Polity & Governance
- Government launches ‘Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan’ (PMSMA)
Environment & Ecology
- Environment Ministry constitutes team for Conservation of Loktak Lake
- Andhra Pradesh tops World Bank’s energy-saving rankings
Bilateral & International Relations
- India, UNISDR sign Statement of Cooperation on Sendai Framework
Key Facts for Prelims
- Virtual tour of Indian monuments
- PETROTECH – 2016
- 2016 Asian Champions Trophy
- Latvia- first to link with Belt and Road Initiative in Baltic Sea area
Polity & Governance
Government launches ‘Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan’ (PMSMA)
With an aim to reduce maternal and infant mortality, the Union Government launched Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA).
- The scheme will provide free and comprehensive care on the ninth day of every month during the course of the pregnancy, especially to the poor at government health centres and hospitals.
- It was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat in June 2016.
Key Features of the scheme:
- The scheme aims to provide pregnant ladies free ante-natal services (ANC) and required treatment for free on 9th of every month.
- Objectives of the scheme are:
- Provide healthy life to the pregnant women.
- Lowering the maternity mortality rate.
- Making pregnant women aware of their health issues and diseases.
- Making sure safe delivery and healthy life of the baby.
- The scheme is applicable only for the pregnant women in their pregnancy period of 3 to 6 months.
- The scheme will provide all kinds of medical checkups completely free to pregnant women. These checkups will take place at the medical centres, government and private hospitals and private clinics across the country.
- These free of cost tests will include blood pressure, sugar level, weight, haemoglobin test, blood test and screening.
- Women will be marked differently using different colour stickers based on their health problems so that doctors can easily detect the problem. Different colour stickers will be Red Sticker for Serious patients, Blue Sticker for High blood pressure and Yellow Sticker for Other diseases.
- In India, one pregnant woman dies every 12 minutes, with 45,000 dying each year. Of them, less than one in five (19.7%) undergo pre-natal health checks.
- India’s MMR of 167 (167 maternal deaths per 100,000 births) failed to meet its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of bringing down maternal deaths to under 140 by 2015.
- India’s IMR stands at 40 deaths per 1,000 live births, against an MDG target of 29. Only 15 states and UTs — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Manipur, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim and Punjab — have achieved an IMR of 29 and under.
Environment & Ecology
Environment Ministry constitutes team for Conservation of Loktak Lake
With an aim to conserve Loktak Lake in Manipur—the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India, Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) have constituted a five-member conservation and management team.
- The team will visit Loktak Lake soon and hold discussions with the State government, its concerned agencies and other stakeholders.
- The consultations will also include people living in the vicinity of the lake.
What will be the terms of reference of the team?
- To review the implementation of works carried out with financial assistance provided by the Central and State governments so far for the conservation and management of Loktak Lake and suggest further interventions required for conserving the lake in a holistic manner.
- Enumerate the steps required to be initiated for declaring Loktak Lake as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Identify the steps and actions to be taken to increase the tourism potential of Loktak Lake.
About Loktak Lake:
- Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India and is famous for the phumdis floating over it. Phumdis are the heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter at various stages of decomposition.
- Keibul Lamjao is the only floating national park in the world and is the last natural refuge of endangered Sangai deer.
- This ancient lake plays an important role in the economy of Manipur. It serves as a source of water for irrigation, drinking water supply and hydropower generation.
- Loktak lake was initially designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990. Later it was also listed under the Montreux Record in 1993.
- However, human activity has led to severe pressure on the lake ecosystem.
Andhra Pradesh tops World Bank’s energy-saving rankings
Andhra Pradesh has been ranked first in the World Bank’s ‘Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness’.
- It tops as the best state in the country in implementation of energy efficiency and conservation programmes.
- The ranking figures in a study report of the World Bank titled: ‘India’s State Level Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness’.
- With an overall score of 42.01, AP has emerged on top followed by Rajasthan, Karnataka and Maharashtra in Energy Efficiency Readiness.
- Kerala, Gujarat, NCT Delhi, Punjab, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh are the other states in the top ten ranking in that order.
Achievements of Andhra Pradesh government:
- The result-oriented approach of AP government in implementing energy efficiency programmes is worth emulating by other states.
- The state government has launched a new initiative ‘AP Energy Star’, making it mandatory to procure only five-star rated appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, ceiling fans and water pump sets in future.
- The government also proposes to supply such appliances to consumers on instalment basis at lower prices.
Bilateral & International Relations
India, UNISDR sign Statement of Cooperation on Sendai Framework
India and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction signed a Statement of Cooperation during the second day of the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016.
Key features of the Statement of Cooperation:
- The Statement underlined the guiding principles, objectives and areas of cooperation between India and UNISDR towards the effective implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), which was adopted at the Third World Conference on DRR at Sendai in Japan in March, 2015.
- The cooperation aims to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of the SFDRR through Training and capacity building for Asian countries.
- It also seeks at promoting international and regional cooperation to reinforce political commitment.
- It facilitates knowledge sharing and strengthens the capacity of UNISDR for monitoring and review of the Sendai Framework.
- India will partner with UNISDR to work towards strengthening the capacity of Asian countries in ensuring risk resilient development.
- It facilitates sharing of knowledge and experiences and collaborative efforts towards addressing critical regional challenges.
- The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) was created in December 1999 as part of the UN Secretariat with the purpose of ensuring the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
- It was established as a successor to the secretariat of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.
- UNISDR has its headquarters in Geneva and implements its mandate through five regional offices.
- It is part of the United Nations Secretariat and its functions span the social, economic, environmental as well as humanitarian fields.
- UNISDR supports the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted by the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction on 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan.
UNISDR’s vision is anchored on the four priorities for action set out in the Sendai Framework:
- Understanding disaster risk.
- Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk.
- Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience.
- Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Key Facts for Prelims
Virtual tour of Indian monuments
- Google has tied up with Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) for 360 degree virtual tour of 280-odd monuments across the country.
- ASI had given the permission to Google for creating the virtual tour, which would be available in the maps.
- Some of the major monuments are Taj Mahal, Victoria Memorial and the ruins of Hampi.
PETROTECH – 2016
- It is India’s flagship biennial international oil and gas conference and exhibition.
- It was recently inaugurated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
- PETROTECH is Asia’s largest oil and gas event.
- The theme for this event is Hydrocarbons to fuel the future – Choices and Challenges”.
- This global event aims at bringing Energy Ministers, industry leaders, professionals, academicians and domain experts from the energy sector on a common platform.
- The Conference showcases the strengths & potential of Indian Hydrocarbon industry to the world.
- Besides it also provides a vibrant platform for exchange of ideas, sharing of experience, knowledge and technological development across various segments of hydrocarbon industry and opportunities for business collaborations.
- PETROTECH will also include a BRICS Roundtable of Energy Ministers and a Roundtable discussion involving select CELAC countries of Latin America.
2016 Asian Champions Trophy
- In its maiden win, Indian Women’s hockey team has won the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy held in Singapore.
- The Asian Hockey Champions Trophy is held annually by the Asian Hockey Federation since 2011.
- The tournament features the Asian Games top six field hockey teams competing in a round robin format.
- Pakistan and India are the most successful teams in Asian Hockey Champions Trophy; Pakistan and India have won the trophy twice.
- In women’s category, South Korea has won most titles for two times in 2010 and 2011.
Latvia- first to link with Belt and Road Initiative in Baltic Sea area
Latvia became the first country in the Baltic Sea area to sign a memorandum of understanding to link up with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aims to boost connectivity and trade across Asia, Africa and Europe. It was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013.