Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 12, 2017

National

Linking of river through waterways – Feasible and Beneficial –Report

  • A lot of water has gone under the bridge since the idea of interlinking of rivers was first mooted during the tenure of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • The project which has undergone several transformations since then is yet to take shape on ground, with states perennially bickering over their share of water.
  • Recently, few experts have come out with an alternative method of linking rivers which can be adopted with far better results and zero disputes over the share of water.

Method proposed –

  • The new method envisages a way in which the two rivers can be linked through a waterway built on an even plane enabling two-way flow between the rivers. It is also known as Smart Waterways.

Benefits –

  • Linking through waterways will grant several benefits over the traditional interlinking of rivers.

Increased irrigation -

  • It will enable the government to irrigate almost double the size of fields as compared to traditional interlinking.

Use of only excess water –

  • Unlike the traditional interlinking of rivers which involves pumping of water using a lot of electricity, this technology uses only the “excess flood water that goes to seas un-utilised” without any pumping.

Other advantages -

  • Bi-directional flow of water, zero pumping, enabling of 15,000 km of navigation, reduction of land acquisition from eight per cent to two per cent, and 40 per cent flood control against four per cent possible under the traditional method are a few other advantages

Health

Hospital Acquired infections

Why in news –

  • A Bengaluru firm BUGWORKS RESEARCH
  • Become India’s first to receive the international CARB-X grant to develop antibiotics to treat hospital-acquired infections.

What –

CARB-X –

  • Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator,
  • a public-private international partnership
  • set up in 2016

Objective -

  • to focus on innovations to improve diagnosis and treatment of drug-resistant infections.

Enlighten about the partnership –

  • The partnership provides a new, collaborative approach to speed research, development and delivery of new antibiotics, vaccines, diagnostics, and other innovative products to address the urgent global problem of drug-resistant bacterial infections.
  • CARB-X will provide grants up to $ 455 million (over Rs 2,900 crore) over a five-year period to firms across the globe for antibiotics R&D.
  • All CARB-X funding so far is focused on projects to address the most resistant “Gram-negative” bacteria.

Gram negative bacteria –

  • Bacteria are classified as Gram-positive and Gram-negative, based on a structural difference in their cell.
  • Gram-negative bacteria are responsible for 20-25% of infections, and are multi drug resistant — which is the ability of bacteria to defend themselves against drugs that try to kill them.

Know the background of it –

  • Antibiotic resistance has become a global crisis that threatens the management of infections, both in the community and in hospital practice.
  • The major reasons are the indiscriminate use of antibiotics, including against viral infections, especially in countries like India where they are commonly available over the counter
  • Antibiotics prolonged use in patients admitted to hospitals; and their abuse in animal husbandry as growth promoters.
  • Cheaper antibiotics such as penicillin, tetracycline or co-trimoxazole can often no longer cure an infection, and high-end ones like third- and fourth-generation cephalosporin and carbapenem are commonly used

Health & Family Welfare

FoSCoRIS

What –

  • Nationwide online platform called ‘FoSCoRIS’

Implementing body –

  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

Why –

  • To bring in transparency in food safety inspection and sampling, food regulator
  • FSSAI has asked states to adopt this system as it would help eliminate discrepancy and make food safety officers accountable.

Enlighten about this online platform –

  • The web-based ‘FoSCoRIS’ system will help verify compliance of food safety and hygiene standards by food businesses as per the government norms.
  • The new system will bring together all key stakeholders — food businesses, food safety officers (FSOs), designated officers, state food safety commissioners — on a nation-wide IT platform and data related to inspection, sampling and test result data will be shared seamlessly by all the officials.
  • This system will give a clear picture to the FSSAI on the real-time basis and helps eliminate any discrepancy, hence inspection is accountable.
  • The system will ease out the process of sample collection, make it transparent and traceable and controls the quality of compliances.
  • The new system requires a hand-held device with internet connectivity with FSOs.

Enlighten about FSSAI –

Established -

  • under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which consolidates various acts & orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments.

Comes under -

  • Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India

Objective -

  • It was created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

Appointments –

  • The Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) are appointed by Government of India.
  • The Chairperson is in the rank of Secretary to Government of India.

Governance

Cabinet Committees –

  • Reconstitution of six committees by the union government after the recent reshuffling of the cabinet

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

  • Inducted as full time member of Cabinet Committee on Security, Cabinet Committees on Economic and Political Affairs.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan

  • Also included as permanent members of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

Enlighten about Cabinet Committees –

  • Cabinet Committees Under the Government of India Transaction of Business Rules (TBR), 1961 executive arm of government is assigned task of conducting the business of it in an effective and convenient manner.
  • They are extra-constitutional in nature and are nowhere mentioned in the Constitution.
  • They are instrumental in reducing the workload of the Government.

The six Committees of the Cabinet are

1. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC):
It is responsible for all appointments of higher ranks in the Central Secretariat, Public Enterprises, Public Enterprises and Financial Institutions.
2. Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA):
It is responsible for the allotment of accommodation for various top positions in the Government of India.
3. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA):
It deals with the activities pertaining to the economics of the country.
4. Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA):
It looks into the matters related to the progress of government business in the Parliament of India. It is headed by Union Home Minister.
5. Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA):
It is responsible for all issues related to domestic and foreign affairs. It is most powerful cabinet committee and is described as Super Cabinet.
6. Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS):
It is one of the most important committees in India, it looks into the matters of defence expenditures and National Security.

  • All Committees of Cabinet except Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) is chaired/headed by Prime Minister. CCPA is headed by Union

Bilateral Relations

MoU between – INDIA & JAPAN – Silkworn & Silk Industries

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Japan for collaborative research in the eld of silkworm and silk industries.
  • The MoU was signed between Central Silk Board (CSB), India and National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS), Japan

Enlighten about the MoU

Know the background of it –

  • The MoU was of scientific and technological nature.
  • Its aim was to initiate Collaborative Research for developing prolific bivoltine hybrids of silkworm suitable for Indian tropical conditions.
  • Its purpose was to help in developing prolific hybrid silkworms, which will improve quality standards and manufacturing capacity of Indian sericulture industry to enhance exports of silk and silk products.
  • It is expected that subsequent to MoU, Indian Textiles and Apparel Industry will be able to produce world class silk and silk products.
  • The improvement of quality and productivity will ultimately increase export of silk products

India’s silk industry –

  • India’s Silk Industry India’s Silk Industry is world’s second largest after China.
  • The total production of silk in India stood at around 23,000 tonnes in the year 2011-12.
  • India produces four varieties of silk produced, viz. Mulberry, Eri, Tasar and Muga.
  • About 80% of silk produced in country is of mulberry silk, majority of which is produced in the three southern States of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • Sericulture Provides gainful occupation to around 63 Lakh persons in rural and semi-urban