Daily Current Affairs (English) - 14.04.2018
Centre issuing guidelines to ban ‘toxic’ e-cigarettes
Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that it is in the process of issuing guidelines to ban the manufacture, import, sale and any kind of trade in e-cigarettes, dubbing it a “new emerging threat”.
- Terming e-cigarettes or Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems “addictive” and targeted at young smokers, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said the decision has been taken in the larger interest of public health.
- It said the flavouring agent in e-cigarettes was intended towards attracting the youth to a “new nicotine delivery product”.
- The Ministry submitted that the chief constituent of e-cigarettes was nicotine, which was addictive.
- “It also has a high level of toxicity and can lead to development of cardiovascular diseases, lung diseases, have adverse effect on the immune and gastrointestinal systems, and raise the risk of miscarriage in pregnant women,” the Ministry said.
No easing of mining norms
The Environment Ministry’s apex forest body has shot down a joint proposal by the Coal, Petroleum and Mining ministries to fully exempt themselves from Forest department permissions to scale up the density of exploratory boreholes, used to prospect for minerals, in forests.
- Mining companies deploy heavy machinery and rigs to dig test, or exploratory boreholes, which are thin, cylindrical caverns that usually go hundreds of metres underground to look for signs of metals, minerals and coal.
- Currently companies can dig up to 20 boreholes a square kilometre in forests without taking the Central government’s permission.
- The Coal Ministry consortium wanted to be able to tunnel more boreholes per square-kilometre without seeking the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) permission.
- The Environment Ministry and the Coal Ministry have earlier carried out studies to ascertain the impact of mining on India’s forests.
- After deliberations, it was decided to allow exploratory boreholes in open and moderately dense forests.
WHO issued a new 10-step guidance to increase support for breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is an important efficient and cost-effective intervention promoting child survival and health. Breastfeeding within an hour of birth could prevent 20% of the newborn deaths. Infants who are not breastfed are 15 times more likely to die from pnuemonia and 11 times more likely to die from diarrhoea than children who are exclusively breastfed, which are two leading causes of death in children under-five years of age.
- To intensify the efforts further for promotion of breastfeeding, the Health Ministry has initiated a nationwide programme called “MAA-Mother’s Absolute Affection’’ to bring undiluted focus on promotion of breastfeeding and provision of services towards supporting breastfeeding, along with ongoing efforts of routine health systems.
- The key components of the MAA programme are awareness generation, promotion of breastfeeding & inter personal counselling at community level, skilled support for breastfeeding at delivery points and monitoring and Award/ recognition of health facility.
- Under this programme, ASHA has been incentivized for reaching out to pregnant and lactating mothers and provide information on benefits and techniques of successful breastfeeding during interpersonal communication. ANMs at all sub-centres and health personnel at all delivery points are being trained for providing skilled support to mothers referred with issues related to breastfeeding.
- Under NHM, funding support has been recommended for all States and UTs for successful implementation of the MAA programme.
14th April - Ambedkar Jayanti
Babasaheb or B. R. Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891.
- Ambedkar Saab was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who stimulated the Dalit Buddhist Movement and campaigned against social discrimination against Untouchables since he was a Dalit too and also supported the rights of women and labor.
- He was independent India’s very first minister of law, the principal architect of the Constitution of India and a founding father of the Republic of India. In 1990, he was honored with the Bharat Ratna award and Ambedkar’s legacy continues till today with numerous memorials and depictions in popular culture.
National Film Awards - 2018
The winners of 65th National Film Awards were announced by a 10-member jury headed by renowned filmmaker Shekhar Kapur.
- While Vinod Khanna was posthumously given the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his contribution to Indian cinema, late actress Sridevi won the Best Actress award for her performance in MOM that released in July last year.
- Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, which had turned out to be the biggest hit at the domestic box-office, won the award for Best Popular Film.
- Amit Masurkar’s Newton, which was sent as India’s official entry to the Oscars, was named the Best Hindi film.
e-FRRO Scheme to provide hassle-free travel for foreigners
To facilitate hassle-free travel to India for foreigners, the government formally launched the e-FRRO scheme under which they can avail of various visa and immigration-related services online.
- Launching the project, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said foreigners will be not be required to visit Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) or Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) offices anymore unless specifically called upon.
- The e-FRRO scheme would be a quantum jump towards improving the ease of service delivery with respect to foreigners visiting and staying in India.
- As of now, foreigners staying in India on visa duration of more than 180 days have to get themselves registered with their respective FROs/FRROs, an official said.
India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway
This is NHAI’s first international project agreement. The project has been funded by Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and would be executed on EPC mode at a cost of Rs.1177 crores.
- It will help improve connectivity between India’s remote Northeastern part and Southeast Asia. For long, the lack of physical connectivity with Southeast Asia has been an Achilles’ heel in India’s “Act-East Policy.” The trilateral highway will improve India’s connectivity with Myanmar and Thailand, and in the future there are plans to connect it with pre-existing roads and take it all the way to Vietnam.
- With the construction of this road, which started as the India-Myanmar friendship road way back in 2001, the recent non-attendance by India at China’s Belt and Road Forum in Beijing seems to have injected a new measure of earnestness among Indian policy planners when it comes to executing such road projects.
- Northeast India has been lagging behind other parts of the country when it comes to infrastructure. When completed, the IMT highway will also give easy access to the Northeastern states to the sea (via Myanmar).
Dandi March Theme: For India’s first Bullet Train Terminal
Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March will be the theme of Sabarmati Station in Ahmedabad which will be the terminating station of the proposed high-speed rail corridor between Mumbai-Ahmedabad, a senior official said.
- Passengers boarding the bullet train from Sabarmati Station will have to pay Rs 3,000 to reach Mumbai, he told reporters.
- It would the first bullet train station whose design has been finalized by the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Ltd. Achal Khare, the managing director of NHSRCL, said the cost of building the station is approximately Rs 250 crore.
- He said the station area will have a three-level parking that can accommodate around 1,500 vehicles. While one level will be for cars, another will be for bus and the third will be for autos, thus ensuring seamless travel for passengers.
India's Performance at Gold Coast - 2018
- Shooting (women’s 50m rifle 3 positions finals) – Tejaswini Sawant – Gold
- Shooting (women’s 50m rifle 3 positions finals) – Anjum Moudgil – Silver
- Shooting (men’s 25m rapid fire pistol finals) – Anish Bhanwala – Gold
- Wrestling (men’s 65kg final) – Bajrang Punia – Gold
- Wrestling (women’s 57kg final) – Pooja Dhanda – Silver
- Wrestling (men’s 97kg final) – Mausam Khatri – Silver
- TT (women’s doubles finals) – Manika Batra/Mouma Das – Silver
- Wrestling (women’s 68kg) – Divya Kakran – Bronze
- Boxing (men’s 91kg SF) – Naman Tanwar – Bronze
- Boxing (men’s 56kg SF) – Hussamuddin Mohammed – Bronze
- Boxing (men’s 69kg SF) – Manoj Kumar – Bronze