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Daily Current Affairs : 19-Nov-2019

Major Topics Covered :

  1. RAJYA SABHA SESSION 250

  2. UNDERSTANDING SPACE INTERNET

  3. NITI AAYOG LOOKING AT PROVIDING MIDDLE CLASS WITH HEALTH COVER

  4. MARITIME EXERCISE ZA'IR-AL-BAHR (ROAR OF THE SEA)

  5. MUMBAI, KOLKATA WORST CITIES FOR DRIVING AROUND

  6. MATERNITY SCHEME REACHES ONLY ONE-THIRD OF BENEFICIARIES

  7. JACCHA-BACCHA SURVEY (JABS)

  8. BHARATIYA POSHAN KRISHI KOSH FOR BETTER NUTRITIONAL OUTCOMES

  9. INDIA RANKS 59 ON IMD WORLD

  10. SAANS AIMS TO REDUCE CHILD MORTALITY

  11. WATER QUALITY REPORT


RAJYA SABHA SESSION 250

Part of GS- 2 Polity and Governance


Why in news?

Venkaiah Naidu, chairman of the upper house, released the publication 'Rajya Sabha: The Journey since 1952' at a meeting of the floor leaders of political parties at his official residence.


Key highlights of the publication:

  • First sitting of the House was held on 13.5.1952

  • First Bill passed: The Indian Tariff (Second Amendment) Bill, 1952

  • First Bill concerning social change: The Special Marriages Bill, 1952


First Constitution Amendment Bill passed by Rajya Sabha:


  • The Constitution (Second Amendment) Bill, 1953 for readjustment of representation in Lok Sabha by increasing the size of population per constituency.

  • First on reorganization of States: The Andhra State Bill, 1953

  • Members: Mahendra Prasad is serving the highest number of 7th term followed by Dr.Manmohan Singh serving 6th term.

  • The representation of women in Rajya Sabha increased from 15 (6.94%) in 1952 increased to 31(12.76%) in 2014 and is now 26(10.83%) in 2019.

  • The first and the only time when a Presiding Officer of Rajya Sabha cast his vote was in 1991 when the Panel Chairman Shri M.A.Baby did so when the voting was tied on the Statutory Resolution moved by the opposition seeking disapproval of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Ordinance resulting in the victory of the opposition in the House.


President Rule approved only by Rajya Sabha: It happened only twice in respect of extension of President Rule in Tamil Nadu and Nagaland in 1977 and in case of Haryana in 1991 when Lok Sabha was dissolved.


Bill passed by Rajya Sabha but negative by Lok Sabha: The Constitution (Sixty-fourth Amendment) Bill, 1990 seeking to amend Article 356 relating to extension of President’s Rule in Punjab.



Source: Times of India

UNDERSTANDING SPACE INTERNET

Part of GS- 3 S&T


Why in news?


The SpaceX, the world’s leading private company in space technology, last week fired a spray of 60 satellites into orbit, the first operational batch of what is intended to eventually evolve into a constellation of nearly 12,000 satellites aimed at providing low-cost and reliable space-based Internet services to the world.


Highlights:

  • The Starlink network, as the project is called, is one of several ongoing efforts to start beaming data signals from space, and also the most ambitious.

  • The first batch of Starlink satellites- also numbering 60, and similar in configuration to the ones launched on November 11- went up on May 24, but they will not be part of the network.

  • SpaceX announced the satellite Internet constellation in January 2015, and launched two test satellites in February 2018. Following last week’s launch, the company has now deployed 122 satellites in orbit.

  • In October, SpaceX appeared ready to scale up its ambition, telling the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in filings through the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it intends to deploy another 30,000 Starlink satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in coming years.


Why is it necessary to launch satellites in order to provide Internet services?


  • This is mainly to ensure that reliable and uninterrupted Internet services- now part of humanity’s basic infrastructure and an important means of delivering a wide variety of public services to the world’s peoples- are universally available in every part of the globe.

