9 PM Current Affairs Brief – December 3rd, 2019

National Rabies Control programme(NRCP)

News:Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare) has informed Lok Sabha about the National Rabies Control Programme(NRCP).


About National Rabies Control Programme(NRCP):

  • National Rabies Control Programme was approved during 12th FYP by Standing Finance Committee in 2013 as Central Sector Scheme.

Objectives of NRCP:

  • Training of Health Care professionals on appropriate Animal bite management and Rabies Post Exposure Prophylaxis.
  • Advocacy for states to adopt and implement Interdermal route of Post exposure prophylaxis for Animal bite Victims and Pre exposure prophylaxis for high risk categories.
  • Strengthening Human Rabies Surveillance System.
  • Strengthening of Regional Laboratories under NRCP for Rabies Diagnosis.
  • Creating awareness in the community through Advocacy & Communication and Social Mobilization.

Components of NRCP:The NRCP has both human and animal health components.

  • Human Component:It is being implemented in all the states & UT by the National Centre for Disease Control.
  • Animal Component:It is being pilot tested in the Haryana & Chennai under the Animal Welfare Board of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests.

Problems with NRCP:

  • Under NRCP Programme, the funds are not provided for procurement of Anti- Rabies vaccine(ARV).
  • As there is rabies elimination drive by 2030 globally,there is significant demand of Anti Rabies Vaccine and Serum from the neighboring countries like Myanmar, Malaysia and the Philippines and these countries are importing vaccine from India.This is leading to a shortage of vaccines in India.
  • Hence,all the rabies vaccine manufacturers have been told to ensure that the manufacturing of ARV is carried out with full capacity and first preference may be accorded to meet domestic requirements.

Additional information:

About Rabies:

  • Rabies is caused by Ribonucleic Acid(RNA) virus that is present in the saliva of a rabid animal.It is transmitted following a bite of a rabid animal that leads to deposition of the saliva and the virus in the wound.
  • The death invariably occurs in four days to two weeks due to cardio-respiratory failure.However,the time interval between the bite and occurrence of symptoms varies from four days to two years or rarely even more.
  • Thus,it is important to remove the virus from the wound as early as possible by immediately washing the wound with water and soap followed by application of antiseptics that reduce chances of nerve infection.

Status of Rabies in India:

  • According to the Health Ministry’s data,India accounts for more than one-third of the world’s rabies deaths.
  • India has a population of 30 million stray dogs which cause 96% of rabies in humans.Each year,as many as 20,000 people die due to the vaccine-preventable fatality.

Blue Flag Certification for beaches

News:Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has informed Rajya Sabha about the implementation of Blue Flag Certification for select beaches in the country.


About Blue flag Certification:

  • The Blue Flag certification is given to environmental- friendly, clean beaches, marinas which are equipped with amenities of international standards for tourists.
  • The certification programme is run by international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).
  • The programme was started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987 and in areas outside Europe since 2001.
  • The certification is based on 33 stringent criteria in four major heads (i) Environmental Education and Information (ii) Bathing Water Quality, (iii) Environment Management and Conservation and (iv) Safety and Services in the beaches.
  • Spain has the highest number of Blue Flag beaches followed by, Greece and France.Japan and South Korea are the only countries in Asia to have Blue Flag beaches.

Blue flag programme in India:

  • The Union Environment Ministry has selected 13 beaches in India to compete for the ‘Blue Flag’ certification.
  • The 13 beaches are Ghoghla Beach (Diu), Shivrajpur beach (Gujarat), Bhogave (Maharashtra), Padubidri and Kasargod (Karnagaka), Kappad beach (Kerala), Kovalam beach (Tamil Nadu), Eden beach (Puducherry), Rushikonda beach (Andhra Pradesh), Miramar beach (Goa), Golden beach (Odisha), Radhanagar beach (Andaman & Nicobar Islands) and Bangaram beach (Lakshadweep) and Rushikonda beach(Andhra Pradesh).

Pradhan Mantri Yuva Udyamita Vikas Abhiyaan (PM YUVA) Yojana

News:Minister of State for Skill Developement has informed Lok Sabha about the Pradhan Mantri Yuva Udyamita Vikas Abhiyaan (PM YUVA) Yojana.


About PM YUVA:

  • Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana (Yuva Udyamita Vikas Abhiyan) is a centrally sponsored Scheme launched in 2016.
  • The scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India.
  • The aim of the scheme is to create an enabling ecosystem by 2021 for entrepreneurship development through entrepreneurship education & training, advocacy, and easy access to entrepreneurship network.

