Current Affairs Analysis

11th October 2017 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

WHO guidelines to manage obesity in children; WHO; Nation Brands 2017 report; India Water Week-2017; SCO contact group meeting on Afghanistan; Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO); 'Value Engineering Programme'; National Panel of Experts (NPE); National Investigation Agency (NIA); etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
October 12, 2017


Issues related to Health & Education

  • WHO releases new guidelines to manage obesity in children


  • Slowing economy pushes India to 8th spot in valuable nation brand list

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • India Water Week-2017

Bilateral & International Relations

  • India invited to join SCO contact group meeting on Afghanistan

Defence & Security Issues

  • Union Home Minister inaugurates NIA Hqrs new Office Complex

Science & Technology

  • Road Min to promote new technologies in highway projects

For IASToppers Current Affairs Analysis Archive, Click Here

Issues related to Health & Education

WHO releases new guidelines to manage obesity in children

With increasing evidence that childhood obesity is a global epidemic affecting even the poorer nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released new guidelines on how trained professionals can better identify obesity.

ias toppers obese children

Key Facts:

  • India has the second highest number of obese children in the world after China, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in June this year.
  • A study published in Paediatric Obesity says India will have over 17 million children with excess weight by 2025.
  • In 2016, one half of all children overweight or obese lived in Asia and one quarter lived in Africa.
  • Ironically, overweight and obesity is found in populations where under-nutrition remains common. The term ‘double-burden of malnutrition’ is sometimes used to describe this phenomenon.



  • According to the WHO document, urbanisation, increased income, availability of fast foods, educational demands, television viewing and gaming have led to a rise in the consumption of foods high in fats, sugar and salt and low physical activity.
  • While there have been major public health interventions to promote improved diet and patterns of physical activity in adults, the contribution of antenatal and young-child interventions to reducing the risk of obesity in later life have not been significantly reviewed.

WHO guidelines on obesity:

  • The WHO guidelines titled “Assessing and managing children at primary healthcare facilities to prevent overweight and obesity in the context of the double burden of malnutrition” provides updates for the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI).
  • The guidelines include counselling, dieting and assessment of eating habits along with the usual weight and height measurements.
  • As per the guidelines, routinely providing supplementary foods to stunted and moderately wasted infants and children in primary health-care facilities is not recommended.
  • Early prevention is the need of the hour to avoid an entire generation from falling prey to heart ailments, hypertension and diabetic complications.


Problems in Identification:

  • Doctors say identification of obesity in children is the main issue as often parents think a chubby child is a healthy child.
  • Parents feel the necessity to see a doctor only when their children develop complications.

Most obese children develop early puberty, joint pain and find it difficult to exercise. This in turn results in metabolic syndrome and they end up with Type 2 diabetes.

About WHO:

  • The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.
  • It was established on 7 April 1948, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • It is a member of the United Nations Development Group.
[Ref: The Hindu]



Slowing economy pushes India to 8th spot in valuable nation brand list

According to Brand Finance’s recently released Nation Brands 2017 report, India is ranked the eighth most valuable nation brand while the United States retained its top position and China took the second spot in the league of nations.


About Valuable Nation Brand List:

  • The Brand Finance Nation Brands measures the strength and value of the nation brands of 100 leading countries using a method based on the royalty relief mechanism that Brand Finance uses to value the world’s largest companies.
  • The report provides each country with a measure of its brand strength in addition to its nation brand value.

Highlights of the report:



  • US continues to be at the top the list, followed by China, Germany, Japan and United Kingdom.
  • China is the fastest growing nation brand in absolute terms.
  • Asian nation brands boom as the West stagnates
  • Southern European nations show double-digit growth
  • Iceland topped the ‘Top 10 best performing nation brands’ list. The impetus was provided mainly by the hit TV show, Game of Thrones, which filmed most of its winter scenes in the country.

India’s performance

  • In terms of valuations, India’s National Brand Value 2017 is USD 2.04 trillion, down one percent from last year’s USD 2.06 trillion.
  • This has pushed India down one spot to eighth on a list of most valuable nation brands compiled by Brand Finance. The country’s brand rating, however, improved from ‘AA-‘ to ‘AA’.

Pillars of India’s Brand Value:

  • Brand analysts list democracy, diversity, young population and technological receptivity as the pillars of India’s brand value.
  • India is seen stronger in attributes related to culture and weaker in attributes related to business.

Status of Indian Brand Value:

  • India needs rapid economic growth, accelerated employment, exponential increase in infrastructure and a do-or-die spirit of enterprise.
  • India has to not only match, but exceed China’s growth rate consistently for a decade or two, if it wants to climb the Index and reliably hold a higher position.
  • With so much focus on China, the emergence of India as a top-tier investment destination has not received the notice that it warrants.
  • In 2015, India surpassed both US and China to top list of greenfield foreign direct investment (FDI) by volume.
  • In 2016, Indian companies were responsible for 272 overseas projects, placing India third as an Asian source country for FDI, behind Japan and China.
[Ref: Business Standard]


Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

India Water Week-2017

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated India Water Week-2017 today (October 10, 2017) in New Delhi.


  • The India Water Week 2017 is going to be held on the theme “Water and Energy for Inclusive Growth,”.
  • India Water Week-2017 is a platform to elicit ideas and opinions from global-level decision makers, politicians, researchers and entrepreneurs in the field of water resources development and management for mutual benefit and goodwill.



