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04 October Current Affairs

National Nutrition Survey

In News:

According to the first-ever national nutrition survey conducted by the Centre, nearly 10% of children in the age group of 5-9 years and adolescents in the age group of 10-19 years are pre-diabetic and 5% are overweight.

About:

The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey – the first-ever national nutrition survey conducted by the Centre – was conducted by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF between February 2016 and October 2018.

It is the first study undertaken to measure malnutrition as well as details of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol and kidney function in children and adolescents.

Key Findings:

The study provides for the first time concrete evidence of the coexistence of obesity and undernutrition, among school going children.

Nearly 10% of children in the age group of 5-9 years and adolescents in the age group of 10-19 years are pre-diabetic, 5% are overweight and another 5% suffer from blood pressure. A quarter of 5-9 and 10-19 year-olds were thin for their age, one in five children 5-9 years’ old were stunted.

‘Stations’ Cleanliness Survey Report’

In News:

Minister of Railways released the ‘Stations’ Cleanliness Survey Report’ (Cleanliness assessment of Non-suburban and Suburban Stations 2019).

About:

Railways have been conducting third party audit and cleanliness ranking of 407 major stations annually since 2016. This year the survey was expanded to include 720 stations and suburban stations were also included for the first time.

The total score is out of 1000 and each component (Process Evaluation, Direct Observation, Citizen Feedback) weighs 33.33% of the total score.

Key findings of the report:

The top three cleanest railways stations are from the western state of Rajasthan. While Jaipur was on the first position, Jodhpur on second followed by Durgapura in third position.

North Western Railway followed by South East Central Railway and East Central Railway are the top three railway zones.

Ban On Night Traffic On The Forest Stretch Of NH 766

In News:

Kerala’s Wayanad district has witnessed a series of protests against a ban on night traffic on the forest stretch of NH 766.

NH 766:

NH 766 is a key highway between Karnataka and Kerala that passes through the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka.

The Kollegal-Mysuru-Kozhikode road has existed for 200 years and remains a major link. It was declared a national highway in 1989, then named NH 212, and later renamed NH 766.

NH 766 is used by transporters of essential provisions from Karnataka to Kerala, and by commuters from Kerala to Bengaluru for want of good rail connectivity.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve:

Spread over 990.51 sq km, Bandipur Tiger Reserve is part of interconnected forests that include Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu), Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) and Nagarhole National Park (Karnataka).

A large variety of wildlife including the elephant moves from one stretch to another, cutting the states.

Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO)

In News:

Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO), a 10-year programme at the US National Academy of Sciences founded in 2009, has released a series of papers estimating the total carbon on Earth. This also includes an analysis of the total carbon dioxide released by volcanoes.

About:

Humanity’s annual carbon emissions through the burning of fossil fuels and forests, etc, are 40 to 100 times greater than all volcanic emissions.

Carbon dioxide out-gassed to the atmosphere and oceans from volcanoes and other magmatically active regions is estimated at 280 to 360 million tonnes per year, including that released into the oceans from mid-ocean ridges.

Two-tenths of 1% of Earth’s total carbon (43,500 gigatonnes) is above surface in the oceans, on land, and in the atmosphere. The rest is subsurface, 1.85 billion Gt in all.

Paryatan Parv 2019

In News:

Nationwide “Paryatan Parv 2019” was inaugurated in New Delhi.

About:

Organised by: Ministry of Tourism.

Duration: It will be held from 2nd to 13th October, 2019 across the country.

Objective: Drawing focus on the benefits of tourism, showcasing the cultural diversity of the country and reinforcing the principle of “Tourism for All”.

The three components of Paryatan Parv, are:

  1. Dekho Apna Desh: To encourage Indians to visit their own country.
  2. Tourism for All: Tourism activities at these sites will include illumination in and around the Sites, Cultural Programmes of Dance, Music, Theatre, Story Telling etc.
  3. Tourism & Governance: Interactive Sessions & Workshops with Stakeholders on varied themes have been organised across the Country as a part of the Paryatan parv activities.

Coupled Forecast Model (CFS)

In News:

The new monsoon model, called the Coupled Forecast Model (CFS), deployed by the IMD under the National Monsoon Mission (NMM) has failed to forecast the excess rainfall received during August-September 2019.

About:

Bodies involved: Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India has launched ‘National Monsoon Mission’ (NMM). MoES has bestowed the responsibility of execution and coordination of this mission to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune.

