Current Affairs Current Affairs June 2018

 NITI Aayog and Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (GNFC) have signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) to work together towards implementing a Proof-of-Concept (“PoC”) application using Blockchain Technology for fertiliser subsidy management. They will jointly develop the use case, undertake research, interact with multiple stakeholders, develop Blockchain solutions, exchange learnings, organise forums, and disseminate learnings across their networks.
Source- AIR World Service

 The Government notified the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 via Gazette Notification. As per provisions of the Scheme, Electoral Bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. A person being an individual can buy Electoral Bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals. Only the Political Parties registered under Section 29A of Representation of People Act, 1951 & which secured not less than 1% of the votes polled in last General Election or the Legislative Assembly of the State, shall be eligible to receive Electoral Bonds. Electoral Bonds shall be encashed by an eligible Political Party only through a Bank account with the Authorized Bank.
Source- DD News 

 In a first-of-its-kind transaction, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has approved a proposal allowing Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to acquire a majority stake in the IDBI bank. Under the proposal, the public sector life insurance behemoth can raise its stake in the public sector bank to 51%, injecting Rs10,000-13,000 crore in the debt-ridden lender. The acquisition, however, will be seen only as an investment and LIC will gradually lower its stake in the lender.
Source- The Hindu Business Line

 NITI Aayog launched the first Delta ranking, incremental progress, for the Aspirational Districts in the country. The ranking is based on self-reported data of districts between March 31 to May 31, 2018, across five developmental areas of Health and Nutrition, Education, Agriculture and Water Resources, Financial Inclusion and Skill Development and Basic Infrastructure. The rankings were launched by NITI Aayog, CEO Amitabh Kant in New Delhi. The purpose of this ranking is to spur a sense of competition among the dynamic teams in the districts. According to ranking, Dahod district of Gujarat improved 19.8 points to rank first. West Sikkim district in Sikkim stood second with 18.9 points, a huge improvement from being in the 30th position in Baseline ranking.
Source- AIR World Service

 Decks have been cleared for setting up a consulate of United Arab Emirates with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao giving his nod for it after discussions with UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The establishment of the consulate would improve cordial relations between the state government and the UAE.
Source- DD News

 Mumbai's Victorian and Art Deco Ensembles has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was announced at the Unesco world heritage committee meeting in Bahrain. The Heritage enclave is situated in South Mumbai’s historic core and comprises an urban ensemble straddling two heritage precincts of the Fort Precinct and Marine Drive Precinct.
Source- The Times of India

 Madhya Pradesh was awarded by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for reducing maternal mortality under Prime Minister’s Safe Motherhood Campaign (Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan-PMSMA). The state was awarded for registering unprecedented 48-digit decline in maternal deaths from 2014 to 2016 as per report of Registrar General of India (RGI).
  • Key Facts
The maternal mortality rate in Madhya Pradesh was 221 in 2011-13, which has now dropped down further to just 173. This accounts to significant 22% decline in the last three years in the state. State Government’s various awareness programmes like institutional delivery, Auxiliary Nursing Midwifery (ANM), Anganwadi workers, knock-out campaigns etc. have played pivotal role in reducing maternal mortality rate and this decline will be more noticeable in the coming years.
  • Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA)
PMSMA or Prime Minister’s Safe Motherhood Campaign was launched by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to provide free health check-ups to pregnant women at government health centres and hospitals in both rural and urban areas. It is national programme that aims to provide pregnant ladies free ante-natal services (ANC) and required treatment for free on 9th of every month. Private practitioners will play a critical role in supplementing the efforts of the Government.
Objectives of PMSMA 
  • Provide healthy life to the pregnant women.
  • Lowering the maternity mortality rate and infant mortality rate.
  • Making pregnant women aware of their health issues and diseases.
  • Making sure safe delivery and healthy life of the baby.
Intended Beneficiaries: The programme is applicable only for pregnant women in their pregnancy period of 3 to 6 months (i.e. in their 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy). It is expected to provide free antenatal care to about 3 crore pregnant women across the country.
Facilities: The programme will provide assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care on 9th of every month (fixed day). Under it all kinds of medical checkups are provided completely free to pregnant women. Besides, free checkups including blood pressure, sugar level, weight, haemoglobin test, blood test and screening will be also provided. These checkups can take place at medical centres, government and private hospitals and private clinics across the country.
Colour Coding: One of the critical components of this programme is mark women differently using different colour stickers based on their health problems so that doctors can easily detect the problem. Women will be marked differently using different colour stickers based on their health problems so that doctors can easily detect the problem. Red Sticker for women with high risk pregnancy, Green Sticke for women with no risk factor detected.

 The Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation has launched mobile application “ReUnite” in New Delhi to track and trace missing and abandoned children in India. The app is available for both Android and iOS. It has been developed by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi‘s NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan and IT company Capgemini. The ReUnite app is multiuser where parents and citizens can upload pictures of children and provide detailed description like name, address, birth mark, search and identify missing kids and report to the police station. It uses Amazon Rekognition, a web based facial recognition service to identify missing kids. The photographs uploaded on the app will not be saved in the mobile phone’s physical memory.

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for National Centre for Ageing at All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. The Centre will be developed at cost of Rs. 330 crores and shall be completed by February 2020.
  • National Centre for Ageing
The Centre will provide state of art clinical care to elderly population and shall play key role in guiding research in field of geriatric medicine and related specialties. It will also serve as key training facility for under graduate and post graduate courses. It will provide multi-specialty health care and will have 200 general ward beds, which will include 20 medical ICU beds.
  • 555 bed Super Speciality Block in Safdarjung Hospital
Prime Minister also inaugurated 555 bed Super Speciality Block in Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi which hosts tertiary care facilities in areas of cardiovascular sciences, neurosciences, pulmonary medicine, nephrology and endocrinology He also dedicated 300 bedded Power Grid Vishram Sadan funded by the Power Grid Corporation in AIIMS. It is  300 bedded night shelter facility meant for patients and their relatives visiting AIIMS main hospital and JPNA Trauma centre at AIIMS. He also inaugurated underground tunnel providing connecting facility between AIIMS and JPNA Trauma Centre, reducing commute time between the two centers.

 The Indian Railways has eliminated all unmanned level crossings (UMLC) from its four zones viz. West Central Railway, Central Railway, Eastern Railway and South East Central Railway. These four zones aggregating 11,545 route kilometers have now become UMLC free on broad gauge route.
  • Key Facts
Indian Railways has target of September 2018 for eliminating UMLC in 11 zones of its total 16 zones. For the remaining zones, the target is has been set before 2020. So far, all UMLCs on routes having speed more than 100 kmph and on suburban routes have been eliminated, except 13 such crossings in South Central Railway which will be completed by July 2018.  
  • Elimination all unmanned level crossings
Union Railway Ministry has taken series of safety steps to prevent accidents at these unmanned railway crossings.   Indian Railways has around 30,348 level crossings, out of which 11,563 i.e. nearly 40%, are unmanned.     Some of safety initiatives undertaken at these unmanned railway crossings include closing of many crossings, construction of rail overbridge and rail underbridge. At certain places Gate Mitra and Gate Counsellors are also deployed. Indian Railways also has partnered with India Space Research Organistion (ISRO) to safety crossing system using Geo-spatial technologies. These technologies will include combination of Global Positioning System (GPS), Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing in order to send mobile message alerts to people in vicinity of an unmanned level crossing.

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