Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 16 June 2019
Centre to help set un PHC’s in encephalitis affected areas of
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has asked Bihar
government to establish ICU at primary health centres (PHCs) in Encephalitis
affected areas. Dr. Harsh Vardhan who reviewed the situation of the outbreak
of AES in Bihar yesterday emphasized to step up several measures to contain
the disease at the initial stage when symptoms of Encephalitis detected in
The union minister said 85 percent patients of Encephalitis have
manifested common symptoms with low blood sugar level, high fever, convulsions
so proper glucose must be administered at PHCs when a case is reported.
He said it can check death rates. He asked for an independent
monitoring system for fogging and vector control as Japanese Encephalitis is
transmitted through Culex mosquitoes.
AIR correspondent reports that Dr. Harsh Vardhan also stressed
upon fast track completion of Centre assisted multi-speciality hospital in SKMCH,
Muzaffarpur campus and advanced virology lab in premises.
He also held review meeting with senior state health official in
Patna. Meanwhile, the death toll has reached to 95 in Muzaffarpur and adjoining
areas due to Encephalitis. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced ex-gratia
of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased in cases of Encephalitis.
Centre announces taskforce for reforming agri-economy
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced the
setting up of a high-level task force for undertaking structural reforms in
agriculture, including strengthening logistics, produce marketing, food
processing as well as changes to the Essential Commodities Act.
Speaking at the fifth meeting of the NITI Aayog governing
council, Mr. Modi pitched for foundational reforms in the agri-economy, leading
to a complete transformation of the agriculture sector in India. While a few
chief ministers will be part of the committee, more details are to be announced
Additionally, with parts of India experiencing drought
situation, some States asked for changes in the National Disaster Response Force
and State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) guidelines. They will work with MHA and
Agriculture ministry to make changes.
Stating that India is targeting a $5 trillion economy by 2024,
the Prime Minister asked the States improve their respective economies by two to
two-and-a-half times. This would result in an increase in the common man's
purchasing power, he added. The States, he said, can focus on their export
Mr Modi said the goal to make India a $5 trillion dollar economy
is challenging but can be achieved with concerted efforts of States.
At the meeting there was broad consensus on reducing water
wastage, promoting efficient water conservation practices with rain-water
harvesting to be undertaken at the household and community level with proactive
policy and investment support.
Talking about the Aspirational Districts scheme, Mr. Modi said
many of them are affected by Naxal violence. However, he added, that the battle
against Naxal violence is now in a decisive phase and will be dealt with firmly.
Study reveals India could expand exports to U.S,China despite
A study by the Commerce Ministry has said, the ongoing trade
war between the US and China offers an opportunity to India for boosting
exports of as many 350 products such as chemicals and granite to these
A study by the Commerce Ministry has said, the ongoing trade war
between the US and China offers an opportunity to India for boosting exports of
as many 350 products such as chemicals and granite to these countries.
The identification of these products is part of the study
carried out by the ministry. Both the US and China are imposing heavy import
duties on each other's products, which has triggered a trade war kind of
According to the study, as much as 151 domestic products
including diesel, X-ray tubes and certain chemicals have an outright advantage
to displace the US exports to China. Similarly, 203 Indian goods like rubber and
graphite electrodes have the advantage to displace Chinese exports to the US.
The Indian products which can tap the Chinese market include
copper ores, rubber, paper, paperboard, equipment for transmission voice/data in
a wired network, tunes and pipes.
Similarly, domestic goods which can grab exports opportunities
in the US market include industrial valves, vulcanised rubber, carbon or
graphite electrodes and natural honey.
Federation of Indian Export Organisations President Ganesh Kumar
Gupta said that the trade war between the US and China is benefitting India.
Indian staffing association calls for scrapping of archaic laws
The number of people in formal employment in India will grow
only if the country’s archaic labour regulations, that are irrelevant in
today’s context, are fully scrapped, says Indian Staffing Federation (ISF),
a staffing industry apex body.
The country has a total workforce of 463 million and 94% of them
are informal workers employed with small and micro firms. These enterprises
prefer to remain tiny (below 20 people) in order to stay away from the burden of
unrealistic labour compliance demands.
ISF president Rituparna Chakraborty told The Hindu that the
country currently had an overdose of labour rules and their irrelevant existence
will only damage the growth of formal job market in particular and the economy
As per ISF, if labour rules are updated and are made simpler the
country will experience a boom in formal employment. “Small enterprises will not
shy sway from scaling up their businesses or adding people if labour laws are
This will automatically boost formal employment in the country.
