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Insights Daily Current Events, 10 March 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 10 March 2015

First indigenously developed and manufactured vaccine against Rotavirus

First India-made Rotavirus vaccine was recently launched by PM recently. The vaccine will prevent Rotavirus infection that claims lives of over 1,13,000 infants every year in India, through a highly infectious diarrhoea. It is claimed to be the world’s cheapest vaccine at the rate of around Rs 60 per dose.

Who developed it? It was developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech.

  • The development of the vaccine, at an investment of over Rs 400 crore and over 15 years of research, was partly funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the department of biotechnology and also got support from various international agencies.

Rotavirus:

Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and young children.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Kids with a rotavirus infection have fever, nausea, and vomiting, often followed by abdominal cramps and frequent, watery diarrhea.
  • Kids may also have a cough and runny nose.
  • Sometimes the diarrhea that accompanies a rotavirus infection is so severe that it can quickly lead to dehydration. Signs of dehydration include thirst, irritability, restlessness, lethargy, sunken eyes, a dry mouth and tongue, dry skin, fewer trips to the bathroom to pee, and (in infants) a dry diaper for several hours.

As with all viruses, though, some rotavirus infections cause few or no symptoms, especially in adults.

Transmission:

  • Rotavirus is transmitted by the faecal-oral route, via contact with contaminated hands, surfaces and objects, and possibly by the respiratory route. Viral diarrhea is highly contagious.

Treatment and prevention:

  • Treatment of acute rotavirus infection is nonspecific and involves management of symptoms and, most importantly, maintenance of hydration.
  • Depending on the severity of diarrhoea, treatment consists of oral rehydration, during which the child is given extra water to drink that contains small amounts of salt and sugar.
  • In 2004, the WHO and UNICEF recommended the use of low-osmolarity oral rehydration solution and zinc supplementation as a two-pronged treatment of acute diarrhoea.
  • The RotaTeq vaccine has been found to prevent approximately 75% of cases of rotavirus infection and 98% of severe cases. Another vaccine, Rotarix, also is available and is effective in preventing rotavirus infection.

 

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

 

Saiha district in Mizoram selected for Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao programme

The Government of India’s “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (Save Girl-child, Educate Girl-child) programme, which was announced by Prime Minister, has been formally launched in Northeast and the Saiha District in Mizoram has been selected among 100 districts from across India for this unique initiative.

About BBBP:

Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Andolan is a programme which will help in generating awareness and improving the efficiency of delivery of welfare services meant for women.

  • It is set up with an initial corpus of Rs 100 crore.

Aim:

The adverse and declining child sex ratio (CSR) across the States is a major cause of concern as it has fallen from 927 in 2001 to 918 in 2011. The BBBP seeks to arrest the trend and over time to reverse it.

Implementation:

  • A 100 critical low CSR districts in all States and UTs have been identified for focused and convergent action by the Ministries.
  • The Ministry of WCD is the nodal Ministry for this initiative and will carry out training to stakeholders, community mobilization and sensitization.
  • It will also embark upon a range of advocacy measures and activities, not limited to the 100 low CSR districts but all across the country.
  • All forms of media and social media platforms would be used for this.
  • The key to the success of the initiatives would lie with the communities, States, Panchayats and the local self-Government.

Sources: The Hindu, PIB.

 

Conservation and promotion of Culture through National Culture Fund

The Union Minister of State for Culture recently said that a large number of projects, both in the form of tangible projects like restoration, conservation of old ASI monuments, provision of Tourist Amenities at the historical sites; and intangible projects like capacity building of artisans, training programmes, books publications , cultural events , etc. have been undertaken through the National Culture Fund (NCF) of Ministry of Culture.

National Culture Fund (NCF):

The National Culture Fund was established by the Government of India (Ministry of Culture) as trust under the Charitable Endowments Act, 1890, in 1996.

  • The contributions to NCF are made by the corporate houses to undertake development of Tangible & Intangible heritage on a project mode basis.
  • NCF already has such partnerships with some Corporates like NTPC, ONGC,SAIL , HUDCO , REC , Apeejay Group etc. who have provided funds for such heritage projects.
  • NCF’s primary mandate is to establish & nurture Public Private Partnerships in the field of heritage and mobilize resources for the restoration, conservation, protection and development of India’s rich, natural , tangible and intangible heritage
  • NCF accepts private institutions and individuals as equal partners of the government in the management of the cultural heritage of India.
  • It enables the government to mobilize extra budgetary resources by allowing direct contributions to the NCF account maintained outside the Consolidated Fund of India. All contributions to NCF are given 100% tax exemption under Section 80 G (2) of the Income Tax Act of 1961.
  • The NCF is accountable to each donor in respect of funds donated. The funds can be donated either in Indian currency or any foreign convertible currency.

For further reference: http://ncf.nic.in/ncf_monuments/NCF_Introduction.pdf.

 

Sources: PIB, ncf.nic.in.

 

 

Digital Gender Atlas for girls’ education in India launched

The Department of School Education and Literacy under the Ministry of Human Resource Development recently launched a Web-based tool ‘Digital Gender Atlas for Advancing Girls Education’ with geographical representation of data to help states in policy-making and implementation.

