Global Vaccine Summit 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed the virtual Global Vaccine Summit hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in which over 50 countries – business leaders, UN agencies, civil society, government ministers, Heads of State and country leaders participated.
India has pledged USD 15 million to GAVI, the international vaccine alliance.
What is GAVI?
- GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, is a public–private global health partnership with the goal of increasing access to immunisation in poor countries. It is a United Nations-backed organisation which coordinates vaccinations across the world.
- It was created in the year 2000 as a successor to the Children’s Vaccine Initiative, which had been launched in 1990.
- GAVI brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry in both industrialised and developing countries, research and technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private philanthropists.
- It has an observer status in World Health Assembly.
- GAVI supports many vaccine programmes such as Human Papillomavirus Vaccine, Polio Vaccine, Japanese Encephalitis, Typhoid, Cholera, Rotavirus, Yellow fever, Pentavalent vaccine etc.
TULIP – Urban Learning Internship Programme
Ministry of Human Resources Development and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs have recently joined hands to launch an online portal for ‘The Urban Learning Internship Programme (TULIP)’.
What is TULIP?
- TULIP is a programme for providing internship opportunities to fresh graduates in all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Smart Cities across the country.
- It is a joint initiative of ‘All India Council for Technical Education’ (AICTE) and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
- It aims for 1 crore successful internships by the year 2025.
- TULIP would help enhance the value-to-market of India’s graduates and help create a potential talent pool in diverse fields like urban planning, transport engineering, environment, municipal finance etc. thus not only catalysing creation of prospective city managers but also talented private/ non-government sector professionals.
- TULIP would benefit ULBs and smart cities immensely. It will lead to infusion of fresh ideas and energy with engagement of youth in co-creation of solutions for solving India’s urban challenges. More importantly, it will further Government’s endeavours to boost community partnership and government- academia-industry-civil society linkages.
- Thus TULIP- “The Urban Learning Internship Program” would help fulfil twin goals of providing interns with hands-on learning experience as well as infusing fresh energy and ideas in the functioning of India’s ULBs and Smart Cities.
Arsenicum Album 30
A homeopathic drug, Arsenicum album 30 has become a subject of debate after several states recommended it for prophylactic (preventive) use against COVID19. This was after the Ministry of AYUSH listed the drug among ‘preventive and prophylactic simple remedies’ against COVID19.
About the drug –
- Arsenicum album is made by heating arsenic with distilled water, a process repeated several times over three days.
- The health hazards of arsenic contamination in water are well known: long-term exposure to the metal can cause skin cancer, pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. The homoeopathic drug has less than 1% arsenic.
- Arsenicum album is considered to correct inflammation in body. It takes care of diarrhoea, cough and cold.
- It is used commonly by homeopaths to treat anxiety, restlessness, cold, ulcerations, burning pains. It is taken in powder form or as a tablet.
Link with COVID19 –
- On January 28, at its 64th meeting, the Scientific Advisory Board of the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) opined that “Arsenicum album 30 could be taken as prophylactic medicine against Coronavirus infections”.
- The CCRH released a fact sheet stating this medicine is only a “possible prevention” against flu. The following day, the Ayush Ministry recommended taking the medicine for three days on an empty stomach and repeating the dose after a month if an outbreak continues locally.
- It was said that the Arsenicum album 30 should be taken daily once in empty stomach for three days. The dose should be repeated after one month by following the same schedule till Corona virus infections prevalent in the community.
Several homeopaths have pointed out that each individual reacts differently to homeopathic medicines and one medicine cannot be universally held as a prophylactic for all.
Inner Line Permit
Recently, the Supreme Court declined to stay the operation of a Presidential order which petitioners claimed deprived Assam of the powers to implement the Inner Line Permit system in its districts and limit the applicability of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
What is Inner Line?
- A concept drawn by colonial rulers, the Inner Line separated the tribal-populated hill areas in the Northeast from the plains.
- To enter and stay for any period in these areas, Indian citizens from other areas need an Inner Line Permit (ILP). Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram are protected by the Inner Line, and lately Manipur was added.
- The concept originates from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act (BEFR), 1873.
