Polity & Governance
- Ministry of Health launches Nationwide Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF)
- OROP: SC notice to govt. on revision
- Khasis lived in Meghalaya since 1200 BCE, says study
- World Population Day
Environment & Ecology
- Climate change will cause 250,000 deaths by 2030: WHO
- India, Kenya to deepen security ties
- 300 Indians stranded in Juba as civil war reignites
Science & Technology
- India’s first IoT centre launched in Bengaluru with five startups
Persons in News
- Gujarat litterateur gets Jnanpith award
Polity & Governance
Ministry of Health launches Nationwide Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF)
The Health Ministry launched nationwide Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF) to check child diarrhoeal deaths.
- The IDCF will be observed from 11th to 23rd July across the country.
- The timing of the programme is very critical as this is just the onset of monsoon and diarrhoea is beginning to show up.
- The IDCF drive is a very cost -effective intervention to curb the risk of spread of diarrhoea.
- Intensified community awareness campaigns on hygiene and promotion of Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) and Zinc therapy will be conducted at state, district and village levels.
- The combination of ORS and Zinc has been found to be the most cost-effective intervention to prevent deaths due to diarrhea and has been recognised as one of the best practices globally.
- Under this initiative, government aims at covering over 80% of children (of the 10 crore children below five years of age) affected by diarrhoea across the country.
- The importance of this drive is that to make ORS available in the household when needed at the time of diarrhoea.
- ASHAs will visit all households with children below 5 years of age for pre-positioning the ORS. They will also explain the benefits of these.
- All health facilities will have ORS corners which will continuously demonstrate the way to prepare the ORS mixture.
- These corners will also administer ORS and Zinc to children who are in need of these during diarrhoea.
OROP: SC notice to govt. on revision
The Supreme Court issued notice to the central government on a plea by the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) seeking implementation of ‘one rank one pension’ (OROP) with an automatic hike in pension of the past retirees in tune with any enhancement in pension of recent retirees.
- The petition by the IESM has contended that OROP is a uniform desire of the three defence services and ex-servicemen are presently drawing pension that is not consistent with their rank and length of service.
- The petition says that some ex-servicemen drawing lesser pension than the ex-servicemen who retired in subordinate ranks (or in the same rank) which is unjust and unconstitutional.
- It referred to an earlier apex court judgment which had said that “class within a class” is illegal, unconstitutional and violative of fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution.
- Referring to Koshyari Committee report and the apex court decision, the petition says that it is “most shocking” that the government has delayed the implementation of OPROP in “utter violation of the constitution and the rule of law”.
- The petition argued that government is attempting to create “one rank, different pension” by proposing to pass any future enhancement in the rate of pension, to the past pensioners, on a periodic basis (as opposed to “automatic” and contemporaneously).
- On December 19, 2011, the report of Rajya Sabha’s Petition Committee, then headed by Bhagat Singh Koshyari, had rejected all reservations of the government while “recommending” OROP.
- The Indian Ex-servicemen Movement (IESM) said the government’s policy of periodic review of pension once in five years would dilute the February 26, 2014 announcement by which the revision in pension was to automatically pass on to the past pensioners on an annual basis.
Khasis lived in Meghalaya since 1200 BCE, says study
Pre-historic megaliths and tools discovered in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district indicate that the Khasi tribe had made the State their home since around 1200 BCE. A megalith is a large stone that forms part of a prehistoric monument.
- Archaeologists excavated the archaeological site near Lummawbuh village which is the first one of a Neolithic site in Meghalaya.
About Khasi Tribe:
- Historically Khasi tribes of India are regarded as the earliest migrants from Myanmar. These Indian tribes also ran a kingdom but it was later diluted and liquidized by the Britishers and controlled over.
- They call themselves Ki Khun U Hynñiewtrep, which means “The Children of The Seven Huts” in their language.
- Assam, Khasi Jaintia hills in Meghalaya, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal are some of the major places inhabited by Khasi tribes of India.
- It is probably the only Indian tribes where females are given priority over the males. The property is passed from the mother to the youngest daughter.
- Dance and music are the integral part of the life of these popular tribes of India. Drums, Guitars and flutes are some of the instruments mastered by Khasi tribe.
- The marriage culture is very unique as the groom has to live in the bride’s home after marriage.
- These Indian tribes speak Khasi which is an Austro – Asiatic language.
- The major part of Khasi tribes of India follows Christianity. For these Indian tribes, God U Blei Nong-thaw is the supreme creator and goddess who protect them from all the troubles of life.
- Nongkrem is the chief festival celebrated amongst the Khasi tribes. This is a five days long religious festival that falls in the month of November.
- The atmosphere is also very festive in the month of April. Shad Suk Mynsiem is celebrated for three days by these enthusiastic tribes of India.
World Population Day
World Population day is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues.
- The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989.
- It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987-approximately the date on which the world’s population reached five billion people.
- World Population Day aims at increase people’s awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.
- The theme for the year 2016 is: “Investing in teenage girls”.
India’s ‘Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh’:
The Government of India had set up a National Population Stabilization Fund (NPSF) in the year 2004-05 with a one-time grant of Rs.100 crore in the form of a corpus fund.
- This is now known as Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (JSK). To empower the NPSF, Government of India has set up Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (JSK).
- This is an autonomous body registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. JSK can take all the policy related decisions. It can raise contributions from organisations and individuals that support population stabilisation.
- JSK implements two schemes, namely, Santushti and Prerna.
