Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - November 27, 2018


HIV infected children likely to suffer cognitive impairment


  • Children infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) have to endure a significant adverse impact on their neurodevelopment and cognitive functioning
  • HIV-infected children have lower neuropsychological test scores thus reflecting reduced memory span, attention deficit and decreased visual-motor coordination among other conditions.

Connect to the study

  • The study,highlighted significant fluctuations in regions of the brain that are associated with auditory, language, sensory and motor functional networks of HIV infected children.
  • Decline of mental processes has been commonly observed in HIV infected adults.
  • The common condition we see in adult patients is dementia, which broadly refers to a decline in memory or thinking skills and encephalopathy, a condition that affects the structure or function of the brain.
  • The study concluded that all HIV infected children had lower neuropsychological test scores as compared to the control group.
  • The HIV infected children in the study were also found to have significantly decreased Amplitude of Low Frequency Fluctuations (ALFF) and Functional connectivity (FC) in multiple brain regions that are related to cognition.

Connect to HIV

  • HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system and is known to affect almost every organ in the human body.
  • Nearly 60,000 children in India are currently taking Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) for HIV. Doctors treating these children commonly observe slackened physical as well as mental growth.
  • The virus is present in patient’s bloodstream and thus gets lodged in every part of the body.
  • It affects the brain, heart, kidney, liver etc., leaving the patient extremely immuno-compromised

Infrastructure Development

Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) sign $200 Million Loan to improve State Highways in Bihar


  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed $200 million loan to finance widening and upgrading of about 230 Kilometers State Highways in Bihar to all-weather standards with road safety features.
  • The loan will complement the efforts of the Government of Bihar to upgrade all State Highways to meet the minimum two-lane standard with better surfaces and improved road safety leading to improved connectivity.
  • The New Loan will continue ADB's support in the development of the road sector in Bihar. The improved roads under the Project will contribute to savings in vehicle operating cost and travel time, reduce vehicle emissions, and improve road safety.
  • The Project will also establish a State-level Road Research Institute to improve technical and management capacity of the Road Agency Staff.
  • Since 2008, ADB has provided four loans to Bihar, amounting to $1.43 billion, to upgrade about 1,453 km of State Highways and to construct a New Bridge over the Ganga River near Patna.

Connect to ADB

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966,which is headquartered in the Ortigas Center located in the city of Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines.
  • The company also maintains 31 field offices around the world to promote social and economic development in Asia.
  • The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries.
  • From 31 members at its establishment, ADB now has 67 members, of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 from outside.
  • The ADB was modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members' capital subscriptions.
  • ADB releases an annual report that summarizes its operations, budget and other materials for review by the public.
  • Upon completion of their study programs, scholars are expected to contribute to the economic and social development of their home countries. ADB is an official United Nations Observer.
  • Japan and United States hold the largest proportion of shares at 15.607%. China holds 6.444%, India holds 6.331%, and Australia holds 5.786%

Infrastructure Development

Paisa – Portal for Affordable Credit & Interest Subvention Access


  • A centralized electronic platform for processing interest subvention on bank loans to beneficiaries under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) named “PAiSA – Portal for Affordable Credit and Interest Subvention Access”, was launched

Connect to the web platform

  • The web platform has been designed and developed by Allahabad Bank which is the Nodal bank.
  • PAiSA is an effort by the government to connect directly with the beneficiaries, ensuring that there is greater transparency and efficiency in delivery of services.
  • DBT of subvention on monthly basis under DAY-NULM will give the necessary financial support to small entrepreneurs in a timely manner”.
  • All 35 states / UTs & all scheduled commercial banks, RRBs and Cooperative Banks are expected to be on board the PAiSA portal the year end.

