Current Affairs Current Affairs - 22 January 2015 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 22 January 2015

India tops malnutrition chart in south Asia
  • NEW DELHI: Severe acute malnutrition should be recognized as a medical emergency with one million children under five dying in India due to malnutrition related causes, say activists. A new study in Baran, Rajasthan and Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh has found that preventable deaths continue to hit children in the poorest areas of the country. 
    According to UNICEF, every year 1 million children under five die due to malnutrition related causes in India. The statistics are alarming, and far above the emergency threshold for acute malnutrition (as per WHO classification of the severity of malnutrition). 
    ACF India and Fight Hunger Foundation on Tuesday announced the launch of the Generational Nutrition Program. Speaking about the program ACF India deputy country director Rajiv Tandon said that there was an urgent need to recognize severe acute malnutrition as a medical emergency. He also stressed on the need for policies to tackle malnutrition and adequate budgets for implementation. 
    The ACF report says that the number of children affected in India is higher than all the south Asian countries with high burden of wasting or acute malnutrition. 
    "Within India, scheduled tribes (28%), scheduled castes (21%) and other backward castes (20%) and rural communities (21%) have a high burden of acute malnutrition," the report said. 
    These reports throw light on the malnutrition situation in the two districts analyzing the infant mortality rates and child deaths due to conditions which are preventable.
    In Madhya Pradesh, according to NFHS 3, 40% children were stunted down from [NFHS 2 - 49%], 60% underweight up from [NFHS 2 - 54%] and 33% wasted [NFHS 2 - 20%]. "The rise in these nutritional indicators in the state is worrisome and it is essential that strategies for addressing this are adopted on a war footing,'' the report says. 
    Regarding Rajasthan the report said that according to NFHS-3, 20% of children under five are wasted, an increase from 11.7% in NFHS-2, 24% are stunted as opposed to (52% in NFHS-2) and 44% are underweight (50.6% in NFHS-2). The NFHS-3 data also shows that children under five belonging to scheduled tribes in Rajasthan have the highest prevalence of severe acute malnutrition.

India signs prisoner exchange agreement with Hong Kong
  • BEIJING: India signed an agreement on "transfer of sentenced persons" with the local government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on 20 January 2015. Under the agreement, the two sides will exchange sentenced prisoners in each other's jurisdiction. 
    "We will focus on transfer of Indian prisoners whose sentences go beyond 2015. These are mostly prisoners convicted for serious crimes like dealing in drugs," Prashant Agarwal, the Indian counsel general in Hong Kong told TOI. "Prisoners serving small duration sentences are unlikely to be covered," he added. 
    "This will help the process of social rehabilitation of the prisoners who will now be closer to their families," Agarwal said after signing the agreement with Lai Tung Kwok, secretary of security in Hong Kong government. 
    The agreement will mostly apply to Indian prisoners as there are very few, if any, Hong Kong residents in Indian prisons. 
    There are at present 93 Indians in Hong Kong jails, his office said. Only 17 of them are undergoing sentence for serious crimes like drug dealing while most of the remaining prisoners have been jailed for relatively minor offenses like immigration law violation. 
    Agarwal said the two sides have been engaged in discussions on this issue for a long time and it is only now that an agreement has been reached. The agreement will add to the existing framework of institutional cooperation between the two sides, he said. 
    India has similar agreements on exchange of prisoners with several other countries but none with Mainland China.

Periyar tiger reserve wins NTCA award
  • The Periyar Tiger Reserve, spread over 925 in Kerala, bagged the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) biennial award on Tuesday for encouraging local public participation in managing the reserve.
    There are 75 communities living around the reserve, including tribal people who are dependent on eco-development programmes, said field director of the reserve Amit Mallick on Tuesday. The reserve set up the Periyar Foundation in 2006 which was a model for other reserves in biodiversity conservation and community participation in managing natural resources.
    After this, the Wildlife Protection Act was amended so that each reserve would set up a Foundation, he told The Hindu. Earlier, the India Eco-Development project (IEDP), which was started in the reserve in December 1996, continued up to June 2004. The community-based eco-tourism activities helped visitors and there were night scouting programmes with the help of expert trackers as well. Tourism was supplemented by pepper growing and marketing which was a value addition.
    Now self-help groups were involved in honey processing and other income-generating activities, Dr. Mallick said. Of the 75 eco development committees, 15 were tribal and each had about 150 to 200 members. There were 19 different eco-tourism programmes apart from village eco-development programmes like bee-keeping.
    The committees also played a major role during the Sabarimala pilgrimage which involved a 23-km trek in the dense forests. Small shops were set up along the way and people helped in regulating the pilgrims and in waste management, removing 40 to 50 tonnes each season.

