Daily Current Affairs: 16th October 2019: The Hindu+PIB

The following compilation has been made keeping in mind the need of the UPSC IAS exam. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source including The Hindu, The Indian Express, Business Standard, Press Information Bureau, etc.

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As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic has been handpicked keeping in mind the syllabus of the exam.

Ayushman Bharat

Context: After almost an year of operation of the flagship healthcare scheme for the vulnerables, it was found that more than 50 lakh people are benefited from the Ayushman Bharat in a span of one year. About the Ayushman Bharat Yojana

  • Ayushman Bharat Yojana, also known as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), is a scheme aimed at providing economic aid to the vulnerable Indians who are in need of healthcare facilities.
  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme which was launched in 2018, under the Ayushman Bharat Mission of M/o Health and Family Welfare in India. 
  • The scheme aims at making interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, thus covering both preventive and promotive health, to address healthcare holistically.
  • It is an umbrella scheme that covers two major health initiatives namely, Health and Wellness centres and National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS).
  • This health insurance scheme was launched on 23 September 2018 to cover about 50 crore citizens in india and already has several success stories to its credit.
  • The beneficiaries of the scheme will get an e-card that can be used to avail services at an empanelled hospital, public or private, anywhere in the country. 
  • 3 days of pre-hospitalisation and 15 days of post-hospitalisation expenses are included under the scheme’s coverage.
  • Further, a coverage of Rs. 5 lakh per family, per year, to helping the economically disadvantaged obtain easy access to healthcare services will be provided under the scheme.
  • The beneficiaries under the scheme will be identified as per the data in the Socio-Economic Caste Census 2011.
  • In case of multiple surgeries are needed, the highest package cost is paid for in the first instance followed by a 50% waiver for the second and a 25% discount for the third
  • There is no waiting period for pre-existing diseases under PMJAY scheme, which comes under the larger umbrella scheme of Ayushman Bharat Yojana.
  • The cashless treatment and hospitalization is made possible due to a 60:40 cost sharing agreement between the Centre and states. 
  • The 10 crore families comprise 8 crore families in rural areas and 2.33 crore families in urban areas.
  • In the rural areas, the PMJAY health cover is available to:
    • Those living in scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households.
    • Families with no male member aged 16 to 59 years.
    • Beggars and those surviving on alms.
    • Families with no individuals aged between 16 and 59 years.
    • Families having at least one physically challenged member and no able-bodied adult member.
    • Landless households who make a living by working as casual manual labourers.
    • Primitive tribal communities.
    • Legally released bonded labourers.
    • Families living in one-room makeshift houses with no proper walls or roof.
    • Manual scavenger families.
  • In the urban areas, the beneficiaries consist mainly of:
    • Washerman / chowkidar
    • Rag pickers
    • Mechanics, electricians, repair workers
    • Domestic help
    • Sanitation workers, gardeners and sweepers.
    • Home-based artisans or handicraft workers and tailors.
    • Cobblers, hawkers and others providing services by working on streets or pavements.
    • Plumbers, masons, construction workers, porters, welders, painters and security guards.
    • Transport workers like drivers, conductors, helpers, cart or rickshaw pullers.
    • Assistants, peons in small establishments, delivery boys, shopkeepers and waiters.
  • Further, those who are not eligible under the scheme includes those: 
      • Who own a two, three or four-wheeler or a motorised fishing boat
      • Those who own mechanised farming equipment
      • Who have Kisan cards with a credit limit of Rs.50000
      • Employed by the government
      • Who work in government-managed non-agricultural enterprises
      • Earning a monthly income above Rs.10000
      • Owning refrigerators and landlines
      • With decent, solidly built houses
      • Owning 5 acres or more of agricultural land

    Two new diagnostic kits developed

    Context: Two new diagnostic kits has been developed by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI)-Izatnagar under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

    Diagnostic Kits, Daily Current Affairs: 16th October 2019

    About the Kits

    • The kits namely the Bluetongue sandwich ELISA (sELISA) and the Japanese Encephalitis lgM ELISA are for the control of Swine and Detection of Antigen.
    • The Japanese Encephalitis (JE) ELISA Kit (IgM) for Swine developed by the ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute is really helpful for assessing the active infection of JE virus in the swine population that further predicts the outbreak of JE in the humans.
    • Unlike the commercial kit available in the market at a price of Rs. 52,000; the ICAR-IVRI developed is available for the farmers at a minimal price of Rs. 5,000 only.
    • The another kit named “Bluetongue: Sandwich ELISA for detection of Antigen” would help in control of Bluetongue Virus by vaccination of susceptible animals, vector control and quarantine of infected animals with the good management practices.