  • Currently, about 4 billion people, more than half the world’s population, do not have access to reliable Internet networks. And that is because the traditional ways to deliver the Internet - fibre-optic cables or wireless networks- cannot take it everywhere on Earth.

  • In many remote areas, or places with difficult terrain, it is not feasible or viable to set up cables or mobile towers.

  • Signals from satellites in space can overcome this obstacle easily.


How old is this idea of space Internet?

  • Space-based Internet systems have, in fact, been in use for several years now- but only for a small number of users.

  • Also, most of the existing systems use satellites in geostationary orbit.

  • This orbit is located at a height of 35,786 km over the Earth’s surface, directly above the Equator.

  • Satellites in this orbit move at speeds of about 11,000 km per hour, and complete one revolution of the Earth in the same time that the earth rotates once on its axis.

  • To the observer on the ground, therefore, a satellite in geostationary orbit appears stationary.


Concerns:


Three issues have been flagged- increased space debris, increased risk of collisions, and the concern of astronomers that these constellations of space Internet satellites will make it difficult to observe other space objects, and to detect their signals.


Astronomers and scientists have also complained about increased “light-pollution”, a reference to light reflected from the man-made satellites that can interfere with- and be mistaken for- light coming from other heavenly bodies.



Source: Indian Express

NITI AAYOG LOOKING AT PROVIDING MIDDLE CLASS WITH HEALTH COVER

Part of GS- S&T, Health


Why in news?


NITI Aayog released the report on ‘Health Systems for a New India: Building Blocks—Potential Pathways to Reforms’.


Highlights:


The report identifies four focus areas on future health systems: delivering on unfinished public health agenda, empowering citizens to become better buyers of health services, integration of health services to reduce out of pocket spend and digitisation of healthcare.


In the report, the Aayog proposed “strategic purchasing” of services, “risk pooling” and digitisation of health records for transformation of the healthcare sector.


NITI Aayog has recommended that health system financing structure should be changed in such a way that predominant undesirable out-of-pocket expenditure is reduced and spending is directed towards larger risk-pools with strong strategic purchasing capabilities.



Source: Times of India

MARITIME EXERCISE ZA'IR-AL-BAHR (ROAR OF THE SEA)

Part of GS- 3 Security


Why in news?

Navies of India and Qatar have started a five-day bilateral maritime exercise at Doha that includes surface action, air defence, maritime surveillance as well as social and sports events, an official statement said on 18th November 2019.


Highlights:


The inaugural edition of the bilateral maritime exercise would further strengthen the robust defence co-operation between the two countries, especially in the fight against terrorism, maritime piracy and security, the Indian Navy said.


Stealth frigate INS Trikand and patrol aircraft P8-I arrived at Doha for the inaugural edition of the bilateral maritime exercise Za'ir-Al-Bahr (Roar of the Sea) being conducted from November 17- 21, between the Indian Navy and Qatari Emiri Naval Force.


INS Trikand, counted as one of the frontline frigates of the Indian Navy, comes under the Western Naval Command based at Mumbai.


The exercise will include a three-day harbour phase and two days sea phase.


The activities during the harbour phase will include a seminar, professional interaction, official visits, sports fixtures along with social and cultural events.


The sea phase will include a tactical maritime exercise involving the domains of surface action, air defence, maritime surveillance and interdiction operation and anti-terrorism.


The Qatari Emiri Naval Forces participating in this exercise include the "anti-ship missile equipped Barzan Class Fast Attack Craft" along with Rafale multi-task fighter aircraft.



Source: PIB

MUMBAI, KOLKATA WORST CITIES FOR DRIVING AROUND

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

When it comes to driving experience, not all cities fare equally. Two Indian cities-Mumbai and Kolkata are world’s worst cities to drive in, according to the 2019 Driving Cities Index by European car parts retailer Mister Auto.


Highlights:

  • The 2019 Driving Cities Index was released by European car parts retailer Mister Auto.

