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Evening News Digest: 20 Sept 2018

India, Morocco sign Air Services Agreement for greater connectivity

  • India and Morocco signed the revised Air Services Agreement between the two countries enabling greater connectivity through a modernized agreement.
  • It will enable for greater air connectivity between India and Morocco and will enable the airlines of each side to enter into code share with airlines of other party, as well as provide greater freedom in mounting direct flights.
  • Morocco:
    • It is a North African country bordering Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
    • Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament.
    • It has 7th largest GDP among African countries.
    • Capital: Rabat

Exercise Aviaindra-18 Commences at Lipetsk (Russia)

  • Indian and Russian Air forces are participating in a 12-day drill 'Exercise Aviaindra' which focuses on anti-terrorist operations.
  • Aviaindra is being conducted at Lipetsk, Russia, from September 17 to 28.
  • In its second leg, it will be conducted in Jodhpur from December 10 to 22.
  • Aircraft participating in the exercise include Su-30 SM, Mig-29, Su-25, Mi-8 and An-26.

Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna Rolled Out

  • ESI Corporation (ESIC) has rolled out Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana for insured persons (IP) covered under the Employees State Insurance Act 1948.
  • Atal Bimit Vyakti Yojana
    • Under this ABVKY Scheme, ESIC will provide relief amount to employees in cash directly into their bank accounts in case of unemployment.
    • This financial assistance would be given to employees even while they search for new engagement. 
  • Why it was required?
    • ESIC has launched this Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana keeping in mind the change in employment pattern.
    • The current scenario of employment in India has been transformed from long employment to fixed short term engagement in the form of contract and temping.
    • So, Employees must get assistance in case they get unemployed for sometimes and search new job.

Varun Dhawan, Anushka Sharma signed as ambassadors of Skill India Campaign

  • Bollywood actors Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma have been signed on to promote and endorse the Skill India Mission, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Skill India
    • Skill India was launched in 2015 by Ministry of Skill Development and Entreprenurship.
    • It aims to standardise vocational training, which helps in creation of latest infrastructure, ensures industry partnerships to extend technology support to make the youth more employable.

Kamlesh Nilkanth Vyas appointed Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission

  • Renowned scientist Kamlesh Nilkanth Vyas has been appointed the secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy and chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission,.
  • Mr Vyas, who is at present Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), has been appointed in place of Shekhar Basu.
  • KN Vyas
    • Mr Vyas is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from MS University, Vadodara.
    • After completion of training in BARC training school in 1979, he joined Fuel Design and Development Section of Reactor Engineering Division of BARC.
    • Mr Vyas has worked extensively in thermal hydraulics and stress analysis of critical reactor core components.

Health Ministry launches sputum sample transportation through Dept of Post

  • A pilot project for utilising services of the postal department for transport of sputum specimen for diagnosis of tuberculosis was launched at Karawal Nagar (Delhi) on 19 Sept.
  • Possible Benefits:
  • Transport of collected specimen also spares the patient’s from travelling to the reference laboratory.
  • Prompt transport of specimen followed by efficacious testing will enable appropriate management of the TB patients and reduced disease transmission.
  • A significant proportion of patients are not tested because the specimen does not reach the laboratory due to non-availability of specimen transport mechanisms.

Ordinance making instant triple talaq a punishable offence approved

  • Indian President has approved the ordinance making Triple Talaq a punishable offence.
  • Triple Talaq Bill
    • The Bill makes instant triple talaq — delivered in any form — a criminal offence and proposes a three-year jail term for a Muslim man who divorces his wife by uttering the word 'talaq' thrice. 
    • It has provisions for imprisonment and fine for anyone invoking it and also deals with subsistence allowance to a Muslim woman and her children by the estranged husband along with a provision for custodial rights of minor children.
  • What is Ordinance?
    • The Supreme Court, in August 2017, declared instant triple talaq illegal and unconstitutional.
    • Under Art 123 of the Indian Constitution, the president has the power to promulgate ordinance on the advice of cabinet during recess of the Parliament.
    • An ordinance promulgated under Art 123 has the same effect and power as an act of Parliament.
    • It can remain in force maximum to 6 weeks until both houses of the parliament either reject or vote on it.
    • If it is passed by both the houses, it becomes a law.

CCEA approves 3466 Cr rupees for repair and safety of 198 dams

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved financial assistance of 3466 crore rupees for repair and safety of 198 dams in the country.
  • Of the Rs 3,466 crore, Rs 2,628 crore will be funded by the World Bank and Rs 747 crore will be funded by Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) states or the implementing agencies and balance Rs 91 crore will be funded by the Central Water Commission (CWC).
  • The scheme plans comprehensive rehabilitation of 198 existing dam projects in seven states - Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Jharkhand (Damodar Valley Corporation) and Uttarakhand (Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd).

WHO releases Global Tuberculosis Report released

  • According to WHO’s 2018 Global TB Report, TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious disease..
  • To meet the global target of ending TB by 2030, countries need to urgently accelerate their response – including by increasing domestic and international funding to fight the disease.
  • The WHO report provides an overview of status of the epidemic and the challenges and opportunities countries face in responding to it.
  • Highlights of the Report
    • Overall, TB deaths have decreased over the past year.
    • Globally, an estimated 10 million people developed TB in 2017.
    • Some countries such as evidenced in Southern Africa, with annual declines (in new cases) of 4% to 8% in countries such as Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, thanks to better TB and HIV prevention and care.
    • In the Russian Federation, high level political commitment and intensified TB efforts have led to more rapid declines in cases (5% per year) and deaths (13% per year).
    • Drug-resistant TB remains a global public health crisis: In 2017, 558 000 people were estimated to have developed disease
    • WHO estimates that a quarter of the world’s population has TB infection.
    • In 2018, investments in TB prevention and care in low- and middle-income countries fell US$3.5 billion short of what is needed.
    • The report flags that without an increase in funding, the annual gap will widen to US$ 5.4 billion in 2020 and to at least US$ 6.1 billion in 2022.A further US$ 1.3 billion per year is required to accelerate the development of new vaccines, diagnostics and medicines.





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