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

Indian-Origin Businessman Appointed WBCSD Chairman.

Background

  • Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman Sunny Verghese has been appointed as the Chairman of the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
  • Verghese, 57, Co-Founder and the CEO of Singapore’s agri-business group Olam International Limited, is the first World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Chair fromthe agri-sector.
  • He succeeded Paul Polman, the CEO of Unilever, on January 1, 2018 and will serve a two-year term.

 

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • WBCSD is a global network of more than 200 CEOs who are responsible for a combined revenue of more than USD 8.5 trillion and 19 million employees.
  • The leading businesses in the CEO-led organisation work together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world.
  • Verghese said that in leading a global agri business operating across 70 markets, he has seen intimately how each action we take separately as business leaders can impact millions of people, as well as the planet.

Sources- Business-Standard.

 

GS Paper II- Governance.

India Misses Kala Azar Elimination Deadline.

Background

  • India has missed the 2017 deadline that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced for elimination of Kala Azar (black fever) in his Budget speech in 2017. In fact, endemic blocks have increased from 61 to 68 in 17 districts of Bihar and Jharkhand.
  • The matter was taken up at a meeting of the health ministry last month (Dec 2017). Officials told health secretary Preeti Sudan that a request to the Ministry of Rural Development for expediting construction of concrete houses, pending since 2001-02, was the primary reason behind the failure to control the disease.
  • Elimination is defined as reducing the annual incidence of Kala Azar (KA) to less than 1 case per 10,000 people at the sub-district level.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Further, a little-known skin condition called Post Kala Azar Dermal Leishmaniasis (PKDL) — a red flag for transmission of KA — has been growing steadily over the past few years.
  • KA is a slow progressing indigenous disease caused by a single-celled parasite of the Leishmania family.
  • The Empowered Programme Committee (EPC) of the National Health Mission discussed the issue in its December 22 (2017) meeting.
  • Dr P K Sen of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) told the committee that active case findings rather than an actual increase in the disease is the reason why the number of endemic blocks have increased.
  • Replying to Sudan’s query about why the target could not be achieved, an NVBDCP official told her that the list of KA endemic blocks had been shared with the rural development ministry with a request to construct concrete houses in these blocks in 2001-02. A reminder request was also sent recently to the rural development ministry.
  • Dr Jagdish Prasad, DG, DGHS, further added that the KA vector needs to be eliminated to eliminate Kala Azar. As the endemic blocks have majority of houses made from wood, it is very difficult to eliminate the vector as it dwells in the wooden structure and escapes various measures to kill it.
  • The meeting resolved to take up the issue of building concrete houses in KA endemic blocks with the rural development ministry on priority, and recommended that one-time incentive for PKDL patients should be doubled from Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,000.

Sources- The Indian Express.

 

GS Paper III- Security.

Indian Navy Decommissions INS Nirbhik And INS Nirghat Warships.

Background

  • The Indian Navy decommissioned two warships, INS Nirbhik and INS Nirghat, at the Naval Dockyard on 11th January, 2018 after 30 and 28 years of service respectively.
  • The solemn ceremony involved traditional lowering of the ensign and commissioning pendants with playing of The Last Post. These ships, which are part of the Killer squadron, are inheritors of a proud legacy as their original avatars were flag bearers of the naval offensive action on Karachi Harbour during Indo-Pak war in 1971.
  • The chief guest for the ceremony was Rear Admiral R.B. Pandit, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, who had commanded Nirghat earlier. Cdr V.R. Naphade, (Retd) and Commodore S. Mampully, (Retd), the commissioning Commanding Officers of Nirbhik and Nirghat, respectively were the guests of honour.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • INS Nirbhik and INS Nirghat in their new avatars were commissioned at Poti in the erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on December 21, 1987 and December 15, 1989 respectively. These ships were manned by a crew of 70 sailors and seven officers, while their four gas turbine engines make them fast and achieve speeds close to 40 knots.
  • Their weapon package of four surface-to-surface missiles, medium-range AK 176 gun and close-range AK 630, in addition to small calibre guns, packs a lethal punch.
  • During their yeoman service over almost three decades, these ships have participated in numerous operations including Operation Parakram and Vijay.  INS Nirbhik and INS Nirghat were also deployed off Gujarat on numerous occasions for patrolling. and Cdr Anand Mukundan and Cdr Mohammed Ikram were the last Commanding Officers to helm INS Nirbhik and INS Nirghat respectively.
  • The warships will be reincarnated in the future, officials said.

Sources- The Asian Age.