01, November 2017

1.Holistic Learning is the need of hour in our Present Education System

Source: PIB

In a unique initiative to give a boost to the learning of science, technology and mathematics among the youth-especially the school students, Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan (VVM) – a nationwide science talent search examination will be held on 26th November.

  • This programme has been organized by eminent scientists and academicians associated with Vigyan Prasar (VP) – an autonomous organisation under Department of Science and Technology and National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) of Ministry of Human Resources and Development .

Key facts:

  • The Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan will provide a platform to the India’s generation next to imbibe the values of science and technology for a better future.
  • A record number of over 91,000 students from 2078 centres across the country are expected to take the test on the same day.
  • One of the unique features of this examination is that the test will be conducted online.
  • Students will attend the exam through the various digital devices like, mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop in line with the vision of Digital India Campaign.

Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA)

  • It is one of the largest science movement in the country led by eminent scientists
  • It is to inculcate and generate scientific temper, foster excellence in students and nurture and mentor them for their careers in pure sciences.
  • Through VVM programme, India’s generation next will be made aware about the India’s Rich Contribution to Science from ancient period to modern times.

2.Threefold rise in domestic budget for fight against tuberculosis

Source: The Hindu

According to a report from the World Health Organisation (WHO), India’s domestic budget for fighting tuberculosis showed a dramatic jump from about ₹700 crore in 2015 to ₹2,500 crore last year.

Domestic resources accounted for 74% of the $525 million that was spent in India last year.Typically most of India’s budget to combat the bacterial infection used to be dominated by international funding. But, for the first time this has flipped.

WHO report 2017 – India’s TB burden

  • With 1.7 million new cases in 2016, India still continues to be the largest contributor to the global burden with up to a quarter of the 6.3 million new cases of TB (up from 6.1 million in 2015).
  • Funding Source: 74% domestic funding and 26% international funding.
  • More men above the age of 15 suffer from TB than women.

Government’s intervention

  • The government has committed to achieve a ‘90-90-90 target’ by 2035 (90% reductions in incidence, mortality and catastrophic health expenditures due to TB).
  • This is premised on improved diagnostics, shorter treatment courses, a better vaccine and

Increase in budget outlay

  • In 2016, India recorded a 12% dip in the number of TB deaths from the previous year though the incidence dipped marginally by 1%.
  • Deployment of better diagnostics due to jump in number of notified cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) from 79,000 to 84,000 in 2016.

MDR-TB

  • The bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB) can develop resistance to the antimicrobial drugs used to cure the disease.
  • Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is TB that does not respond to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most powerful anti-TB drugs.

3.Crypto currencies now come under SEBI lens

Source: The Hindu

The rising popularity of crypto currencies and the increasing number of entities looking at raising funds through Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) has caught the attention of the capital market regulator.

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is mulling whether an ICO can be regulated under the existing legal framework or certain amendments would be required.
  • Crypto currencies like bitcoin, ethereum and such offerings have been under government radar for long and discussions have been held between various bodies, including SEBI and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on the possible ways in which this segment can be regulated.
  • The central bank is of the view that these instruments are securities and so SEBI should be the regulating body.
  • Bitcoins are neither ‘commodities derivatives’ nor ‘securities’ under Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956.

Initial Coin Offerings (ICO)

  • An ICO, like an equity initial public offer (IPO), is an issuance of digital tokens that can be converted into crypto currencies and are mostly used to raise funds by start-up firms dealing in block chain technology and virtual currencies like bitcoins and ethereum.
  • Unlike an IPO, which is governed by SEBI regulations, there is no regulatory body for ICOs in India.

What are the Concerns related to ICO’s?

China recently banned such offerings after its central bank said that ICOs are “illegal public finance” mechanism used for issue of securities and money laundering.

Bitcoin

  • Bitcoin is a worldwide crypto currency and digital payment system called the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central repository or single administrator.
  • The system is peer-to-peer, and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary.
  • These transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.

4.Blue Flag-17

Source: PIB

  • A 45 member contingent of the Indian Air Force left for Israel today to participate in exercise ‘Blue Flag-17’.
  • Blue Flag is a bi-annual multilateral exercise which aims to strengthen military cooperation amongst participating nations.
  • Indian Air Force is participating with the C-130J special operations aircraft along with Garud commandos. The exercise would provide a platform for sharing of knowledge, combat experience and in improving operational capability of the participating nations.
  • This is the first time the Indian Air Force is operating with Israeli AF in a multilateral exercise setting. Exercise Blue Flag gives opportunity to the IAF to share and learn best practices with some of the best professionals from other Air Forces.



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