Posts Tagged ‘current affairs’

WSJ: “Hundreds of leading scientists are urging the world to finish the job on polio, declaring that the disease has never been closer to eradication and endorsing a new global plan to wipe it out within six years. India has proved an inspiration.

More than 400 signatories to this week’s declaration, hailing from 80 countries, believe polio eradication is achievable in large part because of the great gains India has made against the disease. Not long ago, experts said stopping polio in India was impossible, but we’ve just celebrated two years since the last case and continue to work hard to ensure that all children are vaccinated against the virus.

Polio once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children each year without regard to national borders. Now, it is endemic in only three countries.

The Scientific Declaration endorses a new global polio eradication plan provides a fully costed, realistic roadmap how to finish off polio. It applies lessons learned from India for reaching zero polio cases while simultaneously preventing re-importation of the disease and switching to a new vaccine that wipes out even the risk of vaccine-related polio.

As the rest of the world learns from India’s success, it is worth asking what else polio lessons can teach India. The country has the highest child mortality rate in the world; 1.66 million children under five die every year from preventable diseases. Innovations developed to eliminate polio offer India unprecedented opportunities to get other life-saving vaccines and health interventions to the people that need them most.

Measles could be the next disease on the hit-list. According to The Lancet medical journal, vaccines slashed measles deaths by 74% between 2000 and 2010, from 535,300 to 139,300. But India still accounts for nearly half of measles deaths.”


The Annual Plan of 17000 crore rupees for the year 2013-14 for Kerala State was finalized by the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy on 8 April 2013. The new plan size is 21 percent more than the previous year plan.

Kerala’s performance in the 11th Plan was commendable in almost all sectors including the social sector. The state took innovative steps towards implementation of the plans. In the 11th plan period the state grew at the rate of 8 percent and in the financial year 2011-2012 the rate of growth was 11.5 percent.

For the running financial year 2012-13, the target growth rate fixed by the state is 9.58%. In the latest budget plan the state is aimed towards encouraging the Students’ Entrepreneurship in the state and have made an allocation of 75 crore rupees under various heads to encourage the same. The implemented educational loan scheme of the state was designed to improve the employability skills of students. In context of agricultural development, the state government has demanded adequate loans at 7 percent interest through banks via NABARD to genuine farmers.

Odisha on 8 April 2013 decided to set up the first public health university in India. This university will be set up under Public-Private Partnership mode at Gramadiha village in Jatni tehsil on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. An MoU has been signed in this regard by State Health Department and Asian Institute of Public Health in Bhubaneshwar.

In the first phase, 100 crore rupees will be invested in this University. The University will offer master and postdoctoral degree, diplomas and certificates courses in public health and public health management to both medical and non-medical professionals.

The 2013 Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA) ceremony took place in BC Place, Vancouver on 6 April 2013. The top winner of the awards was Barfi! which bagged the best film, best director, best actor and best actress trophies.

The list of the awards is as follows:

• TOIFA Best film- Barfi!
• TOIFA Best Actor-Ranbir Kapoor (for Barfi!)
• TOIFA Best Actress- Priyanka Chopra (for Barfi!)
• TOIFA Best Supporting Actor Male- Annu Kapoor (for Vicky Donor)
• TOIFA Best Supporting Actor Female- Dolly Ahluwalia (for Vicky Donor)
• TOIFA Best Actor in Negative Role- Rishi Kapoor (for Agneepath)
• TOIFA Best Actor in a Comic Role- Abhishek Bachchan (for Bol Bachchan)
• TOIFA Best Debut Actor Male- Ayushman Khurana (for Vicky Donor)
• TOIFA Best Debut Actor Female- Ileana D’Cruz (for Barfi!)
• TOIFA Best Director- Anurag Basu (for Barfi!)
• TOIFA Best Music Director- Ajay Atul (for Agneepath)
• TOIFA Best Lyricist- Gulzar (for Jab Tak Hai Jaan)
• TOIFA Best Playback Singer Male- Sonu Nigam (for Agneepath song Abhi Mujhme Kahi)
• TOIFA Best Playback Singer Female- Shalmali Kholgade (for Ishaqzaade song Shalmali Kholgade)
• TOIFA 2013 Best Actor Male (Critics) – Irfaan Khan (for Paan Singh Tomar)
• TOIFA 2013 Best Actor Female (Critics) – Deepika Padukone (for Cocktail)
• TOIFA 2013 Best Debut Director (Critics) – Gauri Schinde (for English Vinglish)

The fifth BRICS Summit from 26 to 28 March 2013 was held at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC), South Africa. The theme of the 5th BRICS Summit was: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation. The participant nations in the summit were Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Key recommendations of the Summit are as following:
• The BRICS Nations fully support the efforts of their respective governments at the G20 that has emerged as the premiere forum to address critical global economic and financial issues. We shall work collectively to carry forward the work agenda set by the G20 leaders for promoting stronger, sustainable and more equitable growth.
• They reiterate that the world economic order is changing and that the process of developing economic policy agenda at the global level should reflect this. While there is a realization even amongst the developed countries about the increasing economic weight of emerging economies, this is not fully reflected in the governance model of global institutions such as the IMF and World Bank. We shall continue to work alongside our governments to gradually usher in governance reforms at multi-lateral institutions.
• The BRICS nation urges their respective governments to deepen their consultative engagements on economic policies to bring about stability and certainty in global financial markets.
• The BRICS nations encourage their respective governments to take steps to deepen economic engagement amongst the BRICS countries. The establishment of the BRICS Business Council is, therefore, supported as a practical measure that will deepen economic engagement amongst BRICS countries. Trade and investment are the two pillars of economic engagement amongst BRICS countries. We should look to continue enhancing intra-BRICS trade to achieve at least US$ 500 billion by 2015 as per agreement from previous Business Forum in India. It is essential to improve the quality of trade by focusing on more value added trade in all the three sectors namely manufacturing, services and agriculture. Likewise, we should capitalise on opportunities in sectors such as but not limited to agriculture and agro-processing, energy, sustainable development, infrastructure, mining beneficiation, pharmaceutical and information and communication technology. There is agreement that support for industrialisation projects on the African continent will contribute to the expansion of trade and investment links between BRICS and Africa.
• The Countries are encouraged by the discussions that are taking place amongst our respective governments towards greater cooperation in the financial sector. The possibility of setting up of a development bank and investment fund and promoting trade within this group in local currencies are particularly encouraging and progress in finalising these.