Issues related to Health & Education
- India to be trans-fat free by 2022: FSSAI
- Textiles Minister to represent India at World Cotton Day celebrations in Geneva
Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management
- Power ministry issues revised norms for EV charging infra to boost e-mobility
- Centre announces Rs 1813.75 crore flood relief for Karnataka, Bihar
Bilateral & International Relations
- Vice President Chairs 18th Governing Body meeting of ICWA
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Issues related to Health & Education
India to be trans-fat free by 2022: FSSAI
Union health minister launched the ‘Trans Fat-Free’ logo to accelerate Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) ‘Eat Right India’, a movement to phase out trans-fat in the country.
- India targets to eliminate trans-fat by 2022, a year ahead of the global target by the World Health Organization.
- The fats are categorised as unsaturated, saturated, and trans fats, depending on the level of saturation of the fat molecule by Hydrogen.
- Unsaturated fats are the healthiest of all. They are present in nuts, avocados and vegetables.
- Saturated fats are mostly found in animal products, like lard, and are higher in calories than the unsaturated fats. For a healthy lifestyle, people are advised to reduce the consumption of saturated fats.
WHAT ARE TRANS FATS?
- Also called trans-unsaturated fatty acids or trans fatty acids, is a type of unsaturated fat that occurs in small amounts in nature, but became widely produced industrially from vegetable fats.
- Trans fats are the unsaturated fats that are partially saturated with hydrogen to increase their shelf life.
- They are largely produced artificially and occur naturally only in a small amount.
- Artificial TFAs are formed when hydrogen is made to react with the oil to produce fats resembling pure ghee/butter.
- There are two broad types of trans fats found in foods: naturally-occurring and artificial trans fats.
- Naturally–occurring trans fats are produced in the gut of some animals and foods made from these animals (e.g., milk and meat products) may contain small quantities of these fats.
- Artificial trans–are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.
- TFA containing oils can be preserved longer, they give the food the desired shape and texture and can easily substitute ‘Pure ghee’. These are comparatively far lower in cost and thus add to profit/saving.
HOW DO TRANS FATS AFFECT OUR HEALTH?
- TFAs pose a higher risk of heart disease than saturated fats. While saturated fats raise total cholesterol levels, TFAs not only raise total cholesterol levels but also reduce the good cholesterol (HDL), which helps to protect us against heart disease. Trans fats consumption increases the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
- It is also associated with a higher risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, infertility, certain types of cancers and can also lead to compromised fetal development causing harm to the yet to be born baby.
Globally, industrial trans-fat intake leads to more than 540,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease every year. In India, the number of deaths is around 60,000.
FOOD SOURCES OF TRANS FATS:
- In our diet the major sources of artificial TFAs are the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVO)/vanaspati/ margarine while the natural TFAs are present in meats and dairy products, though in small amounts.
- Any food that contains the ingredients which is referred to partially hydrogenated oils refers to contain TFAs in less or more amount.
WHO RECOMMENDATIONS ON TRANS FATS:
WHO has released draft recommendations on limiting the intake of trans fats.
- Saturated fatty acids should not comprise more than 10% of your daily calorie intake.
- Trans fatty acids should not comprise more than 1% of your daily calorie intake.
- Use heart-healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) as replacement.
- The recommendations are applicable to both adults and children.
WHY TRANS FATS ARE USED?
- Despite their harmful effect the reason why food manufacturers frequently use them because trans fats containing oils can be preserved longer, they give the food the desired shape and texture and can easily substitute ‘Pure ghee’.
- Further, these are comparatively far lower in cost and thus add to profit/saving.
ABOUT EAT RIGHT MOVEMENT
- It is an initiative of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI).
- It aims to engage and enable citizens to improve their health and wellbeing.
- It is built on two broad pillars of ‘Eat Healthy’ and ‘Eat Safe’.
The Eat Right Movement brings together three initiatives of the FSSAI-
- Safe and Nutritious Food Initiative which is focused on social and behavioural change;
- Eat Healthy Campaign for reduction of high fat, sugar and salt foods in the diet; and
- Food Fortification, focused on promoting staple foods like wheat flour, rice, oil etc with added vitamins and minerals.
AREAS OF ACTION OF EAT RIGHT MOVEMENT
[Ref: PIB, Down to Earth]
Textiles Minister to represent India at World Cotton Day celebrations in Geneva
Union Minister of Textiles will participate in the plenary session of World Cotton Day being observed from October 7-11, 2019 in Geneva, which will also serve to shed light on the challenges faced by cotton economies around the world.
- At the event, the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) will be displaying various grades of raw cotton including SUVIN, the finest quality of Extra Long Staple Cotton produced in Tamil Nadu having the highest fibre length.
- Further, natural coloured cotton that is grown in Dharwad in Karnataka will also be on display.
ABOUT WORLD COTTON DAY 2019
- It is organized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC).
- WTO is hosting the event at the request of the Cotton – 4 countries, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali to celebrate their official application for the recognition of 7th October as World Cotton Day by the United Nations.
- The objective of World Cotton Day is to give recognition to cotton in production, transformation and trade; to engage beneficiaries and strengthen development assistance for cotton.
- Cotton is a global commodity that is produced all over the world.
- A single tonne of cotton provides year-round employment for five people on average.
- Cotton is a drought resistant crop which is ideal for arid climates.
- It occupies just 2.1 % of the world’s arable land, yet it meets 27% of the world’s textiles need.