It will also improve the ease of doing businesses and investment flow will pick
up. Eventually, streamlining labour laws will bring in positive impact on the
economy,’’ she said.
There should be consistency and uniformity in definitions. For
instance, the existing labour laws, define ‘worker’ and ‘wage’ in 17 different
ways. ``There are hundred different things like these that cause ambiguity and
confusion in the minds of small entrepreneurs,’’ said B.S. Murthy, CEO,
Leadership Capital, a people management firm.
Presidential elections underway in Guatemala amid tensions
Guatemala, a Central American Country, on Sunday began
voting for a new president, who will face the challenge of curbing drug gang
violence that has convulsed the country and helped spur illegal immigration
to the United States, fuelling tensions with President Donald Trump.
Nineteen candidates are competing in the election, which is
expected to yield no outright winner, forcing the top two contenders to face off
in a second round on 11th August.
Former first lady Sandra Torres, of the center-left UNE party,
has led the race to succeed President Jimmy Morales.
Torres is expected to win the first round, with polls suggesting
she could pick up more than 22% of the vote. Center-right candidate Alejandro
Giammattei is expected to trail behind with only 11%.
Rampant violence and widespread discontent over corruption and
impunity in the country of 17 million have prompted more and more Guatemalans to
flee for the United States.
India-Israel cooperation to get boosted
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart
Benjamin Netanyahu have used their “excellent” personal equation to deepen
the bilateral ties which are moving in an “upward trajectory”, India’s
Ambassador to Israel Pavan Kapoor has said.
Ties between India and Israel, into the 27th year now,
strengthened with Mr. Modi’s historic visit to the country in July 2017 during
first term, Mr. Kapoor told PTI.
Stating that the relationship is moving in an “upward
trajectory”, the envoy said, “Modi and Netanyahu share an excellent equation and
it is in their tenure that we have had Modi coming to Israel for the first time
and Netanyahu visiting India”.
Speaking about the cultural similarities, the envoy said that
just like Indians, Jewish people have close ties with families and sit down for
dinners Friday evening.
Talking about the presence of Indians in Israel, Mr. Kapoor
said, “About 12,000 to 13,000 Indian nationals stay in Israel and bulk of them
are in caregiving industry and help the elderly folks in Israel. Then we have
about 25 to 30 Gujarati diamond merchant families who have been here for many
years and they are doing good business.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Scientists find out protein conferring sensitivity in cancer
Researchers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced
Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru, have unravelled the molecular
mechanism by which autophagy pathway (a pathway recycles unnecessary or
dysfunctional cell components) that gets enhanced leading to human cells
becoming resistant to radiation.
The immediate medical implication of the finding will be in
treatment of certain cancer patients. The JNCASR research team led by Tapas K.
Kundu from the Molecular Biology and Genetics Unit discovered that absence or
downregulation of a particular protein — positive co-activator 4 (PC4) — is
responsible for enhanced autophagy.
To validate increased autophagy in cells that had depleted PC4,
the researchers used inhibitors of autophagy pathway. “The inhibitors reduced
autophagy and the cells that lacked PC4 protein started to die when exposed to
gamma radiation,” says Prof. Kundu, who is currently the Director of CSIR-Central
Drug Research Institute, Lucknow. The team also silenced the gene responsible
for autophagy induction to revalidate the findings. Even in this case, the
proliferation rate reduced drastically.
The final validation was by restoring (or rescuing) the protein
expression in the PC4 knockdown cells. When the PC4 protein was restored to
normal levels, autophagy reduced. The team thus confirmed that in cells with
depleted PC4 protein the autophagy is enhanced making the cells not only to
survive but to also proliferate at an increased rate and also become resistant
to gamma radiation.
Indian men secure silver medal in archery worldcup
The Indian men's recurve team today bagged a silver medal in
the Archery World Championships at Den Bosch in The Netherlands.
Indian trio of Tarundeep Rai, Atanu Das and Pravin lost to
Chinese team of Ding Yiliang, Wei Shaoxuan and Feng Hao 6-2 in the summit clash.
India thus ended their campaign with one silver and two bronze medals won in the
women's compound team and individual events.
The men's recurve team was playing in the final of World
Championships after a gap of 14 years. This was India's sixth silver at the
World Championships where the country is yet to win a gold medal.
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