CURRENT AFFAIRS , 3rd Jan 2018

1 . MMR  declines  to  167  per  100,000  live  births.

  • As per the latest Registrar General of India- Sample Registration System (RGI-SRS) Report (Special Bulletin on Maternal Mortality in India 2011-13); the Maternal Mortality ratio(MMR) of India is 167 per 100,000 live births.
  • The Maternal Mortality Ratio is a key performance indicator for efforts to improve the health and safety of mothers before, during, and after childbirth per country worldwide.
What is Maternal Mortality Ratio ?

It is the annual number of female deaths per 100,000 live births from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management (excluding accidental or incidental causes). It is not to be confused with the Maternal Mortality Rate.

What is Maternal Mortality Rate ?

It is the number of maternal deaths (direct and indirect) in a given period per 100,000 women of reproductive age during one year.

Key  steps  taken  to  reduce   Maternal Mortality ratio (MMR)

The key steps taken under the National Health Mission (NHM) are:

1 .  Promotion of institutional deliveries through Janani Suraksha Yojana.

2 .  Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) has been launched on 1st June, 2011, which entitles all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions to absolutely free and no expense delivery including Caesarean section.

3 . The Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) has been launched by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India to provide fixed-day assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care universally to all pregnant women on the 9th of every month.

4 .  Universal screening of pregnant women for anaemia is a part of ante-natal care and all pregnant women are provided iron and folic acid tablets during their ante-natal visits through the existing network of sub-centers and primary health centres and other health facilities as well as through outreach activities at Village Health & Nutrition Days (VHNDs).

5 .  Every pregnant woman is given iron and folic acid, after the first trimester, to be taken 1 tablet daily till delivery and same is continued during the post-natal period.

6 .  Capacity building of MBBS doctors in Anesthesia and Obstetric Care including C-section  skills to overcome the shortage of specialists in these disciplines, particularly in rural areas.

7 .  Capacity buildings of SNs & ANMs in Skilled Birth Attendant (SBA) and DAKSHATA programme to equip them for managing normal deliveries, identify complications, do basic management and then refer at the earliest to higher facilities.

8 .  To strengthen the quality of training, a new initiative has been taken for setting up of Skill Labs with earmarked skill stations for different training programs in the states for which necessary allocation of funds is made under NHM.

9 .  Operationalization of adequate number of Primary Health Centres for providing 24 x7 basic emergency obstetric care services.

10 .  Establishing Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Wings at high caseload facilities to improve the quality of care provided to mothers and children.

11. Name Based Web enabled Tracking of Pregnant Women and New born babies so that provision of regular and complete services to them can be ensured.

12 . Mother and Child Protection Card in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development to monitor service delivery for mothers and children.

13 .  Engagement of more than 9.15 lakhs Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) to generate demand and facilitate accessing of health care services by the community.

14 .  Operationalization of Comprehensive Abortion Care Services and Reproductive Tract Infections and Sexually Transmitted Infections (RTI/STI) at health facilities.

15 .  Newer operational guidelines have been prepared and disseminated to the States for Screening for Diagnosis & management of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus, Hypothyroidism during pregnancy, Calcium supplementation during pregnancy and lactation, De-worming during pregnancy,etc.

16 .  Guidelines on standardization of Labor Rooms and creation of Obstetric HDU and Obstetric ICU at District Hospitals and Medical Colleges has also been prepared and disseminated to the States for improving quality of care during delivery and child birth.

17 .  Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child Health + Adolescent (RMNCH+A) interventions for achieving improved maternal and child health outcomes through continuum of care across life cycle.


2 .  ‘NARI’  and ‘e-Samvad’  inaugurated

  • In a path breaking initiative to empower women, the online portal NARI  has been  inaugurated recently.
  • Developed by the Ministry of Women & Child Development, the portal will provide women citizens with easy access to information on government schemes and initiatives for women.
  • Further to provide a platform for NGOs and Civil Societies to interact with the Ministry of Women & Child Development, e-Samvad portal has also been developed .
About  NARI  portal

It summarizes over 350 government schemes and other important information for the benefit of women. It provides links to the Ministries, Departments and autonomous bodies offering these schemes as well as easy access to online applications and grievance redressal

NARI will provide information to women on issues affecting their lives. There are tips on good nutrition, suggestions for health check ups, information on major diseases, tips for job search and interview, investment and savings advice, information on crimes and against women and reporting procedures, contacts of legal aid cells, simplified adoption procedures and much more. It will endow women with the power of information to build their life skills and facilitates them in taking full advantage of the services provided by the Government for them.

About  e-Samvad

Through e-Samvad portal, NGOs and civil society can provide their feedback, suggestions, put up grievances, share best practices etc. Senior Officers within MWCD will be able to view the inputs/suggestions received for their concerned subject areas and appropriately respond to NGOs. This will help in formulation of effective policies and measures for welfare of women and children.


3 .  India  has  about  8000  MW  Tidal  Energy  Potential

The Government has recently informed that there is an estimated potential of about 8000 MW of tidal energy, with 7000 MW in the Gulf of Kambhat, 1200 MW in the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, and about 100 MW in the Gangetic delta in Sunderbans in West Bengal.However tidal energy cannot be presently harnessed on commercial basis due to high capital cost ranging from Rs. 30 crores to 60 crores per MW.

Key  Facts  Related  With  Tidal  Power
  • Tidal power or tidal energy is a form of hydropower that converts the energy obtained from tides into useful forms of power, mainly electricity.
  • Among sources of renewable energy, tidal energy has traditionally suffered from relatively high cost and limited availability of sites with sufficiently high tidal ranges or flow velocities, thus constricting its total availability.
  • The world’s first large-scale tidal power plant was the Rance Tidal Power Station in France, which became operational in 1966.
  • It was the largest tidal power station in terms of output until Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station opened in South Korea in August 2011. The Sihwa station uses sea wall defense barriers complete with 10 turbines generating 254 MW.
  • India as a result of being surrounded by sea on three sides, has a high potential to harness tidal energy. The three most potential locations in this regard are Gulf of Cambay (west coast), Gulf of Kutch (west coast) and Ganges Delta, Sundarbans, West Bengal (East Coast).
  • The most attractive locations are the Gulf of Cambay and the Gulf of Kutch where the maximum tidal range is 11 m and 8 m with average tidal range of 6.77 m and 5.23 m, respectively.
  • The Ganges Delta also has good locations for small scale tidal power development. The maximum tidal range in Sundarbans is approximately 5 m with an average tidal range of 2.97 m.


4 . Israel passes new law on Jerusalem

Israel’s Parliament passed a law  requiring a super-majority to relinquish control over any part of Jerusalem, a move that could hamstring the city’s division in any future peace deal.

The amendment bars the government from ceding Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem without approval of at least 80 of the legislature’s 120 members. But the law itself can be overturned with a simple majority, making it largely symbolic.

The law also permits the government to remove outlying Palestinian neighbourhoods from the city, a move promoted by hardliners to preserve Jerusalem’s Jewish majority. They would be turned into separate municipalities under Israeli control.


Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. Tensions rose after U.S. President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital last month.