02-11-2017 Current Affairs

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answered Nov 2 by prashant1984 (23,320 points)

Fewer TB deaths in India: WHO

Context-WHO report on TB cases in India

Statistics-1.Death from tuberculosis in India saw a 12% decline from last year

2.The number of new cases, or incidence, saw a 1.7% decrease.

3. With 1.7 million new cases in 2016, India continued to be the largest contributor to the global burden with up to a quarter of the 6.3 million new cases of TB (up from 6.1 million in 2015).

4.India accounts for about 32% of the number of people worldwide who succumbed to the disease.

5. Rise in cases was due to greater surveillance and the dip in mortality from 480,000 to 423,000 in 2016, due to improved drug management.

6. The use of molecular diagnostic tests to detect the infection,even on detection of drug-resistant TB there’s been an improvement.

7.Globally, the TB mortality rate is falling at about 3% per year. TB incidence is falling at about 2% per year and 16% of TB cases die from the disease.

What is India`s plan to Eliminate TB?

  1. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in its national strategic plan for tuberculosis elimination (2017-2025), has set a highly ambitious goal of achieving a rapid decline in burden of TB, morbidity and mortality while working towards elimination of TB by 2025.
  2. Providing universal access to early diagnosis and treatment and improving case detection were the main goals of the national strategic plan 2012-17.
  3. Though the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) has treated 10 million patients, the rate of decline has been slow.
  4. India is far from reaching the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals — reducing the number of deaths by 90% and TB incidence by 80% compared with 2015. Yet, the latest report for TB elimination calls for reducing TB incidence from 217 per 1,00,000 in 2015 to 142 by 2020 and 44 by 2025 and reduce mortality from 32 to 15 by 2020 and 3 per 1,00,000 by 2025.
  5.  The TB control programme plans to do away with the strategy of waiting for patients to walk in to get tested and instead engage in detecting more cases, both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant.
  6. The emphasis will be on using highly sensitive diagnostic tests, undertaking universal testing for drug-resistant TB, reaching out to TB patients seeking care from private doctors and targeting people belonging to high-risk populations.
  7. The other priority is to provide anti-TB treatment — irrespective of where patients seek care from, public or private — and ensure that they complete the treatment.
  8. The other priority is to provide anti-TB treatment — irrespective of where patients seek care from, public or private — and ensure that they complete the treatment.
  9.  The TB control programme talks of having in place patient-friendly systems to provide treatment and social support. It seeks to make the daily regimen universal.

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answered Nov 2 by prashant1984 (23,320 points)

India slips 21 slots on WEF Gender Gap index 2017

Context- India slipped 21 places on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap index to 108, behind neighbours China and Bangladesh.

Important points of the report-1.  The loss in ranking of India is primarily due to less participation of women in the economy and low wages.

2. India’s latest ranking is 10 notches lower than its reading in 2006 when the WEF started measuring the gender gap.

3. According to the WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2017, India has closed 67% of its gender gap, less than many of its international peers, and some of its neighbours like Bangladesh ranked 47th while China was placed at 100th.

4. A decade of slow but steady progress on improving parity between the sexes came to a halt in 2017, with the global gender gap widening.

An overall 68% of the global gender gap has been closed. This is a slight deterioration from 2016 when the gap closed was 68.3%.

5. At the current rate of progress, the global gender gap will take 100 years to bridge, compared to 83 last year.

6. On a positive note, however, a number of countries are bucking the dismal global trend as over one-half of all 144 countries measured this year have seen their score improve in the past 12 months.

7. At the top of the Global Gender Gap Index is Iceland. The country has closed nearly 88% of its gap. It has been the world’s most gender-equal country for nine years.

Others in the top 10 include Norway (2nd), Finland (3rd), Rwanda (4) and Sweden (5), Nicaragua (6) and Slovenia (7), Ireland (8), New Zealand (9) and the Philippines (10).

8.What did report say about India?- a.India’s greatest challenges lie in the economic participation and opportunity pillar where the country is ranked 139 as well as health and survival pillar where the country is ranked 141.

b.The report attributed much of India’s decline in position on the overall Global Gender Gap Index to a widening of its gender gaps in political empowerment as well as healthy life expectancy and basic literacy.

c.The scale of India’s gender gap in women’s share among legislators, senior officials and managers as well as professional and technical workers highlights that continued efforts will be needed to achieve parity in economic opportunity and participation.

d. In India, the workplace gender gap is reinforced by extremely low participation of women in the economy (136 out of the total 144 countries covered) and low wages for those who work (136th ranking for estimated earned income).

e. On a positive note, India succeeded in fully closing its primary and secondary education enrolment gender gaps for the second year running and for the first time has nearly closed its tertiary education gender gap.

f.However, it continues to rank fourth-lowest in the world on health and survival, remaining the world’s least-improved country on this sub-index over the past decade, the WEF stated.

- WEF is measuring the gap across four pillars — health, education, the workplace and political representation — the global gap has actually widened.


 

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answered Nov 2 by prashant1984 (23,320 points)

Australia comes on board to complete quadrilateral, talks to be held this month

Context- 1.A WEEK after Japan publicly proposed the “quadrilateral dialogue” with India, US and Australia,

Australia has indicated its willingness to be a part of the political-security dialogue between the four democracies .

2. Main aim is to counter China’s aggressive maritime expansion under its Belt and Road Initiative.

Australia View-1. Australia is the last of the four to comment publicly on the “quadrilateral dialogue”, which is likely to take place on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Philippines on November 13-14.

