day-45
70 Days WAR Plan

Day#45 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD); International Maritime Organization (IMO); Elephantiasis or Lymphatic Filariasis; Mass Drug Administration (MDA); e-Samvad portal; Van Dhan Scheme; Initial Coin Offerings (ICO); Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO); Hongyun project; Innovate in India (i3);
By IT's Core Team
May 05, 2019

 

 

 

Innovate in India (i3) is an industry-academia collaborative mission for accelerating discovery research. The programme was initiated for development of which department?

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Answer:

  • Innovate in India (i3) is an industry-academia collaborative mission for accelerating discovery research to development of Biopharmaceuticals.

Enrich Your Learning:

National Biopharma Mission

  • The programme named Innovate in India (i3) is an industry- academia collaborative mission of Department of Biotechnology (DBT) with World Bank for accelerating discovery research to early development of Biopharmaceuticals and to be implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
  • It aspires to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the sector.
  • The mission is committed to make India a hub for design and development of novel, affordable and effective biopharmaceutical products and solutions.

Aim:

  • Anable and nurture an ecosystem for preparing India’s technological and product development capabilities in biopharmaceuticals to a level that will be globally competitive over the next decade, and transform the health standards of India’s population through affordable product development.

Significance:

  • The mission will boost the growth curve for domestic biopharma in India by accelerating the translation of research concepts into viable products, supporting clinical validation, enabling sustainable networks for collaboration between industry and academia and supporting entrepreneurial ecosystem amongst many others.
  • It will provide integrated approach to strengthen and support the entire product development value chain for accelerating the research leads to product development.

 

 

 

Hongyun project is the communications network satellite of which country?

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Answer:

  • The Hongyun project is a space-based communications network to provide broadband internet connectivity to users around the world by China.

Enrich Your Learning:

Hongyun project

  • The Hongyun project was started in September 2016 by China.
  • It aims to build a space-based communications network to provide broadband internet connectivity to users around the world, especially those in the underserved regions.
  • China launched its first communication satellite to provide broadband internet services worldwide in an apparent bid to rival Google and other international firms.
  • The satellite was launched from a Long March 11 carrier rocket.
  • It is the first in the Hongyun project planned by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC).
  • The spacecraft is tasked with verifying basic designs of Hongyun satellite and demonstrating low-orbit broadband communications technologies.
  • CASIC currently intends to place more than 150 Hongyun satellites on orbits about 1,000 kms above the ground around 2023.
  • The satellite works in a sun-synchronous orbit about 1,100 kilometres above earth. It is powered by solar arrays and has a design life of one year.

 

 

 

EPFO is one of the World’s largest Social Security Organisations in terms of volume of financial transactions undertaken. True or False?

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Answer:

True.

  • EPFO is one of the World’s largest Social Security Organisations in terms of clientele and the volume of financial transactions undertaken.

Enrich Your Learning:

Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)

  • At present EPFO maintains 17.14 crore accounts (Annual Report 2015-16) pertaining to its members.
  • Organisation aims to extend the reach and quality of publicly managed old age income security programs through consistent and ever-improving standards of compliance and benefit delivery.
  • The technology-driven and hassle-free services are envisaged to improve the level of trust on the functioning of EPFO.

Background:

  • The Employees’ Provident Fund came into existence with the promulgation of the Employees’ Provident Funds Ordinance on the 15th November, 1951.
  • It was replaced by the Employees’ Provident Funds Act, 1952.
  • The Act is now referred as the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 which extends to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir.

Functions of EPFO:

  • Provide minimum interface but maximum output from the EPFO offices
  • Improved and reliable facility for on line services
  • Real time monthly updation of member accounts
  • Online access to member account
  • Ensure one Employee one EPF account
  • Reduce the time for settlement of claims
  • Facilitate the ease of compliance
  • Encourage and promote voluntary compliance
  • Keep up the vigil and ensure proper compliance by all establishments
  • Further improvise easy interaction with EPFO to obtain information or seek redressal

EPFO Schemes:

  • EPF Scheme 1952
  • Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS)
  • Insurance Scheme 1976 (EDLI)

 

 

 

At Singapore, the first time an Indian prime minister spoke in strategic gathering of the Asia-Pacific region organised by International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). Which was that forum?

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Answer:

  • In Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) 2018 in Singapore, the first time an Indian prime minister spoke at the SLD since its inaugural edition.

