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Civil service exam current affairs 2018

International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking 2018 observed globally

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was observed across the globe on June 26, 2018 with an aim to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society.

How the day was observed in india?

On the occasion of the 2018 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Fourth National Awards for outstanding services in the field of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse to the institutions and individuals.

The event was organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and was attended by state government officials, NGOs, national and international organisations working in this field.

On the same occasion, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment highlighted various initiatives and schemes launched in India against drug abuse and illicit trafficking. These are:

• An online system for processing of Grant-in-Aid to voluntary organizations and non-government organisations.

• Over 400 Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCAs) being run across the country with support from the Ministry. Around one lakh drug-alcohol addicts are benefited every year under the Scheme.

National Toll Free Helpline- 1XXX-XX-0031 has also been launched to assist the alcoholics and drug dependent persons, their family members and community.

When was the day proclaimed?

On December 7, 1987, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) via resolution 42/112 decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

• It was decided to observe the day as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.

• This resolution recommended further action with regard to the report and conclusions of the 1987 International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. best ias coaching centre in coimbatore

Ministry of women and child development to organise POSHAN ABHIYAAN TECH-THON

The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development on June 25, 2018 announced to organise a day-long Seminar on Technology Partnerships ‘TECH-THON’ for steering POSHAN Abhiyaan on June 28, 2018 at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi.

The POSHAN Abhiyaan or the National Nutrition Mission is PM Narendra Modi’s initiative for holistic nourishment.

POSHAN ABHIYAAN TECH-THON

The upcoming POSHAN Abhiyaan TECH-THON is aimed at improving the nutrition outcomes through effective monitoring and timely intervention.

The Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog will inaugurate the Seminar and launch the Jan Andolan Guidelines of POSHAN Abhiyaan.

It will showcase and familiarise the people towards the initiative, exchange ideas to explore avenues of cooperation and partnerships for technology support, as well as, reach-out to the beneficiaries for effective behavioural change to initiate a ‘Peoples Movement’ or ‘Jan Andolan’ towards Nutrition.

It will showcase and familiarise the people towards the initiative, exchange ideas to explore avenues of cooperation and partnerships for technology support, as well as, reach-out to the beneficiaries for effective behavioural change to initiate a ‘Peoples Movement’ or ‘Jan Andolan’ towards Nutrition.

Leading experts from a range of fields will be present to lead panel discussions and share insights on addressing avenues of cooperation and partnerships for technology support.

An exhibition will also be organised showcasing the technology and other materials of POSHAN Abhiyaan in the gallery of Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra.

Approximately 300 participants are expected to grace the Seminar.

ICDS-CAS(Common application software)

The Ministry also announced the development of the ICDS-CAS (Common Application Software) to strengthen the service delivery system as well as the mechanism for Real Time Monitoring for nutritional outcomes through effective monitoring and timely interventions in POSHAN Abhiyaan.

By the year 2020, the application will be rolled out across 14 lakh Anganwadis and would impact 10 Crore beneficiaries.

It is currently the largest e-Nutrition & Health programme in the World having 1.1 lakh data entry devices with frontline functionaries across 7 States – Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

It enables data capture, ensures assigned service delivery and prompts for interventions wherever required.

It makes available the data to the supervisory staff from sector, block, district, state to national level through a dashboard for monitoring purpose.

POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission)

 

POSHAN Abhiyaan, also known as National Nutrition Mission, was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 8, 2018 in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan.

The initiative, largely, aims to scale-up the interventions supported by the World Bank assisted Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP) to all districts in the country over a 3-year period.

The POSHAN Abhiyaan empowers the frontline functionaries such as the Anganwadi Workers and Lady Supervisors by providing them with Smartphones.

Convergence and use of Technology are the two hallmarks of POSHAN Abhiyaan.

Rajesh Kumar, Joint Secretary in the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, is the Mission Director for POSHAN Abhiyaan.

Objectives:

The mission aims to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia among young children, women and adolescent girls and reduce low birth weight by at least 2 percent per annum.

Though the target to reduce stunting is at least 2 percent per annum, the mission will strive to achieve reduction in stunting from 38.4 percent to 25 percent by 2022.

More than 10 crore people are expected to be benefitted by the programme. It also focuses on adolescent girls, pregnant women & lactating mothers.

It will cover all the states and districts in a phased manner. While 315 districts will be covered in 2017-18 and 235 districts will be covered in 2018-19, the remaining districts will be covered in 2019-20.

