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Study on babies born with low birth weight

Paper : General Studies 2

Why in news?

  • Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have found that one in every seven babies were born with low birth weight in 2015.
  • The study was published online Wednesday in The Lancet Global Health.

What are the findings of the study?

  • The authors noted, however, that the estimated prevalence of low birth weight in South Asia has decreased from 32.3% in 2000 to 26.4% in 2015.
  • In 2011, The Indian Statistical Institute had reported that nearly 20% of newborns have low birth weight in India. At the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, officials said the prevalence of low birth weight was between 15% and 20%.
  • The study cautions that the annual decline will need to more than double to meet the global target of a 30% reduction between 2012 and 2025 – including in high-income countries.
  • The authors have also called for immediate action to tackle underlying causes of low birth weight to ensure clinical care for small babies and for all babies to be weighed at birth.


India’s Foreign Trade : April 2019

Paper : General Studies 3


Why in news?

  • India’s overall exports (Merchandise and Services combined) in April 2019 is estimated to be USD 44.06billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 1.34per cent over the April 2018.
  • Overall imports in April 2019 is estimated to be USD 52.83billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 4.53per cent over April 2018.
  • The Balance of Trade for April is estimated to be negative.

Balance of Trade

What is Balance of Trade?

  • The balance of trade is the difference between the value of a country’s imports and exports for a given period. The balance of trade is the largest component of a country’s balance of payments.


Workshop on Artificial Bio-organs held in Visakhapatnam

Paper : General Studies 3

Why in news?

  • In order to strengthen Indo-Australian Cooperation and achieve development of 3D printing industry in both the countries, Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone (AMTZ) has recently organized a one-day workshop on Organ Bio Printing at the Kalam Convention Center, AMTZ Campus in Visakhapatnam.
  • The workshop explored 3D printing, an innovative technology that covers all medical disciplines and offers new opportunities in diagnostics and therapy. From diagnostic visualization to surgical planning, patient-specific models provide an added value for patients and physicians.


What is 3D printing?

  • 3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
  • The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
  • 3D printing is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing which is cutting out / hollowing out a piece of metal or plastic with for instance a milling machine.
  • 3D printing enables you to produce complex (functional) shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods.


India presents Country Statement at Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

Paper : General Studies 3


Why in news?

  • A high level Indian delegation is participating in the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction 2019 being held at Geneva, Switzerland from 13-17 May 2019.
  • It presented India’s Country Statement and briefed on the steps taken by India, after the adoption of the Sendai Framework.


What is Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction?

  • The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (Sendai Framework) is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda, with seven targets and four priorities for action.
  • It was endorsed by the UN General Assembly following the 2015 Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR).
  • The Sendai Framework is a 15-year, voluntary, non-binding agreement which recognizes that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.
  • Its aim is as follows: ‘The substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.’
  • The Sendai Framework is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters.

Sendai Framework on DRR

Seven Global Targets of Sendai Framework:

  1. Substantially reduce global disaster mortality by 2030, aiming to lower average per 100,000 global mortality rate in the decade 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.
  2. Substantially reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030, aiming to lower average global figure per 100,000 in the decade 2020 -2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.
  3. Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.
  4. Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and educational facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030.
  5. Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020.
  6. Substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this Framework by 2030.
  7. Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030.


Four Priorities for Action

Priority 1. Understanding disaster risk Disaster risk management should be based on an understanding of disaster risk in all its dimensions of vulnerability, capacity, exposure of persons and assets, hazard characteristics and the environment. Such knowledge can be used for risk assessment, prevention, mitigation, preparedness and response.

Priority 2. Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk Disaster risk governance at the national, regional and global levels is very important for prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, and rehabilitation. It fosters collaboration and partnership.

Priority 3. Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience Public and private investment in disaster risk prevention and reduction through structural and non-structural measures are essential to enhance the economic, social, health and cultural resilience of persons, communities, countries and their assets, as well as the environment.

Priority 4. Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction The growth of disaster risk means there is a need to strengthen disaster preparedness for response, take action in anticipation of events, and ensure capacities are in place for effective response and recovery at all levels. The recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction phase is a critical opportunity to build back better, including through integrating disaster risk reduction into development measures.



Government names officers for special operations, cyber and space divisions

Paper : General Studies 3

Why in news?

Government has named two star officers from the three services to oversee the setting of these three tri service divisions – special operations, cyber and space

About the three tri-service divisions:

  • They were announced last year in the wake of increasing threats in these areas as well the growing need to have specialized cadres of soldiers handling these operations.
  • The setting up of a special operations unit––known as the Special Operations Command––was first proposed by a committee headed by former cabinet secretary Naresh Chandra in 2011.
  • The proposed new division is expected to have some 3,000 commandos––drawn from the special forces of the Indian Army, the Marine Commando (MARCOS) unit of the Indian Navy and the Garud unit of the Indian Air Force.
  • The Cyber warfare centre aims to look at sharpening offensive capabilities while the Space warfare centre––which is expected to come up in Bengaluru––will be looking at protecting India’s space assets including military satellites.


Payments Systems Vision 2021 : RBI

Paper : General Studies 3


Why in news?

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has envisaged four times growth in digital transaction in two years, in the payment system vision document for 2019-2021.
  • Payment systems like UPI and IMPS are likely to register average annualised growth of over 100%, and NEFT at 40%, over the vision period.
  • A 35% growth has been targeted in use of digital modes of payment for purchase of goods and services through increase in debit card transactions at point-of-sale terminals during the vision period.
  • No specific target has been considered for reducing cash in circulation.