Daily Current Affairs 27 April 2018
World Immunization Week
World Immunization Week is celebrated from 24th- 30th of April by the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to increase awareness about vaccination.
Aim: It aims to highlight the collective action needed to ensure that every person is protected from vaccine- preventable diseases.
Theme: “Protected together, #Vaccines Work”.
Immunization saves millions of lives and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. Yet, there are more than 19 million unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children in the world, putting them at serious risk of these potentially fatal diseases. Of these children, 1 out of 10 never receive any vaccinations, and most likely have never been seen by the health system.
Why immunization matters now more than ever?
Expanding access to immunization is crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Routine immunization is a building block of strong primary health care and universal health coverage—it provides a point of contact for health care at the beginning of life and offers every child the chance at a healthy life from the start.
Immunization is also a fundamental strategy in achieving other health priorities, from controlling viral hepatitis, to curbing antimicrobial resistance, to providing a platform for adolescent health and improving antenatal and newborn care.
The Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) – endorsed by 194 Member States of the World Health Assembly in May 2012 – aims to prevent millions of deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases by 2020 through universal access to immunization. Despite improvements in individual countries and a strong global rate of new vaccine introduction, all of the GVAP targets for disease elimination—including measles, rubella, and maternal and neonatal tetanus—are behind schedule.
In order for everyone, everywhere to survive and thrive, countries must make more concerted efforts to reach GVAP goals by 2020. Additionally, those countries that have achieved or made forward progress towards achieving the goals must work to sustain those efforts over time – so that no person goes without life-saving vaccines.
World Press Freedom Index
World Press Freedom Index for the year 2018 has been released.
Published every year since 2002 by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the World Press Freedom Index is an important advocacy tool based on the principle of emulation between states.
What does it measure?
The Index ranks 180 countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists. It is a snapshot of the media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country. It does not rank public policies even if governments obviously have a major impact on their country’s ranking. Nor is it an indicator of the quality of journalism in each country.
Along with the Index, RSF calculates a global indicator and regional indicators that evaluate the overall performance of countries (in the world and in each region) as regards media freedom. It is an absolute measure that complements the Index’s comparative rankings. The global indicator is the average of the regional indicators, each of which is obtained by averaging the scores of all the countries in the region, weighted according to their population as given by the World Bank.
Press freedom map:
The press freedom map, which is distributed in print and digital versions, offers a visual overview of the sitution in each country in the Index. The colour categories are assigned as follows: good (white), fairly good (yellow), problematic (yellow), bad (red) and very bad (black).
Press Freedom Index 2018- Highlights:
- In this year’s index, Norway is first for the second year running, followed — as it was last year — by Sweden.
- India has dropped from rank 136 last year to rank 138 this year. India fared poorly on indicators such as hate speeches, attacks on journalists on social media, trolling them and targeting their reputation.
- SAARC nations: Afghanistan (118), Bhutan (94), Nepal (106), the Maldives (120), and Sri Lanka (131), all performed better than India; with Pakistan (139) and Bangladesh (146) performing worse.
- North Korea continues to rank last.
Bureau of Indian Standards
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) granted First Licence to M/s Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd for Liquid Chlorine on All India basis. This is the First Licence granted on All India basis. License for Liquid Chlorine will facilitate industry to get a quality product with Standard Mark under BIS Certification Marks scheme.
About Liquid Chlorine:
The product is in liquid form and stored in metal containers. It is usually used as a gas obtained by evaporating the liquid from the metal container. It is used mainly in paper, pulp, textile bleaching, water sterilization and manufacture of chemicals.
- The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the National Standards Body of India is a statutory organization under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986. The organisation was formerly the Indian Standards Institution (ISI), set up under a Resolution.
- It works under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India.
- The Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department having administrative control of the BIS is the ex-officio President of the BIS.
- As a corporate body, it has 25 members drawn from Central or State Governments, industry, scientific and research institutions, and consumer organisations.
Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service (INCOIS)
In Kerala, the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is planning to provide real-time information on the market price of fishes and allied news through the GPS-enabled GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN).
- GAGAN was develped by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at a cost of Rs. 774 crore, over 15 years.
- GAGAN will provide augmentation service for the GPS over the country, the Bay of Bengal, South East Asia and Middle East and up to Africa.
- Some of its benefits are improved efficiency, direct routes, increased fuel savings, approach with vertical guidance at runways, significant cost savings because of the withdrawal of ground aids and reduced workload of flight crew and air traffic controllers.
- Gagan works by augmenting and relaying data from GPS satellites with the help of two augmentation satellites and 15 earth-based reference stations.
- The system utilises the satellite-based wide area augmentation system (SBAS) technology which has been developed by Raytheon.
- India is the fourth country to offer space-based satellite navigation services to the aviation sector.
- The system bridges the gap in the coverage areas of the European Union’s European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and Japan’s Multi-functional Satellite Augmentation System (MSAS).
