Latest News & Updates

Latest News & Updates, Current Affairs and Breaking Stories

India’s Health Crisis, Subject: Governance, Sub-topic: Health.

According to National Health Profile (NHP)-2018, India is among the countries with the least public health spending. The government intends to invest only 2.5% of the GDP into health care by 2025, while the global average is about 6%.

Even lower-income countries like Bhutan (2.5%), Sri Lanka (1.6%) and Nepal (1.1%) spend of the GDP on their people’s health. Households spent 4 times less in government hospitals (7.5%) than private hospitals. WHO’s health financing profile for 2017 shows 67.78% of total expenditure on health in India was paid out of pocket. World average out of pocket expenditure is just 18.2%.

State-wise distribution of health expenditure:

Mizoram’s per capita health expenditure is Rs 5862 (4.2% of state GDP), almost five times the Indian average. Arunachal Pradesh (Rs 5177) and Sikkim (Rs 5126) followed at the top.

At the other end of the spectrum, Bihar spent Rs 491 per capita on health -less than half the Indian average- spending 1.33% of its GDP on health.MP (Rs 716) and UP (Rs 733).While Delhi spends Rs 1,992 per capita on health.

About National Health Profile (NHP):

National Health Profile covers demographic, socio-economic, health status and health finance indicators, along with comprehensive information on health infrastructure and human resources in health. CBHI (Central Bureau of Health Intelligence) has been publishing National Health Profile every year since 2005.

About CBHI (Central Bureau of Health Intelligence):

It was established in 1961 by the Act of Parliament on the recommendation of the Mudaliar committee. Its mission is to strengthen Health Information System (HIS) in each of the districts in the country.

 

Defence manufacturing rules eased government notification 2019, Subject: Internal Security, Sub-topic: Defence procurement.

The government has issued a notification simplifying the process for approval of manufacturing of a range of defence and aerospace equipment and components them under the licensing authority of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). A tussle within departments had resulted in the government issuing no licences since June 2016 under a policy that is aimed at local manufacturing of military aircraft, warships, ammunition and armoured vehicles. The changes are:

Building warships

Items are listed in three categories – Defence aircraft, warships of all kinds and allied items of defence equipment. The most significant aspect is that warships of all kinds, surface and sub-surface have been included in the listing. With the list of defence items requiring industrial licences being pruned down by removing the requirement of licensing for part and components of the equipment this would accrue benefits towards Tire-I/Tire-II vendors giving a boost to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Segregate defence items in two categories covered by two different Acts – the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act-1951 and the Arms Act-1959.

Benefits to Foreign manufacturers

This move is also expected to help foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) looking for partnerships with the private sector. The defence Ministry has formulated an ambitious Strategic Partnership (SP) model under the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), covering four specific areas to promote role of private sector in defence manufacturing. The ASSOCHM statement said the creation of a strong supply chain is critical.

 

Under UDANs International leg, Bangkok, Dhaka to be connected to Guwahati first, Subject: Indian Economy, Sub-topic: Infrastructure

Central flagship regional connectivity scheme UDAN, in which the third version of the bidding saw interest for only network with zero Viability Gap Funding (VGF) sought from the government. Compared to this, in UDAN 2.0 there were bids for 48 routes, from India’s two largest budget carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet, with nil funding sought to operate on the routes. While there were 111 bids from 15 airlines for the third version of UDAN, there were 107 unique bids, indicating lack competition on most routes.

The problem (Earlier)

  1. Airlines are not doing very well and there is a lot of turbulence in the industry.
  2. The airlines only want to take up comfortable routes now, don’t want to venture in to various other routes and don’t want to bid zero (VGF).
  3. Everyone is saying that if cash flow is not available from (a particular flight), it is not viable.

Under UDAN scheme, the government aims to connect unserved and under-served airports. On the routes selected under the scheme, a fixed number of seats are sold at fares, for which a cap is decided by the government. Airlines bid for routes with VGF they require to meet the costs and this funding is contributed by the civil aviation ministry and respective state government. Upon technical Qualification, the airline with the lowest VGF bid is selected to operate on the route with three-year exclusivity.

UDAN 3.0

The government received 111 proposals from 15 airlines including existing bidders such as Air India-subsidiary Alliance Air, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Airwayes, Turbo Megha Airlines and new airlines such as Andman Airways, Aarya Airlines Among others.