Connect to NULM

  • National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MHUPA), Government of India in 23rd September, 2013 by replacing the existing Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY).
  • The NULM will focus on organizing urban poor in their strong grassroots level institutions, creating opportunities for skill development leading to market-based employment and helping them to set up self-employment venture by ensuring easy access to credit.
  • The Mission is aimed at providing shelter equipped with essential services to the urban homeless in a phased manner. In addition, the Mission would also address livelihood concerns of the urban street vendors

Connect to the features of NULM

  • In the 12th Five Year Plan, NULM will be implemented in all districts headquarter towns(irrespective of population) and all other towns with population of 1 lakh or more as per Census 2011.
  • At present 790 cities are under NULM. However, other towns may be allowed in exceptional cases on request of the States.
  • The primary target of NULM is the urban poor, including the urban homeless.
  • Funding will be shared between the Centre and the States in the ratio of 75:25.
  • For North Eastern and Special Category States (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand), this ratio will be 90:10.

Women and Child Development

HAUSLA-2018 More than 600 Children from CCIs across the country are taking part in the National Festival for Children


  • The National Festival for Children of Child Care Institutions (CCIs)- “Hausla 2018” of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) was inaugurated
  • The inter-Child Care Institution festival is witnessing participation of more than 600 Children drawn from CCIs from 18 states in the various events like painting competition, athletics meet, football, chess competition and speech writing as part of the Festival.
  • The idea behind the entire event is to provide a national platform for the children from CCIs across India to showcase their talent, to make them realise the hidden talent they possess and to help take it forward in their life.
  • This event would instil confidence in them to achieve greater heights in life.
  • The event shall inspire children of Child Care Institutions so that they can reach the National Stage for expressing their capabilities. The theme for the event is “Child Safety”.

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog Organises Capacity Building Programme for Urban Water Management


  • NITI Aayog organized Second Phase of Urban Management Programme on ‘Water Recycling and Reuse’.in collaboration with the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise & TF International at India Habitat Centre
  • Highlighting the importance of this capacity building programme on management of water, particularly its recycling & reuse, as crucial for future urban planning and policy
  • The attaining high rates of economic growth for India will directly be a function of the sustainable use of water.
  • NITI’s Composite Water Management Index, launched earlier this year, is a step toward increasing awareness and promoting best practises in water management throughout the country.

Connect to the capacity building programme

  • In order to develop recycled water as part of sustainable and diverse water portfolio, NITI Aayog has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore
  • Cooperation Enterprise - Temasek Foundation International to launch the Second Phase of Urban Management Programme on ‘Water Recycling and Reuse’.
  • Eight States/UTs -Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Puducherry and West Bengalwere selected for the capacity building workshops through a Challenge Method.
  • The capacity building programme featured experience sharing by consultants from Singapore, who were associated in the successful transformation of the urban waterscape over the last four decades.

India’s urbanisation statics

  • India is experiencing rapid urbanisation. The urban population has gone up from 29 crore in 2001 to 37.7 crore in 2011. Due to rapid urbanisation, water demand in urban areas is increasing rapidly.
  • The water situation in metropolitan cities is particularly exacerbating, where the people in such cities face acute water shortage.
  • Changing climate and its impact on temporal and spatial variability of rainfall, is a further deterrent to timely and sufficient availability of water resources.
  • In this backdrop, concerted efforts have been made by the Government of India to implement rainwater harnessing schemes for groundwater improvement, however, there is an urgent need for water portfolio diversification through introducing alternate sustainable water sources.
  • The recycle and reuse of water presents itself as a potential solution for ensuring assured water supply in the Cities, on a sustainable basis.
  • Recycling and reuse has been widely practised in Singapore, where every drop of water is recycled for reuse. Such an approach not only reduces pressure on other water sources, but also offers a sustainable solution for water resources management.
  • While the AMRUT scheme drives the cities to undertake water supplies on a business model, yet the water source augmentation remains a challenge for ensuring assured water supply through the future.
  • Nearly 30% of urban water supply and 70% of rural water supply in the country comes from groundwater, which is depleting day by day.

Sources – PIB ,The hindu , livemint