Insight Current Affairs for ESE 13 , December ,2018
1) First container mainline vessel flags off at Tuticorin
- Union Minister for Shipping flagged off the first container mainline vessel from VoC Port (Tuticorin Port).
- Tuticorin Port has made towards improvement of infrastructure with the focus to unlock efficiencies at the Port as well as add capacity to reduce logistics cost for EXIM and domestic trade under Sagarmala.
- O.Chidambaranar Port, formerly Tuticorin Port is one of the 12 major ports in India.
- Located in Gulf of Mannar, with Sri Lanka on South East and large Indian Landmass on the West, the Port is well sheltered from storms and cyclone winds.
- It is a second-largest port in Tamil Nadu and fourth-largest container terminal in India.
- It is an artificial port.
2) Partners’ Forum, 2018
- The Partners’ Forum 2018 is co-hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Partnership of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) in New Delhi.
- Partners’ Forum is a global health partnership launched in September 2005 to accelerate efforts to reduce child and maternal mortality, improve adolescent, child, newborn and maternal health.
- The previous chapters were held in Johannesburg, South Africa (2014), New Delhi, India (2010) and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2007).
- This is the second time India is hosting the Partners’ Forum.
Other Programs Related to Health
- Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan to provide best possible care to mothers during pregnancy.
- Ayushman Bharat Yojana or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) or National Health Protection Scheme or Modicare is a centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2018, under the Ayushman Bharat Mission of MoHFW for a New India -2022.
- The scheme aims at making interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both preventive and pro-motive health, to address healthcare holistically.
- It is an umbrella of two major health initiatives namely, Heath and Wellness centres and the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS).
- India has also steered the setting up of National Nutrition Mission with an aim of doubling the pace of improving the nutritional status of mothers, children, and adolescents, through concerted actions between various departments and stakeholders.
- Mission Indradhanush and Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) for immunization.
3) LCAVR and CVVRS
- Ministry of railway started installing Loco cab audio-video recording system (LCAVR) / Crew Voice/Video Recording System (CVVRS) in Diesel and Electric locomotives which are similar to Black Box.
- This system provides invaluable data to investigators which will help them in understanding the sequence of events leading up to an accident and for identifying operational issues and human factors.
- Indian Railways undertakes various IT initiatives to improve train operations and provide better passenger experience.
Handheld Devices on trains (HHT)
- Handheld Terminals (HHTs) are being provided to the Train Ticket Examiners (TTEs) to be able to check the reserved coaches, allot the vacant berths and transmit information on available berths to the subsequent stations.
- The HHT can also access the ticketing application and collect excess fares as per rules.
- The terminal can potentially connect to a Point of Sale (POS) machine and charges can be collected digitally.
Paperless Unreserved Ticketing through Mobile Phones
- Paperless Unreserved ticketing on mobile phones was launched on 2014 at Mumbai.
- This has eliminated the need for passengers to stand in queue for getting tickets for the journey in unreserved compartments of trains.
Indian Railway e-Procurement System (IREPS)
- The complete tendering activity of Indian Railways for procurement of goods, services & works and e-auction of scrap sale is on IREPS.
- IREPS system is largest such G to B portal in India.
- It has helped in achieving the objectives of transparency, efficiency, and improvement of ease of doing business.
- Central Vigilance Commission has recognized and awarded the system under “Vigilance Excellence Award – 2017” for outstanding contribution in the category of “IT initiatives for transparency in the organization”.
4) Global migration pact: Why we need this?
- Recently heads of state and government ministers from 164 countries publicly confirmed in Marrakech their commitment to the Global Compact for the Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration external link, a multilateral accord external link which was concluded under UN auspices earlier this year.
Aims of the pact
- The compact is a non-binding multilateral instrument of cooperation that aims to set common principles and guidelines for orderly migration, thereby reducing irregular flows.
- The Global Compact establishes a United Nations mechanism allowing Governments and companies to contribute technical, financial and human resources for implementing it.
- The global compact is framed consistently with target 10.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in which member States committed to cooperate internationally to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration.
- According to the UN, there are around 258 million migrants in the world today external link.
- This figure is expected to grow due to globalization, easier communications, transport, and trade, as well as rising inequality, demographic imbalances, and climate change.
- Migration external link provides huge opportunities and benefits for the migrants, host communities and communities of origin.
- The pact gained momentum after the migration crisis in Europe in 2015, which saw the biggest influx of refugees and migrants since World War Two.
