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Daily PIB Analysis For UPSC/IAS | Download PDF

Date: 16 April 2019

Cabinet

  • Cabinet approves MoU between India and Bolivia on Cooperation in the Field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bolivia in the Field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy. The MoU was signed in Bolivia in March, 2019.

Impact:

  •  The MoU will provide a framework for cooperation, and will be mutually beneficial between the two countries for promotion of traditional systems of medicine and homoeopathy.
  •  It will lead to promotion and propagation of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy in Bolivia, and will boost the importance of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) systems of Medicine in Bolivia.
  •  The MoU will further facilitate exchange of experts for training for the practitioners and Scientists undertaking collaborative research, which will lead to new innovations in drug development and practice in Traditional Systems of Medicine.
  • Bolivia is seeking Indian investment in developing its massive lithium deposits, which account for 60% of the world’s reserves.

Cabinet

  • Cabinet approves MoU between India and Bolivia on Cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given expost facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bolivia on Cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources.
  • The MoU was signed in Bolivia in March, 2019.
  •  A delegation from Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) recently visited the Lithium Triangle countries in South America (comprising Chile, Argentina and Bolivia) to explore opportunities in the mining of Lithium. Significantly, as India looks to set up large lithium-ion battery plants, these countries have offered to meet India’s growing demand for lithium, reported The Financial Express.
  • KABIL is a consortium of three public sector companies including National Aluminum Company (NALCO), Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd (MECL).
  •  It has been formed by the Ministry of Mines, Government of India, to identify, explore, acquire, develop and process strategic minerals overseas.
  •  As India aims to achieve an all-electric car fleet by 2030, it has started reaching out to the ‘Lithium Triangle’ in South America.

Ministry of Defence

  • Successful Trial of 'Nirbhay' Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) today successfully test fired indigenously designed & developed Long Range Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile “Nirbhay” from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur Odisha.
  • It is the sixth development flight trial with objective to prove the repeatability of boost phase, cruise phase using way point navigation at very low altitudes. The missile took off vertically turning horizontally into desired direction, booster separated, wing deployed, engine started, cruised all the intended waypoints. The missile demonstrated its sea-skimming capability to cruise at very low altitudes.
  • The entire flight was fully tracked by a chain of Electro Optical Tracking Systems, Radars and Ground Telemetry Systems deployed all along the sea coast.
  •  The state-of-the-art missile, which can be deployed from multiple platforms, was test-fired at 11.44 am from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur.
  •  Describing the trial "successful", they said the missile, which is capable of loitering and cruising at 0.7 Mach at altitude as low as 100 metre, covered the designated target range in 42 minutes and 23 seconds. the Nirbhay missile can carry warheads of up to 300 kg,

Ministry of Earth Science

  • South west monsoon seasonal rainfall over the country likely to be normal.
  • Summary of the Forecast Assessment:
  •  Southwest monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be near normal.
  • Quantitatively, the monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall is likely to be 96% of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of ± 5%. The LPA of the season rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1951-2000 is 89 cm.
  •  Weak El Niño conditions are likely to prevail during the monsoon season with reduced intensity in the later part of the season.
  • The sea surface temperature (SST) conditions over the Pacific (El Niño/La Niña) and Indian Oceans (Indian Ocean Dipole-IOD) which are known to have strong influence on Indian monsoon are being continuously monitored. Overall, the country is expected to have well distributed rainfall scenario during the 2019 monsoon season, which will be beneficial to farmers in the country during the ensuing kharif season.
  • IMD will issue the second stage Monsoon-2019 Forecast during the first week of June, 2019.

  1. Background
  • India Meteorological Department (IMD) issues operational forecast for the southwest monsoon season (June to September) rainfall for the country as a whole in two stages. The first stage forecast is issued in April and the second stage forecast is issued in June. These forecasts are prepared using state-of-the-art Statistical Ensemble Forecasting system (SEFS) and using the dynamical coupled Ocean-Atmosphere global Climate Forecasting System (CFS) model developed under Monsoon Mission of the Ministry of Earth Sciences. IMD’s SEFS model for the April forecast uses the following 5 predictors that require data upto March.

