01 , December 2017

The World AIDS Day is celebrated every year all over the world on December 1 to raise the public awareness about Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The theme selected by World Health Organization (WHO) for year 2017 is ‘Right to health‘.The World Health Organization (WHO) had designated 1st December as World AIDS Day in 1987. Since then it is observed annually. It is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by the WHO.

India’s Saikhom Mirabai Chanu won gold medal at World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim, United States. She achieved this feat by lifting new world record of 194kg – 85kg snatch and 109kg clean-and-jerk in the 48 kg weight category. Thailand’s Sukcharoen Thunya won silver medal with total lift of 193, while Segura Ana Iris won bronze medal with 182kg lift. With this victory, Mirabai Chanu became first Indian in over two decades to win the medal at the Championships. She is only second Indian weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari to achieve this feat. Olympic bronze medallist Karnam Malleshwari had won the top prize in worlds twice in 1994 and 1995.

1.Cabinet approves setting up of National Nutrition Mission
Source: PIB

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi yesterday has approved setting up of National Nutrition Mission (NNM) with a three year budget of Rs.9046.17 crore commencing from 2017-18.

Features:

  1. The NNM, as an apex body, will monitor, supervise, fix targets and guide the nutrition related interventions across the Ministries.
  2. The proposal consists of
  • mapping of various Schemes contributing towards addressing malnutrition
  • introducing a very robust convergence mechanism
  • ICT based Real Time Monitoring system
  • incentivizing States/UTs for meeting the targets
  • incentivizing Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for using IT based tools
  • eliminating registers used by AWWs
  • introducing measurement of height of children at the Anganwadi Centres (AWCs)
  • Social Audits
  • setting-up Nutrition Resource Centres, involving masses through Jan Andolan for their participation on nutrition through various activities, among others.

Major impact: The programme through the targets will strive to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anemia and low birth weight babies. It will create synergy, ensure better monitoring, issue alerts for timely action, and encourage States/UTs to perform, guide and supervise the line Ministries and States/UTs to achieve the targeted goals.

Benefits & Coverage: More than 10 crore people will be benefitted by this programme.  All the States and districts will be covered in a phased manner i.e. 315 districts in 2017-18, 235 districts in 2018-19 and remaining districts in 2019-20.

Financial Outlay: An amount of Rs. 9046.17 crore will be expended for three years commencing from 2017-18. This will be funded by Government Budgetary Support (50%) and 50% by IBRD or other MDB. Government budgetary support would be 60:40 between Centre and States/UTs, 90:10 for NER and Himalayan States and 100% for UTs without legislature. Total Government of India share over a period of three years would be Rs. 2849.54 crore.

Implementation strategy and targets: Implementation strategy would be based on intense monitoring and Convergence Action Plan right upto the grass root level. NNM will be rolled out in three phases from 2017-18 to 2019-20. NNM targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively. Although the target to reduce Stunting is atleast 2% p.a., Mission would strive to achieve reduction in Stunting from 38.4% (NFHS-4) to 25% by 2022 (Mission 25 by 2022).

Background: There are a number of schemes directly/indirectly affecting the nutritional status of children (0-6 years age) and pregnant women and lactating mothers. Inspite of these, level of malnutrition and related problems in the country is high. There is no dearth of schemes but lack of creating synergy and linking the schemes with each other to achieve common goal. NNM through robust convergence mechanism and other components would strive to create the synergy.

2. Hasina inaugurates nuclear power plant construction
Source: The Hindu

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday inaugurated construction work on the much-awaited Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Ishwardi, located in the western part of the country.

  • The plant is expected to add 2,400 MW of electricity to the national grid by 2024, helping the country meet its increasing demand for electricity.
  • The mega project is being implemented by state-run Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission with financial and technological support from Russia through its state nuclear agency, Rosatom.
  • Russian company JSC Atomstroyexport had signed a general contract for construction of the plant in December 2015. The company has 68 months following the inauguration ceremony to complete its construction work.
  • Also, there is a possibility of India participating in the project, a Rosatom official .

 India’s participation in nuclear project : Russia

Discussions are on for India to join the Russia-led Rooppur nuclear power plant construction in Bangladesh, an official of the Russian atomic power agency Rosatom said.

  • As India is not a member of the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), India cannot directly take part in the construction of nuclear power plants but has individual agreements with Bangladesh and Russia.
  • In December 2014, India and Russia signed the “Strategic Vision for Strengthening Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy”, which allows the two sides to explore opportunities for sourcing materials, equipment and services from Indian industry for the construction of Russian-designed nuclear power plants in third countries.

3. Centre to review trade policy on Dec. 5
Source: The Hindu

The Centre is set to announce on December 5 its mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), with the focus expected to be on policy measures to boost the exports of goods and services and to increase employment generation and value-addition in the country.

  • Specifically, the spotlight of the review is likely to be on Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and labour-intensive segments, according to official sources.
  • The contraction in October has been linked by trade officials to the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on exporters.
  • Exports should be kept out of the purview of GST as paying the tax first and getting refund later was cumbersome, in turn, affecting exports.
  • The FTP for the period 2015-2020 had set a target for India’s exports of goods and services to touch $900 billion by 2019-20 and that of raising India’s share in world exports from 2% to 3.5%.
  • Though the mid-term review was to be released prior to July 1, in line with the introduction of GST, it was postponed as the government wanted to take into account the exporters’ feedback regarding GST.
  • One great strategy we have is to bring economic development, take our manufacturing to at least 20% of the GDP.
  • In the next few years time we will have $5 trillion of GDP, so $1 trillion of that will come from manufacturing.
  • The Centre aimed to help SMEs become a part of global supply chains by identifying opportunities

4.RPower signs $1 billion pact for Dhaka project
Source: The Hindu

Reliance Power has signed agreements to set up the first phase of the integrated 750 MW gas-based power plant at Meghnaghat near Dhaka and 500 mmscfd LNG Terminal at Kutudbia Island in Bangladesh for $1 billion.

Largest Investment: This represents the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bangladesh and the largest investment in Bangladesh’s energy sector

Reliance Power will relocate one module of equipment procured for its 2,250 MW combined cycle power project at Samalkot in Andhra Pradesh, India for the Phase-1 project

Background: The firm had signed an MoU in June 2015 with the BPDB to set up a 3,000 MW, integrated combined cycle gas-based power project and a 500 mmscfd LNG terminal

5.Winter may be warmer than 40-year normal
Source: The Hindu

Winter temperatures across the country are, are on the whole, expected to be cooler than last year. In keeping with the trend in recent years, they are likely to be warmer than the 40-year ‘normal’ winter temperatures. In general, maximum and minimum temperatures across most States are likely to elevated.

Global warming showing effect

  • The warming trends are part of a larger pattern stoked by global warming
  • Last winter was, on an average, about a degree warmer than the historical normal
  • Between March and May this year, mean temperature was also warmer than normal with an anomaly of +0.77C,
  • This along with 2010 was the sixth warmest ever spring season since 1901

Cold waves

Cold waves — a characteristic mark of winters in north India — too may see a dip.There is a 40% chance that minimum temperatures will be above normal in the so-called “core cold wave zone” of North and middle India.

Other than global warming, ocean conditions over the equatorial Indian and Pacific oceans also contribute to the year-to-year variability of cold waves over the country



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