  • In the country domestic market, airlines have been grappline with financial pressure on account of an uptick in the fuel prices over the last few quarters and a depreciating rupee, both factors that have subsided only recently.
  • Rating agency ICRA had said in a November report that airlines in India are estimated to require a massive capital infusion of around Rs 35000 crore over the next three to four years to bring down the high debt-levels in the industry.
  • For the July-September quarter, all three listed airlines – IndiGo, SpiceJet and Jet Airways reported net loss.

 

Devadasi Custom still prevalent, Subject: Social Justice, Sub-topic: Issues related to Women

  • The Karnataka Devadasi (Prohibition of Dedication) Act of 1982 was passed the State government is yet to issue the rules for administering the law.
  • The practice of dedicating young girls to temple as an offering to appease the gods persists not just in Karnataka, but has also spread to Goa.
  • The study done by National Law school of India University (NLSIU), Bangaluru, and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai.
  • The paint a grim picture of the legislature and enforcement agencies to crack down on the practice, particularly prevalent among oppressed communicates of north Karnataka.
  • a disturbing aspect reveled by the new studies is that special children, with physical or mental disabilities, are more vulnerable, to be dedicated as devadasis – nearly one in five (or 19%) of the devadasis that were part of the NLSIU study exhibited such disabilities.
  • The researchers found that girl from socio-economically marginalized communities continued to be victims of the custom, and thereafter were forced into the commercial sex.
  • The TISS study buttresses the point by stressing that the devadasi system continues to receive customary sanction from families and communities.
  • Reporting of cases is very low, the low is used sparingly, and focuses on prosecution (including of the victims themselves) with no framework for rehabilitation.
  • Despite sufficient evidence of the prevalence of the practice and its link to sexual exploitation, recent legislation such as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012, and Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act of 2015 have not made any reference to it as a form of sexual exploitation of children, the NLSIU’s Centre for Child and the law noted in its report.
  • Dedicated children are also not explicitly recognized as children in need of care and protection under JJ Act, despite the involvement of family and relatives in their sexual exploitation.
  • India’s extent immoral trafficking prevention law or the proposed Trafficking of Person (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2018 also do not recognize these dedicated girls as victims of trafficking for sexual purpose.
  • The state’s failure to enhance livelihood source for weaker sections fuels the continuation of the practice, the studies underline. More inclusive socio-economic development apart, the NLSUI has mooted a legislative overhaul and a more proactive role from State agencies.

 

India-Norway Relations, Subject: International Relations, Subtopic: Effect of policies and politics of developed countries on India’s interests.

Background

India and Norway have been enjoying a cordial and friendly relationship since the first official contact between Norwegian Foreign Minister Halvard Lange and India’s Special Envoy V.K. Krishna Menon in Stockholm on 21 February 1947. Recently Ms. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway, paid a State Visit to India on 7-9 January 2019.

Why Norway is Important for India

Political: The two countries respect each other for their commonly shared values such as democracy, human rights and rule of law. No doubt Norway has extended its support to India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. Norway also supports India’s application for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group.

Economic: Total Bilateral trade between India and Norway stands at $ 1.1 billion in 2015-2016. Around 100 Norwegian companies have invested in India either through joint ventures or through wholly owned subsidiaries. Norway accounts for 0.07% of total FDI inflows into India at $180 million in 2015. Norway’s Public pension fund GPFG has invested nearly $9 billion in the Indian market. Indian IT majors have also increased their presence in Norway due to the existing potential of IT outsourcing contracts in the country.

Science & Technology: Norway is significant with respect to India’s Arctic Mission and Polar Research Station “Himadri” located at Svalbard.

Health: Norway contributes financially to help India achieve her developmental goals previously under MDG framework and now under SDG framework. For example under Norway India Partnership Initiative Norway has provided $80 million to bring down infant mortality and improve maternal health.

Indian Community: The size of the Indian community in Norway as of 2014 was 1.3 lakh. Most of the Indians living in Norway are professionals and highly successful in their respective fields. India has become the leading source of foreign skilled professionals working in Norway.

More Areas of Cooperation:

As understood from the India-Norway Joint Statement 2019 issued during State visit of Ms Erna Solberg.

  • Encourage participation of Norwegian companies in the flagship programmes of India eg Sagarmala.
  • Promote multi-sectoral cooperation in various aspects of Blue Economy like sustainable use of the oceans and climate friendly maritime transport.
  • Conclude the free trade negotiations between EFTA and India and work for open and predictable trade rules in the context of trade wars.
  • Strengthen their partnership as knowledge-based economies and make concerted efforts for cooperation in the domains of higher education and research & innovation.
  • Collaboration and joint research to tackle the challenge of climate change. Norway should participate in the International Solar Alliance. Both should work together for realizing of SDGs.

