Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - November 20, 2017

International Organisations

International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM)

  • Edition – 42nd World Congress of ICMM
  • Organized by – Armed Force Medical Services
  • Under the aegis of – Ministry of defence
  • The event is being organised for the first time in India, and is the largest medical conference ever organised by the AFMS.
  • Around 350-400 foreign delegates from 80 countries are attending the event.
  • Theme - “Military Medicine in Transition: Looking Ahead.”

Enlighten about ICMM:

  • The ICMM is an international inter-governmental organisation created in 1921 with its secretariat at Brussels in Belgium and currently has 112 nations as members.
  • The ICMM was established after World War I had revealed the lack of care provided to victims and the need to strengthen cooperation between the health services of the armed forces worldwide.
  • The main objective of the ICMM is to ensure that our medical services personnel have the means to work together, using similar practices, in operations involving international cooperation.
  • This is a long-term goal, and the ICMM can work towards achieving this in a number of ways: by encouraging activities at which scientific and technical experience is shared, by developing contacts with the scientific community, by promoting regional events.
  • This will enable us to pool our resources and work experience of military medicine, both in the theatre of operations and in a support role in the case of crisis situations.

Miss World - 2017

Manushi Chhillar wins Miss World 2017 title

  • India’s Manushi Chhillar (20) was crowned coveted Miss World crown for the year 2017.
  • The win comes 17 years after Priyanka Chopra brought home coveted title in the year 2000.
  • The winner of 2016 title, Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle passed on her crown to Ms Chhillar at a grand event held in Sanya in China.
  • Miss England Stephanie Hill was first runner up and Miss Mexico Andrea Meza was second runner up.
  • Around 108 women from across world participated in 2017 beauty pageant.
  • Ms Chhillar is sixth Indian woman to win the coveted title of Miss World. Reita Faria was first Indian woman to claim title back in 1966, followed by Aishwariya Rai Bachchan (1994), Diana Haydon (1997), Yukta Mookhey (1999) and Priyanka Chopra (2000).

International Organisations

Steering Committee of SARTTAC held in New Delhi

  • Interim Meeting of Steering Committee of International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTAC) was held in New Delhi.
  • Officials from all Six SARTTAC Member countries attended the meeting together with Development Partner representatives European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, and USAID along with IMF staff.

Enlighten about Steering Committee SARTTAC

  • It endorsed FY 2018 work plan and also approved new work area in Government Finance and Public Debt Statistics.
  • It welcomed progress in securing over 90 percent of the financing for SARTTAC’s first five-year (2017-2022) Phase.
  • It also approved new work area in Government Finance and Public Debt Statistics, where members have expressed strong demand and work is underway to plan future technical assistance and training.
  • The next Steering Committee meeting will take place in Sri Lanka in May, 2018.

South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTAC)

  • SARTTAC was inaugurated in February 2017.
  • It is first IMF Regional Capacity Development Centre to fully integrate training and technical assistance activities.
  • It is located in New Delhi, India.
  • It works with Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
  • Member countries finance two-thirds of SARTTAC’s Budget, with additional funding from European Union, Korea, United Kingdom, and Australia.
  • Its goal is to help member countries to strengthen their institutional and human capacity for designing and implementing macroeconomic and financial policies that promote growth and reduce poverty.
  • It will help Governments modernize

Space Development

NASA launches Joint Polar Satellite System-1

The New Initiative- The Global Alliance To Power Past Coal

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has launched a next-generation satellite called the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) into space.
  • JPSS-1 is a joint venture between NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  • It was launched into orbit atop United Launch Alliance-built Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It will be renamed NOAA-20 when it reaches its final orbit.

Enlighten about JPSS-1

  • JPSS-1 is first multi-day weather forecasts satellite in NOAA’s series of four, next-generation operational environmental satellites representing major advancements in observations used for severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring.
  • It is designed to monitor weather around world and help improve forecasts.
  • It is highly advanced polar-orbiting satellite that will orbit Earth 14 times each day from one pole to other at 824 kms above planet, providing scientists full global coverage twice a day.
  • JPSS-1 carries a suite of five advanced instruments designed to take global measurements of atmospheric, land and sea conditions from sea surface temperatures, volcanic ash, hurricane intensity and many more.
  • The satellite will improve weather forecastings, such as predicting hurricane’s track and will help agencies involved with post-storm recovery by visualizing storm damage and the geographic extent of power outages.
  • Its data will also improve recognition of climate patterns that influence weather, such as El Nino and La Nina.

