9 PM Current Affairs Brief – May 27, 2019

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ICMR head Balram Bhargava wins Dr. Lee Jong-wook Prize for Public Health

  1. Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) Professor Balram Bhargava has been awarded the 2019 Dr Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health at the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva.
  2. He bagged the award for his achievements as a clinician, innovator, researcher and trainer.
  3. The Dr Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health was established in 2008.It is awarded to individuals, institutions, and governmental or nongovernmental organizations who have made an outstanding contribution to public health.
  4. The prize is awarded once a year and consists of a plaque from the Founder and a sum of money which will not exceed US$ 100,000.It is presented at a special ceremony during the World Health Assembly.
  5. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is the apex and premier medical research organization in the country which spearheads planning, formulation, coordination, implementation and promotion of biomedical research. It is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world. It works under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

NIMHANS battery can assess disabilities: govt.

  1. The Central Government has told the Delhi High Court that learning disabilities can be diagnosed by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) battery. It is a tool which ascertains the degree of the disability.
  2. This submission was made while hearing a plea by a petitioner who claimed that there is no method or criteria fixed for ascertaining the percentage of disability in learning disability cases.
  3. The Centre said that anyone who tests positive according to the battery, would be considered as 40% disabled and they would be eligible for all the attendant benefits.
  4. The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences is a premier medical institution located in Bangalore, India. NIMHANS is the apex centre for mental health and neuroscience education in the country. The institute operates autonomously under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  5. Learning disabilities have also been included in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.The act seeks to enhance the Rights and Entitlements of disabled people and provide an effective mechanism for ensuring their empowerment and true inclusion into the society.

Narendra Modi to be sworn in as Prime Minister for second term on May 30

  1. Exercising powers vested in him under Article 75 (1) of the Constitution of India, the President of India has appointed Narendra Modi to the office of Prime Minister of India.
  2. According to Article 75 of the Indian Constitution, the Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
  3. Further, the article says that ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the President. The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People.
  4. Before a Minister enters upon his office, the President shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.
  5. A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of either House of Parliament shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.
  6. The salaries and allowances of Ministers shall be such as Parliament may from time to time by law determine and, until Parliament so determines, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule.

Govt. has to take concrete steps to transform forces

  1. According to defence experts, the newly elected government should take steps on reforms required in the defence arena to overhaul the country’s entire defence establishment.
  2. The government needs to (a)right-size the 15-lakh strong armed forces (b)formulate a coherent national security strategy to boost the private sector’s role in arms production and (c)plugging critical operational military gaps through faster acquisitions.
  3. The armed forces also need more money to plug their critical shortages, ranging from fighters and helicopters to submarines and minesweepers, with only 25% of the annual defence budget being left for modernization due to the high salary and pension bills.
  4. Another area which requires reform is the defence production one where India continues to languish in the strategically-vulnerable position of being the world’s largest arms importer.
  5. This will require reforming the DRDO, Ordnance Factory Board, defence PSUs and encouraging the private sector to jump into defence production in a mission-mode manner.
  6. Further, there is the reform of a creation of chief of defence staff (CDS) post which has not been done despite the GoM report after the 1999 Kargil conflict strongly recommending it. Subsequent commissions including the Naresh Chandra Taskforce in 2012 and the Lt-Gen D B Shekatkar Committee in 2016 had also recommended it.

Could only request, not demand PM for SCS to Andhra, says Jagan Reddy

  1. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister-designate has met Prime Minister to raise the unfulfilled demand of the Special Category Status (SCS) for the state.
  2. Andhra Pradesh has said that following the bifurcation of A.P, Andhra lost a large volume of its revenue due to Hyderabad remaining the capital of Telangana. Further, oral submission by the then PM in 2014 has also been the basis for A.P.’s claim to the Special category status.
  3. Special Category Status used to be granted to some regions that have historically been at a disadvantage compared with the rest of the country.
  4. There is no provision of special category status in the Constitution, the Central government extends financial assistance to states that are at a comparative disadvantage against others. The concept of SCS emerged in 1969 when the Gadgil formula (that determined Central assistance to states) was approved.
  5. The guidelines for getting SCS status includes:(a) hilly and difficult terrain (b) low population density or the presence of sizeable tribal population (c)strategic location along international borders,(d) economic and infrastructural backwardness and (e) non-viable nature of State finances.
  6. Initially, three states namely (a) Assam (b) Nagaland and (c) Jammu & Kashmir were accorded special category status. And later on eight other states were also given special category status namely:(d) Arunachal Pradesh (e)Meghalaya (f)Mizoram (g) Uttarakhand (h) Tripura (I) Himachal Pradesh (j) Sikkim and (h) Manipur. However, Manipur lost the special category status owing to the Fourteenth Finance Commission recommendations.
  7. Following the constitution of the NITI Aayog and the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission (FFC), Central planned assistance to SCS States has been subsumed in an increased devolution of the divisible pool to States (from 32% in the 13th FC recommendations to 42%).
  8. SCS states enjoy concessions in excise and customs duties and income tax rates. Besides, assistance to Centrally Sponsored Schemes for SCS States is given with 90% Central share and 10% State share.

Auditors to check Sabarimala register

  1. The local fund audit wing of the Kerala state government will scrutinise the Thiruvabharanam Register showing the stock of gold and silver offered by devotees to the Sabarimala temple over the past several years.
  2. The local fund audit wing has been entrusted with the task of conducting concurrent audit at Sabarimala on the basis of an order issued by the Kerala High Court 25 years ago. The order came after allegations of improper maintenance of the stock register.
  3. The Sabarimala temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. It is situated on a hilltop named Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala.
  4. In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that women, irrespective of age, can enter Kerala’s Sabarimala temple. Previously, girls and women in the 10-50 age group were prohibited from entering the Sabarimala temple.

Madhya Pradesh’s Orchha makes it to tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  1. The Orchha town of Madhya Pradesh has been included in UNESCO’s tentative list of world heritage sites following a proposal sent by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
  2. Orchha is located in Niwari district of Madhya Pradesh. It is situated on the banks of the Betwa River.
  3. Orchha was built by King Rudra Pratap Singh of Bundela dynasty in the 16th century.
  4. The ancient town is famous for its Chaturbhuj Temple, Orchha fort complex, Raja Mahal among others.
  5. Orchha is also famous for its two elevated minaret called Saavan and Bhadon. The town has four palaces — Jahangir Palace, Raj Mahal, Sheesh Mahal and Rai Praveen Mahal.
  6. Further, it is also famous for its concept of open bungalows, stone work windows, animal statues depicting the culture of Bundelkhand. The Bundela architecture has Mughal influence since the two dynasties were very close.
  7. Orchha is also the only place in India where Lord Ram is worshipped as a king with a dedicated temple in his name called Sri Ram Raja Mandir.
  8. A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity.
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