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7th October Current Affairs

Interpol

(GS-II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate)

In News:

The Interpol has launched an online campaign to apprise people of major cyberthreats to help them protect their computer systems, networks and personal information from cybercriminals.

The three-week campaign, from October 4 to 22, would be run primarily through social media.

Objective of the campaign:

With cyber threats becoming increasingly sophisticated, in addition to increased levels of remote work and dependence on digital devices, the campaign will focus on ransomware, online scams and phishing, and business email compromise.

What is Interpol?

The International Criminal Police Organisation, or Interpol, is a 194-member intergovernmental organisation.

Headquartered in Lyon, France.

Formed in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission, and started calling itself Interpol in 1956.

India joined the organisation in 1949, and is one of its oldest members.

Interpol’s declared global policing goals include:

Countering terrorism, promoting border integrity worldwide, protection of vulnerable communities, providing a secure cyberspace for people and businesses, curbing illicit markets, supporting environment security, and promoting global integrity.

What is the Interpol General Assembly?

It is Interpol’s supreme governing body, and comprises representatives from all its member countries.

It meets annually for a session lasting approximately four days, to vote on activities and policy.

Each country is represented by one or more delegates at the Assembly, who are typically chiefs of law enforcement agencies.

The Assembly also elects the members of the Interpol Executive Committee, the governing body which “provides guidance and direction in between sessions of the Assembly”.

2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

(GS-III: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology)

In News:

The 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Benjamin List and David W C MacMillan “for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis”.

Firstly, what is a catalyst? And what is catalysis?

A catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without taking part in the reaction, or without undergoing any changes during the chemical reaction.

Catalysis is the process of increasing the rate of a chemical reaction by adding a catalyst.

The major types of catalysts are metals and enzymes.

Contributions of 2021 Nobel Prize Winners- asymmetric organocatalysis:

In 2000, Dr. List and Dr. MacMillan, independent of each other, developed a third type of catalysis named asymmetric organocatalysis.

The new catalysts, derived from naturally-occurring chemicals, were greener and cheaper, and ensured that the end product of the chemical reaction was of a specific variety — and did not need to go through a purification process to yield the desired type of compound.

How does it work?

Organocatalysts bind to the reacting molecules to form short-lived intermediates that are more reactive than the substrate molecules on their own. Being chiral, the catalyst transfers its handedness to the substrate, controlling which side of the intermediate can react further.

Applications of organocatalysis:

Organocatalysis finds several applications in pharmaceutical research and other industries.

It has helped streamline the production of existing pharmaceuticals, including paroxetine, used to treat anxiety and depression, and oseltamivir, a respiratory infection medication.

UN peacekeepers

(GS-II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate)

In News:

A total of 836 troops from the Indian Army serving with the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan have been awarded the United Nations medal for their services to ensure durable peace in the world’s youngest country.

Background:

The civilian, police and military personnel from 73 countries serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) are responsible for protecting civilians, creating conditions conducive to the delivery of humanitarian aid, supporting the implementation of a revitalised peace agreement, and monitoring and investigating human rights.

What is peacekeeping? It’s significance?

United Nations Peacekeeping is a joint effort between the Department of Peace Operations and the Department of Operational Support.

Every peacekeeping mission is authorized by the Security Council.

The financial resources of UN Peacekeeping operations are the collective responsibility of UN Member States.

According to the UN Charter, every Member State is legally obligated to pay their respective share for peacekeeping.

Composition:

UN peacekeepers (often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets because of their light blue berets or helmets) can include soldiers, police officers, and civilian personnel.

Peacekeeping forces are contributed by member states on a voluntary basis.

Civilian staff of peace operations are international civil servants, recruited and deployed by the UN Secretariat.

UN Peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles:

  • Consent of the parties.
  • Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.

Global partnership:

UN peacekeeping is a unique global partnership. It brings together the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Secretariat, troop and police contributors and the host governments in a combined effort to maintain international peace and security.

Its strength lies in the legitimacy of the UN Charter and in the wide range of contributing countries that participate and provide precious resources.

Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY

(GS-III: Issues related to health)

In News:

The National Health Authority (NHA), the apex body for implementing the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), has revised the Health Benefit Package (HBP) Master under the scheme.

In the revised version of Health Benefit Package (HBP 2.2):

Rates of some packages have been increased by 20% to 400% under the PM-JAY.

Rates of around 400 procedures have been revised and one new additional medical management package related to black fungus has also been added.

Key Features of PM-JAY:

The world’s largest health insurance/ assurance scheme fully financed by the government.

It provides cover of 5 lakhs per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization across public and private empaneled hospitals in India.

Coverage: Over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable entitled families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) are eligible for these benefits.

Provides cashless access to health care services for the beneficiary at the point of service.

The National Health Authority (NHA) is the nodal agency responsible for the nationwide roll-out and implementation of the AB-PMJAY scheme.

This scheme is a Centrally sponsored scheme with some Central sector components.

Eligibility:

No restrictions on family size, age or gender.

All pre–existing conditions are covered from day one.

Covers up to 3 days of pre-hospitalization and 15 days post-hospitalization expenses such as diagnostics and medicines.

Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country.

Services include approximately 1,393 procedures covering all the costs related to treatment, including but not limited to drugs, supplies, diagnostic services, physician’s fees, room charges, surgeon charges, OT and ICU charges etc.

Public hospitals are reimbursed for the healthcare services at par with the private hospitals.

As per the latest economic survey:

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) contributed to improvement in many health outcomes in States that implemented the programme.

States that joined the PM-JAY, compared to those that did not, experienced greater penetration of health insurance, reduction in infant and child mortality rates, realised improved access and utilisation of family planning services and greater awareness of HIV/AIDS.

Across all the States, the proportion of households with health insurance increased by 54% for States that implemented PM-JAY while falling by 10% in States that did not.