14 May Current Affairs
May 14, 2020
16 May Current Affairs
May 16, 2020
Show all

15 May Current Affairs

Global Nutrition Targets

In News:

In 2012, the World Health Assembly (the decision-making body of the World Health Organization) identified six nutrition targets to be met by 2025.

These are:

Reduce stunting by 40% in children under 5.

Reduce the prevalence of anemia by 50% among women in the age group of 19-49 years.

Ensure 30% reduction in low-birth weight.

Ensure no increase in childhood overweight.

Increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months up to at least 50%

Reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%.

India’s Status on Global Nutrition Targets – India will miss targets for all four nutritional indicators for which there is data available, i.e.

Stunting among under-5 children,

Anemia among women of reproductive age,

Childhood overweight and

Exclusive breastfeeding.

Stunting and wasting among children

Data – 37.9% of children under 5 years are stunted and 20.8% are wasted, compared to the Asia average of 22.7% and 9.4% respectively.

Rate of overweight and obesity continues to rise, affecting almost a fifth of the adults, at 21.6% of women and 17.8% of men.

Between 2000 and 2016, rates of underweight have decreased from 66.0% to 58.1% for boys and 54.2% to 50.1% in girls.

However, this is still high compared to the average of 35.6% for boys and 31.8% for girls in Asia.

Inequity – India is identified as among the three worst countries, along with Nigeria and Indonesia, for steep within-country disparities in stunting, where the levels varied four-fold across communities.

For example, stunting level in Uttar Pradesh is over 40% and their rate among individuals in the lowest income group is more than double those in the highest income group at 22.0% and 50.7%, respectively.

In addition, stunting prevalence is 10.1% higher in rural areas compared to urban areas.

There are nearly double as many obese adult females than there are males (5.1% compared to 2.7%).

One in two women of reproductive age is anemic.

Etalin Hydropower Project

In News:

Etalin Hydropower Project is based on the river Dibang, it is also known as Dibang Valley project.

Details:

Dibang is a tributary of the Brahmaputra river which flows through the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.

It envisages construction of two dams over the tributaries of Dibang: Dir and Tangon.

The Project falls under the “richest bio-geographical province of the Himalayan zone” and would be located at the junction of the Palaearctic, Indo-Chinese and Indo-Malayan bio-geographic regions.

The Project is in accordance with the Government’s push to establish prior user rights on rivers that originate in China and an effort to fast-track projects in the north-east.

It is expected to be one of the biggest hydropower projects in India in terms of installed capacity.

A total of 18 villages consisting of 285 families are expected to be affected by the proposed project.

It would entail felling 2,80,677 trees and threatens the existence of globally-endangered mammal species.

The Forest Advisory Committee, the apex body of the Environment Ministry tasked with deciding whether forest land can be diverted for industrial projects, recently it has once again deferred its decision on a controversial hydropower project in Arunachal Pradesh.

According to the decision the 3097 MW Etalin Hydropower project, in the State’s Dibang Valley, has been delayed for over six years.

This is because it required diverting 1165 hectares of forest in a region of rich biodiversity.

ICMR to conduct household survey

In News:

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is to conduct household survey. The survey will conduct antibody testing in 24,000 adults in various districts.

About the Survey:

The household survey is completely different from the ongoing surveys. Under the survey, the individuals from all the districts will be randomly tested. In every district 10 health facilities will be employed to conduct the survey. Of these 6 will be public and 4 will be private. These health facilities will select 100 health care workers and 50 outpatients. Also, the persons that so not have influenza like illness are to be selected. This is because, there are several on going surveys that focus on people that have influenza like symptoms.

Background:

ICMR previously focused on surveying based on pooled testing and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI). The survey will look for the presence of IGG antibodies. These antibodies appear between 10 and 14 days.

SARI surveillance:

The SARI surveillance is an ongoing surveillance method that is being implemented on hospitalized patients using RT-PCR tests. The surveillance currently helps to detect new COVID-19 cases.

Sero Survey:

The survey is to be conducted in 10 clusters. Every district selected will have 400 random households. Among these households one adult individual will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. This is called Sero Survey.

West Bank and issues associated

In News:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, where the two discussed Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

Their meeting took place during a day of violent clashes between Israeli troops and people in the occupied territory. One Palestinian teen was reportedly shot and killed.

