Insights Current Affairs, 01 November 2017

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Insights Current Affairs, 01 November 2017


 

GS2 Topic: Indian Economy

 

India’s rank rises to 100 in World Bank’s doing Business Report, 2018

 

The World Bank today released the Doing Business (DB) Report, 2018. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is pleased to announce that India ranks 100 among 190 countries assessed by the Doing Business Team.

 

world bank ranking

India has leapt 30 ranks over its rank of 130 in the Doing Business Report 2017.

 

Key facts about DB Report:

  • The DB Report is an assessment of 190 economies and covers 10 indicators which span the lifecycle of a business.
  • India has improved its rank in 6 out of 10 indicators and has moved closer to international best practices.
  • This edition of the report acknowledges India as a top improver, with an improvement of 30 ranks compared to last year’s report, the highest jump in rank of any country in the DB Report, 2018.

 

Reason for improvement:

  • The credit for this significant improvement is credited to the mantra of “Reform, Perform, Transform”
  • A strong leadership has provided the political will to carry out comprehensive and complex reforms, supported by a bureaucracy committed to perform.
  • An extensive exercise is also undertaken to increase awareness among users about reforms to ensure extensive use of newly created systems.
  • Historic jump in ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings is the outcome of the all-round & multi-sectoral reform push of Team India

 

 

Source: PIB

 


 

GS2 Topic: Issues relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

 

Threefold rise in domestic budget for fight against tuberculosis

 

According to a report from the World Health Organisation (WHO), India’s domestic budget for fighting tuberculosis showed a dramatic jump from about ₹700 crore in 2015 to ₹2,500 crore last year.

  • Domestic resources accounted for 74% of the $525 million that was spent in India last year.
  • Typically most of India’s budget to combat the bacterial infection used to be dominated by international funding. But, for the first time this has flipped.

 

tb

Key facts of WHO report 2017 on India’s TB burden

  • With 1.7 million new cases in 2016, India still continues 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).
  • Funding Source: 74% domestic funding and 26% international funding.
  • More men above the age of 15 suffer from TB than women.

 

Why is there increase in budget outlay?

  • In 2016, India recorded a 12% dip in the number of TB deaths from the previous year though the incidence dipped marginally by 1%.
  • Deployment of better diagnostics due to jump in number of notified cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) from 79,000 to 84,000 in 2016.

 

Government’s intervention

  • The government has committed to achieve a ‘90-90-90 target’ by 2035 (90% reductions in incidence, mortality and catastrophic health expenditures due to TB).
  • This is premised on improved diagnostics, shorter treatment courses, a better vaccine and comprehensive preventive strategies.

 

Prevailing issue:

  • TB is still stigmatized and under-reported.
  • Top-line drugs are still inadequate to treat people who suffer from the drug-resistant forms of the disease.

 

MDR-TB

  • The bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB) can develop resistance to the antimicrobial drugs used to cure the disease.
  • Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is TB that does not respond to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most powerful anti-TB drugs.

Source: Hindu

 


 

GS3 TopicIndian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

 

Crypto currencies now come under SEBI lens

 

The rising popularity of crypto currencies and the increasing number of entities looking at raising funds through Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) has caught the attention of the capital market regulator.

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is mulling whether an ICO can be regulated under the existing legal framework or certain amendments would be required.
  • Crypto currencies like bitcoin, ethereum and such offerings have been under government radar for long and discussions have been held between various bodies, including SEBI and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on the possible ways in which this segment can be regulated.
  • The central bank is of the view that these instruments are securities and so SEBI should be the regulating body.
  • Bitcoins are neither ‘commodities derivatives’ nor ‘securities’ under Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956.

bitcoin

 

Initial Coin Offerings (ICO)

  • An ICO, like an equity initial public offer (IPO), is an issuance of digital tokens that can be converted into crypto currencies and are mostly used to raise funds by start-up firms dealing in block chain technology and virtual currencies like bitcoins and ethereum.
  • Unlike an IPO, which is governed by SEBI regulations, there is no regulatory body for ICOs in India.

 

Concerns related to ICOs

China recently banned such offerings after its central bank said that ICOs are “illegal public finance” mechanism used for issue of securities and money laundering.

 

Players in Bitcoin

Start-ups like Zebpay, Unocoin, Coinsecure, Searchtrade, Belfrics and Bitxoxo are some of the well-known players in the bitcoin and blockchain segment in India.

 

Bitcoin

  • Bitcoin is a worldwide crypto currency and digital payment system called the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central repository or single administrator.
  • The system is peer-to-peer, and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary.
  • These transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.

 

Source: Hindu

 


 

GS2 Topic: International Issues

 

200 die at N. Korean n-test site

 

north korea n test

More than 200 people are feared to have died when a tunnel caved in at North Korea’s nuclear test site, triggered by its latest detonation, a Japanese news report said.

  • Experts have warned that the underground tests could cause the mountain to collapse and leak radiation into the atmosphere.
  • The latest test — the sixth at the site since 2006 — triggered landslides in the detonation area and beyond, according to satellite pictures.
  • The blast caused a 3-magnitude earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey, followed a few minutes later by another with a magnitude of 4.1.

