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Fastest decline in child mortality rates witnessed

According to the recently released dataNew estimates in levels and trends in child mortality 2014 under five mortality rates have dropped by 49% between 1990 and 2013. However it is still way far behind to reach the global target of two-thirds decrease in under five mortality rate by 2015.

Important observations made by the report:

  • Neonatal deaths account for 44% of all underfive deaths in children. And hence it is considered to be the most vulnerable period(neonatal period: 0 – 27 days).
  • India has the highest number of neonatal deaths in the world.
  • The report says that many of the neonatal deaths can be prevented by simple, cost effective interventions before, during and immediately after the birth.
  • Of the 2.6 million still births in the world, 600,000 take place in India( still birth occurs when the fetus dies in the uterus).

India’s performance:

  • India has performed well in reducing the neonatal mortality rate. It was 37 per 1000 live births in 2003 and by 2012 it was dropped to 29.
  • There has been a consistent decline in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Under-Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) in India. The rate of decline in current decade is higher than in the previous.
  • Six states, namely Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal are likely to achieve the goal(two thirds decrease in under five mortality rate) by 2015.

Measures taken by govt:

  • Promoting institutional deliveries by providing cash transfer incentive, free drug, diagnostic test, diet and free transport facilities.
  • Establishment of New born care corners which provide immediate care for newborns which further enhances the chance of survival.
  • Establishment of special new born care units which care for babies that have very serious conditions.
  • Home visits of newborns by ASHA workers who educate the mothers on breast feeding, the importance of keeping the newborns warm and also identify the sick babies( breastfeeding within an hour of birth can save the 44% of new borns.

    The first breast milk is COLOSTRUM which is thick and nutritious and provides early nutririon, has VITAMIN A, decreases jaundice and transfers antibodies from mother which prevent infections and help in the development).


    (about ASHA:



More on infant mortality rate and India:

Sources: the hindu,, wiki.


Gilead’s deal with Indian generic drug companies

The US pharmaceutical giant Gilead signed agreements with seven Indian generic drug manufacturers licensing them to make its drug sofosbuvir for treatment of the disease Hepatitis C.


It is a medicine used along with other antiviral medicines to treat chronic hepatitis C disease. It has proved to be effective in 90% of the cases.

Hepatitis C:

  • It is a liver disease caused by bloodborne hepatitis C virus. The virus can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis infection.


Mode of infection:

  • Through unsafe injection practices, inadequate sterilization of medical equipment and unscreened blood and blood products.
  • It can also be transmitted sexually, and can be passed from an infected mother to her baby.
  • Hepatitis C is not spread through breast milk, food or water or by casual contact such as hugging, kissing and sharing food or drinks with an infected person.



The incubation period for hepatitis C is 2 weeks to 6 months. Following initial infection, approximately 80% of people do not exhibit any symptoms. Those who are acutely symptomatic may exhibit fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, grey-coloured faeces, joint pain and jaundice (yellowing of skin and the whites of the eyes).

Chronic infection will lead to liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.

As of now, Antiviral treatment is shown to be effective in most of the cases but access to diagnosis and treatment is low.

There is no vaccine available for hepatitis C.

Sources: the hindu,, wiki,




  • It is an atmospheric phenomenon where dust, smoke and other dry particles accumulate in relatively dry air obscuring the clarity of the sky due to scattering of light.
  • Sources of particles include from farming, industry, traffic and wildfire.
  • It is an indicator of high level of pollutants in the air.
  • It may extend upto thousands of kilometres.
  • Haze can be defined as an aerial form of Tyndall effect where waves with shorter wavelenghts scatter more and long waves scatter less.


    Tyndall effect: it is the scattering of light by particles in colloidal solutions or fine solutions. Under the Tyndall effect, the longer-wavelength light is more transmitted while the shorter-wavelength light is more reflected via scattering.

    Example: a beam of light entering through a small hole in a dark room.



ADB to grant Rs.284 cr to Karnataka for municipal projects

Asian development bank is providing $270 million for the North Karnataka Urban Sector Investment Programme.

The North Karnataka Urban Sector Investment Program will help Govt of Karnataka rehabilitate existing urban infrastructure facilities and construct new ones in ULBs of North Karnataka. The Investment Program will assist GoK in meeting its urban sector investment plan and providing water supply systems, sewerage systems, drainage, and urban road resurfacing and junction improvements. The living environment in slums will be improved with the provision of basic services.

About ADB:

Asian development bank is a regional development bank established in 1966 and aimed at improving the economic conditions of the countries in Asia and Pacific. It has 67 members currently.

The ADB offers “hard” loans from ordinary capital resources (OCR) on commercial terms, and the Asian Development Fund (ADF) affiliated with the ADB extends “soft” loans from special fund resources with concessional conditions.

The ADB offers “hard” loans from ordinary capital resources (OCR) on commercial terms, and the Asian Development Fund (ADF) affiliated with the ADB extends “soft” loans from special fund resources with concessional conditions.

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT FUND:Funded by ADB’s member countries, it offers loans at very low interest rates as well as grants to help reduce poverty in ADB’s poorest member countries.

Sources: ET,



Competition Commission of India


  • It is a body established by government of India, responsible for enforcing the competition act 2002 throughout India and to establish a fair competition in market and to regulate the activities that have adverse effects on competition in India.
  • The competition Act prohibits anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position by enterprises and regulates combinations.
  • It consists of a Chairperson and 6 Members appointed by the Central Government.
  • It is the duty of the Commission to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.
  • The Commission is also required to give opinion on competition issues on a reference received from a statutory authority established under any law and to undertake competition advocacy, create public awareness and impart training on competition issues.







