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World Affairs

HPCIA

Why in news?

Health Ministry bans sale, distribution of antibiotic Colistin for food producing animals.

About the news

  • The ban has been imposed under provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
  • Collistin has been marked ‘Reserve’ under the AWaRe tool.
  • Collistin has also been marked as ‘Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobials’ in the WHO list of critically important antimicrobials for human medicine (WHO CIA list).

About HPCIA

  • It is certain antimicrobial classes classified as “Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobials “for human medicine by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the so called WHO list of critically important antimicrobials for human medicine (WHO CIA list).
  • It is intended for all stakeholders to ensure that all antimicrobials, especially critically important antimicrobials, are used prudently both in human and veterinary medicine.
 
  • It is intended as a reference to help formulate and prioritize risk assessment and risk management strategies for containing antimicrobial resistance mainly due to non-human antimicrobial use.
  • The 1st revision of the WHO list of CIA was developed in the 2nd WHO Expert Meeting on Critically Important Antimicrobials for Human Health held in Copenhagen, Denmark, 2007.
  • In the latest version of the CIA list (6th revision, 2018), the “Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobials“ are
  • Quinolones
  • 3rd and higher generation cephalosporins
  • Macrolides and ketolides
  • Glycopeptides
  • Polymyxins(Collstin)

About Access, Watch and Reserve (AWaRe)

  • It is a global campaign urging governments to adopt a tool to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance, adverse events and costs.
  • The AWaRe tool was developed by the WHO Essential Medicines List to contain rising resistance and make antibiotic use safer and more effective.
  • It classifies antibiotics into three groups
  1. Access
  2. Watch
  3. Reserve
  • It specifies which antibiotics to use for the most common and serious infections, which ones should be available at all times in the healthcare system, and those that must be used sparingly or preserved and used only as a last resort.
  • The new campaign aims to increase the proportion of global consumption of antibiotics in the ‘Access’ group to at least 60%, and to reduce use of the antibiotics most at risk of resistance.
  • Using ‘Access’ antibiotics lowers the risk of resistance because they are ‘narrow-spectrum’ antibiotics (that target a specific microorganism rather than several).
  • They are also less costly because they are available in generic formulations.
  • In India, the Health Ministry has made it mandatory to display a 5mm-thick red vertical band on the packaging of prescription-only drugs to sensitise people to be cautious while buying these medicines that are widely sold without prescriptions.

Government Interventions

“Healthy States, Progressive India” Report

Why in News?

An analysis of the NITI Aayog’s ‘Healthy States, Progressive India’ report released on June 25 shows that the usage of estimated figures in place of reported numbers, to calculate certain health indicators, has adversely impacted the final index score of certain States while boosting that of others.

About the news

 
  • The report had used an estimated number of births and deliveries to calculate two key health outcome indicators, “full immunisation coverage” and “proportion of institutional deliveries” which carried high weightage in the calculation of the final index score.

About the report

  • "Healthy States, Progressive India" is a comprehensive Health Index report released by the NITI Aayog.
  • The report ranks states and Union territories innovatively on their year-on-year incremental change in health outcomes, as well as, their overall performance with respect to each other.
  • The report has been developed by NITI Aayog, with technical assistance from the World Bank, and in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
  • It is the second attempt to establish an annual systematic tool to measure and understand the heterogeneity and complexity of the nation’s performance in Health.
  • Health Index has been developed as a tool to leverage co-operative and competitive federalism to accelerate the pace of achieving health outcomes.
  • States and UTs have been ranked in three categories to ensure comparison among similar entities, namely
  1. Larger States (21)
  2. Smaller States (8)
  3. Union Territories (8)
  • The Health Index is a weighted composite Index, which for the larger States, is based on indicators in three domains with each domain assigned a weight based on its importance.
  • The domains are:
  • Health Outcomes (70%)
  • Governance and Information (12%)
  • Key Inputs and Processes (18%)
  • The Index includes 23 indicators which are used to calculate the composite index score and generate overall performance ranks and incremental ranks.
  • The composite index score is calculated for a Base Year, which largely covers the 2014 - 15 period and a Reference year.

Indicators under the domain, Health Outcomes

  1. Neonatal Mortality Rate
  2. Under-five Mortality Rate
  3. Total Fertility Rate (TFR)
  4. Proportion of low birth weight (LBW) among newborns
  5. Sex Ratio at Birth
  6. Full immunization coverage
  7. Proportion of institutional deliveries
  8. Total case notification rate of tuberculosis (TB)
  9. Treatment success rate of new microbiologically confirmed TB cases
  10. Proportion of people living with HIV (PLHIV) on antiretroviral therapy (ART)
Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act

Why in news?

 

Cases of sexual harassment at the workplace have gone up year by year since the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 came into effect.

About the act

  • The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is a legislative act in India that seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work.
  • The Act came into force from 9 December 2013.
  • This statute superseded the Vishakha Guidelines for prevention of sexual harassment introduced by the Supreme Court of India.
  • It defines sexual harassment, lays down the procedures for a complaint and inquiry, and the action to be taken.
  • It broadens the Vishaka guidelines, which were already in place.

What were the Vishaka guidelines?

  • These were laid down by the Supreme Court in a judgment in 1997.
  • This was on a case filed by women’s rights groups, one of which was Vishaka.
  • They had filed a public interest litigation over the alleged gang-rape of Bhanwari Devi, a social worker from Rajasthan.
  • In 1992, she had prevented the marriage of a one-year-old girl, leading to the alleged gang-rape in an act of revenge.

