Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 07 September 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 07 September 2019


::NATIONAL::

New media collaboration to act against fake news

  • A new industry collaboration to tackle disinformation was announced by the BBC and partners today. Major news and tech organisations will work together to protect their audiences and users from disinformation, particularly around moments of jeopardy, including elections.

  • Earlier this summer the BBC convened a ‘Trusted News Summit’, bringing together senior figures from major global technology firms and publishing. Recent events such as the Indian elections have highlighted the dangers of disinformation and the risks it poses to democracy, and have underlined the importance of working together around shared principles.

  • Under this collaboration, news and technology majors will work together to protect their audiences and users from disinformation, particularly around crucial events such as elections.

  • The summit also agreed to work towards a joint online media education campaign, and also to co-operate on election-related information such as explaining how and where to vote.

  • The BBC’s partners who attended the summit were the EBU, Facebook, Financial Times, First Draft, Google, The Hindu, and the Wall Street Journal. Other partners were AFP, CBC/Radio-Canada, Microsoft, Reuters, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and Twitter.

Supreme court directs centre to act against violence towards medical personnel/doctors

  • The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Centre to respond to a plea to make violence committed against doctors and medical personnel and establishments a separate penal offence.

  • The petition said police hardly swung into action to prevent incidents of violence or protect the medical community. The medical fraternity had become demoralised by the increasing number of attacks on them. This was one of the reasons why doctors avoided serving in rural areas. “Unless such attacks are checked, there will be serious repercussions on patient care.”

  • Violence against doctors was unacceptable and needed to be condemned. Small and medium private healthcare establishments formed the bulwark of the healthcare sector.

  • They were, however, isolated and vulnerable to violence. The Prevention of Violence Against Medicare Persons and Institutions Acts,which have been notified in 19 States in the past 10 years, have failed to address the issue, the plea said.

  • The punishment for committing violence against the medical fraternity should be either three years to five years' imprisonment and a fine of minimum Rs. 25000 upto one lakh, the plea said.

::ECONOMY::

Moody’s assume PSB merger will lead to positive credit in the sector

  • The consolidation of 10 public sector banks into four will be credit positive due to increased operational scale and capital, and improved corporate governance in the long run, rating agency Moody’s said on Thursday.

  • As most of these banks have higher bad loans, Moody’s expects no significant change in asset quality and profitability, post merger.

  • “Asset quality and profitability will remain broadly unchanged after consolidation. PSU banks already score poorly on these two factors, and there is no reason to assume that the merged entities will make significant improvements in these metrics,” it said.

  • “While boards have been given more power, their roles and responsibilities will remain significantly circumscribed compared with boards of private sector companies, including private sector banks,” it said.

  • Moody’s added that flexibility in PSBs’ human resources practices, compared with private sector peers, remained limited.

  • “There is little latitude to provide incentives, which tends to stifle work performance. This is compounded by the rigidity of recruitment, compensation and career progression, which makes it very difficult to set goals for employees,” Moody’s said.

WCD ministry claims rise in sex ratio in 5 years

  • States and districts were honoured today for improved sex ratio and awareness generation under the BetiBachaoBetiPadhao campaign.

  • Haryana, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh received honours for improving sex ratio at birth. Nine districts were also awarded for better sex ratio at birth.

  • These include East Kameng of Arunachal Pradesh, Mahendragarh and Bhiwani in Haryana, Udham Singh Nagar of Uttrakhand, Tamil Nadu's Namakkal, and Jalgaon district of Maharashtra.

  • During the event, 10 districts were also awarded for good work in awareness generation and outreach activities under the campaign.

  • Speaking on the occasion, Women and Child Development Minister, SmritiZubinIrani said, under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister NarenderModi, the country has made remarkable 13 points jump in national sex ratio from 918 to 931 in last 5 years.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

Amazon countries meet to combat forest fires

  • In Colombia, Presidents and Ministers from seven Amazon countries met yesterday to take measures on protecting the world's biggest rain-forest from wildfires and rampant deforestation.

  • Colombia's Environment Minister Ricardo Lozano said, the new measures include the establishment of an Amazonian Cooperation Network to share information on deforestation. He added, the information includes the weather data to mitigate the effects of climate change, and threats from illegal mining and logging.

  • Presidents of Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia also attended the meeting. Suriname's vice-president and Guyana's natural resources Minister also attended. Brazil was represented by the Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo.

  • In a message to the Summit, UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay called on leaders to reinforce existing instruments, designed to protect the Amazon.

India – South Korea expands defence and logistics exchanges

  • India and South Korea have signed two major agreements to further defence educational exchanges and extend logistical support to each other’s Navies.

  • The agreements will help enhance defence co-operation between two countries. The agreements were signed after the talks between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his South Korean counterpart JeongKyeongdoo in Seoul yesterday.

  • According to an official release, during the talks both leaders comprehensively reviewed bilateral defence co-operation and noted that the co-operation lies at the heart of the Special Strategic Partnership between the two countries.

  • They discussed the ongoing co-operation at Service-to-Service level and prospects for enhanced co-operation between defence industries of India and South Korea.

  • The two Ministers also exchanged views on regional and international developments of mutual interest. Mr. Singh also paid homage at the National Cemetery of Korea to the brave martyrs who had laid down their lives for the Korean nation.

  • He also visited the War Memorial to which he presented a copy of the citation received by the Indian 60th Para Field Hospital for its exceptional contributions during the Korean War. The defence minister is on a three-day visit to South Korea.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Researchers develop easier methods to detect CVD’s

  • The researchers at Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H), have collaborated with research institutions across the world to develop a device to detect heart diseases in minutes.

  • Headed by Renu John, head of Department of Biomedical Engineering, IIT-H, the research team says clinical complications of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are at present the major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide.

  • Primary and specialist health-providers use a variety of tools for clinical assessment of the existing heart diseases and to identify vulnerable patients at risk for CVD. Biosensors are one such tools. Prof. Renu John’s studies on microfluidics would help in building biomarker-based biosensors that could be used for instantaneous detection of heart attack and other cardiac diseases.

  • Prof. Renu John and his team tested the performance of the microfluidic biosensors using blood serum of cardiac patients and compared the results with those of conventional chemiluminescence assays.

  • They found that the microfluidic devices could detect the CVD biomarker cTns with extremely high degree of accuracy and sensitivity. cTns levels as low as 0.000000000005 grams in one millilitre of blood could be detected, which makes this technique a useful tool for detection of cardiovascular maladies, they say.

::SPORTS::

India A team wins series against South Africa A team

  • India-A romped to a 36-run victory over South Africa-A in the fifth and final unofficial ODI, helping the hosts claim the series 4-1 in Thiruvananthapuram today.

  • In a rain-affected 20 overs-a-side game, India-A made 204 for 4 before restricting South Africa-A to 168 all out.The two teams will now play two four-day matches, beginning on the 9th of this month.

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