted by the Government of India on 26th January, 1950.
  • Thereafter, other three gallantry awards i.e. the Ashoka Chakra Class-I, the Ashoka Chakra Class-II and the Ashoka Chakra Class-III were instituted in 1952.
  • These awards were renamed as Ashoka Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra respectively in 1967.
  • These gallantry awards are announced twice in a year – first on the occasion of the Republic Day and then on the occasion of the Independence Day.
  • Order of precedence: Order of precedence of these awards is the Param Vir Chakra, the Ashoka Chakra, the Mahavir Chakra, the Kirti Chakra, the Vir Chakra and the Shaurya Chakra.
Tatrakshak Medals:
  • These awards are being given to the personnel of Indian Coast Guard on Republic Day and Independence Day every year, since January 26, 1990 onwards.



Context: NASA has chosen the Lambahraun lava field in Iceland as the site to prepare for the next mission to Mars in 2020.

  • According to experts, Iceland, a volcanic island in the middle of the North Atlantic, is in many ways reminiscent of Mars.
  • With its black basalt sand, wind-swept dunes and craggy peaks, the Lambahraun lava field at the foot of Iceland’s second biggest glacier, Langjokull, was chosen as a stand-in for the red planet’s surface by NASA to get its new robotic space explorer ready for the job.
  • For three weeks, scientists and engineers sent by the NASA descended on the site last month to develop a prototype.
  • It will aim to continue the work of the “Curiosity” rover, which has been exploring Mars since 2012 in search of signs of ancient life and making preparations for human exploration.



Context: A month after Union Health Minister asked the Delhi government to make malaria and dengue notifiable diseases, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has initiated the work to notify malaria in the capital.

What is Notifiable Disease?
  • A notifiable disease is any disease that is required by law to be reported to government authorities.
  • Need: The collation of information allows the authorities to monitor the disease, and provides early warning of possible outbreaks.
  • The World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations, 1969 require disease reporting to the WHO in order to help with its global surveillance and advisory role.
  • The onus of notifying any disease and the implementation lies with the state government.
  • Any failure to report a notifiable disease is a criminal offence and the state government can take necessary actions against defaulters.
  • The Centre has notified several diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, encephalitis, leprosy, meningitis, pertussis (whooping cough), plague, tuberculosis, AIDS, hepatitis, measles, yellow fever, malaria dengue, etc.



Context: Information and Broadcasting Ministry has decided to implement Accessibility Standards for Persons with Disabilities in television programmes for private TV channels from this Independence Day.

  • This is a major step towards implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act.
  • Doordarshan has been carrying sign language interpretation of the address of President of India on the eve of Independence Day and Prime Minister’s address from the ramparts of Red Fort on Independence Day every year.
  • From this year’s Independence Day, Private Satellite News TV channels have been asked to telecast a short programme on Independence Day Celebrations, along with corresponding sign language interpretation, in the afternoon/evening of 15th August.
  • The private channels may either make their own programme with sign language interpretation, or they may carry a bulletin prepared by DD News free of cost
  • The Ministry was given Special Jury Award at this function for its path breaking work in making television accessible for people with hearing disabilities.
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