Government Schemes & Policies
- Pashmina Products Receive BIS Certification
Issues related to Health & Education
- 20 Institution recommended for status of ‘Institutions of Eminence’
- Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding – World Breastfeeding Week 1st – 7th August
Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management
- Armoured, specialised vehicles of armed forces exempted from BS-VI emission norms
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Government Schemes & Policies
Pashmina Products Receive BIS Certification
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) published an Indian Standard for identification, marking and labelling of Pashmina products to certify its purity.
SIGNIFICANCE OF BIS CERTIFICATION OF PASHMINA:
- Help curb the counterfeit products as well as adulteration of Pashmina.
- Protect the interests of local artisans and nomads who are the producers of Pashmina raw material and motivate the younger generation to continue in this profession.
- Ensure better prices for the goat herding community in Ladakh as well as for the local handloom artisans producing genuine Pashmina products.
ABOUT PASHMINA GOAT:
- The Changthangi or Pashmina goat, is a special breed of goat indigenous to the high altitude regions of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.
- They are raised for ultra-fine cashmere wool, known as Pashmina once woven. The Textiles are handspun and were first woven in Kashmir.
- The Changthangi goat grows a thick, warn undercoat which is the source of Kashmir Pashmina wool – the world’s finest cashmere measuring between 12-15 microns in fiber thickness.
- These goats are generally domesticated and reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh. The Changthangi goats have revitalized the economy of Changthang, Leh and Ladakh region.
- Ministry of Textiles is processing a proposal for funding of Rs. 20 crore for a de-hairing plant for Leh which along with this initiative will lead to progress in the Pashmina sector in Ladakh.
ABOUT BUREAU OF INDIAN STANDARDS (BIS):
- The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the national Standards Body of India working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.
- It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986.
- The Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department having administrative control of the BIS is the ex-officio President of the BIS.
- As a corporate body, it has 25 members drawn from Central or State Governments, industry, scientific and research institutions, and consumer organisations.
- It also works as WTO-TBT (WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade) enquiry point for India.
Issues related to Health & Education
20 Institution recommended for status of ‘Institutions of Eminence’
The UGC has considered the reports of the Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) appointed by Government under the Chairmanship of Shri N Gopalaswami recommending 15 Public institutions and 15 Private institutions for considering to give status of Institutions of Eminence.
ABOUT THE SCHEME OF INSTITUTIONS OF EMINENCE:
- The scheme of Institutions of Eminence was rolled out by University Grants Commission (UGC).
- It aims to help 20 higher educations (10 publics and 10 private) institutions from country break into top 500 global rankings in 10 years, and then eventually break into top 100 over time.
FACILITIES PROVIDED TO THESE INSTITUTES:
- These selected institutions are proposed to have greater autonomy compared to other higher education institutions.
- They will be free to decide their fee for domestic and foreign students and have flexible course duration and structure.
- They will be exempted from approvals of government or UGC for academic collaborations with foreign institutions, except institutions in MEA and MHA’s list of negative countries.
WHO CAN APPLY?
- Only higher education institutions, currently placed in the top 500 of global rankings or top 50 of National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), are eligible to apply for eminence tag.
- The private Institutions of Eminence can also come up as greenfield ventures provided sponsoring organisation submits convincing perspective plan for 15 years.
NEED FOR WORLD-CLASS INSTITUTES IN INDIA:
- India today educates only half as many young people from the university age group as China and ranks well behind most Latin American and other middle-income countries.
- India lacks world-class universities according to international rankings, and Indian academics, compared internationally, are rather poorly paid.
- Students also suffer an immense shortage of places in top academic institutions and throughout the higher education system.
Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding – World Breastfeeding Week 1st – 7th August
The Food and Nutrition Board, Ministry of Women and Child Development, is organizing a number of activities on the theme “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding” during the World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) being observed from 1st to 7th August 2019.
ABOUT WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK
- World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is an annual celebration which is being held every year from 1 to 7 August.
- It is organized by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), WHO and UNICEF.
- It aimed at promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life which yields tremendous health benefits, providing critical nutrients, protection from deadly diseases such as pneumonia and fostering growth and development.
ABOUT WORLD ALLIANCE FOR BREASTFEEDING ACTION (WABA):
- WABA, formed in 1991, is a global network of organizations and individuals who believe breastfeeding is the right of all children and mothers and who dedicate themselves to protect, promote and support this right.
- WABA acts on the Innocenti Declaration and works in close liaison with UNICEF.
- WABA does not accept funds or gifts from manufacturers or distributors of breastmilk substitutes.
