India declared free from Trachoma
India was on 8 December 2017 declared free from infective Trachoma, a contagious bacterial infection of the eye. Trachoma causes inflamed granulation on the inner surface of the lids.
This has been possible due to efforts such as provision of antibiotic eye drops, personal hygiene, availability of safe water, improved environmental sanitation and availability of surgical facilities for chronic Trachoma.
The announcement was made by Union Health Minister J P Nadda while releasing the National Trachoma Survey Report 2014-17 in New Delhi. The Survey results indicate that active Trachoma is no longer a public health problem in the country.
Union Government launches MSME Sambandh Portal
Giriraj Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for MSME, on 8 December 2017 launched the public procurement portal ‘MSME Sambandh’.
The Portal will help in monitoring the implementation of public procurement from Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) by Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs). The portal will enable ease of doing business and will contribute towards the ‘Make in India’ initiatives of the Union Government of India.
The Procurement Policy, launched in 2012, mandates the Central Government Departments to procure necessarily from MSEs at the beginning of the year with the objective of achieving an overall procurement goal of minimum of 20 per cent of the total annual purchases of the products or services of MSEs.
Supreme Court agrees to examine adultery provision in IPC
The Supreme Court of India has decided to look into whether the Indian Penal Code (IPC) provision of adultery, which treats only the man as an offender and the married woman as a ‘victim,’ is patronising and commodifies women.
Section 497 of IPC states that “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery and shall be punished.”
It was argued that this penal section was framed at a time when women were considered as a man’s property. Therefore, the court decided to issue notice and inspect the aspects of the provision.