A bilingual mobile application ‘Healthy Smile’ was launched by AIIMS in a bid to raise awareness on maintaining oral hygiene among children.
The app comprises of a musical two-minute brushing timer along with preventive dental care tips for all age groups of children, child-friendly colourful panels, motivational songs, FAQ’s & oral care tips during pregnancy and brushing demonstration videos.
This app was launched after realizing the fact that “dental caries was found to be prevalent” among the paediatric population of India up to the extent of 40-50 percent.
Development of the dental health education app for children will prove to be extremely beneficial in bringing good oral hygiene habits from the early childhood. It will help in reducing the burden of dental diseases in near future.
India got re-elected to the UN Human Rights Council for 2022-24 term on October 14, 2021 with the overwhelming majority in United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
India secured its selection by 184 votes in the 193-member assembly, wat ahead of the majority of 97. India’s current term was to end on December 31 2021. There were five vacant seats in Asia-Pacific States category namely Kazakhstan, Malaysia, India, Qatar and United Arab Emirates, for election for the term of 2022-2024.
The 193-member General Assembly elected Argentina, Cameroon, Benin, Finland, Eritrea, Honduras, Gambia, Lithuania, India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Qatar, Paraguay, UAE, Somalia, and the USA by secret ballot for 2022-2024 term.
Members of the Council will serve for a period of three years. They will not be eligible for immediate re-election following two consecutive terms.
The membership is given on the basis of equitable geographical distribution. Seats are distributed among regional groups Group of Asia-Pacific States, Group of African States, Group of Eastern European States, Group of Western European & other States and Group of Latin American & Caribbean States.
China and Russia are holding Joint naval drills called “Joint Sea 2021 naval exercise” in the Sea of Japan.
This joint naval drill would encompass communications, joint manoeuvring & firing on seaborn targets, anti-air, anti-mine, and anti-submarine operations, joint manoeuvring and firing on seaborn targets.
For the first time China will be represented by anti-submarine warfare planes and destroyers of greater than 10,000 tons in displacement for exercises abroad. China will also be represented by warships such as Type 055 large destroyer Nanchang, Type 054A frigates Binzhou & Liuzhou, Type 052D destroyer Kunming, Type 903A comprehensive supply ship Dongpinghu, vessel-borne helicopters and fixed wing anti-submarine warfare aircraft. On the other hand, Russia will be represented by anti-submarine ships, aircraft and frigates.
China and Russia are jointly holding the drill as they are united in opposing the dominance of United States in global affairs. Both the countries have been harsh critics of foreign policy of Washington in Afghanistan. China generally follows Russia’s lead on matters like Iran. It has become increasingly assertive in defending its vital interests regarding Taiwan, South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific. China has also strongly criticized an agreement for Australia in order to obtain eight nuclear-powered submarines which are built with US technology.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) seminar on ‘Role of Women in Armed Forces’ was organised on October 14, in virtual mode.
This seminar was hosted by India, highlighting the role of India’s women military officers in UN peacekeeping missions at global level.
India has been an active participant in the deliberations on several issues which focuses on women empowerment and gender mainstreaming at different UN bodies. Indian Army has also contributed women officers as Military Observers and Staff Officers apart from forming part of Medical Units which are deployed in UN Missions.
Women of Indian Armed Forces Medical Services headed the UN Peacekeeping mission in 1960 in Republic of Congo and assisted in setting a 400-bed hospital. India also created history in the year 2007 by deploying “all-female Formed Police Unit” for UN Peacekeeping in Liberia. In the year 2019, India deployed a Female Engagement Team under the UN Stabilization Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur, launched the ‘MyParkings’ app on October 14, 2021.
Introduction of the ‘MyParking App’ will ease the process of booking parking slots because through this app citizen will be able to know the availability of slots remotely. Thus, this mobile app will provide a new parking experience for citizens of Delhi. This Smart Parking app is having cashless and paperless transaction mode, which in turn will save tonnes of paper on a daily basis.
Newly launched App will also be integrated with FASTag, Vahan App, E-Challan and more such initiatives. BECIL will also run a dedicated call centre as a customer care unit for the citizens in order to address their queries and issues related to the app.
SDMC operates 145 surface parking sites across all if its four zones. It also operates six multi-level parking sites as well as two automated parking sites.
Global Hunger Index 2021, which is prepared jointly by Irish aid agency called ‘Concern Worldwide’ and German organisation called ‘Welt Hunger Hilfe’, was released on October 14, 2021. The Index termed the hunger level in India as alarming.
In the index, eighteen countries such as China, Brazil and Kuwait, shared the top rank. They got the GHI score of less than five.
GHI score is calculated on the basis of four indicators namely,
India has improved with respect to indicators like under-5 mortality rate, prevalence of undernourishment and prevalence of stunting among children.
GHI is a tool to measure and track hunger across the world, by region as well as by country. It is calculated annually and its results are published in a report issued in the month of October each year.
Minister of State of Ministry of Communication, Devusinh Chauhan, launched a Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI Scheme) for Telecom & Networking Products on October 14, 2021.
PLI Scheme in telecom sector was launched for realizing the Prime Minister’s vision of Atma Nirbhar Bharat. This scheme would help in reducing dependence of India on other countries for importing telecom and networking products.