- WABA is in consultative status with UNICEF and an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).
IMPORTANCE OF BREAST FEEDING:
- 13%: children die below 5 yrs of age, owing to poor breastfeeding practices
- 823 000: child deaths can be averted every year.
- 1,56,000: child deaths could be reduced in India with breastfeeding
- 4 million: respiratory infection episodes can be reduced
- 9 million: Diarrhoea episodes can be reduced
- 15 times: children are more likely to die of pneumonia who are not breastfed
- 11 times: children are more likely to die of diarrhoea
- 20,000: mothers’ deaths due to breast cancer can be averted globally f mothers breastfeed for more than a year
- 3 to 4 points: Increase in IQ, depending on the duration of breastfeeding
- 7%: deliveries take place in hospitals
- 6%: children receive breastfeeding within one hour of birth
- 9%: exclusively breastfed for the first six months
- 5%: children between 6-8 months given complementary foods
OPTIMAL BREAST FEEDING PRACTICES INCLUDE:
- Breastfeeding within an hour of birth
- Breast-milk alone is the best food and drink for an infant for the first six months of life
- But allow infant to receive ORS, drops, syrups of vitamins, minerals and medicines when required
- After 6 months, introduce semi-solid, soft food along with breast feeding up to two years
- From 6 up to 12 months, breast milk provides half of the child’s nutritional needs
- From the age of 6–8 months a child needs to eat two to three times per day and three to four times per day starting at 9 months – in addition to breastfeeding
- The baby should be fed small amounts of food that steadily increase in variety and quantity as he or she grows
- During an illness, children need additional fluids and encouragement to eat regular meals, and breastfeeding infants need to breastfeed more often.
ABOUT MAA PROGRAMME:
Government launched National Breastfeeding Promotion Programme— MAA (mothers’ absolute affection) to ensure adequate awareness is generated among masses, especially mothers, on the benefits of breastfeeding.
- The goal of the Programme that will continue for a year, is to enhance optimal breastfeeding practices, which includes initiation of breastfeeding within an hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and continued breastfeeding for at least two years.
- The programme will be monitored by UNICEF and other partners.
- The government will train nurses in government hospitals, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA), Auxiliary Nurse Mid-wives (ANM) to provide relevant information and counselling support to mothers for breastfeeding.
- Monitoring and impact assessment is also an integral part of MAA programme. Progress will be measured against key indicators, such as availability of skilled persons at ground for counselling, improvement in breastfeeding practices and number of accredited health facilities.
- Dedicated funds— Rs 4.3 lakhs per district, have been allocated to states for the programme, which is in addition to the funds approved under National Health Mission’s annual project implementation plans.
- To ensure effective roll-out of the programme ministry of health has established MAA secretariat and a steering committee will be created in all states and at the district level.
Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management
Armoured, specialised vehicles of armed forces exempted from BS-VI emission norms
The government has exempted the armoured and other specialised vehicles of Indian armed and paramilitary forces from the vehicular emission norms BS-VI that will come into force from April 1, 2020.
REASON BEHIND EXEMPTION:
- The exemption has been granted because these vehicles operate in remote and inhospitable terrains with most challenging operational and environmental conditions.
- Due to security challenges and requirements of specialised operations, the development of suitable engine compliant with the BS-VI norms would require considerable time.
- Further, it is difficult to maintain ideal transportation and storage conditions of fuel in these conditions.
WHAT ARE BHARAT STAGE (BS) NORMS?
- Introduced in 2000, the Bharat norms are emission control standards that are based on the European regulations (Euro norms).
- They set limits for release of air pollutants from equipment using internal combustion engines, including vehicles.
- Typically, the higher the stage, the more stringent the norms.
- BS IV norms stipulate only 50 parts per million sulphur compared with up to 350 parts per million under BS III.
- Also, hydrocarbon, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions are lower under BS IV.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BS-IV AND THE NEW BS-VI:
- The major difference in standards between the existing BS-IV and the new BS-VI auto fuel norms is the presence of sulphur.
- The BS-VI fuel is estimated to reduce the amount of sulphur released by 80 per cent, from 50 parts per million to 10 ppm.
- The emission of NOx (nitrogen oxides) from diesel cars is also expected to reduce by nearly 70 per cent and 25 per cent from cars with petrol engines.
- Using BS-VI fuel in the current BS-IV engines or, conversely, running BS-VI engines on the current-grade fuel, may be ineffective in curbing vehicular pollution, and may damage the engine in the long run.