Insights Daily Current Affairs, 24 May 2018
Topic: mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Context: Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD-Divyangjan Shashaktikaran Vibhag), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) for the Financial Year 2018-19. It covers major developments to be achieved in this year for the Empowerment of Divyangjan of the country.
- ALIMCO is a “Not For Profit” Central Public Sector Undertaking working under the administrative control of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
- For past 40 years, it has been relentlessly manufacturing various types of aids and appliances on mass scale to meet the requirements of PwDs including orthopedically, visual and hearing impaired etc.
- Since its inception, it has been serving on an average around two lakhs of disabled population every year and has supplied 42 lakhs of aids & appliances (approx.).
Need for their empowerment:
A country can truly progress only when it is able to build an all-inclusive society, in which equal opportunities are provided for the growth and development of Persons with Disabilities so that they can lead productive, safe and dignified life.
- For Prelims: ALIMCO.
- For Mains: Empowerment of Divyangjan- need and government initiatives in this regard.
Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.
India’s 1st Sports University In Manipur
Context: The Union Cabinet has approved an ordinance to set up the country’s first national sports university in Manipur. A bill to set up the university in Imphal is already pending in parliament. The ordinance will be on the lines of the bill introduced in Lok Sabha in August, 2017.
Highlights of the Bill:
Establishment of the University: The Bill establishes a National Sports University located in Manipur. It will promote sports education in the areas of: (i) sports sciences, (ii) sports technology, (iii) sports management, and (iv) sports coaching. It will function as a national training centre for select sports disciplines. It may also establish campuses and study centres in other parts of the country. The University will be empowered to grant degrees, diplomas and certificates.
Objectives: The key objectives of the University are: (i) research, development and dissemination of knowledge in physical education and sports sciences, (ii) strengthening physical education and sports training programmes, (iii) generating knowledge capabilities, skills and competence at various levels, and (iv) training talented athletes to help them to evolve into international level athletes.
Authorities of the University: The Bill provides for several authorities under the University. These include: Court, Executive Council, Academic and Activity Council, Board of Sports Studies etc.
Role the central government: The central government will review and inspect the functioning of the University. The Executive Council may take action based on the inspection report. If it fails to take action to the satisfaction of the central government, it will have to comply with the directions issued by the central government. Further, the central government may annul any proceeding of the University which is not in line with the Act.
Funding: The University will be required to maintain a fund which will be credited with the funds that it receives from the central government, state government, and fees and money received from any other sources (grants and gifts). All funds of the University will be invested as decided by the Board on the recommendation of the Finance Committee.
Significance of the move:
Setting up of National Sports University in Manipur will result in giving an opportunity for youth of country in general and of North Eastern States in particular for pursuing courses such as B.PEd, MPEd, Diploma / certificate courses in coaching, physiotherapy, fitness, sports management, sports journalism, etc.
For Prelims and Mains: Salient features of the Bill.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
Nepal: first country in South-East Asia validated for eliminating trachoma
Context: The World Health Organization (WHO) has validated Nepal for having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem – a milestone, as the country becomes the first in WHO’s South-East Asia Region to defeat the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness.
Trachoma was the second leading cause of preventable blindness in Nepal in the 1980s. In 2002, the Government of Nepal stepped up efforts to eliminate the disease with the establishment of a national trachoma programme. From 2002 to 2005, following the implementation of sustained control activities, the prevalence of active (inflammatory) trachoma fell by 40%.
What is it? Trachoma is a chronic infective disease of the eye and is the leading cause of infective blindness globally. Trachoma is a disease of poor environmental and personal hygiene and inadequate access to water and sanitation.
It affects the conjunctiva under the eyelids. Repeated infections cause scarring leading to in-turning of the eyelashes and eyelids. This further causes damage to the cornea and blindness.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential.
Context: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, recently chaired his twenty-sixth interaction through PRAGATI – the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.
The 25 PRAGATI meetings so far have seen a cumulative review of 227 projects with a total investment of over Rs. 10 lakh crore. Resolution of Public Grievances has also been reviewed across a range of sectors.
What is it?
PRAGATI is a unique integrating and interactive platform. The platform is aimed at addressing common man’s grievances, and simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Government of India as well as projects flagged by State Governments.
- The PRAGATI platform uniquely bundles three latest technologies: Digital data management, video-conferencing and geo-spatial technology.
- It also offers a unique combination in the direction of cooperative federalism since it brings on one stage the Secretaries of Government of India and the Chief Secretaries of the States.
