Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 01st to 07th August, 2017

Press Information Bureau (PIB)-01st to 07th August (PIB Weekly Compilation)



Archive


19th RCEP Meeting

{Development and Employment}


The 19th round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) meetings and other related meetings were held in Hyderabad, India.

  • Besides 19thround of TNC meet, Parallel meetings were held by the three main Working Groups on Trade in Goods, Trade in Services and Investment,including their respective Sub-Working Groups. Working Groups in other areas like Intellectual Property, electronic commerce, Legal and Institutional Issues etc. also had their meetings.
  • During the meeting, all RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs) agreed that a good RCEP agreement has immense potential to deliver on new economic opportunities including job creation that are much needed in today’s world of uncertainty.
  • The Meeting expressed shared commitment to work collectively and in a cooperative manner, to progress the negotiations in an accelerated way, and achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial agreement that addresses and balances the aspirations and sensitivities of participating countries.

Key takeaways of 19th round

  • All RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs) agreed that RCEP agreement has immense potential to deliver on new economic opportunities including job creation that are much needed in today’s uncertain world. India held that RCEP can offer a forward looking alternative in face of growing protectionism in world.
  • RPCs also expressed shared commitment to work collectively and in cooperative manner to progress the negotiations in an accelerated way and achieve a comprehensive, modern, high-quality and mutually beneficial agreement that balances and addresses sensitivities and aspirations of participating countries.

About Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

Related image

  • RCEP is a proposed comprehensive regional economic integration agreement (mega Free Trade Agreement) amongst the 10-ASEAN countries (Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam) and its six Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) partners, viz. Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Japan and Korea.
  • RCEP negotiations were formally launched at 2012 ASEAN Summit in Cambodia. RCEP is viewed as an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed trade agreement that includes several Asian and American nations but excludes China and India.
  • Till 2017, RCEP member states accounted for a population of 3.4 billion people with a total GDP (in terms of PPP) of $49.5 trillion, approximately 39% of the world’s GDP (combined GDPs of China and India makes up more than half that amount).

ZED Scheme for MSMEs

{Public Policy}


The Government has launched a new scheme namely “Financial Support to MSMEs in ZED Certification Scheme”.The objective of the scheme for promotion of Zero Defect and Zero Effect (ZED) manufacturing amongst micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and ZED Assessment for their certification so as to:

  • Develop an Ecosystem for Zero Defect Manufacturing in MSMEs.
  • Promote adaptation of Quality tools/systems and Energy Efficient manufacturing.
  • Enable MSMEs for manufacturing of quality products.
  • Encourage MSMEs to constantly upgrade their quality standards in products and processes.
  • Drive manufacturing with adoption of Zero Defect production processes and without impacting the environment.
  • Support ‘Make in India’ campaign.
  • Develop professionals in the area of ZED manufacturing and certification.

What is Zero Defect, Zero Effect (ZED) scheme?

  • ZED Scheme aims to rate and handhold all MSMEs to deliver top quality products using clean technology. It will have sector-specific parameters for each industry.
  • MSME sector is crucial for the economic progress of India and this scheme will help to match global quality control standards.

The slogan of Zero Defect, Zero Effect (ZED) was first mentioned by PM Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech in 2014. It was given for producing high quality manufacturing products with a minimal negative impact on environment.

Comment

  • ZED Scheme is meant to raise quality levels in unregulated MSME sector which is engine of growth for Indian economy. MSME sector drives almost 38% of nation’s GDP and around employs 110 million employees.
  • The scheme will be cornerstone of the Central Government’s flagship Make in India programme, which is aimed at turning India into a global manufacturing hub, generating jobs, boosting growth and increase incomes.

BSF and NSDC sign MoU on Skill Development

{Development and Employment}


The Border Security Force (BSF) signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).The MoU will enable NSDC to provide skill training to retired and retiring BSF personnel, as well as to the population residing in the border areas.

The collaboration between BSF and NSDC aims to train and provide gainful employment to retired BSF personnel and their families, school students, youth, differently abled for five years (April 2017 to April 2022). The programme will be appropriately named keeping in view the objectives and will have BSF co-branding with Skill India and NSDC

It will contribute to Skill Development Agenda of the country by ensuring the successful roll out of NSQF (National Skill Qualification Framework) based skill training to the retiring or retired BSF personnel and local population. The skill training will be based NSQF compliant training programm at multi-skill development centres run by BSF. This will help in meeting the aspirations of the stakeholders for training and employment

The skill training project will be of a limited to 5 years period in mission mode. Moreover, the curriculum development and capacity building under the programme will be encouraged to enable the model to be self-sustaining over time


Development of Cold Chains

{Development and Employment}


Government is implementing Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) for development of horticulture including post harvest management.