Government Initiatives

Government introduces Daily Drug Regimen for treatment of Tuberculosis

  • The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has launched Daily Drug Regimen for treatment of Tuberculosis (TB) patients across the country under The Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).
  • Under it, Health Ministry is providing thrice weekly regimen for treatment of TB, however it has now decided to change treatment strategy for TB patients from thrice weekly to daily drug regimen using fixed dose combinations (FDC) for treatment.
  • This change will bring transformation in approach and intensity to deal with this disease which accounts for about 4.2 lakh deaths every year.

Enlighten about the changes –

  • The daily FDC anti-TB drugs will be made available to private pharmacy or at private practitioners to dispense to TB patients who seek care in private sector, depending upon convenience of patient and practitioner free of cost.
  • Health Ministry will take this forward with all major hospitals, Indian Medical Association (IMA), Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) and other professional medical associations to expand access to daily FDC to all TB patients.
  • This treatment strategy will use Ethambutol in continuation phase for all patients, drugs to be given daily (as against only 3 times weekly previously), fixed dose combination (FDC) tablets will be used to reduce pill burden (as against separate 7 tablets previously), for children, child friendly formulations as dispersible tablets.
  • Moreover, use of Information Technology (IT) enabled treatment adherence support system will be also undertaken.

Moscow declaration adopted for co-ordinated action on TB, end of HIV co-infection deaths

  • Health ministers, NGOs, and private sector representatives from 120 countries have adopted Moscow Declaration on the sidelines of the first WHO Global Ministerial Conference.
  • The declaration calls for eliminating additional deaths from HIV co-infection by 2020 and achieving synergy in coordinated action against Tuberculosis and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
  • India is among signatories to the declaration. A co-infection is when a person suffers from two infections at same time.

Enlighten about ‘ MOSCOW DECLARATION

  • Moscow declaration emphasis need for fixing multisectoral responsibility towards ending TB by 2035, the global target.
  • It recognises need for multisectoral accountability framework to end TB, which is both political and technical.
  • This framework is critical to creating enabling operational environment for multisectoral action, fast-tracking priority interventions, monitoring overall progress, and accelerating advocacy at all levels within different sectors, all of which is necessary to achieve committed milestones and targets to end TB epidemic.
  • Multi-drug resistant TB will be tackled as national public health crisis. National inter-ministerial commission will be set up by 2018 to achieve fast-tracking universal access to health care through all state and non-state care providers by adopting WHO-recommended TB diagnostics, drugs, technologies and standards of care. It will also ensure attention to high-risk groups and vulnerable populations such as migrants, refugees and prisoners.


First Namami Barak festival held in Assam

  • The first ever Namami Barak festival was held at Silchar in Assam.
  • It was inaugurated by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
  • The event was organised at 3 locations in Barak Valley also known as Southern Assam. Silchar is main event area while other two locations are Hailakandi and Karimganj district.

Enlighten about the festival

  • The 3-day river festival aimed to pay tribute to River Barak and to showcase of Barak’s potential & possibilities to emerge as hub of trade and commerce.
  • The festival showcased cultural heritage of valley together with its cuisine, fauna and flora, socio-economic and civic splendor before global audience.

Barak River

  • Barak River is one of major rivers of South Assam. The 564 kilometres long river is part of Surma-Meghna River System.
  • It rises in hill country of Manipur where it is biggest and most important of hill country rivers.
  • After Manipur it flows through Mizoram and Assam. It later enters Bangladesh where it forks into Surma and Kushiyara rivers.
  • The sixth national waterway stretch is on this river.

Civil Aviation

International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO)

  • Under the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme, a five member audit team recently carried out the audit of India in areas of Personal Licensing, Airworthiness, Operations, Legislation and Organization from 6th to 16th November.
  • The audit involved verification of response provided by DGCA against protocol questions made available by ICAO.
  • As per preliminary feedback, the audit team was satisfied with the safety system put in place by the safety regulator.
  • As per procedure laid down by ICAO, the audit team presents its report to the headquarter team and draft report is made available to the state in about 90 days.
  • The state is required to provide its comment and draw its action plan on various aspects of the report and make it available to ICAO within 45 days. Thereafter the report will be finalised and made available to member states.

Enlighten about ICAO

  • The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a UN specialized agency, established by States in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).
  • ICAO works with the Convention’s 191 Member States and industry groups to reach consensus on international civil aviation Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and policies in support of a safe, efficient, secure, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible civil aviation sector.
  • These SARPs and policies are used by ICAO Member States to ensure that their local civil aviation operations and regulations conform to global norms, which in turn permits more than 100,000 daily flights in aviation’s global network to operate safely and reliably in every region of the world.
  • ICAO also coordinates assistance and capacity building for States in support of numerous aviation development objectives; produces global plans to coordinate multilateral strategic progress for safety and air navigation; monitors and reports on numerous air transport sector performance metrics; and audits States’ civil aviation oversight capabilities in the areas of safety and security.