Enrich Your Learning:

Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD)

  • Shangri-La Dialogue is Asia’s premier defence summit.
  • It’s a unique meeting where ministers debate the region’s most pressing security challenges, engage in important bilateral talks and come up with fresh solutions together.
  • It is held annually by an independent think tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
  • It has been attended by defence ministers, permanent heads of ministries and military chiefs of 28 Asia-Pacific states.
  • The forum gets its name from the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore where it has been held since 2002.
  • The Dialogue has built confidence and fostered practical security cooperation, by facilitating easy communication and fruitful contact among the region’s most important defence and security policymakers.
  • Each year’s agenda is intentionally wide-ranging, reflecting the many defence and security challenges facing a large and diverse region.
  • The SLD has evolved into a key strategic gathering of the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The 2019 summit will take place on 31 May to 2 June.

About IISS:

  • The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) is a world-leading authority on global security, political risk and military conflict.
  • Founded in 1958, the IISS promotes the development of sound policies that further global peace and security, and maintain civilised international relations.
  • The IISS is also renowned for its security summits, including the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue (The Asian Regional Security Summit) and IISS Manama Dialogue (The Middle East Regional Security Summit).
  • The IISS has offices in London, Washington DC, Bahrain and Singapore.

 

 

 

What are the Initial Coin Offerings (ICO)? What’s the scope for raising ICOs in India?

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Answer:

  • An initial coin offering, or ICO, is a fundraising strategy in which a blockchain team sells their project’s underlying cryptocurrency in exchange for the funds they need to create the platform. Generally, those funds consist of bitcoin, ether, or both.
  • Apart from disruptive potential of this new method, there is always a new way to pay close attention and run sandbox experiments to allow some high-quality ICOs, because India can be a major beneficiary of the capital that can come in to support Indian start-ups.

Enrich Your Learning:

Initial Coin Offerings (ICO)

  • For traditional companies, there are a few ways of going about raising funds necessary for development and expansion. A company can start small and grow as its profits allow, remaining beholden only to company owners but having to wait for funds to build up.
  • Alternately, companies can look to outside investors for early support, providing them a quick influx of cash but typically coming with the trade-off of giving away a portion of ownership stake.
  • Another method sees companies go public, earning funds from individual investors by selling shares through an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
  • An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is the cryptocurrency space’s rough equivalent to an IPO in the mainstream investment world.
  • ICOs act as fundraisers of sorts; a company looking to create a new coin, app, or service launches an ICO.
  • ICOs are used by start-ups to bypass the rigorous and regulated capital-raising process required by venture capitalists or banks.
  • ICOs can be structured in a variety of ways. In some cases, a company sets a specific goal or limit for its funding, which means that each token sold in the ICO has a pre-set price and that the total token supply is static.
  • In other cases, there is a static supply of ICO tokens but a dynamic funding goal, which means that the distribution of tokens to investors will be dependent upon the funds received.
  • Other ICOs have a dynamic token supply which is determined according to the amount of funding received.

Overview of Initial Coin Offering (ICO):

  • Decentralized
  • Little to no regulation (currently)
  • No red tape
  • No investor protection
  • Receive tokens

Are Initial Coin Offerings Legal?

  • The regulations around ICOs vary from country to country.
  • While countries like Switzerland and Malta have taken a more progressive approach to legislation, others, such as the United States, are still working out the regulatory kinks.

 

 

 

The Van Dhan Scheme is an initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and?

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Answer:

The Van Dhan Scheme is an initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED.

Enrich Your Learning:

Van Dhan Scheme:

  • The Van Dhan Scheme was launched on 14th April, 2018 and seeks to improve tribal incomes through value addition of tribal products.
  • The scheme will be implemented through Ministry of Tribal Affairs as Nodal Department at the Central Level and TRIFED as Nodal Agency at the National Level.
  • At State level, the State Nodal Agency for MFPs and the District collectors are envisaged to play a pivot role in scheme implementation at grassroot level.
  • Locally the Kendras are proposed to be managed by a Managing Committee (an SHG) consisting of representatives of Van Dhan SHGs in the cluster.

Key Highlights of Van Dhan Initiative:

  • At unit level, aggregation of produce would be done by SHGs having about 30 members each forming Van Dhan Vikas ‘Samuh’.
  • The SHGs would also undertake primary value addition of the MFPs using equipment such as small cutting and sieving tools, decorticator, dryer, packaging tool etc. based on MFPs available in the area.

