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Insights Daily Current Events, 10 February 2016

Insights Daily Current Events, 10 February 2016

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

Shri J P Nadda launches National Deworming initiative

As part of the National Deworming initiative to benefit more than 270 million children, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda on February 9th, 2016 launched the 2nd National Deworming Day at a function in Telengana.

Background:

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had first launched National Deworming Day (NDD) in 2015 which was implemented in 11 States and Union Territories (UTs) covering all Government and Government-aided schools and Anganwadi centres targeting children aged 1 to 19 years.
  • Now, the initiative will be extended to cover the whole country.

Aim of the Initiative:

It is aimed at protecting more than 24 crore children in the ages of 1-19 years from intestinal worms.

  • Through this initiative, the government aims to create mass awareness about the most effective and low-cost Soil- Transmitted Helminths (STH) treatment— administering Albendazole tablets.
  • Along with Albendazole administration, behaviour change practices in terms of cleanliness, hygiene, use of toilets, wearing shoes/chappals, washing hands etc. is also important to reduce incidents of re-infection.

About Intestinal parasitic worms:

  • They are large multicellular organisms, which when mature can generally be seen with the naked eye. They are also known as Helminths.
  • They are often referred to as intestinal worms even though not all helminths reside in the intestines.

Why this is a cause for concern:

  • Parasitic worms in children interfere with nutrient uptake, and can contribute to anaemia, malnourishment, and impaired mental and physical development.
  • Parasitic worms have also debilitating consequences on the health and education of children, and on their long-term earning potential.
  • According to the 2012 report ‘Children in India’, published by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, 48% of children under the age of 5 years are stunted and 19.8% are wasted, indicating that half of the country’s children are malnourished.

Significance of this initiative:

  • School-based mass deworming program is safe, cost-effective, and can reach millions of children quickly.
  • Deworming has also been shown to reduce absenteeism in schools; improve health, nutritional, and learning outcomes; and increase the likelihood of higher-wage jobs later in life.

It should be noted here that India has the highest burden of parasitic worms in the world.

sources: the hindu.


 

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

Petroleum Minister releases Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for North-East

The Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has released the Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for north-east India.

  • This vision document outlines steps to leverage the hydrocarbon sector for development of the North- East region.
  • The Vision Document has been a focused and consultative exercise to develop a common and shared aspiration for benefiting people of the north east region.

The Vision aims at doubling Oil & Gas production by 2030, making clean fuels accessible, fast tracking projects, generating employment opportunities and promoting cooperation with neighbouring countries.

Objectives of the vision document:

  • To leverage the region’s hydrocarbon potential, enhance access to clean fuels, improve availability of petroleum products.
  • To facilitate economic development and to link common people to the economic activities in this sector.

Details:

  • The states covered under this vision include Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
  • The Vision rests on five pillars: People, Policy, Partnership, Projects and Production. For people, it foresees clean fuel access to households alongside fostering skill development and involvement of the local community.
  • The policy focus areas include moderation in light of specific terrain and weather conditions of the region coupled with ensuring fund planning for new projects.
  • As for partnership, the stress is on greater involvement of state governments in planning and implementation, and on boosting trade with neighbouring nations.
  • In projects, the focus is on pipeline connectivity for carrying liquefied petroleum gas, natural gas, and petroleum products, oil and lubricants; building refineries and import links; and development of compressed natural gas highways and city gas distribution network.
  • The production side emphases include production enhancement contracts, technology deployment and fast-track clearance, and development of service provider hubs.

sources: pib.


 

Paper 3 Topic: cyber security.

Obama launches cyber-security ‘action plan’

US President Barack Obama recently unveiled a new cyber-security “national action plan”.

  • The president has also called for an overhaul of aging government networks and a high-level commission to boost security awareness.

Significance of this plan:

  • The announcement responds to an epidemic of data breaches and cyber attacks on both government and private networks in recent years, and passage last year of a cyber-security bill that aims to facilitate better threat sharing.
  • The moves also come after disclosures last year that personal data from some 20 million federal employees, contractors and others had been leaked in a massive breach at the Office of Personnel Management.

Details:

  • Under this plan, Mr. Obama has asked for $19 billion for cyber-security efforts, a 35% increase from current levels, with $3 billion earmarked to help modernise the patchwork of computer systems used in government agencies.
  • An executive order for creating a 12-member cyber-security commission to make recommendations to both the public and private sectors has also been issued. The panel is to issue a report to the President by December 1.

sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Maharashtra tops Internet readiness index: report

According to the recently released, ‘Index of Internet Readiness of Indian States’, Maharashtra has emerged as the top ranking state in terms of the overall Internet readiness index, followed by Karnataka, Gujarat, Telengana and Tamil Nadu, according to a report released.

  • The report was published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Indicus Analytics.

Performance of various states:

  • Among the smaller states, Delhi has emerged as the topmost state, followed by Puducherry and Goa.
  • Even among the smaller states, those in northeast India do not figure among the top three. Hence, the report notes, much more needs to be done in the form of investment and infrastructure development in this region.
  • Among the Union Territories, Chandigarh is ranked at the top in terms of Internet readiness index.

The report also notes that Internet readiness in this study is not limited to how industry-friendly each state is for investment in IT, but aims to give a more holistic picture of the digital ecosphere that presently exists in the states.

About the Index:

  • The Internet readiness index is a composite index on components like e-infrastructure index, e-participation index, IT services and e-governance index.
  • The purpose of the Internet Readiness report is to help business and governments to leverage the strength, and policy measures can also be taken where improvements are required.
  • Given the rapid advancement in e-services and e-commerce, it is essential to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the states.

sources: the hindu.