 

Source: Hindu

 


 

GS3 Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

 

Climate change and ill-health

 

A new research published by The Lancet medical journal talks of the various ways in which climate change has started affecting the health of people across the planet.

climate_change_health_effects

Report name: ‘The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change’

Report says China, Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia are the countries that have registered the highest number of deaths linked to air pollution.

 

Key facts of Report

  • 46 — the global increase percentage in weather-related disasters since 2000.
  • 50 — Number of years of gain in public health undermined due to anthropogenic climate change.
  • 87 — The percentage of global cities that are in breach of WHO air pollution
  • 129 —Total economic loss in billion dollars due to weather events in 2016.
  • 3 — The average fall in productivity (in %) for rural labour globally since 2000, due to rising temperatures.
  • 9,20,000 — Number of people globally out of the workforce in 2016 due to rising temperatures.
  • 4,18,000 — Number of Indian workforce out of jobs in 2016 due to rising temperatures.
  • 1,000,000,000 — Number of people likely to migrate within 90 years, due to a rise in sea level caused by ice shelf collapse.

 

Source: Hindu

 


 

GS3 Topic: Various Security forces, Agencies and their mandate

 

Nod for buying 111 Navy copters

 

In a major move, the Defence Ministry approved procurement of 111 utility helicopters for the Navy at a cost of ₹21,738 crore.

  • The long-pending proposal was cleared at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister.
  • They said 16 helicopters would be procured at a fly away condition while 95 would be manufactured in India.
  • The procurement of the helicopters would be the first major acquisition made under the strategic partnership model.

helicopter

 

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)

  • To counter corruption and speed up decision- making in military procurement, the government of India in 2001 decided to set up an integrated DAC.
  • It is headed by the Defence Minister.
  • The DAC is responsible to give policy guidelines to acquisitions, based on long-term procurement plans.
  • It also clears all acquisitions, which includes both imported and those produced indigenously or under a foreign license.
  • The objective of the DAC is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces, in terms of capabilities sought, and time frame prescribed, by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.

 

Source: Hindu

 


 

GS2 Topic:  Issues relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

 

Holistic Learning is the need of hour in our Present Education System

 

In a unique initiative to give a boost to the learning of science, technology and mathematics among the youth-especially the school students, Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan (VVM) – a nationwide science talent search examination will be held on 26th November.

 

This programme has been organized by eminent scientists and academicians associated with Vigyan Prasar (VP) – an autonomous organisation under Department of Science and Technology and National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) of Ministry of Human Resources and Development .

 

Significance:

  • The Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan will provide a platform to the India’s generation next to imbibe the values of science and technology for a better future.
  • A record number of over 91,000 students from 2078 centres across the country are expected to take the test on the same day.
  • One of the unique features of this examination is that the test will be conducted online.
  • Students will attend the exam through the various digital devices like, mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop in line with the vision of Digital India Campaign.

 

Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA)

  • It is one of the largest science movement in the country led by eminent scientists
  • It is to inculcate and generate scientific temper, foster excellence in students and nurture and mentor them for their careers in pure sciences.
  • Through VVM programme, India’s generation next will be made aware about the India’s Rich Contribution to Science from ancient period to modern times.

 

Source: PIB

 


 

GS2 Topic: Issues relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

 

President of India inaugurates Global Clubfoot Conference 

 

The President of India inaugurated the Global Clubfoot Conference being organised by the CURE India in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

club foot conference

Clubfoot

  • Clubfoot is one of the most common orthopaedic birth defects.
  • It can cause permanent disability if not treated early.
  • Clubfoot is a birth defect where one or both feet are rotated inwards and downwards.
  • This affects the child’s mobility and confidence. Inevitably, education and schooling suffer – and the child cannot fulfil his or her potential.

 

Source: PIB

 


 

Facts for Prelims

 

  1. Competition Commission of India (CCI)
  • After the Competition Act,2002came into existence a Competition Commission of India (CCI) and Competition Appellate Tribunal (CAT) was established.  This commission was preceded by Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC).
  • Objectives CCI
  • Remove negative competitive practices
  • Promote sustainable market competition
  • Protect the rights of the consumer
  • Protect the freedom of trade in Indian markets
  • Protect the rights of small traders from the large traders to ensure their survival
  • Advice and give suggestions to Competition Appellate Tribunal
  • Run informative campaigns and create public awareness about fair competitive practices.

 

  1. ‘Ex Blue Flag-17’ 
  • A 45 member contingent of the Indian Air Force left for Israel to participate in exercise ‘Blue Flag-17’.
  • Blue Flag is a bi-annual multilateral exercise which aims to strengthen military cooperation amongst participating nations.
  • Indian Air Force is participating with the C-130J special operations aircraft along with Garud commandos.
  • The exercise would provide a platform for sharing of knowledge, combat experience and in improving operational capability of the participating nations.
  • This is the first time the Indian Air Force is operating with Israeli AF in a multilateral exercise setting.

 

  1. 7th Asia Ministerial Energy Roundtable(AMER) in Bangkok, Thailand 
  • India is the current chair of International Energy Forum (IEF) which is promoting the AMER – a biennial event bringing together Energy Ministers and experts from Asian countries.

 

  1. BadRabbit ransomware 
  • On October 24th notifications of mass attacks with ransomware called Bad Rabbit was observed.
  • The BadRabbit attack mainly affected Russia but also caused flight delays at Odessa airport in southern Ukraine and disrupted electronic payments in the Kiev metro.