1.Levels and Trends in Child Mortality: UN Report

Global Trends

  • Global under-five deaths declined by over half since 2000 (9.9 million to 4.9 million in 2022).
  • Significant inequities persist among vulnerable populations.
  • Neonatal deaths remain a major challenge:
    • Every 14 seconds – a newborn dies.
    • Every 6 seconds – a child under five dies.
    • Every 35 seconds – an adolescent dies (10-19 years).

Key Findings

  • 62% decline in child deaths since 1990.
  • Slower decline in neonatal deaths (41% in 2000 to 47% in 2022).
  • Sub-Saharan Africa bears the greatest burden:
    • 1 million annual neonatal deaths.
    • Mortality rate for children aged 28 days: 46 per 1,000 (double the global average).
  • Leading causes (all preventable): prematurity, pneumonia, trauma, malaria, diarrhea.
  • Survival depends on: place of birth, income level, and inequities within countries.


  • 35 million children under 5 to die before 2030 (mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa).
  • 59 countries likely to miss SDG under-five mortality target.
  • 64 countries likely to miss SDG neonatal mortality target.

Child Mortality in India

Status and Trends

  • Progressive reduction in IMR, U5MR, and NMR since 2014.
  • Under-Five Mortality Rate (U5MR):
    • 32 per 1,000 live births in 2020 (down from 35 in 2019).
    • Higher in rural areas (36) compared to urban (21).
    • Higher for females (33) compared to males (31).
  • Infant Mortality Rate (IMR):
    • 28 per 1,000 live births in 2020 (down from 30 in 2019).
    • Rural-Urban gap narrowing (Urban 19, Rural 31).
  • Neonatal Mortality Rate:
    • 20 per 1,000 live births in 2020 (down from 22 in 2019).
    • Higher in rural areas (23) compared to urban (12).

Major Causes

  • Preterm birth complications (low birth weight, breathing problems).
  • Birth asphyxia (lack of oxygen during delivery).
  • Neonatal infections (sepsis, pneumonia).
  • Pneumonia (leading cause, linked to malnutrition and air pollution).
  • Diarrhea (dehydration from infectious diseases).
  • Malnutrition (weakens immune system, increases vulnerability to infections).

Measures to Reduce Child Mortality

Improve Maternal Health

  • Prenatal care, proper nutrition for pregnant women.
  • Skilled birth attendance for safe childbirth.
  • Postnatal care for mothers and newborns.

Combat Childhood Illnesses

  • Universal immunization programs.
  • Improved sanitation and hygiene practices.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia.
  • Oral rehydration therapy for diarrhea management.

Address Malnutrition

  • Promote breastfeeding for newborns.
  • Provide access to nutritious food for mothers and children.

Public Awareness

  • Educate families on hygiene, breastfeeding, medical care, and recognizing danger signs.

Additional Measures

  • Invest in healthcare infrastructure, especially in rural areas.
  • Address social determinants like poverty, lack of education, and gender inequality.
  • Empower women through education and economic opportunities.

Way Ahead

  • By tackling the root causes and implementing these measures, India can significantly reduce child mortality and ensure a healthier future for its young generation.



  1. Inter-Governmental Framework Agreement (IGFA)

  • Signed between India and UAE in February 2024 to cooperate on the India-Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC).
  • Aims to enhance relations in Ports, Maritime and Logistics sectors.
  • IMEC: Integrates Asia, Europe and Middle East via two corridors:
    • East corridor: India to West Asia/Middle East.
    • North corridor: West Asia/Middle East to Europe.
  • Significance:
    • Boosts economic development in the regions.
    • Provides reliable and cost-effective cross-border ship-to-rail connections.
    • Emphasizes eco-friendly infrastructure.
    • Increases efficiency, reduces costs, and improves trade.
  1. India’s Atmospheric Research Testbed (ART)

  • First phase inaugurated in Sehore, Madhya Pradesh.
  • Funded by Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
  • Operated by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM).
  • Studies cloud processes associated with monsoons.
  • What is an Atmospheric Research Testbed (ART)?
    • Open-field research program for ground-based weather observations.
    • Aims to generate high-volume data for improving rainfall predictions.
    • First phase uses 25 meteorological instruments for remote sensing and in-situ measurements.
    • Second phase to include radars, balloon-borne radiosondes, and soil moisture equipment.
  • Why Madhya Pradesh?
    • Located on the path of major rain-bearing systems.
    • Pristine location with minimal pollution for accurate data collection.
  • Significance:
    • Improves understanding of monsoon systems and cloud physics.
    • Central India acts as a natural laboratory for monsoon studies.
    • Improves accuracy of rainfall forecasts, especially for the Monsoon Core Zone (MCZ).
  1. Vocal for Local Initiative

  • Launched by NITI Aayog as part of the Aspirational Blocks Programme.
  • Aims to boost local economies and promote grassroots entrepreneurship.
  • Implemented through Government e-Marketplace (GeM) and Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) platforms.
  • Vocal for Local Initiative benefits:
    • Stimulates economic growth by supporting local businesses.
    • Strengthens small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
    • Reduces transportation and carbon footprint.
    • Preserves indigenous crafts and traditions.
    • Fosters community empowerment.
  • The Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP):
    • Launched in 2023 to improve governance in underdeveloped blocks.
    • Covers 500 blocks across India.
    • Monitors progress using 40 key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Government e-Marketplace (GeM):
    • Public procurement portal for government departments and PSUs.
    • Aims for transparent, efficient, and inclusive procurement.
    • 100% government-owned company under Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC):
    • Open protocol network for local commerce across various segments.
    • Initiative by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
    • Aims to create new opportunities, reduce digital monopolies, and support MSMEs and small traders.


  1. Darien Gap

  • Location: Dense jungle on border of Colombia (South America) and Panama (North America).
  • Distance: Roughly 60 miles (97 km)
  • Terrain: Muddy, wet, unstable rainforest.
  • Challenges:
    • Difficult topography.
    • Criminal activity.
  • Importance: Major route for illegal migration to the US.
  1. India Navy Gets First Independent HQ ‘Nausena Bhawan’

  • Location: Delhi Cantonment.
  • Significance:
    • First independent headquarters for the Indian Navy.
    • Replaces operation from 13 different locations.
    • Centralized and technologically advanced.
    • Reflects commitment to maritime excellence and national security.
  • Building:
    • Three wings and four stories.
    • Uses innovative construction for efficiency and sustainability.
  1. Lyme Disease

  • Caused by bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.
  • Transmitted by infected Ixodes ticks.
  • Symptoms:
    • Erythema migrans rash (bulls-eye)
    • Headache, fatigue, muscle aches
  • Common locations: US, Europe, parts of Asia.
  • Recent case reported in Kerala, India.
  1. Pandavula Gutta Designated as a Geo-Heritage Site

  • Location: Telangana, India.
  • Significance:
    • Geological marvel older than Himalayas.
    • Features ancient rock paintings (animals, geometric designs, symbols).
    • Evidence of habitation from Mesolithic period to medieval times.
  • Geo-heritage Sites:
    • Geological features with earth science or educational value.
    • Designated and protected by Geological Survey of India (GSI).
  1. Model Code of Conduct (MCC)

  • Implemented by Election Commission of India during elections.
  • Introduced in 1960s, codified in 1991.
  • Guidelines for political parties and candidates:
    • Free and fair elections.
    • Prevent voter influence and disruption.
  • Not legally binding, but enforced through other statutes.


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