2.Australia supports the new regional forum with US, Japan and India,

-This has been an issue that the four nations have canvassed in the past. Indeed, there was a quadrilateral forum set up earlier but cancelled later.

3. There has been discussion that like-minded democracies should be committed to regional stability and security, and already Australia has regular meetings through the Foreign Ministers and Secretaries of State — with Japan, India and US.

India`s View-1.The Indian government has got the “necessary positive feedback” from the partners .

2. There is some level of enthusiasm to the dialogue, all four sides will have to flesh out the details and arrange a meeting of the key interlocutors.

3.India is open to working with like-minded countries on issues that advance our interests and promote our viewpoint.

4.India is ready to cooperate with countries with convergence, but obviously on an agenda which is relevant to country.

5.India also cited several trilaterals, ranging from Russia-India-China trilateral to India-US-Afghanistan meetings, to show its “broad acceptability”.

USA view-1.The US too had reacted positively to the Japanese proposal. 2.The quadrilateral that the Japan proposed would be building on what has been a very productive trilateral that includes India and Japan,

 Malabar exercise is an example of such cooperation of which Japan is a part.

3.As USA explore ways to deepen and try to inculcate some of the values — freedom of navigation, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, disaster response, transparency — obviously, Australia would be a natural partner in that effort as well.

Way Forward- The idea is for leaders of the four countries to promote free trade and defence cooperation across a stretch of ocean from the South China Sea, across the Indian Ocean and all the way to Africa

  1. There is some level of enthusiasm to the dialogue and all four sides will have to flesh out the details and arrange a meeting of the key interlocutors.
  2. An official level meeting may be started and may be taken up in the hierarch that is, ministerial-level, could even be at leaders’ level (President/ Prime Ministers) etc.
  3. The foreign ministers of the UK and France have also been offered collaborative roles in the partnership.

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answered Nov 2 by prashant1984 (23,320 points)

Various schemes and programs initiated by the Government to achieve the target of Doubling of Farmers’ Income-

- Government has set a target before us to double the farmers’ income by 2022.

- The Ministry of agriculture and animal welfare is working towards achieving the goal. And to achieve this target, the government has advocated a seven-point strategy:

i. Special focus on irrigation with sufficient budget, with the aim of “Per Drop More Crop”.

ii. Provision of quality seeds and nutrients based on soil health of each field.

iii. Large investments in Warehousing and Cold Chains to prevent post-harvest crop losses.

iv. Promotion of value addition through food processing.

v. Creation of a National Farm Market, removing distortions and e-platform across 585 Stations.

vi. Introduction of a New Crop Insurance Scheme to mitigate risks at an affordable cost.

vii. Promotion of ancillary activities like poultry, beekeeping, and fisheries.

-Government has launched a number of schemes and programs to Double Farmers’ Income. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, Soil Health Card, Neem-Coated Urea and e-NAM Schemes are few of our flagship programs that aim to improve the productivity and earnings of our farmers.

-Department of Agriculture, Cooperation, and Farmers Welfare has also constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of CEO, NRAA with members from all related departments and NITI Aayog to examine issues relating to doubling of farmers’ income by the year 2022..

-Change in RKVY guidelines- RKVY guidelines are being changed to include entrepreneur development. DAC&FW has prepared a roadmap for production of pulses to the tune of 24 million tonnes by 2017-18.

A dedicated micro-irrigation fund with an initial corpus of Rs.5000 crore has been set up by NABARD to achieve “Per Dop More Crop”.

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answered Nov 2 by prashant1984 (23,320 points)

Cabinet approves revised price of ethanol under EBP for the Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies

- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the revision in the price of ethanol under Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme for supply to the Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies.

-The revised price of ethanol would be fixed at Rs.40.85/- per litre under EBP and will be applicable for the forthcoming sugar season 2017-18. GST and transportation charges will also be payable additionally.

- The revised price will be applicable during ethanol supply period from 1st December 2017 to 30th November, 2018.

-The approval will facilitate the continued policy of the Government in providing price stability and remunerative prices for ethanol suppliers. It will also help in reducing dependency on crude oil imports, saving in foreign exchange and benefits to the environment.

Background:

-In order to augment the supply of ethanol, the Government in 2014, decided to administer the price of ethanol under EBP Programme.

-The Government fixed the delivered price of ethanol during ethanol supply year 2014-15 & 2015-16 in the range of Rs.48.50 to Rs.49.50 per litre including Central/State Government taxes and transportation charges.

- It improved significantly the supply of ethanol from 38 crore litres during ethanol supply year 2013-14 to 111 crore litres during 2015-16.

-This price was re-examined for ethanol supply year 2016-17 in the context of firming of sugar prices and falling crude prices and consequent under-recoveries of OMCs.

-The Ex-Mill price was revised to Rs.39/- per litre. Additionally, Central/State Government taxes and transportation charges were payable. It is estimated that for ethanol supply year 2016-17, about 65 crore litres of ethanol will be procured.

-Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme was launched by the Government in 2003 which has been extended to the Notified 21 States and 4 Union Territories to promote the use of alternative and environment friendly fuels.

 This intervention also sought to reduce import dependency for energy requirements.

-However, since 2006, OMCs were not able to receive offers for the required quantity of ethanol against the tenders floated by them due to various constraints like State Specific issues, Supplier related issues including Pricing issues of ethanol.

-OMCs have to start the ethanol procurement process for the upcoming sugar season 2017-18 for which ethanol pricing under EBP Programme needs to be decided.

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