03, January 2018

E-Pashudhan Haat

  • Government has launched e-Pashu Haat portal (www.epashuhaat.gov.in) for connecting breeders and farmers of indigenous breeds.
  • Through the portal farmers can obtain information on location of quality indigenous germplasm in the form live animals, semen doses and embryos.
  • This portal is playing crucial role in development and conservation of indigenous breeds.

1.National Health Policy, 2017

Source: PIB

The process of the National Health Policy, 2017 entailed wide consultations with multiple stakeholders, regional consultations, approval of Central Council of Health & Family Welfare and Group of Ministers.

  • The Policy envisages raising public health expenditure progressively to 2.5% of the GDP by 2025.
  • The State Governments, have also been requested to increase their budget outlay for Health.
  • A draft implementation framework has also been devised to implement the National Health Policy, 2017.
  • The Government has also requested all the concerned authorities for implementation of the health policy

In order to provide better health services and treatment facility to the people of the country, the Government of India has taken several steps which inter-alia include:

  • Implementation of National Health Mission Free Drugs and Free Diagnostic initiative to provide essential drugs and diagnostics free of cost in public health facilities.
  • Implementation of Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK), Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakaram (RBSK), Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakaram (RKSK) and implementation of other National programmes like Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), National Leprosy Eradication Programme(NLEP), National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) etc. where free treatment is provided to patients of Tuberculosis(TB), HIV/AIDS, Vector Borne, Leprosy diseases etc.
  • Decision to transform Sub-Health Centres/PHCsto Health and Wellness Centres to provide comprehensive primary care, to undertake promotive and health promotion activities.
  • Screening and Management of 5 common NCDs of hypertension, diabetes, and cancers of oral, cervix and breast.
  • Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme for free dialysis services to the poor in district hospitals.
  • Making available tertiary health care services in the public sector through strengthening of hospitals, establishment of AIIMS institutions in the States and up-gradation of existing Government medical colleges across the country.
  • Making available quality generic medicines at affordable prices to all, under ‘Jan Aushadhi Scheme’, in collaboration with the State Governments.
  • Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) which provides for smart card based cashless health coverage on family floater basis.

2.Reducing MMR

Source: PIB

As per the latest Registrar General of India- Sample Registration System (RGI-SRS) Report (Special Bulletin on Maternal Mortality in India 2011-13); the Maternal Mortality ratio(MMR) of India is 167 per 100,000 live births.

The key steps taken under the National Health Mission (NHM) are:

  • Promotion of institutional deliveries through Janani Suraksha Yojana.
  • Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) has been launched on 1st June, 2011, which entitles all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions to absolutely free and no expense delivery including Caesarean section.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) has been launched by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India to provide fixed-day assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care universally to all pregnant women on the 9th of every month.
  • Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child Health + Adolescent (RMNCH+A) interventions for achieving improved maternal and child health outcomes through continuum of care across life cycle.

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana: http://www.wcd.nic.in/sites/default/files/PMMVY%20Scheme%20Implemetation%20Guidelines%20._0.pdf

The maternity benefits under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) are available to all Pregnant Women & Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) except those in regular employment with the Central Government or State Government or Public Sector Undertaking or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force, for first living child of the family as normally, the first pregnancy of a woman exposes her to new kind of challenges and stress factors.

The objectives of the scheme are:

  • Providing partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives so that the woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first living child; and
  • The cash incentives provided would lead to improved health seeking behaviour amongst the Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM).
  • However, to address the problem of malnutrition and morbidity among children, the Anganwadi Services Scheme, which is universal, is available to all PW&LM including the second pregnancy.

Further, in order to address the malnutrition and morbidity during pregnancies a number of interventions are provided to the pregnant women viz.

  • Universal screening of pregnant women for Anaemia and Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) supplementation,
  • Calcium supplementation in pregnancy, Deworming in pregnancy,
  • Weight gain monitoring and Counselling on nutrition,
  • Family planning and prevention of diseases.

3.Schemes For Children Born With Low Birth Weight

Source: PIB

Ministry of Women & Child Development is implementing Anganwadi Services under the Umbrella ICDS Scheme. Under the Scheme, supplementary nutrition is provided to Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers in order to bridge the nutritional gap in the intake as against the Recommended Dietary Allowances for Indians prescribed by the Indian Council for Medical Research.

