Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Insights Daily Current Events, 24 November 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 24 November 2015


Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Chennai’s new strategy to eliminate TB

Chennai has been chosen as one of two cities in the world where the Zero TB Cities project will try to create an “island of elimination”. Lima in Peru is the other city.

  • The project will be formally launched in Chennai in a few months’ time.
  • With the implementation of this project, Chennai may drastically reduce TB mortality, shrink the number of new cases annually and impact TB prevalence in the city in a matter of 3-5 years.
  • The project will be implemented by the Municipal Corporation of Chennai with the Chennai-based REACH and the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) assisting it.

About the project:

  • The Zero TB Cities project began in 2014. It has earnestly embraced the Zero TB Declaration in 2012 that calls for a “new global attitude” in the fight against TB.
  • Making a marked departure from the current highly ineffectual methods used to tackle the disease, the project envisages a comprehensive tuberculosis elimination strategy at the community level by using all the currently available arsenals.
  • The “island of elimination” strategy does not call for any breakthroughs but only requires a change of mindset and better use of methods and tools that already exist.
  • The main goal of the project is to help communities move to zero deaths from tuberculosis in their own way, and create “islands of elimination”, which will reverse the overall tuberculosis epidemic.
  • The Project is a collaborative effort between Harvard’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and Duke Center for International Development.
  • The very objective of the project is that other cities in India and elsewhere take the initiative in a similar way and tackle their own TB epidemics urgently.

To cut the transmission cycle and reduce mortality, the project intends to fight the TB war in Chennai by actively searching for people with TB disease, providing preventive therapy to people infected with TB and belonging to high-risk groups, controlling TB transmission by routinely using efficient tools for early and accurate diagnosis and providing appropriate therapy immediately, and finally by making sure the right supportive programmes are in place to keep patients on therapy.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Now, COPD to take your breath away

Some recent studies have indicated that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) — a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe — is on the rise in the Capital.

  • Doctors in the city are now being advised to identify and counsel patients who visit them with the problem.
  • According to experts, after pollution, lack of awareness about this condition is the major reason for increased risk of COPD deaths.

About COPD:

  • COPD is a non-communicable lung disease that progressively robs sufferers of breath.
  • Symptoms include shortness of breath or complete breathlessness, chest congestion, wheezing, coughing mucus, excessively scratchy throat, presence of sputum, feeling lethargic and abrupt weight loss.
  • COPD is caused by tobacco, smoking, biomass fuel smoke and exposure to industrial pollution, fumes and environmental pollutants.
  • It is the third leading cause of death worldwide and in India approximately 15 million suffer from COPD.
  • It causes four times more deaths in metro cities of India as compared to the US and Europe due to common tobacco and smoking habits in people and environment pollution.
  • Studies indicate that 25-50% of people with clinically significant COPD don’t even know they have it. That is because the early stages of COPD are often unrecognised.
  • People with existing COPD disease are considered to be at an increased risk of developing morbidities like cardiovascular issues, lung cancer and a variety of other medical anomalies.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

All States but T.N. to roll out Food Security Act by April

Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan recently held discussions with the State food secretaries regarding implementation of the National Food Security Act.

  • Barring Tamil Nadu, all States are ready for implementing the National Food Security Act by April next.
  • Tamil Nadu has not indicated any firm date, but has indicated that computerisation of TPDS is likely to be completed by June, 2016 after which implementation of the Act will be taken up.
  • It is mandatory for the States and Union Territories to adopt digital identification of the beneficiaries, arrange for doorstep delivery of foodgrains and constitute grievance redressal cells before they roll out the scheme.
  • So far, 22 States and Union Territories have rolled out the Act which covers up to 67% of the population.

Union government had given three extensions till September this year for States to roll out the scheme.

About the National Food Security Act, 2013:

Also called as the Right to Food act, this act aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people. It extends to the whole of India.

Important features of the scheme:

  • 75% rural and 50% of the urban population are entitled for three years from enactment to five kg food grains per month at 3 Rupees , 2 Rupees, 1 Rupee per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains (millet), respectively.
  • The states are responsible for determining eligibility.
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers are entitled to a nutritious “take home ration” of 600 Calories and a maternity benefit of at least Rs 6,000 for six months.
  • Children 6 to 14 years of age are to receive free hot meals or “take home rations”.
  • The central government will provide funds to states in case of short supplies of food grains.
  • The state government will provide a food security allowance to the beneficiaries in case of non-supply of food grains.
  • Under the scheme, the eldest woman in the household, 18 years or above, is the head of the household for the issuance of the ration card.
  • There will be state- and district-level redress mechanisms and State Food Commissions will be formed for implementation and monitoring of the provisions of the Act.
  • The poorest who are covered under the Antodaya yojana will remain entitled to the 35 kg of grains allotted to them under the mentioned scheme.

sources: the hindu, pib.


Paper 3 Topic: Disaster Management.

South Asian disaster management exercise

The first “South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise” (SAADMEx) – 2015 was recently inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju.

  • The exercise provides a platform for strengthening regional disaster response mechanism amongst the Saarc countries.
  • The exercise with the participation of delegations and rescuers from each of the eight Saarc Nations – India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka is being conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
  • The key focus of SAADMEx-2015 is to test coordination efforts, create synergy and synchronize efforts to institutionalise regional cooperation on disaster response among the member countries.

sources: pib.




Bamboo state

Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh recently told that the government is committed to develop Mizoram as the ‘Bamboo State of India’. The State of Mizoram is blessed with very high production of bamboo, which can be turned into a major source, not only for furniture but also for paper supply to the rest of the country. This could, not only generate revenue for the State, but also create opportunities for youth outside India. In this regard, an effort to reinforce “Bamboo Development Board” of India has already been initiated by the government.