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07 March Current Affairs

Janaushadhi Week

In News:

The Janaushadhi week is being celebrated across the country from 1st March to 7th March 2020.

Details:

On this occasion, various activities like health checkup Camp, Jan Aushadhi Paricharcha, Jan Aushadhi ka sath are being organised in the country.

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana :-

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals in 2008 under the name Jan Aushadi Campaign.

Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementation agency for PMBJP.

The Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India works under the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers.

PMBJP stores have been set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.

It also intends to extend the coverage of quality generic medicines so as to reduce the out of pocket expenditure on medicines and thereby redefine the unit cost of treatment per person.

It will create awareness about generic medicines through education and publicity so that quality is not synonymous with an only high price.

QS World University Subject Rankings 2020

In News:

The 2020 edition of the QS World University Subject Rankings has ranked as many as 26 departments of higher education institutions in India among the top 100 in the world in their respective subject category.

Details:

The QS World University Subject Rankings 2020 has been released from London by Quacquarelli Symonds. Quacquarelli Symonds is the world’s leading provider of services, analytics, and insight to the global higher education sector.

QS uses four key metrics to compile the rankings including academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per paper and the h-index which measures how productive an institution’s research faculty are.

1,368 institutions have been ranked across 48 subjects in 5 broad categories across 159 locations.

Top Rankers: Globally, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT – USA) emerged as the world’s best-performing institution, achieving 12 number-one positions, followed by Harvard University (USA) with 11 number-one positions and University of Oxford (United Kingdom) with eight top ranked subjects.

India’s Performance :-

As against 21 institutions getting ranked in 2019, the latest edition has seen 26 Indian departments entering the top-100 list for their subjects. All 26 departments are in institutions run by the Union government — IITs, IIMs, IISc and Delhi University.

QS has also seen an increase in the number of Indian programs ranking among the global top 50.

In terms of institutes and subjects, India’s highest-ranked programs included Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay’s Mineral & Mining Engineering program at 41st rank globally, shared jointly with the University of Delhi’s Development Studies program.

Top-50 ranks have also been attained by IIT Kharagpur (46) for Mineral & Mining Engineering, IIT Delhi (49) for Electrical & Electronic Engineering and IIT Bombay (50) for Chemical Engineering.

IIT Bombay emerged with more top-100 ranks than any other Indian university in QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

In the business and management studies subject category, both Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad and IIM Bangalore were ranked in the 51-100 band.

The rankings indicate India’s particular strength in the natural sciences, life sciences, and in engineering disciplines.

Gaura Devi as Part of International Women’s Day Celebrations

In News:

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is celebrating Women’s Week from 1st March to 8th March 2020.

Details:

International Women’s Day is observed on 8th March every year.

MHRD remembered the women of history who have made significant contributions in the past and planted a sapling in memory of Gaura Devi, a Chipko Activist.

The Chipko Movement :-

The Chipko movement was a non-violent agitation in 1973.

It is best remembered for the collective mobilisation of women for the cause of preserving forests, which also brought about a change in attitude regarding their own status in society.

Gaura Devi :-

The movement was led by Gaura Devi, who saved their communal forest from clear felling, beginning a decade of Chipko direct actions by women throughout the Uttarakhand region.

Gaura Devi led the first all-women action to save their community forest and mobilised the women of this region to protect their natural heritage.

During the activist phase of Chipko in the1970s, the courage and vigilance of Uttarakhandi women saved many forests and earned them a hallowed place in the history of the global environmental movement.

From this action, Chipko was to emerge as a peasant movement in defence of traditional forest rights, continuing a century-long tradition of resistance to state encroachment.

Gairsain: Summer Capital of Uttarakhand

In News:

Recently, the Uttarakhand Government named Gairsain as the new summer capital of the state.

A summer capital is a city used as an administrative capital during extended periods of particularly hot weather.

Key Points :-

Uttarakhand (earlier known as Uttranchal) was carved out as a separate state from Uttar Pradesh in 1998. Those who spearheaded the movement for statehood to Uttarakhand wanted Gairsain to be made its permanent capital.

However, Dehradun has been the temporary capital of the state since it attained statehood and still houses the chief minister’s residence, Raj Bhavan and MLA residences.

The state Assembly is located in Dehradun but sessions are held in Gairsain as well.

Statehood activists had long contended that Gairsain, a tehsil in Chamoli district, was best suited to be the capital of the mountainous state as it was a hilly region falling on the border of Kumaon and Garhwal regions.

