UPSC Daily Current Affairs - 28th February 2023

UPSC Daily Current Affairs – Mains [28th February 2023]

GS 1

Researchers discover the mysteries of the scorching hot core of the Earth

Syllabus: Geography – Physical Geography of the world

Source: The Hindu

In News

By analyzing the behavior of seismic waves generated by powerful earthquakes, a comprehensive examination of the Earth’s deep interior has verified the presence of a unique formation within the planet’s inner core. This structure is a solid, intensely hot sphere composed of iron and nickel that spans approximately 800 miles (1,350 km) in diameter.

Earth’s Layers

  • The Earth’s internal composition has four distinct layers:
    • Outer rocky crust
    • Rocky mantle
    • Liquid outer core composed of magma
    • Solid inner core
  • Despite being hot enough to liquefy, both the outer shell and newly discovered innermost sphere of the inner core are actually a solid iron-nickel alloy, due to the immense pressure at the center of the Earth.
  • Over time, as the planet cools, the inner core is expanding at the expense of the outer core, by solidifying molten materials.
Different Layers of Earth

GS 2

Maternal Mortality Trends from 2000 to 2020

Syllabus: Issues related to women/ Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

Source: WHO

In News

In 2020, preventable pregnancy and childbirth-related causes led to the death of around 800 women every day, which amounts to one woman dying every two minutes across the globe.


  • The United Nations Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group (MMEIG) – a collaborative effort between WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, the WB Group, and the UNDESA/Population Division – has released a report on maternal mortality estimates from 2000 to 2020.
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 (target 3.1) aims to reduce maternal mortality to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030. The report presents global, regional, and country-level estimates and trends for maternal mortality between 2000 and 2020.


  • India’s Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) decreased from 130 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2014-16 to 113 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2016-18, according to the Sample Registration System (SRS) report published by the Registrar General of India (RGI).


  • According to the report, the global Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in 2020 was roughly 223 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, a decrease from 227 in 2015 and 339 in 2000, representing a one-third reduction (34.3%) over a period of 20 years. In 2020, three countries – India (24,000), DR Congo (22,000), and Ethiopia (10,000) – had more than 10,000 maternal deaths.

Menstrual leave and its global standing

Syllabus: Issues related to women

Source: The Hindu

In News

The Supreme Court declined to consider a PIL concerning menstrual leave for employees and students nationwide, stating that it pertains to policy.

About Menstrual leave/period leave:

Menstrual leave, which grants employees or students time off to manage menstrual pain or discomfort, encompasses various policies. Within a work environment, such policies may entail paid or unpaid leave or designated periods for rest.

Examples in India

  • In India, various entities have implemented menstrual leave policies. For instance, in 2020, Zomato instituted a 10-day annual paid menstrual leave, with Swiggy and Byjus following suit.
  • Among Indian state governments, only Bihar and Kerala have introduced menstrual leave.
  • In 1992, Bihar’s government, under Lalu Prasad Yadav, implemented a policy granting employees two paid menstrual leave days per month.
  • Kerala’s Higher Education department also introduced menstrual and maternity leave for students enrolled in universities operating under the department.

Numerous countries worldwide have introduced menstrual leave policies, including the following:

  • Spain, became the first European country to offer paid menstrual leave to workers, along with other sexual health rights.
  • Japan, where menstrual leave was added to labor law in 1947 after labor unions popularized the idea in the 1920s. According to Article 68, employers cannot require women experiencing difficult periods to work during that time.
  • Indonesia, introduced a policy in 1948 and updated it in 2003. The policy states that workers experiencing menstrual pain are not required to work during the first two days of their cycle.
  • Philippines, permits workers to take two days of menstrual leave per month.
  • Taiwan, has the Act of Gender Equality in Employment in place. Article 14 of the Act allows employees to request a day off as period leave every month, receiving half of their usual wage.
  • South Korea, which permits monthly physiologic leave under Article 73 of labor law. All female workers may take a day off each month.
  • Zambia, which introduced one day of leave per month, named Mother’s Day, without requiring a reason or medical certificate.
  • Companies across the globe, such as Nike and Coexist, have implemented menstrual leave as an internal policy.

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