Read the daily PIB update and stay up-to-date on current affairs for the UPSC exam.
Progress under National Health Mission (NHM)
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the progress under the National Health Mission (NHM).
Read more on the National Rural Health Mission here.
- There has been acceleration in the decline of Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) and the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) since the launch of the NHM.
- The government perceives that if this rate continues, the country should be able to achieve its SDG target (MMR-70, U5MR-25) much before the expected 2030.
- Malaria cases have come down by about 49% and malaria deaths have declined by about 50% from 2013 to 2017.
- The Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme has been strengthened. There has been a three-fold increase in the use of CBNAAT machines over the last one year. This and other efforts have led to a 16% rise in the identification of new cases.
- In 2018 – 19, 17149 Health & Wellness Centres (HWCs) were operationalized. More than 1.8 lakh health workers were trained.
- New vaccines for Tetanus and adult Diphtheria were introduced replacing the Tetanus Toxoid (TT) vaccine under universal immunization programme in 2018.
- Until March 2019, 30.50 Crore children were covered under the Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination drive.
- Rotavirus Vaccine now covers all the states/UTs. The Pneumococcal Conjugated Vaccine (PCV) was introduced to 5 new states.
- The routine and recurring incentives of ASHAs got increased from 1000 per month to 2000 per month. ASHAs and ASHA Facilitators were provided the cover of Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Beema Yojna (Premium of Rs. 330 contributed by Gol) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Beema Yojna (Premium of Rs.12 contributed by Gol).
- Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) Abhiyaan was launched under POSHAN Abhiyaan in April 2018. Under the same scheme, Home Based Care for Young Child (HBYC) programme was also initiated.
- The scheme for awarding States/UTs/Districts for achieving disease-free status in TB/Leprosy/Malaria/Kala-Azar/Lymphatic-Filariasis/Cataract was approved. This will allow certification of the districts/states as Disease Free ahead of the national certification and promote healthy competition among states and districts.
- The National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme was approved for prevention, management and treatment of Hepatitis to A, B, C and E and rollout was initiated.
MoUs signed between India and Foreign Broadcasters
The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval for the MoUs between India and foreign broadcasters in the field of radio and television.
- The MoUs are expected to benefit the Indian public broadcasters in the following ways:
- Help in exploring new visions
- Help with new strategies to address the demands of new technologies and stiff competition
- Work towards media liberalisation
- Steer towards globalisation
- Co-production will lead to equity and inclusiveness among viewer/listeners of DD and All India Radio (AIR). Exchanges of technical Know-how, expertise and training of manpower would help the public broadcaster to meet the emerging challenges in the field of broadcasting.
Cabinet approves relaxation of Aadhaar seeding of data of the beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri KisanSamman Nidhi (PM-Kisan)
The Union Cabinet has approved the relaxation of the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar Seeded data as a pre-condition for release of funds to the beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri KisanSamman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme.
- This decision was taken in view of the fact that it has not been possible to get 100% Aadhaar seeding for release of funds as per the prescribed time schedule before release of instalments after 1st August, 2019.
- Since farmers are still gearing up for the Rabi season, they are in dire need of money to take care of various farming activities like procurement of seeds, preparation of soil and other associated activities like irrigation, maintenance and mobilization of machinery and tools.
- Also, the just-started festive season will put further stress on the financial condition of poor farmers.
- Non-seeding of beneficiaries’ details with the Aadhaar number will delay the release of further instalments and will cause discontentment among the farmers.
- Therefore, the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar seeding for release of benefits after 1st August, 2019 has been relaxed till 30th November, 2019.
- This will enable immediate release of benefits to a large number of farmers who are not able to avail the same due to this requirement.
For details on this scheme, please check PIB dated Feb 23rd, 2019.
India International Cooperatives Trade Fair
The first-ever ‘India International Cooperatives Trade Fair’ will be held in October 2019 at New Delhi.
- The chief aim of the trade fair is achieving the goal of doubling farmers’ income.
- This will be a 3-day fair.
- As 94% of the farmers in India are members of at least one cooperative institution, the fair is aimed at furthering the government’s vision and goal of doubling farmers’ income by promoting cooperative-to-cooperative trade within India and abroad and promoting exports of key agriculture commodities and products leading to enhanced rural and farm prosperity.
- The fair will also provide an opportunity for industry and business houses from India and abroad to build alliances, engage in business networking and product sourcing, and interact with the primary producers of a wide range of products and service providers.
- More than 120 Indian cooperatives and 35 countries have purchased exhibition booths for participating in the fair.
- International organisations from Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Brazil, China, Columbia, Fiji, Germany, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Thailand, Tanzania, United States of America, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam will be showcasing products.
- The Yuva Sahakar Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme 2019 will be launched at the opening ceremony of the fair.
- This is an initiative of the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC). (NCDC is a statutory corporation established with the objective of planning and promoting programmes for production, processing, marketing, storage, export and import of agricultural produce, foodstuffs, industrial goods, livestock and certain other notified commodities and services on cooperative principles.)
- The scheme is designed to support cooperatives to venture into new and innovative areas.
- The scheme will be linked to a Rs 1000 crore ‘Cooperative Start-up and Innovation Fund (CSIF)’ created by the NCDC.
- All types of cooperatives that have been in operation for more than a year are eligible for the scheme.
- Special incentives are given for cooperatives in the north-eastern region, Aspirational Districts, and cooperatives with women/SC/ST/PwD members.
- Sahakar Bharati, the single largest organisation focusing to enlighten the masses about the benefits of cooperative movement also plans to showcase and launch ‘Simplydesi’ brand at the inaugural of the fair.
