08, June 2017

  1. Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh’

Source: PIB

The ‘Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh’, a National Human Milk Bank and Lactation Counselling Centre was recently inaugurated at the Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC).

Key facts:

  • “Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh” is established in collaboration with the Norwegian government, Oslo University and Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI).
  • It is a national human milk bank and lactation counseling centre that will collect, pasteurize, test and safely store milk that has been donated by lactating mothers and make it available for infants in need.
  • In addition, this facility will protect, promote and support breastfeeding of their own healthy mothers by providing lactation support to mothers through dedicated lactation counsellors.
  • This project will not only act as a dedicated centre to support breastfeeding and improve infant survival but also act as the teaching, training and demonstration site for other milk banks to be established under the Ministry Of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

  1. Astana to Host SCO Summit

Source: The Hindu

Astana, the Kazakh capital is hosting the two-day summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

  • The 2017 summit would gather the leaders of China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and would be the first one with Islamabad and New Delhi as full-fledged members of the international organization.
  • The next summit of the organization would take place in 2018 in China.

Background:

The SCO was established on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai by six countries. At the 2016 summit held in Uzbekistan, the SCO leaders signed memorandums on the accession of India and Pakistan to the organization.

  1. South Korea to freeze new THAAD deployment

Source: The Hindu

South Korea has suspended any further deployment of a controversial US missile defence system until an environmental impact assessment ordered by new President Moon Jae-In is finished.

THAAD missile

  • The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or simply abbreviated as THAAD, is a missile defence system that is designed to intercept and destroy short and medium-range ballistic missiles in their final flight phase.
  • First proposed in 1987 and then finally deployed in 2008, the THAAD cannot be used as a form of attack against an enemy. Its role, by use of a powerful radar, is to simply track and destroy missiles before they are launched.

  1. WHO revises antibiotics protocol

Source: The Hindu

In an effort to curb antibiotic resistance, the World Health Organization (WHO) has divided the drugs into three categories — access, watch and reserve — specifying which are to be used for common ailments and which are to be kept for complicated diseases.

This is the biggest revision of the antibiotics section in the 40-year history of the essential medicines list (EML).

Key facts:

  • The new WHO list should help health system planners and prescribers ensure that people who need antibiotics have access to them, and ensure they get the right one, so that the problem of resistance doesn’t get worse.
  • The new categorisation will further guide countries in ensuring access to appropriate antibacterial agents and support antimicrobial stewardship effort.

Types of categories:

  1. Access: Commonly used antibiotics will be under the ‘access’ category. Antibiotics in this group will be available at all times as treatment for a wide range of common infections. This includes amoxicillin, a widely-used antibiotic to treat infections such as pneumonia.
  2. Watch: The second line of antibiotics, slightly more potent, have been categorised under “watch”. The ‘watch’ group covers antibiotics that are recommended as first or second choice treatment for a small number of infections. Ciprofloxacin, used to treat cystitis (a type of urinary tract infection) and upper respiratory tract infections (like bacterial sinusitis and bacterial bronchitis), falls under this category. The WHO has recommended that prescription of these drugs should be dramatically reduced to avoid further development of resistance.
  3. Reserve: Potent drugs to be used only as a “last resort” fall under the ‘reserve’ category. This group includes antibiotics such as colistin and some cephalosporins that should be considered last-resort options, and used only in the most severe circumstances when all other alternatives have failed, such as for life-threatening infections due to multidrug-resistant bacteria.

  1. Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Somalia on transfer of sentenced persons

Source: PIB

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval for signing and subsequent ratification of the Agreement on Transfer of sentenced persons between Indi and Somalia.

  • Signing the Agreement with Somalia shall facilitate the Indian prisoners imprisoned in Somalia or vice-versa to be near to their families, for serving remaining part of their sentence and shall facilitate their social rehabilitation.
  • The Government of India has signed bilateral Agreements on Transfer of Sentenced Persons with United Kingdom, Mauritius, Bulgaria, France, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bangladesh, Brazil, Israel, Bosnia & Herzegovina, UAE, Italy, Turkey, Maldives, Thailand, Russian Federation, Kuwait, Vietnam, Australia, Hong Kong, Qatar, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Bahrain and Estonia.

Background:

  • Prior to 2004, there was no domestic legislation under which foreign prisoners could be transferred to the country of their origin to serve the remaining part of their sentence, nor was there a provision for the transfer of prisoners of Indian origin convicted by a foreign court to serve their sentence in India.
  • The transfer of such prisoners to their own native countries shall facilitate their social rehabilitation.
  • Hence the Repatriation of Prisoners Act, 2003 was enacted for achieving the above purpose. For achieving the objectives of the Act, a treaty/agreement is required to be signed with countries having mutual interest with us on this matter. The said treaty/agreement is required to be notified in the Official Gazette.

  1. National Level Conference on “Capacity Building of SDRFs-2017”

Source: PIB

National Level Conference on “Capacity Building of SDRFs-2017.

  • The conference was organised by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to develop a synergy and to highlight way ahead to strengthen the response capabilities of State Disaster Response Forces (SDRFs).
  • National level conference on capacity building of SDRF-2017, the Union Home Secretary, Shri Rajiv Mehrishi addressed the delegates from the states. He emphasized that NDRF and SDRFs to work together on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) by educating the community and adopt new technologies to tackle the new emerging challenges besides their primary role.
  • The strengthening of SDRF by specialized training and equipping with latest gadgets for prompt and timely response to disaster.
  • The Home Secretary also assured State representatives to provide every possible help for making SDRF a self- contained response Force.

  1. India signs the Multilateral Convention to implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) in Paris

Source: PIB

The Union Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) at a ceremony held at the OECD Headquarters in Paris reaffirming India’s commitment to co-operate in the global efforts to tackle aggressive tax planning.

Background:

Signatories representing 68 jurisdictions signed the Convention which will have the effect of amending most of the bilateral tax treaties of the signatory jurisdictions in respect of treaty related measures under the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) package for preventing artificial tax avoidance, prevention of treaty abuse, and improve dispute resolution.

Significance of this move:

  • The event marks a milestone in the global efforts to check tax evasion and tax planning strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax jurisdictions where there is no or little economic activity resulting in no or little overall corporate tax being paid.
  • The Multilateral Convention aims at swift and consistent implementation of the treaty related BEPS measures. India has been a very active player in this global initiative and has significantly contributed to the development of the new international standards under the BEPS package.
  • India would welcome more and more jurisdictions to become signatories the Multilateral Convention and also include more of their bilateral treaties as Covered Tax Agreements.

Convention:

  • The Convention will ensure that the minimum standards regarding prevention of treaty abuse and amelioration of the international tax dispute resolution process are implemented in all Covered Tax Agreements quickly.
  • Other BEPS outcomes such as amendment of the definition of the term ‘Permanent Establishment’ to plug unintended interpretation leading to fiscal evasion, prevention of double non-taxation of hybrid entities, time threshold for treaty benefits to dividend and capital gains transactions will be incorporated in the Covered Tax Agreements where all Contracting Parties agree.

 



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