To protect each and every child in the country from vaccine preventable diseases and reduce child mortality
(Topic: Issues related to health)
About: Government is committed to reducing morbidity and mortality in children. Strengthening routine immunization is an essential investment in India’s children and will ensure a healthy future of the country.
Importance of immunization in India
- Diarrhoea is one of the biggest killers in children and Rotavirus is one of the most common causes of severe diarrhoea in children less than 2 years of age.
- Rotavirus vaccine along with proper sanitation, hand washing practices, ORS and zinc supplementation will go a long way in reducing the mortality and morbidity due to diarrhoea in children.
- Government is committed to increasing the full immunization coverage and ensuring that the benefit of the life-saving vaccines is provided to every child.
- The fourth phase of Mission Indradhanush has already begun in North-eastern states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura and will be rolled out in rest of the country in April 2017.
- Rotavirus vaccine has been developed indigenously, under a public-private partnership by the Ministry of Science and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare under ‘Make in India’
Telecom Exports from India to be the focus of ASEAN-India Digital Partnership
(Topic: International Relations)
About— To commemorate the 25th year of the ASEAN India relations, TEPC (Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council) is organised an inter-ministerial meeting between telecom ministers of ASEAN countries and India.
- India has expressed keen interest to partner with ASEAN countries in enabling Digital Connectivity between India and ASEAN region and also for enabling broadband within ASEAN countries.
- These digital connectivity projects are of strategic importance and can have a transformative impact on the economy and cooperation between ASEAN and India.
- India has committed to provide financial as well as technological support for projects that could include-high-speed fiber optic networks, digital villages, rural broadband, national knowledge network, secured communication networks and telecom training and skill development.
- Indian companies who have created world-class products and solutions, which are not only of the highest quality and are also very cost-competitive, are keen to export to customers in ASEAN region, who have similar requirements like India.
- (Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council) TEPC is organizing its flagship event “India Telecom 2017: An Exclusive International Business Expo” This event will witness more than100 foreign high profile ICT industry delegates from 30+ countries.
- The main objective of the event is to provide opportunities to Indian telecom exporters including SMEs and Startups to meet qualified overseas buyers.
- This event provides one to one meeting opportunities between buyers from different countries and Indian exporters who can enlighten them about their products and technology solutions.
‘SAATHIYA’ Resource Kit and ‘SAATHIYA SALAH’ Mobile App for Adolescents
(Topic: Issued related to health)
About— SAATHIYA Resource Kit including ‘Saathiya Salah’ Mobile App for adolescents, as part of the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) program. One of the key interventions under the programme is introduction of the Peer Educators (Saathiyas) who act as a catalyst for generating demand for the adolescent health services and imparting age appropriate knowledge on key adolescent health issues to their peer groups.
- Our country is home to 253 million adolescents which is largest in the world in terms of absolute numbers and when RMNCH programs were launched globally, India was the first country to add the ‘+A’ i.e. adolescent component to the RMNCH, making it RMNCH+A program.
- Adolescents are the critical mass of asset which in future would be the biggest dividends to the country’s economy; thereby their health and wellness are of utmost priority.
- To address and cater to the health and development needs of the country’s adolescents.
- Kit is being launched to enable the 1.6 lakhs Peer Educators towards taking their job forward and answering all the queries in the minds of an adolescent.
Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH)
- RMNCH+A approach has been launches in 2013 and it essentially looks to address the major causes of mortality among women and children as well as the delays in accessing and utilizing health care and services.
- The RMNCH+A strategic approach has been developed to provide an understanding of ‘continuum of care’ to ensure equal focus on various life stages.
- The RMNCH+A appropriately directs the States to focus their efforts on the most vulnerable population and disadvantaged groups in the country.
- It also emphasizes on the need to reinforce efforts in those poor performing districts that have already been identified as the high focus districts.
Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration
(Topic: Role of civil services in a democracy)
Following priority programmes have been identified for awards under the scheme.
- Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)
- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
- Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY)
- e – National Agriculture Market (e-NAM)
- Standup India/ Startup India
MoU signed for welfare of Handicraft Artisans belonging to Scheduled Castes
(Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections)
About: Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment have come together to step up interventions for the economic development of an estimated 12 lakh scheduled caste artisans.
- Need assessment and gap identification through popularising various schemes by holding awareness camps
- Extensive need-based skill up gradation in the identified clusters having dominant presence of Scheduled Caste artisans, in the field of innovative and market-friendly designs, and adoption of modern tools and techniques
- Enhanced participation of Scheduled Caste artisans and their producer groups in domestic and international marketing events
- Working capital credit for Scheduled Caste artisans at concessional rates, by combining the benefits provided by Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
Successful assessment of National Regulatory Authority
(Topic: Issued related to health)
About— WHO congratulates India on successful assessment of India’s National Regulatory Authority.
- WHO has termed the 100% compliance in the WHO assessment (benchmarking) of the Indian vaccine regulatory system as another ‘landmark achievement’.
- introduction of newer vaccines in the country’s full immunisation basket through the nationwide introduction of pentavalent vaccine, and the phased roll-out of Rotavirus vaccine and Measles Rubella vaccine, India shall meet all its global commitments in the healthcare sector as a result of these focussed endeavours.
- In addition, Mission Indradhanush has strengthened the full immunisation drive of the Government.
- WHO accords high importance to equitable access to quality, safe, efficacious, and affordable medical and health products.
- In view of India being one of the main global suppliers of drug and biological medicinal products including vaccines, medical devices, and traditional medicines, and as it is supplying several vaccines to UN agencies, the ‘successful assessment will go a long way in strengthening global confidence in medical products from India’.
- A fully functional NRA is a pre-requisite for WHO prequalification of vaccines.
- One of the requirements to become eligible and retain prequalification status is to have the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) assessed as functional against the WHO published NRA indicators.
- Recently, WHO has completed the assessment of the status of the Indian vaccine regulatory system against WHO NRA Global Benchmarking Tool (GBT) for benchmarking and measured the maturity of the system.
Ministry of Road Transport’s New Format for Reporting Accidents
(Topic: Government Policies and Schemes)
About— An expert committee was constituted by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to review the format for reporting of road accidents. The committee headed by Senior Adviser of the Transport Research Wing and consisting of experts from IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, WHO, senior officers from the Police and Transport Departments of States, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, submitted its recommendations, which have also been accepted by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
Salient features of the new format
- At present reports are collected from police stations and State Governments send their report to the Centre. New format would fill in gaps in reporting of accidents by minimizing subjectivity.
- GPS detail will enable to understand the road design at site, vehicle analysis and also person related details would help in analysing the accidents.
- The recording of accident data is done in FIRs at police stations. These records are liable to be subjective as the police personnel fill it up according to their understanding and assign reasons for accidents as per their interpretation.
- A uniform accident Recording Format to be adopted by the police in all states and UTs. The accident Recording Form has five sections designed to capture all relevant information like accident identification/location, road condition, vehicles involved and victim details.
Standard Operating Procedure for protection and care of children in street situations launched
(Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections)
About— A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Care and Protection of Children in Street Situations for their rehabilitation and safeguarding was released by Minister for Women & Child Development
Purpose of SOP
- SOP at streamlining the interventions within the current legal and policy framework. The purpose is to identify processes that should be set in motion once a child on the street has been identified as a child in need.
- Children living in the streets are among the most vulnerable groups. Most of these children have little or no adult supervision and protection. They also do not have access to education and basic health care living a life of struggle for survival.
- The lack of basic care and protection exposes them to abuse, exploitation and neglect depriving them of the most basic human rights.
- By 2030, 40% of India’s population is expected to be living in urban areas which mean that child population in streets will continue to grow. Therefore, it is important to integrate the needs of children in street situations into urban policies and planning.
