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Evening News Digest: 13 September 2018

Amendment to National Institute of Design (NID) Act, 2014

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 12, 2018 gave its approval for amendment of National Institute of Design (NID) Act, 2014.
  • The amendment to NID Act is to include the four new National Institutes of Design (NID) within the ambit of the NID Act, 2014.
  • These new instituted are:
    • National Institute of Design, Amaravati/Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh;
    • National Institute of Design, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh;
    • National Institute of Design, Jorhat, Assam and
    • National Institute of Design, Kurukshetra, Haryana
  • With this, these instituted will be declared as Institutions of National Importance (INIs) at par with the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
  • Other amendments
    • Renaming of NID Vijayawada as NID Amaravati
    • Renaming nomenclature of Principal Designer as equivalent to Professor.
  • Impact
    • Help produce highly skilled manpower in design
    • Will create job opportunities, both direct and indirect, by providing sustainable design; and
    • Outreach programmes for capacity, capability and institution building.

‘Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan’ (PM-AASHA)

  • The Union Cabinet on September 12, 2018 approved a new Umbrella Scheme “Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan’ (PM-AASHA).
  • The Scheme is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce as announced in the Union Budget for 2018.
  • The new Umbrella Scheme includes the mechanism of ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers and is comprised of
    • Price Support Scheme (PSS): Physical procurement of pulses, oilseeds and Copra will be done by Central Nodal Agencies with proactive role of State governments.
    • Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS): It is proposed to cover all oilseeds for which MSP is notified. In this direct payment of the difference between the MSP and the selling/modal price will be made to pre-registered farmers selling his produce in the notified market yard through a transparent auction process.
    • Pilot of Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PPPS).
  • Other components of PM-AASHA
    • The other existing schemes of Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) for procurement of paddy, wheat and nutri-cereals/coarse grains and of Ministry of Textile for cotton and jute will be continued for providing MSP to farmers for these crops.
    • For oilseeds, states have the option to roll out PPSS on pilot basis in selected district/APMC(s) of district involving the participation of private stockiest.
  • The amount that has been sanctioned for the implementation of AASHA is Rs. 15,053 crore.

100 percent electrification of Broad Gauge Routes of Indian Railways

  • Prime Minister-led Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on September 12, 2018 approved 100 per cent electrification of Broad Gauge Routes the Indian Railways.
  • When complete, this will make Indian Railways one of the largest electrified railway networks in the world after China, which at present has 87,000 km (around 68 per cent of its network) electrified.
  • Also, Indian Railways will be the only large railway with 100 per cent electrification. The 100 per cent electrification is to be tentatively achieved by 2021-22.
  • Currently, around 48 per cent of the country’s 61,680 km broad gauge railway network is electrified. These are mostly traffic-intensive routes, signifying healthy return on investments.
  • In essence, by 2022, remaining 13,675 route km of broad gauge has to be electrified. However, it does not cover 3,479 km of metre gauge and 2,209 of broad-gauge network.

Sardar Singh: Former Indian hockey captain announces retirement

  • Former India hockey captain Sardar Singh on September 12, 2018 decided to call time on his illustrious career.
  • Sardar said he made the decision after a disappointing performance at 18th Asian Games where India failed to defend its title and returned with a bronze medal.
  • Sardar made his senior debut for India against Pakistan in 2006 and since then he made over 350 international appearances for India.
  • He captained the national team for eight long years from 2008 to 2016 before handing the responsibility to PR Sreejesh.
  • Sardar was also the youngest player to captain the Indian team when he led the side at the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. He received the Arjuna award in 2012 and Padma Shri in 2015.

Manoj Jhalani selected for UNIATF Award

  • Manoj Jhalani, Mission Director of National Health Mission (NHM) was conferred with the prestigious UN Interagency Task Force (UNIATF) Award.
  • He was conferred the award for his outstanding contribution towards prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • This award will be conferred on Manoj Jhalani during the forthcoming Third High-level meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 27, 2018.
  • About UNITF
  • The United Nations Interagency Task Force (UNIATF) on the Prevention and Control of NCDs coordinates the activities of relevant UN organizations and other inter-governmental organizations to support Governments to meet high-level commitments to respond to NCD epidemics worldwide.

Prohibition on manufacture, sale and distribution of FDC Drugs

  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare prohibited the manufacture, sale or distribution of 328 fixed dose combinations (FDCs), including Saridon, for human use with immediate effect.
  • It has also restricted the manufacture, sale or distribution of six FDCs, subject to certain conditions.
  • The Centre prohibited the FDCs under Section 26 A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 in the larger public interest to stop their irrational use.
  • These drugs were prohibited after the Drug Technical Advisory Board said there is no therapeutic justification for the ingredients contained in the 328 fixed-dose combination or FDC drugs.
  • What are FDC drugs?
    • A fixed-dose combination or FDC drug contains two or more active ingredients in a fixed dosage ratio. For example, one of the FDCs in the banned list is "naproxen plus paracetamol".

30th National Youth Parliament Competition Prizes conferred

  • Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs on September 12, 2018 gave away prizes for the 30th National Youth Parliament Competition, 2017-18 for Kendriya Vidyalayas.
  • Tthe Kendriya Vidyalaya, AFS Manauri, Allahabad, received the Running Parliamentary Shield and Trophy for standing first in the competition.
  • About the Youth Parliament Competition
    • Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has been organising Youth Parliament Competitions in Kendriya Vidyalayas for the past 30 years.
    • Under the scheme, the 30th Competition in the series was organized during 2017-18 among 125 Kendriya Vidyalayas spread over 25 regions, all over India.
    • The Youth Parliament Scheme aims at familiarizing the students with the practice and procedures of Parliament and techniques of discussion and debate among others.

Hunger reached 'alarming' ten-year high in 2017: UN

  • The UN’s annual multi-agency flagship report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World was published on September 11, 2018.
  • Key Highlights
    • With food deprivation on the rise due to conflict and climate change, more people went hungry in 2017 than at any time in the previous decade.
    • The number of undernourished globally, increased to 821 million in 2017; meaning that one in every nine people, does not have enough to eat.
    • Nearly 151 million children aged under five – 22 per cent – affected by stunting.
    • Wasting continues to affect over 51 million children aged under five placing them at higher risk of morbidity and mortality.
    • More than one in eight adults in the world is now endangering their health from being overweight; or more than 672 million. 
  • The report has been published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO).

Tamil Nadu govt bans e-cigarettes in state

  • The Tamil Nadu government passed an order banning the sale of e-cigarettes (electronic nicotine delivery system or ENDS) with immediate effect.
  • The health and family welfare department passed a government order (GO), dated September 3, banning e-cigarettes with immediate effect.
  • The government has banned manufacture, sale, distribution, trade, trade, marketing, import and possession of the electronic nicotine delivery systems.

‘India State-level Disease Burden Initiative’ report released

  • The ‘India State-level Disease Burden Initiative’ report was released on September 12, 2018. The report highlights the deteriorating condition of Indian populace between 1990 and 2016.
  • Key Highlights
    • Indians have registered a 50% increase in the prevalence of ischemic heart disease and stroke over the period.
    • The number of diabetes cases have climbed from 26 million to 65 million.
    • The number of people ailing from chronic obstructive lung disease went up from 28 million to 55 million.
    • The proportional contribution of cancers to the total loss of health in India has doubled from 1990 to 2016.
    • Punjab was at top for the burden of ischemic heart disease, followed by Tamil Nadu, and vice-versa for diabetes.
    • 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.
  • The report is a joint initiative of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

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