Under the mission assistance is provided for development of all relevant infrastructure including pack house, pre-cooling units, staging cold room, cold storages, controlled atmosphere (CA) storage, reefer vans, primary/mobile processing units and setting up of ripening chambers etc. to promote logistic integration with the aim to reduce losses across total supply chain and enable farmers to access markets to get remunerative prices for their produce.


Agriculture Produce Market Committee

{Agriculture}


Ministry has drafted a model “The Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2017, which provides for progressive agricultural marketing reforms, including setting up markets in private sector, direct marketing, farmer-consumer markets, de-regulation of fruits and vegetables, e-trading, single point levy of market fee, issue of unified single trading license in the State, declaring warehouses/silos/cold storage as market sub-yards and Market Yards of National Importance (MNI) so that more markets are available for farmers to sell their produce for better prices.

Facilities to Farmers

The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW) has taken up several initiatives in the field of agricultural extension which includes ‘Support to State Extension Programmes for Extension Reforms’ which is popularly known as ATMA Scheme, Mass Media Support to Agricultural Extension and Kisan Call Centres.

  • The key objectives of ATMA scheme include setting up of autonomous institutions at the State/District/Block level, encouraging multi-agency and broad-based extension strategies adopting group approach to extension and facilitating convergence of programmes in planning, executing and implementation.
  • This Ministry is also implementing various crop development schemes for increasing production and productivity of the crops in the country viz.
  • National Food Security Mission (NFSM) on rice, wheat, pulses, coarse cereals and Commercial Crops (cotton, jute & sugarcane);
  • Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI) and
  • Crop Diversification Programme (CDP).

Under these schemes, scientific crop production technologies are being promoted at the farmers’ field through organization of cluster demonstrations and training of farmers with latest crop production technologies such as timely sowing, seed rate, recommended package of practices, etc. for reduction in the cost of cultivation.


Challenges posed by rapid Population growth

{Health issue}


Government is expanding health infrastructure and   human    resources,   besides   bringing   in new interventions to increase   the accessibility to health services.

The details of steps taken to stabilize increasing population are given below:

Steps taken to check the increase in population are:

  • Mission ParivarVikas has been launched to increase access to contraceptives and Family Planning services in 146 high fertility districts.
  • Introduction of New Contraceptive Choices: The current basket of choice has been expanded to include the new contraceptives viz. Injectable contraceptive, Centchroman and Progesterone Only Pills (POP).
  • Redesigned Contraceptive Packaging: The packaging for Condoms, Oral Contraceptive Pills (OCPs) and Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs) has now been improved and redesigned.
  • New Family Planning Media Campaign has been launched to generate demand for contraceptives.
  • Family Planning logistics management information system has been developed to track Family Planning commodities.
  • Enhanced Compensation Scheme for Sterilization: The sterilization compensation scheme has been enhanced in 11 high focus states (8 Empowered Action Group (EAG), Assam, Gujarat, Haryana)
  • Post Abortion Family Planning Services have been initiated.
  • A Scheme for ensuring drop back services to sterilization clients has been initiated.
  • A Scheme for Home delivery of contraceptives by ASHAs to provide contraceptives at the doorstep of beneficiaries is in operation.
  • A Scheme to ensure spacing of births by ASHAs is in operation.
  • World Population Day & fortnight as well as Vasectomy Fortnight is observed every yearto boost Family Planning efforts all over the country.
  • Post partum Family Planning is being focused with special emphasis on Post partum IUCD services.
  • Quality Assurance Committees have been established in all state and districts for ensuring quality of care in Family Planning.
  • Male participation is being emphasized upon.
  • Under National Family Planning Indemnity Scheme the clients are indemnified in the unlikely events of deaths, complications and failures following sterilization.
  • Private/ NGO facilities have been accredited to increase the provider base for family planning services under PPP.
  • As a result the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has declined to 2.2 (NFHS IV) and the Decadal growth rate has declined to 17.6

