04, October 2017

Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP)

  • Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has taken on board selected premier academic and research institutes, for capacity building in the areas of dam safety through World Bank assisted Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP).
  • The scope includes strengthening the testing laboratories, enhancing analytical capabilities, exposure visits to best global institutions and on ground exposure to dam safety concerns to the faculty of these institutions.

THE EIGHTH ANNUAL- Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 at November- Niti Aayog

  • GES 2017 will create an environment that empowers innovators, particularly women, to take their ideas to the next level.
  • Women represent tremendous promise for economic growth and prosperity — but in both developing and developed countries, also face tremendous barriers to building businesses.
  • This year’s theme is “Women First, Prosperity for All”to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit in all its strengths and diversity.
  • As part of the summit, there will be a virtual exhibition of India’s innovative prowess in collaboration with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. It is also proposed to showcase India’s heritage, social entrepreneurship and craftsmanship in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Culture.

More Details: https://www.ges2017.org/

1.One million children saved, says a new study published in the Lancet

Source: PIB

India has avoided about 1 million (10 lakh) deaths of children under age five since 2005, owing to the significant reductions in mortality from pneumonia, diarrhoea, neonatal infections and birth asphyxia/trauma, measles and tetanus, according to study published in the latest issue of The Lancet.

  • The ‘India’s Million Death Study’, implemented by the Registrar General of India, is the first study to directly quantify changes in cause-specific child deaths in India, nationally and sub-nationally, from 2000-15 among randomly selected homes.

National Health Mission

  • The study further illustrates that the conditions prioritized under the National Health Mission had the greatest declines.

Significant reductions:

  • Pneumonia and diarrhea mortality fell by over 60% (most of the decline due to effective treatment), mortality from birth-related breathing and trauma during delivery fell by 66% (most of the decline due to more births occurring in hospital), and measles and tetanus mortality fell by 90% (mostly due to special immunization campaigns against each).
  • The study states that mortality rate (per 1000 live births) fell in neonates from 45 in 2000 to 27 in 2015 (3.3% annual decline) and 1-59 month mortality rate fell from 45.2 in 2000 to 19.6 in 2015 (5.4% annual decline).
  • Further, amongst 1-59 months, pneumonia fell by 63%, diarrhoea fell by 66% and measles fell by more than 90%.
  • These declines were greater in girls, indicating that India has, remarkably, equal numbers of girls and boys dying, a significant improvement from just a few years ago.
  • Pneumonia and diarrhoea mortality rates for 1-59 months declined substantially between 2010 and 2015 at an average of 8-10 % annual decline nationally and more so in the rural areas and poorer states.
  • The Million Death Study builds on the SRS by directly monitoring the causes of death in over 1.3 million (13 lakh) homes.
  • Since 2001, about 900 staff interviewed about 100,000 (1 lakh) living members in all homes who had a child die (about 53,000 deaths in the first month of life and 42,000 at 1-59 months) every six months and completed a simple two-page form with a local language half-page narrative describing the deceased’s symptoms and treatments.
  • The records have been digitized and each one uniformly coded for cause of death independently by two of about 400 trained physicians, using World Health Organization approved procedures. This is a direct study based on face-to-face interviews with families, and is not based on modeling or projections from small samples.

2.Key WTO members set to discuss agenda at Morocco meet

Source: Indian Express

Procurement and public stock-holding for food security are invaluable tools used in developing countries where agriculture is mostly rain-fed and markets are imperfect and not integrated.

  • Key WTO members, including India, will converge in Morocco on October 8-9 to discuss the agenda to be formally taken up at the forthcoming ministerial conference in Argentina.
  • This is a mini-ministerial kind of meeting of WTO members in Marrakesh in Morocco.
  • The ministers will talk about the agenda which will go to the ministerial conference in Argentina, the commerce ministry official said.

Key facts:

  • The ministerial conference is the highest decision-making body of the Geneva-based World Trade Organisation (WTO).
  • India is pitching hard to complete the pending agenda, which includes finding a permanent solution to the issue of food stockpiling.
  • The country also wants the WTO members to deliberate on its proposal on trade facilitation in services.
  • However, developed countries, including the US, are pushing for inclusion of newer issues like investment facilitation and e-commerce in the agenda.
  • India’s position is discussions on new issues could be a red herring and divert attention from priority areas.
  • Procurement and public stock-holding for food security are invaluable tools used in developing countries where agriculture is mostly rain-fed and markets are imperfect and not integrated.

Way ahead:

  • The food security issue concerns several developing nations that provide subsidized food grain to their poor.
  • A peace clause exists till a permanent solution is found for the food stockpiling issue.
  • This clause has enabled India to continue procurement and stocking of food grain for distribution to the poor under its food security programme without attracting any kind of action from WTO members even if it breaches the 10 per cent subsidy cap as prescribed by the multilateral trade body.

3.2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to 3 for ‘capturing life in atomic detail’

Source: The Hindu

Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson share the prize for developing cryo-electron microscopy.

  • Swiss researcher Jacques Dubochet and Americans Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing cryo-electron microscopy, which simplifies and improves the imaging of biomolecules.
  • “This method has moved biochemistry into a new era,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement on Wednesday awarding the 9 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) prize.
  • Researchers can now freeze biomolecules mid-movement and visualise processes they have never previously seen, which is decisive for both the basic understanding of life’s chemistry and for the development of pharmaceuticals.

Other Nobel prize:

  • This year’s Medicine Prize went to three Americans studying circadian rhythms — Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young.
  • The Physics Prize went to Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne for detecting gravitational waves.

4.Gene therapy for blindness

Source: The Hindu

  • Gene therapy may help reverse blindness by reprogramming cells at the back of the eye to become light sensitive, an Oxford study has found.
  • The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy, made use of a viral vector in order to express a light sensitive protein, melanopsin, in the residual retinal cells in mice, which were blind from retinitis pigmentosa, the most common cause of blindness in young people.

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