 

Areas of Friction

  • Norway’s tendency to make political comments on the issue of Kashmir where India prefers bilateral approach and non-involvement of any external powers. Norway’s high moralistic tone with regard to some human rights issues in India which India prefers to tackle in an independent manner.
  • India’s bureaucratic red-tapism which inhibits Norwegian investments and high standards of intellectual property protection demanded by Norwegian companies.
  • Some racial issues faced by Indian community in the Norway especially in the context of rising intolerance of western societies towards immigrants.

Way Forward

Raja Mohan suggests viewing Norway as part of the larger sub-region which encompasses Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Sweden called as ‘Norden’and engaging it collectively. This is significant in the context of both India and Norden nations’ shared commitment to moral-politik and the goals of welfare state.

The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018, Subject: Science and Technology, Sub-topic: Biotechnology.

Background

Currently, the use of DNA technology for identification of individuals is not regulated.  In this context, the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018 was introduced in Lok Sabha on August 9, 2018.  The Bill regulates the use of DNA technology for the purpose of identification of persons in criminal and civil matters.

Key Features

Consent: Authorities are required to obtain written consent before collecting bodily substances. If consent is not given, the authorities may approach a Magistrate. If the offence carries a punishment of more than seven years of imprisonment or death, consent is not required.

DNA Laboratories: DNA Regulatory Board will accredit such labs and ensure quality standards with regard to processing and analysis of DNA samples. They will share DNA data with the DNA Data Banks.

DNA Data Banks: Central government will establish a National and many Regional DNA Data Banks which will maintain various indices such as crime scene index, missing person’s index etc.

DNA Regulatory Board: It will comprise of 12 members and to be chaired by Secretary in the Department of Biotechnology. The functions of the board will include:  (i) supervising DNA laboratories and DNA Data Banks including quality control (ii) granting accreditation to DNA laboratories (iii) developing modules for training manpower to deal with DNA related matters (iv) make recommendations to the central government on privacy protection in relation to the use and analysis of DNA samples (v) ensure that all information relating to DNA profiles are kept confidential.

Removal of DNA Data: DNA profiles will be removed on the basis of a written request by the individual. Though in case of a suspect, police report or a court order is mandatory.

Penalties: There will be penalties for offences such unauthorized collection, disclosure and intentional tampering or destruction of biological evidence.

Analysis of the Bill

Pros Cons
It will strengthen the justice delivery system of the country by bringing accuracy and speed. DNA testing carried out in medical or research laboratories can be used to identify an individual.  It is unclear if the Bill intends to regulate such laboratories.
It will increase the conviction rate which at present is only around 30% (NCRB Statistics for 2016). It will matter most in rape cases and will help in ensuring women safety.

 

Consent requirements have not been specified in case of DNA profiling for civil matters. Further, there are no provisions for removal of DNA profiles for civil matters from the Data Banks.
It will help in identification of victims in the event of terrorist attacks or natural disasters such as earthquakes. For example, DNA technology has been used to identify victims of terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in 2001, and disasters such as the Asian tsunami in 2004. The Bill does not require DNA laboratories to remove DNA profiles unlike DNA Data Banks.
It will help in realization of the recommendations of the Malimath Committee (2003) which called for the modernization of the criminal justice system. The Bill does not specify that information other than identity will not be included in a DNA profile.

It may violate individual’s right to privacy.

 

Way Forward

Although the Bill is a timely and welcome step as it brings governance of justice in line with the technological developments. But few suggestions can be made to make it more effective and balanced:

  • Need to avoid the application in civil matters as is the case in advanced nations like USA and UK.
  • Profile should not include physical or medical information as is the case in South Africa.
  • Capacity building of judicial officers to make them well versed with legal application of DNA technology and effective grievance-redressal mechanism in case the privacy of individual is violated.

 

Diagonozing the job crisis, Subject: Indian Economy, Sub-topic: Employment

Introduction

It has been observed by some experts that the regulatory framework that has choked MSMEs has contributed to the farm crisis and quota demands in India. Farm loan waivers, migration restrictions and10% economically backward reservation in government jobs does not represent a sustainable approach.

