12, December 2017

NIC-CERT

  • Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology inaugurated the “NIC-CERT”, a setup of National Informatics Centre, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • NIC-CERT has been setup with the objective of creating a comprehensive framework that integrates world class security components and inbuilt threat intelligence for detection, prevention and incident response.
  • The gathered intelligence assimilated with the knowledge of the open web would give the CERT the ability prevent and predict attacks.

1.Govt launches initiative to implement labour room guidelines

Source: PIB

The government has launched “LaQshya – Labour Room Quality Improvement Initiative, a Safe Delivery Mobile Application for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in the peripheral areas.

LaQshya:

  • LaQshya is mobile app for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in the peripheral areas.
  • The goal of this initiative is to reduce preventable maternal and new-born mortality, morbidity and stillbirths associated with the care around delivery in Labour room and Maternity OT and ensure respectful maternity care.
  • It aims to improve the quality of care that is being provided to the pregnant mother in the Labour Room and Maternity Operation Theatres, thereby preventing the undesirable adverse outcomes associated with childbirth.
  • This initiative will be implemented in Government Medical Colleges (MCs) besides District Hospitals (DHs), and high delivery load Sub- District Hospitals (SDHs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs). The initiative also plans to conduct quality certification of labour rooms and also incentivize facilities achieving the targets outlined.

2.WCD Ministry launches logo and tagline contest for ‘ National Nutrition Mission’

Source: PIB

The Government of India approved the National Nutrition Mission to ensure holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children.

  • Ministry of Women & Child Development has launched a contest inviting creative minds to design a logo and suggest a tagline for its prestigious ‘National Nutrition Mission’.

Key facts:

  • The programme targets to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low birth rate. Accordingly, it was felt pertinent to launch an appropriate logo and tagline to generate awareness among the masses.
  • The mission, commencing 2017-18, has a target to reduce under-nutrition and low birthweight by 2 per cent each year.
  • It will strive to achieve reduction in stunting from 38.4 per cent as per the National Family Health Survey-4 to 25 per cent by 2022.
  • It also aims to bring down anaemia among young children, women and adolescent girls by three per cent per year.
  • At the heart of the mission is the use of information communication technology to monitor the implementation of the scheme as well as to check pilferage in distribution of supplementary nutrition at anganwadis under the Integrated Child Development Scheme, according to the statement.

MICRONUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES:

VITAMIN & MINERAL DEFICIENCIES Deficiencies of key vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Iron, Iodine and Zinc continue to coexist and interact with protein and energy deficits and need to be addressed synergistically, through a multipronged approach.

Major impact:

  • The programme through the targets will strive to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anemia and low birth weight babies.
  • It will create synergy, ensure better monitoring, issue alerts for timely action, and encourage States/UTs to perform, guide and supervise the line Ministries and States/UTs to achieve the targeted goals.

Benefits & Coverage:

  • More than 10 crore people will be benefitted by this programme. All the States and districts will be covered in a phased manner i.e. 315 districts in 2017-18, 235 districts in 2018-19 and remaining districts in 2019-20.

Implementation strategy and targets:

  • Implementation strategy would be based on intense monitoring and Convergence Action Plan right upto the grass root level. NNM will be rolled out in three phases from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
  • NNM targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum
  • Although the target to reduce Stunting is atleast 2% p.a., Mission would strive to achieve reduction in Stunting from 38.4% (NFHS-4) to 25% by 2022 (Mission 25 by 2022).

Background:

  • There are a number of schemes directly/indirectly affecting the nutritional status of children (0-6 years age) and pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • Inspite of these, level of malnutrition and related problems in the country is high.
  • There is no dearth of schemes but lack of creating synergy and linking the schemes with each other to achieve common goal. NNM through robust convergence mechanism and other components would strive to create the synergy.

3.Food procurement programmes: India seeks lasting solution in current WTO ministerial

Source: Indian Express

Commerce minister sought a special safeguard mechanism (SSM) to protect farmers from unusual shocks delivered by cheaper imports.

  • India sought a permanent solution to the critical issue of public procurement programme at the on-going ministerial of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and asked the developed world to trim their massive trade-distorting farm subsidies without putting the onus of a reduction in such dole-outs on developing nations.