A typical Van Dhan Vikas Samuh would have the following facilities:

  • Provision for required building/ infrastructure support to be established in one of the beneficiary’s house/ part of house or Government/ gram panchayat building.
  • Equipment/ Tool Kit comprising of equipment such as small cutting and sieving tools, decorticator, dryer, packaging tool etc. based on MFPs available in the area.
  • Fully equipped training facilities for a batch of 30 trainees with provision for raw material for training purpose and supply of trainee kits (comprising of bag, scribbing pad, pen, brochures, training manual, booklet etc).
  • Provisioning of working capital for the SHGs through tie up with financial institutions, banks, NSTFDC etc.
  • A cluster of ten such SHGs within the same village shall form a Van Dhan Vikas Kendra. Subject to successful operations of the samuhs in a Kendra, common infrastructure facilities (pucca Kendra) may be provided to the Kendra in the next phase in terms of building, warehouse, etc. for use of the samuh members.
  • An illustrative list of major MFPs which may be covered under the initiative are tamarind, mahua flower, mahua seed, hill broom, chironjee, honey, sal seed, sal leaves, bamboo split, myrobalan, mango (amchur), aonla (churan/candy), seed lac, tez patta, cardamom, black pepper, turmeric, dry ginger, cinnamon, coffee, tea, sea buckthorn tea, etc. Apart from these, any other MFP with potential for value addition may be included.

Implementation of the scheme:

  • Under Van Dhan, 10 Self Help Groups of 30 Tribal gatherers is constituted.
  • The establishment of “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” is for providing skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility.
  • They are then trained and provided with working capital to add value to the products, which they collect from the jungle.
  • Working under the leadership of Collector these groups can then market their products not only within the States but also outside the States.
  • Training and technical support is provided by TRIFED. It is proposed to develop 3,000 such centres in the country.
  • The Van Dhan Vikas Kendras will be important milestone in economic development of tribals involved in collection of MFPs by helping them in optimum utilization of natural resources and provide sustainable MFP-based livelihood in MFP-rich districts.

 

 

 

What is Elephantiasis or Lymphatic Filariasis? Also mention about National Filaria Control Program and Hathipaon Mukt Bharat (Filaria Free India) programme.

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

About Elephantiasis or Lymphatic Filariasis:

  • Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease.
  • It is a parasitic disease caused by the parasitic worms called filial worms which is spread by the bite of the infected black flies and mosquitoes.
  • It is classified as a neglected tropical diseases and one of the four main worm infections.
  • Infection is usually acquired in childhood causing hidden damage to the lymphatic system.
  • The larvae in the human can live in human beings for up-to 5-8 years without showing any symptoms; however the lymphatic system is damaged.
  • Elephantiasis leads to severe swelling in arms, legs, knees and genitals causes disfigurement and disability.
  • It also makes the infected areas vulnerable to even minor scratches especially in rural areas with low sanitation.
  • These patients are not only physically disabled, but suffer mental, social and financial losses contributing to stigma and poverty.

Cause of the disease:

  • Lymphatic filariasis is caused by infection with parasites classified as nematodes (roundworms) of the family Filariodidea.
  • There are 3 types of these thread-like filarial worms:
    1. Wuchereria bancrofti, which is responsible for 90% of the cases
    2. Brugia malayi, which causes most of the remainder of the cases
    3. Brugia timori, which also causes the disease.
  • It is transmitted by different types of mosquitoes for example by the Culex mosquito, widespread across urban and semi-urban areas, Anopheles, mainly found in rural areas, and Aedes, mainly in endemic islands in the Pacific.

Treatment:

  • Mosquito control is a supplemental strategy supported by WHO.
  • Measures such as insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual spraying or personal protection measures may help protect people from infection.
  • The medications do not kill the adult worms but prevent further spread of the disease until the worms die on their own.

Condition of the disease in world over and in India:

  • According to WHO estimates over 1 billion people in over 54 countries are at risk of developing disease with 70% of disease burden in India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Bangladesh.
  • India alone accounts for 40% of world’s disease burden with over 31 million microfilaraemics, 23 million cases of symptomatic filariasis, and about 500 million individuals at risk of contracting the disease.
  • It is considered endemic in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and Pacific Island nations.
  • India is a signatory to World Health Assembly Resolution in 1997 for Global Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis.
  • The National Health Policy (2002) envisages elimination of lymphatic filariasis in India by 2020.
  • According to the data by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India, Micro flaria rate has fallen from 1.2 % in 2014 to 0.3% in 2015.