Cabinet approves MoU between India and BRICs countries to set up BRICS Agriculture Research Platform Background

{International Relations}


  • During the 7th BRICS Summit held on 9thJuly 2015 at Ufa in Russia, Prime Minister Shri Modi proposed to establish BRICS Agriculture Research Centre which will be a gift to the entire world.
  • The Centre will promote sustainable agricultural development and poverty alleviationthrough strategic cooperation in agriculture to provide food security in the BRICS member countries.
  • In order to further intensify cooperation among BRICS countries in agricultural research policy, science and technology, innovation and capacity building, including technologies for small¬holder farming in the BRICS countries, an MoU on was signed in the 8th BRICS Summit held on 16th October, 2016 at Goa.

Ares of cooperation

  • BRICS-ARP will be the natural global platform for science-led agriculture-based sustainable development for addressing the issues of world hunger, under-nutrition, poverty and inequality, particularly between farmers’ and non-farmers’ income, and enhancing agricultural trade, bio-security and climate resilient agriculture.

Socio-Economic Challenges in NER

{Governance}


The Government has assessed the challenges being faced by the North Eastern Region (NER) through various studies and reports submitted by different Committees, Commissions, Task Forces etc. appointed from time to time.

Some of these include

  • Shukla Commission Report;
  • UshaThorat Committee Report on Financial Sector Plan for North Eastern Region;
  • Report of the Task Force on Connectivity and Promotion of Trade and Investment in NE States;
  • Report on Poverty Eradication in NER; District Infrastructure Index for NER prepared by Ministry of DoNER;
  • Human Development Report of NE States;
  • Report of the Working Group on Improvement & Development of Transport Infrastructure in North East for the National Transport Development Policy Committee etc.

The assessment broadly identified various measures to bridge the infrastructural gaps and remove the backlog in basic minimum services in North Eastern States that include connecting North-East with rest of India and world through rail, road, water and air connectivity, opening new trade and business opportunities by improving the banking sector and giving incentive to Industry sector etc.


Country’s Diaspora

{Indian diaspora}


  • The Government has brought about a transformational change in its engagement with the Indian diaspora.
  • The 30 million strong Overseas Indian community is an invaluable partner in the progress of the nation. A successful, prosperous, and influential diaspora is an asset for India.
  • The PravasiBharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention, PBD Conferences, Regional PBDs, Youth PBD, Know India Programme, Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children, Bharat KoJaaniye Quiz are some of the important programmes undertaken by the Government to strengthen diaspora’s connect and engagement with India. The Government’s efforts are also aimed at harnessing the diaspora potential to its fullest including through investments, philanthropy and transfer of knowledge and expertise.
  • Ongoing economic reforms and flagship programmes viz Swachh Bharat Mission, National Mission for Clean Ganga, Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, Stand up India provide an enabling environment to our youth. The Government is also trying to convert ‘brain drain ‘into ‘brain gain’ by engaging the Indian diaspora in making India strong and self-reliant.
  • Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) can also avail the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card scheme. As per the provisions of the scheme, OCI card holders under Section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 get multiple life-long entry visa for visiting India and they are exempted from registration in FRRO irrespective of duration of their stay in India.

Joint Project between NASA and ISRO

{Science and Technology}


ISRO and NASA are working towards realisation of NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission by 2021.Image result for NISAR mission

Role of NASA and ISRO

  • In NISAR mission, NASA is responsible for development of L-band SAR and ISRO is responsible for development of S-band SAR.
  • The L & S band SAR will be integrated with ISRO’s spacecraft and launched on-board India’s GSLV.
  • NISAR employs a futuristic SweepSAR technique, which enables very wide swath of more than 200 km and very high resolution of the order of 5-10m.

Application

The L & S band microwave data obtained from this satellite will be useful for variety of application, which include estimating agricultural biomass over full duration of crop cycle; assessing soil moisture; monitoring of floods & oil slicks; coastal erosion, coastline changes; assessment of mangroves; surface deformation studies, ice sheet dynamics etc.

Background

ISRO and NASA have a framework agreement for cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes signed in 2008. Under this framework agreement, ISRO and NASA have executed an implementing arrangement for cooperation in NISAR mission, which is valid until 2034 and provides scope for joint activities on science & applications of NISAR data after the launch.


Development of Radiation Technology

{Science and Technology}


Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) – Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has been engaged in R&D work on the technology of preservation and hygienization of food and agri-products by radiation.

