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GS Paper I- History of the World and society.

Malala Day Observed Across The World On July 12, 2017.

Background

  • Malala began advocating for women’s rights in education since 2008. Alongside, she was also critical of the Taliban menace in the region that has for decades been against women’s education. A year on, Malala also had a regular blog in BBC Urdu on her life during Taliban occupation of Swat. She soon attracted public attention from across the world and was sought after for interviews in newspapers and television shows.
  • 12th July is observed as Malala day every year in order to honour the bravery of Malala, who valued freedom more than her life.

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About Malala-

Malala is the girl from Pakistan who was shot in the head and neck by the Tehrik-I-Taliban (TTP) on 9 October, 2012 for advocating girls for their right to education and speaking against the Taliban.

About Malala And The Importance Of The Day-

  • In October 2012, Malala was attacked by Taliban gunmen and was in a critical condition. Soon after, she was sent to the United Kingdom to recover.
  • Despite the attack by Taliban, an undeterred Malala soon returned to the public arena, more fierce in her views than before, and continued her advocacy for gender rights.
  • Based out of Birmingham, she founded the ‘Malala Fund’, which is a non-profit organisation that helps young girls go to school.
  • She also co-authored a book by the name, “I am Malala” that became an international bestseller.
  • Apart from having a day dedicated to her, Malala has over the years been the recipient of a large number of awards and honours. In 2012, the Pakistan government awarded her the first National Youth Peace Prize. In 2014, at the age of 17, Malala became the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace prize.
  • More recently, she has been awarded an honorary Canadian citizenship and was the youngest person to address the House of Commons in Canada.
  • Malala has also been the subject of a number of popular features in mass media, including the documentary “He named me Malala”, which was shortlisted for the Oscars in 2015.

Sources- Indian Express.

 

GS Paper II-Governance, Social Justice.

World Population Day 2017: Maharashtra First To Launch Injectable Contraceptives For Women On 11th July, 2017.

Background

  • Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to roll out a reversible method of contraception through intramuscular injections for women. Marking the World Population Day on Tuesday, 11th July, 2017, the state public health department procured 33,000 doses of injections under a national programme called Antara, to cover Pune, Mumbai, Raigad, Nandurbar, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Sangli, Ratnagiri, and Beed.
  • The programme will be launched in 23 district hospitals, 20 medical colleges and 12 women’s hospitals. In Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has procured 10,000 injection doses for all its maternity homes and civic hospitals.

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Highlights Of The Development-

  • The new method under government-funded contraceptives, called Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (MPA), will add to existing contraception options for women, such as intrauterine devices, pills, and permanent sterilisation procedure— tubectomy. The contraceptive injections will deter pregnancy for three months, and allow conception seven months after the injection is stopped. The injection will be given intramuscularly to women in age bracket of 18-45 years. According to experts, the side effects of this injection include scanty bleeding, irregular menstrual cycle, and amenoerrhea, which is absence of menstruation.
  • According to Dr Archana Patil, Maharashtra’s joint director for family planning, India’s neighboring nations, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, have already implemented contraception through MPA. If spacing programme is properly implemented, 30 percent of maternal deaths and 10 percent child deaths can be prevented in the state.
  • In India, private healthcare already uses MPA injection for contraception. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has chosen four states where the injections will be launched. Maharashtra is the first to launch this facility in 10 districts.
  • According to state Health Minister Deepak Sawant, family planning now needs to focus on issue of early teen pregnancy and repeated pregnancies in both urban and rural regions.
  • The state Additional Chief Secretary Vijay Satbir Singh said that the population stabilisation campaign will continue for a week to create awareness about the new contraceptive provided free of cost by the government.

Sources- The Indian Express.

 

GS Paper III- Technology, Economic Development.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Launches ‘Aaykar Setu’ App To Enhance E-Access Of Taxpayers.

Background

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday, 10th July, 2017 launched ‘Aaykar Setu’ — an e-initiative for the Income tax Department to directly communicate with the taxpayers and  aimed at providing information on useful tax services.
  • T he Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in New Delhi in a statement that the new step is an effort by the Income Tax Department to directly communicate with the taxpayers, on a range of multiple informative and useful tax services aimed at providing tax information at their fingertips.
  • Aaykar Setu compiles various tax  tools, live chat facility, dynamic updated and important links to various processes within the Department in a single module.

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Highlights Of The Development-

  • The mobile app ‘Aaykar Setu’, launched by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, literally means taxpayer’s bridge and will be available in Android phones.
  • It will also help people link their 12-digit biometric identifier Aadhaar with PAN card.
  • Mr Jaitley stressed on the government’s commitment towards continuously upgrading taxpayer services during the launch.
  • To enhance mobile access experience, a mobile responsive android version was also released along with the desktop version.
  • The taxpayers will also be able to receive regular updates regarding important tax dates, forms and notifications on mobile numbers registered with the Income Tax Department.
  • All taxpayers who wish to receive such SMS alerts are advised to register their mobile numbers in the Aaykar Setu module, the statement said.
  • This is the first mobile app by the CBDT and can be downloaded by giving missed calls to 7306525252.
  • The CBDT will also activate the option of filing tax returns using the mobile app in the coming months.
  • New schemes and e-initiatives to educate the taxpayers and deliver taxpayer services in an effective manner are key steps to provide better taxpayer services and reduce taxpayer grievances.
  • According to Mr. Jaitley, The app reduces the physical interface between assessing officer and assessees. Physical interface has many unintended consequence, it is time-consuming and can lead to improprieties, according to him.

Sources- NDTV, Financial Express.