05, May 2017

1.Banganapalle mango gets GI tag

Source: The Hindu

The succulent Banganapalle mango has received a Geographical Indication (GI) tag, making Andhra Pradesh the proprietor of the variety known for its sweetness.

  • Banganapalle mangoes have been grown for over 100 years in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It is also known as Beneshan, Baneshan, Benishan, Chappatai and Safeda. Besides, they are also called Banaganapalli, Banginapalli, Banaganapalle.
  • The fruits can retain their quality under cold storage even up to three months.
  • The prominent characteristic of Banganapalle mangoes is that their skin has very light spots, stone is oblong in shape and has very thin seed with sparse and soft fibre all over.

GI tag:

  • A GI tag indicates that the product comes from a specific region.
  • GI is covered under the Intellectual Property Rights and the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
  • A GI tag certifies the origin of a product or produce from a particular region as the quality or other features of the product is attributable only to the place of its origin.
  • The tag helps farmers or manufacturers, as the case may be, to get a better price in the market.

2.Swachh Survekshan-2017

Source: PIB

Swachh Survekshan rankings for the year 2017 have been released.

Swachh Survekshan-2017 commissioned by the Ministry of Urban Development during January – February, 2017 aimed at capturing the improvement in sanitation scenario, primarily based on making cities and towns Open Defecation Free and improvement in processing of municipal solid waste. Accordingly, it is outcome oriented.

Criteria and weightages for different components of sanitation related aspects used for the Survey are:

  • Solid Waste Management including Door-to-Door collection, Processing and Disposal, ODF status etc: 45% of total 2,000 marks i.e 900 marks
  • Citizen feedback: 30% i.e 600 of total marks
  • Independent observation: 25% i.e 500 marks

Quality Council of India which conducted the survey deployed 421 assessors for on the spot assessment of 17,500 locations in 434 cities and towns. Another 55 persons regularly monitored the survey process in real time.  Filed inspection resulted in evidence based reports on the cleanliness situation with assessors using geo-tagged devices.

Performance of cities:

  • Top 10 clean cities of India in 2017 are: Indore -1, Bhopa-2, Visakhapatnam-3, Surat-4, Mysuru-5, Tiruchirapally-6, New Delhi Municipal Council-7, Navi Mumbai-8, Tirupati-9 and Vadodara-10.
  • Bottom 10 clean cities/towns of India in 2017 are: Gonda (UP)-434, Bhusawal (Maharashtra)-433, Bagaha (Bihar)-432, Hardoi (Uttarakhand)-431, Katihar (Bihar)-430, Bahraich (UP)-429, Muktsar (Punjab)-428, Abohar (Punjab)-427, Shahjahanpur (UP)- 426 and Khurja (UP)-425.
  • Four of the bottom 10 clean cities are from UP, two each from Bihar and Punjab and one each from Uttarakhand and Maharashtra.
  • Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh account for 31 of the top 50 clean cities with 12 in Gujarat, 11 in MP and 8 in AP. Telangana and Tamil Nadu account for 4 cities each in top 50, followed by Maharashtra with 3.
  • Chandigarh, Chattisgarh, Delhi, HP, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Sikkim and UP account for one city each in top 50 clean cities of the country.
  • Rajasthan and Punjab have 5 towns each in the bottom 50, followed by Maharashtra-2 and one each from Haryana, Karnataka and Lakshadweep.
  • Faridabad in Haryana has emerged as the ‘Fastest Mover Big City’. At the national level, Tirupati was ranked the ‘Cleanest Medium City’ while Ambikapur, Chattisgarh bagged this honour in Small Cities category.
  • Rewa, Madhya Pradesh emerged as the ‘Faster Mover’ in medium cities category, Khargone, Madhya Pradesh moved the fastest by significantly improving it’s rank this year over that of 2014 Survey in small cities category.

