International-Campaign-to-Abolish-Nuclear-Weapons-ICAN-ias2
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Current Affairs Analysis

7th October 2017 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

2017 Nobel Peace Prize to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN); BBBP Week; Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme; National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB); What is a Community Conserved Area (CCA)? Snow leopards; Dibang Biosphere Reserve; Namdapha National Park; World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF); India-Ethiopia Agreements; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
October 07, 2017

Contents

Government Schemes & Policies

  • BBBP Week

Issues related to Health & Education

  • ‘Hypertension high in Kerala, low in Bihar’
  • Many Indians skip nutritious food

Economy

  • Centre proposes three-year licence for contractors

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • Snow leopard photographed in Arunachal

Bilateral & International Relations

  • Anti-nuclear weapons group Ican wins Nobel Peace Prize
  • India, Ethiopia sign agreements on trade, communication

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Government Schemes & Policies

BBBP Week

The Ministry of Women and Child Development will be celebrating the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Week from 9th to 14th October, 2017.

iastoppers Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

  • The week is being celebrated in view of the International Girl Child Day on 11th October, 2017.
  • The theme of the program will be “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week- The Daughters of New India”.

Key facts:

  • The week-long celebration will witness various awareness generation activities and community engagement programmes such as Oath ceremonies, prabhat pherries, rallies, nukkad natraks, street plays, joint door to door campaigns by AWWs and ASHAs, etc.
  • At the National level, the occasion will also be marked by a Panel Discussion coinciding with the theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl – “Girls Progress=Goals Progress: What Counts for Girls” to engage key sport influencers and women and girls role models from the field, to generate support through their voice and reach.

About the BBBP scheme:

ias toppers Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme was launched on 22ndJanuary, 2015 at Panipat in Haryana.
  • It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development.
  • The scheme aims at improving the trend of declining child sex ratio (CSR) in the country—which, according to Census 2011 data, has plummeted from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001 and 918 in 2011—and promoting gender equality.
  • The scheme focuses on challenging mindsets and deep rooted patriarchy in the societal system, strict enforcement of PC&PNDT Act, advancing education of the girl child: focus is on issues of women empowerment on a life cycle continuum.
  • In the first phase, 100 districts with low CSR were selected for BBBP Scheme implementation for creating awareness and advocacy about the issue.
  • During the last one year, the BBBP Scheme is being implemented under the overall guidance and supervision of concerned District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioners.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Issues related to Health & Education

‘Hypertension high in Kerala, low in Bihar’

According to a latest study, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become a growing threat to global health.

iastoppers non-communicable diseases Hypertension

About the study:

  • The study is titled ‘Diet and Nutritional Status of Urban Population in India and Prevalence of Obesity, Hypertension, Diabetes and Hyperlipidaemia in Urban Men and Women’
  • The study assessed the diet and nutritional status of India’s urban population.
  • The survey was carried out by the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau during 2015-16 by researchers from the National Institute of Nutrition.
  • The study has brought to light the prevalence rates for non-communicable diseases as well as stunting, under-nutrition and obesity in children under 5 years in the 16 States surveyed.

Highlights of the study:

  • Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become a growing threat to global health. The increase in incidence of NCDs can be attributed to a change in food habits, sedentary behaviour and unhealthy lifestyles, among other risk factors.
  • Kerala has the highest prevalence of hypertension as well as high cholesterol in urban men and women. 
  • Puducherry tops the list of States with the highest prevalence of diabetes.
  • Diabetics were the highest in the age group of 60-70 and lowest in the age group of 18-30.
  • The southern States were among the 10 with the highest prevalence of obesity among urban adults. Puducherry topped with almost 60% women and 42% men being overweight.
  • Tamil Nadu was close behind with 54% men and 38% women recorded as obese. Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh recorded high levels of obesity among its urban men and women.
  • Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala were among the top six States which had the most tobacco smokers among urban men.
  • While U.P. had the highest (43.6%) proportion of underweight children followed by Madhya Pradesh (32.3%), Puducherry had the lowest (14.2%).
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Many Indians skip nutritious food

A nation-wide study shows not only a great diversity in food consumption in 16 States in the country, but also that Indians consume far less than the recommended quantum of several micro-nutrients and vital vitamins.