Global hunger figures decline by more than 200 million

United nations agencies— The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) — dealing with nutrition issues, confirmed the positive trends in the decreasing global hunger figures.

According to the report, the number of people without enough to eat fell to 805 million in 2012 to 14 from a billion in 1990 to 92.

Eradication of extreme hunger and poverty was one of the eight goals under Millennium developmental goals.

The MDG hunger goal has already been met in East and South East Asia and in Latin America and the Caribbean.

What are Millennium developmental goals?

It is a global partnership, adopted at the millennium summit in 2000 by the UN members, to reduce poverty and achieve other time bound targets, with a deadline of 2015.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the world’s time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions-income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion-while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability. They are also basic human rights-the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter, and security.

Since the adoption, there has been significant progress in many of the goals. But the progress has not been uniform. The progress differs from country to country and even within the country.

Sub Saharan Africa is still lagging behind in many aspects. Asia is the region with fastest growth.


The eight MDGs include:

Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty

Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality

Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases

Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability

Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development.


Sources: the hindu,


Bangladesh–China–India–Myanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation

It is a sub regional organization of Asian nations aimed greater integration of trade and investment.

BCIM Economic Corridor

  • It is an initiative conceptualized for significant gains through sub-regional economic cooperation within the BCIM.
  • The multi-modal corridor will be the first expressway between India and China and will pass through Myanmar and Bangladesh.
  • This corridor would facilitate the cross-border flow of people and goods, minimize overland trade obstacles, ensure greater market access and increase multilateral trade.
  • The proposed corridor will cover 1.65 million square kilometres, encompassing an estimated 440 million people in China’s Yunnan Province, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Bihar in Northern India through the combination of road, rail, water and air linkages in the region.
  • This would mainly benefit the eastern and north eastern regions of India.


    Sources: the hindu, wiki.


Indo Saracenic Architecture

Indo-Saracenic architecture represents a synthesis of Islamic designs and Indian materials developed by British architects in India during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The hybrid, combined diverse architectural elements of Hindu and Mughal with cusped arches, domes, spires, tracery, minarets and stained glass, in a wonderful, almost playful manner.

Robert Fellowes Chisholm (1840-1915), Henry Irwin and Gilbert Scott were among the leading practitioners, of architecture of that time.

lndo-saracenic architecture found its way into public buildings of all sorts such as railway stations, banks and insurance buildings, educational institutions, clubs and museums.

Influences of the Indo-Saracenic wave can also be seen in Lutyens’ design for the viceroy’s residence (now Rashtrapati Bhavan) in New Delhi where also a combination of Mogul and European styles was employed.

lndoSaracenic architecture is often called a “stylistic hybrid” (Michell) architecture. It combines traditional Indian architectural elements, like scalloped arches and onion domes, with traditional British architecture. The mixture of Indian elements with the neo-classical and gothic styles typifies an Indo-saracenic building.

The following are the principal Characteristics of Indo-Saracenic Buildings


Judicial appointments commission bill

Currently President of India appoints under article 124 and 217 appoints the judges of Supreme court & High court after consultation with such judges of SC and of HC as he may deem necessary.

The proposed judicial appointments commission bill seeks to replace the existing collegium system with the National judicial appointments commission wherein the executive will have a say in the appointments.


According to the bill the commission will consist of;

  • Chief justice of India as the chairperson.
  • Members: two senior most judges, union minister of law and justice ,and two eminent persons(nominated by collegium consisting of CJI,PM and leader of the opposition).

    The commission will also look into the matters relating to the transfer of judges.

    in case of appointment of regular judge of High Court, the commission will seek the views, in written form, from governor, Chief Minister and Chief justice of High Court of that particular state.

    Sources: the hindu, wiki,

Mangalore to be first in Karnataka to get NUHM project

About National Urban Health Mission:

It is a sub mission under National Health Mission.

It caters to the needs of the urban poor people by providing them primary health care services and reducing their out of pocket expenses.

This will be achieved through the strengthening of existing health care delivery systems and converging with the already existing programs. Special attention will be given to urban slum dwellers and marginalized sections of the society.

NUHM would endeavour to achieve its goal through:-

i) Need based city specific urban health care system to meet the diverse health care needs of the urban poor and other vulnerable sections.

ii) Institutional mechanism and management systems to meet the health-related challenges of a rapidly growing urban population.

iii) Partnership with community and local bodies for a more proactive involvement in planning, implementation, and monitoring of health activities.

iv) Availability of resources for providing essential primary health care to urban poor.

v) Partnerships with NGOs, for profit and not for profit health service providers and other stakeholders.

NUHM would cover all State capitals, district headquarters and cities/towns with a population of more than 50000.

The centre-state funding pattern will be 75:25 for all the States except North-Eastern states including Sikkim and other special category states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, for whom the centre-state funding pattern will be 90:10.The Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs) sent by the by the states are apprised and approved by the Ministry.

Sources: the hindu.

Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction

  • it is an agency under the ministry of finance, government of India.
  • The BIFR was established under The Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985 (SICA). The board was set up in January 1987 and became functional as of 15 May 1987.
  • The main objective of SICA is to determine sickness and expedite the revival of potentially viable units or closure of unviable units.
  • The government enacted under The Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act based on the recommendations of the committee constituted to suggest a comprehensive special under the chairmanship of Tiwari.
  • SICA applies to companies both in public and private sectors owning industrial undertakings(Government companies were brought under the purview of SICA in 1991).
  • The Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act of 2001-02 placed corporate debt outside the purview of the BIFR.

    Sources: wiki, the hindu,

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