Overhauling MSME sector :-

  • The only way to create millions of jobs with decent wages is a policy re-imagination of the rights, needs, and treatment of formal MSME entrepreneurs.
  • The average employer in India is not a formal MSME or somebody large like Marico, Lupin or the Tatas, but an informal MSME because the present regulatory framework are not pro-informal sector MSME.
  • Fewer than 2% of our 63 million MSME’s are formal.

Labour market interventions in MSME  :-

  • Taking the long view: a 10-year plan is not 10-one-year plans for formalisation, urbanisation, industrialisation, financialisation and human capital.
  • Recognise progress made:6 million new formal enterprises and 30 million new social security payers in the last three years).
  • Get bolder with structural interventions that matter most to MSME entrepreneurs.
  • India’s problem is no longer jobs but wages :-Creating millions of well-paying jobs needs ending killing of millions of MSMEs (small but formal employers that will grow and pay the wage premium because of enterprise productivity).Formalisation of MSMEs need :-
    • Lower Regulatory Framework
    • Labour Law Rationalization
    • E-Governance
    • Education Effectiveness
    • Civil Service reform.

    Way Forward:-

    • History suggests that economic conservatism beats economic magic.
    • The only solution to helping farmers is having less of them and making the remaining productive — US farms with more than $1 million in sales are only 6 percent of farms but produce 66% of output.
    • The need of the hour is to have enough formal MSME employers.

     

    Snippets

     

    Swachh Survekshan 2019

    1. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched the fourth edition of the swatch Survekshan (the world’s largest cleanliness survey to assess cities of India on their swachh quotient.
    2. Duration: 4th Jan to 31st Jan 2019
    3. In its fourth year, the survey will be conducted across 4,237 towns and cities and 62 Cantonment Boards, impacting around 40 crore people.

     

    Second largest rock art trove

    • Location: Mekala Benchi near Aspari in Kurnool district A.P.
    • Petroglyphs, or rock carvings, underscore Kurnool’s importance as a major site of Neolithic settlements in South India.
    • The researcher collected stone tools and potsherds from the site dating back to the Neolithic period (2900BCE-1000BCE).

     

    Findings:

    • Mekala Benchi has rock carvings dating back from the Neolithic to the Megalithic period.
    • Kandanthi, with 200 petroglyphs, is also present in Kurnool district.
    • Kandanathi’s carvings range from the prehistoric to the historic period.
    • Two boulders on known as Boodida Konda (ash-coloured hill) and the other an unnamed granite hillock, mostly have images of bulls or bull riding and human figures, an elephant, tiger-like animals and cupules.
    • Native bulls of western Kurnool are known for their long horns as depicted the petroglyphs.
    • Settled village life and the finished stone axe are salient Neolithic features of communities settled on granitoid hills or leveled terraces on hillsides or on valley floors.
    • The current side, at the granite foothills of Boodide Konda, fits the description of a Neolithic Settlement.

     

    Cyclone Pabuk

    • Cyclone storm Pabuk approached over the Andaman sea and the neighborhood area.
    • Pabuk’ originated over the Gulf of Thailand and neighbourhood, moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 10 kilometres per hour (kmph) and lay centred over Thailand and neighbourhood
    • Status: Orange Weather Alert
    • This category of ORANGE level weather warnings is for weather conditions that have the capacity to impact significantly on people in the affected areas. The issue of an Orange level weather warning implies that all recipients in the affected areas should prepare themselves in an appropriate way for the anticipated conditions.

     

    Kerala budget to focus on post-flood rebuilding

    • The Kerala budget for 2019-20 will be a blueprint and post-flood rebuilding and providing concrete solutions to the challenges in resource mobilization to complete the process in time-bound manner.
    • The government rests its hopes on the Goods and Service Tax Council meeting, the meeting on Thursday. The meeting will take up the State’s proposal to levy 1% calamity cess on value of product and services either on selected commodities or across the board for two years.
    • The state demand to raise the borrowing limit from the borrowing limit from 3.5% of GDP to 4.5% is one of the issues it has to grapple with.

     

    70% towns along Ganga let out garbage into the river

    • Four and a half years after the Centre launched its flagship Namami Gange Programme to clean programme to clean up the Ganga, a government commissioned assessment done by the Quality Council of India (QCI) has found that 66 towns and cities along the river still have nullahs or drains flowing directly into the river Ganga.
    • Key Finding
      1. 3/4th of towns have old legacy dumpsites along the ghats.
      2. 72% of towns have at least one drain flowing into the river.
      3. 1/3rd of towns have solid waste floating on the river surface.
      4. 85% of drains discharging into the Ganga did not have screens to stop garbage from entering the river.