How does the 2013 Act broaden these?

  • It mandates that every employer constitute an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at each office or branch with 10 or more employees.
  • It lays down procedures and defines various aspects of sexual harassment, including aggrieved victim, a woman “of any age whether employed or not”, who “alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment”, which means the rights of all women working or visiting any workplace, in any capacity, are protected under the Act.

How does it define sexual harassment?

  • Physical contact and advances
  • A demand or request for sexual favours
  • Sexually coloured remarks
  • Showing pornography
  • Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature
  • Additionally, the Act mentions five circumstances that amount to sexual harassment
  • Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her employment
  • Implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment
 
  • Implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status
  • Interference with her work or creating an offensive or hostile work environment
  • Humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety

Who should file the complaint?

  • The Act says the aggrieved victim “may” make, in writing, a complaint of sexual harassment.
  • If she cannot, any member of the ICC “shall” render “all reasonable assistance” to her for making the complaint in writing.
  • And if the woman is unable to make a complaint on account of her “physical or mental incapacity or death or otherwise”, her legal heir may do so.

Time-frame

  • The Act states the complaint of sexual harassment has to be made “within three months from the date of the incident”.

Inquiry

  • The ICC “may”, before inquiry, and “at the request of the aggrieved woman, take steps to settle the matter between her and the respondent though conciliation”.
  • No monetary settlement shall be made as a basis of conciliation.
  • The ICC may forward the complaint to the police under IPC Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman; maximum punishment one year jail with fine).
  • Otherwise, the ICC can start an inquiry that has to be completed within 90 days.

What happens if a complaint is found to be false?

  • Section 14 of the Act deals with punishment for false or malicious complaint and false evidence.
  • In such a case, the ICC “may recommend” to the employer that it take action against the woman, or the person who has made the complaint, in “accordance with the provisions of the service rules”.
Service Voter

Why in news?

The Election Commission of India said the one-way electronic transmission had enabled 60.14% turnout of service voters.

About the news

  • A total of 18,02,646 postal ballots were dispatched electronically using the flagship IT programme – Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS).

Who is a Service Voter?

  • According to the provisions of sub-section (8) of Section 20 of Representation of People Act, 1950, Service Voters are
  • Those serving in the Armed Forces of the Union.
  • Those serving in a Force to which the Army Act 1950 applies (Assam rifles, CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB, NSG, GREF in BRO (Border Road organisation), CISF etc.
  • Member of an Armed Police Force of a State, serving outside that state.
  • Those employed under the Government of India, in a post outside India.

About ETPBS

https://neoiascap.com/2019/07/21/21-july-2019/daily/

Science and Technology

 
Thirty Metre Telescope

Why in news?

Last week, Hawaii saw protests against plans to start construction of a giant telescope atop Mauna Kea, the US state’s highest mountain at 14,000 feet.

About the news

  • If the Thirty Metre Telescope cannot be built on Mauna Kea, Spain’s Canary Islands is a backup site.

About TMT

  • The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is a proposed astronomical observatory with an extremely large telescope (ELT) over its planned location on Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii in the US state of Hawaii.
  • The telescope is being built by an international collaboration of government organisations and educational institutions, at a cost of $1.4 billion.
  • The TMT has government-level support from the following countries
  1. Canada
  2. China
  3. Japan
  4. India
  5. USA
  • The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project is the joint responsibility of the Department of Science & Technology (DST) and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) from India.
  • While Mauna Kea, Hawaii is the preferred choice for the TMT project, given the large investments that have already been made and committed, the project is also looking at alternate sites both in the northern and southern hemispheres.
  • Hanle, Ladakh is one of the sites being evaluated for hosting the telescope.

More about TMT

  • The TMT is designed for near-ultraviolet to mid-infrared observations, featuring adaptive optics to assist in correcting image blur.
  • “Thirty Metre” refers to the the 30-metre diameter of the mirror, with 492 segments of glass pieced together, which makes it three times as wide as the world’s largest existing visible-light telescope.
  • The larger the mirror, the more light a telescope can collect, which means, in turn, that it can “see” farther, fainter objects.
  • It would be more than 200 times more sensitive than current telescopes, and would be able to resolve objects 12 times better than the Hubble Space Telescope.

Objectives

  • Study of exoplanets, whether their atmospheres contain water vapour or methane, the signatures of possible life
  • Detecting extraterrestrial life
  • Study of black holes

Map Aided Programme     

MAJOR  CROPS  IN  INDIA

Groundnut

  • Groundnut is a kharif crop and accounts for about half of the major oilseeds produced in the country.
  • Grown as both as kharif and Rabi crop but 90-95% of the total area is devoted to kharif crop.
  • Groundnut thrives best in the tropical climate and requires 20°C to 30°C temperature.
  • 50-75 cm rainfall is favorable for groundnut cultivation.
  • India is the second largest producer of groundnut (After China).
  • Top three states producing ground nut are Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)

  1. Consider the following pairs:

Region often in news               Country

Chechnya                    :            Russian Federation    

Darfur                            :            Mali

Swat Valley                   :            Iraq

Which of the above pairs is / are correctly matched?

(a) 1 only                                 (b) 2 and 3 only           (c) 1 and 3 only                       (d) 1, 2 and 3