Insights Daily Current Affairs, 11 February 2017
Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Mission XI Million
With the vision of making football the sport of choice in India, Mission XI Million, the biggest school sport outreach programme was recently launched by the government.
- A first of its kind, the programme will encourage children to play the game of football, gain healthy habits and learn important life lessons in teamwork and sportsman spirit.
- The approach is to work with school principals and sports teachers and encourage and incentivize them to make children play football games on regular basis.
- Designed with international sporting expertise, but keeping in mind the ground realities of our huge and varied country, it aims to instill the passion for football in 11 million children from every part of the country.
- Mission XI Million also equips parents and schools with the equipment and the knowledge about how to make regular play a reality for their wards.
Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
National Productivity Week Celebrations
12th-18th February is celebrated as the ‘National Productivity Week’ every year by the national Productivity Council.
- The theme chosen for this year’s observance is “From Waste to Profits-through Reduce, Recycle and Reuse”.
- As part of the programme, Departmental Secretaries, PSU’s, Industry Associations, Autonomous Bodies, Universities, Local Productivity Councils & NPC Regional Directorates will actively organize workshops, essay/painting/slogan competitions, debates, training programs, etc. during the week to spread the message of productivity amongst all stakeholders.
National Productivity Council, an autonomous body under Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India was established on 12th February, 1958, with the objective of stimulating and promoting productivity and quality consciousness across all sectors in the country.
Paper 1 Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
Haryana joins Rajasthan bid to get Akbar defeated at Haldighati
After attempts by ministers from Rajasthan to get history books rewritten in university courses to say that the battle of Haldighati was won by Maharana Pratap and not by Akbar, few legislators in neighbouring Haryana, too, are keen on amending chapters on this historical event.
The popular view of historians is that the Mughal emperor’s forces had defeated the Rajput king in the battle of Haldighati in 1576.
- Other authoritative texts on medieval history, such as Satish Chandra’s Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals- Mughal Empire (1526-1748), say the Battle of Haldighati was fought between the forces of Akbar led by Man Singh and those of Maharana Pratap, assisted among others by “an Afghan contingent led by Hakim Sur which played a distinctive role”. The battle failed to break the stalemate between Akbar and Rana Pratap, with the latter retreating into the hills of southern Mewar.
- The author also notes that Akbar followed up the battle of Haldighati by coming back to Ajmer, and personally leading the campaign against Rana Pratap. In the process, Goganda, Udaipur and Kumbhalmir were occupied, forcing the Rana deeper into the mountainous tract of south Mewar.
What’s the issue now?
Now, some ministers claim that Akbar was only a foreign invader, and that Rana Pratap actually won the battle.
Paper 3 Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
International IP Index
The 5th Annual International IP Index was recently released. The index is part of the report released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC).
Highlights of the report:
- According to the rankings, India continues to lag behind the rest of the world in IP protections, coming in 43rd place out of 45 countries.
- Out of a total of 35 points, India scores a meagre 8.75, falling significantly behind the median score of 15.39, and average score of India’s regional neighbours, 17.64.
- Only two countries were ranked below India – Pakistan (44th) and Venezuela (45th). The U.S., the U.K., Germany, Japan, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea and Italy completed the top 10 ranks. Among the BRICS countries China was ranked 27th, South Africa (33rd), Brazil (32nd) and Russia (23rd).
Challenges before India:
In addition to its anaemic IPR policy, the report cited challenges with the scope of patentability for computer-implemented inventions, Section 3(D) of the Indian Patent Act, and the recent High Court of Delhi decision regarding photocopying copyrighted content.
- Also, according to the report, India’s key areas of weakness includes that “overall, National IPR Policy does not address fundamental weaknesses in India’s IP framework, limited framework for protection of life sciences IP, patentability requirements being outside international standards and lengthy pre-grant opposition proceedings in place.”
- Another of India’s weaknesses was also that it had “previously used compulsory licensing for commercial and nonemergency situations, limited participation in international IP treaties.”
Although India has made incremental progress, the government needs to build upon the positive rhetoric of its IPR policy with the substantial legislative reforms that innovators need. Reforms can improve its reputation as a destination for doing business, foreign businesses’ ability to invest in and “Make in India,” and India’s own innovative industries.
Besides, India should act to address issues that impact Indian innovation, such as software patentability, life sciences patents, copyright protection and enforcement, and trade secrets protection.
Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
National Deworming Day
India observed its third National Deworming Day on February 10th. It is the world’s largest deworming programme covering 340 million children under-19 years of age across 36 states/ UTs.
- The deworming programme is India’s commitment to a comprehensive national response to the public health threat posed by worms.
National deworming programme:
To combat Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) infections, government has adopted a single day strategy called NATIONAL DEWORMING DAY (NDD). The programme is being implemented through the combined efforts of Department of School Education and Literacy under Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
- During NDD single dose of Albendazole is administered to children from under 1 to 19 years of age group through the platforms of schools and aanganwadi centers. Albendazole is an extremely safe drug that has been used for decades by millions of people around the world and in India, with no or minimal side effects. Side effects such as nausea and vomiting can manifest in the children with high worm load.
India carries the highest burden of worm infestation and 64% of Indian population less than 14 years of age are at risk of Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) or worms’ infestation (WHO). Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) interfere with nutrients uptake in children; can lead to anaemia, malnourishment and impaired mental and physical development. The situation of undernutrition and anaemia which is linked to STH ranges from 40% to 70% in different population groups across the country (WHO). They also pose a serious threat to children’s education and productivity later in life.
Paper 3 Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Nilambur teak set to enter elite club of products with GI tag
Nilambur teak, internationally known for its superior quality and elegant appearance, will soon be added to the list of Kerala produces with the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
- Nilambur teak is popularly known as the Mecca of teak.
The GI tag is an indication which is definite to a geographical territory. It is used for agricultural, natural and manufactured goods. For a product to get GI tag, the goods need to be produced or processed or prepared in that region. It is also essential that the product has special quality or reputation.
In India, GI registration is governed by the Geographical Indications of goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force in September 2003. Darjeeling tea was the first product to accorded with GI tag in India.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims
Official Mascot unveiled for FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017:
- A clouded leopard called Kheleo has been chosen the official mascot of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017.
- The clouded leopard is a vulnerable wild cat whose habitat extends from the Himalayan foothills to mainland Southeast Asia.
- The U-17 WC will be the first FIFA tournament to be hosted by India, and will be played from October 6- 28, 2017.