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28 October Current Affairs

Antimicrobial resistance action plan losing steam

In News:

Exactly a year after the State launched the comprehensive Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Strategic Action Plan (KARSAP), there are worries that the project could be losing its momentum.

Details:

It was on October 25 last year that KARSAP was launched, making Kerala the first State in the country to come out with an action plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance AMR, an emerging public health concern across health and allied sectors, on the One Health platform.

Background:

Containing AMR:

AMR is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.

Health Department says the AMR plan stresses intersectoral collaboration and One Health approach.

The department is planning to widen the Antibiotic Stewardship Program (ASP) which ensures the right drug gets prescribed at the right time, in the right dose, for right duration and for the right patient.

Nagaland, Manipur brace for likely Naga peace pact

In News:

The District Magistrate in Manipur’s Ukhrul issued an order asking the police to provide security to officials in the interest of securing “equitable distribution and fair prices” of essential commodities for a “period of 15 days”.

Details:

The possibility of the announcement of a Naga peace accord next week has led the administrations in Nagaland and Manipur to issue a series of orders that include one cautioning people against hoarding fuel and essential commodities.

Government of India’s stand:

A mutually agreed draft comprehensive settlement, including all the substantive issues and competencies, is ready for inking the final agreement. Respecting the Naga people’s wishes, the Government of India is determined to conclude the peace process without delay.

How old is the Naga political issue?

Pre- independence:

The British annexed Assam in 1826, and in 1881, the Naga Hills too became part of British India. The first sign of Naga resistance was seen in the formation of the Naga Club in 1918, which told the Simon Commission in 1929 “to leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient times”.

In 1946 came the Naga National Council (NNC), which declared Nagaland an independent state on August 14, 1947.

The NNC resolved to establish a “sovereign Naga state” and conducted a “referendum” in 1951, in which “99 per cent” supported an “independent” Nagaland.

Post- independence:

On March 22, 1952, underground Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army (NFA) were formed. The Government of India sent in the Army to crush the insurgency and, in 1958, enacted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

When did the NSCN come into being?

A group of about 140 members led by Thuingaleng Muivah, who were at that time in China, refused to accept the Shillong Accord, and formed the National Socialist Council of Nagaland in 1980.

As per the accord, NNC and NFG agreed to give up arms.

In 1988, the NSCN split into NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) after a violent clash.

What did the NSCN (IM) want?

A “Greater Nagalim” comprising “all contiguous Naga-inhabited areas”, along with Nagaland. That included several districts of Assam, Arunachal and Manipur, as also a large tract of Myanmar.

The Nagaland Assembly has endorsed the ‘Greater Nagalim’ demand — “Integration of all Naga-inhabited contiguous areas under one administrative umbrella” — as many as five times: in December 1964, August 1970, September 1994, December 2003 and as recently as on July 27, 2015.

The ceasefire:

The Government of India signed a ceasefire agreement with NSCN (IM) on July 25, 1997, which came into effect on August 1, 1997.

Peace Accord:

NSCN – IM has been derecognized as a militant organization and talks have been initiated with the government.

GOI is open to discuss the Naga territorial issue within the existing boundaries of the neighboring states of Manipur, Assasm etc which are being claimed as part of Greater Nagalism.

Key issues that have been put under consideration includes AFSPA, demographic changes due to cross border migrations and other tribals like Meitei who are diluting the local populations in the Naga areas.

City’s air quality stays in ‘poor’ category

In News:

Delhi’s air quality worsened marginally on Saturday but stayed in the ‘poor’ category, mainly due to calm surface winds.

Details:

The Air Quality Index (AQI) on Saturday was recorded at 287, slightly up from 284 on Friday, said the Central Pollution Control Board. At 10 p.m., 16 out of 35 air pollution monitoring stations showed “very poor” air quality in Delhi.

Reasons:

Government-run monitoring agency ‘System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research’ (SAFAR) said stubble burning incidents in Haryana and Punjab were increasing gradually.

The agency also predicted the air quality of Delhi to spike to ‘severe’ category in the early hours of Monday due to the effect of firecrackers on Diwali night.

The level of PM2.5 is also expected to be less on Monday, a day after Diwali, than in the last three years.

Higher boundary layer winds are likely to flush out the expected high impact of firecracker emissions.

Vishwa Shanti Stupa

In News:

Golden Jubilee of Vishwa Shanti Stupa in Rajgir.

About Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World peace pagoda):

Constructed atop the Ratnagiri Hill, it is the world’s highest peace pagoda.

Conceptualised by renowned Buddhist monk Nipponzan Myohoji and built by Japanese monk Fujii Guruji.

Built completely with marble, the stupa comprises four golden statues of Lord Buddha with each representing his life periods of birth, enlightenment, preaching and death.

There are 7 Peace Pagoda or Shanti Stupas in India, other Stupas are Global Vipassana Pagoda Mumbai, Deekshabhoomi Stupa Nagpur and Buddha Smriti Park Stupa Patna.

About Rajgir:

The first Buddhist Council, immediately after the Mahaparinirvana of Lord Buddha, was convened at this place which presently is called Rajgir.

It was at the Gridhakuta, the hill of the vultures, where Buddha made Mauryan king Bimbisara convert to Buddhism.

Rajgir is also known as Panchpahari as it is surrounded by five holy hills.

The legend has it that the ancient city Rajagriha existed even before Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. It was the ancient capital city of the Magadh rulers until the 5th century BC when Ajatashatru moved the capital to Pataliputra (which is now known as Patna).

Lord Mahavira too spent 14 years of his life at Rajgir and nearby areas.

Kanya Sumangala Yojana

In News:

Kanya Sumangala Yojana to be launched for girl child in UP.

Key features:

It will provide a fund worth Rs 15000 to every family where a girl child is born. The amount will be released to the family in a phased manner.

The scheme has been designed in a way that the parents will have to take proper care of the girl child with respect to her health and education and other aspects, in order to get the benefit.

East Antarctic Marine Protected Area

In News:

A push by Australia and France to create a massive ocean sanctuary in east Antarctica is in doubt as nations meet in Hobart to discuss the plans, with China and Russia opposing.

Key facts:

This protected area was proposed by Australia and the European Union.

The area would conserve examples of biodiversity in the high latitudes of the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean.

The area contains distinctive deep water flora and fauna and supports important ecosystem roles, such as feeding areas for marine mammals, penguins and other seabirds.

Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) already has two existing marine protected areas (MPAs), one on the South Orkney Islands southern shelf (established in 2009), and the other in the Ross Sea region (established in 2016).

Vigilance Awareness Week

In News:

Vigilance Awareness Week to be observed from 28th October to 2nd November.

Theme:

Theme of the Vigilance Awareness Week: “Integrity- A way of life”

Background:

The Central Vigilance Commission aims to promote integrity, transparency and accountability in public life.

As part of its efforts to promote probity in public life and to achieve a corruption free society, CVC observes Vigilance Awareness Week every year.

The observation of Vigilance Awareness Week creates greater awareness among public and encourages all the stakeholders to collectively participate in prevention of and fight against Corruption.

About CVC:

It is the apex vigilance institution created via executive resolution (based on the recommendations of Santhanam committee) in 1964 but was conferred with statutory status in 2003.

It submits its report to the President of India.

Composition:

Consists of central vigilance commissioner along with 2 vigilance commissioners.

Appointment:

They are appointed by the President of India on the recommendations of a committee consisting of Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha (if there is no LoP then the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha).

Term:

Their term is 4 years or 65 years, whichever is earlier.

Removal:

The Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner can be removed from his office only by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, has, on inquiry, reported that the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner, as the case may be, ought to be removed.

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