  • The Index looked at 100 cities and measured them on three main categories that impact driving conditions for motorists- Infrastructure, Safety and Costs.

  • These were further broken down into 15 sub-factors.

  • Calgary in Canada is named the best city for driving around the world, followed by Dubai and another Canadian city- Ottawa.

  • The third and fourth position is held by Bern in Switzerland and El Paso in Texas, USA respectively.

  • Mumbai is placed last (100th) on the back of higher congestion and poor driving speed, while Kolkata is ranked just two spots higher (98th).

  • The other worst cities for driving include Ulannbaatar, Mongolia (99th), Lagos, Nigeria (97th) and Karachi in Pakistan (96th).



Source: Times of India

MATERNITY SCHEME REACHES ONLY ONE-THIRD OF BENEFICIARIES

Part of GS- Health


Why in news?

Researchers assert that extrapolation of RTI data show 31% of eligible mothers got benefits.


Highlights:

  • Almost 61% of beneficiaries registered under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) between April 2018 and July 2019 (38.3 lakh out of the total 62.8 lakh enrolled) received the full amount of ₹6,000 promised under the scheme.

  • However, the researchers assert that since the scheme failed to reach at least 49% of all mothers who would have delivered their first child (an estimated total of 123 lakh for 2017 according to the researchers), the scheme was able to benefit only 31% of its intended beneficiaries.

  • Almost 61% of beneficiaries registered under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) between April 2018 and July 2019 (38.3 lakh out of the total 62.8 lakh enrolled) received the full amount of Rs. 6,000 promised under the scheme, according to an RTI reply.

  • However, the researchers, who are development economists, assert that since the scheme failed to reach at least 49% of all mothers who would have delivered their first child (an estimated total of 123 lakh for 2017 according to the researchers), the scheme was able to benefit only 31% of its intended beneficiaries.



Source: The Hindu

JACCHA-BACCHA SURVEY (JABS)

Part of GS- Health


Why in news?

A new survey, called the Jaccha-Baccha Survey (JABS), conducted in June in six states (Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh) to map the state of pregnant and nursing women has found that a high proportion of women do not eat enough during pregnancy.


Highlights:

  • The survey was conducted under the guidance of development economists Jean Dreze and ReetikaKhera.

  • Within the six states, which the survey divided into laggard and leader states, Uttar Pradesh, which is India’s most populous, performed the worst, while Himachal Pradesh, on average, performed the best.

  • UP also threw up the worst numbers on pregnant women not getting adequate rest- either because they had no one to help out at home, or because they had to actually go out and work on the farm in their condition.

  • The proportion of women who had to borrow or sell assets just to meet child delivery expenses too, was quite high, especially among the laggard states.

  • On access to basic healthcare facilities, the survey found that 36% women in UP did not get a single check-up at a primary health centre across different schemes.

  • The poor health of pregnant and nursing women, as well as inadequate healthcare infrastructure, lie at the heart of India’s child nutrition crisis.

  • The latest Global Hunger Index released in October pegged India at a lowly 102 out of a total of 117 countries.

  • One of the key findings of GHI was that ‘child wasting’ (that is, children having low weight for their height)- which essentially shows the extent of acute malnutrition- had gone up over the past decade.

  • At almost 21%, India’s child wasting level is the highest in the world.

  • Combined with almost 38% of child stunting (that is, children who have low height for their age), India has the highest number of undernourished children in the world.



Source: Indian Express

BHARATIYA POSHAN KRISHI KOSH FOR BETTER NUTRITIONAL OUTCOMES

Part of GS- Health


Why in news?

Union Government on Monday announced Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh which is a repository of diverse crops across 128 agro-climatic zones for better nutritional outcomes.


Highlights:

  • The BPKK will be a repository of diverse crops across 128 agro-climatic zones in India for better nutritional outcomes.