Irradiation is very effective in treating the horticultural produces. Extension of shelf life of horticultural produces is very much depended on the produce, variety and storage conditions.

For many fresh agri produce subjected to irradiation and proper storage, substantial shelf life extension has been achieved.

Unique advantages of radiation processing are

  • Significant increase in shelf life for many products including fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, spices, sea foods and meat products.
  • Effective elimination of harmful bacteria, viruses and insects/pests.
  • Cold & clean process (No temperature raise or residue); and treatment done after final packaging (no repacking necessary).

Two centres set up by BARC-DAE

BARC-DAE has set up two technology demonstration units, one commissioned in the year 2000 for high dose irradiation at Vashi, Navi Mumbai, and another in 2002, for low dose irradiation,KRUSHAK (KrushiUtpadanSanrakshan Kendra) facility at Lasalgaon, near Nashik.

Harmonization of food irradiation rules with the international regulation

  • Recently the harmonization of food irradiation rules with the international regulation through adaptation of class wise clearance of irradiated food items by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has taken place [Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Sixth Amendment Regulations, 2016] for large scale deployment of this technology.

Desi Global Positioning System

{Science and Technology}


Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has deployed an indigenous regional positioning system named as “Navigation with Indian Constellation” (NavIC).

It consists of seven satellites in a constellation to provide Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services in Indian mainland and surrounding region up to 1500 Km. It provides two types of services viz. Standard Positioning Service (SPS) and Restricted Service (RS).

Uses/Application

  • ISRO has established the required space segment of the NavIC system for providing signal in space enabling position, navigation and timing information and it can support commercial civil applications.
  • Indian entrepreneurs are being enabled for providing services through NavIC receiver system and requisite information has been made available in public domain.
  • The demonstrations for vessel tracking, vehicle tracking, messaging services for fishermen, timing applications have been conducted.
  • Mobile-Apps for navigational alerts across maritime jurisdictions is developed and tested for the Fishermen community using first generation NavIC receivers.
  • Various types of user receivers are being developed indigenously involving Indian industry and discussions amongst government departments, user-receiver manufacturers, system integrators and service providers are taking place for the usage of NavIC system.
  • While the space and ground segment of the NavIC system has been established and demonstrations of various applications/ services have been conducted, the time required for it to become fully operational depends on the service providers making the services available in the market. It may take couple of years to become fully operational in the market.

Breastfeeding Week to promote breastfeeding

{Role of women}


  • Breastfeeding Week is observed in the first week of August to focus attention on the important aspect of promotion and support of breastfeeding.
  • The theme of this year’s breastfeeding week is ‘Sustaining Breastfeeding’.

MAA-Mother’s Absolute Affection

  • To intensify the efforts further for promotion of breastfeeding, the Health Ministry has initiated a nationwide programme called “MAA-Mother’s Absolute Affection’’ to bring undiluted focus on promotion of breastfeeding and provision of services towards supporting breastfeeding, along with ongoing efforts of routine health systems.
  • The key components of the MAA programme are awareness generation, promotion of breastfeeding & inter personal counselling at community level, skilled support for breastfeeding at delivery points and monitoring and Award/ recognition of health facility.
  • Under this programme, ASHAhas been incentivized for reaching out to pregnant and lactating mothers and provide information on benefits and techniques of successful breastfeeding during interpersonal communication.

Importance of breastfeeding

  • Breastfeeding is an important efficient and cost-effective intervention promoting child survival and health.
  • Breastfeeding within an hour of birth could prevent 20% of the newborn deaths.
  • Infants who are not breastfed are 15 times more likely to die from pnuemonia and 11 times more likely to die from diarrhoea than children who are exclusively breastfed, which are two leading causes of death in children under-five years of age.
  • In addition, children who were not breastfed are at increased risk for diabetes, obesity, allergies, asthma, childhood leukemia, sudden infant death syndrome etc.
  • Apart from mortality and morbidity benefits, breastfeeding also has tremendous impact on improved IQ.

Lateral entry in civil services

{Governance}


  • The Government is always committed to appoint best available talent subject to provisions of rules.
  • Recruitment to various posts in Government of India is made through various recruitment agencies established for the purpose such as Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission etc.
  • Recruitment agencies conduct examinations based on requirements projected by various Ministries/Departments/offices of Government of India.