Under the National Health Mission (NHM) and within its umbrella the Reproductive & Child Health Programme, following interventions are provided to the pregnant mothers for addressing malnutrition:

  • Universal screening of pregnant women for anaemia and Iron Folic Acid (IFA) supplementation.
  • Calcium Supplementation in Pregnancy.
  • Deworming in pregnancy.
  • Weight gain monitoring.
  • Counselling on nutrition, family planning and prevention of diseases.
  • Under Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK), Government of India is providing food to pregnant women during their stay at public health facility for delivery.
  • Under the National Iron plus Initiative (NIPI), iron-folic supplementation for prevention and treatment of anaemia in a life cycle approach is provided to children, adolescents, women of reproductive age groups, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • Health and nutrition education through IEC & BCC to promote dietary diversification, inclusion of iron folate rich food as well as food items that promotes iron absorption.

4.Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill, 2017

Source: PIB

Seeks to protect and enhance the depositors’ existing rights and bring in a comprehensive and efficient resolution regime for financial firms


5.World’s first ‘speed breeding’ technique to boost production of wheat

Source: The Hindu

Australian scientists have developed the world’s first ‘speed breeding’ technique that can boost the production of the crop by up to three times.

  • The scientists have used the technique to develop the new ‘DS Faraday’ wheat variety due for release to industry this year. DS Faraday is a high protein, milling wheat with tolerance to pre-harvest sprouting.


  • By using speed breeding techniques in specially modified glasshouses scientists could grow six generations of wheat, chickpea and barley plants, and four generations of canola plants in a single year – as opposed to two or three generations in a regular glasshouse, or a single generation in the field. The quality and yield of the plants grown under controlled climate and extended daylight conditions was as good, or sometimes better than those grown in regular glasshouses.

The speed breeding technique:

  • This technique uses fully controlled growth environments and can also be scaled up to work in a standard glass house. It uses LED lights optimised to aid photosynthesis in intensive regimes of up to 22 hours per day.
  • LED lights significantly reduce the cost compared to sodium vapour lamps which have long been in widespread use but are ineffective because they generate much heat and emit poor quality light.
  • The speed breeding technique has largely been used for research purposes but is now being adopted by industry. There has been a lot of interest globally in this technique due to the fact that the world has to produce 60-80% more food by 2050 to feed its nine billion people. The new technology could also have some great applications in future vertical farming systems, and some horticultural crops.

6.China to become world’s first country to launch a lunar probe on far side of moon

Source: The Hindu

China announced its plans to launch a lunar probe in 2018 to achieve the world’s first soft landing on the far side of the moon to showcase its ambitious space programme. The mission is called Chang’e 4 project.

The mission:

  • Chang’e 4 is the fourth mission in the country’s lunar mission series which is being named after the Chinese moon goddess.
  • A Long March 4C rocket will start its course to 60,000 kilometers behind the moon carrying a 425-kilogram relay satellite. This relay satellite will act as an initial communication link between earth and the lunar far side. Once China’s space agency succeeds in establishing the link, China will trigger the second part of the mission i.e. sending a lander and rover to the unexplored region of the moon.


  • According to experts, landing on the far side of the moon is undoubtedly one of the most challenging missions ever launched by any of the world’s superpowers.
  • The far side of the moon known as ‘South Pole-Aitken Basin’ still remains a mystery among space scientists and by sending a probe there, China will outdo the historical achievements of the US and USSR.
  • Communication difficulties will be the main problem faced by the Chinese team as they try to land on the other side of the moon. China is expected to consider using options like radio telescopes developed by Heino Falcke of Radboud University to communicate in the absence of a transmitting medium.
  • China began their lunar exploration program in 2007 by launching a simple lunar orbiter named ‘Chang’e 1’. The second mission in the program named ‘Chang’e 2’ was launched in 2010, and it was later followed by the third mission ‘Chang’e 3’. ‘Chang’e 3’ made headlines all around the world as it marked the first soft moon landing since 1976.

7.Astronauts Identify Unknown Microbes In Space For First Time

Source: The Hindu

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have for the first time identified microbes in space without having to samples back to Earth for tests.


  • The ability to identify microbes in space could aid in the ability to diagnose and treat astronaut ailments in real time, as well as assisting in the identification of DNA-based life on other planets.
  • It could also benefit other experiments aboard the orbiting laboratory. Identifying microbes involves isolating the DNA of samples, and then amplifying – or making many copies – of that DNA that can then be sequenced, or identified.

International space station (ISS):

  • The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit. The ISS is now the largest artificial body in orbit. The ISS consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays and other components. ISS components have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets as well as American Space Shuttles.
  • The ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology and other fields. The station is suited for the testing of spacecraft systems and equipment required for missions to the Moon and Mars.
  • The ISS maintains an orbit with an altitude of between 330 and 435 km by means of reboost manoeuvres using the engines of the Zvezda module or visiting spacecraft. It completes 15.54 orbits per day.
  • The ISS programme is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. The station is divided into two sections, the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by many nations.
  • ISS is the ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, following the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mir stations as well as Skylab from the US.

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