    About Japanese Encephalitis(JE) The disease was first described in 1871, Japanese encephalitis (JE) is an infection of the brain that is caused by the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and is a re-emerging viral zoonotic disease which leads to death of children every year in the country. JEV is generally spread by mosquitoes, specifically those of the Culex type. Pigs and wild birds serve as a reservoir for the virus. Once infected, there is no specific treatment, with care being supportive. The disease occurs in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. The Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) has an incubation period of 2 to 26 days. The vast majority of infections are asymptomatic i.e., only 1 in 250 infections develop into encephalitis. Japanese encephalitis (JE) is the leading cause of viral encephalitis in Asia, with up to 70,000 cases reported annually.  Case-fatality rates range from 0.3% to 60% and depend on the population and age. About Bluetongue Disease Bluetongue disease is a non-contagious, insect-borne, viral disease of ruminants, mainly sheep and less frequently cattle, goats, buffalo, deer, dromedaries, and antelope. It is caused by Bluetongue virus (BTV) spread disease is of domestic and wild ruminants that includes the camelid species. The disease is widespread among the sheep, goats, cattle, buffaloes and camels in the country.

    5th World Coffee Conference (WCC) & Expo

    Context:  5th World Coffee Conference (WCC) & Expo to planned to be held in Bengaluru from September 7-12, 2020. This is the for the first time that the World Coffee Conference and Expo will be held in Asia.

    World Coffee Conference, Daily Current Affairs: 16th October 2019

    The World Coffee Conference & Expo in Bengaluru is expected to be attended by delegates of all 76 member countries of the International Coffee Organization (ICO) and over 1000 attendees, including coffee growers, exporters, representatives from government, private sectors and international agencies. India will be hosting the WCC 2020 as it is the 5th largest export and producer in the coffee in the world and is emerging as the major coffee consuming country. The proposed theme of WCC 2020 is ‘sustainably through consumption’. Every 4-5 years, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) holds a high-level World Coffee Conference (WCC) to enable discussion around critical topics for the global coffee sector. The first four Conferences have taken place in England (2001), Brazil (2005), Guatemala (2010), and Ethiopia (2016). About International Coffee Organization (ICO) The International Coffee Organization (ICO) is the major inter-governmental organization for coffee which brings together exporting and importing Governments to tackle the challenges facing the world coffee sector through international cooperation. 98% of world coffee production and 67% of world consumption is represented by the member governments of ICO. The ICO was set up in London in 1963 under the auspices of the United Nations because of the great economic importance of coffee. It administers the International Coffee Agreement (ICA), an important instrument for development cooperation. The latest Agreement, the ICA 2007, entered into force on 2 February 2011. As of June 2018, ICO has 50 member countries.

    Phosphorescence

    Context: A novel security ink that emits intense red colour when exposed to 254 nm wavelength UV and emits green colour soon after the UV source is turned off has been synthesised by the Delhi-based National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL). 

    What is the science behind this?

    The emission of red colour is basically due to fluorescence while green is due to “phosphorescence phenomenon”. Both the red and the green colour can be clearly seen with the naked eye under ambient conditions. The red colour is emitted at 611 nm wavelength while the green is emitted at 532 nm.

    The major importance of such a synthesis is that the ink so formed can potentially be used as a security feature on currency notes and passports.

    What is Phosphorescence?

    It is basically a type of photo-luminescence which is related to fluorescence. Opposite to what happens during the process of fluorescence, a phosphorescent material does not immediately re-emit the radiation it absorbs.

    This slowdown in the re-emission are basically associated with “forbidden” energy state transitions in quantum mechanics and as these transitions occur very slowly in certain materials, the absorbed radiation is re-emitted at a lower intensity for up to several hours after the original excitation.

    To site some examples from everyday life, the glow-in-the-dark toys are the best for Phosphorescence phenomenon, as they glow after being charged with a bright light such as in any normal reading or room light. Typically, the glow slowly fades out, sometimes within a few minutes or up to a few hours in a dark room.

    AUTHORIZED WORLD SKILLS INDIA TRAINING CENTERS (AWSITC)

    Context: A plan to set up 14 Authorized World Skills India Training Centres across 9 cities for media and entertainment sector is unveiled recently by Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.  

    Key highlights

    These new institutes which are planned to be set up would provide for advanced skill training of candidates in the media and entertainment sector, not only to compete in the WorldSkills and IndiaSkills competitions but also to further develop the skilling eco-system for training candidates for the international market.

    AWSITC, Daily Current Affairs: 16th October 2019

    MESC (Media & Entertainment Skill Council) will be acting as a cooperating partner in setting up of these state of the art centres. Further, the training programs will be designed as per the NSFQ level, which will be industry linked. Major cities in which these institutions are planned to be set up include Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore, Mumbai, Pune, Shillong and Trivandrum. About National Skills Development Corporation of India National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is a not-for-profit public limited company which was incorporated on July 31, 2008 under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. It was set up by Ministry of Finance as Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. It is to be noted that the Government of India through its Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) holds 49% of the share capital of NSDC, while the private sector has the balance 51% of the share capital. It primarily aims to promote skill development by catalyzing creation of large, quality and for-profit vocational institutions. Further, the organisation provides funding to build scalable and profitable vocational training initiatives. The mandate of NSDC is also to enable support system which focuses on quality assurance, information systems and train the trainer academies either directly or through partnerships. It acts as a moving force in skill development by providing funding to enterprises, companies and organizations that provide skill training.

