Polity & Governance
- British Medical Journal calls for radical revamp of MCI
- “Vidyut PRAVAH” Mobile Application
- 4th Nuclear Security Summit
Defence & Security Issues
- India opts not to join global terror database
Science & Technology
- Asia’s largest telescope
- Walk on Mars with Buzz Aldrin
Polity & Governance
British Medical Journal calls for radical revamp of MCI
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) in its latest issue has called for a radical revamp of the Medical Council of India (MCI) in order to eliminate corruption and lack of ethics in healthcare.
- This observation is based on the parliamentary standing committee report which was submitted to the Rajya Sabha recently.
- In its report, BMJ has also said that the MCI has failed to create a rigorous transparent system for accrediting medical colleges, leading to geographical maldistribution and creation of ‘ghost faculties’ in private medical colleges.
- The parliamentary standing committee, in its report, had pointed out the MCI’s failure to oversee quality and integrity in health services in the country.
- The panel recommended that the Act under which MCI was set up be scrapped and a new legislation be drafted at the earliest.
- The committee had criticised the MCI for being a biased organisation, acting against larger public health goals. It described the Council as an “exclusive club” of medical doctors from corporate hospitals and private practice.
- The committee had called for extensive reforms in the MCI and removal of roadblocks to the Common Medical Entrance Test for admission to MBBS and PG courses.
BMJ had launched a campaign against corruption in the health sector in 2014. The journal published articles on kickbacks for referrals from doctors, revenue targets at corporate hospitals, and capitation fees in private medical colleges in India.
About Medical Council of India (MCI):
- The Medical Council of India (MCI) is the statutory body for establishing uniform and high standards of medical education in India.
- The Medical Council of India was first established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933. The Council was later reconstituted under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 that replaced the earlier Act.
- The Council grants recognition of medical qualifications, gives accreditation to medical schools, grants registration to medical practitioners, and monitors medical practice in India.
[Ref: Hindu; Wiki]
“Vidyut PRAVAH” Mobile Application
Ministry of Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy has launched a mobile application ‘Vidyut PRAVAH- Electricity, Price Availability and Highlights’.
Key Features of Vidyut PRAVAH:
- The Vidyut PRAVAH mobile application provides highlights of the power availability in the country on real time basis.
- The app is aimed at empowering common people to demand 24X7 power from the states and is expected to take transparency to the next level and make state governments more accountable.
- It provides a wealth of information pertaining to the current demand met, shortages if any, surplus power available and the prices in the Power Exchange.
- The real time data and comparison with previous day or year data is also available.
- It is a user friendly interface which facilitates all the consumers or stakeholders in visualization of the power availability and prices at the overall country level and at States and UTs level based on the Geographical map of India.
- The main features of the app include dashboard for All India summary, link for each states from All India Map and state specific pages on single click.
- The information disseminated through the Application will empower the consumer, thereby leading all the stakeholders to be more responsive and efficient, bringing more economy to the country.
4th Nuclear Security Summit
The fourth edition of Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) began in Washington, United States to discuss a gamut of issues pertaining to nuclear security.
- At this summit, heads of about 53 countries and representatives of five international organisations including the UNO, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), European Union (EU), Interpol are taking part.
- The fourth summit is the last summit under the current format and also under the presidency of Barack Obama.
- India is being represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the two-day summit.
- The idea of Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) was mooted by the US President Barack Obama in 2009.
- The first summit was held in 2010 in Washington. The second, third summits were held in Seoul (South Korea) and The Hague (Netherlands) in 2010, 2012 and 2014 respectively.
- It is a signature event of global diplomacy in Obama’s presidency that aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism around the globe.
- India has been contributing its bit to strengthen nuclear security by taking an active part in the summit ever since its inception in 2010.
Defence & Security Issues
India opts not to join global terror database
The Indian government has decided not to join a U.S. maintained global terror database in the face of objections from the intelligence agencies. The proposal has been stuck since it was initially proposed by the U.S. in 2012.
About the database:
The Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-6) is a model text agreement for exchange of terrorist screening information between Terrorist Screening Centre (TCS) of the U.S. and any Indian security agency.
If India join, what could he get?
- If India signs it, it could get access to the U.S. database of 11,000 terror suspects. The database includes name of the terror suspect, nationality, date of birth, photos, finger prints (if any), and passport number.
- Unhindered access to the Americans to the database of terror suspects in India, which includes their biometric details, was opposed by both the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
- Indian security agencies are apprehensive of giving unhindered access to the U.S. on sensitive data related to terrorists.
Science & Technology
Asia’s largest telescope
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel have remotely launched Asia’s biggest telescope, the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), built with Belgian assistance.
About ARIES telescope:
- ARIES telescope is a joint collaboration between Indian, Russian, and Belgian scientists.
- The telescope is located at Devasthal, Nainital at a height of 2,500 metres.It is said that the site was chosen to get a clear view of the sky.
- The ARIES optical telescope’s mirror is 3.6 metres (360 centimetres) in diameter.
- The high end technology incorporated in the telescope enables it to be operated with the help of remote control from anywhere in the world.
- The telescope will be used in the study and exploration of planets, starts, magnetic field and astronomical debris.
- The scientists will also help in research of the structures of stars and magnetic field structures of stars.
- In March 2007, the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences and Belgian company Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems (AMOS) had entered a contract for design, manufacture, integration, testing, supply, and installation of the telescope.
Walk on Mars with Buzz Aldrin
NASA and technology giant Microsoft have teamed up to create ‘Destination: Mars’, a guided tour of Mars using the HoloLens headset technology that helped scientists plan the Curiosity rover’s activities on the Red Planet.
The ‘Destination: Mars’ exhibit will open at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
- The technology will offer people a virtual tour of an area of Mars with astronaut Buzz Aldrin in an interactive exhibit using the Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality headset.
- Guests will “visit” several sites on Mars, reconstructed using real images from NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover, which has been exploring the Red Planet since August 2012.
- “Mixed reality” means virtual elements are merged with the user’s actual environment, creating a world in which real and virtual objects can interact.
Who is Buzz Aldrin?
- Aldrin, an Apollo 11 astronaut who walked on the moon in 1969, will serve as the “holographic tour guide” on the journey.
- He was one of the first two humans to land on the Moon, and the second person to walk on it.