MICS CURRENT AFFAIRS 31st JAN 2018

1 .  Ihsan  Doğramacı  Family  Health  Foundation  Prize  to  Dr  Vinod  Paul 

Dr Vinod Paul, Member, NITI Aayog has been awarded the prestigious IhsanDoğramacı Family Health Foundation Prize by the World Health Organisation (WHO). He is the first Indian to receive this global honour, which is conferred in recognition to his services in the field of family health.

The award will be presented to Dr Paul formally at the World Health Assembly to be held in Geneva, Switzerland in May 2018.

About Dr Vinod Paul

Dr Paul is an internationally renowned researcher, clinician, educator and public health advocate in the area of family health, with a special focus on newborn health. He has made distinguished contributions towards improving the health and well-being of families, especially in developing countries.

Dr Paul’s efforts brought the long-neglected issue of newborn health to the centre-stage of strategies for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through significant contributions to important documents used globally on family health.

About Ihsan Doğramacı Family Health Foundation Prize

Professor Ihsan Doğramacı, established this Foundation in 1980 to promote and raise the standard of family health by acknowledging individuals who have given distinguished service in this field.

The Foundation awards a public health prize every two years, consisting of a gold-plated silver medal, a certificate and a honorarium for services in the field of family health. The prize is presented at a special ceremony during the World Health Assembly and the amount of the honorarium is determined by the Foundation Selection Panel in consultation with WHO and in accordance with the accumulated interest on the Foundation’s capital.

Procedure for the proposal and selection of candidates

Any national health administration, the Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Bureau of the International Children’s Centre (Ankara), as well as any former recipient of the prize, may propose candidates for the prize to the Foundation Selection Panel.

 

2 . 24th  Meeting  Of  Committee  to  review  protection  of  Civil Rights {PCR} Act, 1955 & SCs/ STs {PoA} Act, 1989 

The Twenty Fourth meeting of the Committee to review the Protection of Civil Rights {PCR} Act, 1955 and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) {PoA} Act, 1989, in States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh took place recently .

The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995, made by the Central Government in exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (1) of Section 23 of the PoA Act, have also been amended by the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Rules, 2016, and notified on 14th April, 2016.

BACKGROUND

Article 17 of the Constitution of India abolished ‘untouchability’, forbade its practice in any form and made enforcement of any disability arising out of untouchability as an offence punishable in accordance with the law.

An Act of Parliament namely the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) {PoA} Act, 1989, which falls within the provisions of Article 17 of the Constitution was enacted for preventing atrocities against members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, to provide for Special Courts for the trial of such offences as well as relief and rehabilitation of the victims of atrocities.

The PoA Act extends to the whole of India except Jammu & Kashmir, and responsibility for its implementation rests with State Governments.

Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015

With an objective to deliver members of SCs and STs, a greater justice as well as an enhanced deterrent to the offenders, the PoA Act has been amended by the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 and enforced with effect from 26.01.2016. The salient features of the aforesaid Amendment Act are:

1 .  Addition of several new offences of atrocities like tonsuring of head, moustache, or similar acts which are derogatory to the dignity of members of SCs and STs .

2 . Addition of certain IPC offences like hurt, grievous hurt, intimidation, kidnapping etc., attracting less than ten years of imprisonment, committed against members of SCs and STs, as offences punishable under the PoA Act .

3 . Establishment of Exclusive Special Courts and specification of Exclusive Special Public Prosecutors to exclusively try the offences under the PoA Act to enable expeditious disposal of cases .

4 . Addition of chapter on the ‘Rights of Victims and Witnesses’.

Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Rules, 2016

The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995, made by the Central Government in exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (1) of Section 23 of the PoA Act, have also been amended by the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Rules, 2016, and notified on 14th April, 2016. Its salient features are as under:-

  1. The number of offences of atrocities, for which admissible relief amount to the victims /their dependents is admissible, has increased from 22 to 47.
  2. Provision of relief amount for grievous offences against SC and ST women, has been enabled on conclusion of trial, even when such cases do not end in conviction.
  3. Medical examination of SC and ST women for non-invasive offences against them, has been done away for getting admissible relief amount.
  4. The relief amount has been enhanced and made between Rs. 85,000/- to Rs. 8, 25,000/-, depending upon the nature of the offence, which has to be paid to atrocity victims/ their dependents, within seven days.
  5. A separate provision of relief for offences of rape and gang rape of Rs. 5 lakh and Rs. 8.25 lakh respectively, has been made.
  6. For the first time, separate provisions for relief amount between Rs. 8, 25,000/- to Rs.85, 000/- has been made for victims of acid attacks, depending upon degree of burns.
  7. To enable timely commencement of prosecution, investigation of the case and filing of the charge sheet in the court has to be done within sixty days.

