10 October Current Affairs
October 10, 2019
12 October Current Affairs
October 12, 2019
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11 October Current Affairs

National Health Mission (NHM)

In News:

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Progress under National Health Mission (NHM) and Decisions of the Empowered Programme Committee and Mission Steering Group of the NHM.

Key elements:

There has been acceleration in decline of MMR, Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) and the IMR since the launch of the NRHM/NHM. At the current rate of decline, India should able to reach its SDG target (MMR-70, U5MR-25) much before the due year i.e. 2030.

Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) has been strengthened. Due to this, there is 16% jump in identification of new cases in one year. Newer drug regimen of Bedaquiline and Delaminide and nutrition support to all the TB patients for the duration of the treatment has been rolled throughout the country.

The routine and recurring incentives of ASHAs got increased from 1000 per month to 2000 per month. ASHAs and ASHA Facilitators were provided the cover of Pradhan Mantri Jevan Jyoti BeemaYojna and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Beema Yojna.

During 2018-19, Rotavirus vaccine (RVV) was introduced in additional two States. Till today, all the States/UTs are covered with RVV.

During 2018-19, Pneumococcal Conjugated Vaccine (PCV) was expanded to MP, Haryana and the remaining districts of Bihar, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) Abhiyaan was launched under POSHAN Abhiyaan in April 2018.

Home Based Care for Young Child (HBYC) programme was introduced under POSHAN Abhiyaan.

National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme was approved for prevention, management and treatment of Hepatitis to A, B, C and E and rollout was initiated.

Aadhaar Seeded Data

In News:

The Union Cabinet has approved the relaxation of the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar Seeded data as a pre-condition for release of funds to the beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri KisanSamman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme.


The Central Sector Scheme, namely, the PM-KISAN provides income support to land-holding farmers’ families, subject to certain exclusions, by way of payment of Rs.6000/- per year.

The amount is released in three 4-monthly instalments of Rs.2000 /- each directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries through DBT mode.

Recent development:

Under this scheme, after 1st August, 2019, release of 3rd Instalment onwards to those beneficiaries who got first instalment during December, 2018 – March, 2019 and 2nd instalment during April-July, 2019 is to be made only on the basis of Aadhaar seeded database.

However, it has not been possible to get 100% Aadhaar seeding for release of funds as per the prescribed time schedule before release of instalments after 1st August, 2019. Therefore, the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar seeding for release of benefits after 1st August, 2019 has been relaxed till 30th November, 2019.

This will enable immediate release of benefits to a large number of farmers who are not able to avail the same due this requirement. This mandatory requirement will remain applicable for release of benefits w.e.f. 1st December, 2019 onwards.

World Mental Health Day

In News:

Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is observing the “World Mental Health Day” on 10th October, 2019.


World Mental Health Day is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health. This year’s Day is supported by WHO, the International Association for Suicide Prevention, and United for Global Mental Health.

According to the WHO, Every year about 800,000 people die due to suicide, which makes it one suicide every 40 seconds. Hence, this year’s theme of World Mental Health Day is “40 seconds of action”. The objective is to raise awareness about the surging numbers.

In India, around 2.2 lakh people die by suicide every year. Most suicide deaths happen between people of age groups 15 to 39. Women are more likely to die by suicide. India has the third-highest female suicide rate (14.7%) in the world.

‘India International Cooperatives Trade Fair’(IICTF)

In News:

The first ever ‘India International Cooperatives Trade Fair’(IICTF) is going to be held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from 11th till 13thOctober, 2019.


Objective: The Trade Fair is aimed at promoting cooperative to cooperative trade within India and abroad leading to enhanced rural and farm prosperity.

Bodies involved: Steered by National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), the Fair is being conducted with the support of one international organization (NEDAC), three Ministries, four State Governments and several apex level Indian cooperative organizations.

Do you know? The Cooperative sector has a big role to play in doubling agriculture exports from present US $ 30 billion+ to US$ 60 billion+ by 2022 as envisaged in the Agriculture Export Policy 2018.


In News:

Union Human Resource Development Minister will launch the Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme- ‘DHRUV’ from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Headquarters at Bengaluru on 10th October, 2019.


The programme will be called DHRUV (after the Pole Star) and every student to be called ‘DHRUV TARA’.

Under this programme, gifted children will be mentored and nurtured by renowned experts in centres of excellence across the country in different areas, so that they can reach their full potential.

60 outstandingly talented students have been selected in the first batch from across the country. The students will be broadly from classes 9 to 12, from all schools.

After the launch, a programme of around 14 days’ duration will be conducted with these 60 with a Valedictory function on 23rd October, 2019, he informed. It will cover two areas i.e. Science and Performing Arts.

This is only the first phase of the programme which will be expanded gradually to other fields like creative writing etc.

Gagan Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation and Information (GEMINI)

In News:

Union Minister for Earth Sciences launched the Gagan Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation and Information (GEMINI) device.


GEMINI device will disseminate seamless and effective dissemination of emergency information and communication on disaster warnings, Potential Fishing Zones (PFZ) and Ocean States Forecasts (OSF) to fishermen.

The device will help to provide information related to disaster warnings when fishermen move away from the coast beyond 10 to 12 kilometres.

The GEMINI device receives and transfers the data received from GAGAN satellite/s to a mobile through Bluetooth communication. A mobile application developed by INCOIS decodes and displays the information in nine regional languages.

