Polio Virus


The Centre has instructed states to provide sewage samples to all sentinel locations that currently conduct Poliovirus surveillance, in case a new Covid-19 strain causes a new rise in cases.

  • Sentinel surveillance is defined as “the voluntary monitoring of the rate of incidence of specific diseases/conditions by a network of doctors, laboratories, and public health authorities in order to assess the stability or change in a population’s health levels.”


GS II- Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Polio?
  2. Recent Outbreaks of Polio
  3. Polio in India
  4. India’s Pulse Polio Programme
  5. Steps taken by the Government to maintain polio free status in India

What is Polio?

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) defines polio or poliomyelitis as “a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children.”
  • The virus is transmitted by person-to-person, spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (e.g., contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
  • Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs.
  • In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent.
  • There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented by immunization.
  • There are three individual and immunologically distinct wild poliovirus strains:
    1. Wild Poliovirus type 1 (WPV1)
    2. Wild Poliovirus type 2 (WPV2)
    3. Wild Poliovirus type 3 (WPV3)
  • Symptomatically, all three strains are identical, in that they cause irreversible paralysis or even death.
  • However, there are genetic and virological differences, which make these three strains separate viruses which must each be eradicated individually.

Recent Outbreaks of Polio

  • In 2019, polio outbreaks were recorded in the Philippines, Malaysia, Ghana, Myanmar, China, Cameroon, Indonesia and Iran, which were mostly vaccine-derived in which a rare strain of the virus genetically mutated from the strain in the vaccine.
  • Afghanistan and Pakistan are the two countries that are having the most trouble in controlling the spread of Polio effectively.
  • In 2018, a total of 8,60,000 children in Afghanistan did not receive polio vaccine due to security threats.

Polio in India

  • India received polio-free certification by the WHO in 2014, after three years of zero cases.
  • This achievement has been spurred by the successful pulse polio campaign in which all children were administered polio drops.
  • The last case due to wild poliovirus in the country was detected on 13th January 2011.

India’s Pulse Polio Programme

  • With the global initiative of eradication of polio in 1988 following World Health Assembly resolution in 1988, Pulse Polio Immunization programme was launched in India in 1995. Children in the age group of 0-5 years administered polio drops during National and Sub-national immunization rounds (in high-risk areas) every year.
  • The Pulse Polio Initiative was started with an objective of achieving hundred per cent coverage under Oral Polio Vaccine.
  • It aimed to immunize children through improved social mobilization, plan mop-up operations in areas where poliovirus has almost disappeared and maintain high level of morale among the public.

Steps taken by the Government to maintain polio free status in India

  • Maintaining community immunity through high quality National and Sub National polio rounds each year.
  • An extremely high level of vigilance through surveillance across the country for any importation or circulation of poliovirus and VDPV is being maintained.
  • All States and Union Territories in the country have developed a Rapid Response Team (RRT) to respond to any polio outbreak in the country.
  • To reduce risk of importation from neighbouring countries, international border vaccination is being provided through continuous vaccination teams (CVT) to all eligible children round the clock.
  • Government of India has issued guidelines for mandatory requirement of polio vaccination to all international travelers before their departure from India to polio affected countries namely:  Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Syria and Cameroon.

India’s Crude Oil Imports from OPEC


OPEC’s share of India’s oil imports for the FY22 financial year remained almost steady year-on-year, arresting sharp declines over the past six years, as refiners prefer crude from West Asia to counter rising global prices.


GS II- International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. India’s crude oil imports from OPEC
  2. About Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
  3. What is OPEC+?

India’s crude oil imports from OPEC

  • In FY08, OPEC oil accounted for almost 88 percent of India’s crude imports. Because refiners in Asia’s third-largest economy are buying cheaper Russian oil, its percentage of India’s overall imports may drop.
  • Russian oil, on the other hand, continues to account for less than 1% of India’s crude imports in FY22.

About Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

  • The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is an intergovernmental organization of 14 nations, founded in 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela), and headquartered since 1965 in Vienna, Austria.
  • As of 2018, the 14 member countries accounted for an estimated 44 percent of global oil production and almost 82% of the world’s “proven” oil reserves, giving OPEC a major influence on global oil prices that were previously determined by the so-called “Seven Sisters” grouping of multinational oil companies.
  • The stated mission of the organization is to “coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its member countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets, in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers, and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.”

What is OPEC+?

  • OPEC + countries are non-OPEC countries that export crude oil alongside the 14 OPEC countries.
  • Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, South Sudan, and Sudan are among the OPEC plus countries.
What are their goals?
  • The OPEC and non OPEC producers first formed the alliance at a historic meeting in Algiers in 2016.
  • The aim was to undertake production restrictions to help resuscitate a flailing market.

Karaga Festival


The centuries-old Karaga (temple fair) festival was recently held at the Dharmaraya Swamy Temple in Bengaluru.


GS I- Festivals

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Karaga Festival
  2. Cultural significance of Karaga

Karaga Festival

  •  It is held every year in the Hindu calendar’s Chaitra month (March/April), and its origins may be traced back to the epic Mahabharata.
  • It reveres Draupadi as the ideal lady and Shakti, the Goddess of Power.
  • The name ‘Karaga’ refers to an earthen pot that holds a floral pyramid and a Goddess idol, and it is carried on the bearer’s head without being touched.
  • The carrier is dressed as a lady, with bangles, a mangal-sutra, and vermillion on his forehead.

Cultural significance of Karaga

  • The Karaga procession pays reverence to Tawakkal Mastan at Astana e-Hazrath Tawakkal Mastan Shah Saharwardi Dargah, as is traditional.
  • The Muzavvar family has cared for the Dargah, a symbol of syncretic Sufism, for several generations.
  •  According to them, the Dargah’s history dates back at least 300 years, when Tawakkal Mastan, who came to Bengaluru with his horses looking for economic possibilities, was regarded as a saint.
  • Mastak was a patron of the ruler at the time, Hyder Ali, for his excellent actions.


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