7th August 2018 : Daily Current Affairs - UPSC CSE/IAS and State PSC

This page contains "7th August 2018" current affairs analysis from different newspapers and magazines like The Hindu, Indian express, PIB and Yojna.

Quality and relevance are two key features considered while writing the content, all the topics are based on the pattern of previously asked questions in exams like UPSC CSE, IAS, State PCS, SSC, Banks PO and likewise competitive exams.

NE India's stats emerged as the new hotspots for HIV

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, three states of NE India including Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura have emerged as the new hotspots for HIV, despite the fact that a steady decline has been observed in the number of HIV cases in India as a whole.

NE India a new HIV hotspots

According to Health and Family Welfare Ministry, unsafe sexual practices and high-risk behaviour of Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) in NE states of India are main reasons behind emergence of HIV in these states.

HIV prevalence in IDUs from these states is between 33 to 39 per cent, whereas for the rest of the country the prevalence in IDUs is 6.3 per cent.

HIV prevalence among female sex workers of these states is around 24.68 percent whereas for the rest of the country the prevalence in female sex workers is 1.6 per cent.

HIV prevalence among pregnant women visiting ante-natal clinics (ANC) of these states is around 1 percent whereas for the rest of the country the prevalence is 0.28 per cent for pregnant women.

HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS)

HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS) is a biennial study conducted by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), this is one of the largest regular studies in the world dealing with HIV in high risk groups of the population.

India has one of the world's largest and most robust HIV Sentinel Surveillance System. Tremendous efforts have been made to collect data on the HIV/AIDS epidemic through HIV Sentinel Surveillance.

National AIDS Research Institute (NARI)

National AIDS Research Institute [NARI], a premier Institute devoted to research on HIV infection and AIDS was established in October 1992 in Bhosari, Pune.

The institute has supported the National AIDS Control Programme in an effective manner by providing services like surveillance, capacity building, laboratory services and drug resistance.

The Institute also performed wide ranging National and International Collaborations in multi-disciplinary research on AIDS including virology, immunology, microbiology, clinical research, epidemiology, field based trials and social and behavioral research.

Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART)

Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) are group of medications used in HIV treatment, these medicines does not kill or cure the virus but when taken in combination they can prevent the growth of the virus. When the virus is slowed down, so is HIV disease.

Around 21 lakh people are living with the HIV infection in India, where almost 12.28 lakh people are covered under ART. The target is to bring 90 percent of total 21 lakh affected people under Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART).

ART (Anti-Retroviral Treatment) has been very effective in suppressing the virus and reducing the transmission of HIV from the infected person.

Way ahead
The discussion on HIV prevalence has to be taken to the affected districts. Prevention and intervention strategies should be formulated for the most affected population with good coverage.

India has a target to "End of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030", while the country has most robust HIV Sentinel Surveillance System and effective Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) in place, the concentration should be on encouraging more people to take the HIV test, so that they can be bought under Anti-Retroviral Treatment(ART).
Discuss: NE India's stats emerged as the new hotspots for HIV

What is NASA's Curiosity rover ?

NASA's Curiosity rover has completed six years on planet Mars, the mission has detected evidence of liquid water as well as potential signs of life and habitability on the planet.

NASA's Curiosity rover was landed on the Mars's Gale Crater on August 6 2012, the mission of the rover was to discover whether the red planet ever was, or is, habitable to microbial life.

The rover has a size equivalent to a car, it has 17 cameras and a robotic arm containing a suite of specialised laboratory-like tools and instruments.

Curiosity rover's discoveries

In 2013, the Curiosity rover discovered that ancient Mars had the right chemistry to support living microbes. Evidence of key ingredients necessary for life like sulphur, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon are also found by the rover on the planet.

It also revealed fresh and possibly drinkable water with not too much salt and clay minerals presence on the planet, the rover also revealed a steady knee-deep stream of water was once on the red planet by detecting the pattern of smooth and rounded rocks.

A discovery of the Curiosity rover also revealed the presence of atmospheric methane and observed a ten-fold increase in methane over a two-month period.
Discuss: What is NASA's Curiosity rover ?

India's 2030 targets of reducing child mortality

According to the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) of World Health Organization (WHO), all countries should aim to reduce neonatal mortality to 12 deaths per 1,000 live births per year, and under-five mortality to a maximum of 25.

The study conducted by Jayanta Bora and Nandita Saikia from Austria-based non-profit International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, used the latest (2015-16) and last round (2005-06) data from the National Family Health Survey, the survey has full birth history of women aged 15-49.

Child mortality status in India

The study conducted to evaluate neonatal and under-five mortality at a district and state level, indicates that at least half of the districts of Indian are still not on track to reduce the mortality rates of newborns.

With around 1.1 million deaths per year among children under five and newborns, India still holds top position in child deaths around the world.

The report indicates that various measures adopted by India have cut the number of deaths of under-fives by around half in in the past 23 years but the neonatal deaths still remains around 2.4 times higher than the target.

The researchers found that just 9 per cent of districts in India, have so far reached the SDG3 targets for neonatal mortality, while 14 per cent reaching the targets for under-five mortality.

Most populous states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh are most affected and most of their districts will fail to achieve the SDG3 goal on neonatal mortality.

Poorer states of north-central and eastern India are worst performing with mortality rates is still low in these areas.

Matching to the global trend, India too have the female neonatal mortality rate below than that of males, indicating gender discrimination.

While some districts of a particular state may already have achieved the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) target 15 years in advance, some districts will not achieve this even by the 2030 target time.
Discuss: India's 2030 targets of reducing child mortality

What is "The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018"

The Parliament of India passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018, the bill seeks to award the death penalty for those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12".

Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance - 2018 was promulgated in April, following an outcry over the rape and murder of a minor girl at Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir and the rape of a woman at Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, the bill now replace this ordinance.

What is The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018 stipulates a minimum jail term of 20 years which may go up to life in prison or death sentence, for the rape of a girl under 12 years. While perpetrators involved in the gang-rape of a girl below 12 years of age will get life imprisonment or death.

The minimum punishment for convicts of rape of women is also increased from rigorous imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years.

Under the bill the imprisonment for convicts of rape of women aged between 12-16 is increased from 10 to 20 years and it is extendable to life imprisonment, while convict of gang rape for same age group will get a life imprisonment.

As per the bill only a woman judge will hear the rape case and a woman police officer will record the statement of rape victims.

The bill also provides for setting up fast-track special courts to exclusively deal with rape cases, a six-month time limit is also provisioned under the bill for disposal of appeals in rape cases.

Way ahead
While increasing punishments for crimes against girls is a welcome step, the government should formulate policies for crimes against boys as well.
Discuss: What is "The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018"

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