Objectives of PM-YUVA:PM-YUVA Yojana has four specific objectives

  • Educate and equip potential and early stage entrepreneurs
  • Connect entrepreneurs in enabling networks of peers, mentors, incubators, funding and business services
  • Coordinate and support entrepreneurs through Entrepreneurship Hubs(E-Hubs)
  • Catalyze a culture shift to support aspiring entrepreneurs.

Beneficiaries of the scheme:The target beneficiaries of the scheme are categorized as follows:

  • Traditional students enrolled in degree programme across undergraduate/ postgraduate courses/ PhD programme/ Diploma
  • School Students
  • Students in Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs)
  • All citizens including unorganized sector, women, and existing entrepreneurs in rural as well as urban areas, who would like to take up entrepreneurship education through coordination and support programmes.

Saudi Arabia takes over G20 presidency from Japan

News:Saudi Arabia has became the first Arab nation to take over the G20 Presidency on December 1,2019.


About G20 Summit,2020:

  • Saudi Arabia will host the G20 Summit in its capital, Riyadh on November 21,2020.
  • The theme of Summit- “Realising Opportunities of the 21st Century for All”.

Objectives of G20 Summit,2020:

  • Empowering People by creating the conditions in which all people mainly women and youth can live, work and thrive.
  • Safeguarding the Planet by fostering collective efforts to protect our global common-pool resources.
  • Shaping New Frontiers by adopting long-term and bold strategies to share the benefits of innovation and technological advancement.​

Additional information:

Origin of G20:

  • G20 is an international group initially founded in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis as a forum for finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries and the European Union.
  • In 2008, in the midst of the global financial crisis, the US President had invited the leaders of the G20 members to coordinate actions in order to respond to the crisis giving the start to the actual G20 Leaders Summit.
  • Since 2010 the meeting is held annually and the host country changes every year.
  • The G20 have no permanent staff of its own and its chairmanship rotates annually between nations divided into regional groupings.

Objectives of G20:

  • Policy coordination between its members in order to achieve global economic stability, sustainable growth
  • To promote financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future financial crises and
  • To create a new international financial architecture.

Significance of G20:

  • The G20 brings together the leaders of both developed and developing countries from every continent. ​
  • The group accounts for 85% of world GDP and two-thirds of the population.

Modernisation of Eklavya Model Residential Schools

News:The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has informed Lok Sabha about the financial assistance for upgradation/ modernisation of already sanctioned Eklavya Model Residential Schools(EMRSs).


About Eklavya Model Residential Schools(EMRS):

  • EMRS is a Government of India scheme for model residential school for Scheduled Tribes across India.
  • It is one of the flagship interventions of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs,Government of India.
  • It was introduced in the year 1997-98 to ensure tribal students get access to quality education in the remote tribal areas.
  • EMRSs are set up in States/UTs with grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India.
  • As per the budget 2018-19,every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons will have an Eklavya Model Residential School by the year 2022.

Objectives of EMRS:

  • Comprehensive physical, mental and socially relevant development of all students enrolled in each and every EMRS
  • Focus differentially on the educational support to be made available to those in Standards XI and XII and those in standards VI to X, so that their distinctive needs can be met,
  • Support the annual running expenses in a manner that offers reasonable remuneration to the staff and upkeep of the facilities and
  • Support the construction of infrastructure that provides education, physical environmental and cultural needs of student life.

Minor Forest Produce (MFP)

News:Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs has informed Lok Sabha about the Minor Forest Produce(MFP).


About Minor Forest Produce:

  • Minor Forest Produce(MFP) is a subset of forest produce.The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act,2006 defines minor forest produce as all non-timber forest produce of plant origin.
  • These include bamboo, brushwood, stumps, canes, cocoon, honey, waxes, Lac, tendu leaves, medicinal plants and herbs, roots among others.

About MSP for MFP scheme:

  • The Minimum Support Price(MSP) for MFP scheme was started by the Government of India in 2013 to ensure fair and remunerative prices to MFP gatherers.It is a Central Sector scheme.

Objectives:The scheme has been started with following objectives:

  • To provide a fair price to the MFP gatherers for the produce collected by them and enhance their income level
  • To ensure sustainable harvesting of MFPs.
  • The Scheme will have a huge social dividend for MFP gatherers, majority of whom are tribals.


  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs,Government of India is the Nodal Ministry for implementation of the scheme.
  • TRIFED acts as the Central Nodal Agency for implementation and monitoring of the scheme through State level implementing agencies.
  • Further,the State designated agencies will undertake procurement of notified MFPs directly from MFP gatherers at haats notified procurement centers at grass root level at prefixed Minimum Support Price.

Additional information:

About MSP:

  • MSP is the minimum price paid to farmers for procuring food crops.It is announced by the Government at the beginning of the sowing season.
  • There are two objectives of the Minimum Support Price system (a)To prevent distress sale by the farmers in case of a bumper crop and (b)To procure the grains for public distribution by fair price shops.


  • Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) was established in 1987.It functions under the administrative control of Ministry of Tribal affairs.
  • The basic objective of the TRIFED is to provide good price to the products made or collected from the forest by the tribal people.

Explained: The Monarchy in Sweden and India-Sweden Relations

News:Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen has arrived in India for a five-day visit aimed at strengthening bilateral ties.


About Swedish Monarchy:

  • A monarchy is a form of government in which total sovereignty is invested in one person, a head of state called a monarch who holds the position until death or abdication.
  • The Swedish monarchy is one of the oldest in the world. According to the website of the Swedish Royal Court,the country has had a monarch for more than 1,000 years.

Key takeaways from the Sweden king’s visit to India:

  • The two countries inaugurated the India-Sweden High-Level Dialogue on innovation policy with a focus on areas such as digital health, artificial intelligence (AI), future mobility and circular economy.
  • They have also signed an agreement on science cooperation in the polar regions.

India-Sweden Relations:

  • The diplomatic ties between India and Sweden were established in the year 1949.
  • But the High level contacts between the two countries began in 1957, when Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited Sweden.
  • After that,the two countries enjoyed an excellent relationship and cooperate widely in regional and international fora.
  • The Indo-Swedish Joint Commission for Economic, Industrial and Scientific Cooperation was also established at the level of the Ministers of Commerce and Industry in India and the Swedish Minister for Foreign Trade and EU Affairs.
  • During the visit of the President of India to Sweden in 2015, the two sides agreed to reach the ambitious total trade target of US $5 billion by 2018.
  • However,bilateral trade fell to US $1.9 billion in 2016-17 as compared to about US $2.17 billion in 2015-16.

Curtain Raiser Exercise Hand-in-Hand-2019

News:The 8th India-China joint training exercise ‘HAND-IN-HAND 2019’ is scheduled to be conducted at Umroi,Meghalaya.


About the exercise:

  • The Hand-in-Hand exercise is a joint military exercise between India and China.It was held for the first time in the year 2007.
  • This years exercise will be held with the theme counter terrorism under United Nations mandate.
  • The aim of the exercise is to practice joint planning and conduct of counter terrorist operations in semi urban terrain.
  • There are two tactical exercises which are scheduled during the training which are (a)one on counter terrorism scenario and the other on (b)Humanitarian and Disaster Relief(HADR) operations.

Additional information:

  • This exercise comes in the backdrop of India conducting the Him Vijay Exercise in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The exercise was conducted to test mobility, communication and coordination of such a huge body of fast-moving troops in difficult terrain.
  • However,China had raised strong objection to this Him Vijay military exercise.

Telling numbers: Nearly 3 out of 5 babies and children in India are anaemic

News:Minister for Health and Family Welfare has informed Lok Sabha about the prevalence of Anaemia among women and children in India.


About the prevalence of anaemia:

  • The data is based on the findings of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) IV which divides the incidence of anaemia into ‘Mild’, ‘Moderate’ and ‘Severe’ kinds for both rural and urban India.
  • The data provides that as many as 58.5% of children between the ages of 6 months and 59 months and 53.1% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 years are anaemic in the country.
  • Among anaemic women and children in urban and rural India,29.8% of children in rural India suffer from moderate anaemia and 40.3% of women in the villages are mildly anaemic.

Additional information:

About Anaemia:

  • The World Health Organization defines anaemia as a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet physiological needs.
  • Anaemia in men can cause fatigue, lethargy, creates difficulty in concentrating thereby reducing the quality of life and decreasing economic productivity.
  • An estimated 1.9 billion people had anaemia in 2013, which is 27% of the world’s population, and 93% of these cases occur in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Factors such as consuming smokeless tobacco, being underweight, level of urbanisation and household wealth are associated with a higher probability of developing the disease.

About Anaemia Mukt Bharat:

  • The scheme has been launched in the year 2018 as part of Intensified National Iron Plus Initiative(NIPI) Program for accelerating the annual rate of decline of anaemia from one to three percentage points.
  • The scheme has a 6x6x6 strategy that is targeting six age groups with six interventions and six institutional mechanisms.
  • The six target age groups include pre-school children (6-59 months), children (5-9 years), adolescent girls (10-19 years), adolescent boys (10-19 years), women of reproductive age group (15-49), and pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • Among the six interventions are prophylactic iron folic acid supplementation, periodic deworming and addressing non-nutritional causes of anaemia in endemic pockets with special focus on malaria, haemoglobinopathies and fluorosis.
  • Further,the institutional mechanisms include a National Anaemia Mukt Bharat Unit, a National Centre of Excellence and Advanced Research on Anaemia Control.
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