Insights Daily Current Affairs, 07 October 2017
Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development will be celebrating the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week from 09th to 14th October, 2017. The week is being celebrated in view of the International Girl Child Day on 11th October, 2017.
The theme of the program will be “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week- The Daughters of New India“.
- The week-long celebration will witness various awareness generation activities and community engagement programmes such as Oath ceremonies, prabhat pherries, rallies, nukkad natraks, street plays, joint door to door campaigns by AWWs and ASHAs, etc.
- At the National level, the occasion will also be marked by a Panel Discussion coinciding with the theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl –“Girls Progress=Goals Progress: What Counts for Girls” to engage key sport influencers and women and girls role models from the field, to generate support through their voice and reach.
What you need to know about BBBP?
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme was launched in January, 2015 at Panipat in Haryana.
- The scheme is aimed at promoting gender equality and the significance of educating girls.
- The Scheme is targeted at improving the Child Sex Ratio through multi sectoral interventions including prevention of gender biased sex selection and promoting girls’ education and her holistic empowerment.
- It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development.
Performance of the scheme:
The collective and coordinated efforts undertaken at national, state and districts level has been successful in establishing a substantial improvement in the number of girls being born in the target districts.
- As per the HIMS data for the 161 districts of BBBP, an increasing trend in Sex Ratio at Birth is visible in 104 BBBP Districts during 2016-17 as compared to the period 2015-16. Similarly, 119 districts have reported progress in registration of pregnancies in the first trimester during 2016-17 as compared to 2015-16.
- During the same period, Institutional deliveries against the total reported deliveries have improved in 146 districts in comparison to the previous year.
Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
‘Hypertension high in Kerala, low in Bihar’
According to the study, titled ‘Diet and Nutritional Status of Urban Population in India and Prevalence of Obesity, Hypertension, Diabetes and Hyperlipidaemia in Urban Men and Women’, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become a growing threat to global health. The study assessed the diet and nutritional status of India’s urban population.
- The survey was carried out by the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau during 2015-16 by researchers from the National Institute of Nutrition.
- The study has brought to light the prevalence rates for non-communicable diseases as well as stunting, under-nutrition and obesity in children under 5 years in the 16 States surveyed.
Highlights of the study:
- Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become a growing threat to global health. The increase in incidence of NCDs can be attributed to a change in food habits, sedentary behaviour and unhealthy lifestyles, among other risk factors.
- Kerala has the highest prevalence of hypertension as well as high cholesterol in urban men and women. Puducherry tops the list of States with the highest prevalence of diabetes. Diabetics were the highest in the age group of 60-70 and lowest in the age group of 18-30.
- The southern States were among the 10 with the highest prevalence of obesity among urban adults. Puducherry topped with almost 60% women and 42% men being overweight.
- Tamil Nadu was close behind with 54% men and 38% women recorded as obese. Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh recorded high levels of obesity among its urban men and women.
- Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala were among the top six States which had the most tobacco smokers among urban men.
- While U.P. had the highest (43.6%) proportion of underweight children followed by Madhya Pradesh (32.3%), Puducherry had the lowest (14.2%).
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
Anti-nuclear weapons group Ican wins Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican). Ican has been chosen for its “groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty prohibition” on nuclear weapons. The group will receive nine million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million, £846,000) along with a medal and a diploma at a ceremony in December.
Significance of this decision:
The Nobel Committee’s decision provides a powerful and timely reinforcement of the opprobrium and concern attached to nuclear weapons.
- It comes at a moment when North Korea is actively developing its nuclear programme, the fate of the Iran nuclear deal is in the balance, and the US and Russia are both actively seeking to modernise their nuclear forces.
- There is of course already the Non-Proliferation Treaty under which most countries agreed never to develop nuclear weapons and those that already had them agreed progressively to disarm.
- But campaigners have long been unsatisfied with this process insisting that the nuclear “haves” have no intention of giving up their arsenals.
Ican, a coalition of hundreds of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), is 10 years old and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Ican set about an alternative approach – to raise popular awareness of the issue and to pressure governments to open up a new treaty for signature earlier this year that would seek an outright ban on nuclear weapons.
