The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)
- It is part of the United Nations Secretariat and is responsible for the follow-up to major United Nations Summits and Conferences, as well as services to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the Second and Third Committees of the United Nations General Assembly
- UN DESA assists countries around the world in agenda-setting and decision-making with the goal of meeting their economic, social and environmental challenges
- It supports international cooperation to promote sustainable development for all, having as a foundation the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015
- In providing a broad range of analytical products, policy advice, and technical assistance, UN DESA effectively translates global commitments in the economic, social and environmental spheres into national policies and actions and continues to play a key role in monitoring progress towards internationally agreed-upon development goals
- It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group
Small Savings Schemes (SSS)
- The Central Government operates Small Savings Schemes (SSS) through the nationwide network of about 1.5 lakh post offices, more than 8,000 branches of the Public-Sector Banks and select private sector banks and more than 5 lakh small savings agents
- The Small Savings Schemes can be grouped under three:
(i) Post office Deposits: Post Office Savings Account, Post Office Time Deposits (1,2,3 and 5 years), Post Office Recurring Deposits, Post Office Monthly Account,
(ii) Savings Certificates: National Savings Certificate (VIII Issue) and Kisan Vikas Patra
(iii) Social Security Schemes: Public Provident Fund, Senior Citizens Savings Scheme, and Sukanya Samriddhi Account
- The Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology has decided to adopt the word ‘AYUSH’ in Hindi and English languages for scientific and technical purposes.
- The “AYUSH” became popular as the acronym for five traditional and complementary systems of medicine, namely Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.
- The decision followed a proposal from the Ministry of AYUSH in this regard.
- The word ‘ayush’ will have the meaning “Traditional and Non-Conventional Systems of Health Care and Healing which include Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa, Homoeopathy etc.
- It will also give a boost to India’s efforts to find a place for the Indian Systems of Healthcare in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) of the World Health Organization.
‘Green Good Deeds’
- ‘Green Good Deeds’ is a societal movement launched to protect the environment and promote good living in the country.
- The nationwide campaign aims to ensure the cooperation of thousands of people – students, teachers, NGOs, RWAs and professionals to adopt these deeds.
- The ongoing BRICS Ministerial on Environment at Durban, South Africa, has agreed to include “Green Good Deeds” in its official agenda.
Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology
- The Commission for Scientific & Technical Terminology (CSTT) was set up in 1960.
- It was by a resolution of Government of India under the proviso to Clause (4) of Article 344 of the Constitution.
- The objective is to evolve and define scientific and technical terms in Hindi and all Indian languages.
- It will also publish glossaries, definitional dictionaries and encyclopedia.
- It will ensure that the evolved terms and their definitions reach the students, teachers, scholars, scientists, officers etc.,
- The commission also coordinates with all States to ensure uniformity of terminology in Hindi and other Indian languages.
- The Commission carries out the following functions :-
- Preparation and Publication of National terminology.
- Identification and Publication of School Level Terminology and Departmental Glossaries.
- Identification of Pan Indian Terms.
- Preparation of University level textbooks, monographs and journals.
SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization)
- SCO is a Eurasian political, economic and military organization which was established in 2001 at Shanghai by China Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Russia.
- India and Pakistan became 7th and 8th members of the grouping.
- It has four observer states- Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus.
- It’s aims at building mutual trust and cooperation in various fields.
Performance of various cities under Swachh Survekshan 2018
The Swachh Survekshan 2018 results have been announced. It was organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), under the aegis of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), assessed 4203 Urban Local Bodies.
- Indore has emerged as the cleanest city, followed by Bhopal and Chandigarh. Indore was the cleanest city last year as well.
- Jharkhand has been adjudged as the best performing state, followed by Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.
- Cleanest State Capital/UT: Greater Mumbai.
- India’s ‘Cleanest big City’: Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh).
- India’s ‘Fastest Mover’ big City: Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh).
- India’s Best City in ‘Citizens Feedback’: Kota (Rajasthan).
- India’s Best City in ‘Innovation & Best Practices’: Nagpur (Maharashtra).
- India’s Best City in ‘Solid Waste Management: Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra).
- India’s Cleanest Medium City: Mysuru (Karnataka).
- India’s ‘Fastest Mover’ Medium City: Bhiwandi (Maharashtra).
- India’s Best City in ‘Citizens Feedback’: Parbhani (Maharashtra).
- India’s Best City in ‘Innovation & Best Practices’: Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh).
- India’s Best City in ‘Solid Waste Management: Mangalore (Karnataka).
- India’s Cleanest Small City: New Delhi Municipal Council.
- India’s ‘Fastest Mover’ Small City: Bhusawal (Maharashtra).
- India’s Best City in ‘Citizens Feedback’: Giridih (Jharkhand).
- India’s Best City in ‘Innovation & Best Practices’: Ambikapur (Jharkhand).
- India’s Best City in ‘Solid Waste Management: Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh).
Ebola virus disease
The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the Ebola health risk assessment to “very high” in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While the WHO raised the national public health risk to ‘very high,” it said the global risk level is “currently low.”
- Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
- Transmission: The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
- The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
- Prevention: Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service and social mobilisation.
- Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralise the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.
National Mineral Development Corporation (NDMC)
- NMDC is the largest iron ore mining company in India.
- The corporation was founded in 1958.
- With iron ore production of around 35 million tons per annum, it has a domestic market share of about 25%.
- It also extracts diamonds through its mine in Panna, Madhya Pradesh, which is the only mechanized diamond mine in Asia.
- It s vision is to emerge as a global Environment friendly Mining Organization and also as a quality Steel producer with a positive thrust on Social Development.
- It is headquartered at Hyderabad, Telegana.
Venture Capital Symposium 2018
- NITI Aayog, in association with Vision India Foundation, is organizing the Venture Capital Symposium 2018 to deepen the economic relationships between France and India.
- It is an event where the French investors will be interacting with 100 early to mid-stage Indian start-ups.
- It aims to support the Start-up India program.
- The event facilitates interactions between French investors, Indian investors, Indian start-ups and critical government functionaries.
- The French investors will explore the investment landscape as well as the socio-cultural richness of India.