  • The Kosh aims at reducing malnutrition through a multi-sectoral results-based framework, including agriculture, among women and children across the country

  • Ministry of Women and Child Development has collaborated with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for this project.

  • The BharatiyaPoshan Krishi Kosh seeks to promote healthy dietary practices and tackle under-nutrition in a sustainable manner.


Five-point action programme to make India nutrition secure?

On this occasion, eminent agricultural scientist, Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, in his address, said that to make India nutrition secure a five-point action programme has to be implemented:


  • Ensure calorie rich diet for women, expectant mothers and children

  • Ensure intake of proteins in the form of pulses to eradicate protein hunger in women and children

  • Eradicate hidden hunger due to deficiency of micro nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B, Iron and Zinc

  • Ensure clean drinking water supply

  • Spreading nutrition literacy in every village particularly in mothers with children less than 100 days’ old.


Source: AIR

INDIA RANKS 59 ON IMD WORLD

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

India has slipped 6 places to 59 rank on a global annual list of 63 countries, due to low quality of life and expenditure on education, according to the latest edition of IMD World Talent Ranking, which was topped by Switzerland.


Highlights:


The ranking, which is based on the performance in three main categories - investment and development, appeal and readiness, noted that India is also lagging behind fellow BRICs countries - China ranked 42nd on the list, Russia (47th) and South Africa (50th).


India also witnessed one of the sharpest declines among Asian economies owing to low quality of life, negative impact of brain drains, and the low priority of its economy on attracting and retaining talents.


The drop is a combination of several factors including expenditure on education (per student) and the quality of education which may be linked to the GDP growth.



Source: Business Standard

SAANS AIMS TO REDUCE CHILD MORTALITY

Part of GS- Health


Why in news?

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan on 16th November, 2019, launched SAANS, a campaign aimed at reducing child mortality due to pneumonia, which contributes to around 15% deaths annually of children under the age of five.


Highlights:

SAANS, short for ‘Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully’ was launched by the Union Health Ministry to mobilise people to protect children from pneumonia, and train health personnel and other stakeholders to provide prioritised treatment to control the disease.


He was here to inaugurate the the 6th National Summit on Good, Replicable Practices and Innovations.


As per HMIS data, under-five mortality rate in the country is 37 per 1000 live births, of which 5.3 deaths are caused due to pneumonia.


The government aims to achieve a target of reducing pneumonia deaths among children to less than three per 1,000 live births by 2025, a senior health department official said.


The HMIS data for 2018-19 ranked Gujarat second in the number of child deaths due to pneumonia, after Madhya Pradesh.


The State ranked fifth in infant mortality due to pneumonia.


Under the campaign, a child suffering from pneumonia can be treated with pre-referral dose of anti-biotic amoxicillin by ASHA workers, and health and wellness centres can use pulse oximeter (device to monitor oxygen saturation) to identify low oxygen levels in the blood of a child, and if required, treat him by use of oxygen cylinders.


A mass awareness campaign will also be launched about the effective solutions for pneumonia prevention like breast feeding, and age appropriate complementary feeding.



Source: The Hindu

WATER QUALITY REPORT

Part of GS-Health


Why in News


Recently, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution has released Water Quality Report for State capitals & Delhi as analysed by the Bureau of India Standards (BIS).


Highlights:


The study focused on the quality of piped drinking water and also ranked the States, smart cities and districts accordingly.


This study was in line with Jal Jeevan Mission which aims to provide tap water to all households by 2024.


Key Points

  • Tests were conducted on various parameters:

  • Organoleptic and Physical Tests

  • Chemical test

  • Toxic substances

  • Bacteriological tests

  • Total Dissolve Solids (TDS)

  • Turbidity

  • Total hardness

  • Total alkalinity

  • Minerals and metals

  • Presence of Coliform and E Coli

  • A vast majority of the samples have failed to comply with the requirements in one or more parameters.

  • Tap water in Mumbai is the safest for drinking while Delhi’s water is one of the worst.


Source: PIB


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