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Daily PIB Analysis For UPSC/IAS | Download PDF -

Date: 18 February 2019

Ministry of Science & Technology

  • Two Day One Health India Conference Inaugurated in New Delhi. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology in partnership with the Departments of Agriculture Research and Education (DARE) and Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries (DAHDF), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare; the Departments of Health Research (DHR) and Health & Family Welfare (DHFW), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, is hosting the “One Health India Conference”. The conference plans to launch India's new One Health Initiative - an intersectoral approach to tackling the most urgent health threats in India as well as in low and middle income countries across South and South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Inaugurating the conference Union Science & Technology Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the subject matter “One Health” dealing with human and animal health together in interaction with the environment in an integrated manner is an urgent need for protecting the global health and secure livelihoods. The Union Minister further stated that to address One Health there is a need to have a collaborative, multisectoral and trans disciplinary approach for designing and implementing programmes, policies and legislation supported by basic and applied research.


  • India is among the top geographical hotspots where zoonotics diseases are major public health issue causing high burden of morbidity and mortality. High priority zoonotic diseases like Brucellosis have been emerged from Haryana to Goa, incidence and prevalence of occupational zoonotic disease like Anthrax have affected human health throughout. Similarly, Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a chronic disease of cattle that impacts productivity and represents a major public health threat and is considered endemic in India. Further, being among the highest bacterial disease burden in the world, antibiotics, therefore, have a critical role in limiting morbidity and morality and consequently Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has huge implications for India.


  • Speaking on Anti Microbial Resistance, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that estimates of global antibiotic use in poultry, swine and cattle in 2010 indicate that India accounts for 3 percent of global consumption and is among the top consumers worldwide, along with China, the United States, Brazil and Germany. “Use of antibiotics in chickens, in particular, is expected to triple in India by 2030 and therefore it is important to regulate the use of antibiotics in animals as well as humans to tackle the issue. It is also important to monitor the presence of antibiotic residues in animal food products as their presence can give chance to microbes to acquire resistance.”, said Dr. Vardhan.


  • The main objective of the conference is to formulate a roadmap for the response, preparedness, and management of current regional, national and global health challenges using a One Health collaborative approach. It is known that 60% of human diseases are of animal origin and many of them have developed resistance to major antibiotics in nature and share the ecosystems they live and infect animal and humans. Therefore, the conference deliberations are focused on identifying needs and opportunities and developing a strategy map to addressing major human and animal diseases of concern including Brucellosis, Tuberculosis, Anthrax, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), together with biosafety, biosecurity, burden of disease and inter-sectoral collaboration considerations.


  • The conference is bringing together thought-leaders from India and around the globe, providing a platform for researchers, medical and veterinary practitioners, public and private sector stakeholders, and policymakers to integrate knowledge and identify needs and opportunities to better coordinate activities and address major human, animal, and environmental health challenges.


  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals (IAH&VB) of the Karnataka Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and The Pennsylvania State University, USA will be collaborating with the partners of the One Health Initiative.

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment

  • NDDTC, AIIMS submits report “Magnitude of Substance use in India” to M/O Social Justice & Empowerment
  • National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi submitted its Report “Magnitude of Substance Use in India” sponsored by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment .
  • Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Vijay Sampla was present on the occasion. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has conducted a “National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India” through the NDDTC of AIIMS, New Delhi during 2018 which provides data at the National level as well as at the State level. The Survey was conducted by a team of NDDTC led by Dr. Atul Ambedkar.
  • The last National Survey on the extent, pattern and trend of drug abuse was sponsored by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in the year 2000-2001. The report was published in 2004. However, the Survey did not give any State level estimates.


  • A combination of two data collection approaches was employed in this Survey:
  • A Household Survey (HHS) was conducted among the representative, general population (10-75 years old) of all the 36 states and UTs of the country. This was aimed primarily at studying the use of common, legal substances (like Alcohol and Cannabis). At the national level, a total of 200,111 households were visited in 186 districts and a total of 473,569 individuals were interviewed.
  • A Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) survey along with multiplier approach was conducted in 123 districts among 70,293 people suffering from dependence on illicit drugs. This was aimed primarily for estimating the prevalence of dependence on illicit drug (since the HHS tends to underestimate illicit drug use).