- The system would be available for the member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
- It is intended to serve as a low-cost substitute for instrument landing system (ILS) and provide very accurate route guidance for the aircraft to save time and fuel.
- The guided approach landing with the help of GAGAN would immediately benefit nearly 50 airports in India.
- Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is an autonomous organization of the Government of India, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
- INCOIS is mandated to provide the best possible ocean information and advisory services to society, industry, government agencies and the scientific community through sustained ocean observations and constant improvements through systematic and focussed research.
ESA’s space observatory Gaia
ESA’s Gaia mission has produced the richest star catalogue to date, including high-precision measurements of nearly 1.7 billion stars and revealing previously unseen details of our home Galaxy.
Preliminary analysis of this phenomenal data reveals fine details about the make-up of the Milky Way’s stellar population and about how stars move, essential information for investigating the formation and evolution of our Galaxy.
- Gaia is an ambitious mission to chart a three-dimensional map of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, in the process revealing the composition, formation and evolution of the Galaxy.
- The mission relies on a huge human collaboration to make sense of a large volume of highly complex data. It demonstrates the need for long-term projects to guarantee progress in space science and technology and to implement even more daring scientific missions of the coming decades.
- Launched on December 19, 2013, the Gaia satellite both rotates and orbits around the Earth, while surveying the sky with its two telescopes.
- Gaia will provide unprecedented positional and radial velocity measurements with the accuracies needed to produce a stereoscopic and kinematic census of about one billion stars in our Galaxy and throughout the Local Group. This amounts to about 1 per cent of the Galactic stellar population.
National Intellectual Property (IP) Award 2018
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is awarded the National Intellectual Property (IP) Award 2018 in the category “Top R&D Institution / Organization for Patents and Commercialization”.
About the award: The Indian Intellectual Property Office confers National Intellectual Property (IP) Award on outstanding innovators, organizations and companies in the fields of patents, designs, trademarks and geographical indications on the occasion of World IP Day every year.
First Woman Lawyer to be Appointed As Supreme Court Judge:
Senior lawyer Indu Malhotra will be the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a Supreme Court judge.
Of the top court’s 24 judges, only one is a woman, Justice R Banumathi. She was elevated to the top court in August 2014. Justice Banumathi was the sixth woman to become a Supreme Court judge. Justice Fathima Beevi was the first in 1989.
- Adults in India consume on an average about half the amount of calcium than required for healthy bones.
- Low calcium intake has been linked to lower bone-mineral density, which increases the risk of osteoporosis and broken bones.
- In India, the average calcium intake is only 429 mg per day against the requirement of 800-1000 mg per day.
- Countries in Asia, Africa and South America mostly have low calcium intakes, ranging between about 400 and 700 mg/day.
- Calcium is a major component of bone, accounting for between 30-35 per cent of its mass and much of its strength.
- Calcium regulates muscle contraction, plays a key role in normal blood coagulation, and also a co-factor for many enzymes.
- Calcium is not easily absorbed without the presence of vitamin D.
Monthly Payroll Data
- India has, for the first time, introduced monthly payroll reporting for the formal sector to facilitate analysis of new and continuing employment.
- The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) and the Pension fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) have released payroll data.
- Data released by EPFO shows that during September, 2017 to February, 2018, 31.10 lakh new additions across all age groups were made in the payroll.
- This data would provide a more firm basis for various analysis and studies of the economy, job creation, as also aid in policy making.
- Scientists have identified a new species of frog called Fejervarya goemchi in the highland plateaus of the Western Ghats parts of Goa.
- The new species is named after the historical name of the state of Goa where the species is discovered.
- Most of these frogs are terrestrial, but they need water bodies to survive.
- The new species is found in the high elevation areas of laterite plateaus, temporary water bodies and paddy fields of Goa.
Planet darker than charcoal
- Scientists have discovered a ‘pitch black’ planet 470 light-years away that absorbs 99% of light.
- This is one of the darkest planets ever discovered — reflecting very little light from its host star.
- The planet, named WASP-104b, was discovered by using NASA’s Kepler telescope to show that it is ‘darker than charcoal.’
- The planet was discovered orbiting a yellow dwarf star some 470 light-years away from earth in the constellation Leo.
- It is categorized as a ‘hot Jupiter’ planet, denoting gas giant planets of a similar mass to Jupiter, but is located much closer to their host stars – making them very hot.
Digital terrestrial television
- Doordarshan had introduced India’s first DTT services through an android application designed for android mobiles and television with no internet needed.
- Doordarshan is giving terrestrial transmission of Analog Channels since 15th September 1959.
- DD is migrating to digital terrestrial broadcasting.
- The advantages of going digital are that it can provide multiple program channels from one transmitter with better video and audio quality and better availability of signals on mobile and portable devices like handsets/tablets/PCs etc
- Digital terrestrial television is a technology for broadcast television in which land-based (terrestrial) television stations broadcast television content by radio waves to televisions in consumers’ residences in a digital format.