  • The government has prepared a strategic plan for ensuring drinking water supply in all rural areas by 2022. By that year, the goal is to cover 90 per cent of rural households with piped water supply.
  • The Government of India proposed to complete 99 prioritised Major & Medium Irrigation – AIBP Projects in 18 States along with their CAD works by December 2019 under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) Mission established in MoWR, RD & GR.

About India Water Week:

  • In order to establish an international event focused on water resources of India, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India has been organising India Water Week since 2012 as an annual international event.
  • It is a unique platform for deliberating all the related issues and better management of water resources.
  • Four editions of India Water Week have been organised so far in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.
  • The first event was organised in New Delhi in 2012 and the theme was ‘Water, Energy and Food Security: Call for Solutions’.

Need for conservation of water:

  • Water is the harbinger of all life on the planet, especially the humankind. With the growing population and improvement in economic status, the demand for available water resources is also increasing.
  • As a result, there is an urgency to conserve and utilize the limited availability of water resources in an optimum and efficient manner to satisfy larger needs.
[Ref: PIB]


Bilateral & International Relations

India invited to join SCO contact group meeting on Afghanistan

India has been invited to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) contact group meeting on Afghanistan for the first time to discuss the war-torn country’s security situation as well as economic potential.

iastoppers Narendra-Modi-China-SCO-India

  • The meeting is being is held on October 11 in Moscow and comes as a feather in the cap for India’s Afghan strategy after successful US backed Indo-Afghan trade and investment show in Delhi.
  • The development is viewed as acknowledgement of India’s stake in the war-torn country.


  • The SCO contact group that had become defunct in 2009 has been revived this year after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intervention.
  • At the 2016 summit held in Uzbekistan, the SCO leaders signed memorandums on the accession of India and Pakistan to the organization. India became an SCO member in June this year.

India’s engagement with Afghanistan:

  • India is working with both US and Russia to contribute to stability of Afghanistan.
  • SCO membership has put India into the heart of Eurasian geopolitics, enabling a larger say in Afghanistan, which has a direct bearing on security situation at home. However, India’s deeper engagement with Afghanistan has been opposed by Pakistan and its army.
  • Pakistan-backed Taliban and Haqqani network continue to target Indian interests and assets in the landlocked country as India strives to achieve “strategic depth”.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):

Seen as a counter to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), SCO is a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.


  • These countries, except for Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organisation.
  • Its headquarters is located in Beijing, China.
  • India, which has had an observer status for the past 10 years, was accepted along with Pakistan as full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in July 2015.
  • It has now eight members: China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
  • SCO has Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus as observers.
  • The SCO has established relations with the United Nations, where it is an observer in the General Assembly, the European Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
[Ref: Economic Times]


Defence & Security Issues

Union Home Minister inaugurates NIA Hqrs new Office Complex

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the new Headquarters Office Complex of the NIA at New Delhi.


  • NIA will soon inaugurate its new regional office buildings in Guwahati in December, 2017 and Hyderabad in June, 2018.

Autonomy to NIA:

  • The Government has initiated steps to grant full autonomy to the NIA in investigations.
  • Earlier the NIA sought the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) nod to proceed for action, but now there is no need for MHA’s approval and NIA is free to act discretely.
  • Even the next Director General of NIA, Y C Modi has been appointed almost two months in advance that would facilitate a smooth transition.

Recent activity:

  • The NIA recently launched a crackdown on terrorism funding in the Kashmir Valley sponsored from a hostile neighbouring country and their accomplices abroad.

About NIA:

National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a central agency established by the Indian Government to act as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency.


  • The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states.
  • The Agency came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 by the Parliament of India in 2009.
  • The agency is headed by a Director General and the officers for the agency are recruited from other agencies like the Indian Revenue Services, State Police departments, Income Tax department, Central Armed Police Forces.
  • It also builds a database on all terror-related information and shares it with the states and other law enforcement agencies.
  • The NIA has the power to investigate any terrorist attack in the country covering offences including bomb blasts, hijacking of planes and ships and attacks on nuclear installations, incidents related to smuggling of arms, circulation of fake currency and cross border infiltration.
  • NIA’s emphasis is on using latest scientific methods of investigation and a speedy trial resulting in quick justice.

Can a State Government request the NIA to take over the investigation of a case?

  • A State Government may request the Central Government to hand over the investigation of a case to the NIA, provided there is reasonable ground to suggest the commission of a scheduled offence under the NIA Act in the said crime.
[Ref: PIB]


Science & Technology

Road Min to promote new technologies in highway projects

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, has decided to implement a ‘Value Engineering Programme’ to promote the use of new technologies, materials and equipment in highways projects executed either under PPP mode or public funding mode.

iastoppers Value Engineering Programme

Aims of the ‘Value Engineering Programme’:

  • The programme aims at using innovative technology, materials and equipment to reduce the cost of projects and make them more environment friendly.
  • Programme is expected to increase the speed of construction, reduce construction cost, increase asset durability and improve aesthetics and safety.

About National Panel of Experts (NPE):

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways reconstituted a nine-member experts’ panel (National Panel of Experts) for approving proposals for use of new technologies, material and equipment.

  • The National Panel of Experts (NPE) will examine all technical matters involving the new technologies, materials and equipment referred to it by the concerned Engineers or concessionaires/ contractors.
  • The NPE will also resolve the technical issues which arise as a result of difference in views between engineers and contractors regarding implementation, besides deciding about the need for of any new or innovative technology/ materials/ equipment before its adoption.
[Ref: Times of India]



Current Affairs Analysis Latest Posts

IT on Facebook

Facebook Pagelike Widget


Calendar Archive

October 2020
« Sep