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Current Affairs Analysis

13th & 14th November 2016 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

What is Helicobacter pullorum? World Pneumonia Day; Justice Kailash Gambhir Committee; “Sugarcane Value Chain-Vision 2025 Sugar”; Ken-Betwa Project; ‘Termination’ Clause in India-Japan Civil Nuclear Deal; 36th India International Trade Fair; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
November 14, 2016

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • India still losing fight against child pneumonia, diarrhoea epidemics
  • SC sets up panel on night shelters

Economy

  • PM inaugurates International Conference and Exhibition on “Sugarcane Value Chain-Vision 2025 Sugar”

Environment & Ecology

  • Ken-Betwa project hangs on forest nod

Bilateral & International Relations

  • ‘Termination’ clause in India-Japan civil nuclear deal not binding on India

Science & Technology

  • Multidrug-resistant bacteria from chickens pose risk to human health

Key Facts for Prelims

  • 36th India International Trade Fair

 

Polity & Governance

India still losing fight against child pneumonia, diarrhoea epidemics

The World Pneumonia Day is observed in India.

  • On this day, the Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report was published by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC).

ias-toppers-pneumonia-and-diarrhoea-progress-report

Key facts:

  • The World Pneumonia Day is observed globally every year on November 12 to generate awareness about the ‘pneumonia’ disease.
  • 2016 Theme is: “Keep the Promise, Stop Pneumonia Now”.

Highlights of the report:

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  • The report puts India at the top of the list of 15 nations, as it did last year, and the years before. India had a total of 2,96,279 deaths from pneumonia and diarrhea.
  • The report also notes that India is among the 12 nations that have improved their Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) score this year.
  • Nearly 15 years after the introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in 2000, five countries among those with the highest pneumonia burden — India, Indonesia, Chad, China and Somalia — are still not using the vaccine in their routine immunisation programmes, the report noted.
  • In addition to thinking of vaccines, the report points out other simple proven interventions in order to prevent these deaths, including antibiotics, exclusive breastfeeding, and access to treatment and care.
  • Also urging nations to go beyond business as usual, the report chronicles innovations that help speed up the process and better chase the goal of cutting down the number of preventable child deaths.

About Pneumonia:

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  • Pneumonia is caused by inflammation of the airspaces in the lungs. It is most commonly due to an infection.
  • It is a leading cause of death for children under the age of five years around the world.
  • It may be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. The most common bacterial type that causes pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae.
  • Signs and symptoms: Fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
  • Treatment: Vaccinations are available against several common organisms that are known to cause pneumonia.
  • Besides, antibiotics can also treat pneumonia by controlling the bacterial or fungal infection.

Steps taken by government:

India recently announced a partial introduction of the vaccine in five states (Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh) from 2017. India introduced rotavirus vaccines in four States in 2015.

[Ref: The Hindu]

 

SC sets up panel on night shelters

The Supreme Court has asked the government to respond on the lackadaisical attitude shown by authorities in providing sufficient number of night shelters to the poor and homeless in the towns and cities of northern States despite the availability of funds.

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Committee to verify the availability of night shelters:

  • The court has also directed that a committee headed by former Delhi High Court judge Justice Kailash Gambhir be constituted to verify the availability of night shelters, including if they are in compliance with the operational guidelines under the NULM and to inquire into the reasons for slow progress in setting up shelter homes by the States/Union Territories.
  • The committee has been given four months to submit its report.

Terms of reference of the committee:

  • The committee shall inquire about non-utilisation and/or diversion/misutilisation of funds allocated for the scheme for providing shelters to the urban homeless.
  • The committee shall issue suitable recommendations to the States to ensure that at least temporary shelters are provided for the homeless in urban areas to protect them during winter season.
  • The State governments shall ensure compliance with the recommendations along the time frame indicated by the committee.

Background:

Destitute in urban areas continue to suffer without shelters. In spite of the availability of funds and a clear mechanism through which to disburse them, there is unsatisfactory state of affairs on the ground. Poor continue to shiver in the winter cold as welfare measures like the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) scheme continue to remain a distant dream.

[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Economy

PM inaugurates International Conference and Exhibition on “Sugarcane Value Chain-Vision 2025 Sugar”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the International Conference and Exhibition on Sugarcane Value Chain – Vision 2025 Sugar in Pune, Maharashtra.

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Key facts:

  • The conference has been organised by Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI) at Manjari near Pune.
  • Around 1,500 delegates are expected to participate in this conference from across the globe.
  • There was an exhibition showcasing various technological developments in sugar industry and live demonstrations of sugarcane crop showing various advance technologies and practices in cultivation.
  • Eminent international and national speakers delivered lectures on significantly different important aspects of sugarcane value chain.
  • The conference was attended by around 1500 delegates.

About VSI:

VSI is an autonomous body established in 1975 by sugarcane growers of co-operative sugar mills in Maharashtra with support of Central and State government.

