October 2019

Daily Current Affairs (30-10-19)

ENVIRONMENT

ROLE OF MOUNTAIN STREAMS IN CARBON CYCLE

News

  • Åsa Horgby, a PhD student at EPFL’s Stream Biofilm and Ecosystem Research Laboratory (SBER), along with a team of international scientists has performed the first large-scale study of the CO2 emissions of mountain streams and their role in global carbon fluxes.

Key Highlights of the Study

  • Mountain streams have a higher average CO2 emission rate per square meter than streams at lower altitudes, due in part to the additional turbulence caused as water flows down mountain slopes.
  • Even though these streams make up just 5% of the global surface area of the fluvial networks, they likely account for 10% to 30% of CO2 emissions from these networks.
  • The scientists collected big environmental data from the streams draining the world’s main mountain ranges, specifically focusing on their hydrologic and geomorphologic properties as well as on the soil organic carbon content within the catchments.
  • They used these big data to develop a model to estimate the natural CO2 emissions from more than 1.8 million mountain streams worldwide.
  • The findings appear to indicate that the carbon dioxide comes from geological sources, given that carbonate rock dominates geology in numerous regions around the world.

Significance

  • The findings of the study open up exciting new research avenues, such as to better understand where all that CO2 comes from and how we can more accurately account for the world’s alpine regions in our assessments of the global carbon cycle.
  • The study also shows how important it is to include mountain streams in assessments of the global carbon cycle.

[Source: Indian Express, oceanservice.noaa.gov]

 

CULTURE

PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA

Why in News?

Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman released a special commemorative coin on Paramahansa Yogananda to mark his 125th birth anniversary.

About Paramahansa Yogananda (1893–1952)

  • Paramhansa Yogananda, born in 1893, was the first yoga master of India to take up permanent residence in the West.
  • He is widely recognized as the Father of Yoga in the West.
  • He founded Self-Realization Fellowship (1920) and Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (1917), which continue to carry on his spiritual legacy worldwide.
  • He is the author of the best-selling spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi’.

Kriya Yoga

  • The “science” of Kriya Yoga is the foundation of Yogananda’s teachings.
  • It is an ancient meditation technique of energy and breath control, or pranayama.
  • It is part of a comprehensive spiritual path, which includes additional meditation practices along with right living.
[Source: The Hindu]

 

SOCIAL SECTOR

NATIONAL DIGITAL HEALTH BLUEPRINT

News

  • Former Chairman Unique Identification Authority of India and current Chairman of the National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB) Committee, J Satyanarayana submitted the final NDHB report to Union Health Minister.
  • The Minister had released the National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB) report in the public domain for inputs from various stakeholders in July, 2019.

About

  • National Digital Health Blueprint is in line with the vision of the Prime Minister to reach each individual of this country with services at their doorstep under Digital India Programme.
  • Building on the initial document of “National Health Stack” (NHS) by NITI Aayog, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has defined clear timelines, targets and the resources required for this digital convergence of healthcare programmes in India.
  • NDHB will help in providing a common platform for integration of existing applications in health domain and data which has existed in silos, either in public health facilities, or, in private healthcare facilities, in India.

Vision of NDHB

Objectives

The Objectives of NDHB are aligned to the Vision of National Health Policy 2017 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relating to the health sector. These include:

  • Establishing and managing the core digital health data and the infrastructure required for its seamless exchange.
  • Promoting the adoption of open standards by all the actors in the National Digital Health Ecosystem (NDHE), for developing several digital health systems that span across the sector from wellness to disease management.
  • Creating a system of Personal Health Records, based on international standards, and easily accessible to the citizens and to the service providers, based on citizen-consent.
  • Following the best principles of cooperative federalism while working with the States and Union Territories for the realization of the Vision.
  • Promoting Health Data Analytics and Medical Research.
  • Enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of Governance at all levels.
  • Ensuring Quality of Healthcare.
  • Leveraging the Information Systems already existing in the health sector

Building Blocks of NDHB

  • The Blueprint identifies the Minimum Viable Set of Building Blocks required for the NDHE to evolve and describes their capabilities at a high-level.
  • Building Blocks constitute the core of NDHB.
  • While the Blueprint has identified 23 Building Blocks, a few of the critical capabilities of NDHE are Identification, Citizen to be in Control, Service Access/ Delivery and Interoperability.

Institutional Framework

A new entity, National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), is recommended to be established as a purely government organization with complete functional autonomy adopting some features of some of the existing National Information Utilities like UIDAI and GSTN.

Need for NDHB

  • The need of the hour is to create an ecosystem which can integrate the existing disparate health information systems and show clear path for upcoming programmes.
  • There is a need to ensure convergence across these IT systems to monitor and provide health services in a robust and efficient manner.
  • The digital health interventions have a huge potential for supporting Universal Health care.
  • Thus, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has initiated efforts in the direction of a comprehensive, nationwide integrated e-Health system under National Digital Health Blueprint.
[Source: PIB, The Hindu, mohfw.gov]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

‘PRAKHAR’ ANTI-STREET CRIME VANS
  • Delhi Police Commissioner has flagged off 15 ‘PRAKHAR’ vans, with the latest addition taking the number of such special vehicles to curb street crimes in the national capital to 30.
  • These patrol vans, tasked especially to curb street crimes as well as crimes against women in the vulnerable areas, are specially designed and equipped with latest gadgets for quick transmission of information about any crime.
  • Each ‘PRAKHAR’ van is also equipped with Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) with inbuilt GPS besides the wireless set.
  • The MDT immediately transmits the calls related to street crimes as soon as it is received in Command Room to the concerned nearest PRAKHAR’ van for immediate action.
  • These vans conduct intensive patrolling and dedicated checking at the vulnerable points in the crime-prone areas of the districts.
HUMAN MILK BANK
  • Central government has set a target of ensuring at least 70 per cent infants to have access to breast milk by the year 2025.
  • The Target will subsequently be increased to 100 per cent.
  • BRICS member countries have decided to take coordinated efforts to reduce infant mortality rate, increase the access of breast milk to the infants and ensure affordable medicine to all, at the recently held BRICS Health Ministers’ Conference in Brazil.
  • India has taken inspiration from Brazil’s success in the field of human milk bank and decided to adopt a similar model in creating a wide network of human milk banks.
CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA
  • Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde was appointed as the 47th Chief Justice of India.
  • He will take oath as the CJI on 18th November, 2019.
  • His Warrant of Appointment was signed by the President, following which the Law Ministry issued a notification announcing Justice Bobde’s appointment as the next head of the Indian judiciary.
  • As per established procedure, Justice Gogoi had earlier written to the Law Minister recommending the name of Justice Bobde, the senior most judge as his successor.

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