- After Independence, the Indian government replaced “British subjects” with “Citizen of India”. In 2013, the Home Ministry told Rajya Saha, “The main aim of ILP system is to prevent settlement of other Indian nationals in the States where ILP regime is prevalent, in order to protect the indigenous/tribal population.”
How is it linked to CAA?
- The CAA, which relaxes eligibility criteria for certain categories of migrants from three countries seeking Indian citizenship, exempts certain categories of areas, including those protected by the Inner Line system.
- Amid protests against the Act, the Adaptation of Laws (Amendment) Order, 2019, issued by the President, amended the BEFR, 1873, extending it to Manipur and parts of Nagaland that were not earlier protected by ILP.
What is the petition?
The influential Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) and All Tai Ahom Students’ Union (ATASU) petitioned the Supreme Court against the Presidential order. Noting that the original BEFR included the then Assam districts of Kamrup, Darrang, Nowgong (now Nagaon), Sibsagar, Lakhimpur, and Cachar, the petition said the order took away the Assam government’s permissive power to implement the ILP. This could have made the CAA inapplicable in these areas, the petition said.
World Environment Day 2020
Each year, June 5 is celebrated as the World Environment Day. The World Environment Day 2020’s theme is ‘Celebrate Biodiversity‘, and it will be hosted in Colombia, in partnership with Germany.
About World Environment Day –
- Since 1974, World Environment Day has been started celebrating as an annual event on every 5th June to raise the importance of the healthy and green environment in the human lives, to solve the issues of the environment by implementing some positive environmental actions by government, organisations and individual as a whole.
- In 1972, the conference was held on Human Environment which began from 5th to 16th June at United Nations. Here, the World Environment Day was first established to be celebrated every year by running some effective campaigns by the United Nations General Assembly and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
- The first time World Environment Day was celebrated in 1974 with the theme “Only one Earth”.
- Initially, it was started as a flagship campaign for raising awareness on budding environmental issues from marine pollution and global warming, to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime.
- The aim of this day is to encourage people worldwide to take care of the Earth or become an agent of change.
- World Environment Day has grown to become a global platform for public outreach, with participation from over 143 countries annually.
Border Area Development Programme
To ramp up infrastructure along the China border, the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to spend 10% funds of Border Area Development Programme (a Centrally Sponsored Scheme) only on projects in Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim.
- The Border Area Development Programme (BADP) has been allocated ₹784 crore in the 2020-21 fiscal and the money is distributed to the border States and Union Territories depending on various criteria such as the length of the international border and population. In 2019-20, ₹825 crore was granted for the scheme.
- The projects for developing strategically important villages and towns in border areas that have been identified by the border guarding forces will be given priority. Around ₹78.4 crore has been parked for projects in areas inhabited along the 3,488 km China border.
What will be constructed?
- Construction of roads, bridges, culverts, primary schools, health infrastructure, playfields, irrigation works, mini-stadiums, indoor courts for basketball, badminton and table tennis can be undertaken within 10 km of the border.
- Forces such as the Border Security Force (BSF), deployed along the Bangladesh and Pakistan borders; the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on the China border; the Sashastra Seema Bal along the Nepal border; and the Assam Rifles stationed along the Myanmar border would provide independent feedback on the projects in the blocks concerned and may be tasked to conduct social audit of the works
- No NGO or private institution could be hired for infrastructure related work, the guidelines said.
The creation of infrastructure “would help integrate these areas with the hinterland, create a positive perception of care by the country and encourage people to stay on in the border areas leading to safe and secure borders”.
About Border Area Development Programme –
- It is a centrally sponsored scheme which aims to meet the special development needs of the people living in remote and inaccessible areas situated near the international border and to saturate the border areas with the essential infrastructure through convergence of Central/State/BADP/Local schemes and participatory approach.
- The funds under BADP are provided to the States as a 100% non-lapsable Special Central Assistance.
- The Department of Border Management, Ministry of Home Affairs has been implementing the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) through the State Governments as part of a comprehensive approach to Border Management.
- BADP was initiated in the border areas of the western region during that Seventh Five Year Plan period for ensuring balanced development of border areas through development of infrastructure and promotion of a sense of security among the border population.
- The programme now covers 394 border blocks of 111 border districts in 17 States, which includes 167 border blocks in 55 districts of 8 North East, States (including Sikkim), located along the international land border. Under this programme priority is given to the areas closer to the border.