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

WHO Grants $175,000 For The Healthcare Of ‘Vulnerable Population’ In Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar.

Background-

  • The WHO has released its first tranche of emergency funding of $175,000 to provide lifesaving healthcare to the “vulnerable population” in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar.
  • Though the World Health Organisation (WHO) did not specifically mention the Rohingya refugees, over 410,000 of them have arrived in Cox’s Bazar since August 25 after escaping Myanmar’s military crackdown.

Highlights Of The Development–

  • The WHO South-East Asia Regional Health Emergency Fund (SEARHEF) grant of $175,000 will support 20 mobile medical teams to provide essential services for at least two months. The grant is also being used to procure essential medicines and medical supplies to be distributed to pre-existing health facilities in Cox’s Bazar area.
  • Over 380,000 of them have gathered in makeshift or spontaneous settlements. Poor nutrition, communicable diseases (including vaccine-preventable and water-borne diseases), injuries and other concerns such as mental health provide immense public health challenges that Ministry of Health, Bangladesh, WHO and other health partners are working to address.
  • Attempts at mass immunization is also being done, which is a powerful way to keep vulnerable communities safe from communicable diseases due to overcrowding and inadequate access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

Sources- Business-Standard.

 

GS Paper II- Governance.

Narendra Modi Launches Saubhagya Free Electricity Scheme For 24×7 Power In All Rural Households.

Background

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25th September, 2017 launched the Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana ‘Saubhagya’ electricity scheme to provide 24×7 power to all families across India at the BJP’s National Executive meet and on the occasion of birth anniversary of RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya in New Delhi.
  • The announcement made at the headquarters of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is expected to reiterate BJP’s electricity-for-all policy.
  • The scheme is expected to electrify all rural households across India by 31 March, 2019.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Reinforcing the party’s pro-poor push ahead of key Assembly elections and the 2019 general elections, Modi said, “It is unfortunate people light their homes with candles. The government’s priority is fulfilling the aspiration of the poor.”
  • The total outlay of the Saubhagya scheme to provide free electricity to all poor families is pegged at Rs 16,320 crores which will be funded to a large extent (Rs 12,320 crores) by the Centre, the government said. Rs 14,025 crores is the outlay for electrification of rural households while Rs 2,295 crores is the outlay for poor urban households.
  • The Rural Electrification Corporation will be the nodal agency for the operations of the scheme. Sources said distribution companies will recover Rs 500 crores in 10 installments of electricity bills. The beneficiaries of the Saubhagya scheme will be identified and targeted using the 2011 Census data. The funding pattern for special category states will be as follows: 85 percent grant from Centre, five percent from states and 10 percent from loans.
  • States which achieve their target by December 2018 will receive additional funds, the government said.
  • This was not Modi’s first attempt at providing free electricity to all. In 2015, the government had set a 1,000 day-target to provide electricity in 18,000 villages.
  • Modi kept up this promise partially. According to an IndiaSpend analysis, of 18,452 unelectrified villages, 76.58 percent or 14,132 villages were electrified in around 750 days from July 2015, when the scheme was launched, (as of June 2017), according to government data.

Sources- Firstpost.

 

GS Paper III- Security.

First Scorpene Submarine INS Kalvari Delivered To Navy By Mazagon Dock.

Background

  • Kalvari, the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines, was handed over to the Indian Navy by shipbuilder Mazgaon Dock limited on 21st September, 2017, paving way for its commissioning soon.
  • The development marks a major milestone in Indian Navy’s submarine programme as the vessel is expected to bolster India’s maritime prowess, a senior Navy official said.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The submarines, designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS, are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai as part of Project-75 of the Indian Navy.
  • The state-of-the-art technology utilised in the Scorpene has ensured superior stealth features such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimised shape and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision-guided weapons.
  • Kalvari is named after the dreaded Tiger Shark, a deadly deep sea predator of the Indian Ocean.
  • The first Kalvari, commissioned on December 8, 1967, was also the first submarine of the Indian Navy. It was decommissioned on May 31, 1996, after nearly three decades of service.
  • The MDL statement said the delivery of the vessel also reaffirms the strides taken by the shipbuilder in the ‘Make In India’ programme.
  • The second of the Scorpenes, Khanderi, was launched in January this year (2017), and is currently undergoing the rigorous phase of sea trials.
  • The third Scorpene, Karanj, is being readied for launch later this year. The rest are in various stages of outfitting.

Sources- Business-Standard.