1. India ranks 147th in Oxfam world inequality index
- Index’ ranks India 147th among 157 countries by the UK-based charity Oxfam International’s ‘Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI)
- It is based on the commitment of different nations to reduce inequalities in their populations.
- The index is based on different indicators covering 157 countries, which measures government action on social spending, tax and labor rights
- Denmark is topped in the index based on its high and progressive taxation, high social spending and good protection of workers.
Index with Respect to India
- In India the tax structure looks reasonably progressive on paper, in practice, much of the progressive taxation, like that on the incomes of the richest, is not collected.
- India also fares poorly on labor rights and respect for women in the workplace.
- It also reflects the fact that the majority of the labor force is employed in the agricultural and informal sectors which lack union organization and enforcement of gender rights.
Note- SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030.
Topic- GS Paper 2 – Important Index
2. India ranked 81st in Henley Passport Index 2018
- Japan’s passport has been named the most powerful in the world, overtaking Singapore according to the Henley Passport Index 2018.
- Japanese citizens now have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations around the world.
- The Indian passport has secured the 81st rank with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 60 destinations.
Top 3 on Henley Passport Index Power Ranking 2018:
- Japan 2. Singapore 3. Germany, France, South Korea.
- The Henley Passport Index (HPI) is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom for their citizens.
- The site provides a ranking of the 199 passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free.
- The number of countries that a specific passport can access becomes its visa-free ‘score’.
Topic- GS Paper 2 – Important Index
3. SC tags Tripura for NRC
- The Supreme Court issued the notice to the government on a public interest litigation to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Tripura.
- As is being done in Assam, in order to detect and deport the “illegal immigrants” from Bangladesh.
- The petition contended the “influx” of illegal immigrants into Tripura amounted to ‘external aggression’ under Article 355 of the Constitution.
- The presence of illegal immigrants violates the political rights of the citizens of Tripura.
- “Uncontrolled influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh to Tripura has caused huge demographic changes in Tripura
- Tripura was a predominantly tribal State, but now it has become a non-tribal State.
- Indigenous people who were once the majority have now become a minority in their own land.
Topic- GS Paper 2 – Development and management of the social sector
Source- The Hindu
4. MedWatch – Mobile Health app Launched by IAF
- The Indian Air Force has launched an innovative mobile health App named ‘MedWatch’.
- MedWatch is the first mobile health app in the three Armed Services.
- MedWatch will provide correct, Scientific and authentic health information to
air warriors and all citizens of India.
Feature of Application
- It provides information on basic First Aid, Health topics and Nutritional Facts.
- It also reminders for timely Medical Review,
- Vaccination and utility tools like Health Record Card.
- Body Mass Index calculator
- This application also provides helpline numbers and web links.
- It is in the series of keeping with the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Digital India, Ayushman Bharat and Mission Indradhanush.
- The app is conceived by the doctors of IAF and developed in-house by Directorate of Information Technology (DIT) with ZERO financial outlay.
Topic- GS Paper 2 – Social development
5. Cyclone ‘Titli’ to intensify hit Odisha and A.P coast
- The Indian Meteorological Department has forecast “heavy to very heavy rainfall” at several places in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh
- Cyclone ‘TITLI’ is expected to intensify further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm and cross east coast of India between Kalingapatnam (north Andhra Pradesh) and Gopalpur (south Odisha).
- ‘TITLI’ over the Bay of Bengal and another cyclonic storm ‘LUBAN’over the Arabian sea hit coastal area.
About the Indian Meteorological Department
- The India Meteorological Department is under the aegis of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India.
- It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting, and seismology.
- IMD is headquartered in Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India and Antarctica. Regional offices are at Mumbai, Kolkata, Nagpur, and Pune.
Topic- GS Paper 3 – Environment -Disaster Management
6. ‘60% districts in India affected by forest fires each year’
- A Joint report by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change and World Bank found that at least 60 percent of districts in India are affected by forest fires each year.
- The top 20 districts in terms of fire frequency are located mainly in the Northeast which accounts for 48 percent of the total fire-affected area
- Forest fires peak during the dry months of March or April before the arrival of the monsoon.
- The peak fire season is the most concentrated (shortest) in the Northeast and the Northern state of Bihar.
- Fires in other regions, particularly districts in Central and Southern India, are more expansive
- Frequent forest fires include areas of dry and moist deciduous forest in the borderlands of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Telangana that are affected by the fire on a nearly annual basis.
- This report is significant in light of the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
- IPCC report explores possibilities of keeping the global temperature rise within 1.5 degree Celsius to prevent catastrophic impacts due to unchecked temperature rise.
Impact on India
- It will affect India’s own commitment to creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of Co2-equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
- In the year 2014, fires burned about 8.6 percent of forest cover in protected areas.
- Forest fires contribute to climate change by releasing carbon stored in trees, undergrowth, and soil into the atmosphere.
Topic- GS Paper 3 – Environment
Source- Indian Express
7. Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA)
- The Centre has reconstituted Supreme Court-empowered Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority or the EPCA.
- EPCA was constituted with the objective of ‘protecting and improving’ the quality of the environment and ‘controlling environmental pollution’ in the National Capital Region.
- The EPCA also assists the apex court in various environment-related matters in the region.
- EPCA is Supreme Court mandated body tasked with taking various measures to tackle air pollution in the National Capital Region.
- It was notified in 1998 by Environment Ministry under Environment Protection Act, 1986.
- To protect and improve the quality of the environment and prevent and control environmental pollution in the National Capital Region.
- To enforce Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in NCR as per the pollution levels.
Topic- GS Paper 3 – Environment
8. The first example of a bioelectronic medicine
- Northwestern University and Washington University School of Medicine have developed the first example of a bioelectronic medicine.
- It is an implantable, biodegradable wireless device that speeds nerve regeneration and improves healing of a damaged nerve.
How it’s works
- This device delivered pulses of electricity to damaged nerves in rats after a surgical repair process, accelerating the regrowth of nerves and enhancing the recovery of muscle strength and control.
- The device is the size of a dime and the thickness of a sheet of paper. Researchers at an implantable, biodegradable wireless device that speeds nerve regeneration and improves the healing of a damaged nerve.
- The size of a dime and the thickness of a sheet of paper, the wireless device operates for about two weeks before naturally absorbed into the body.
- The research study also showed the device can work as a temporary pacemaker and as an interface to the spinal cord and other stimulation sites across the body.
Topic- GS Paper 3 – Science and Technology