1. Mission Vidya
- Mission Vidya is a remedial teaching programme.
- It took place in Gujarat.
- It targeted more than 200,000 Class VI-VIII children with poor achievements in reading, writing and mathematics.
- The children received special attention for three hours every day, including one hour outside school hours.
2. Government launches Technology Initiatives for Coffee Stakeholders which would help farmers increase production and improve quality
- It is India coffee field force app.
- It helps to harness the power of mobility comprising the latest technology.
- It will also help in transparency in the activities of the extension officers and officials.
- It has been developed by Coffee Board of India in association with National Institute for Smart Government (NISG).
Coffee Krishi Tharanga
- It is a digital mobile extension service for coffee stakeholders.
- Aimed increase productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability.
- It is jointly developed by Coffee Board and Precision Agriculture for Development India Foundation (PADIF).
- It provided customised services support, 24 X 7.
- The “Coffee KrishiTharanga” is pilot tested in the Chikmagalur and Hassan districts of Karnataka State and will be extended in a phased manner.
- NABARD has partly funded the Pilot project.
Coffee Board of India
- Coffee Board of India is an autonomous body.
- Established by an act of Parliament in 1942.
- Under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- Head Office is in Bangalore.
3. New Ganga clean-up law
- The Bill calls for a National Ganga Council and a National Ganga Rejuvenation Authority to enforce the law and protect the river which flows over 2500 km.
- An armed Ganga Protection Corps (GPC); treating a slew of actions — from obstructing the flow to commercial fishing — as cognizable offences that may attract a prison term of up to three years and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh.
- Cognizable offences marked in the draft Bill include:
- Construction activities causing obstruction in the river- 2-year imprisonment or fine up to Rs 50 lakh or both.
- Withdrawal of groundwater for industrial or commercial consumption from the land fronting the river and its tributaries.
- Commercial fishing or aquaculture in the river and its tributaries- 2 years prison term or a fine of Rs 2 lakh or both.
- Discharging untreated or treated sewage into the river- 5-year prison term or a fine of Rs 50,000 per day or both.
- Ganga Protection Corps, an armed force “constituted and maintained” by the Central government.
- GPC personnel will have powers to arrest those who pollute the river.
- No person or municipal authority will establish or take any steps to set up any industrial or residential or commercial premises or structure which may result in the discharge of any sewage or trade effluent into the Ganga.
- In 2016, a committee was constituted under a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court Justice Girdhar Malviya who had submitted a draft Bill last year named The National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Bill, 2017.
Source- Indian Express
4. Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Exercise KAZIND 2018
- KAZIND 2018 will be conducted between the Indian and Kazakhstan Army in Otar region, Kazakhstan.
- The aim is to build and promote bilateral Army to Army relations and exchange skills and experiences between Kazakhstan Army and the Indian Army.
- This is the third joint military exercise between the two countries.
- The second edition of this exercise was held in India last year.
- Other military exercises between India and Kazakhstan:
- Prabal Dostyk
- Exercise Khanjar
5. International Women Entrepreneurs Summit gets underway in Nepal
- The theme of the 3-day event is “Equality begins with Economic Empowerment”.
- The event is organised by the South Asian Women Development Forum.
South Asian Women Development Forum(SAWDF)
- SAWDF is an autonomous, nonprofit organization.
- Based in Kathmandu, Nepal.
- SAWDF was granted the status by the 36th Session of the SAARC Council Ministers.
- It is the first SAARC Recognized Body organisation, working on women entrepreneurs issues.
- SAWDF membership is based on organizations with extensive work around women’s entrepreneurship.
Source- DD News
6. Replacing injectables with bedaquiline will lead to improvement in treatment outcomes for patients with MDR-TB
- The World Health Organisation(WHO) made an important change in the regimen to treat patients with MDR-TB.
- All injectables are to be replaced with a fully oral regimen to treat MDR-TB patients.
- The powerful alternative drug, bedaquiline, has been included in the fully oral regimen.
- South Africa was the first country to scale up access to bedaquiline.
Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB)
- Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a form of tuberculosis (TB) infection.
- Caused by bacteria that are resistant to treatment.
- MDR-TB is resistant to at least two of the first-line drugs.
Tuberculosis is caused by infection with the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Source- The Hindu
7. Reserve Bank tightens the ombudsman scheme
- RBI has asked all commercial banks having 10 or more banking outlets to have an independent internal ombudsman (IO).
- For reviewing customer complaints that are either partly or fully rejected by the banks.
- These instructions are not applicable for Regional Rural Banks sponsored by commercial banks.