Where is West Bank?

It is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan to the east and by the Green Line separating it and Israel on the south, west and north. The West Bank also contains a significant section of the western Dead Sea shore.

What is the dispute settlements here? Who lives there?

The West Bank was captured by Jordan after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Israel snatched it back during the Six Day War of 1967, and has occupied it ever since. During this war, the country defeated the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.

It has built some 130 formal settlements in the West Bank, and a similar number of smaller, informal settlements have mushroomed over the last 20-25 years.

Over 4 lakh Israeli settlers — many of them religious Zionists who claim a Biblical birthright over this land — now live here, along with some 26 lakh Palestinians.

The territory is still a point of contention due to a large number of Palestinians who live there and hope to see the land become a part of their future state.

When Israel took control of the land in 1967 it allowed Jewish people to move in, but Palestinians consider the West Bank illegally occupied Palestinian land.

Are these settlements illegal?

The United Nations General Assembly, the UN Security Council, and the International Court of Justice have said that the West Bank settlements are violative of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949), an occupying power “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.

Under the Rome Statute that set up the International Criminal Court in 1998, such transfers constitute war crimes, as does the “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly”.

International views:

USA: In November 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said America no longer considers Israeli settlements to be in violation of international law and claimed the Trump administration believes they are necessary to preserve Israeli security.

Trump also revealed his Middle East peace plan in the form of a two-state solution during a press conference at the end of January with Netanyahu and claimed the deal would be a boon to both nations.

India: India traditionally believes in the 2-state solution and supports the establishment of a sovereign independent and a viable state of Palestine. However, India’s support for Palestine has not deterred its growing relationship with Israel.

What about the Jerusalem?

Under the Oslo Accords of the 1990s, both Israel and the Palestinians agreed that the status of settlements would be decided by negotiations. But the negotiations process has been all but dead for several years now.

Israel walked into East Jerusalem in 1967, and subsequently annexed it. For Israel, Jerusalem is non-negotiable. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Most of the world’s nations look at it as occupied territory.

Fact for prelims:

In the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.

The Palestinians are seeking to establish an independent state in the occupied parts of the West Bank, along with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip — with East Jerusalem serving as its capital.

WEF’s global Energy Transition index

In News:

World Economic Forum has released its global Energy Transition index.

 What is ETI?

The Energy Transition Index (ETI) is a fact-based ranking intended to enable policy-makers and businesses to plot the course for a successful energy transition.

The benchmarking of energy systems is carried out annually across countries. Part of the World Economic Forum’s Fostering Effective Energy Transition initiative, it builds on its predecessor, the Energy Architecture Performance Index. The ETI does not only benchmark countries on their current energy system performance, but also provides a forward‑looking lens as it measures their readiness for the energy transition.

Performance of India:

India has moved up two places to rank 74th.

It has shown improvements on all key parameters of economic growth, energy security and environmental sustainability.

Gains have come from a government-mandated renewable energy expansion programme, now extended to 275 GW by 2027.

India has also made significant strides in energy efficiency through bulk procurement of LED bulbs, smart meters, and programs for labelling of appliances.

India is one of the few countries in the world to have made consistent year-on-year progress since 2015.

India’s improvements have come across all three dimensions of the energy triangle — economic development and growth, energy access and security, and environmental sustainability.

Performance of other countries:

Sweden has topped the Energy Transition Index (ETI) for the third consecutive year and is followed by Switzerland and Finland in the top three.

The US ranks outside the top 25 per cent for the first time, primarily due to the uncertain regulatory outlook for energy transition.

The results for 2020 show that 75 per cent of countries have improved their environmental sustainability. This progress is a result of multifaceted, incremental approaches, including pricing carbon, retiring coal plants ahead of schedule and redesigning electricity markets to integrate renewable energy sources.

COVID-19 has unleashed cascading effects in real time:

The erosion of almost a third of global energy demand

Unprecedented oil price volatilities and subsequent geopolitical implications

Delayed or stalled investments and projects

Uncertainties over the employment prospects of millions of energy‑sector workers

What does an effective energy transition look like?

Effective energy transition is timely, inclusive, sustainable, affordable and secure. It provides solutions to global energy-related challenges, while creating value for business and society, without compromising the balance of the energy triangle.

Comments are closed.