    About Quality Council of India

    • Quality Council of India (QCI) was set up jointly by the Government of India and the Indian Industry represented by the three premier industry associations i.e. Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), to establish and operate national accreditation structure and promote quality through National Quality Campaign.
    • Quality Council of India (QCI) was set up jointly by the Government of India and the Indian Industry represented by the three premier industry associations i.e. Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), to establish and operate national accreditation structure and promote quality through National Quality Campaign.

     

    Northeast is home to six new lizards

  • The discoveries – by an international team from institutes including Bengaluru’s National Centre for Biological Sciences and London’s The Natural History Museum – have been published in Zootaxa.
  • Six new lizards
    1. Guwahati bent-toed gecko. (Cyrtodactylus guwahatiensis, name after city)
    2. The Kaziranga bent-toed gecko.
    3. The Jaintia-toed gecko.
    4. The Nagaland bent-toed.
    5. The Abhayapuri bent-toed.
    6. The Jampui bent-toed gecko.
  • All the new lizards belong to the genus Cyrtodactylus and are called bent-toed or bow-fingered geckos, named after their bent toes.
  • The discovery increases the number of bent-toed geckos described from the Himalaya and north-eastern India to 15.

 

Survey spots 3 new bird visitors

  • A waterbird survey conducted in Upper Kuttanad region has recorded 16,767 birds of 47 continental and local species.
  • The survey, conducted as part of the annual Asian Waterbird Census, has spotted three new species – Greater flamingo, Grey-headed lapwing, and Blue-cheeked bee-eater.
  • This year, the survey was conducted in 15 places.
  • It was jointly organized by the Social Forestry wing of the Forest Department, Kottayam Nature Society, and Alappuzha Natural History Society. A total of 72 birders from across the state took part.
  • The Asian Waterbird Census is part of the global international Waterbird Census carried out each January as a voluntary activity.

 

Helping build urban houses faster, cheaper.

  • The Centre will offer about Rup-150 crore as a technology innovation grant to build 6000 homes – cheaper, faster and better – using alternative technology and materials under the Global Housing Technology.
  • After a global expo and conference in March, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will invite bids and identify proven demonstrable technologies from around the world, which are to be adapted and mainstreamed for use in the Indian context.
  • HOME SOLUTION
    1. The Global Housing Technology Challenge is aimed at introducing best technology to contract houses quickly and at a lower cost.
    2. 6 winners will design and build projects of 1000 housing units each.
    3. The state and the Centre each will provide assistance of Rup- 1.5lack.
    4. The centre will give an additional technology grant of Rup – 2.5 lacks. for each house.
    5. Incubation facilities will be provided develop building technologies with support from IITs.
    6. The approved technologies will be displayed by Central Public Works Department along with the rates.

 

Odisha extends free health services to all medical colleges

  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced extension of free health services under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana to all government medical college and hospital from Feb 1. All patients, irrespective of APL or BPL category, will be able to avail of this facility. Beside all patients will be provided blood bank facilities free of cost . BSKY was launched on August 15, 2018. It has received overwhelming response with over 2.25 crore instance of free healthcare service being availed by the People of the State.
  • This cashless care is being provided to all persons without any requirement of income, residence or any other document. The free services will cover all procedures available in all government health institutes such as in-patient beds, surgeries, Operation Theatre and ICU facilities.
  • The state government has made an additional provision of over 100 crore from its budget for this purpose.
  • In empanelled private hospitals, over 70 lack families will continue to avail of cashless care up to Rup -5 lakh per annum per family and Rup -7 lakh for women members.

 

Maha Agri-Tech

  • Maharashtra government launched ‘Maha Agritech,’ a project under which area under cultivation from sowing to harvesting, climate and diseases on crops will be monitored digitally using satellite and drone technology. This project is supported by Maharashtra Remote Application Centre (MRSAC) and ISRO.
  • The main users of crop maps and yield forecasts are governments and agribusiness who use them to assess demand, anticipate prices and plan the use of resources.

Other initiatives :

  • FASAL–Forecasting Agricultural output using Space, Agrometeorology and Land-based observations.
  • NADAMS–National Agricultural Drought Assessment and Monitoring System
  • KISAN (Crop Insurance using Space technology And geoinformatics)
    CHAMAN (Coordinated programme on Horticulture Assessment and Management using geoinformatics).
  • Crop Intensification- Mapping and monitoring of post-Kharif rice fallow lands using Satellite Remote Sensing and GIS technologies for Rabi Crop Area Expansion.