    NATIONAL BLINDNESS AND VISUAL IMPAIRMENT SURVEY OF INDIA (2015-19)

    Context: Cataract has come out to be the principal cause of blindness for people above 50 years in India, according to National blindness and Visual Impairment Survey of India (2015-19).

    The survey was primarily conducted by Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Opthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, for Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 31 districts of 24 States.

    Key findings of the Survey

    The survey found that In India, cataract is the main cause of blindness for people above 50 years. It further pointed that it is the cause for 66.2% cases of blindness, 80.7% cases of severe visual impairment, and 70.2% cases of moderate visual impairment in the age group.

    It was found in the survey that the problem blindness is more pronounced among illiterate (3.23%) than literates (0.43%) and also rural population (2.14%) is more vulnerable to this than urban counterpart(1.80%).

    According to the findings, approximately 93% of cases of blindness and 96.2% visual impairment cases in this age group were those which could have been avoided in time by proper care and treatment.

    The survey also pointed out a number of barriers to access of treatment which includes no one to accompany [the patient], seasonal preferences, and financial constraints. Among the males, the most important barriers are financial constraints (31%) and local reasons (21.5%) while for the females, the local reasons (23.1%) and financial constraints (21.2%) were the most important barriers. 

    QUICK FEEDS

    Booker Prize

    The 2019 edition of the Booker prize was joint won by the The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo.

    The Man Booker Prize awards any novel which is originally written in English and published in the UK and Ireland in the year of the prize, regardless of the nationality of their author. The prize was established in 1969 to promote the finest in fiction by rewarding the best novel of the year written in English.

    The original work in English (and not a translation) and the fact that novel must be published by a registered UK or Irish imprint; ( and not a self-published novel) are the two major eligibility criteria for the prize.

    The award involves two major organizations:

    • Man Group: It is an active investment management firm which has been sponsoring the Man Booker Prize since 2002. It was founded in 1783
    • The Booker Prize Foundation: This foundation is a registered charity which was established in 2002. Since then it has been responsible for the award of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and for the Man Booker International Prize since its inauguration in 2005.

    Key facts: 

    Margaret Atwood has won the award for the 2nd time – the first for her 2000 book, The Blind Assassin – and she is now only the 4th writer to have won this prize twice. Also, at an age of 79, she is the oldest writer to win this prize.

    The another winner this year, the Bernardine Evaristo,  is the first black woman to have the won this prize along with being the first black British author.

    All about KURDS

    Who are they?  They are the members of a large, predominantly Muslim ethnic group who live in the highlands of southern and eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, the northeastern Syria, northwestern Iran, and parts of south Armenia, and are basically a minority in each of these countries.

    How many?  Their approximate population stand at about 25 million to 35 million who have their own cultural and linguistic traditions, and most speak one of two major dialects of the Kurdish language.

    What lead to their existence?  It was after the World War I, when the western powers (including the U.S., the U.K., France, Canada, Germany and Italy) promised Kurds that they will have their own homeland in the agreement known as the Treaty of Sèvres. But, a later agreement instead of providing them with their own homeland, divided them among Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. This was the main reason for the upsurge of this Muslim ethnic group.

    What is the scenario now?  As of today, there are about 30 million Kurds who are living across the region, with about half of them in Turkey. Iraq is the only country in the region to have established an autonomous Kurdish region, known as Iraqi Kurdistan whose parliament was founded in 1992. Further, over the decades, the Kurds made repeated attempts to establish a de facto Kurdistan with defined national borders, but in the process, it attracted massive Turkish repression, including bans on the Kurdish language, names, songs, and dress.

    ‘Dilli Series’ Sea Power Seminar – 2019 

    Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala will be hosting the prestigious Dilli Series Sea Power Seminar on 17th-18th October 2019. Theme 2019: “Role of Sea Power in Shaping of Nations”. The seminar will be covered under 3 sub – themes:

    • Sea Power Vs Land Power – A Historical Perspective
    • Sea Power and Geo Economics 
    • Centrality of Sea Power to Global Politics.

    The seminar, named after the historic Mount Dilli which is located within the INA, with considerable historical importance, has witnessed 5 earlier editions conducted to date. The annual Dilli seminar helps young officers and cadets to keep track of the developments in the maritime domain whilst simultaneously laying a strong foundation of history.

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    15th October 2019 Current Affairs

    14th October 2019 Current Affairs

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