  1. Forecast for the 2019 Southwest monsoon Season (June – September) rainfall over the country as a whole
  • Forecast based on the Monsoon Mission CFS Model For generating the forecast for the 2019 southwest Monsoon season rainfall, global atmospheric and oceanic initial conditions up to March 2019 were used involving 47 ensemble members.
  • The forecast based on the CFS model suggests that the monsoon rainfall during the 2019 monsoon season (June to September) averaged over the country as a whole is likely to be 94% ± 5% of the Long Period Average (LPA).
  • Forecast based on the Operational SEFS
  • Quantitatively, the monsoon seasonal rainfall is likely to be 96% of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of ± 5%.
  • The 5 category probability forecasts for the Seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole is given below:

  1. Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Conditions in the equatorial Pacific & Indian Oceans
  • At present, weak El Niño conditions (SST anomalies between 0.50 C & 1.00 C) are prevailing over the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The latest forecasts from the Monsoon Mission CFS & other global climate models indicate such conditions are likely to persist during the monsoon season but with reduced intensity in the later part of the monsoon season. It is noted that El Niño predictions made in February/March generally have more uncertainties compared to the El Niño predictions made in June.
  • At present, neutral IOD conditions are prevailing over the Indian Ocean. The latest forecasts from the models indicate positive IOD conditions development likely during the monsoon season. Positive IOD conditions tend to associate with the normal monsoon over India.

Ministry of Defence

  • AUSINDEX-19 Concludes
  • The Australian and Indian Navy have concluded a two-week long bilateral maritime exercise code-named AUSINDEX on 14 Apr 19.
  • Personnel from the Eastern Fleet bid farewell to Her Majesty's Australian Ships Canberra, Newcastle, Paramatta and Success with a promise to meet again.
  • The current edition of the exercise had the participation of the highest number of units thus far with four frontline ships with integral helicopters, one submarine and a variety of aircraft including P8I and P8A long-range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft took part from both navies. For the first time, 55 American and 20 New Zealand military personnel embarked onboard the RAN ships and witnessed the exercises during AUSINDEX-19.
  • The third edition of the exercise which commenced on 02 Apr 19 included a series of advanced warfare drills in all three dimensions comprising anti-submarine warfare exercises, air defense exercises, anti-surface warfare exercises including live-fire drills, replenishment at sea, and cross deck flying. The bilateral exercise was aimed “to strengthen and enhance mutual cooperation and interoperability between the IN and RAN, providing opportunities for interaction and exchange of professional views between the personnel of the two navies”.
  • WASHINGTON: India has shortage of an estimated 600,000 doctors and 2 million nurses, say scientists who found that lack of staff who are properly trained in administering antibiotics is preventing patients from accessing live-saving drugs.
  • Even when antibiotics are available, patients are often unable to afford them. High out-of-pocket medical costs to the patient are compounded by limited government spending for health services, according to the report by the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) in the US
  • In India, 65 per cent of health expenditure is out-of-pocket, and such expenditures push some 57 million people into poverty each year.
  • The majority of the world's annual 5.7 million antibiotic-treatable deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries where the mortality burden from treatable bacterial infections far exceeds the estimated annual 700,000 deaths from antibiotic-resistant infections.
  •  Researchers at CDDEP in the US conducted stakeholder interviews in Uganda, India, and Germany, and literature reviews to identify key access barriers to antibiotics in low-, middle-, and high-income countries.
  •  Health facilities in many low- and middle-income countries are substandard and lack staff who are properly trained in administering antibiotics.
  •  In India, there is one government doctor for every 10,189 people (the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a ratio of 1:1,000), or a deficit of 600,000 doctors, and the nurse:patient ratio is 1:483, implying a shortage of two million nurses.
  •  "Lack of access to antibiotics kills more people currently than does antibiotic resistance, but we have not had a good handle on why these barriers are created," said Ramanan Laxminarayan, director at CDDEP.
  •  The findings of the report show that even after the discovery of a new antibiotic, regulatory hurdles and substandard health facilities delay or altogether prevent widespread market entry and drug availability," Laxminarayan said in a statement.
  •  "Our research shows that of 21 new antibiotics entering markets between 1999 and 2014, less than five were registered in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Just the mere existence of an effective antibiotic does not mean that they are available in countries where they are most needed," said Laxminarayan.