The PLI Scheme in telecom sector is being launched by DoT with the objective of boosting domestic manufacturing of telecom and networking products. Manufacturing will be boosted by incentivising incremental investments and turnover. This scheme was launched with the total outlay of Rs 12,195 crore.
The scheme is effective from April 1, 2021. Investment made by successful applicants in India in between April 1, 2021 to FY 2024-25 will be eligible. Eligibility is subject to qualifying incremental annual thresholds. Support under the Scheme will be provided for a period of five years (from FY 2021-22 to FY 2025-26).
According to Scheme and Scheme Guidelines, about 31 companies, comprising of 16 MSMEs & 15 Non-MSMEs, have been found eligible are being given approval under the PLI Scheme. Some of the eligible MSME companies are: Coral Telecom Limited, Frog Cellsat Limited, Ehoome IoT Private Limited, GDN Enterprises Private Limited etc. These 31 applicants are expected to invest Rs 3345 crore over a period of 4 years and generate incremental employment to about 40000 people.
India and the United States are set to start a 15-day mega military exercise in Alaska from October 15, 2021 in a bid to further deepen bilateral military cooperation between both the countries.
At the exercise, the Indian contingent will comprise of 350 personnel from an infantry battalion group of Indian Army.
The previous (16th) edition of the exercise took place in February 2021 in Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Bikaner.
Exercise Yudh Abhyas is a step towards growing military cooperation between the both the countries. It is carried with the aim of enhancing understanding, cooperation and interoperability between armies of India and USA. It will also focus on combined arms manoeuvres in cold climatic conditions. The primary aim of the exercise if to share tactical level drills and learn best practices from each other.
Central Government has given its approval to invite the expression of interest for installation of pilot 1000 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project.
The Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) will be set in a bid to support the ambitious goal of achieving 450 GW renewable energy target by the Ministry of New & renewable energy by 2030.
Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a CPSU working under the Ministry of New & Renewable energy, called for expression of interest to procure 1000 MWh BESS. It will be published with RFS bid document and draft comprehensive guideline for procurement and utilization of BESS.
On the basis of suggestions and feedback from various stakeholders, final RFS document will be floated in November 2021. Along with the RFS document, final comprehensive guidelines for procurement and utilization of BESS will also be floated as a part of generation, transmission and distribution assets.
As per Ministry, India has planned to use energy storage system under Renewable energy. Energy storage system will be used as grid element in order to maximize the use of transmission system and strengthen grid stability. It will help in saving the investment in augmentation of transmission infrastructure.
The Department of Biotechnology launched a ‘One Health’ consortium on October 14, 2021 in virtual mode. It was launched by secretary of Department of Biotechnology, Dr Renu Swarup.
This consortium was launched in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic, that showed the relevance of ‘One Health’ principle in governance of infectious diseases. One Health principle is relevant to prevent and contain the zoonotic diseases across the world. Thus, this holistic approach will be taken in order to understand the health of human, animals and wildlife for minimising the damage caused by covid-19 like pandemics.
One Health Consortium comprises of 27 organisations, led by DBT-National Institute of Animal Biotechnology, Hyderabad. It is one of the biggest health programmes that Indian government has launched in post-Covid times. It comprises of AIIMS Delhi, AIIMS Jodhpur, GADVASU Ludhiana, IVRI Bareilly, TANUVAS Chennai, Assam agricultural & veterinary university, MAFSU Nagpur, ICAR and ICMR centres & wildlife agencies.
One Health approach notes that health of people, health of animals, and the health of environment are interconnected. Due to this, activities & practices in these domains will inevitably affect the others. Primary goal of ‘One Health’ is to encourage the collaborative efforts of stakeholders across the stated three domains in order to achieve best health outcomes for humans, animals, and environment.
China pledged to inject $233 million into a new fund called “Kunming Biodiversity Fund” for the protection of biodiversity in developing countries, recently.
Countries are also debating on proposal called “30 by 30 agenda” at the conference. This agenda will afford 30 percent of land and oceans protected status of Earth by 2030. Global spending on protection and restoration of nature needs to triple this decade, accounting for $350 billion annually by 2030 while $536 billion by 2050 in order to meet this target.
The funding issue for the Kunming Biodiversity Fund will be taken up in January 2022 at negotiations in Geneva. China’s pledge is below the $4 billion committed by Britain for conservation projects across the world as well as France’s commitment to spend 30 percent of its climate finance on protection of biodiversity.
This convention has been ratified by 195 countries and the European Union. However, United States is not ratified it even though it has been world’s biggest polluter historically.
The Northern Ireland protocol was designed to prevent checks across the border between Northern Ireland (US) and the Republic of Ireland (EU), following Brexit.
Boris Johnson had signed an agreement in 2019 and promised that it would not create any inspection on goods moving between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Now, the government is of the view that this protocol represented a huge compromise by the UK and accused the EU for applying it too rigidly. Thus, the Brexit Minister, Lord Frost, proposed some changes in the protocol. He has proposed a new mechanism under which goods would be able to circulate freely in Northern Ireland if they comply with either EU or UK regulations.
Home Ministry has enhanced the powers of Border Security Force (BSF). Under the enhanced power, officers will have the power to search and arrest.
The primary goal of the BSF is to guard borders and stop infiltration. But the recent dropping of drones shows that they have failed to guard the delineated line. As per critiques, this decision might lead to regular confrontations with local police as well as villagers, when searches and seizures will be done.