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1st July Current Affairs

Election to the Office of the Vice-President of India, 2022 (16th Vice-Presidential Election)

(GS-II: Election to the office of President and Vice-President, separation of powers)

In News:

The term of office of Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice-President of India, is ending on 10 August 2022.

Details:

As per Article 68 of the Constitution of India, an election to fill the vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of office of the outgoing Vice-President is required to be completed before the expiration of the term.

Article highlights:

Article 324 of the Constitution read with the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952 and the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974, vests the superintendence, direction and control of the conduct of election to the office of the Vice-President of India in the Election Commission of India.

The notification for election shall be issued on or after the sixtieth day before the expiration of the term of office of the outgoing Vice-President.

As per Article 66 of the Constitution of India, the Vice-President is elected by the members of the Electoral College.

Electoral College consists of:

  • Elected members of Rajya Sabha.
  • Nominated members of Rajya Sabha.
  • Elected members of Lok Sabha.

Since all the electors are members of both Houses of Parliament, the value of the vote of each Member of Parliament would be the same i.e.1 (one).

The Election Commission, in consultation with the Central Government, appoints the Secretary-General of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, by rotation, as the Returning Officer.

Accordingly, the Secretary-General, Lok Sabha will be appointed as the Returning Officer for the present election to the Office of the Vice-President of India.

The Commission has also decided to appoint Assistant Returning Officers in Parliament House (Lok Sabha) to assist Returning Officers.

As per Rule 8 of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974, polls for the election will be taken in the Parliament House.

NITI Aayog and World Food Program Releases Report – Take Home Ration

(GS-II: Statutory, regulatory and executive bodies, welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of society, reports etc)

In News:

NITI Aayog and World Food Program today launched a report titled ‘Take Home Ration-Good Practices across the State/Union Territories’.

Details:

The report presents a set of good and innovative practices adopted in the implementation of the Take Home Ration value chain by the States and UTs.

Key Highlights:

Government of India provides Take Home Ration under the Supplementary Nutrition component of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) to fill the gap in nutrition among children as well as pregnant and lactating women (PLW).

Compilation of Innovations: The document on good practices compiles and collates innovations in Take Home Ration(THR) programmes in various States and Union Territories.

Generating catalogue of good practices: Aspects related to production, formulation, distribution, labelling, packaging, monitoring, quality assurance, and social and behavioural change have been reviewed to generate a catalogue of good practices.

Adopting good practices: This document will help State Governments/Union Territories to adopt good practices in their THR programmes.”

Suggestions in the report:

In order to realize the full potential of the THR, all components of this value chain need to function at optimum.

Building a robust system for procurement, supply chain management and monitoring that ensures complete transparency, standardized process, sustainability, full coverage, leverages local ties, fosters a culture of collaboration and builds trust within a community.

UN World Food Programme(WFP):

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.

Born in 1961, the WFP strives to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, with the ultimate goal in mind of eliminating the need for food aid itself.

It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and part of its Executive Committee.

WFP food aid is also directed to fight micronutrient deficiencies, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and combat diseases, including HIV and AIDS.

ISRO’s ‘POEM’ platform

(GS-III: Awareness in space)

In News:

ISRO successfully launched the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module or ‘POEM’

What is POEM?

The PSLV Orbital Experimental Module is a platform that will help perform in-orbit experiments using the final, and otherwise discarded, stage of ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

PSLV: The PSLV is a four-stage rocket where the first three spent stages fall back into the ocean, and the final stage (PS4) — after launching the satellite into orbit — ends up as space junk.

However, in the PSLV-C53 mission, the spent final stage will be utilised as a “stabilised platform” to perform experiments.

Payloads: POEM is carrying six payloads, including two from Indian space start-ups Digantara (for making the map of space radiations, debris, and orbits) and Dhruva Space (for full-stack satellite development, launch, deployment, operation and maintenance services)

Significance: The inclusion of the two laid the ground for more public-private partnerships, to be facilitated by the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe).

IN-SPACe is a nodal agency appointed by the Department of Space, which can authorize a non-government entity to use ISRO’s infrastructure and resources, including ISRO’s launch facilities.

Has ISRO repurposed and used PS4 rocket junk earlier?

The Indian space agency first demonstrated the capability of using PS4 as an orbital platform in 2019 with the PSLV-C44 mission.

Concern over shortage of leprosy drugs in the private sector

(GS-II: Issues related to development and management of the social sector related to Health, leprosy etc)

In News:

Clofazimine, a key drug for the treatment of leprosy, which had been in short supply in the Indian market for several months, is now “not available.

Details:

The medicine is available in the government sector[government hospitals and primary health centres. It is in the private sector that the shortage is being felt.

Clofazimine:

Clofazimine is one of the three essential drugs in the MultiDrug Treatment of Multibacillary Leprosy (MBMDT) cases, along with Rifampicin and Dapsone.

It is needed not just for the therapy/cure of leprosy, but also for controlling acute exacerbations of this disease.

Clofazimine has shown activity against MultiDrug Resistance Tuberculosis and has been recommended by the WHO to treat drug resistance.

Under the NLEP (National Leprosy EradicationProgramme), the government has been ensuring a steady supply of monthly blister packs for 12 months to all the multibacillary leprosy cases containing these three drugs.

About Leprosy:

Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s Disease.

Leprosy is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium Leprae, which is an acid-fast rod-shaped bacillus.

Leprosy is one of the oldest diseases in recorded history, afflicting humanity since time immemorial. A written account of Leprosy dates as far back as 600 B.C.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), leprosy is endemic in several States and Union Territories of India, with an annual case detection rate of 4.56 per 10,000 population.

The prevalence rate of leprosy is 0.4 per 10,000 population in the country.

Areas of Infection: Skin, Peripheral nerves, Upper respiratory tract and Lining of the nose.

Mode of Transmission: Mainly by breathing airborne droplets from the affected individuals. It can be contacted at any age.

Symptoms: Red patches on the skin, skin lesions, numbness in arms, hands, and legs, ulcers on the soles of feet, muscle Weakness and excessive weight loss.

It usually takes about 3-5 years for symptoms to appear after coming into contact with Leprosy-causing bacteria.

The long incubation period makes it difficult for doctors to determine when and where the person got infected.

If not treated on time, Leprosy can lead to significant disability, disfigurement, permanent nerve damage in arms and legs and even loss of sensation in the body.

Cure: Leprosy is curable with the combination of drugs known as Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT).