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Insights Daily Current Events, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014



Renewable Energy- The Government has formulated an Integrated Energy Policy (IEP) covering all sources of energy including renewable energy sources.

The IEP document gives a roadmap to develop energy supply options and increased exploitation of renewable energy sources

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has made a Plan for a capacity addition of about 30,000 MW power during the 12th Plan period (2012-17) from various renewable energy sources mostly through private sector participation in the country

MNRE has also launched Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in January, 2010 aiming to 20,000 MW grid power from solar energy by March 31st 2022.

State Nodal Agencies (SNAs) for renewable energy have been designated by respective State Governments.. The main objectives of these SNAs include:-

To promote renewable energy technologies and create an environment conducive to their commercialization through innovative/pilot projects

Assist Central & State Government in implementation, coordination and monitoring of renewable energy programmes.

Information, dissemination and public awareness through training programmes, publications, exhibitions, seminars and conferences.

Administrative charges up to 5 percent of the Central Financial Assistance is provided towards project/programme sanctioned to the SNA

RNTCP- Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme– one of India’s largest public health achievements. The overall vision of RNTCP is “A TB free India”.

RNTCP or the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program is the state-run tuberculosis control initiative of the Government of India. It incorporates the principles of directly observed treatment-short course (DOTS), the global TB control strategy of the World Health Organization. The program provides, free of cost, quality anti-tubercular drugs across the country through the numerous Primary Health Centers and the growing number of private-sector DOTS-providers RNTCP is Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) applying the principles of DOTS to the Indian context.
In the first phase of RNTCP (1998-2005), the programme’s focus was on ensuring expansion of quality DOTS services to the entire country. There are many challenges remaining that are to be addressed in order to achieve the TB-related targets set by the Millennium Development Goals for 2015 and to achieve TB control in the longer term.

The RNTCP has now entered its second phase in which the programme aims to firstly consolidate the gains made to date, to widen services both in terms of activities and access, and to sustain the achievements for decades to come in order to achieve ultimate objective of TB control in the country.

Quinoa- The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has officially declared that the year 2013 be recognized as “The International Year of the Quinoa.

Proposed by the government of Bolivia and receiving strong support from many Central and South American countries, quinoa has now been singled out by the FAO as a food with “high nutritive value,” impressive biodiversity, and an important role to play in the achievement of food security worldwide

Researchers have recently taken a close look at certain antioxidant phytonutrients in quinoa, and two flavonoid—quercetin and kaempferol—are now known to be provided by quinoa in especially concentrated amounts

It contains list of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in quinoa. This unique combination of anti-inflammatory compounds in quinoa may be the key to understanding preliminary animal studies that show decreased risk of inflammation-related problems (including obesity) when animals are fed quinoa on a daily basis

In comparison to cereal grasses like wheat, quinoa is higher in fat content and can provide valuable amounts of heart-healthy fats like monounsaturated fat (in the form of oleic acid).


Monosaturated fats In biochemistry and nutrition, monounsaturated fats or MUFA (Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acid) are fatty acids that have one double bond in the fatty acid chain and all of the remainder of the carbon atoms in the chain are single-bonded. By contrast, polyunsaturated fatty acids have more than one double bond.

Allegedly, polyunsaturated fats protect against cardiovascular disease by providing more membrane fluidity than monounsaturated fats, but they are more vulnerable to lipid per oxidation (rancidity). On the other hand, some monounsaturated fatty acids (in the same way as saturated fats) may promote insulin resistance, whereas polyunsaturated fatty acids may be protective against insulin resistance.

Monounsaturated fats are found in natural foods such as red meat, whole milk products, nuts and high fat fruits such as olives and avocados. Olive oil is about 75% monounsaturated fat. The high oleic variety sunflower oil contains as much as 85% monounsaturated fat. Canola oil and Cashews are both about 58% monounsaturated fat

The Mediterranean Diet is one heavily influenced by monounsaturated fats. People in Mediterranean countries consume more total fat than Northern European countries, but most of the fat is in the form of monounsaturated fatty acids from olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids from fish, vegetables, and certain meats like lamb, while consumption of saturated fat is minimal in comparison.


India-China Defence and Security Dialogue

Both sides exchanged views on a number of regional and global security issues of mutual concern. In particular, issues concerning the security situation in South Asia, the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean region were discussed.

Both sides agreed that strengthening of strategic consultation and communication would facilitate sharing of perspectives and mutual understanding in the evolving regional security situation.


The two sides noted that 2014 has been designated as the ‘Year of Friendly Exchanges’ between both sides and agreed to continue to expand the exchanges between the Armed Forces of both sides so as to foster mutual trust and understanding.

Leadership of both countries has recognized the maintenance of peace and tranquility on the border as an important guarantor for the development and growth of the bilateral relationship between both countries and it was decided that both sides should continue to take suitable measures in this direction.

A senior level exchange between the Directorates General of Military Operations would be conducted in India in 2014, during which both sides would discuss practical measures for management of border issues.

Both sides took note of the successful conduct of the Joint Army exercise in China in 2013 and agreed to conduct the next joint Army exercise in India in 2014.

Other agreed measures the strengthening of maritime security cooperation between Navies; officer exchanges and professional interactions at various levels of all Services and exchanges in the areas of peacekeeping, counter terrorism and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.


Bilateral meeting held between Health Secretaries of India and UK –

MoU regarding cooperation in the field of health sector between India and the UK, which was signed in 2013,

The MoU comprises development of a joint work programme with a set of defined , time specified, activities over a five year period, with the aim to improve collaboration between India and UK and learn from each other’s experience

The priority for the DFID (UK) – Government of India partnership has been improvement of maternal and child health and reducing the burden of communicable diseases

The areas identified for cooperation in the MoU include:

Promoting exchange on healthcare policy in India and the United Kingdom

Human resources for health

Regulatory issues

Health technology development

Primary healthcare

Strengthening of public health infrastructure and capacity

Health security, including cooperation on infectious diseases, emerging infections and drug resistance

Building on comparative strengths of India and the United Kingdom to work together to improve healthcare services and capacity in other developing countries.