It has been developed by Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), and Airports Authority of India (AAI). It is electronically designed and manufactured by a private industry M/S Acord, Bangalore under Make in India Program.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019

In News:

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry are awarded to John B Goodenough of the University of Texas; M Stanley Whittingham of the State University of New York at Binghamton; and Akira Yoshino of Asahi Kasei Corporation and Meijo University in Japan.


The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 rewards the development of the lithium-ion battery, which “laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society.”

The lithium-ion battery is a lightweight, rechargeable and powerful battery that is now used in everything from mobile phones to laptops and electric vehicles. It can also store significant amounts of energy from solar and wind power, making possible a fossil fuel-free society.

The foundation of the lithium-ion battery was laid during the oil crisis of the 1970s.

M Stanley Whittingham, discovered an energy-rich material called titanium disulphide, which he used to make a cathode – the positive terminal – in a lithium battery.

Sony released the first commercial lithium-ion batteries in 1991, based on Yoshino’s configuration.

International Astronomical Union

In News:

The International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center confirmed 20 new moons orbiting Saturn, making it the planet with the most moons in our Solar System, at 82.


The 20 had been discovered by Scott S Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science. Until their confirmation, the planet with the most moons was Jupiter, at 79.

Each of the newly discovered objects in orbit around Saturn is about 5km (three miles) in diameter; 17 of them orbit the planet “backwards”. This is known as a retrograde direction. The other three moons orbit in a prograde direction – the same direction as Saturn rotates.

A count of the moons listed on the NASA website shows that our Solar System’s planets together have 205 confirmed moons now.

Saturn and Jupiter, with 161 between them, account for nearly 80% of these. Another 20% are orbiting Uranus (27) and Neptune (14). Of the remaining three moons, one is Earth’s own while the other two are with Mars.

A Time of Transition

In News:

Union Minister for Health, Dr Harsh Vardhan launched ‘The WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023: A Time of Transition’.


The Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) provides a strategic roadmap for WHO to work with the Government of India towards achieving its health sector goals. The CCS outlines how WHO can support the Ministry of Health and other allied Ministries to drive impact at the country level.

WHO’s support to the government will fall under four strategic priorities:

accelerating progress on universal health coverage,

promoting health and wellness,

protecting the population against health emergencies, and

enhancing India’s global leadership in health.

The India CCS is one of the first that fully aligns itself with the newly adopted WHO 13th General Programme of Work and its ‘triple billion’ targets, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and WHO South-East Asia Region’s eight Flagship Priorities.

It captures the work of the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework for 2018–2022.

Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship Programme

In News:

Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launches Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship Programme with IIM Bangalore.

Details of the programme:

It is a two-year fellowship programme to boost skill development at the district level.

Designed under Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP).

It aims to address the challenge of non-availability of personnel for implementation of various programmes at national, state and district levels.

It has an in-built component of on-ground practical experience with the district administration.

Launched on a pilot basis in 75 districts across Gujarat, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Eligibility: Eligible fellows for the programme have to be in 21-30 years age-group, have a graduation degree from a recognized university and be citizens of India. Proficiency in official language of state of fieldwork will be mandatory.


In the course of their training, fellows will work under the close supervision of state skill development missions (SSDM) and will spend time and effort in understanding skilling challenges and gaps in the district.

They are expected to enrich skilling programmes by bringing in fresh thinking to local planning, execution, community interaction and outcome management.

Fellows will receive a stipend of Rs. 50,000 in the first year and Rs. 60,000 in the second year.

On completion of their engagement, they will be awarded a Certificate in Public Policy and Management from IIM Bangalore.

About SANKALP scheme:

What is it? SANKALP is a Centrally sponsored scheme of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE). It is an outcome focused scheme marking shift in government’s implementation strategy in vocational education and training from inputs to results.

It will provide market relevant training to 3.5 crore youth.

Objective: To enhance institutional mechanisms for skills development and increase access to quality and market-relevant training for the work force.


It provides the required impetus to the National Skill Development Mission, 2015 and its various sub missions.

It is aligned to flagship Government of India programs such as Make in India and Swachhta Abhiyan and aims at developing globally competitive workforce for domestic and overseas requirements.

Under SANKALP four key result areas have been identified viz: (i) Institutional Strengthening (at National, State & District level); (ii) Quality Assurance of skill development programs; (iii) Inclusion of marginalised population in skill development; and (iv) Expanding Skills through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)

In News:

Ten years ago (Oct. 9), NASA slammed a hunk of space junk into the moon, forever changing our perception of Earth’s nearest neighbour.


The space agency’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) missions launched together on June 18, 2009, riding atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

LRO sped to lunar orbit, where it continues to operate today. But LCROSS remained attached to the Atlas V’s Centaur upper stage and went into a long, elliptical path around Earth that put it on an intentional collision course with the moon.

About Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO):

It is a NASA mission to the moon within the Lunar Precursor and Robotic Program (LPRP) in preparation for future manned missions to the moon and beyond (Mars).

LRO is the first mission of NASA’s `New Vision for Space Exploration’.

The objectives of LRO are to:

Identify potential lunar resources.

Gather detailed maps of the lunar surface.

Collect data on the moon’s radiation levels.

Study the moons polar regions for resources that could be used in future manned missions or robotic sample return missions.

Provide measurements to characterize future robotic explorers, human lunar landing sites and to derive measurements that can be used directly in support of future Lunar Human Exploration Systems.