Results

 

Currently, 550 districts have been covered under the POSHAN Abhiyaan.

 

All 36 States/UTs and 718 districts will be covered in a phased manner under the scheme by the year 2020 to ensure a holistic approach.

 

51 lakh houses sanctioned in three years of its implementation under PMAY(urban)

 

On the completion of 3rd year of implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) – Urban, The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) conducted its 35th Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) meeting on June 25, 2018 where a total of 3,18,900 houses from 6 States/UTs were approved.

With this, the PMAY (U) has approved more than 51 Lakhs dwelling units against the estimated demand of 1 crore. On its third year of the implementation date, a significant milestone of more than 51 lakh houses approved has been achieved. This is a huge jump in comparison to old housing scheme where 12.4 Lakh houses were approved in around 9 years of its implementation.

Such unprecedented performance is due to the innovative architecture of the scheme where flexibility has been given to the States/UTs to approve the projects.  Further, rather than a rigid approach, beneficiaries are free to choose from 4 verticals of the Mission as per their preference.

The State of Maharashtra has taken a big stride in achieving its target of providing houses to slum dwellers by getting 2.48 lakh houses approved in 35th CSMC

 

Important points of this achievement

 

The total project cost approved under PMAY (U) stands at Rs. 2.81 lakh crore with a Central Assistance of Rs. 77,934 crore.

A total of 7.60 lakh houses are already completed and another 28 lakh have been grounded. A massive expansion of housing finance through CLSS is taking place.

As on June 25, 2018, more than 2 lakh beneficiaries have been given subsidy under the CLSS vertical of the mission which is substantially higher than 18,166 beneficiaries who benefited from earlier comparable Interest Subsidy Schemes (ISHUP/RRY) – 2008 to 2013.

Carpet area expansion upto 200 sq. m. under MIG component of the CLSS is being welcomed by all stakeholders.

 

PM Awas Yojna: Govt raises carpet area up to 2,100 sq ft for interest benefit

Earlier, the Government has increased the carpet area of houses eligible for interest benefit under the PM Awas Yojna (PMAY) for the middle-income group or MIG by 33 per cent as it seemss to bring more beneficiaries under its fold and achieve the target of ‘housing for all’ by 2022.

The measure implies that households with an annual income of up to Rs 18 lakh can now avail themselves of Rs 2.3 lakh upfront subsidy for a house measuring up to 2,100 sq ft. Households with income from Rs 6-12 lakh fall within the MIG-1 category, while those with income between Rs 12-18 lakh qualify as MIG-2.

So far, houses with a carpet area up to 120 sq. m. (1.291 sq ft) for MIG-I and up to 150 sq. m. (1.614 sq ft) for MIG-II were eligible for interest subsidy. They have been increased to 160 sq. m. (1,722 sq ft) and 200 sq. m. (2,153 sq ft), respectively.

Pradhan manthri awas yojana

In terms of coverage, the Mission is a paradigm shift in the history of housing schemes being implemented in the past.

The Government of India is committed to providing “Housing for All” by the end of the Mission period-2022.
A National Urban Housing Fund for Rs. 60,000 crores has been set up for raising Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) in phases, for the rapid implementation of PMAY (U).

Keeping the ethos of cooperative federalism, the States/UTs are implementing the scheme with considerable zeal and initiatives.

Pradhan manthri awas yojana-Report card

The States of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are among the best performing States.

Use of innovative and fast-track construction technology has been adopted in a big way under the scheme.
More than 7 lakh houses are being constructed in different States using new technologies.

The progress of the houses on the ground has been monitored through geo-tagging using space technology.
The MoHUA has further rolled out eight models of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) for Affordable Housing that has steered in a revolution in the Affordable Housing sector in India.

Impacts of “Housing for all”

The investment in the housing sector has a spiral and cascading effect on other sectors of the economy as well, thereby boosting the GDP of the country.

The increased activity in the construction of housing boosts the demand of not only construction material such as cement, bricks, sand and steel but also the allied sectors.

In addition, the momentum in the housing sector, also results in huge direct employment creation, as a large number of jobs, both skilled and unskilled, are also created potentially.

Ministry of women and child development launches report on women in prisons

 

Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi on June 25, 2018 launched the report titled ‘Women in Prisons’.

The report throws light on the condition of women in prisons and their entitlements; issues faced by them and possible methods for resolution of the same.

