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15th May 2023 – Current Affairs


The Union Health Ministry has introduced the SAKSHAM (Stimulating Advanced Knowledge for

Sustainable Health Management), a Learning Management Information System (LMIS) of the Ministry of

Health and Family Welfare.

About SAKSHAM (Stimulating Advanced Knowledge for Sustainable Health Management)

SAKSHAM is a comprehensive digital learning platform developed by the National Institute of Health &

Family Welfare (NIHFW). Here are some key points about SAKSHAM:

Purpose: SAKSHAM serves as a platform for offering online training and medical education to healthcare

professionals across the country.

Inclusive Capacity Building: The objective of SAKSHAM is to ensure inclusive capacity building among

health professionals, ranging from those working in rural and remote primary health centers to those in

metropolitan cities’ tertiary care and corporate hospitals.

Course Coverage: Currently, SAKSHAM: LMIS (Learning Management Information System) hosts over

200 public health and 100 clinical courses, which can be accessed online.

Resource Repository: SAKSHAM will be developed as a centralized resource repository for training and

teaching materials, providing healthcare professionals with easy access to relevant resources.

Central Database: In addition to training and education, SAKSHAM will also serve as a central database

of trained healthcare professionals in the country, facilitating better tracking and management of the

healthcare workforce.


About National Institute of Health & Family Welfare –

The National Institute of Health & Family Welfare (NIHFW) is an autonomous institution established on

9th March 1977, operating under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Here

are some key points about NIHFW:

Establishment: NIHFW was founded with the purpose of serving as a think tank for the promotion of

health and family welfare programs in the country.

Mandate: The primary mandate of NIHFW is to provide expertise and contribute to policy development in

the field of health and family welfare. It acts as a center for research, training, and capacity building in

these areas.

Training and Capacity Building: NIHFW plays a pivotal role in training health professionals, frontline

health workers (such as Accredited Social Health Activists – ASHAs and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives –

ANMs), as well as central and state officers and healthcare staff. It is recognized as a premier

organization for capacity building in the healthcare sector.


International Nurses Day

The International Nurses Day 2023 marks the 203rd anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

International Nurses Day

International Nurses Day is a celebration on the 12th of May every year to commemorate the anniversary

of Florence Nightingale.

Florence Nightingale is considered to be the founder of modern nursing.

2023 Theme: “Our Nurses, Our Future”

Significance of the day –

1. Nurses account for more than half of all the world’s health workers. It will encourage the entire nurse

community and the public to celebrate the day as well as would provide necessary information and

resources to raise the profile of the nursing profession.

2. The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the vital role nurses play. Without nurses and other health

workers, it is not possible to win the battle against outbreaks

Florence Nightingale –

1. Florence Nightingale was a British social reformer, statistician, and the founder of modern nursing.

2. She is famously known as “The Lady with the Lamp” making rounds of wounded soldiers at night.

3. Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean


4. Much of her published work was concerned with spreading medical knowledge.


Eretmoptera Murphyi

According to a study by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), a tiny flightless Midge (small insect) called Eretmoptera murphyi is changing the soil composition of Antarctica’s Signy Island.

  • It is an invasive species on Antarctic Signy Island.

What is Eretmoptera Murphyi?


1. It is a native of South Georgia, a sub-Antarctic Island, and was accidentally introduced to Signy in the 1960s during a botany experiment. Its proliferation became apparent in the1980s.

2. Eretmoptera murphyi feasts on dead organic matter and has led to faster plant decomposition, thus increasing the soil nitrate levels by three-five times compared to  places on the island where the midge (small insects which bite) is absent and only native invertebrate species live.

3. High levels of nitrate can be toxic for other plant species, and it can also contaminate

groundwater. High levels of nitrate in water can lead to excessive algae growth, which can deplete oxygen levels and harm aquatic life.


Cause for the Spread:

Experts believe that the spread of this midge, murphyi in Antarctica may have been caused by humans who carried insects on their shoes.



1. The midge can also survive in water, which raises concerns that it could spread to other islands.

2. It has become a big problem as the tiny insect has spread to a much larger area with multiplying populations.

3. Antarctica has a unique ecosystem that is vulnerable to invasive species, and the midge invasion highlights that even harsh conditions can no longer protect it.

4. The activity of the midges, along with climate change, may also create conditions for other invasive species to become established and accelerate the effects of climate change.


6th India-Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment

Recently, the 6th India-Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment (MDTI) was held in Ottawa, Canada.

What are the Major Outcomes of the MDTI?

Support for India as G20 Chair:

1. The Canadian Minister expressed her support for India as the G20 Chair and its priorities in the G20 Trade and Investment Working Group.

2. She expressed her intention to participate in the upcoming G-20 Trade and Investment Ministerial meeting in India scheduled for August 2023.


Enhanced Cooperation:

The Ministers highlighted the importance of cooperation in sectors such as clean technologies for infrastructure development, critical minerals, electric vehicles and batteries, renewable energy/hydrogen, and artificial intelligence (AI).