- It is the fruit of earlier human rights and development treaties and initiatives like the Global Forum on Migration and Development external link and stems from a political committee known as the “New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants external link”, adopted unanimously in 2016 by the 193-member UN General Assembly.
Who’s for it and who’s against?
- The United States, which backed out last year saying the issue was “simply not compatible with US sovereignty”.
- The Austrian government, for example, is concerned that signing up could eventually help lead to the recognition of a “human right to migration”
- Dominican Republic, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Israel, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia also refused to sign the document.
- Some states that have rejected the GCM are especially worried about human rights references within the document. In their view, an emphasis on human rights contradicts what matters for them: securing borders.
Need for a global compact
- Over 250 million migrants worldwide account for 3% of the world’s entire population but contribute 10% of the global gross domestic product.
- Migrant’s remittance is a huge contributor to their home countries’ development.
5) ISRO and ROSCOSMOS have signed a MoU in on ‘Joint Activities in the field of Human Spaceflight Programme’
- The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities commonly known as Roscosmos is a state corporation responsible for the space flight and cosmonautics program for the Russian Federation.
- The headquarters of Roscosmos are located in Moscow, capital of Russia.
Indian Human Spaceflight Programme
- The Indian Human Spaceflight Programme was created by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to develop the technology needed to launch crewed orbital spacecraft into low Earth orbit.
- The first crewed flight is planned with a spacecraft called Gaganyaan for December 2021 on a home-grown GSLV-III rocket.
6) Voyager 2 Mission
- NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft has exited the heliosphere which is the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun.
- It has become the second human-made object in voyager series in history to reach the edge of our solar system.
- Earlier Voyager 1 crossed the space boundary in 2012.
- It is a bubble around the sun created by the outward flow of the solar wind from the sun and the opposing inward flow of the interstellar wind.
- It is the region influenced by the dynamic properties of the sun that are carried in the solar wind such as magnetic fields, energetic particles, and solar wind plasma.
- The solar system boundary is called the ‘Heliopause’.
- It is the place where the tenuous, hot solar wind meets the cold, dense interstellar medium.
- The heliopause marks the end of the heliosphere and the beginning of interstellar space.
What is Heliophysics?
- The study of the sun and its interaction with Earth and the solar system is called Heliophysics.
- It requires viewing the sun, heliosphere, and planetary environments as elements of a single interconnected system – one that contains dynamic space weather, and that evolves in response to solar, planetary and interstellar conditions.
7) Japan picks ‘disaster’ character as a symbol to define 2018
- Japan selected the Chinese character for ‘disaster’ as its ‘defining symbol’ for 2018, a year that saw the country hit by deadly floods, earthquakes, and storms.
- This symbol display at Seihan Mori, master of the ancient Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto, writing the character on a huge white panel with an ink-soaked calligraphy brush.
- The country was hit by a series of natural disasters in 2018, starting with massive flooding in western regions that killed over 200 people.
- It was also battered by a typhoon that inundated a major international airport, and an earthquake in the north that triggered landslides and disrupted supply lines.
- Last year, Japan picked ‘North’ following a series of North Korean missile launches, and the year before the choice was ‘gold’, in celebration of the success of Japanese athletes at the Rio Olympics.
- Chinese characters, or Kanji, are widely used in Japanese, along with other types of alphabets.
8) 1st Adventure Next India 2018
- The heart of India- Madhya Pradesh hosted the 1st AdventureNext India 2018.
- It was organized by The Adventure Travel Trade Association and Madhya Pradesh Tourism.
- The theme of the event was “Pulse of Tomorrow”.
- It was a first-of-its-kind in India & Asia.
- The Major partner in the event was Jharkhand Tourism.
9) CAG Rajiv Mehrishi has appointed as Vice-Chair of UN Panel of Auditors
- Comptroller and Auditor General Rajiv Mehrishi has become the Vice-Chair of the UN Panel of Auditors.
United Nations Panel of Auditors
- The United Nations Panel of Auditors consists of External Auditors of the United Nations and its agencies.
- Presently, the panel consists of 11 countries -India, Germany, Chile, Canada, France, Italy, the Philippines, Ghana, Indonesia, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.
- Currently, the panel is chaired by the Comptroller and Auditor General of the UK.
- The panel held its annual meeting in New York from 3 to 4 December 2018 and discussed various issues concerning the audit of United Nations and the agencies under the United Nations System.
- The panel also elected the Comptroller and Auditor General of the UK as Chair of the Panel for another term (2019).