NITI Aayog recommendation

  • NITI Aayogin the Three Year Action Agenda for 2017-2020 has recommended for inducting specialists into the system through lateral entry in policy making areas on fixed term contract.
  • This recommendation along with suggestions received from other quarters is under consideration.

2091 ‘Pradhan MantriBhartiyaJanaushadhiPariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras’ functional

across the country

{Health Policy}


Pradhan MantriBhartiyaJanaushadhiPariyojana (PMBJP)

  • Ministry : Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India.

Mission

  • Make quality medicines accessible to all citizens of the country at affordable prices.

Mission 3000

  • MoU was signed with the objective to setup 1000 Pradhan MantriBhartiyaJanaushadhiKendras in both urban and rural places of the country, as a part of “Mission 3000” kendras by March 2017.
  • The PMBJP is a step in this direction which would, on one hand, drastically reduce the out of pocket health expenditure for the common man and give an impetus to the Make in India mission in the pharma sector.
  • There is an active financial supportextended by the government to the extent of Rs. 2.5 lakh in the form of financial assistance to the kendras setup in Government hospitals and incentives to individuals, with special and softer terms to SC, ST and differently-abled persons.

Manufacturing of Defence Equipment

{Security}


Government is committed to the goal of achieving self reliance in meeting national security objectives.

The ‘Make in India’ initiative is the focal point of the current defence procurement policy and procedure and aims to promote indigenous design, development and manufacturing of defence equipment, platforms and systems, involving the public and private sector in the country.

Progress of Make in India Initiative

‘Make in India’ in defence manufacturing is primarily driven by capital acquisition of defence equipment and other policy measures taken to promote indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment in the country by harnessing the capabilities of the public and private sector.

Measures of Make in India in defence sector

  • According priority and preference to procurement from Indian vendors under the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016
  • liberalization of the licensing regime and FDI policy by raising the cap on FDI in the defence sector
  • simplification of export procedure,
  • streamlining of defence offset guidelines etc.

Recently, the Government has notified the ‘Strategic Partnership (SP)’ Model which envisages establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with Indian Private entities through a transparent and competitive process, wherein they would tie up with global OEMs to seek technology transfers to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains.

Foreign companies are allowed to have tie-ups with Indian vendors for indigenous production involvingTransfer of technology (ToT) under ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ and ‘Buy & Make’ categories of capital acquisition.

One of the objectives of ‘Make in India’ initiative is to build world class manufacturing infrastructure in the country so as to reduce dependence on imports and to reduce the cost in the long run. However, this being a long term activity, it is premature to assess its impact on reduction in manufacturing cost at this stage.


Government Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill in news

{Public Policy}


The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016

Surrogacy

  • With a view to putting a check and bring transparency in the use of surrogacy, the Government has recently introduced Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha, which stands referred to the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare.
  • As per clause (iii) b (II) of Section 4 contained in chapter 3 of the proposed Bill, no person other than a close relative of the intending couple shall act as a surrogate mother for altruistic purpose.

Highlights of the Bill

  • Surrogacy is an arrangement whereby an intending couple commissions a surrogate mother to carry their child.
  • The intending couple must be Indian citizens and married for at least five years with at least one of them being infertile. The surrogate mother has to be a close relative who has been married and has had a child of her own.
  • No payment other than reasonable medical expenses can be made to the surrogate mother. The surrogate child will be deemed to be the biological child of the intending couple.
  • Central and state governments will appoint appropriate authorities to grant eligibility certificates to the intending couple and the surrogate mother. These authorities will also regulate surrogacy clinics.
  • Undertaking surrogacy for a fee, advertising it or exploiting the surrogate mother will be punishable with imprisonment for 10 years and a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh.

Key Issues and Analysis

  • The Bill permits surrogacy only for couples who cannot conceive a child. This procedure is not allowed in case of any other medical conditions which could prevent a woman from giving birth to a child.
  • The Bill specifies eligibility conditions that need to be fulfilled by the intending couple in order to commission surrogacy. Further, it allows additional conditions to be prescribed by regulations.  This may be excessive delegation of legislative powers.
  • The surrogate mother and the intending couple need eligibility certificates from the appropriate authority. The Bill does not specify a time limit within which such certificates will be granted.   It also does not specify an appeal process in case the application is rejected.
  • The surrogate mother must be a ‘close relative’ of the intending couple. The Bill does not define the term ‘close relative’.  Further, the surrogate mother (close relative) may donate her own egg for the pregnancy.  This may lead to negative health consequences for the surrogate baby.
  • For an abortion, in addition to complying with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, the approval of the appropriate authority and the consent of the surrogate mother is required. The Bill does not specify a time limit for granting such an approval.  Further, the intending couple has no say in the consent to abort.

