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Evening News Digest: 10 October 2018

World Mental Health Day: 10 October

  • World Mental Health Day (10 October) is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.  It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.
  • Mental Health: A global prospective
    • Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated.
    • In terms of the burden of the disease among adolescents, depression is the third leading cause.
    • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.
    • There is a growing recognition of the importance of helping young people build mental resilience, from the earliest ages, in order to cope with the challenges of today’s world.
    • Evidence is growing that promoting and protecting adolescent health brings benefits not just to adolescents’ health, both in the short- and the long-term, but also to economies and society, with healthy young adults able to make greater contributions to the workforce, their families and communities and society as a whole.
  • Mental Health: India
    • India is currently home to a population of over one billion citizens.
    • A study conducted by the Word Health Organization in 2015 shows that one in five Indians may suffer from depression in their lifetime, equivalent to 200 million people.
    • Due to the stigma associated with mental illness, a lack of awareness, and limited access to professional help, only 10-12% of these sufferers will seek help.
    • The need of the hour is to sensitize and educate individuals about the signs and symptoms of mental illness while normalizing the idea of seeking support for themselves and their loved ones.

Nikki Haley resigns as US Ambassador to United Nation

  • U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has decided to resign from her post at the end of 2018.
  • She was appointed to UN in Nov 2016.
  • Once a critic of Trump Administration has moderated her voice after the appointment after the presidential election.
  • Nikki Haley is an Indian origin politician who previously worked as governor of California State of USA.

Well-known Malayalam poet M N Paloor passes away

  • Well-known Malayalam poet M.N Paloor passed away at his residence at Kovoor in Kozhikode on 9 October.
  • The 86-year old poet, recipient of various honours including the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award, passed away due to age-related ailments.
  • His poems traced the sufferings of mankind involving all the complexities of a highly urbanised system.
  • Some of his major collections include 'Kalikalam', 'Pedithondan', 'Theerthayathra'and 'Bhangiyum Abhangiyum'.

On Strengthening Forest Fire Management in India released

  • A report named “Strengthening Forest Fire Management in India”, jointly prepared by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and the World Bank has been released.
  • At a time when India has managed to increase its forest cover to over 20 percent of its geographical area, forest health continues to show signs of strain.
  • The report discusses policies on forest fire prevention and management (FFPM) at the national, state and local levels, underscoring the need for a comprehensive national policy and guidelines.
  • Highlights:
    • It provides recommendations on five broad themes – policy, institutions and capacity, community engagement, technology, and data and information and looks at national and international best practices in FFPM.
    • The report analyses patterns and trends of forest fires in India.
    • In fact, just 20 districts (mostly located in the Northeast) account for over 40 percent of all forest fires detected between 2003 and 2016.
    • Similarly, the top-20 districts (mainly in Central India) account for about 48 percent of the total fire-affected area, while having just 12 percent of the country’s forest cover in the year 2000 and 7 percent of its land area.   
    • A national forest fire information database, bringing together satellite-based remote sensing data, and field-reported data, will be instrumental for assessing longer-term trends across states and regions and for planning fire prevention and response.  

2nd World Conference on Access to Medical Products

  • J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugrated ‘2nd World Conference on Access to Medical Products: Achieving the SDGs 2030’.
  • It was organized by jointly by WHO and the Ministry of Health of India.
  • Central government in September launched Ayushman Bharat, a National Health Protection Scheme, which envisions health assurance of 5 lakh rupees per family per year, will benefit over 50 crore people, and is the world’s biggest health assurance scheme. 

Cutting-edge tech a ‘double-edged sword for developing countries’: UN report

  • According to UN World Economic and Social Survey (WESS 2018); the latest technological advances can be ‘double edged sword’.
  • Meaning latest technologies will pose a threat as well as opportunity for developing countries.
  • Highlights of the WESS 2018
    • The energy sector is becoming more sustainable, with renewable energy technology and efficient energy storage systems.
    • The wellbeing of the most vulnerable is being enhanced through greater access to medicines, and millions in developing countries now have access to low-cost financial services via their mobile phones.
    • The report demonstrates that unmanaged implementation of developments such as artificial intelligence and automation can improve efficiency but also destroy quality jobs.

Indian roads claim more cyclists in 2017

  • Pedestrians and cyclists suffered the biggest spike in fatalities in road accidents across the country in 2017.
  • According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ annual report on road accidents, the total number of accidents dropped 3.3% in 2017 to 4.64 lakh.
  • Highlights:
    • However, the number of pedestrians killed in road accidents jumped by 29.9% to 20,457 and the number of cyclists killed surged by 37.7% to 3,559.
    • Pedestrians and cyclists together accounted for 16.2% of the total fatalities in road accidents during 2017.
    • Use of mobile phones was among the top four traffic violations that led to road fatalities.
    • Overspeeding accounted for 66.7% of total deaths in road crashes.
    • Driving on the wrong side claimed 6.4%
    • Drunken driving 3.2%,
    • Use of mobile phones accounted for 2.1% of total road deaths.

Mumbai’s iconic double- decker buses to be phased out by 2023

  • By October 2023, Mumbai’s iconic double-decker buses, will go off the roads due to high operating costs and shrinking space on city roads.
  • The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport known as BEST provides this double decker bus service.
  • Introduced in 1937, the buses gained popularity, both among commuters and tourists.
  • With an initial fleet of 141 in 1947-1948 it grew to 882 in 1993.
  • At present, there are only 120 double-decker buses in a fleet of 3,337, operating on just seven routes in the city.


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