Current Affairs 16th March, 2019

PRELIMS SCORE BOOSTERS

1. World Consumer Day

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  • Celebrated on March 15, 2019

  • Theme -  Trusted Smart Products

  • Aim - to promote basic rights of consumers and to ensure that these rights are respected and protected.

  • Demand of the celebration - The Day called for access to secure internet for all. The Day encouraged better consumer protection online.

What is a smart product?

  • A smart product can connect, share and interact with its user and other devices. The most popular consumer smart products are smartphones, games consoles, smart TVs, wearable health trackers, thermostats, toys and connected cars.

  • These smart phones, wearable fitness trackers, smart TVs, many of the other smart products are increasingly becoming connected by default.

  • They collect and analyse user data and transmit it to other connected devices in a network. This Network of smart products is known as the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT).

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History

  • On March 15, 1962, the then US President John F Kennedy formally addressed the issue of consumer rights in the US Congress. He was the first world leader to do so.

  • That date marked the consumer movement and now the day is observed every year as a means of raising global awareness about consumer rights.

  • The first World Consumer Rights Day was observed in the year 1983.


2.  Electoral Roll Data

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  • As per available Electoral Roll Data 2019, there are 1,50,64,824 voters in the age - group 18-19 yrs in Final Roll published as yet.

  • Electors Photo Identity Card coverage of 99.36% has been achieved till date.

  • Elector/Population Ratio is 631 currently and Gender Ratio is 958.


3. World Environment Outlook, 2019

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  • The United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) has released the sixth edition of the Global Environment Outlook (2019)

  • Title - ‘Healthy Planet, Healthy People’.

6 key messages of the Global Environment Outlook, 2019

  • A healthy planet supports healthy people - It directly supports the lives and livelihoods of 70 per cent of the Earth’s population living in poverty and provides the basis for the production of the goods and services that are necessary for the global formal economy, which had a global GDP value of $US 75 trillion in 2017.


  • Unhealthy planet leads to unhealthy people - An unhealthy planet has huge social costs in terms of human health and well-being as well as on the formal economy and livelihoods worldwide. In 2016, 24.2 million people were internally displaced in 118 countries as a result of sudden-onset disasters. Such disasters affected not just the poor countries, but also rich countries like the USA and Japan.


  • Drivers, pressures leading to unhealthy planet need to be addressed - The environmental footprint of rich people is significantly higher than that of poorer people. For example, the monthly emissions per capita in rich countries are mostly higher than the yearly emissions per capita in poorer countries. The wealthiest countries were reported to consume 10 times the materials per person compared to the poorest countries.


  • More detailed knowledge required for refined and pre-emptive policy - The report states that the existing knowledge is sufficient to mobilise action now. However, new knowledge including disaggregated data from earth observation, in-situ data, citizen science, ground truthing and indigenous and local knowledge is necessary in national policy and accounting more broadly.


  • Environmental policy is necessary but inadequate by itself - The report reveals that the current national policies are not on track to address the key environmental challenges effectively and equitably, in line with the aspirations of the SDGs.


  • Healthy people, a healthy planet and a healthy economy can be mutually supportive - The report states that healthy diets and lifestyles, healthy cities with good waste management and the use of green infrastructure in built-up areas, and healthy mobility can increase labour productivity, reduce the need for land for agriculture and reduce the costs associated with urban congestion and transport-related pollution.


  • It further states that if gender equality is promoted, including the right to inherit and own land, then food security and many health issues relating especially to women and children could be better addressed.


    Background

    • The UN Environment launched the first Global Environment Outlook (GEO) in 1997.


    • The GEO reports aim to build on sound scientific knowledge to provide governments, local authorities, businesses and individual citizens with the information needed to guide societies to a truly sustainable world by 2050.


    • This flagship report shows how governments can put the world on the path to a truly sustainable future. It emphasises that urgent and inclusive action is needed by decision makers at all levels to achieve a healthy planet with healthy people.


    4. Section 29A of Representation of Peoples Act, 1951

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    • Registration of Political parties is governed by the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951


    • A party seeking registration under the said Section with the Commission has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation as per guidelines prescribed by the Election Commission of India in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Commission of India and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.


    • As per existing guidelines, the applicant association is  inter-alia asked to publish proposed Name of the party in two national daily news papers and two local daily newspapers, on two days in same news papers, for inviting objections, if any, with regard to the proposed registration of the party before the Commission within  a 30 days from such publication.


    5. India’s Trade deficit narrows down

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    • India’s trade deficit narrowed to a 17-month low of $9.6 billion in February as merchandise imports fell on the back of lower crude oil prices.

    • Exports growth was relatively at 2.44% in February, while imports contracted 5.41% in dollar terms, according to data released by the commerce ministry.

    • In rupee terms, however, exports and imports expanded at 13.34% and 4.66% respectively, mostly because of depreciation in the rupee. So far this year, the rupee has weakened 2.07%, the worst performer among Asian currencies.


    6. National Vaccination Day – March 16, 2019

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    • Aim - To promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages from disease

    Related Schemes

        1. Mission Indradhanush

    Objectives & Key features  

    • Aims to cover all those children by 2020 who are either unvaccinated, or are partially vaccinated against vaccine preventable diseases.

    • India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) provide free vaccines against 12 life threatening diseases, to 26 million children annually.

    • The UIP provides life-saving vaccines to all children across the country free of cost to protect them against Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis B, Pneumonia and Meningitis due to Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib), Measles, Rubella, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Rotavirus diarrhoea. (Rubella, JE and Rotavirus vaccine in select states and districts).

    2.EVIN (Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network) - Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

    It is an indigenously developed technology system that digitizes vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone app.

    Objective : 

    • eVIN aims to support the GoI’s Universal Immunisation Programme by providing real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows, and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in these states.

    • The technological innovation is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).