Primary Healthcare Facilities

{Health issue}


The Government has approved National Health Policy, 2017 with goal of attainment of the highest possible level of health and well-being for all, through a preventive and promotive health care orientation in all developmental policies, and universal access to good quality health care services without anyone having to face financial hardship as a consequence.

Aligned to such policy goal, the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM),as a submission of National Health Mission (NHM), was approved in May 2013.

It aims to provide equitable and quality primary health care services to the population in urban areas with special focus on slum and vulnerable sections of the society.

National Health Policy 2017

The National Health Policy 2017 envisages that for achieving the objective of having fully functional primary healthcare facilities especially in urban areas to reach under-serviced populations, the Government would collaborate with the private sector for operationalizing such health and wellness centres to provide a larger package of comprehensive primary health care across the country.

Partnerships could be in areas of diagnostics services, ambulance services, safe blood services, rehabilitative services, palliative services, mental healthcare, telemedicine services etc.

Public Health and hospitals being a State subject, responsibility to provide healthcare facilities including in urban areas, falls under the jurisdictionof respective State/UT Governments. Under the NHM, technical and financial support is provided to States/UTs for strengthening the healthcare systems including support for private sector partnership, based on the requirements posed by the States/UTs in their Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs) within their overall resource envelope.

Surveillance activities for Hepatitis C  

  • Under the National Viral Hepatitis Surveillance Programme, the National Centre for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare undertakes surveillance activities for Viral Hepatitis in the country.

Prelims Fact

Hepatitis C

Key factsImage result for Hepatitis C

  • Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis, ranging in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness.
  • The hepatitis C virus is a bloodborne virus and the most common modes of infection are through exposure to small quantities of blood. This may happen through injection drug use, unsafe injection practices, unsafe health care, and the transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.
  • Globally, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection.
  • A significant number of those who are chronically infected will develop cirrhosis or liver cancer.
  • Approximately 399 000 people die each year from hepatitis C, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
  • Antiviral medicines can cure more than 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, thereby reducing the risk of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but access to diagnosis and treatment is low.
  • There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this area is ongoing.

Transmission

The hepatitis C virus is a bloodborne virus. It is most commonly transmitted through:

  • injecting drug use through the sharing of injection equipment;
  • the reuse or inadequate sterilization of medical equipment, especially syringes and needles in healthcare settings; and
  • the transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.

HCV can also be transmitted sexually and can be passed from an infected mother to her baby; however these modes of transmission are much less common.

Hepatitis C is not spread through breast milk, food, water or by casual contact such as hugging, kissing and sharing food or drinks with an infected person.


ISRO and CSIR-NPL sign MoU for time and frequency traceability services

{Science and Technology}


The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) and CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) signed Memorandum of understanding (MOU) to make indigenous regional position.

  • The MoU will help the NAVIC to get formally synchronized with the Indian Standard Time (IST) which is being maintained by the Delhi-based NPL Company.
  • It will also help in making NAVIC to get fully operational in the market for commercial purposes as time synchronisation is essential for all kinds of services such as financial transactions, digital archiving, stock handling, time stamping, national security or prevention of cyber-crimes etc.
  • Until now, the satellites on NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) managed by the ISRO relied on the US GPS to ensure that the clocks aboard.
  • The NPL is part of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CISR). It is the –measurement standards laboratory of India.

“BHARAT 22”

{Economic Policy}


The Union Finance Ministry has launched second exchange-traded fund (ETF), named Bharat 22. It will help to speed up Government’s disinvestment programme budgeted to raise a record Rs 72,500 crore in the FY 2018.

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs):

  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are essentially index funds that are listed and traded on exchanges like stocks.
  • They are basically basket of stocks with assigned weights that reflects the composition of an index.
  • They are similar to mutual funds in a certain manner but are more liquid as they can be sold quickly on stock exchanges like shares.
  • The ETFs trading value is based on the net asset value of the underlying stocks that it represents.