The report contains a comprehensive list of 134 recommendations for improving the lives of women under incarceration, addresses a wide range of issues pertaining to pregnancy and childbirth in prison, their mental health, legal aid and reintegration in society.

Women in prisons report

The report covers a wide range of issues that women face in prisons. It not only considers the needs of pregnant women, but also those who have recently given birth, those who have miscarried, or those who have recently undergone abortion.

It suggests that the women with care-giving responsibilities must be allowed to make arrangements for their children prior to their imprisonment. If there is no family or friends to look after the child (above 6 years of age), then he must be placed in a Child Care Institution.

It proposes amendment in Section 436A of the CrPC for granting bail to those under-trial women who have spent one-third of their maximum possible sentence in detention.

It recommends separate accommodation for mothers in post-natal stage to maintain hygiene and protect the infant from infection for at least a year after childbirth.

It suggests special provisions for women who have recently given birth outside prison, or who have undergone abortion or miscarriage. It also suggests that pregnant women must be given information and access to abortion during imprisonment.

It suggests that legal consultations must be conducted in confidentiality and without censorship.

It proposes re-integration programme for released women, covering employment, financial support, regaining of child custody, continuity of health care services etc.

It recommends that prison authorities should coordinate with local police to ensure released prisoners are not harassed by them due to the attached stigma.

It recommends robust grievance redressal system for women to tackle cases of sexual harassment, violence and abuse against women in jails.

Apart from the prisoner herself, her legal adviser or family members should be allowed to make complaints regarding her stay in prison.

Inmates should have access to female counselors or psychologists at least on a weekly basis or as frequently as needed by them.

Facts and Figures
·         As per most recent data of 2015, there are 419623 persons in jail in India, of which, 17834 (about 4.3 percent) are women.

·         Of these, 11916 (66.8 percent) are undertrial prisoners.

·         The analysis of prison statistics reveals an increasing trend in the number of women prisoners from 3.3 percent of all prisoners in 2000 to 4.3 percent in 2015.

·         A majority of female inmates are in the age group of 30-50 years (50.5 percent), followed by 18-30 years (31.3 percent).

·         Of the total 1401 prisons in India, only 18 are exclusive for women, housing 2985 female prisoners.

 

India,Seychelles sign 6 MoUs for co-operation in various fields

India and Seychelles on June 25, 2018 signed six Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to further expand bilateral ties between the two sides in various fields. These include areas of naval cooperation, cybersecurity, culture, dvelopment projects among others.

The MoUs were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Seychelles President Danny Antoine Rollen Faure after the two leaders held bilateral talks in Hyderabad House, New Delhi.

Line of Credit for Seychelles’ Defence Sector

On the same occasion, PM Modi announced a line of credit worth USD 100 million for Seychelles for purchase of defence hardware.

The Prime Minister also gifted Dornier Aircraft to President of Seychelles, an important step towards India’s commitment to augment Seychelles’ defence assets and capability.

Both the sides would also work to intensify cooperation to carry out hydrographical studies of the maritime region and declared exchange of necessary oceanic maps between two sides.

India also agreed to finance three civilian infrastructure projects in Seychelles under Special Grant. These are Government House, New Police Headquarters and the Office of the Attorney General.

 

List of MoUs signed

S. No. Fields MoU/Agreement Indian signatory Seychelles signatory
1 Small Development Projects MoU between India and Seychelles regarding Indian Grant Assistance for implementation of small development projects through local bodies, educational and vocational institutions MJ Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs Pamela Charlette, Minister for Habitat Infrastructure and Land Transport
2 Friendship And Cooperation Twinning Agreement on the establishment of friendship and cooperation between the Municipal Corporation of Panaji and the city of Victoria, Seychelles MJ Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs Pamela Charlette, Minister for Habitat Infrastructure and Land Transport
3 Cyber Security MoU between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in) and the Department of Information Communications Technology of Seychelles on cooperation in the area of Cyber Security MJ Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs Charles Bastienne, Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture
4 Cultural Exchange Programme Agreement for organising a Cultural Exchange Programme between the India and Seychelles for the years 2018-2022 MJ Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs Pamela Charlette, Minister for Habitat Infrastructure and Land Transport
5 Shipping sector Technical Agreement on sharing White Shipping Information between the Indian Navy and the National Information Sharing and Coordination Center of Seychelles MJ Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs Charles Bastienne, Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture
6 Foreign Affairs MOU between India’s Foreign Service Institute and the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles JS Mukul, Dean, Foreign Service Institute Barry Faure, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

 

Agreement to develop a naval base at the Assumption Island

India and Seychelles also agreed to work together on a project to develop a naval base at the Assumption Island keeping each other’s concerns in mind after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Danny Faure.