- A 2016 survey by Save the Children in Lucknow, Mughalsarai, Kolkata- Howrah, Patna and Hyderabad found 84,563 children living on the streets. An older study by the same organization in Delhi put their number at 50,000.
National Health Mission
(Topic: Issued related to health)
About— It is India’s flagship health sector programme to revitalize rural and urban health sectors by providing flexible finances to State Governments.
It has 4 components
- National Rural Health Mission
- National Urban Health Mission
- Tertiary Care Programmes
- Human Resources for Health and Medical Education
- NHM brought together the two Departments of Health and Family Welfare at National and State level.
- Integration of the disease control programmes into the NHM framework.
- Innovations such as flexible financing, monitoring of Institutions against Indian Public Health Standards, Capacity Building at the State, District and Panchayat Samiti levels into the implementation of Health Sector Programmes in India.
- Programme Implementation Plans of the State Health Societies on an annual basis with specific resource allocations under the major heads of RCH Flexi Pool, the NRHM Flexi Pool, the Flexi Pool for Communicable Diseases and the Flexi Pool for Non Communicable Diseases
- Priority focus of NHM is Reproductive and Child Health services.
- The successful implementation of Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) and Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) programmes had a significant impact in behavioural changes.
- The ASHA workers act as mobilizers for institutional deliveries focus on integrated management of neonatal and childhood illness and advice on home based neo-natal care.
- NRHM flexi pool resources were utilized to create adequate infrastructure at public health institutions to cope with the heavy rush of maternity cases.
- At the Primary Health Centre (PHC) and Community Health Centre (CHC) level Rogi Kalyan Samitis have been activated to establish systems of oversight over the public health facilities for creating a patient friendly institution.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare added two new programmes to NHM
Mission Indradhanush– it has demonstrated good progress in improving immunization coverage by over 5% in the just one year.
Kayakalp– launched in 2016 to inculcate the practice of hygiene, sanitation, effective waste management and infection control in public health facilities.
Government reduces 56 labour registers to only 5 for 5.85 crore establishments
(Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections)
About: The Government has simplified the maintenance of Labour registers of about 5.85 crore establishments in agriculture and non- agriculture sectors. These registers are related to details of employees, their salaries, loans/recoveries, attendance etc. This exercise will drastically reduce the number of registers being maintained by these establishments from 56 to only 5 by doing away with overlapping/redundant fields. This will help these establishments to save cost and efforts and ensure better compliance of Labour Laws.
- Under various Central Labour Acts, there is a requirement of maintenance of registers depending upon the threshold of the number of employees by the establishments in agriculture and non-agriculture sectors.
- As per the Sixth Economic Census of Central Statistical Office conducted during 2013-2014, India has about 5.85 Crore establishments in agricultural and non-agricultural sectors combined. Out of this, 4.54 Crore establishments are in non-agricultural sector. While reviewing the requirement of filing various returns / registers/forms provided under 9 Central Acts, there were several overlapping/ redundant fields that could be rationalized.
- An intention notification was for reducing the number of registers/data fields and the same was widely circulated to concerned Ministries / Departments, State Govts., other stakeholders besides placing the same in public domain.
- In effect, all previous registers envisaged under various Acts / Rules have been omitted and replaced with only 5 common Registers. Such an exercise has reduced number of data fields in 5 registers to only 144 from the then existing 933 fields in 56 registers.
The Labour Laws under which these registers are maintained include:
- The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996
- The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970
- The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
- The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979
- The Mines Act, 1952
- The Minimum Wages Act, 1948
- The Payment of Wages Act, 1936
- The Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976
- The Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1955
India’s Western Regional Agriculture Fair – 2017
About: India’s Western Regional Agriculture Fair – 2017 inaugurated in Bikaner, Rajasthan.
Schemes for promotion of agricultural sector.
- Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana to channelise maximum potential for irrigation and to get rid of the problems related to drought. The scheme aims at water for every farm.
- Soil Health Card Scheme– farmers will be capable to get the knowhow of nutritious elements existed in their soil resulting in better production on their farms.