How is it helpful?

  • The tool, which has been developed with the support of UNICEF, will help identify low performing geographic pockets for girls, particularly from marginalised groups such as scheduled castes, schedule tribes and Muslim minorities, on specific gender related education indicators.
  • The Atlas provides comparative analysis of individual gender related indicators over three years and that enables a visual assessment of the change and an understanding of whether some intervention introduced in a geography at a particular point in time has worked or not.
  • The main purpose of the Gender Atlas is to help identify and ensure equitable education with a focus on vulnerable girls, including girls with disabilities. To ensure this is feasible, the Gender Atlas has been developed as a hands-on management tool to enable critical decisions and actions in pockets where gaps are to be met.
  • The new data from the Digital Gender Atlas for Advancing Girls’ Education will help States better channelise their resources to the areas that need it most.
  • The atlas also creates a Vulnerability Index of factors which impinge on girls’ education, including the likelihood of joining the workforce early and early marriage.

The main components of the Gender Atlas are: Composite Gender Ranking, Trend Analysis of Gender Indicators, Vulnerabilities based on educational indicators in districts with substantial tribal, schedule caste, minority population in educationally backward blocks and in left wing extremist districts, and the low sex ratio districts selected under ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ programme.

The new Atlas data shows that:

  • Delhi, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are India’s best-ranked States in terms of gender-related education indicators.
  • Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi and Punjab are in the top 25% of the index’s range for elementary education, and the two Southern states and Delhi make the top quarter of the index for secondary education as well.
  • Central and northern States, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, are among the worst performers.
  • Pockets of backwardness exist in better-off States too. Ramanathapuram, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts in Tamil Nadu do as badly on the composite girls’ education indicator as Barabanki, Bahraich and Shrawasti in Uttar Pradesh. Bangalore’s urban and rural districts do as well as Mumbai or Pune, but the neighbouring district of Tumkur is among India’s worst off districts.
  • The two southern States, along with Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, are the best performers here, with Gujarat, Rajasthan and the central and northern States among the worst.

 

Sources: The Hindu, PIB.

 

Gram Nyayalayas

The Union Law & Justice Minister recently said that the state-wise progress of setting up of Gram Nyayalayas is not so encouraging and impressive.

Gram Nyayalayas:

Gram Nyayalayas or village courts are established under the Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008 for speedy and easy access to justice system in the rural areas of India. The Act came into force from 2 October 2009.

  • However, the Act has not been enforced properly, with only 194 functional Gram Nyayalayas in the country against a target of 5000 such courts.
  • The major reason behind the non-enforcement includes financial constraints, reluctance of lawyers, police and other government officials.

Important features of Gram Nyayalayas:

  • Gram Nyayalaya are established generally at headquarter of every Panchayat at intermediate level or a group of contiguous panchayat in a district where there is no panchayat at intermediate level.
  • The Gram Nyayalayas are presided over by a Nyayadhikari, who will have the same power, enjoy same salary and benefits of a Judicial Magistrate of First Class. Such Nyayadhikari are to be appointed by the State Government in consultation with the respective High Court.
  • A Gram Nyayalaya have jurisdiction over an area specified by a notification by the State Government in consultation with the respective High Court. The Court can function as a mobile court at any place within the jurisdiction of such Gram Nyayalaya, after giving wide publicity to that regards.
  • The Gram Nyayalayas have both civil and criminal jurisdiction over the offences. The pecuniary jurisdiction of the Nyayalayas are fixed by the respective High Courts.
  • Both the Central and the State Government can add or remove items in the Schedule. While the Central Government can amend the list in Schedule I and II, by notifying them and thereafter laying it in the Parliament, the State Government can amend the items in Part III of Schedule I or II, in the areas of law which the state is competent to enact law after due consultation with the respective High Court and notifying it. Such notification has to be laid in the State Legislature.
  • Gram Nyayalayas can follow special procedures in civil matters, in a manner it deem just and reasonable in the interest of justice.
  • Gram Nyayalayas allow for conciliation of the dispute and settlement of the same in the first instance.
  • Gram Nyayalayas has been given power to accept certain evidences which would otherwise not be acceptable under Indian Evidence Act.
  • Appeals in criminal matter can be made to the Sessions Court in the respective jurisdiction and in civil matters to the District Court within a period of one month from the date of judgment.

 

Sources: PIB, Wiki.

 

India can shape the future of Internet, says ICANN chief

In a recent visit to India the CEO of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said that with next billion people on the Internet likely to come from India the country had the power to shape the future of Internet.

ICANN:

  • ICANN, a non-profit organisation, is the global body that oversees operation and administration of the Internet domain name system.
  • ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit partnership of people from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers.
  • ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet.

Sources: The Hindu, icann.org.

 

Insights Secure Prelims 2015

Welcome to Insights Secure Prelims – 2015 initiative. The following questions are based on current events that appear in PIB (Public Information Bureau) and from some important newspapers. For more challenging question papers (Full Length), please join our Preliminary Exam – 2015 Test Series (Please Click Here for Reviews)

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