Selection of fruit and vegetables

  • The study was carried out by the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB) to assess urban nutrition.

Highlights of the study:

iastoppers Many Indians skip nutritious food

  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands reported the highest intake of flesh foods, including meat and fish.
  • Odisha has the highest consumption of green leafy vegetables (GLV).
  • On an average, while the recommended dietary intake of GLV is 40g/CU/day, the consumption in the country is 24g/CU/day.
  • Madhya Pradesh has the lowest intake of flesh foods and Kerala consumes the least green leafy vegetables.
  • Madhya Pradesh has a sweet tooth with the highest intake of sugar and jaggery.
  • Odisha and Assam have the highest intake of salt.
  • Rajasthan is high on the intake of fats and oils as well and milk and milk products.
  • While the average intake of cereals and millets was found to be 320g/CU/day, which is lower than the recommended dietary intake (RDI), the intake of pulses and legumes was about 42g/CU/day. This is on par with the suggested level of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

About the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB):

The National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau was established under the aegis of Indian Council of Medical Research in the year 1972, with the Central Reference Laboratory at the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad.

iastoppers National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau

  • The bureau is currently in operation in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
  • The Bureau carries out surveys under the guidance of a Steering Committee and has been generating dynamic database on diet and nutritional status of the communities regularly, since 1975.

Objectives of the NNMB:

  • To collect, on a continuous basis, on representative segments of population in each of the states data on dietary pattern and nutritional status, adopting standardized and uniform procedures and techniques, and
  • To periodically evaluate the ongoing National Nutrition Programmes to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and to recommend appropriate corrective measures.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Economy

Centre proposes three-year licence for contractors

The government has proposed a major overhaul in the contract labour law.

contractlabour1 ias

  • It has proposed changes to the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970.
  • The proposed law is in line with International Labour Organisation Convention 181 [on private employment agencies].

Proposed changes:

  • Contractors will no longer require a licence for undertaking each project. No individual permits required for each project.
  • A three-year licence will be given for contractors to work across the country instead of a separate one for new work orders.
  • If the contractor wants to work in a single State for up to three years, the permit needs to be obtained from the State Government. However, the contractor will need to inform the government whenever it receives a work order from a company, failing which the licence may be cancelled.
  • The proposed law also seeks to make a distinction between contractors who provide services and those who provide human resources. Contractors who provide human resources to a company will no longer be responsible for providing canteen and restroom facilities to the workers.
  • If a work order is given to a contractor who has hired employees on payroll, then the workers will not be treated as contract workers under the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act.
  • The government has also proposed to make wage payment “primarily” through electronic mode instead of cash payment.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

Snow leopard photographed in Arunachal

Scientists have obtained the first evidence of the elusive snow leopard in Arunachal Pradesh.

shutterstock_137377322-Snow-leopard

  • The species was photographed by a camera set up at Thembang, one of the Community Conserved Areas in the state.

Key facts:

  • Only a small percentage of the snow leopard habitat in the state falls under two protected areas – the Dibang Biosphere Reserve and the Namdapha National Park.
  • The presence of the snow leopard beyond the protected areas “highlights the importance of community support for conservation”.

Background:

  • Arunachal Pradesh is one of the 22 priority landscapes of the Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program and while locals and researchers knew that there were snow leopards in the area, scientists had not been able to get photographs thus far.

What is a Community Conserved Area (CCA)?

A Community Conserved Area in India is a region governed by local communities.

  • In 2004, WWF-India introduced the concept of CCAs in the State to empower local communities to become active decision-makers and implement conservation initiatives.
  • Local communities in these CCAs form committees to undertake wildlife monitoring, patrolling and community-based tourism activities.

About Snow leopards:

iastoppers-snow-leopard2

  • Snow leopards live in the mountainous regions of central and southern Asia.
  • In India, their geographical range encompasses a large part of the western Himalayas including the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern Himalayas.
  • Snow leopards inhabit alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m or higher in the Himalayas.
  • Snow leopards prefer steep, rugged terrains with rocky outcrops and ravines. This type of habitat provides good cover and clear view to help them sneak up on their prey.
  • Their spotted coats change with the seasons – from a thick, white fur to keep them warm and camouflaged in winter, to a fine yellow-grey coat in summer.
  • Previously, the snow leopard is listed as Endangered on the IUCN-World Conservation Union’s Red List of the Threatened Species. Now, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It was first placed on the endangered list in 1972.