Bharat 22

  • Bharat 22 is a well-diversified ETF spanning six sectors — basic materials, energy, finance, industrials, FMCG and utilities.
  • The sector wise weightage in the Bharat 22 Index is basic materials (4.4%), energy (17.5%), finance (20.3%), FMCG (15.2%), industrials (22.6%), and utilities (20%).
  • The banking segment includes stocks from State Bank of India (SBI), Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda (BoB), Indian Bank, Rural Electrification Corporation and Power Finance Corporation.
  • The energy segment includes Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum (BP), and Coal India.

The first CPSE ETF was launched in March 2014. The first CPSE ETF consisted of stocks of 10 public sector entities. It is currently managed by Reliance Capital Ltd. Government was able to raise Rs. 8,500 crore by selling it in three tranches.


Requirement of Aadhaar number for Registration of Death of an Individual

{Rights Issues}


  • From October 1 onwards, Aadhaar numberwill be required to establish identity of a deceased person for registration of his/her death.
  • Why ?Registrar General of India (RGI) said it would effectively prevent identity-fraud.
  • Applicant is not aware of the Aadhaar No. or enrolment ID No. of the deceased: he shall have to declare that the latter did not possess Aadhaar number to the best of his knowledge.
  • Any false declaration to this effect will be treated an offence under the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and Registration of Birth and Death Act, 1967.
  • A reading of the Aadhaar Act indicates that the penaltyfor the said offence may be imprisonment up to one year and/or fine up to Rs 25,000.

India hopeful operations at Chabahar Port will start by 2018

{International Relations}


Iran’s Chabahar port located in the Sistan-Baluchistan Province on the south-eastern coast is a port of great strategic utility for India.

  • It lies outside the PersianGulf and is accessed from India’s western coast.
  • As per an MoU signed between India and Iranin May lastyear, India is to equip and operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with capital investment of USD 85.21 million andannual revenue expenditure of USD 22.95 million on a 10-yearlease.
  • The Chabahar Port will boost trade and business between the two countries and in the region.

Chabahar  Port

  • Chabaharportis located on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran’s border with Pakistan. It is less than 100km from Pakistan’s Chinese-constructed port of Gwadar, part of a project to open up an energy and trade corridor from the Gulf to western China.
  • The Chabahar as a transit point will be the center of a regional trade, investment and transportation hub with links from the Indian Ocean to Central Asia. For the first time, India will get access to the region through friendly nations

Chabahar port is of strategic importance for the following reasons:

  • The Chabahar port will allow India access to landlocked Afghanistan and energy-rich Central Asia through Jawaharlal Nehru and Kandla ports on India’s west coast.
  • India has also built a 218km-road link connecting Delaram with Zaranj in Afghanistan, which is adjacent to Iran’s border. Also, the port will promote Indian strategic interests in the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz.
  • The first person quoted above added that the loan disbursement is not possible until the application is completed by the state-owned Port and Maritime Organization.
  • According to the terms of agreement, India has to make $150 million credit available for the development of phase one of Chabahar port within four months of receiving the application. India also has to equip the cargo and container terminals with $85 million worth of equipment within one-and-a-half years of funding.

The Persian Gulf 

  • The Persian Gulf is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia. The body of water is an extension of the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Oman) through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest.
  • The Shatt al-Arab river delta forms the northwest shoreline.
  • Countrieswith a coastline on the Persian Gulf are (clockwise, from the north): IranOman’s exclave Musandam; the United Arab EmiratesSaudi Arabia (in Iran this is called “Arvand Rood”, where “Rood” means “river”); Qatar, on a peninsula off the Saudi coast; Bahrain, on an island; Kuwait; and Iraq in the northwest.
  • Various small islands also lie within the Persian Gulf, some of which are the subject of territorial disputes between the states of the region.

Background

  • The Persian Gulf was a battlefield of the 1980–1988 Iran–Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other’s oil tankers. It is the namesake of the 1991 Gulf War, the largely air- and land-based conflict that followed Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
  • The gulf has many fishing grounds, extensive coral reefs, and abundant pearl oysters, but its ecology has been damaged by industrialization and oil spills.

