1. Cabinet Committee clears new procurement policy.
“Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan” (PM-AASHA)
- The new Umbrella Scheme PM-AASHA consists of three sub-schemes:
- Price Support Scheme (PSS)
- Physical procurement of pulses, oilseeds, and Copra will be done by Central Nodal Agencies.
- In addition to NAFED, Food Cooperation of India (FCI) will take up PSS operations in states /districts.
- Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS)
- To cover all oilseeds for which MSP is notified.
- Direct payment of the difference between the MSP and the selling/modal price will be made.
- All payment will be done directly into the registered bank account of the farmer.
- The pilot of Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme(PPSS)-
- For oilseeds, states have the option to roll out Private Procurement Stockist Scheme (PPSS) on the pilot basis in selected district/APMC(s) of the district.
- The pilot district/selected APMC(s) of the district will cover one or more crop of oilseeds for which MSP is notified.
- It is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce as announced in the Union Budget for 2018.
Source- The Hindu
2. India’s health report reads worse
- Indians have registered a 50% increase in the prevalence of ischemic heart disease and stroke over the period from 1990 to 2016.
- The number of diabetes cases climbing from 26 million to 65 million.
- Being overweight was found to be a major risk factor for diabetes doubled in every State of India from 1990 to 2016.
- In the same period, the number of people ailing from chronic obstructive lung disease went up from 28 million to 55 million.
- The State-wise disease burden:
- Punjab has been ranked at the top for the burden of ischemic heart disease and diabetes, followed by Tamil Nadu.
- West Bengal topped with the largest number of stroke cases followed by Odisha.
- Kerala was ranked at the top for the burden of cancer, followed by Assam.
‘India State-level Disease Burden Initiative’ report
- The report is a joint initiative of:
- The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
- The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)
- The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)
- In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Source- The Hindu
3. UN gets access to Rakhine for the first time since Aug. 2017.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC)
- It is a United Nations programme.
- Formed in 14th December 1950.
- It mandates to protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people, and assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.
- UNHCR was created in 1950, during the aftermath of World War II.
- Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.
- It is a member of the United Nations Development Group.
- The UNHCR has won two Nobel Peace Prizes, once in 1954 and again in 1981.
Source- The Hindu
4. Hunger reached ‘alarming’ ten-year high in 2017: UN
According to the latest edition of the UN’s annual multi-agency flagship report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World:
- People went hungry in 2017 than at any time in the previous decade as food deprivation on the rise due to conflict and climate change.
- The number of undernourished globally increased to 821 million in 2017.
- It means that one in every nine people does not have enough to eat.
- The number of undernourished people has increased from 777 million to 821 million over the last two years.
- The report emphasizes that climate variability and extremes are already undermining food production in some regions.
- If action to mitigate disaster risk reduction and preparedness is not taken, the situation will only get worse.
5. India among nations with ‘no or little enforcement’ against foreign bribery: Report.
India is among four countries with “no or little enforcement” mechanism to check foreign bribery, according to a report released by anti-corruption organisation Transparency International.
2018 edition of the ‘Exporting Corruption Report’.
- India was among 16 countries targeted by alleged bribery.
- China, Hong Kong, India and Singapore, all with 2 percent or more of world exports are not parties to the OECD (Anti-Bribery) Convention.
- They are classified for the first time and all fall into the lowest level (little or no enforcement).
- The Indian government does not publish statistics on its foreign bribery enforcement and does not disclose such statistics on request.
- Inadequacies in the implementation of the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) Treaty.
Transparency International (TI)
- TI is an international non-governmental organization.
- Headquarters in Berlin, Germany.
- Founded in 1993.
- Its nonprofit purpose is to take action to combat global corruption and prevent criminal activities arising from corruption.
- It publishes, for example, the Global Corruption Barometer and the Corruption Perceptions Index.
Mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT)
A mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) is an agreement between two or more countries for the purpose of gathering and exchanging information in an effort to enforce public or criminal laws.
OECD Anti-Bribery Convention
- The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention was adopted in 1997.
- To address the supply side of international corruption.
- There are now 44 parties to the convention.
- 36 of the members of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development).
- India is not a member.
Source- Indian Express
6. Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL) signed an agreement with the MEA for the implementation of e-VBAB (e-VidyaBharati and e-AarogyaBharati) Network Project
e-VidyaBharati (tele-education) and e-AarogyaBharati (tele-medicine).
- E-VBAB Network Project is primarily a technological upgrade and extension of the Pan-African e-Network Project.
- It was implemented in 48 partner countries across Africa from 2009 till 2017.
- e-VidyaBharati is for tele-education and e-AarogyaBharati is for tele-medicine.
- The platform will link, through a web-based technology, various educational institutions, and hospitals in India and the participating African countries.
- A Data Centre and Disaster Recovery Centre will be established in India.
Source- Business line
7. India’s First Missile Tracking Ship VC-11184 All Set For Trials
- VC11184 is the designation of a missile tracking ocean surveillance ship.
- Being constructed by Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) for Indian Navy.
- The purpose of the ship is to support the development of India’s strategic weapons and the Indian Ballistic Missile Defence Programme.
- The ship will be fitted with a primary X band and a secondary S-band active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.
- It has a long open deck with ample space for installing multiple missile tracking antennas.
- It will have a crew complement of 300 personnel and will carry a single helicopter.
Source- The Hindu