In July, after pressure from Ican, 122 nations backed a UN treaty designed to ban and eventually eliminate all nuclear weapons. But none of the nine known nuclear powers in the world – including the UK and the US – endorsed it.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
Embryo transfer technology to be used to carry out 440 embryo transfers in cattle in 9 days
In a bid to conserve indigenous breed of cattle, the government has undertaken a Mass Embryo Transfer programme in Indigenous Breeds under the scheme, National Mission on Bovine Productivity.
- The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, in co-operation with 12 states has planned to carry out 440 embryo transfers during October 2 to 10, 2017 throughout the country.
- The programme is implemented with the objective of conservation and development of indigenous breeds under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission.
- Under this programme, embryos of higher genetic merit indigenous bovines are being transferred into surrogate cows.
- Embryos of indigenous breeds such as Sahiwal, Gir, Red Sindhi, Ongole, Deoni and Vechur have been proposed to be transferred under this programme.
Embryo transfer technology (ETT) has revolutionized the breeding strategies in bovines as a tool to optimise the genetic improvement in cattle.
Benefits of using ETT:
- A farmer can get a 5-6 fold increase in the number of offsprings.
- The calves so born will be of high genetic merit.
- The offsprings born will be free from diseases.
About Rashtriya Gokul Mission:
To conserve and develop indigenous bovine breeds, government has launched ‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission’ under the National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development (NPBBD).
The Mission is being implemented with the objectives to: a) development and conservation of indigenous breeds b) undertake breed improvement programme for indigenous cattle breeds so as to improve the genetic makeup and increase the stock; c) enhance milk production and productivity; d) upgrade nondescript cattle using elite indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Deoni, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi and e) distribute disease free high genetic merit bulls for natural service.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
Centre proposes three-year licence for contractors
The government has proposed a major overhaul in the contract labour law. It has proposed changes to the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970. The proposed law is in line with International Labour Organisation Convention 181 [on private employment agencies].
- Contractors will no longer require a licence for undertaking each project. No individual permits required for each project.
- A three-year licence will be given for contractors to work across the country instead of a separate one for new work orders.
- If the contractor wants to work in a single State for up to three years, the permit needs to be obtained from the State Government. However, the contractor will need to inform the government whenever it receives a work order from a company, failing which the licence may be cancelled.
- The proposed law also seeks to make a distinction between contractors who provide services and those who provide human resources. Contractors who provide human resources to a company will no longer be responsible for providing canteen and restroom facilities to the workers.
- If a work order is given to a contractor who has hired employees on payroll, then the workers will not be treated as contract workers under the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act.
- The government has also proposed to make wage payment “primarily” through electronic mode instead of cash payment.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Snow leopard photographed in Arunachal
Scientists have obtained the first evidence of the elusive snow leopard in Arunachal Pradesh. Camera traps have captured images of the big cat at Thembang village’s Community Conserved Area, a community-owned reserve, in West Kameng district.
The presence of the species outside protected areas highlights the importance of community support for conservation as well as landscape-scale planning.
Arunachal Pradesh is one of the 22 priority landscapes of the Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program and while locals and researchers knew that there were snow leopards in the area, scientists had not been able to get photographs thus far.
What is a Community Conserved Area (CCA)?
In 2004, WWF-India introduced the concept of CCAs in the State to empower local communities to become active decision-makers and implement conservation initiatives.
- Local communities in these CCAs form committees to undertake wildlife monitoring, patrolling and community-based tourism activities.
Snow Leopards – Quick Facts:
- The conservation status of snow leopard was recently improved from “endangered” to “vulnerable”.
- They inhabit alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft). In the northern range countries, they also occur at lower elevations.
- Their habitat extends through twelve countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. China contains as much as 60% of all snow leopard habitat areas.
- In India, their geographical range encompasses a large part of the western Himalayas including the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern Himalayas.
- The snow leopard, like all big cats, is listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), which makes trading of animal body parts (i.e., fur, bones and meat) illegal in signatory countries. It is also protected by several national laws in its range countries.
Sources: the hindu.