Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - March 24, 2018

World Day

World TB Day – 24 March Health Ministry launches new initiatives to combat TB

India’s commitment

  • mission to End TB by 2025, through community participation, involving civil societies and other stakeholders
  • the global target to end TB is 2030 but we will end it by 2025.
  • the Health Secretary released the TB INDIA 2018 Report and National Drug Resistance Survey Report.
  • The Ministry also launched the NikshayAushadi Portal and shorter regimen for Drug Resistant TB.

Enlighten about World TB day 2018

  • World TB Day provides the opportunity to shine the spotlight on the disease and mobilize political and social commitment for accelerate progress to end TB.
  • Despite significant progress over the last decades, TB continues to be the top infectious killer worldwide, claiming over 4 500 lives a day. The emergence of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) poses a major health security threat and could risk gains made in the fight against TB.
  • The theme of World TB Day 2018 - “Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world”- focuses on building commitment to end TB, not only at the political level with Heads of State and Ministers of Health, but at all levels from Mayors, Governors, parliamentarians and community leaders, to people affected with TB, civil society advocates, health workers, doctors or nurses, NGOs and other partners. All can be leaders of efforts to end TB in their own work or terrain.

World Water Day

Smart India Hackathon 2018 Grand Finale, to be held simultaneously at 28 different nodal centers across India

>2018 Theme: Nature for Water

  • This year’s theme explores how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century.

Why it is vital for us

  • Environmental damage, together with climate change, is driving the water-related crises we see around the world.
  • Floods, drought and water pollution are all made worse by degraded vegetation, soil, rivers and lakes.
  • When we neglect our ecosystems, we make it harder to provide everyone with the water we need to survive and thrive.
  • Nature-based solutions have the potential to solve many of our water challenges.
  • We need to do so much more with ‘green’ infrastructure and harmonize it with ‘grey’ infrastructure wherever possible. Planting new forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, and restoring wetlands will rebalance the water cycle and improve human health and livelihoods.
  • Sustainable Development Goal 6 – ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030 - includes a target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase water recycling and safe reuse.

Enlighten about World Water day

  • World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water – the UN’s inter-agency collaboration mechanism for all freshwater related issues - in collaboration with governments and partners.

Women and Child Development

Mahila Shakti Kendra scheme to empower rural women through community participation

  • Government of India has approved Mahila Shakti Kendra scheme for the period 2017-18 upto 2019-20 to empower rural women through community participation.
  • Community engagement through College Student Volunteers

Enlighten about it

  • 'Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra', which aims at empowering rural women through community participation to create an environment in which they realise their full potential.
  • The scheme is part of the Umbrella Scheme "Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women" of the ministry of women and child development.
  • The expansion of the Mission scheme was approved by the cabinet for a period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
  • The new scheme "Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra (PMMSK) is envisaged to work at various levels.
  • The national level (domain based knowledge support) and state level (State Resource Centre for Women) structures will provide technical support to the respective governments on issues related to women.
  • The district and block level centres will provide support to PMMSK and also give a foothold to Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme in 640 districts to be covered in a phased manner.


Third National Conclave on Mines & Minerals Sand Mining Framework launched by the government to address the issue of sand mining

Enlighten about the proposed framework

  • It includes suggestions for faster clearances /approvals and using its interventions in complete process chain of sand mining
  • It also lays emphasis on the possible alternatives of sand, including its import

Issues related to sand mining are

  • Environmental degradation
  • Non-availability of sand
  • High sand prices
  • Illegalities in sand mining


UGC grants full autonomy to 62 higher educational institutes

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) approved proposal to grant full autonomy to 62 higher educational institutions which have maintained high standards of excellence under Autonomous Colleges Regulation.
  • These 62 higher educational institutions include 5 central universities, 21 state universities, 26 private universities and 10 other colleges.

Enlighten about the complete autonomy

  • The complete autonomy will allow these higher educational institutions to start new courses, new departments, new programmes, skill courses, off campuses, research parks, appoint foreign faculty, take foreign students, offer variable incentive packages and introduce online distance learning.
  • They can also get into academic collaboration with top five hundred universities of the world.
  • They can also decide their admission procedure, fee structure and curriculum, among others.
  • They will not have to come to UGC again and again for seeking permission as they maintained quality and achieved a benchmark of 3.26 and above NAAC (National Accreditation and Assessment Council) ranking.

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog, Piramal Foundation Signed an agreement to improve health, education in Aspirational Districts

Enlighten about the aspirational Districts

  • The Union Government had selected 115 backward (aspirational) districts for rapid transformation by 2022 in line with Government’s vision to create ‘New India’.
  • NITI Aayog had ranked these districts on six socio-economic parameters, pertaining to health and nutrition, education, financial inclusion and skill development, agriculture and water resources and basic infrastructure.
  • These 115 backward districts include 35 districts affected by Left Wing Extremists (LWE) violence, 55 districts just affected by LWE and another 15 including districts in Jammu and Kashmir and northeast affected by terrorism.

Digital India

National Cultural Audiovisual Archives (NCAA) World’s first Trusted Digital Repository

  • The Ministry of Culture Project has been certified as world’s first Trusted Digital Repository as per ISO 16363:2012 standard.
  • The certification was granted by Primary Trustworthy Digital Repository Authorisation Body Ltd. (PTAB), United Kingdom.

Enlighten about National Cultural Audiovisual Archives (NCAA)

  • NCAA is implemented by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).
  • Objective is to identify and preserve cultural heritage of India available in audiovisual form through process of digitization and make it accessible to the people and the digitization are in compliance with international standards of OAIS (Open Archival Information System) model.
  • NCAA has total of 21 Partnering Institutions from across the country, covering 11 governmental and 10 non-governmental cultural organisations It has digitized over 23,000 hours of unpublished audiovisual recordings.
  • The digital repository of the NCAA has been developed in collaboration with Centre of Excellence for Digital Preservation by C-DAC, Pune.

Sources – the hindu, pib, UN official websites ,BS