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GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

United Nation Observes International Day Against Nuclear Tests On August 29.

Guterres Urges All Countries To Join Legally-Binding Treaty Against Nuclear Tests.

Background-

  • The UN-established International Day against Nuclear Tests was observed across the world on August 29, 2017 to galvanize the United Nations, Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, youth networks and the media to inform, educate and advocate the necessity of banning nuclear weapon tests as a valuable step towards achieving a safer world.
  • Since 2010 the event is being observed by coordinating various activities throughout the world, such as symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, and lectures in academic institutions, media broadcasts and other initiatives.
  • United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has urged all countries to sign and ratify a global treaty that bans nuclear explosions on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground.

 

Highlights Of The Development–

  • To ensure that no country could conduct another test, António Guterres urged all countries to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
  • To date, 183 countries have signed the CTBT and 166 have ratified it. For the treaty to enter into force, ratification is required from eight more of the so-called Annex 2 States. Of these, China, Egypt, Iran, Israel, and the United States, have yet to ratify it.
  • DPRK, India and Pakistan are among the 13 countries that have not signed the CTBT.
  • He noted that continued nuclear tests by DPRK demonstrate that “even the strongest norm is no substitute for a legally-binding prohibition.”
  • Overnight, DPRK fired a ballistic missile in violation of Security Council resolutions, Mr. Guterres said in a separate statement condemning the event and urging DPRK to fully comply with its international obligations.
  • The comments come on the International Day against Nuclear Tests, which is observed annually on 29 August, following the declaration of that day in a resolution unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2009.
  • The resolution called for increasing awareness and education about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. The resolution’s adoption also commemorated the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan in 1991.

Sources- UN News Centre.

 

GS Paper II- Governance, Social Justice.

Karnataka Govt To Give Free Healthcare Facilities Under Aarogya Bhagya Scheme.

Background

  • The Karnataka cabinet on 28th August, 2017 approved a universal health coverage (UHC) scheme aimed at providing free medical assistance to 14 million households.
  • Called Aarogya Bhagya (free healthcare), it’s the latest in a long list of populist schemes offered by the Congress-led state government including free rice to needy households and free milk to school students.
  • Healthcare facilities will be provided through an Aadhar-linked universal health card.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The scheme will become operational on 1 November, 2017.
  • Karnataka has seven different healthcare schemes which would be merged under Aarogya Bhagya, which would cost the state exchequer Rs869.4 crore.
  • The facilities would be provided by categorising the beneficiaries into two groups—A and B.
  • Category A, comprising about 10.5 million households, would include farmers, teachers of aided schools, Anganwadi (childcare centre) workers, scheduled castes/scheduled tribes, sanitation workers, unorganized workers, public servants and even media professionals. The beneficiaries wouldn’t have to make any contribution towards the scheme.
  • Around three million households who do not come under the above categories would be enrolled in the scheme; those in rural areas would need to contribute Rs300 per person and those in urban areas Rs 700 per person.
  • Siddaramaiah, who stormed to power with his AHINDA (acronym for minorities, backward classes and dalits) support base in 2013, has launched multiple such schemes to consolidate his position.
  • T.B. Jayachandra, law and parliamentary affairs minister of Karnataka, said that under the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments rules, the government will fix rates for various secondary and tertiary procedures to be paid to private hospitals.
  • He added that in emergencies defined for both accidents and medical/surgical emergencies treatment can be provided in the nearest facility available irrespective of government or private to ensure ‘Treatment first and Payment Next’.

Sources- Livemint.

 

GS Paper IV- Aptitude.

13-Year-Old Indian-Origin Boy Dhruv Garg Gets Top Score In Mensa IQ.

Background

  • A 13-year-old Indian-origin boy in the UK has got the highest possible score of 162 on a Mensa IQ test, placing him in the top one per cent people in the world who achieved this feat.
  • Dhruv Garg, from Wokingham in south east England, was looking for something to occupy his time during the summer holidays and decided to try out the test for the intellectual society.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The schoolboy achieved 162 in his entry IQ test – the maximum possible, which places him in the top one per cent of people in the world.
  • He also scored in the highest mark in the second test, known as the Culture Fair scale, getting 152.
  • This score qualifies him amongst the rare one per cent of the population who take the Mensa exam worldwide in both the exams.
  • Garg, who goes to Reading School, a grammar in Berkshire, has also been developing an app to combat social isolation by helping lonely people meet up.
  • The app connects people who live in the same area who want to meet new people.
  • Mensa is believed to be the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. Membership is open to anyone who can demonstrate an IQ in the top two per cent of the population, measured by a recognised or approved IQ testing process.

Sources- The Times Of India.