Snow leopard Status_iucn

  • In addition, the snow leopard, like all big cats, is listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), which makes trading of animal body parts (i.e., fur, bones and meat) illegal in signatory countries.
  • The snow leopard is the National Heritage Animal of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Dibang Biosphere Reserve

  • Dihang-Dibang or Dehang-Debang is a biosphere reserve constituted in 1998 is located in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Mouling National Park and the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary are located fully or partly within this biosphere reserve.
  • The habitat ranges from tropical wet evergreen in the river gorges to subtropical, temperate, alpine and permanent snow.
  • Rare mammals such as Mishmi takin, red goral, musk deer (at least two sub-species), red panda, Asiatic black bear, occasional tiger and Gongshan muntjac occur, while among birds there are the rare Sclater’s monal and Blyth’s tragopan.
  • Two flying squirrels have been discovered from the vicinity of this reserve.

Namdapha National Park

  • Namdapha National Park is the largest protected area in the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot and is located in Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India.
  • It is also the third largest national park in India in terms of area.
  • It is located in the Eastern Himalayan sub-region and is recognized as one of the richest areas in biodiversity in India.

About World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

The WWF is an international non-governmental organization, working in the field of the wilderness preservation, and the reduction of human impact on the environment.

ias toppers World Wide Fund for Nature

  • It was formed 1961 with the slogan – For a Living Planet.
  • Its HQ is located Avenue du Mont-Blanc, Gland, Vaud, Switzerland
  • Its primary objective is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
  • It seeks to achieve this objective by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful.
  • The Living Planet Report is published every two years by WWF since 1998; it is based on a Living Planet Index and ecological footprint calculation.
  • It is the world’s largest conservation organization with over five million supporters worldwide, working in more than 100 countries, supporting around 1,300.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Bilateral & International Relations

Anti-nuclear weapons group Ican wins Nobel Peace Prize

The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

International-Campaign-to-Abolish-Nuclear-Weapons-ICAN-ias-noble

  • ICAN has been honoured for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.

Significance of the 2017 Peace Prize:

  • The 2017 Peace Prize called upon nuclear-armed states to initiate negotiations to gradual elimination of the world’s 15,000 nuclear weapons.
  • The Nobel Prize seeks to bolster the case of disarmament amid nuclear tensions between the United States and North Korea and uncertainty over the fate of a 2015 deal between Iran and major powers to limit Tehran’s nuclear programme.
  • The award would help bolster efforts to get the 55 ratifications by countries for the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to come into force.

About ICAN:

International-Campaign-to-Abolish-Nuclear-Weapons-ICAN-ias2

  • ICAN is a coalition of non-governmental organisations from over 100 countries around the globe.
  • It was officially launched in Vienna in 2007.
  • It is working to promote adherence to and full implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The campaign helped bring about this treaty.

Background:

  • In July, 122 nations adopted a U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons but nuclear-armed states, including the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France stayed out of the talks.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

India, Ethiopia sign agreements on trade, communication

India and Ethiopia signed agreements on trade, communication and media to boost bilateral ties.

iastoppers-India-Ethiopia

  • The agreements were signed in the presence of President Ram Nath Kovind and his Ethiopian counterpart Mulatu Teshome.

Key facts:

  • President Kovind announced that India will provide a credit line to the tune of USD 95 million to Ethiopia for an electric transmission line.
  • He also announced a grant of USD 2 million for the purchase of foodgrains.
  • India also thanked Ethiopia for its participation in the International Solar Alliance (ISA); established in 2015.
  • This is the first time in 40 years that an Indian presidential delegation has visited Ethiopia.

Location of Ethiopia:

ias-toppers-Ethiopia-MAP

  • Ethiopia is a country located in the Horn of Africa.
  • It shares borders with Eritrea to the north and northeast, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south.
  • Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world, as well as the second-most populous nation on the African continent.
  • Its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa.
[Ref: Times of India]

 

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