For online IAS classes

For online IAS classes, Click Here, Click here.

Tuberculosis Free India Initiative

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Why in the news?

  • Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare have signed MoU today to forge inter-sectoral convergence at the level of policy, planning and programme implementation for accelerated response towards “Tuberculosis Free India” initiative. 
  • The intended collaboration between the two Ministries aims at the development of linkages and integration of TB care services within the infrastructure and institutional network of AYUSH. 
  • The MoU with the Central TB Division of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare outlines the scope and extent of AYUSH involvement in sensitization, awareness generation, capacity building of AYUSH institutions and health service providers in the areas of TB diagnosis, control and management. 
  • Focused activities envisaged under the MoU will cover joint planning to work with AYUSH organisations & professional bodies and promote adjuvant use of evidence- based AYUSH interventions for, TB control and management. 
  • It is also intended to facilitate research collaboration and best practices of AYUSH healthcare and build up capacities for TB-free work places and communities. 
  • Both Ministries will appoint Nodal Officers for development of implementation plan, modalities of operationalisation and steering the collaboration activities outlined in the MoU.

About Tuberculosis in India

  • India accounts for about a quarter of the global TB burden. Worldwide India is the country with the highest burden of both TB and MDR TB. There are an estimated 79,000 multi-drug resistant TB patients among the notified cases of pulmonary TB each year. India is also the country with the second highest number (after South Africa) of estimated HIV associated TB cases. 
  • TB treatment & care in India is provided in the public sector by the government’s Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) as well as through private sector health providers. The private sector is very large, and it is believed that more than half of all TB patients are cared for in the private sector.
  • Elimination as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO), means that there should be less than 1 case of TB for a population of a million people. In view of the current TB burden in India, there is a great deal that needs to be done if elimination is to be achieved by 2025. The National Strategic Plan 2017 – 2025, sets out the government plans of how the elimination of TB can be achieved.
  • One of the main changes in this strategic plan, is that the emphasis is going to be on reaching patients seeking care from private providers. So this NSP builds on the work already done with the new RNTCP operating guidelines. The RNTCP will also be helping private providers to provide quality care and treatment, rather than encouraging the private providers to send their patients to get care from the RNTCP. The cost of implementing the new NSP is estimated at US$ 2.5 billion over the first three years. This is a large increase over the budget for the current NSP.
  • The NSP plans to provide incentives to private providers for following the standard protocols for diagnosis and treatment as well as for notifying the government of cases.6 Also patients referred to the government will receive a cash transfer to compensate them for the direct and indirect costs of undergoing treatment and as an incentive to complete treatment. This has already been trialed in some pilot projects.


National Disaster Response Force

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Disaster and disaster management

Why in the news?

  • Flood rescue and evacuation operations by NDRF in flood hit areas across the country are continuing. The personnel of NDRF are delivering their best to make the access to the stranded people in low lying parts of regions. Besides, NDRF teams are also distributing relief materials and providing medical care to the needy people.
  • Assam: The flood situation has slightly improved at few places in Assam, but at some places, it still remains critical. NDRF teams deployed at Morigaon in Assam to meet the challenges due to flood like situations, conducted rescue & relief operation and evacuated 165 marooned people. Besides, teams also provided medical assistance to the 83 needy people. So far, more than 5830 people have been evacuated by NDRF in Assam
  • Bihar: The water levels have begun to recede in the inundated areas of Bihar.  Today, NDRF team operational at Distt. Darbhanga, in connection with the flood like situation, evacuated 20 stranded people and shifted them to safer places. In addition, NDRF team assisted to the state administration in organising medical camps and in distribution of relief material.  So far, NDRF teams have evacuated more than 4400 people in Bihar.


What is the NDRF?

  • The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a specialised force constituted “for the purpose of specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster” under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a force of 12 battalions, organised on para-military lines, and manned by persons on deputation from the para-military forces of India: three Border Security Force, three Central Reserve Police Force, two Central Industrial Security Force, two Indo-Tibetan Border Police and two Sashastra Seema Bal. 
  • It functions under the National Disaster Management Authority


International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Why in the news?

  • Mankind’s destruction of nature is driving species to the brink of extinction at an “unprecedented” rate, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the leading wildlife conservation body, warned Thursday as it added more than 7,000 animals, fish and plants to its endangered “Red List.”
  • From the canopies of tropical forests to the ocean floor, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said iconic species of primates, rays, fish and trees were now classified as critically endangered.
  • Currently there are more than 105,700 species on The IUCN Red List, with more than 28,000 species threatened with extinction, including 40% of amphibians, 34% of conifers, 33% of reef building corals, 25% of mammals and 14% of birds.


What is the IUCN?

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.
  • Created in 1948, IUCN has evolved into the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its 1,300 Member organisations and the input of 14,500 experts. IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. 
  • IUCN has observer and consultative status at the United Nations, and plays a role in the implementation of several international conventions on nature conservation and biodiversity. It was involved in establishing the World Wide Fund for Nature and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
  • The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity.Far more than a list of species and their status, it is a powerful tool to inform and catalyze action for biodiversity conservation and policy change, critical to protecting the natural resources we need to survive. It provides information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, use and/or trade, threats, and conservation actions that will help inform necessary conservation decisions.


Prelims Specific

  • The Deeksharambh , a guide to Student Induction Programme of the UGC, is to help new students adjust and feel comfortable in the new environment, inculcate in them the ethos and culture of the institution, help them build bonds with other students and faculty members, and expose them to a sense of larger purpose and self-exploration.
  • Paramarsh’ – a University Grants Commission (UGC) scheme for Mentoring National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) Accreditation Aspirant Institutions to promote Quality Assurance in Higher Education. This “Paramarsh” scheme will target 1000 Higher Education Institutions for mentoring with a specific focus on quality as enumerated in the UGC “Quality Mandate”. Mentor-Mentee relationship will not only benefit both the institutions but also provide quality education to the 3.6 crore students who are enrolling to Indian Higher Education system at present.
  • INS Sagardhwani, an oceanographic research vessel of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, embarked on a two-month-long Sagar Maitri Mission-2 from Southern Naval Command in Kochi on Thursday. Sagar Maitri is a unique initiative of the DRDO which aligns with the broad objective of ‘Safety And Growth for All in the Region’ (SAGAR) to promote closer cooperation in socio-economic aspects as well as greater scientific interaction, especially in ocean research among Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries. It has a specific scientific component ‘MAITRI (Marine & Allied Interdisciplinary Training and Research Initiative)