3.eVIN Project of Health Ministry becomes global best practise in immunization

Source: PIB

Global best practice of eVIN (electronic vaccine intelligence network) project

India’s electronic vaccine intelligence network project also known as eVIN project has got the attention of five countries. Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Thailand are mulling to replicate India’s immunisation project.

eVIN project:

  • eVIN is an indigenously developed technology system in India that digitizes vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application.
  • The eVIN is presently being implemented across twelve states in India.
  • eVIN aims to support India’s ‘Universal Immunisation Programme’ by providing real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows, and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in states.
  • The project is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

eVIN aims to strengthen the evidence base for improved policy-making in vaccine delivery, procurement and planning for new antigens in India. eVIN provides an integrated solution to address widespread inequities in vaccine coverage by supporting state governments in overcoming constraints of infrastructure, monitoring and management information systems and human resources, often resulting in overstocking and stock-outs of vaccines in storage centres.

eVIN project focus on three things:

  • Technology: Under this project, technology enable an evidence-based decision-making by making available online real-time information on vaccine stocks and storage temperature through the eVIN application software and temperature loggers.
  • Governance: To ensure efficient vaccine logistics management by systemising record keeping through standardising stock and distribution registers; identifying gaps and improving clarity on vaccine cold chain network; drawing attention to infrastructure upgrades; developing standard operating procedures; and encouraging good practices.
  • Human resources: To empower the state cold chain network by building the capacities of government cold chain handlers; and deploying vaccine and cold chain managers in every district for constant support to estimate vaccine requirements, supervise cold chain handlers and coordinate with cold chain technicians across the district.

eVIN empowers the cold chain handlers by building technical capacities and providing a robust decision-making tool for cold chain managers through a complete overview of vaccine replenishment times, supply and consumption patterns.

By streamlining the vaccine flow network, eVIN is a powerful contribution to strengthening health systems and ensures equity through easy and timely availability of vaccines to all children.

4.Haryana House passes motion for separate HC

Source: The Hindu

Haryana Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution, urging the Parliament to effect an appropriate amendment in the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 to provide for the creation of a separate High Court for the State in Chandigarh.

Need for a separate HC:

  • While Haryana has completed 50 years of its existence as a separate state, a separate HC has still not been provided for the state. This has led to delays in the disposal of cases due to heavy workload in the common HC.
  • Also, there are only 18 judges from Haryana against a total sanctioned strength of 85. There are 13 Judges from Haryana under direct quota drawn from advocates of the HC, against a sanctioned strength of 23, leading to under-representation of the advocates from Haryana.

5.World Press Freedom Index- India three points down to 136

Source: The Hindu

India is ranked 136 in the World Press Freedom Index, three points down from last year. Norway is at the apex and North Korea at the bottom of the 180-strong list of nations.

  • Released annually by Reporters Without Borders, the Index ranks 180 countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists.
  • Till date, eight journalists have lost their lives while reporting conflicts, and 193 journalists are lodged in jails worldwide.

What report says?

  • On the whole, the world has become a darker space for journalists, going by the Index map.
  • A total of 21 countries are now colored black on the press freedom map because the situation there is classified as “very bad,” and 51 [two more than last year] are colored red, meaning that the situation in these countries is classified as “bad.”
  • In all, the situation has worsened in nearly two thirds [62.2%] of the 180 countries in the Index
  • India has gone down from last year’s 133 rank. The report blames the rise of Hindu nationalism for the drop in ranking. “With Hindu nationalists trying to purge all manifestations of “anti-national” thought from the national debate, self-censorship is growing in the mainstream media.
  • Journalists are increasingly the targets of online smear campaigns by the most radical nationalists, who vilify them and even threaten physical reprisals,” the report goes on to say, and not to mention the sedition charges pressed on journalists.
  • The report says that it is increasingly difficult for journalists to report from sensitive zones such as Kashmir, where internet connectivity is often snapped during conflicts and reporters are targets of violence from both ends.

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