Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - December 12, 2017

Government Initiatives

Door to Door campaign against TB launched by the Government

Implementing Ministry –

  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Why -

  • For early diagnosis, detection and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) to eliminate the disease.
  • The campaign has been launched along the lines of anti-polio drive, which had fetched very good result for India and successfully making country free from disease.

Enlighten about the campaign

  • Objective of this campaign is to detect these missed out cases by going to every household.
  • It is follow to government’s set target to decrease incidences of TB by 90% by 2025 and reduce mortality due to the disease by 95% by 2030 under the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).
  • Through this door-to-door campaign, health department workers, ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) and TB supervisors will make door-to-door visits to find TB patients and give them free medical treatment till they are cured.

Statics of TB in India

  • As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 2.8 million cases of TB occur in India every year, out of which only 1.7 million cases are reported, thus around one million cases of TB get missed every year.
  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has set ambitious target to decrease incidences of tuberculosis by 90% by 2025 and reduce mortality due to the disease by 95% by 2030 under the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).
  • Under the 3rd phase of RNTCP called Active Case Finding (ACF), government has identified 186 high-risk districts with the help of states. Besides, government rolled out the daily drug course of therapy recently to combat the disease across the country.

Summits

ASEAN – India Connectivity Summit –

  • The ASEAN–India (Association of Southeast Asian Nations-India) Connectivity Summit (AICS) was held in New Delhi.
  • The theme of summit was ‘Powering Digital and Physical Linkages for Asia in the 21st Century’.
  • It was organized by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in collaboration with AIC (ASEAN-India Centre) and CII (Confederation of Indian Industry).

Enlighten about the summit -

  • The AICS aimed at aimed at accelerating existing connectivity prospects, evolving suitable policy recommendations, identifying issues of concern and developing strategies to enhance economic, trade and industrial relations between India and ASEAN member countries.
  • Its main focus areas were Infrastructure, Roadways, Shipping, Digital, Finance, Energy and Aviation.
  • It provided common platform for policymakers, senior officials from government, investors, industry leaders, representatives of trade associations and entrepreneurs on same platform to deliberate on partnership models adopted between governments to build infrastructure linkages between India and ASEAN Countries.
  • It was organised as part of the celebratory events being organised to commemorate the silver jubilee of ASEAN-India dialogue partnership.

Tribal Affairs

Aadivasi Mahotsav – 2017

  • The Aadivasi Mahotsav 2017 was held in Raipur, Chhattisgarh to display the rich and diverse tribal traditions of the central state.
  • It was inaugurated by Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh.

Enlighten about the festival -

  • The festival has been organised in the memory of 1857 revolutionary from the region, Shaheed Veernarayan Singh on his martyrdom day.
  • Tribal culture, literature and food festivals, tribal Olympiad and hackathon were held during the event.
  • Besides, tribal literature festival was organized at Pt Deendayal Upadhyay Auditorium during the festival.
  • Regional folk dances such as Bihu, Cherav dance of Mizoram, Hojgiri of Tripura and other folk dances of Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya were performed during festival.

Foreign Relations

15th trilateral meeting of RIC Foreign Ministers

  • 15th trilateral meeting of the Russia-India-China (RIC) foreign ministers was held in New Delhi.
  • It was held between India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi.

Enlighten about the trilateral meeting

  • The discussions of meeting focused on regional security, issues affecting Asia-Pacific region, counter-terror efforts and coordination at regional and multilateral forums.
  • The ministers reiterated importance trilateral format as platform to foster closer dialogue and practical cooperation in identified areas
  • International and regional peace: They held that cooperation is conducive to maintaining international and regional peace, stability and promoting global economic growth and prosperity.
  • They stressed for establishment of just and equitable international order based on international law and mutual respect, fairness and justice.
  • They held that various crises in the world should be resolved in accordance with the international law.
  • Terrorism: The three nations also condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reaffirmed that all acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable irrespective of their motivations, committed wherever and by whomsoever.
  • Arms Race: They called for prevention of arms race in outer space for maintaining international peace and security. Russia and China reiterated that they welcome India’s participation in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Enlighten about RIC Forum

  • It is a trilateral grouping of Russia, India and China that has met annually since 2002.
  • In recent years, it has functioned as complement to other frameworks involving three countries and including Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

Personalities

Lalji Singh: Father of DNA fingerprinting in India passes away

  • Eminent scientist and father of DNA fingerprinting in India Lalji Singh passed away following heart attack.
  • He was 70. He was one of the leaders instrumental in making DNA fingerprinting mainstream in India, both at level of research as well as for forensic applications.

Contributions of Lalji Singh

  • He also set up a slew of dedicated labs that worked on several aspects of genetics such as population biology, structural biology and transgenic research.
  • His work in field of DNA fingerprinting technology also contributed for sex determination, Wildlife conservation forensics and evolution and migration of humans.
  • Based on his work he was tasked by government to establish Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) in late 1990s with mandate of making it a nodal centre for DNA fingerprinting and diagnostics for all species and several diseases.
  • He also had founded Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES).

Enlighten about Lalji Singh

  • Dr. Singh served as a director at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad from 1998 to 2009.
  • He also had served as Vice Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University (2001 – 2014), his alma mater.
  • Until recently, he was active in the Genome Foundation, a non-profit organisation that aims to diagnose and treat genetic disorders affecting the underprivileged, especially from rural India. He was awarded prestigious Padma Shri award.

Nobel Peace Prize

ICAN receives 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

  • The Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) received the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize at ceremony held in Oslo, Norway.
  • The award was received by Beatrice Fihn, leader of ICAN and Hiroshima nuclear bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow.
  • ICAN, a coalition of 468 grassroots non-governmental groups has been in forefront of pushing for end to use of nuclear weapons through United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted by 122 nations in July 2017.

UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

  • It is the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament to have been negotiated in 20 years.
  • The treaty was open for signature during the annual UN General Assembly in November 2017.
  • As of September 20, 50 states had signed treaty, which bans use, development, testing or storing of nuclear weapons under any circumstances.
  • The treaty is not signed by and will not apply to any of the states that already have nuclear arms.

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

  • ICAN is a global civil society coalition of 468 partner organizations from 101 countries working to promote adherence to and full implementation of Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
  • It is a leading civil society actor which has taken efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. Originally it was founded in Australia in 2007.
  • Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • ICAN’s mission is to shift disarmament debate to focus on humanitarian threat posed by nuclear weapons, draw attention to their unique destructive capacity, their catastrophic health and environmental consequences, debilitating impact of detonation on medical infrastructure and relief measures and long-lasting effects of radiation on surrounding area.

Infrastructure Development

Housing and Urban Affairs signed agreement with German firm GIZ for transport projects
Sustainable Urban transport

  • The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has signed an implementation agreement with German firm GIZ GmbH for technical cooperation in implementation of transport projects in Coimbatore, Bhubaneshwar and Kochi.
  • The main objective of these projects are to improve planning and implementation of sustainable urban transport.

Enlighten about the agreement

  • Under this agreement, an amount of Euro 4 million (approximately Rs 29 crore) through GIZ will be envisaged for this purpose over a period of three years.
  • The agreement was signed in line with Technical Cooperation enumerated by Government of Germany for Urban Mobility in India during Annual Negotiations and Consultations between India and Germany in 2015 which was later formalised with MoU between two governments encompassing this project.
  • The project will give desired impetus in three major interventions proposed under Smart City Mission of MoHUA viz.
  • ITS-based transport solutions, non-motorised vehicles and last mile connectivity

Festivals

Bodhi Parva

  • India is hosting the 2017 edition of “Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage” in New Delhi as part of celebrations of 20th Anniversary of BIMSTEC.
  • festival is organized by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) along with Teamwork Arts.

Enlighten about the Festival –

  • To emphasise and raise awareness of this rich and common heritage and mark the 20th anniversary of this unique organisation group, a BIMSTEC Buddhism Festival ‘’Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage” has been presented by the BIMSTEC division of the Ministry of External Affairs and produced by Teamwork Arts.

Enlighten about BIMSTEC-

  • The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organization involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia.
  • The BIMSTEC comprises of seven countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
  • The main objective of BIMSTEC is technological and economical cooperation among South Asian and South East Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. The headquarters of BIMSTEC is in Dhaka.

Awards

27th Vyas Samman

  • Eminent Hindi writer Mamta Kalia will be honoured with literary award Vyas Samman for year 2017 for her novel “Dukkham Sukkham”.
  • The author has earlier received “Yashpal Katha Samman” from Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan, “Sahitya Bhushan Samman” and “Ram Manohar Lohia Samman”.

Enlighten about Vyas Samman awards

  • The Vyas Samman is given to a Hindi literary work published in the past 10 years.
  • Eminent literary critic and poet Ram Vilas Sharma is the first recipient of this award in 1991.
  • The writer will receive an amount of Rs 3.5 lakh as the prize money.
  • It is awarded annually by the K.K. Birla Foundation.

Supreme Court Decisions

One nation, one education board

  • A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court has dismissed a petition which sought for “one nation, one education board” to end disparity in knowledge dissemination during the formative years of a child.

Need for a single education board

  • The fundamental right to free and compulsory education under Article 21A includes a common education system where the “rich and the poor are educated under one roof.”
  • However, the current education system under multiple boards did not provide equal opportunity to all.

The 2011 judgment

  • Supreme Court’s dismissal of this petition is in contrast to a 2011 judgment by the Panchal Bench in the Tamil Nadu and Others versus K. Shyam Sunder and Others.
  • In 2011, a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, in an appeal filed by the Tamil Nadu government, had held that a common syllabus, especially for children aged between six and 14, would achieve the “code of common culture.”
  • The 2011 judgment had held that the “right of a child should not be restricted only to free and compulsory education, but should be extended to have quality education without any discrimination on the ground of their economic, social and cultural background.”
  • The court had also observed that Separate education facilities are inherently unequal and violate the doctrine of equality.

Tamil Nadu’s case

  • In August 2011, Tamil Nadu became the first Indian state to have a common syllabus, textbooks and examinations.
  • Prior to that, schools in the state were following four boards—the state board, Matriculation board, Oriental board, and the Anglo-Indian board.
  • While the proposal was mooted a few years ago, the government managed to merge the four boards after a long legal battle.
  • ‘Samacheer Kalvi’ as the common curriculum board is called is framed on the lines of National Curriculum Framework.
  • This, however, does not include national boards like the CBSE and ICSE. While this was the first initiative of its kind, its success is yet to be measured in qualitative terms.

Facts

India’s first energy-efficient railway station – Kacheguda, Hyderabad

  • Kacheguda has earned the distinction of being the first energy-efficient ‘A1 Category’ railway station in the country.
  • Kacheguda railway station has achieved 100% energy efficiency by replacing 1,312 conventional lights with light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, 370 ceiling fans with Brushless DC Electrical (BLDC) motors energy-efficient fans and 12 air conditioners with energy efficient inverter type ACs.
  • Kacheguda Railway station is a historic building and had completed 100 years.
  • Situated in the heart of Hyderabad, it was built in 1916 by the Nizam’s Guaranteed State Railway during the reign of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh Nizam.