- In addition to its fibre used in textiles and apparel, food products are also derived from cotton like edible oil and animal feed from the seed.
- Between 2011 and 2018, India implemented a Cotton Technical Assistance Programme (Cotton TAP-I) of about USD 2.85 million for seven African countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad and also Uganda, Malawi and Nigeria.
ABOUT COTTON TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMME (COTTON TAP)
- It is implemented by The Department of Commerce from 2012 to 2018 in selected 11 African countries.
11 Target countries
- Cotton TAP phase I (2012-2018): Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda.
- Cotton TAP phase II (2019- 2023): Cotton TAP phase I countries + Mali, Ghana, Togo, Zambia and Tanzania
- Increasing cotton production
- Enhancing R&D/ Quality Control
- Strengthening of cotton residue based value addition industry
- Strengthening Downstream Industry in Textiles
- Directorate of Cotton Development (DOCD)
- Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR)
- Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology (CIRCOT)
Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management
Power ministry issues revised norms for EV charging infra to boost e-mobility
To promote electric vehicles (EV), Power Minister approved amendments in guidelines and specifications for charging infrastructure as revised guidelines superseded the earlier guidelines issued by the Ministry in December, 2018.
HIGHLIGHTS OF NEW GUIDELINES
- In cities, there will be a public charging station for every 3 square km.
- One charging station every 25 km on intracity highways.
- On inter-city highways, there will be a fast-charging station every 100 km.
- Specifies the type of chargers of different standards (viz. CCS, CHAdeMO, Type-2 AC, Bharat AC 001) thus ensuring that the Public Charging Stations (PCS) owners have the freedom to install the chargers as per the market requirement.
- Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a statutory body under Ministry of Power has been nominated as the Central Nodal Agency. A provision for State Nodal Agency for the respective states has been provided.
- Specifies the tariff to be charged, from PCS as well as from domestic consumers for domestic charging.
Centre announces Rs 1813.75 crore flood relief for Karnataka, Bihar
The Centre approved additional financial assistance of Rs 1813.75 crore to Karnataka and Bihar for the damages caused by the rains and floods in the two states from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) ‘on account basis’.
- The Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005 has made the statutory provisions for constitution of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for the purpose of specialized response to natural and man-made disasters.
- NDRF is constituted to supplement the funds of the State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF) of the states to facilitate immediate relief in case of calamities of a severe nature.
- It was earlier known as National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF) till 2010.
- The financial assistance from SDRF/NDRF is for providing immediate relief and is not compensation for loss/damage to properties /crops.
- The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the National Disaster Management Authority takes decisions on the expenses from National Disaster Response Fund.
KEY FEATURES OF NDRF:
- It is located in the “Public Accounts” of Government of India under “Reserve Funds not bearing interest”.
- Department of Agriculture and Cooperation under Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) monitors relief activities for calamities associated with drought, hailstorms, pest attacks and cold wave /frost while rest of the natural calamities are monitored by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) audits the accounts of NDRF.
EVOLUTION OF NDRF
- Two national calamities in quick succession in the form of Orissa Super Cyclone (1999) and Gujarat Earthquake (2001) brought about the realization of the need of having a specialist response mechanism at National Level to effectively respond to disasters. This realization led to the enactment of the DM Act in 2005.
- The NDRF raised on January 19, 2006.
ROLE AND MANDATE OF NDRF
- Specialized response during disasters
- Proactive deployment during impending disaster situations
- Acquire and continually upgrade its own training and skills
- Liaison, Reconnaissance, Rehearsals and Mock Drills
- Impart basic and operational level training to State Response Forces (Police, Civil Defence and Home Guards)
- Community Capacity Building Programme
- Public Awareness Campaign
WHAT ARE THE FEATURES WHICH MAKE NDRF A UNIQUE FORCE?
- The only dedicated disaster response force of the world.
- Experienced paramilitary personnel specially trained and equipped for disaster response.
- Capabilities for undertaking disaster response, prevention, mitigation and capacity building.
LOCATIONS OF NDRF BNS:
- These NDRF battalions are located at ten different locations in the country based on the vulnerability profile of country and to cut down the response time for their deployment at disaster site.
ABOUT STATE DISASTER RESPONSE FORCE (SDRF)
- Government of India supplements the effort of the State Government by providing assistance for relief of immediate nature through SDRF.
- A SDRF has been constituted for each State. The Central Government contributes 75% for General Category States and 90% for North-Eastern and Hilly States of the SDRF allocation each year.
- The first charge of relief expenditure is on SDRF and in the cases of calamities of severe nature, it is supplemented from NDRF as per established procedure.
Bilateral & International Relations
Vice President Chairs 18th Governing Body meeting of ICWA
The Vice President of India addressed the 18th meeting of the Governing Body of Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) in New Delhi.
ABOUT INDIAN COUNCIL OF WORLD AFFAIRS (ICWA)
- ICWA was established in 1943 by group of Indian intellectuals as a think tank. It was established as non-official, non-political and non-profit organisation under Registration of Societies Act 1860.
- It was declared institution of national importance by Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), act 2001 enacted by Parliament.
- ICWA is devoted exclusively for the study of international relations and foreign affairs.
- The Vice President of India is the ex-officio President of ICWA, while the Minister of External Affairs is its Vice-President.
- The founder-president of the Council was Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru.
- It had conducted historic international conferences like Asian Relations Conference in 1947 under leadership Sarojini Naidu and United Nations and New World Order in 1994.