Critical Mineral Supply Chain Resiliency:

The Ministers emphasised the importance of government-to-government coordination to promote critical mineral supply chain resiliency.

They committed to an annual dialogue at the official level during the Prospectors and Developers Association Conference (PDAC) in Toronto to discuss mutual interests.


Canada-India CEO Forum:

The Ministers agreed to rework and relaunch the Canada-India CEO Forum with renewed focus and priorities.

The CEO Forum would serve as a platform to enhance business-to-business engagement and could be announced at an agreed-upon early date.


Trade Mission and Delegation:

The Canadian Minister announced her leadership of a Team Canada trade mission to India in

October 2023.

This mission aims to strengthen trade and investment ties, with a significant business delegation.

What are the Areas of Cooperation Between India and Canada?


India established diplomatic relations with Canada in 1947. India and Canada have a longstanding bilateral relationship based on shared democratic values, the multi-cultural, multiethnic and multi religious nature of two societies and strong people-to-people contacts.


India and Canada share commonalities in Parliamentary structure and procedures.

In India, Canada is represented by the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi.

Canada also has Consulates General in Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Mumbai, as well as trade offices in Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.



o India-Canada bilateral trade in goods reached approximately USD 8.2 billion in 2022, showing a 25% growth compared to 2021.

The services sector was emphasised as a significant contributor to the bilateral relationship, with bilateral services trade valued at around USD 6.6 billion in 2022.

Canadian Pension Funds have cumulatively invested around USD 55 billion in India and are increasingly viewing India as a favourable destination for investments.

More than 600 Canadian companies have a presence in India and more than 1,000 companies are actively pursuing business in the Indian market.

Indian companies in Canada are active in the field such as Information Technology, software, steel, natural resources and banking sectors.

The India-Canada Free Trade Agreement is also under negotiation.

An Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) is expected to be signed in 2023 between India and Canada.

The agreement will cover a wide range of areas including goods, services, investment, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, and dispute settlement.


Science and Technology:

India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) signed an Arrangement with the Canadian

Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on September 16, 2015 to exchange experiences in nuclear safety and regulatory issues.

Indo-Canadian S&T cooperation has been primarily focussed on promoting Industrial R&D which has potential for application through development of new IP, processes, prototypes or products.

Canada was a partner country for the Technology Summit held in New Delhi in November 2017.

The Department of Earth Science and Polar Canada have started a programme for exchange of knowledge and scientific research on Cold Climate (Arctic) Studies.

Under the “Mission Innovation” program, India is collaborating with Canada in various activities in the areas of Sustainable Biofuels (IC4).

ANTRIX, the Commercial arm of ISRO, has launched several nanosatellites from Canada. ISRO in its 100th Satellite PSLV launched on January 12, 2018, also flew Canadian first LEO satellite, from Indian spaceport Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

Education and Culture:

The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) is a unique bi-national organisation fostering, since 1968, education and cultural cooperation and collaboration between India and Canada.

Canada was the Country of Focus at the 48th International Film Festival of India held in Goa in November 2017.

Canada Post and India Post joined hands to issue a commemorative stamp on Diwali in

  1. Canada Post issued Diwali Stamps again in 2020 and 2021.

In October 2020, Canada announced the voluntary repatriation of the ancient Annapurna statue which was illegally acquired by a Canadian collector and had been kept at University of Regina.

The statue has since been handed over to India and has been placed inside Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi in November 2021.


Y20 Consultation Event

Recently, as a part of India‟s G20 Presidency, the Youth 20 (Y20) group‟s Y20 Consultation was held

at University of Kashmir, to consult the youth of the nation on ideas for a better tomorrow and draft an

agenda for action on „Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction: Making Sustainability a Way of


What are the Highlights of Y20 Consultation Event?


India assumed the Presidency of G20 on 1st December, 2022 for a period of 1 year i.e., up to30th November 2023. India’s theme for its presidency is enshrined in its civilizational value system of „Vasudeva Kutumbakam‟ (which is drawn from the ancient Sanskrit text of the MahaUpanishad). Hence our theme – ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’.

Under the framework of G20 Presidency, the Department of Youth Affairs has been entrusted with the responsibility to organise Youth 20 Summit-2023.

Youth20 is one of the official Engagement Groups of the G20 and provides a platform for youth to express their perspectives and ideas on G20 priorities.

Five Themes:

Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction: Making Sustainability a Way of Life

Future of Work: Industry 4.0, Innovation, & 21st Century Skills

Peace building and Reconciliation: Ushering in an Era of No War

Shared Future: Youth in Democracy and Governance

Health, Well-being & Sports: Agenda for Youth


17 Youth delegates from G20 countries like Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, Russia, Japan,Republic of Korea, United States, Brazil and Nigeria.

Students from University of Kashmir and schools around J&K also participated in the event among others.

Areas of Discussion:

Four panel discussions were held with themes:

Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity and Human Well-Being

Disaster Risk Reduction for Safe Tomorrow

Green Energy– Innovations and Opportunities

Water Resources: Challenges and Prospects