- Targeted for making the farmers income double in the next five years.
- Establishment of National Agriculture Mandi E-NAM portal is a revolutionary initiative for the farmers with which farmers can sale their agricultural products on better prices in any of the mandis.
- A separate fund has been set up amounting to Rs. 20,000 crores meant for irrigation with the assistance of NABARD.
- Till 2013-14 under National Food Security Mission, only 3 crops – rice, wheat and pulses were covered. Now, seven crops viz. rice, wheat, pulses, jute, sugarcane, cotton and cereals have been covered under the mission.
- Rashtriya Gokul Mission has been initiated with the allocation of Rs. 500 crore for preserving and promoting the domestic species of bovines under National Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development Programme.
- National Bovine Productivity Mission has been started in November 2016 with the amount of Rs. 825 crores. This scheme is comprised of four components – Pashudhan Sanjivini Nakul Swasthya Patra, Unnat Prajanan Taknik, Rashtriya Desi Nasal Genomic Kendra, e-Pashudhan Haat.
- Government of India has taken a decision to celebrate 3rd December as Agriculture Education Day to commemorate the anniversary of 1st President and Agriculture Minister of India, Bharat Ratna, Rajendra Prasad, for inspiration of youth.
- It has been decided to celebrate 15th October as Women Agriculture Day.
Government to Come up With its own Study to Assess Impact of Pollution on Human Health
(Topic: Environmental pollution and degradation)
About: The Government is to come up with its own study with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to assess the trends and impact of pollution on human health.
Various sources of pollution and actions taken by the Government for their management
- Notification on Graded Response Action Plan to address different levels of air pollution in National Capital Region.
- The Government is closely monitoring the trend of various air pollutants across the country under the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme.
- The Monitoring network comprises manual stations spread over 300 cities in 29 States and 6 Union territories.
- Apart from manual stations, there are 54 Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations that cover 33 cities in 12 states. The monitoring network is being expanded to cover all metro cities and capital towns.
- The result of the monitoring shows that, while the levels of Particulate Matters have a fluctuating trend, the value of SO2 is generally within permissible limits, while the value of NO2 is fluctuating and slightly above the permissible limits.
- The value of Particulate Matter is the main concern and the Government has been taking all necessary measures to mitigate this problem in a systematic manner.
NDMA’s ‘Guidelines for Preparation of Action Plan – Prevention and Management of Heat-Wave’
(Topic: Disaster Management)
About: NDMA prepares States to deal with Heat Wave 2017
- Heat-wave is defined as the condition where maximum temperature at a grid point is 3?C or more than the normal temperature, consecutively for 3 days or more. If the maximum temperature of any place continues to be more than 45° C consecutively for two days, it is called a heat wave condition.
Heat Wave and Disaster Management
- Heat-wave has not been notified as a disaster by Government of India yet.
- Heat wave is not notified in the list of twelve disasters eligible for relief under National/ State Disaster Response Fund norms.
- However, a State Government may use up to 10 per cent of the funds available under the SDRF for providing immediate relief to the victims of natural disasters that they consider to be “disasters? within the local context in the State.
NDMA’s Guidelines for Preparation of Action Plan – Prevention and Management of Heat-Wave, 2016
- Extreme heat waves will become more common worldwide because of rising average global temperature.
- Heat wave killed about 3000 people in 1998 and more than 2000 in 2002. Heat wave caused over 2000 deaths in 1998 in Odisha and more than 1200 deaths in 2002 in southern India. More than 2400 people died in the heat wave of 2015.
- The increased occurrences and severity of heat-wave is a wake-up call for all agencies to take necessary action for prevention, preparedness and community outreach to save the lives of the general public, livestock and wild life.
Key Strategies are
- Establish Early Warning System and Inter-Agency Coordination to alert residents on predicted high and extreme temperatures
- Capacity building / training programme for health care professionals at local level
- Public Awareness and community outreach to protect against the extreme heat-wave through print, electronic and social media and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials.
- Collaboration with non-government and civil society
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