Author: Rohit Pande

All news available date-wise and month-wise. Click on the date to revise news.

March 2018
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Food Safety Standards – FSSAI, food fortification, etc. Agriculture

Key Points: Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

  1. Established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and operates under aegis of Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
  2. Lays down science based standards for various food products in order ensure availability of safe and wholesome food.
  3. It is led by a non-executive Chairperson. The executive head of FSSAI is the Chief Executive Officer.
  4. It has 4 referral laboratories and 72 local laboratories located across India.

What is Cold Start doctrine?

  1. Cold Start is a military doctrine developed by the Indian Armed Forces to put to use in case of a war with Pakistan
  2. India’s elite strike forces will no longer sit idle, giving Pakistan the luxury of time
  3. 2001 – Operation Vijayee Bhava is considered to be a trail run of the Cold Start Doctrine
  4. 2011 – Operation Sudarshan Shakti was conducted to revalidate Cold Start Doctrine

Indian Army conducts Shatrujeet battle exercise in Rajasthan

  1. It aimed to evaluate the capability of the Indian Army to strike deep into enemy territory in an integrated air-land battle environment
  2. The 2016 Shatrujeet battle exercise was steered by the Mathura based 1 Corps
  3. Indian Army at regular intervals undertakes such battle exercises as a part of its cold start doctrine
Nepal’s Constitution & Emerging Developments Bilateral Relations

Nepal gets first woman chief justice

  1. Sushila Karki became the first female acting Chief Justice of Nepal’s Supreme Court
  2. Nepal, though still a deeply patriarchal society, is becoming increasingly inclusive
  3. Last year, a specially elected Constituent Assembly approved the first post-monarchical constitution
  4. It gave women the right to “proportional inclusion” in all government organs
  5. Also guaranteed equal property rights to daughters and required that the president and vice-president be from different genders and communities

Railways Decides to Withdraw the Levy of Port Congestion Surcharge

  1. Context: Railways had applied a 10% congestion tax to moderate the import traffic at ports, particularly of iron ore, thermal coal, fertilizer and containers
  2. This tax had an adverse effect on the logistics cost and led to diversion of traffic from rail to road
  3. Railways are much more eco-friendly and hence there was a collective call to remove this tax
Irrigation In India – PMKSY, AIBP, Watershed Management, Neeranchan, etc. Agriculture

India water week: Addressing critical water issues

  1. Organised by: Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
  2. Outcomes: Need to prioritise a multi-disciplinary approach to water
  3. Laws should inculcate a respect for the principle that water is a common legacy
  4. Government’s Initiatives: Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and Integrated Watershed Management Programme

NIMHANS to start psychiatric centre for adolescents

  1. NIMHANS: National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences
  2. Context: Adolescence is a vulnerable period for the emergence of psychiatric disorders
  3. Early identification and management of these disorders is crucial to mental health
  4. Mental health has been a topic of engaging discussion over the past few years

India plans first-ever auction for diamond mine

  1. Context: Diamond joins the list of other minerals where India started auctioning mines – coal, iron ore, gold and bauxite
  2. Auctioning has been deemed as a transparent manner of allocating resources
  3. Where: MP will soon float tenders for the auction of the Hatupur diamond block
  4. Trivia: Vedanta Ltd won India’s first-ever auction of a gold mine, earlier this year
Communicable and Non-communicable diseases – HIV, Malaria, Cancer, Mental Health, etc. Health

What happens when you have diabetes?

  1. Diabetes develops when glucose can’t enter the body cells to be used as fuel
  2. This is because your pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, or not enough insulin, to help glucose enter your body’s cells
  3. Type 1 diabetes: Body is not able to produce any insulin
  4. Type 2 diabetes: Unable to produce enough insulin, or insulin does not work properly (insulin resistance)
Communicable and Non-communicable diseases – HIV, Malaria, Cancer, Mental Health, etc. Health

Know more about Insulin

  1. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat
  2. If you have more sugar in your body than it needs, insulin helps store the sugar in your liver and releases it when your blood sugar level is low
  3. The diabetic drug Insulin is on the essential medicine list given by WHO
  4. Sadly, it still remains very expensive for people with type 1, type 2 diabetes
Communicable and Non-communicable diseases – HIV, Malaria, Cancer, Mental Health, etc. Health

Insulin does not mean end-stage of diabetes: Take it earlier

  1. Fact: India is estimated to have about 69 million people with diabetes, the second largest in the world after China
  2. Context: Most of these people should take insulin at an early stage in their diagnosis period
  3. But social stigma and the fear that insulin marks the last stage of diabetes prevents them from doing so
  4. Diabetes is the theme of this year’s World Health Day
Genetically Modified (GM) crops – cotton, mustards, etc. Agriculture

Environment Ministry draws flak over GM mustard data

  1. Context: GEAC, under the Environment Min, had rejected earlier requests for the bio-safety data on GM crops
  2. Why? They said that doing so would “breach commercial confidence” of the crop developer
  3. Now: CIC ordered that ‘data on safety issues which is matter of overriding public interest cannot be considered as confidential information’
  4. People should know how and why GM mustard is being permitted or denied

Ill-timed rain deepens farmers’ distress

  1. Context: Unseasonal rain & hail in some parts of India (especially North & Central India)
  2. Impact: The standing wheat and mustard crop
  3. Mild rains are good for standing wheat but impact could be severe if there are heavy rains or hails
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