  • Substance categories studied were: Alcohol, Cannabis (Bhang and Ganja/Charas), Opioids (Opium, Heroin and Pharmaceutical Opioids), Cocaine, Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS), Sedatives, Inhalants and Hallucinogens. Major findings of this Survey at the National level as well as at the State level are as follows : Alcohol : At the national level, about 14.6% of people (among 10-75 year old) are current users of alcohol, i.e. about 16 Crore people. Prevalence is 17 times higher among men than women. Among people consuming alcohol in India, Country liquor (‘desi’) (about 30%) and spirits (IMFL – Indian Made Foreign Liquor) (about 30%) are the predominantly consumed beverages. About 5.2% of Indians (more than 5.7 crore people) are estimated to be affected by harmful or dependent alcohol use. In other words, every third alcohol user in India needs help for alcohol related problems. States with the high prevalence of alcohol use are Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Punjab, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa. States with high prevalence (more than 10%) of alcohol use disorders are: Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, and Arunachal Pradesh.

Ministry of Railways

  • Modern Coach Factory (Raebareli) as a shining example of “Make in India” In August 2014 the first coach was rolled out and since then it has doubled production almost every year. It is expected to produce 1,422 coaches in 2018- 19 of which 1,220 coaches have already been produced till date. MCF has least cost among all Production Units of Indian Railways for coaches produced. New concepts such as extensive use of Robotics, automation etc. are being implemented in MCF. To augment production, it is planned that Vande Bharat Express train sets too will be manufactured here.


  • Foundation Stone of Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Raebareli was laid in February 2007. But construction began only in May 2010. The factory was slated to produce 1,000 coaches. However, between 2011-14, it only did minor work on some coaches brought from Kapurthala. Only 375 coaches were thus refurbished between 2011 to 2014 when it should have been manufacturing coaches completely.


  • Since, 2014 the unit has been a priority area. In July 2014, MCF was declared a Production Unit of Indian Railways. Within a month it started production of fully formed coaches. Since then it has doubled production almost every year: 140 coaches in 2014-15, 285 in 2015-16, 576 in 2016- 17, 711 in 2017-18. It is expected to produce 1,422 coaches in 2018-19. 1,220 coaches have already been produced till date. Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers India Pharma 2019 & India Medical Device 2019 Inaugurated; To be held in Bengaluru on 18th – 19th February Theme: “Enabling Quality Affordable Healthcare & Accelerating Growth to Achieve Universal Healthcare” Indian Medical Devices market to grow to USD 50 billion by 2025: Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda Government taking measures to help Indian pharmaceutical sector become Rs. 3 lakh crore market: Shri Mansukh Mandaviya The event is being organized by Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, along with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

    Ministry of Culture

  • President of India presents Tagore Awards for Cultural Harmony for the Years 2014, 2015 and 2016 The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented to Shri Rajkumar Singhajit Singh,
  •  Chhayanaut (a cultural organisation of Bangladesh) and â–ª Shri Ram Vanji Sutar respectively, at a function held in New Delhi today (February 18, 2019). 1. Shri Rajkumar Singhajit Singh is a highly accomplished and senior most guru, exponent, chorographer, prolific writer and scholar of Manipuri dance. His name is synonymous with the propagation of Manipuri dance both in and outside Manipur. 2. Chhayanaut is a cultural organization of Bangladesh which has played a leading role in the promotion of Tagore’s works and Bangla arts and literature not only within Bangladesh, but all across the world. It has also rushed to the aid of people at times of famines, floods or riots, bringing people together to resolve crisis with songs of protest on their lips. 3. Shri Ram Vanji Sutar is a renowned sculptor and scholar. He has made more than 600 monumental sculptures in last eighty years. He has sculptured the mammoth 182 meter high statue of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, the world’s tallest statue (The Statue of Unity) which has recently been installed at Sardar Sarovar Dam, Gujarat.