Uttarakhand becomes No. 2 in tiger population
  • Tiger population in Uttarakhand has risen from 227 to 340 since the last census, becoming the second State in the country after Karnataka with the highest number of tigers.
    “There has been an encouraging rise in tiger population in Uttarakhand. It has risen from 227 to 340 since the last census. This is all the more creditable given the fact that the hill State has just one tiger reserve,” Corbett Tiger Reserve Director Samir Sinha told PTI.
    There was a time when Madhya Pradesh had the highest tiger population in the country but then it had six tiger reserves, he said.
    Uttarakhand is now second only to Karnataka in terms of tiger population. Karnataka figures at the top of the list with 406 tigers, he said.
    As per the latest census, Corbett Tiger Reserve has also improved its position on conservation assessment trajectory going up from good to very good, the official said.
    According to the latest census released on Tuesday, the tiger population in the country is estimated to be around 2,226, a rise of over 30 per cent since the last count in 2010.

IT employees paid best in India: Report
  • New Delhi: The information technology (IT) sector, with an average gross salary of Rs.341.80 per hour, has emerged as the most lucrative industry in India, a study conducted by a career and recruitment solutions provider in the country said here Tuesday.
    According to Monster Salary Index, which is aimed at successfully providing job seekers with a benchmark to compare their salaries with other anonymous profiles across a broad spectrum of industry domains in India and other global markets, the IT sector earns 45 percent more than other sectors.
    Analysing the trends of the Indian market, the report shows that with a median gross salary of Rs.291, finance is the second most lucrative sector.
    The salary index shows that the median gross salary in the construction sector stood at Rs.259 per hour, education at Rs.186.5, healthcare at Rs.215, legal aid at Rs.215.6 and manufacturing and transport at Rs.230.9.
    In a developing economy like India, the manufacturing sector forms its backbone. The analysis of the sector shows that the median salary is Rs.230.9 per hour, a figure that is slightly lower than the average in the whole economy. Nonetheless, disparities in salary exist in the sector on the basis of educational qualification/skills of an individual, the report said.
    It also highlighted that education sector gets the lowest hourly salary of Rs 186.50 per hour. This can be attributed to the fact that there are relatively more women working here than in other sectors. Women are paid 18 percent lesser than men in the same sector, the report said.
    “We are pleased to bring forth the findings of the first of its kind index in the country. This intellectual property has been created with a foresight to equip the industry at large. The country is on the edge of a new wave of development, which is expected to deliver jobs and prosperity to millions,” said Sanjay Modi, the managing director (India/Middle East/ Southeast Asia/Hong Kong).
    Globally, the same survey indicates that females in the workplace are not being compensated in the same way as their male counterparts. While there has been a great increase in the number of women in supervisory positions, this does not reflect in the salary that those women are receiving.
    “The two welcome highlights of the finance sector are that it has emerged second in the league of lucrative careers. Secondly the gender pay gap is 19 percent which is lower than the average in the Indian economy. On the other hand, the IT sector which leads the game has a gender pay gap where women earn around 34 percent less than men,” Modi added.