It covers a large area suitable for the construction of the capital and accommodating people.

It is emerging as a tourist place and it is also a part of the major route connecting Garhwal with the Kumaon region.

It is the site of the source of the Ramganga River which rises near the Dudhatoli Parvat.

The famous tourist attractions are the Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Badrinath, Vasundhara Falls etc.

With the fresh announcement, there is no clarity whether Dehradun’s current status will remain the same or it will be considered the new winter capital.

Child Adoption Regulatory Authority (CARA)

In News:

The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has invited suggestions and feedback for simplification of the adoption process from all stakeholders, including prospective adoptive parents, specialized adoption agencies, child welfare committees, state adoption resource agencies and the general public.

Adoption in India:

In India, an Indian citizen or a non-resident Indian (NRI) can adopt a child under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956 and the Guardian and Wards Act of 1890.

Eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents:

The prospective adoptive parents shall be physically, mentally and emotionally stable, financially capable and shall not have any life-threatening medical condition.

Any prospective adoptive parents, irrespective of his marital status and whether or not he has biological son or daughter, can adopt a child subject to following, namely: –

the consent of both the spouses for the adoption shall be required, in case of a married couple;

a single female can adopt a child of any gender;

a single male shall not be eligible to adopt a girl child;

No child shall be given in adoption to a couple unless they have at least two years of stable marital relationship.

The minimum age difference between the child and either of the prospective adoptive parents shall not be less than twenty-five years.

The age criteria for prospective adoptive parents shall not be applicable in case of relative adoptions and adoption by step-parent.

Couples with three or more children shall not be considered for adoption except in case of special need children.

About CARA:

Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.

It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.

CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptionsin accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003.

CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies.

CARA is also mandated to frame regulations on adoption-related matters from time to time as per Section 68 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

North East Venture Fund (NEVF)

In News:

The NEVF (North East Venture Fund) disbursed over Rs.18 crore to 12 start-ups till date- information given in Parliament.

About North East Venture Fund (NEVF):

Launched in September 2017.

Set up by North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi)in association with Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (M-DoNER).

It is a close ended fund with capital commitment of Rs 100 crore.

It is the first dedicated venture capital fund for the North Eastern Region.

Objective: to contribute to the entrepreneurship development of the NER and achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns through long term capital appreciation by way of investments in privately negotiated equity/ equity related investments.

The investment under this schemer ranges from Rs. 25 lakh to Rs.10 crore per venture, which is long term in nature with investment horizon of 4-5 years.

Freedom in the World 2020

In News:

Freedom in the World 2020 has been released by America based Freedom House.

Details:

Top 5: Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are the top five countries in the free category.

India’s performance:

The report has placed India at 83rd position along with Timor-Leste and Senegal among the bottom five of “free democracies”.

India witnessed the worst score decline among the world’s 25 largest democracies.

India’s overall score declined from 75 in 2019 to 71 in 2020, with civil liberties taking the biggest hit.

Background:

Freedom House is a US-based watchdog, which has been tracking global political and civil liberties for almost half a century.

Observations made by the report on India:

India was bogged down by multiple reasons including its Kashmir policy after abrogating Article 370, the National Register of Citizens for Assam, passage of contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and frequent internet shutdowns across the country.

It notes, the government has taken its Hindu nationalist agenda to a new level with a succession of policies that abrogate the rights of different segments of its Muslim population, threatening the democratic future of a country long seen as a potential bulwark of freedom in Asia and the world.

A fierce crackdown on protesters opposing the changes, indicated a deterioration of basic freedoms in the world’s largest democracy, says report.

The report, which treats Kashmir as a separate territory, downgraded the Union territory’s status from “partly free” to “not free” due to the Indian government’s abrupt revocation of Article 370 in August.

In terms of internet freedom, India fares worse, scoring just 55 and is categorised as “partly free”. As per the report, internet freedom has declined for the fourth year in a row in India.

It also highlights the spread of fake news and manipulated content, creating political divide. The internet shutdown in Kashmir, has no doubt, contributed to India’s performance in terms of internet freedom.

Stating that “democracy and pluralism are under assault” across the world, the report highlights the decline of the US and India.

Global scenario:

The year 2019 was the 14th consecutive year of decline in global freedom, according to Freedom House. Compared with the previous year, in 2019, individuals in 64 countries experienced deterioration in their political rights and civil liberties while those in just 37 experienced improvements. More than half of the countries that were rated free or not free in 2009 have suffered a net decline in the past decade.

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