Significance:

  • A special safeguard mechanism (SSM) to protect farmers from unusual shocks delivered by cheaper imports, in sync with a mechanism that already exists for the developed countries.
  • At MC11 (current ministerial conference) look forward to constructive engagement of the entire WTO membership for taking final decisions in areas where specific mandates were provided at Nairobi (last ministerial in December 2015)

Background:

  • While India has got a permanent peace clause for public stock holding (which protects food procurement programmes against penal action from WTO in case subsidy ceilings are breached), this concession is basically restricted to the programme running in 2013.
  • This means no new procurement programme will be covered by the clause if the subsidy ceiling is breached there.
  • Also, the clause comes with cumbersome notification obligations on farm subsidies doled out by these countries. India wants a better solution than the status quo that makes compliance easier and concession more substantial for developing nations.

Special safeguard mechanism (SSM) – WTO

  • In Doha Round agriculture: a tool that will allow developing countries to raise tariffs temporarily to deal with import surges or price falls.
  • WTO’s Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) is a protection measure allowed for developing countries to take contingency restrictions against agricultural imports that are causing injuries to domestic farmers. The contingency measure is imposition of tariff if the import surge causes welfare loss to the domestic poor farmers. The design and use of the SSM is an area of conflict under the WTO.
  • In WTO’s terms, safeguards are contingency or emergency restrictions on imports taken temporarily to deal with special circumstances such as a surge in imports. Contingency restriction means imposition of an import tax if the imports are causing injuries to domestic agricultural sector. The original GATT itself allows such restrictions to protect domestic economy.

Doha Development Agenda and the origin of the SSM

  • At the Doha Ministerial Conference, the developing countries were given a concession to adopt a Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) besides the existing safeguards (like the Special Agricultural Safeguard or the SSG). This SSM constituted an important part of the promises offered to the developing world at Doha (known as Doha Development Agenda) and the Doha MC became known as a development round.
  • As mentioned, the Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) allowed developing countries to raise import duties on agricultural products in response to import surges.

More Details: http://www.indianeconomy.net/splclassroom/95/what-is-special-safeguard-mechanism-under-wto/

4.SC agrees to examine plea to bar politicians from contesting from two seats

Source: Indian Express

The Supreme Court agreed to adjudicate on whether politicians could be barred from contesting from more than one seat in an election and sought assistance from the Attorney General (AG) to decide the issue.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The SC agreed to adjudicate on whether politicians could be barred from contesting from more than one seat in an election
  • Advocate Amit Sharma said that EC was in favour of not allowing politicians from contesting from multiple seats
  • ‘One person, one vote & one candidate, one constituency is the dictum of democracy’

Appearing SC

  • Advocate appearing for Election Commission, said that EC was in favour of not allowing politicians from contesting from multiple seats saying it resulted in wastage of public money as when fresh election was conducted, the candidate had to vacate one seat after winning in both the constituencies.
  • Commission had already requested the Centre to amend the law for barring people from fighting election from multiple constituencies in an election.

Why candidates should be barred from contesting from more than one seat?

  • One person, one vote & one candidate, one constituency is the dictum of democracy. However, as per the law, as it stands today, a person can contest the election for the same office from two constituencies simultaneously. When a candidate contests from two seats, it is imperative that he has to vacate one of the two seats if he wins both.
  • This, apart from the consequent unavoidable financial burden on the public exchequer, government manpower and other resources for holding bye-election is also an injustice to the voters of the constituency which the candidate is quitting from.

Background:

  • In 2004, the Chief Election Commissioner urged the Prime Minister for amendment of Section 33(7) to provide that a person cannot contest from more than one constituency for the same office simultaneously.
  • Section 33(7) of the Representation of People’s Act permits a candidate to contest any election (Parliamentary, State Assembly, Biennial Council, or bye-elections) from up to two constituencies. The provision was introduced in 1996 prior to which there was no bar on the number of constituencies from which a candidate could contest.

Election Commission of India: The ECI alternatively suggested that if existing provisions are retained then the candidate contesting from two seats should bear the cost of the bye-election to the seat that the contestant decides to vacate in the event of his/her winning both seats.

5.ASEAN-India Connectivity Summit

Source: PIB

The ASEAN India Connectivity Summit (AICS) on the theme: Powering Digital and Physical Linkages for Asia in the 21st Century.

  • The AICS aims to accelerate existing connectivity prospects, identify issues of concern, evolve suitable policy recommendations and develop strategies to enhance economic, industrial and trade relations between ASEAN and India.
  • Its focus areas are infrastructure, roadways, shipping, digital, finance, energy and aviation.

ASEAN:

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
  • At present there are 10 members namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.



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