Atlas rocket blasts off
  • An unmanned Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Tuesday with a next-generation communications satellite designed to provide cellular-like voice and data services to U.S. military forces around the world.
    The 20-story-tall rocket, manufactured and flown by United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, lifted off at 8:04 p.m. EST/0104 GMT, the first of 13 missions the company plans for this year.
    Perched on top of the rocket was the third spacecraft for the U.S. Navy’s $7.3 billion Mobile User Objective System, or MUOS, network, which is intended to provide 3G-like cellular technology to vehicles, ships, submarines, aircraft and troops on the move.
    “MUOS is a game-changer in communications for our warfighters,” Iris Bombelyn of satellite manufacturer Lockheed Martin said in a statement before launch.
    The planned five-satellite system is designed for high-fidelity, secure voice conversations, networked conference calls and data relay services, including video, worldwide.
    With two satellites already in orbit, a third on its way and two more scheduled for launch, MUOS will supplement and eventually replace the Navy’s Ultra High Frequency Follow-On satellite system to provide 10 times more capacity than the current network, said Joe Kan, the Navy’s MUOS program manager.
    “MUOS is going to bring a lot of capability,” Kan, a Navy captain, told reporters in a conference call before launch. “It’s a very pervasive system, used by all the services – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and other partners.”
    Topping the scales at nearly 15,000 pounds (6,804 kg), the MUOS satellite needed the heaviest-lift Atlas rocket, which was outfitted with five strap-on solid rocket motors built by GenCorp Inc’s Aerojet Rocketdyne.
    The fourth MUOS launch is planned for later this year and the fifth, which will serve as an on-orbit spare, is due to fly in 2016, the Navy said.

Since Independence, 637 ordinances have been issued
  • N
    EW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government has countered the opposition's criticism over a series of ordinances introduced by it, arguing that governments in the past have adopted a similar approach, while maintaining that the current administration's stance was necessitated by obstruction of key legislations by political parties in Rajya Sabha. 
    Sources said that since independence, 637 ordinances were promulgated over a 62-year period, which is over 10 annually. While 456 ordinances were issued during the 50 years that the Congress was in power, some of the coalition governments were the most frequent users. 
    For instance, the United Front government saw the passage of 61 bills during its term in office but issued a record 77 ordinances - which works out to three a month. 
    Quoting parliamentary data, sources also said that during Jawaharlal Nehru's stint, 70 ordinances were issued, while Indira Gandhi's term from 1971-77 saw 77 such actions. During the five years of Rajiv Gandhi's government, there were 35 such instances, while there were 77 during Narasimha Rao's five-year tenure. 
    During the Modi government's seven-month term, eight ordinances have been promulgated including those to amend provisions related to land acquisition laws and those on coal, mining and insurance, prompting protests from opposition parties. "Being in government, we have tried to take opposition parties on board on all issues but the whole country has seen their attitude in Rajya Sabha during the winter session," said a government official defending the ordinance route. 
    On Monday, President Pranab Mukherjee, who has signed the ordinances, said these were meant for specific purpose "to meet an extraordinary situation under extraordinary circumstances" but maintained that a noisy minority could not be allowed to "gag" a patient majority in Parliament. 
    On Tuesday, key ministers in the Modi government met to discuss how to ensure that the ordinances issued recently are followed up with legislative action in the budget session next month.

Budget session from Feb 23
  • The Budget session of Parliament, in which government seeks to convert six recent ordinances into legislations, is set to commence from February 23 and will conclude on May 8 with a month-long recess.
    The General Budget will be presented on Saturday, February 28. Before that the Railway Budget will be presented on February 26 followed by the Economic Survey on February 27.
    The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs which met here today recommended to the President the schedule of the Budget session.
    The first part of the session will continue till March 20. The second part of the session will commence after a month-long recess from April 20. The session will conclude on May 8, official sources said.
    The recess period of the session is utilised by Parliamentary committees to examine the budget proposals of the various ministries.
    The session will begin with the address of Pranab Mukherjee to the joint sitting of the two Houses. The Motion of Thanks to the President's address will be debated on February 24 and 25. If the Motion is not passed in the two days, it will be taken up later.
    A senior minister said that in the past too, Budget has been presented on a Saturday.
    During the session, government will push for passage of Bills on six ordinances promulgated recently.
    The ordinances include those on coal, mines and minerals, e-rickshaws, amendment to Citizenship Act, Land Acquisition and the one on FDI in insurance sector.
    "We have decided to highlight the number of ordinances issued by Congress governments during tenures of (Jawaharlal) Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi," Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after the meeting.