PM’s video message for the second edition of “Samvad”- Global Initiative on Conflict Avoidance and Environment Consciousness

 {Environment}


  • “Samvad”- Global Initiative on Conflict Avoidance and Environment Consciousness– Second edition of conference is being held at Yangon, Myanmar.
  • Societies across the world are facing several questions today, such as:
    1. How to avoid conflict?
    2. How to address a global challenge like climate change?
    3. How to live in peace and harmony and secure our lives?
  • Ancient Indian concept of “TarkaShastra”is founded on dialogue and debate as the model for exchange of views and avoidance of conflict.
  • Samvad” or “dialogue” helps
    • To cut through deep rooted religious stereotypes and prejudices that divide communities across the world and
    • Sow seeds of conflict between nations and societies.

TarkaSastra

  • TarkaSastrais a science of dialectics, logic and reasoning, and art of debate that analyzes the nature and source of knowledge and its validity.
  • Sastra in Sanskrit means that which gives teaching, instruction or command. Tarka means debate or an argument.
  • According to one reckoning, there are six sastras. Vyakarana is one of them.
  • Four of the sastras are particularly important Vyakarana, Mimamsa, Tarka, and Vedanta.
  • The sastra has concepts called “poorvapaksha” and “apara paksha“. When one raises a point (poorvapaksha) the other one criticizes it (aparapaksha). Then the debate starts. Each one tries to support his point of view by getting various references.
  • The meaning of the word tarka also is specific, in that it does not imply a pure logical analysis but a complex activity of discourse guided by strict definitions and goals so as to have. This concept is referred in Bhagawad Gita as “vAdaHpravadatAmasmi” (vibhootiyOga).
  • Tarka is the process of questioning and cross-questioning that leads to a particular conclusion. It is a form of supposition that can be used as an aid to the attainment of valid knowledge.
  • There are several scholars well-versed in TarkaSastras – AdiShankara (788-820 CE), Uddyotkar (Nyayavartik, 6th-7th century), VācaspatiMiśra (Tatparyatika, 9th century), Udayanacharya (Tatparyaparishuddhi, 10th century), JayantaBhatta (Nyayamanjari, 9th century), Vishwanath (Nyayasutravrtti, 17th century), and RadhamohanGoswami (Nyayasutravivaran, 18th century), KumaranAsan. Paruthiyur Krishna Sastri and SengalipuramAnantaramaDikshitar were specialized in Vyakarana, Mimamsa and Tarka Sastra. Also, Krishna Sastri excelled all those scholars of his contemporary period in TarkaSastra.

Measles-Rubella (MR) Campaign

{International Relations}


India, along with ten other WHO South East Asia Region member countries, have resolved to eliminate measles and control rubella/congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) by 2020.

  • In this direction, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has initiated measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in the age group of 9 months to less than 15 years in a phased manner across the nation.
  • The campaign aims to cover approximately 41 crore children and is going to be the largest ever vaccination campaign worldwide. All children from 9 months to less than 15 years of age will be given a single shot of Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination during the campaign.

Key facts:

  • The campaign aims to rapidly build up immunity for both measles and rubella diseases in the community so as to knock out the disease, therefore, all the children should receive MR vaccine during the campaign.
  • Following the campaign, MR vaccine will become a part of routine immunization and will replace measles vaccine, currently given at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age of child.
  • For those children who have already received such vaccination, the campaign dose would provide additional boosting to them. In order to achieve maximum coverage during the campaign, multiple stakeholders have been involved, which includes, apart from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, other Ministries etc.

Measles- Rubella

  • While measles is a viral infection that can be fatal, congenital rubella syndrome is responsible for irreversible birth defects. Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) is a cause of public health concern.
  • CRS is characterized by congenital anomalies in the foetus and newborns affecting the eyes (glaucoma, cataract), ears (hearing loss), brain (microcephaly, mental retardation) and heart defects, causing a huge socio-economic burden on the families in particular and society in general.
  • According to a study by the University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, “1-15% of all infants suspected to have intra-uterine infection were found to have laboratory evidence of CRS (congenital rubella syndrome). About 3-10% of suspected CRS cases are ultimately proven to have confirmed CRS with the aid of laboratory tests. CRS accounts for 10-15% of pediatric cataract. 10-50% of children with congenital anomalies have laboratory evidence of CRS. 10-30% of adolescent females and 12-30% of women in the reproductive age-group are susceptible to rubella infection in India.”


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1 Comment
  1. Reply
    rav
    September 2, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    will you update monthy pib magzine of july and aug

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