 

Earlier, Seychelles denied joint project with India to develop naval base
• Seychelles President Danny Faure, ahead of his state visit to India, denied undertaking India-Seychelles joint project to develop naval base at Assumption Island of Seychelles.

• He also stated that Seychelles will develop military facilities at the island on its own.

• India had signed 20 years agreement in 2015 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Seychelles.

• India was keen to develop the naval base at the Assumption Island due to its key strategic location in the western periphery of Indian Ocean with an aim to expand its presence in the region where China has been trying to enhance its military presence.

• However, after the signing of agreement, opposition leaders in Seychelles came out openly against agreement with India.

• Assumption Island is a small island situated southwest of Seychelles main and largest island of Mahe. It is situated very close to Mozambique Channel from where much Indian Ocean maritime routes pass.

 

Civil service current affairs on 1st july 2018

 

Judiciary news

 

Asia’s first patent arbitration centre

 

  • Asia’s 1starbitration centre specialised in intellectual property will open in Tokyo to resolve growing number of disputes in the region.
  • International Arbitration Centre in Tokyo is set to have around a dozen arbitrators from around the world, who would try to resolve disputes within a period of 1 year.
  • IACT is due to handle disputes between non-Japanese companies, if both parties agree.

 

Bilateral relationship between india and Nepal

 

Final Nepal-India EPG meeting ends

  • The 9th& final meeting of Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations concluded in Kathmandu.
  • The Representatives from Nepal & India deliberated upon various bilateral issues including 1950 Peace & Friendship treaty, trade, transit and border.
  • EPG is a joint mechanism consisting of experts & intellectuals from India & Nepal to make suggestions for updating existing bilateral agreements.

 

 

Archaeological News

UNESCO adds 8 pre-Islamic Iranian sites

  • UNESCO has added 8 pre-Islamic Iranian archeological sites to its World Heritage List.
  • The sites collectively appear on the worldwide list as the “Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region (Islamic Republic of Iran)”.
  • With the latest addition, Iran now has 24 sites on the heritage list of the United
    • Indian Railways has eliminated all unmanned level crossings from 4 zones.
    • It had targeted to remove all such crossings in 11 of its zones by September 2018.
    • West Central Railway, Central Railway, Eastern Railway & South East Central Railway have now become Unmanned Level Crossings free.
    • Almost all UMLC on routes having speed of 100 kmph or more has been eliminated so far.

Railway eliminates unmanned level crossing

  • Indian Railways has eliminated all unmanned level crossings from 4 zones.
  • It had targeted to remove all such crossings in 11 of its zones by September 2018.
  • West Central Railway, Central Railway, Eastern Railway & South East Central Railway have now become Unmanned Level Crossings free.
  • Almost all UMLC on routes having speed of 100 kmph or more has been eliminated so far.

 

 

19,500+ mother tongues spoken in India

  • According to the latest analysis of 2011 census, more than 19,500 languages or dialects are spoken in India as mother tongues.
  • There are 121 languages which are spoken by 10,000 or more people in India, which has a population of 121 crore.
  • 71% population in the country have one of the 22 scheduled languages as their mother tongue.

Science and Technology news

Agni-V to be inducted soon

  • India is in the process of inducting the first batch of its intercontinental ballistic missile system – Agni-V.
  • The missile system, with a strike range of 5,000 km and capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, is being inducted into the elite Strategic Forces Command.
  • The missile is capable of bringing targets across China including its prominent cities like Beijing & Shanghai under its range.
  • India is in the process of inducting the first batch of its intercontinental ballistic missile system – Agni-V.
  • The missile system, with a strike range of 5,000 km and capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, is being inducted into the elite Strategic Forces Command.
  • The missile is capable of bringing targets across China including its prominent cities like Beijing & Shanghai under its range.

Economic Times news

IRDAI gives nod to LIC to buy stake in IDBI

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has approved a proposal by LIC to raise its stake in IDBI Bank up to 51% from current 10.82%.

  • It will save government from having to infuse more funds into IDBI Bank, which had received Rs 10,610 crore last fiscal, the most by any public-sector bank.
  • The acquisition will be seen only as an investment & LIC will gradually lower its stak

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