[Ref: PIB]

 

Environment & Ecology

Ken-Betwa project hangs on forest nod

The Forest Advisory Committee, tasked with giving the project forest clearance, has withheld its nod to the Ken-Betwa river-interlinking project at least until January.

Background:

  • The Rs. 9,000-crore Ken-Betwa river-interlinking project will partly submerge the Panna tiger reserve.
  • The Forest Advisory Committee’s clearance is required for this diversion of forest land.
  • The project requires separate wildlife, forest and environment clearances.

About the proposed river linking project:

Under the proposed river linking project, the Betwa river in Uttar Pradesh, which flows into the Yamuna, will receive surplus water from the river Ken that originates in Uttar Pradesh and then runs south across Madhya Pradesh.

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  • The Davdhan dam is to be built on the Ken near its source.
  • The project envisages construction of a dam across river Ken in Madhya Pradesh for various purposes like irrigation, hydropower generation and supply of drinking water.
  • The reason why the Ken-Betwa link was the first to get off the ground is that it is the shortest.

Concerns:

  • This would be the first time that a river project will be located within a tiger reserve.
  • The Rs. 10,000-crore Ken-Betwa project will irrigate the drought-prone Bundelkhand region but in the process will also submerge about 10 per cent of the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, feted as a model tiger-conservation reserve.
  • Besides, most districts in Madhya Pradesh will not actually get the promised water.
  • There are vultures in the region, whose nests will be threatened by the height of the dam.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Bilateral & International Relations

‘Termination’ clause in India-Japan civil nuclear deal not binding on India

The landmark civil nuclear deal, recently signed with Japan has a “termination” clause, which India says is not binding on the country.

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  • But the “termination” clause merely records the “views” of the Japanese side considering its “special sensitivities” as Japan is the only nation to have suffered a nuclear attack.

What is the issue?

The historic India-Japan Nuclear Cooperation Agreement was signed on 11 November 2016.

  • The ‘Note on Views and Understanding’ signed after the agreement effectively allow Japan to invoke an “emergency” suspension of nuclear supplies if India goes for testing a nuclear weapon and to contest any compensation claims from India in court.
  • This note has been included to help the Japanese Government to clear the nuclear deal in the Parliament or Diet in early 2017.
  • In Japan, there is political opposition for making an exception for India as it is not signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

What is India’s position?

  • India has given a voluntary moratorium on nuclear tests and has traditionally refused to link its nuclear trade with pre-conditions on testing, holding it is a matter of nuclear sovereignty.
  • The nuclear agreement with Japan follows the same template as that of the India-US nuclear deal. However, in this case the circumstances triggering a possible termination are not sharply defined.
  • Thus, note on views and understanding signed with Japan is simply a record by the negotiators (i.e. India and Japan) of respective views on certain issues and not binding.

Background:

  • Japan, the only country in the world to have suffered nuclear attacks, has made a major exception by signing the atomic cooperation agreement with India, despite it being non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • In the 123 Agreement between India and the US, there is a clause for termination but it mentions that if India conducts a nuclear test, the two sides will initiate discussions immediately to understand the reasons for it. The discussions have to be concluded within a year, inferring that till then the nuclear deal will not be called off.
[Ref: Business Standard]

 

Science & Technology

Multidrug-resistant bacteria from chickens pose risk to human health

Researchers from Hyderabad have isolated Helicobacter pullorum bacterium in chicken that may be source of transmission of the multidrug resistance pathogen to humans.

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  • This is the first evidence on prevalence and isolation of H. pullorum multidrug resistance bacterium from broilers and free-range chicken sold in Indian markets.

What is Helicobacter pullorum?

  • Helicobacter pullorum is a pathogen commonly found in the liver and gut of poultry birds including chickens. It is untreatable and may be cancer-causing.
  • It is being suspected that H. pullorum is resistant wide range of antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones, cephalosporins, sulfonamides and macrolides

Harmful effects on human health:

  • Infected chicken with Helicobacter pullorum bacterium when consumed are known to cause gastrointestinal infections in humans.
  • Helicobacter pullorum is known to produce a cancer-causing agent called cytolethal distending toxin. This toxin damages the DNA and interferes with the cell cycle.
  • Since this multidrug resistance bacterium also infects the liver, it increases the risk of cancer in the organ.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

36th India International Trade Fair

iastoppers-36th-india-international-trade-fair

  • The 36th edition of India International Trade Fair (IITF) has started at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
  • The theme of 2016 IITF is Digital India.
  • 150 companies from 27 countries are taking part in the fair.
  • The 2016 IITF has been organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), under aegis of Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Every year, the event has a partner country and state, and a focus country and state, which play prominent roles in the events. This year’s partner country and states are South Korea and Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand respectively. The focus country and state are Belarus and Haryana respectively.
  • The fair will provide a glimpse with updated information on various missions, schemes and initiatives launched by the Central Government.

 

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