Mission Objective: To build an ocean atmospheric model for –

improved prediction of monsoon rainfall on extended range to seasonal time scale (16 days to one season) and improved prediction of temperature, rainfall and extreme weather events on short to medium range time scale (up to 15 days).

Citizenship Amendment Bill

In News:

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has reiterated that the government would first amend the existing citizenship norms – by passing the Citizenship Amendment Bill – before it implements a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016:

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016. It was passed during the winter session of the Lower House on January 8, 2019, but it lapsed as it was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha, which adjourned sine die on February 13.

The Bill sought to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955, which lays down the norms regarding Indian citizenship.

Salient features:

It sought to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.

Further, it relaxes one of the requirements for acquiring citizenship by natutralisation under the existing Act for persons belonging to the same six religions and three countries by only requiring them to have stayed in India for 6 (instead of 11) of the previous 14 years.

The essential point of debate in this proposed amendment was that it makes illegal migrants eligible for citizenship on the basis of religion – a move that may violate Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees right to equality.

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)

In News:

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has issued a 15-point directive, including cordoning off ghats and imposing a fine of Rs 50,000, to prevent the immersion of idols in the Ganga or its tributaries during festivals, including Dussehra, Diwali, Chhath and Saraswati Puja.

About:

The directive has been issued to chief secretaries in 11 Ganga basin states (Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Rajasthan).

The directive have been issued under Section 5 of The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

Key Points of directives:

Idol immersion into river Ganga and its tributaries and on their banks is being banned.

The officials were told to strictly implement norms against the immersion of idols and disposal of puja material in the Ganga and its tributaries, and to make suitable

If any person violates above directions, then Rs 50,000 as environment compensation should be levied, collected and deposited with State Pollution Control Boards.

Adequate alternative arrangements in an environmental-friendly manner should be made for designated idol-immersion sites within the municipal area or bank of river Ganga and its tributaries by constructing temporary confined ponds.

‘Mo Sarkar’ initiative

In News:

Odisha has launched a new governance initiative- ‘Mo Sarkar’- on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti

Details:

The ‘Mo Sarkar’ was launched at all police stations across the State along with 21 district headquarters hospitals and three government-run medical college hospitals at Cuttack, Berhampur and Sambalpur.

The programme will be effective at all the 30 district headquarters hospitals of the State by October 30.

The objective of the programme is to provide service with dignity to people who are coming to government offices for different purposes.

The phone numbers of people who are coming to government offices will be collected randomly with the purpose to improve the governance system by collecting feedback on behaviour and professionalism of government officers.

The Chief Minister, Departmental Minister, Director General of Police (in case of police stations) and Departmental Minister, Secretary and Director (in case of hospitals) will call on random numbers to collect feedback.

The employees will be ranked as good or bad on the basis of the feedback and those with good rank will get out-of-turn promotion and action will be taken against employees with bad rank.

Village Secretariat programme

In News:

Village Secretariat system launched in Andhra Pradesh.

Key facts:

Under the new system, the AP government, one Village Secretariat has been set up for every population of 2,000, with each one comprising close to a dozen village officials (from different departments like police, revenue, etc).

The idea behind it, according to the state government, is to ensure that its services reach people on the ground, and also to strengthen the existing Panchayat Raj system.

Village Secretariats would act as a bridge between the government and the people by rendering over 500 types of services at their doorstep.

These institutions would showcase government programmes and make pictorial representations of government schools and hospitals under the caption ‘then and now’ to show how reforms have changed their functioning.

Criticism:

While the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) has maintained that this will make government services more accessible, the system, however, is in complete contrast to the earlier trajectory of the state, which had been pushing for e-governance or online services instead under former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)

In News:

The U.S. officials have warned India that with the decision to go ahead with the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defence system, India may risk sanctions under CAATSA law.

What is CAATSA?

Enacted in 2017, it is a US federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia.

Includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors.

The Act empowers the US President to impose at least five of the 12 listed sanctions on persons engaged in a “significant transaction” with Russian defence and intelligence sectors.

What is S-400?

It is an air defence missile system that can take down enemies’ aircraft in the sky from the surface itself.

It is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system, capable of destroying destroying hostile strategic bombers, jets, missiles and drones at a range of 380-km.

Why does India want S-400?

S-400 would be like a “booster shot” in the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) arm. India needs to be well-equipped against neighboring threats. Pakistan has over 20 fighter squadrons, with upgraded F-16s, and inducting J-17 from China in large numbers. China has 1,700 fighters, including 800 4-Gen fighters.

 

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