 

Global Aviation Summit-2019

  • Ministry of Civil Aviation in collaboration with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has organized Global Aviation Summit in Mumbai, with the theme “Flying for all – especially the next 6 Billion”.
  • It aims to provide a platform for the stakeholders to brainstorm over the future of the aviation industry and identify the growth areas.
  • It also gives the opportunity to highlight the latest concepts like drones, air taxis, new jets and ultra-light aerial electric vehicles etc.
  • Vision 2040 for the aviation sector was also launched during the summit which highlights the growth potential in different sub-sectors of Indian aviation and the key action steps which are required to be taken to achieve the desired.

 

9th International Micro irrigation conference

  • Ministry of Water Resources and River Development organized 9th International Micro irrigation conference at Aurangabad which aims to share experiences in the use of new technologies and best management practices in drip, micro-sprinkler, and other localized irrigation systems.
  • The Theme of the conference was: “Micro Irrigation and Modern Agriculture”.

About Micro Irrigation:

  • Micro-irrigation is a modern method of irrigation through which water is irrigated through drippers, sprinklers, foggers and by other emitters on the surface or subsurface of the land.
  • Drip irrigation is most suitable for wider spacing crops. The micro sprinkler irrigation system is mostly followed in sandy or loamy soils. This system is most suitable for horticultural crops and small grasses.

Advantages:

  • Water saving and higher yield.
  • High quality and increased fruit size.
  • Suitable for all types of soil.
  • Easy method of chemigation and fertigation.
  • Saving in labor and field preparation cost.

Disadvantage:

  • High initial cost.
  • Clogging of emitters.
  • Possible damage to system components due to animals, etc

 

Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS)

Recently, an infant under treatment in New Delhi Hospital is suffering from a rare disease ‘Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS)’.

About CCHS:

  • It is a very rare disease with less than 1,000 known cases all over the world.
  • Person suffering from this disease can lose their life if they fall into deep sleep.
  • It is a disorder of the nervous system in which the cue to breathe is lost when the patient goes to sleep. This results in a lack of oxygen and a buildup of carbon dioxide in the body. Lack of breathing turns the lips into the blue.
  • It is also known as Ondine’s Curse. (Ondine is a French mythology character).The mutation of a gene called PHOX2B can cause CCHS.
  • Treatment includes mechanical ventilation or use of a diaphragm pacemaker. People who have been diagnosed as newborns should be ventilated throughout childhood so that they can live independently.

 

First Human Rights TV channel

  • The world’s first television channel dedicated to human rights was launched in London with a promise to deliver hidden stories ignored by mainstream media into people’s living rooms, by the International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR).
  • It would be a web-based channel and would deliver human rights issues to audiences in over 20 countries across Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
  • The programmes are currently broadcasted in English and eventually hopes to broadcast in other languages including Farsi, Turkish, Arabic and Russian.
  • The Channel would focus on issues like refugees, press freedom and the incarceration of journalists, extremism, women’s rights, LGBT+ issues and the plight of the world’s stateless people.

About IOHR:

  • International Observatory of Human Rights is an independent non-profit and non-governmental organization based in London. IOHR associates with regional and international human rights group to generate and advertise positive modifications and push for justice and the respect of human rights around the world.
  • IOHR aims to protect the dignity of individuals stripped of their legal rights which includes unjustly jailed journalists, human rights defenders, refugees and victims of oppression.

 

Global Risks Report-2019

The Report by World Economic Forum (WEF) describes changes occurring in the global risks landscape from year to year and identifies global catastrophic risks. It also examines the interconnectedness of risks and considers how the strategies for the mitigation of global risks might be structured.
Highlight:
The report has predicted the following major risks under five categories:
(a) EconomicAsset bubbles in a major economy.
(b) EnvironmentalExtreme weather events, failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation, natural disasters, man-made environmental disasters, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
(c) Geo-PoliticalWeapons of mass destruction.
(d) SocietalLarge-scale involuntary migration, water crises, spread of infectious diseases.
(d) TechnologicalData fraud or theft, cyber-attacks, critical information infrastructure breakdown.

Top 5 risks are:

  • Changing Climate
  • Rising Cyber Dependency
  • Increasing polarization of societies
  • Rising Income and wealth disparity
  • Increasing national sentiment