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

WHO Certifies Gabon As Polio-Free.

Background-

  • The World Health Organisation has declared Gabon a “polio-free country“, given the lack of new reported or suspected cases in the central African country.
  • According to a WHO statement obtained by AFP on 16th December, 2017, the UN health agency nonetheless recommended taking the necessary steps to continue monitoring for possible signs of the disease.

 

Highlights Of The Development–

  • Gabon’s Health Minister Denise Mekam’ne Edzidzie also urged families on 16th December to continue to immunise children and prevent a resurgence of this disease.
  • Polio is a highly-infectious viral disease which mainly affects young children and can result in permanent paralysis. There is no cure and it can only be prevented through immunisation.
  • Cases of polio have decreased by 99% since 1988, when polio was endemic in 125 countries and 350 000 cases were recorded worldwide.
  • Now the disease is endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the WHO recorded four cases this year — two in each country. Last year, there were 37 cases globally.

Sources- News24.

GS Paper II- Governance.

PM Inaugurates 60-MW Tuirial Hydropower Project In Aizawl Mizoram; 3rd Power-Surplus State In NE.

Background

  • Mizoram has become the third power-surplus state in the North East after Sikkim and Tripura, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on 16th December, 2017.
  • He also said the central schemes for the benefit of the north-east had gained momentum and that his government was committed to developing the region.
  • With the commissioning of the project, Mizoram became the third power-surplus state in the north-east.
  • The hydropower project would produce 251 million units of electrical energy every year and boost the economic development of the state, Modi said.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The Tuirial project, which was announced and cleared in 1998 by the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, was the first major central project to be successfully commissioned in Mizoram, the prime minister said.
  • Modi said that the project would boost the socio-economic development of the state. He said that besides electricity the reservoir water would open new avenues for navigation, provide connectivity to remote villages and development of fisheries.
  • The prime minister said that government’s vision was to transform North East region. It is said that the lack of connectivity is one of the biggest hurdles in the path of development of the north eastern region.
  • Modi said that government had changed the regulatory regime and now there will be no requirement of any permit or permission for producing, transporting and selling bamboo and its products produced by farmers in their own fields.

Sources- Firstpost.

GS Paper III- Security.

Indo-Maldives Joint Military Exercise ‘Ekuverin’ At Belagavi.

 

Background

  • The two-week long eighth edition of the Indo-Maldives joint military exercise, ‘Ekuverin’, was conducted from 14th December, 2017 at Belagavi, about 505 km from Bengaluru.
  • The bilateral annual exercise is a 14-day joint military training between the Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), which is held alternatively in India and Maldives since 2009.
  • ‘Ekuverin’ means ‘friends’ in the Maldivian language. The seventh edition of the exercise was held at  Kadhdhoo, Lammu Atoll, Maldives in December, 2016.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The focus of the exercise is to acquaint both armies with each other’s operating procedures in the backdrop of a  counter-insurgency or counter-terrorist operations in an urban or semi-urban environment under the United Nations (UN)  Charter, with an overall aim to enhance interoperability  between the two armies.
  • The official release said the exercise will see the contingents hone their tactical and technical skills, and also provide an opportunity for the two armies to activate the Joint Operations Centre at Belagavi.
  • The MNDF will be represented by a team comprising two officers and 43 other ranks, while the Indian Army by three officers, as many junior commissioned officers and 39 other ranks belonging to a Gorkha Rifles Battalion (Sirmoor Rifles).
  • The opening ceremony of the exercise witnessed a fly past by the Army Aviation team  along with a march past by the contingent from both the  countries in the presence of the pipe and drums band of the  Gorkha Regiment.

Sources- Financial Express.