US industry invited to 'Make in India'
  • Opening up of FDI in key sectors, use of technology to leapfrog in terms of industrial growth and ease of business are the hallmarks of  Modi government's 'Make in India' initiative, according to Indian officials.
    Enabling manufacturing through industrial corridors, infrastructure development and smart cities were its other key pillars, Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), said at an event here Tuesday.
    Opening up of FDI in key sectors such as construction, defence, railways, medical devices etc, as well as genuine commitment from the government to usher in growth, were also cited at the event organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-Embassy of India.
    Kant urged US industry to take advantage of the vast opportunities in the various sectors identified under 'Make in India' to enter India, make for the domestic market and also export.
    In particular, he stressed that India and the United States "mustpartner on merit and innovation".
    Kant pointed out that given the imperative to create millions of jobs for India's aspirational youth, jump starting the manufacturing economy, which currently contributes only 16 percent to India's GDP, is critical.
    Indian ambassador to the US S. Jaishankar, in his keynote remarks applauded the "strength of purpose and seriousness of intent" of the new government in India and also highlighted the new positivity in the US-India bilateral relationship.
    Arun Kumar, US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets, spoke of the various initiatives already undertaken by the US Department of Commerce to collaborate with the Indian government with regard to the Make in India initiative and to support US companies.
    In particular, he reiterated the US willingness to share best practices with India, through programmes like the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Network.
    On behalf of CII, Kapil Sharma, Member, CII-India Business Forum, USA and Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, North America, Wipro, moderated the session.
    Shifting the focus to the experience of corporate America in terms of manufacturing India, a second panel featured US industry representatives.
    Participants included Ziad S. Ojakli,  Group Vice President, Government and Community Relations, Ford Motor Company, Del Renigar, Senior Counsel for Global Government Affairs & Policy, General Electric Company and  Stanley Roth, Vice President, International Government Relations, Boeing International.
    The session was moderated by   Richard Rossow, Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies.
    The event was attended by over 200 people from across the US and Indian private sectors, government agencies, academic institutions, think tanks and media.

Popular Names of Personalities
  • Popular NamePersonality
    Lady with the lampFlorence Nightinglale
    Grand Old man Dadabhai Naoroji of India
    Iron DukeDuke of Wellington
    Guru JiM. S. Golwalkar
    Jonn BullEngland and the English people
    CRChakravarti Rajagopalachari
    King MakerEarl of Warwick
    JPJayaprakash Narayan
    Little Corporal Napoleon
    MahamanyaPt. Madan Mohan Malaviya
    GurudevRabindranath Tagore
    Maid of OrleansnsJoan of Arc
    Desh BandhuC. R. Das
    Deen BandhuC. F. Andrews
    YankeeInhabitants of U.S.A.
    Lion of the Punjab (Sher-i-Punjab)Lala Lajpat Rai
    Bard of Avon Shakespeare
    PanditjiJawaharlal Nehru
    Man of BloodBismark
    Andhra KesriT. Prakasam
    LokmanyaBal Gangadhar Tilak
    BapuMahatma Gandhi
    Apostle of Free TradeRichard Cobden
    NetajiSubhash Chandra Bose
    Desert FoxGen. Rommel
    Nightingle of IndiaSarojini Naidu
    Lal-Bal-PalLala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal
    Father of English PoetryGeoffery Chaucer
    Iron manSardar Vallabh Bhai Patel
    IkeGen. Eisenhower
    Tomy AtkinsEnglish Soldier
    JawanIndian soldier
    PooluFrench soldier
    VizzyMaharaja Kumar of Vizianagara
    G.I.American soldier
    Wizard of the NorthSir Walter Scot
    Samuel ClemensMark Twain
    SparrowMajor Gen. Rajender Singh
    ShastrijiLal Bahadur Shastri
    BabujiJagjiwan Ram
    Sahitya SamratBankim Chandra Chattopadhaye
    KathasilpiSarat Chandra Chattopadhaye

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