News: NITI Aayog in partnership with the Institute of Competitiveness has released the Export Preparedness Index (EPI) 2020.
- EPI: It is the first report which examines export preparedness and performance of Indian states and intends to identify challenges and opportunities; enhance the effectiveness of government policies and encourage a facilitative regulatory framework.
- Parameters: The index ranked states on the basis of 4 pillars a) Policy b) Business Ecosystem c) Export Ecosystem and d) Export Performance.
- Sub-pillars: The index took into consideration the 11 sub-pillars: Export Promotion Policy; Institutional Framework; Business Environment; Infrastructure; Transport Connectivity; Access to Finance; Export Infrastructure; Trade Support; R&D Infrastructure; Export Diversification; and Growth Orientation.
- Overall States: Gujarat has topped the index followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.The other States that have made it to the top 10 include Rajasthan, Odisha, Telangana, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Kerala.
- Coastal States: Gujarat emerged as the top-performing state followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
- Landlocked States: Rajasthan has performed the best followed by Telangana and Haryana.
- Himalayan states: Uttarakhand is the highest followed by Tripura and Himachal Pradesh.
- Union Territories: Delhi has performed the best followed by Goa and Chandigarh.
News: Pulikkali will be an online-only affair this year due to COVID-19.
- Pulikali(Tiger Dance): It is a recreational folk art from the state of Kerala.It is performed by trained artists to entertain people on the occasion of Onam, an annual harvest festival.
- On the fourth day of Onam festival, artists paint their bodies like tigers with stripes of yellow, red and black and dance to the rhythm of traditional percussion instruments such as thakil, udukku and chenda.
News: Africa Regional Certification Commission, an independent body has declared Africa free from wild polio.
- Polio: It is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus.It invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours.
- Transmission: The virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or by a common vehicle (for example contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine.
- Symptoms: Fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness of the neck and pain in the limbs.
- People at Risk: Polio mainly affects children under 5 years of age.
- Prevention: There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, can protect a child for life.
- Is Polio Eradicated? Two out of three strains of wild poliovirus have been eradicated worldwide.Africa has also been declared free of the last remaining strain of wild poliovirus.The disease is now only found in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- Global Polio Eradication Initiative(GPEI): It is a public-private partnership led by national governments with five partners – WHO, Rotary International, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, the vaccine alliance.Its goal is to eradicate polio worldwide.
News: Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment will launch ‘Kiran’, a
mental health rehabilitation helpline number.
- Kiran: It is a toll-free mental health rehabilitation helpline number that aims to provide support for early screening, psychological support, distress management, mental wellbeing psychological crisis among others.
- It will offer support in 13 languages for any individual, family, NGOs, parent associations, professional associations, rehabilitation institutes, hospitals or anyone in need of support across the country.
News: NITI Aayog will virtually launch the India Component of the Nationally Determined Contributions(NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia(TIA).
- NDC Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA): The initiative aims to promote a comprehensive approach to decarbonize transport in India, Vietnam and China over the period 2020-24.
- Supported by: It is supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Ministry for the Environment and Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety(BMU).
- Implementation: It is implemented by seven organisations namely: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit(GIZ) , International Council on Clean Transportation(ICCT), World Resources Institute(WRI), International Transport Forum(ITF),Agora Verkehrswende (AGORA), Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport(SLoCaT) and Foundation and Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century(REN21).
- Indian Component: The India Component is implemented by six consortium organisations all except SLoCaT.On behalf of the Government of India, NITI Aayog will be the implementing partner.
- NDC-TIA India Component will focus on establishing a multi-stakeholder dialogue platform for decarbonizing transport in India.
- Intended Nationally Determined Contributions(INDC): The Paris Agreement(2015) requires all Parties to put forward their best efforts to address climate change through INDC’s and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead.
- India’s intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) under Paris Agreement:
- reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33% to 35% by 2030 from 2005 level,
- increase total cumulative electricity generation from fossil free energy sources to 40% by 2030,
- Create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons through additional forest and tree cover.
News: Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) chairman has constituted a five-member expert committee to review the charter of duties for all laboratories of the DRDO and to focus on indigenous development of futuristic technologies.
- Headed by: The committee is headed by Professor V. Ramagopal Rao, Director, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi.
- Terms of Reference:
- To study and review the charter of duties of all the labs of the DRDO
- To redefine the charter of duties of the labs on the current and futuristic defence and battlefield scenario and
- To minimise the overlap of technologies amongst the labs.
News: The World Health Organization(WHO) has warmed against ‘vaccine nationalism’ and said that this will only help the virus and could also lead to a spike in prices of the vaccine.
- Vaccine Nationalism: When a country manages to secure doses of vaccines for its own citizens or residents and prioritises its own domestic markets before they are made available in other countries it is known as ‘vaccine nationalism’.
- This is done through pre-purchase agreements between a government and a vaccine manufacturer.
- COVAX Facility: It is led by WHO, Gavi and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations(CEPI) with the aim to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
News: Ministry of Women and Child Development has invited nominations for the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar-2021.
- Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar: The award was instituted in 1996.It was earlier known as National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement.
- Aim: To give recognition to children with exceptional abilities and outstanding achievements in the fields of innovation, scholastic achievements, bravery, social service, arts & culture and sports.
- Bal Kalyan Puraskar: It was instituted in 1979 and was earlier known as National Child Welfare Awards.
- Aim: To give recognition to those who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of Child Development, Child Protection and Child Welfare.
- Categories: The award is given in two categories – Individual and Institution.Three awards are given in each of these two categories along with cash prizes.
News: The National Health Authority (NHA) has released the Draft Health Data Management Policy of the National Digital Health Mission(NDHM) in the public domain.
- Objective: To provide adequate guidance and set out a framework for the secure processing of personal and sensitive data of individuals who are a part of the national digital health ecosystem.
- Who will this policy apply to? The policy will apply to the entities involved in the National Digital Health Mission(NDHM) and those who are a part of the National Digital Health Ecosystem(NDHE) such as health care professionals, NHA among others.
Key Highlights of the Policy:
- Sensitive personal information: The Information that can be collected from citizens includes sexual orientation, sex life, mental health, caste or religious data as well as genetic data.It also includes financial information such as bank account details among others.
- Consent: Any personal data can be collected only on consent from the individuals and they will be allowed to revoke their consent to restrict any sharing of personal data.
- Storage of Data: Data collected across the National Digital Health Ecosystem(NDHE) will be stored at the central level, the state or Union Territory level and at the health facility level.
- Data Management: Any agency or personnel that have access to personal medical data of people enrolling in the NDHM will have to formulate and implement a personal data breach management mechanism and this will be publicly displayed.
- Breach of Data: Any instance of unauthorised or accidental disclosure or sharing of personal data that compromises its confidentiality and integrity should have to be reported promptly to the NHA and other relevant authorities.The persons responsible for such a breach will be liable to punishment.
- NDHM: It is a voluntary healthcare programme that aims to reduce the gap among stakeholders such as doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers by bringing them together and connecting them in an integrated digital health infrastructure.
- Components: The mission comprises six key building blocks or digital systems namely HealthID, DigiDoctor, Health Facility Registry, Personal Health Records, e-Pharmacy & telemedicine.
- Implementation: The National Health Authority(NHA) would design, build, roll-out and implement the mission.