- In terms of recommendations of the Damodaran Committee on banking ombudsman scheme, the Internal Ombudsman (IO) system was introduced.
- Banking Ombudsman is a quasi-judicial authority.
- Under India’s Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006.
- The authority was created for resolving complaints of customers of banks relating to certain services rendered by the banks.
- It does not charge any fee in terms of filing complaints.
- This year, the RBI had extended the scheme to Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFC) taking deposit.
- Appellate Authority, is headed by a Deputy Governor of the RBI, where people can take their complaints against the Banking Ombudsman.
Who is a Banking Ombudsman?
- The Banking Ombudsman is a senior official appointed by the Reserve Bank of India to redress customer complaints against deficiency in certain banking services covered under the grounds of complaint.
- As on date, twenty Banking Ombudsmen have been appointed
Internal Ombudsman (IO)
- IO is for strengthening the grievance redressal mechanism in banks.
- It helps to reduce the complaints being escalated to Banking Ombudsman.
- An IO can be removed only with prior approval of RBI.
- This scheme advices banks to give IO, a fixed term of 3 to 5 years, which cannot be renewed.
Source- The Hindu, RBI
8. MGNREGA causing labour crisis: RBI
Key Highlights of RBI’s annual report on MGNREGA
- The report says that since rural households across six states surveyed preferred working under MGNREGS than traditional labour, it is leading to an agricultural labour crisis.
- In poorer states, more people preferred MGNREGS over traditional labour.
- The shift to MGNREGS was higher in casual labour households.
- Highest in:
1. Odisha (75 %)
2. Uttar Pradesh (66 %)
3. West Bengal (42.5 %)
- The main reason for choosing MGNREGA was payment parity among gender and difference in the wage of schemes over traditional employment.
- National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (NREGA), later renamed as the “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act”, MGNREGA).
- It is an Indian labour law and social security measure.
- Launched on 2nd February 2006.
- It provided the guarantee for ‘right to work’.
- It aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas.
- Provides at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year.
- To every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
- MGNREGA is to be implemented mainly by gram panchayats (GPs).
- The involvement of contractors is banned.
Source- Down to Earth
9. Asia Index launches S&P BSE Private Banks Index
- To measure the performance of private banks listed in India.
- The Index is drawn from the constituents of the S&P BSE Finance Index.
- Only common stocks classified as Banks by the BSE Sector Classification mode.
- That is not classified under the BSE scrip category as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) are eligible.
- The index is calculated in Indian Rupees and US Dollar and is calculated real-time by BSE
Asia Index Pvt Ltd
- Asia Index Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between:
1. S&P Dow Jones Indices- the world’s largest provider of financial market indices.
2. BSE Ltd – Asia’s oldest stock exchange.
Source- Economic Times
10. Drug-resistant superbug spreading in hospitals: study.
- The bacteria, known as Staphylococcus epidermidis.
- It is related to the better-known and more deadly MRSA superbug.
- It’s found naturally on human skin.
- It most commonly infects the elderly or patients who have had prosthetic materials implanted, such as catheters and joint replacements.
- Multidrug-resistant organisms are bacteria that have become resistant to certain antibiotics.
- These antibiotics can no longer be used to control or kill the bacteria.
- They help fight infections that are caused by bacteria.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- MRSA refers to a group of gram-positive bacteria that are genetically distinct from other strains of Staphylococcus aureus.
- MRSA is responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans.
- It began as a hospital-acquired infection.
- Superbug is a term used to describe strains of bacteria.
- They are resistant to the majority of antibiotics commonly used today.
- Resistant bacteria that cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections and skin infections are just a few of the dangers we now face.
Source- The Hindu
11. MSP on crops has the major impact on inflation: RBI
Key Highlights of RBI’s annual report on MSP
- The report points out that although agriculture and allied activities provide a solid foundation to the economy, producers are still at peril.
- But when wheat and paddy were removed from the list of 16 crops, the only crops for which procurement is guaranteed, the impact on inflation was minor.
- The report also said that international price contributes to inflation of edible oils.
Minimum Support Price or MSP
- MSP is an Agriculture product price.
- To purchase directly from the farmer.
- This rate is to safeguard farmer to minimum profit for the harvest if the open market has lesser price than the cost incurred.
- The first time it was introduced in 1966-67 for wheat in the wake of the Green Revolution.
- The MSP is announced by the Government of India the beginning of each season viz. Rabi and Kharif.
- Recommendations are given by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices(CACP).
Source- Down to earth