Prelims Sure Shot

  1. Supply of DDT to South Africa for Malaria Control Program

Why in News

Recently, HIL (India) Limited has supplied 20.60 Metric tonne of Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), a fertilizer to South Africa for their malaria control program.

The Company is further in the process of supplying DDT to Zimbabwe and Zambia in the current Financial Year 2020-21.

HIL (India) Limited

  • It is a PSU under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. It was incorporated in 1954 to manufacture and supply DDT to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for malaria control programmes. It is the sole manufacturer of DDT

Key Points


  • It is a colorless, tasteless, and almost odorless crystalline chemical compound. Its insecticidal action was discovered by the Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Muller in 1939.
  • He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1948 “for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods.
  • Arthropods are invertebrate species which include insects (Mosquitos), arachnids (Spiders), and crustaceans (Crabs) etc. Originally developed as an insecticide.
  • A worldwide ban on agricultural use was formalized under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. However, its limited use in disease vector control continues, because of its effectiveness in reducing malarial infections.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends DDT as one of the efficient Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) chemicals to curb mosquito menace and it is widely used by Southern African countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique and India.

Supply to South Africa:

  • South Africa will be utilising DDT in three provinces bordering
  • The region is highly affected with Malaria and it has reported maximum morbidity and mortality.

Supply to Other Countries:

  • HIL (India) Limited has recently exported Malathion Technical 95% to Iran under Government-to-Government initiative for the Locust Control Programme and also exported Agrochemica lfungicide to Latin American region.


  • Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are spread to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, called “malaria vectors”.


  • Malaria continues to be one of the major public health problems In 2018, an estimated 228 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide. Most of the cases and deaths (93%) were reported from African Region.
  • In the South East Asia Region, India accounts for the majority of cases and death.
  • According to World Malaria Report 2019, India reported 2.6 million fewer cases in 2018 compared to 2017. Thus the overall incidence of malaria in the country has reduced.
  • However, 7 states (Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh) account for about 90% of the burden of malaria cases in India.


3.Delhi Sero-Survey

Why in News

Recently, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) conducted a sero-surveillance study for Covid-19 in New Delhi.

NCDC is under administrative control of the Directorate General of Health Services in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Key Points


Detects Specific Antibodies:

  • It seeks to assess the prevalence of disease in a population by detecting the presence of specific antibodies against the virus.

Immunity Check:

  • It can also be conducted to check if a person has developed immunity to certain diseases.

Past Infections:

  • It indicates past infections (and which triggered an immune response), and is not used to detect active infections.

Tested Immunoglobulin G Using ELISA:

  • The Sera (a part of blood) of samples were tested for IgG antibodies and Covid-19 infection using Covid Kavach ELISA kits approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

IgG (Immunoglobulin G) is a type of antibody which develops in most Covid-19 patients (infections) at around two weeks after infection and remains in the blood even after recovery.

ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) is a test that detects and measures antibodies in blood


Coverage of the Latest Study:

  • Coverage Period: It was conducted from 27 June – 10 July 2020. It was done when the city was reporting over 3,000 cases a day.
  • Coverage Groups: A total 21,387 samples were randomly collected across the 11 districts of the capital, which were then divided into two groups, of less than 18 years and older.


  • Of the people surveyed had developed IgG antibodies, indicating they had been exposed to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes Covid-19, with a large number showing no symptoms (asymptomatic).


  • The 23.48% rate of seropositivity cannot be extrapolated over Delhi’s entire population.
  • Further, currently there isn’t enough scientific data available about the level and duration of immunity that the body will develop after a person tests Covid-positive.


  1. Idea of Social Security Number for Migrants

Why in News

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour has recommended that the government introduce a social security number for migrant workers, especially those working in the unorganised sectors which are beyond the purview of the labour laws.

Key Points


  • The Ministry of Labour and Employment was unable to give any concrete figures on the number of migrant workers.
  • It was pointed out that students and family members of the workers too used these trains and thus this figure doesn’t accurately record the number of migrant workers.

Social Security Number:

  • Instead of making Aadhar the basis for providing government benefits to migrants, they should be given a social security number which is a more effective way of covering them for insurance, health and other welfare programmes.

Concerns Raised:

  • It flagged issues related to the social security fund stated under the Social Security Code Bill 2019. There are no specific details in the legislation as to who will contribute to the fund and how it will be utilised.
  • It discussed changes in labour laws by some states in the wake of pandemic and impact on workers. Most of the beneficiaries under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana were local workers and not migrants.

Social Security Code Bill, 2019

  • The central government has been working to concise 44 central labour laws into four broad codes on wages, industrial relations, social security and occupational health & safety.
  • The Social Security Code Bill seeks to amend and consolidate nine laws related to social security, including the Employees’ Provident Fund Act, 1952, the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, and the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008.
  • Social security refers to measures to ensure access to health care and provision of income security to workers. It proposes setting up a social security fund.



  1. MANODARPAN: Mental Health Initiative

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) has launched the ‘Manodarpan’ initiative under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

It is aimed to provide psychosocial support to students, family members and teachers for their mental health and well-being during the times of Covid-19

Key Points


  • The platform includes a national toll free helpline for students of schools, universities and colleges, which will be manned by a pool of experienced counsellors, psychologists and mental health professionals.
  • It also has a website, a national database of counsellors which will host an interactive online chat platform, advisories and tips through webinars and other resources.


  • It would act as an element of strengthening human capital and increasing productivity for the education sector in the wake of covid-19. Covid 19 lockdown had led to forced close down of schools and colleges. Therefore, it would help children as well as their parents in facing tense situations and its effects on academics.


  1. Vulnerable groups petition global fund

Why in news

Deprived of sources of livelihood during the pandemic, sex workers, trans-persons, gay and bisexual men, drug users and people living with HIV/AIDS have written to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) protesting against being ignored by governments and multilateral agencies in COVID-19-related emergency relief efforts.

Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM)

  • Founded in 2002, GFATM, also known as Global Fund, is an international financing organization.
  • The Global Fund was formed as an independent, non-profit foundation under Swiss law and hosted by the World Health Organization in January 2002.
  • In January 2009, the organization became an administratively autonomous organization, terminating its administrative services agreement with the World Health Organization.
  • It aims to “attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to support attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations.”
  • It is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases. Its secretariat is in Geneva, Switzerland.

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