Current Affairs in Short: 26 June 2018
According to recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) for the Asia-Pacific region, gender inequality in India is extremely high at the workplace in terms of legal protection and political voice.
Ministry of Health signs MoU with Indira Gandhi National Open University
• Ministry of Health and Family Welfare signed an MoU with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to scale up the short term healthcare courses through its available robust platform.
• Under this MoU, curriculum for 10 courses especially designed for the health sector will provide more than 14 lakh trained manpower by 2025.
• The combined objective under this MoU is to scale up the health programs to create trained personnel in the healthcare sector and to set up a dedicated cell for developing, implementing and certifying the skill based programs at IGNOU.
• A robust monitoring and assessment framework will be established under the MoU to ensure that MoHFW standards are followed stringently.
• MoHFW will provide for financial assistance to IGNOU for establishing the structure and initiating the programs and the courses will be initiated in a phased manner across the Country by IGNOU.
• Initially four courses will be launched country wide under this MoU, namely Home Health Aide, Geriatric Care Assistant, Phlebotomist and General Duty Assistant.
Baba Kalyani Group holds its first meeting to study the SEZ Policy
• The group of eminent personalities constituted by the Government of India to study the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Policy of India held its first meeting on June 22, 2018 under the aegis of Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation.
• The Minister requested the members of the group to review the entire ecosystem of SEZs to suggest policy changes to make SEZ policy simple and transparent.
• Baba Kalyani, Chairman Bharat Forge, who is Chairman of this group, pointed out that biggest challenge is the creation of jobs and the focus of the group would be to address this issue.
• The group will make suggestion for shift from fiscal incentives to employment based incentives, reframe the boundaries and introduce grandfathering clause for existing provisions, he added.
• The group has decided to meet in the middle of July 2018 again and will submit its report by the end of August 2018.
President presents National Awards for Outstanding Services in the field of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse
• 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 on the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
• The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment celebrates 26th June every year as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
• For the same, the Government instituted a Scheme of the National Awards for outstanding services in the field of prevention of Alcoholism & Substance (Drug) Abuse in 2013.
• The Scheme is applicable to Institutions and individuals working in the field of Prevention of Drug and Alcoholism Abuse.
• On the occasion, President highlighted that geographical location between Myanmar-Laos-Thailand’s ‘Golden Triangle’ and Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan’s ‘Golden Crescent’ makes the problem of Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking even more acute and complicated.
Over 41 lakh new jobs created in 8 months: Central Statistics Office
• More than 41 lakh new jobs were created in the country from September 2017 and April 2018, as per the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
• CSO released the employment-related statistics in the formal sector for eight months beginning from September 2017.
• In April 2018 alone, the highest ever new payrolls of over 6.8 Lakhs were recorded by the retirement fund body Employees' Provident Fund Organisation.
• During April 2018, the maximum new payrolls of over 1 lakh 87 thousand were recorded in the age bracket of 18 to 21 years followed by nearly 1 lakh 81 thousand payrolls in 22 to 25 years.
• For each age-wise band, the estimates are net of the members enrolled and ceased during the month.
• The estimated total number of new National Pension Scheme subscribers during the period September 2017 to April 2018 is over 5 lakh 12 thousand persons.
Heads of 11 banks to appear before Parliamentary Panel
• Heads of eleven public sector banks will appear before the Standing Committee of Parliament on Finance in New Delhi on June 26, 2018.
• They will apprise the committee of the bad loan issues and rising fraud cases in the banks.
• Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also a member of the panel which is headed by Congress leader M Veerappa Moily.
• Officials of IDBI, UCO, Corporation and Allahabad Bank, Central Bank of India, BOI, Indian Overseas Bank, Dena Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Bank of Maharashtra and United Bank will make presentations before the committee.
World Food Prize 2018 awarded to Lawrence Haddad and Dr. David Nabarro
• The World Food Prize 2018 was awarded to Lawrence Haddad and Dr. David Nabarro for their individual but complementary global leadership in elevating maternal and child undernutrition within food security.
• Lawrence Haddad is British economist and food policy researcher and Dr. David Nabarro has worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations (UN) on health and hunger issues.
• The World Food Prize is most prominent global award for individuals whose breakthrough achievements alleviate hunger and promote global food security.
• The award was conceived in 1986 by Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug, considered as father of the Green Revolution.
Seychelles gifts two giant tortoises to India
• Seychelles has gifted pair of Giant Aldabra tortoise to India as a goodwill gesture.
• They were brought to India as gift by the Seychelles President Danny Faure during his visit to India.
• The pair was handed over to Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad after Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in New Delhi gave permission to house them.
• Both the tortoises are aged about 20 years and weighs around 120 and 150kg.
• They have been kept under quarantine at Nehru Zoological Park and will continue to be under observation for 30 days, after which they will be released into enclosure for public view.
• Gifting or giving Aldabra tortoise on loan to friendly countries is a part of the Seychellois diplomacy. In 2010, Seychelles had loaned two giant tortoise to Shanghai Zoo in China, while another pair was presented to Guangzhou Zoo in 2014.
• Aldabra Giant Tortoise is endemic to Aldabra Atoll in Seychelles. It is said to be one of the largest species of tortoises on planet and also one of the world’s longest living animals (can live above 200 years).
Gender inequality extremely high in work & politics in India: Report
• According to recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) for the Asia-Pacific region, gender inequality in India is extremely high at the workplace in terms of legal protection and political voice.
• The report had assessed inequality on the basis of Gender Parity Score (GPS) that uses 15 indicators of gender equality in work and society under four broad categories.
• It ranks countries on scale of 0 (signifying inequality) to 1 (signifying parity).
• India’s score was 0.30 in gender equality at work and 0.78 in legal protection and political voice.
• India is behind Asia-Pacific average in all four categories of GPS, but ahead of Bangladesh and Pakistan.
RemoveDEBRIS satellite to demonstrate technology to clean up space junk deployed
• RemoveDEBRIS Satellite was successfully deployed from International Space Station (ISS) to demonstrate a range of innovative technologies to clean up space debris orbiting Earth.
• The satellite was designed, built and manufactured by consortium of space companies and research institutions led by Surrey Space Centre at University of Surrey, United Kingdom.
• The project is co-funded by European Commission.
• RemoveDEBRIS mission is aimed at performing key Active Debris Removal (ADR) technology demonstrations.
• The mission plans is to test efficacy of several ADR technologies on mock targets in low Earth orbit (LEO), rather than engaging in ADR of real space debris.