- The trade fair is conceived as a major platform to promote exports of Indian cooperative produce.
- It would also provide a platform for cross-learning particularly in the current scenario of digitisation.
- Who is conducting the fair: It is jointly organised by NCDC in association with the Bangkok-based international organization NEDAC and leading organizations in India (NAFED, APEDA, ITPO, etc.) with the support of Ministries of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Commerce and Industry and External Affairs, and also six State Governments/UTs.
Gagan Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation and Information (GEMINI)
The Government launched the Gagan Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation and Information (GEMINI) device, which is a low-cost device for ocean states forecast and mapping potential fishing zones.
Limitations of the old system:
- The new device will help in seamless and effective dissemination of emergency information and communication on disaster warnings, Potential Fishing Zones (PFZ) and Ocean States Forecasts (OSF) to fishermen.
- While PFZ Advisories provide information on the probable locations on fish aggregation in the seas, OSF provide the accurate state of the ocean.
- Though the advisories and forecasts are disseminated through multiple communication modes, none of them could provide such information, including the disaster warnings when the fishermen move away from the coast beyond 10-12 km.
- That remained a major limitation in disseminating the information to fishermen who go in the sea beyond 50 nautical miles; sometimes up to 300 nautical miles and beyond to conduct multiday fishing.
- This lacuna was severely felt during the Ockhi cyclone in 2017, when fishermen went out, for deep sea fishing before the onset of the cyclone and could not be informed about the developing cyclone.
- To overcome this difficulty, the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) joined hands with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to utilize the GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) satellite system to transmit the PFZ, OSF and disaster warnings to fishermen.
- To receive the messages transmitted through the GAGAN satellites, INCOIS together with AAI developed a low-cost GAGAN system-enabled GEMINI device.
- GEMINI was electronically designed and manufactured by a private player based in Bangalore under the Make in India Program.
- The GEMINI device receives and transfers the data received from GAGAN satellite/s to a mobile through Bluetooth communication.
- A mobile application developed by INCOIS decodes and displays the information in nine regional languages.
About the GAGAN satellite:
- The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Airports Authority of India (AAI) have implemented the GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation-GAGAN project as a Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) for the Indian Airspace.
- The objective of GAGAN is to establish, deploy and certify satellite-based augmentation system for safety-of-life civil aviation applications in India.
- GAGAN GEO footprint extends from Africa to Australia and has expansion capability for seamless navigation services across the region.
- It is interoperable with other international SBAS like US-WAAS, European EGNOS, and Japanese MSAS, etc.
- GAGAN Payload is operational through three geosynchronous satellites (GSAT-8, GSAT-10 and GSAT-15).
- GAGAN, though primarily meant for aviation, will provide benefits beyond aviation to many other user segments such as intelligent transportation, maritime, highways, railways, surveying, geodesy, security agencies, telecom industry, personal users of position location applications, etc.
Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship Programme
The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launched Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship Programme with IIM Bangalore.
- The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) signed a contract with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore for introducing a two-year fellowship programme Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF) programme.
- The objective behind this initiative is to boost skill development at the district level.
- Designed under Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) the fellowship aims to address the challenge of non-availability of personnel for implementation of various programmes at national, state and district levels.
- The programme has been launched on a pilot basis in 75 districts in 7 states.
- Eligible fellows for the programme have to be in the 21-30 years age-group, have a graduation degree from a recognized university and be citizens of India. Proficiency in official language of state of fieldwork will be mandatory.
World Mental Health Day
The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is observing the “World Mental Health Day” on 10th October, 2019.
About the World Mental Health Day:
- This day is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health.
- The 2019 event is supported by WHO as well.
- The ‘day’ has the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
- It was first celebrated in 1992.
- Theme for 2019: Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention
- It is an annual celebration.
Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme (PMILP) – ‘DHRUV’
The Union HRD Minister has launched the Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme – ‘DHRUV’.
- The objective of the Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme program would be to allow talented students to realize their full potential and contribute to society.
- As part of the scheme, in centres of excellence across the country, gifted children will be mentored and nurtured by renowned experts in different areas, so that they can reach their full potential.
- Sixty outstandingly talented students from across India have been selected in the first batch.
- For these 60 students, a programme of around 14 days’ duration will be conducted.
- The programme will be called DHRUV (after the Pole Star) and every student to be called ‘DHRUV TARA’.
- It will cover two areas, namely, science and performing arts, with 30 students from each stream.
- The students will be broadly from classes 9 to 12, from all schools including government and private.
WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023
Union Health Minister has launched the WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) 2019–2023.
- The CCS provides a strategic roadmap for WHO to work with the Government of India towards achieving its health sector goals, in improving the health of its population and bringing in transformative changes in the health sector.
- The four areas identified for strategic cooperation of WHO with the country encompass:
- To accelerate progress on UHC
- To promote health and wellness by addressing determinants of health
- To protect the population better against health emergencies
- To enhance India’s global leadership in health
- The India CCS is one of the first that fully aligns itself with the newly adopted WHO 13th General Programme of Work and its ‘triple billion’ targets, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and WHO South-East Asia Region’s eight Flagship Priorities.
About the WHO 13th General Programme of Work (GPW13):
- GPW13 was adopted by WHO Member States in May 2018.
- It has three interconnected strategic priorities to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all ages
- Achieving universal health coverage
- Addressing health emergencies
- Promoting healthier populations
- The ‘triple billion target’ is shown in the image below:
Read previous PIB articles here.