- Santushti is a strategy of Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (JSK) for the highly populated states of India viz Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh & Odisha. Under this strategy, Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh, invites private sector gynaecologists and vasectomy surgeons to conduct sterilization operations in Public Private Partnership mode.
- In order to help push up the age of marriage of girls and space the birth of children in the interest of health of young mothers and infants, Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (National Population Stabilization Fund) has launched PRERNA, a Responsible Parenthood Strategy in seven focus states namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Rajasthan.
Environment & Ecology
Climate change will cause 250,000 deaths by 2030: WHO
According to a finding by World Health Organization (WHO), climate change will cause an additional 250,000 deaths from malaria, diarrhoeal disease, heat stress and under nutrition by 2030.
- Experts noted that climate change was already causing tens of thousands of deaths every year. This is in addition to 7 million deaths caused by air pollution.
- The biggest burden of the additional fatalities will be borne by children, women, older people and the poor, further widening the existing health inequalities.
- To mitigate deaths due to climate change, participants focused on the need to measure the progress by countries in safeguarding health of the people.
India, Kenya to deepen security ties
India and Kenya decided to deepen and expand cooperation in a wide range of areas as they signed seven pacts, including in the field of defence and security and avoidance of double taxation.
- India announced extension of a concessional Line of Credit (LoC) of $44.95 million to the African nation to help it in development of small and medium enterprises and textiles.
- India will also build a cancer hospital in Kenya to provide quality and affordable healthcare.
- The MoU on Defence Cooperation signed will entail staff exchanges, expertise sharing, training, cooperation in hydrography and equipment supply.
- Besides MoUs in defence and security, revised pact on avoidance of double taxation and two LoCs, the other agreements were in the fields of visa and housing.
- India is Kenya’s largest trading partner, and the second largest investor here.
- India and Kenya have a thriving economic and commercial relationship.
- Both nations had young populations and both cultures value education.
- The two countries shared common interest in the security, including in maritime security, since they were connected by the Indian Ocean.
300 Indians stranded in Juba as civil war reignites
Reignited civil war in Juba has left at least 300 Indians stranded. Juba is the capital of South Sudan.
- Fleeing the fight between the heavily armed rival factions divided on ethnic lines, Indians have taken refuge at various locations, including the Embassy of India.
- Law and order has broken down in the country. Even the U.N. peacekeeping contingent was busy defending its bases.
What’s the issue?
- South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, but the hard-won celebration was short-lived. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the ruling political party that originally led the way for independence, is now divided and fighting for power.
- In December 2013, political infighting erupted into violence in the streets of the capital, Juba, after South Sudan’s president accused his vice president of an attempted coup. Violence spread across the young nation like wildfire, displacing 413,000 civilians in just the first month of conflict. Tens of thousands of civilians rushed to seek refuge in U.N. bases that were subsequently turned into makeshift displacement camps. The fighting has continued, becoming increasingly brutal and affecting nearly the entire country.
- A handful of peace agreements have been signed over the course of the war — the most recent in August 2015 — but they have been repeatedly violated. The situation remains highly unstable. While some regions have recently become slightly less volatile, allowing people to move around fairly freely and return to their homes, violent outbreaks are still occurring throughout the country.
Science & Technology
India’s first IoT centre launched in Bengaluru with five startups
India’s first Centre of Excellence on Internet of Things (CoE– IoT) was launched in Bengaluru, Karnataka by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).
- Five startups have been chosen to be part of the CoE– IoT, the segment where sensors in devices such as a smartphone or a smoke detector talk to each other and share data using the internet.
- The centre, which can house 40 startups, is jointly set up by software industry grouping National Association of Software and Service Company (NASSCOM), Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) and Education and Research Network (ERNET).
- The startups Wireless Controls, Uncanny Vision, LightMetrics, ThingsCloud and SAAR Microsystems have been chosen for the first CoE in Bengaluru.
- The IoT centre, which allows startups to build a prototype and test them, will focus on building solutions for applications such as agriculture, automobile, telecom, healthcare and consumer goods.
What is IoT?
- Internet of Things (IoT) is described for devices that have sensors which talk to and share information to other devices over the internet.
IoT is one of the high growth potential areas in the IT sector.[Ref: BS]
Persons in News
Gujarat litterateur gets Jnanpith award
Gujarati litterateur Dr Raghuveer Chaudhari was honoured with the 51st Bharatiya Jnanpith award for the year 2015 by President Pranab Mukherjee.
- Raghuveer Chaudhari has authored more than 80 books and some of his notable novels include Amrita, Venu Vatsala, Uparvas, Purvarang and Laagni Samjyaa Vinaa Chuuta Padvanu.
- He also had worked as a columnist for numerous newspapers such as Sandesh, Janmabhumi, Nirikshaka and Divya Bhaskar.
- It is important to note that Mr. Chaudhary is the fourth Gujarati litterateur to bag this prestigious award after Uma Shankar Joshi (1967), Pannalal Patel (1985) and Rajendra Shah (2001).
About Jnanpith Award:
Jnanpith Award, India’s highest literary honour, was instituted in 1961 and is presented annually by Bharatiya Jnanpith trust founded by the Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain family that owns the Times of India newspaper group.
- The award is bestowed upon any Indian citizen who writes in any 22 official languages of India mentioned in VIII Schedule of Constitution of India.
- Prior to 1982, the award was only given for a single work by a writer. But after 1982, the award is given for lifetime contribution to Indian literature.