National Filaria Control Programme (NFCP)

  • After pilot project in Orissa from 1949 to 1954, NFCP was launched in the country in 1955.
  • Its objective was of delimiting the problem, to undertake control measures in endemic areas and to train personnel to man the programme.
  • The main control measures were mass DEC administration, antilarval measures in urban areas and indoor residual spray in rural areas.
  • The programme has been integrated as ‘Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (ELF) Programme’ under the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP).
  • NFCP Strategy:
    1. Recurrent anti-larval measures at weekly intervals
    2. Environmental methods including source reduction by filling ditches, pits, low lying areas, deweeding, desilting, etc.
    3. Biological control of mosquito breeding through larvivorous fish.
    4. Anti-parasitic measures through ‘detection’ and ‘treatment’ of microfilaria carriers and disease person with DEC by Filaria Clinics in towns covered under the programme.

 

 

 

e-Samvad is an initiative of the Ministry of telecommunication. Right or Wrong?

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Answer:

e-Samvad is an initiative of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Enrich Your Learning:

e-Samvad portal:

  • e-Samvad is an initiative of the Ministry of Women and Child Development to provide a platform for NGOs and civil society to interact with the Ministry on relevant subjects.
  • Through e-Samvad portal, NGOs and civil society can provide their feedback, suggestions, put up grievances, share best practices etc.
  • Senior Officers within MWCD will be able to view the inputs/suggestions received for their concerned subject areas and appropriately respond to NGOs.
  • This will help in formulation of effective policies and measures for welfare of women and children.

Who can use:

  • Any NGO, civil society organisation, SHG, citizen group or concerned individual can submit their input to the Ministry of Women and Child Development through e-Samvad.

How to use:

  • All users must first sign up on the e-Samvad portal. Those who already have user IDs on NITI Aayog Darpan portal, can use the same on e-Samvad.
  • Other users can sign up directly on e-Samvad. Login and user ID will be sent to your email. This can be used to log in for future use.
  • All logged in users can provide inputs in the concerned subject areas, e.g. Beti Bachao Beti Bachao, Domestic Violence, Nutrition etc.
  • If the subject area of your concern is not listed, you may submit your input in the category ‘other’.

The following categories of inputs can be provided.

  • Complaint /Grievance
  • Suggestion
  • Feedback
  • Possible Partnership
  • Sharing of Best Practices

All input received will be directed to the concerned Additional/Joint Secretaries within the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

All input will be considered and recorded, and that requiring response will be appropriately responded to.

 

 

 

What is ‘Mass Drug Administration’?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

About Mass Drug Administration (MDA):

  • The administration of drugs to whole populations irrespective of disease status is referred to as mass drug administration (MDA).
  • It is a process under which the entire population in the endemic area is administered with the medication irrespective of them showing any symptoms.
  • Example of mass drug administration is
    1. Mass deworming of children to remove helminth infections (intestinal worms).
    2. Lymphatic Filariasis (India is a signatory to World Health Assembly Resolution in 1997 for Global Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis). The National Health Policy (2002) envisages elimination of lymphatic filariasis in India by 2015.
    3. It has also received renewed interest over the past decade in the context of malaria elimination, as part of multidrug resistance containment.

 

 

 

India has been re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organization [IMO] under Category “A” recently. Right or Wrong?

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Answer: Wrong

India has been re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organization [IMO] under Category “B” recently.

Enrich Your Learning:

International Maritime Organization (IMO):

  • The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping and to prevent marine pollution from ships.
  • According to the IMO, themselves, more specifically, the IMO is “the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping.”
  • The IMO “creates a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.”
  • The IMO’s primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.
  • Basically, the IMO sets policy for international shipping, discouraging shippers from compromising on safety, security and environmental performance to address financial concerns, and encouraging innovation and efficiency.
  • The IMO is also involved in legal issues matters pertaining to international shipping, such as liability and compensation matters, and the facilitation of international maritime traffic.
  • The IMO’s governing body, which is the Assembly that is made up of all 172 member states, generally meets every two years.
  • IMO is supported by a permanent secretariat of employees who are representative of the organization’s members.
  • To become a member of the IMO, a state ratifies a multilateral treaty known as the Convention on the International Maritime Organization.

Why in news?

  • India has been re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organization [IMO] under Category “B” at the 30th session of the Assembly of the IMO held in London on 01 December, 2017.
  • The IMO Council consists of 40 member countries. In Categories “A” and “B” there are 10 members each and in Category “C” 20 members, who are elected by the IMO Assembly.
  • IMO Council plays a crucial role to play in deciding various important matters within the mandate of the IMO, in relation to the global shipping industry, including its work programme strategy and budget.
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