 

3 . National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use 

Review Meeting on the National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use took place recently . The progress made in different States for the National Survey was reviewed and the States where consultations and trainings for the Survey are still pending were directed to take appropriate measures to ensure that training/consultations for the Survey are completed as early as possible .

BACKGROUND

The last National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India was conducted in the year 2000-2001. Thereafter, no such survey has been conducted.

About the Survey

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has, in August 2016, assigned the task of conducting the National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India to the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC), AIIMS, New Delhi and the report is expected by March, 2018.

The survey will be carried out in about 25% of the districts in each state and the data collected from these districts will be extrapolated using standard statistical methods to generate estimates for the entire state/UT.

A Household Sample Survey (HSS) will be conducted in 185 districts of the country to determine the proportion of people who use substances and people who are suffering from substance use disorders.

Focused Thematic Studies will also be done for the special population like Homeless. Prison, transgender, Sex Worker, street children, Transport workers, Students in selected educational institutions etc. The Survey will also map the presence of services and interventions for individuals suffering from substance use disorders and identify the gaps in service delivery.

Nodal Ministry

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal Ministry for drug demand reduction. It coordinates and monitors all aspects of drug abuse prevention which include assessment of the extent of the problem, preventive action, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts, dissemination of information and public awareness. The Ministry provides community based services for the identification, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts through voluntary organizations.

 

4 . High  performance  computing  (HPC)  facility  ‘MIHIR’  at  Noida  inaugurated 

High Performance Computer (HPC) System named ‘Mihir’ (meaning ‘Sun’) at the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) at Noida has been dedicated to the Nation .

The HPC facility will be India’s largest HPC facility in terms of peak capacity and performance and will propel India’s ranking from the 368th position to around the top 30 in the Top 500 list of HPC facilities in the world .

India will now also be ranked 4th, after Japan, UK and USA for dedicated HPC resources for weather/climate community.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE HPC FACILITY

The new HPC facility is expected to improve the following services:

  • Weather forecasts at block level over India which can predict extreme weather events.
  • High resolution seasonal/extended range forecasts of active/break spells of Monsoon.
  • Very high resolution coupled models for prediction of cyclones with more accuracy and lead time.
  • Ocean state forecasts including marine water quality forecasts at very high resolution.
  • Tsunami forecasts with greater lead time.
  • Air quality forecasts for various cities
  • Climate projections at very high resolution.

 

5 . GeM 3.0 launched

Government e Marketplace (GeM), has been envisaged by Government of India as the National Procurement Portal of India. GeM strives to keep pace with ever-evolving technological challenges and stake holder aspirations and in line with this endeavour, GeM is coming up with a scaled up third version. The GeM 2.0 was launched as a pilot in August 2016 and its success led to this massive transformation program – GeM 3.0 which would offer standardised and enriched catalogue management, powerful search engine, real time price comparison, template-based Bid and RA creation, demand aggregation, e-EMD, e-PBG, user rating, advanced MIS and analytics and more.

Some of the notable enhancements in the 3.0 version:
  • Market Based generic requirements across all government agencies
  • Standardisation of specifications of both products and services enabling empirical price comparability
  • Completely transparent transactions across all ranges
  • Generic standards established through universal service levels and cost comparison enabled
  • Open and dynamic market place with rating based on performance of user on website

 

6 . Guru Ravidas Jayanti , January 31

Image result for Guru Ravidasji

Guru Ravidas was a North Indian mystic poet-saint of the bhakti movement during the 15th to 16th century CE . Ravidas was one of the disciples of the Brahmin bhakti saint-poet Ramananda.

Venerated as a Guru (teacher) in the region of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, the devotional songs of Ravidas made a lasting impact upon the bhakti movement.

He was a poet-saint, social reformer and a spiritual figure. He is considered as the founder of 21st-century Ravidassia religion, by a group who previously were associated with Sikhism.

Ravidas’ devotional songs were included in the Sikh Scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib . Guru Ravidas Ji taught removal of social divisions of caste and gender, and promoted unity in the pursuit of personal spiritual freedoms.

Image result for Guru Ravidasji

There is a small chhatri (umbrella) in front of Meera’s temple in Chittorgarh district of Rajasthan which bears Ravidas’ engraved foot print. Legends link him as the Guru of Meera, another major bhakti movement poet, but there is no historical evidence that they ever met.