- With this, the Prime Minister is able to discuss the issues with the concerned Central and State officials with full information and latest visuals of the ground level situation. It is also an innovative project in e-governance and good governance.
- It is a three-tier system (PMO, Union Government Secretaries, and Chief Secretaries of the States).
- Issues to be flagged before the PM are picked up from the available database regarding Public Grievances, on-going Programmes and pending Projects.
- The system will ride on, strengthen and re-engineer the data bases of the CPGRAMS for grievances, Project Monitoring Group (PMG) and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. PRAGATI provides an interface and platform for all these three aspects.
- The system has been designed in-house by the PMO team with the help of National Informatics Center (NIC).
For Prelims and Mains: Pragati and its unique features.
Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
ASEAN India Film Festival
Context: India is hosting the ASEAN India Film Festival. The Film Festival will be a platform for people of the film industry of member countries to explore areas of cooperation in the domain of “cinema and cultural cooperation.
- The Film Festival will be non-competitive. The tagline of the Festival is proposed to be ‘Friendship through Films’.
- The Directorate of Film Festivals is organising ASEAN India Film Festival in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs (ASEAN Multilateral Division) as part of the series of events to commemorate the 25 years of ASEAN and India relations.
Aim of the Festival:
As a vehicle of Cultural Exchange, the Directorate of Film Festival aims to provide access to new trends in filmmaking by providing the platform for an exchange of ideas, culture and experiences in the field of cinema.
The ASEAN film festival will have countries which have immense and colourful cultural diversity but share common historical thread. This will be showcased through screenings of films, alongside exchange of ideas, discussions between the film personalities and interactive sessions with the audience.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising ten Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) which promotes Pan-Asianism and intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational and socio-cultural integration amongst its members and other Asian countries, and globally.
- Its principal aims include accelerating economic growth, social progress, and sociocultural evolution among its members, alongside the protection of regional stability and the provision of a mechanism for member countries to resolve differences peacefully.
- ASEAN is an official United Nations observer, as well as an active global partner. It also maintains a global network of alliances, and is involved in numerous international affairs. Communication by member states takes place in English.
- For Prelims: ASEAN India film festival, ASEAN.
- For Mains: Significance of cooperation among ASEAN members.
Topic: Infrastructure and internal security related issues.
Universal Service Obligation Fund [USOF]
Context: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the “Universal Service Obligation Fund [USOF]” supported scheme to provide mobile services at 4072 tower locations identified by MHA in inhabited uncovered areas affected by Left Wing Extremism [LWE] of 96 districts in 10 States for Phase-ll project.
Significance of this move:
- This network would be used by the security personnel deployed in LWE affected areas.
- Project will also provide the mobile services to help the residents in unconnected inhabited villages which would improve the economic activities in the region.
- It will give impetus to the e-Governance activities in the backward and LWE affected area with the availability of digital mobile connectivity.
What are LWE affected states?
Districts which span 10 States — Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — are described as those affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE) and constitute the ‘Red Corridor.’
The considerations on which the government has examined the districts with LWE features are:
- Their violence profile.
- An assessment of the kind of logistical and other support provided to armed Maoist cadres by their sympathisers and over ground workers.
- The kind of positive changes brought about by development work that these districts have seen.
Universal Service Obligation Fund:
- USOF, established in 2002, provides effective subsidies to ensure telegraph services are provided to everyone across India, especially in the rural and remote areas. It is headed by the USOF Administrator who reports to the Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
- Funds come from the Universal Service Levy (USL) of 5% charged from all the telecom operators on their Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) which are then deposited into the Consolidated Fund of India, and require prior parliamentary approval to be dispatched.
- The USOF works through a bidding process, where funds are given to the enterprise quoting the lowest bid. However, the funds for NOFN were made an exception to this process since BBNL was the sole party involved in the implementation having being specifically created for it.
- For Prelims: USOF.
- For Mains: LWE affected states related issues.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
Man Booker Prize:
An English translation of Olga Tokarczuk’s Polish novel Flights, which combines tales about travel with explorations of the human body, has been named as the winner of the prestigious Man Booker International Prize 2018.
About Man Booker Prize:
Considered one of the most celebrated literary awards in the British culture, the Man Booker Prize for Fiction is awarded every year to the best original novel written in English language and published in the UK. From 2018, it has opened to Irish publishers as well. It started in 1969 and PH Newby was the first winner of Booker Prize in 1969 for ‘Something to Answer For’.