Composite Regional Centres for Persons with Disabilities
Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has recently inaugurated the ‘Composite Regional Centre (CRC) for Skill Development, Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities’ in Ranchi.
About CRCs –
- CRCs have been established in many other States and they all are working for skill development, rehabilitation and providing employment to the Persons with Disabilities. The goal is to establish CRCs in every state.
- The primary objective of CRC is to create the requisite infrastructure for training, manpower development, research and to provide services to persons with disabilities.
The main objectives are:
- To serve as the Composite Regional Centre for rehabilitation and special education of persons with disabilities.
- To establish linkages with existing medical, educational, and employment services following the principles of community-based rehabilitation, and offer extension services in the rural areas.
- To stimulate growth of services by encouraging and supporting voluntary organisations, parent groups and self- help groups.
- To undertake human resource development by training rehabilitation professionals, village level workers, multi-rehabilitation workers and other functionaries in the government and non-government sector required for providing services to persons with disabilities.
- To develop strategies for delivery of rehabilitation services suitable to the socio-cultural background of the region.
- To undertake research and development with specific reference to the needs of diverse groups of people with disability, keeping in view the nature and severity of disability in the region.
- To undertake public education programme for the creation of awareness among parents and the community.
- To undertake designing, fabrication & fitment of aids and appliances.
- To undertake services of education and skill development, leading to enhancement of opportunities for employment, rehabilitation, mobility, communication, recreation and integration in society.
About ADIP Scheme –
- The ADIP Scheme (Scheme of Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids and Appliances) is in operation since 1981 with the main objective to assist the needy disabled persons in procuring durable, sophisticated and scientifically manufactured, modern, standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation by reducing the effects of disabilities and enhance their economic potential.
- Assistive devices are given to PwDs with an aim to improve their independent functioning and to arrest the extent of disability and occurrence of secondary disability. The aids and appliances supplied under the Scheme must have due certification.
- The scheme also envisages conduct of corrective surgeries, wherever required, before providing an assistive device.
- Under the Scheme, grants-in-aid are released to various implementing agencies (Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO)/National Institutes/Composite Regional Centres/District Disability Rehabilitation Centres/ State Handicapped Development Corporations/ NGOs, etc.) for purchase and distribution of aids and assistive devices.
- The Scheme was last revised w.e.f. 1.4.2014 and further modified and approved for continuation during the remaining period of the 14th Finance Commission i.e., up to 31.3.2020.
Axone is cooked, eaten and loved in Nagaland, and many tribal communities in different parts of Northeast India and beyond.
What is ‘axone’?
- Axone — also spelled akhuni — is a fermented soya bean of Nagaland, known for its distinctive flavour and smell. As much an ingredient as it is a condiment, axone used to make pickles and chutneys, or curries of pork, fish, chicken, beef etc.
- While it is called ‘axone’ in parts of Nagaland, fermented soya bean is cooked with, eaten and known by different names in different parts of Northeast India, including Meghalaya and Mizoram, Sikkim, Manipur as well in other South, Southeast and East Asian countries of Nepal, Bhutan, Japan, Korea, China, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Indian doctors have said the reported success of dexamethasone — an inexpensive steroid that retails for less than ₹10 for 10 ml and is made by several Indian manufacturers — in saving the lives of COVID-19 patients on ventilators is good news for the country.
Scientists administering the WHO-administered RECOVERY trial, the largest global clinical trial that is checking the ability of several repurposed drugs to treat COVID-19, reported that dexamethasone reduced deaths by one-third in ventilated patients and by one-fifth in other patients receiving oxygen only. There was no benefit among those patients who did not require respiratory support.
What is ‘Dexamethasone’?
- Dexamethasone is a steroid (not an antiviral drug) – a medicine that reduces inflammation by mimicking anti-inflammatory hormones produced by the body.
- This drug works by dampening down the body’s immune system.
- Coronavirus infection triggers inflammation as the body tries to fight it off. But sometimes the immune system goes into overdrive and it’s this reaction that can prove fatal – the very reaction designed to attack infection ends up attacking the body’s own cells.
- Dexamethasone calms this effect. It’s only suitable for people who are already in hospital and receiving oxygen or mechanical ventilation – the most unwell.
- The drug does not work on people with milder symptoms, and suppressing their immune system at this point would not be helpful.
Climate Change and India
India’s first ever national forecast on the impact of global warming on the subcontinent in the coming century, expects annual rainfall to increase, along with more severe cyclones and — paradoxically — more droughts.
These projections, based on a climate forecasting model developed at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, will be part of the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), expected to be ready in 2022.
What does the report say?
- The report ‘Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian region’ says that from 1986-2015, the hottest day and coldest night have warmed 0.63°C and 0.4°C, respectively.
- By the end of the 21st century, the report says, these temperatures are projected to rise by approximately 4.7°C and 5.5°C, respectively, relative to the corresponding temperatures in 1976-2005. This under a hypothetical scenario where no steps are taken to curb global greenhouse gas emissions or the RCP 8.5 as it is called. Currently countries have signed an agreement to reduce emissions to restrict global temperature rise by the end of the century to less than 2°C.
- RCP8.5 is the worst-case scenario used by climate modellers worldwide. In a medium GHG emissions scenario, called RCP4.5, average temperature in India would rise by 2.7 degrees in the last three decades of this century.
- The frequencies of future warm days and warm nights are projected to increase by 55% and 70%, respectively, relative to the reference period of 1976-2005. Summer heat waves over India are projected to be three to four times higher by the end of the 21st century.
- The projected rapid changes in India’s climate will place increasing stress on the country’s natural ecosystems, agricultural output, and fresh water resources, the report says.
- There has been observed a change of 0.7°C in average temperatures over India which has already registered a spike in extreme weather events over the region.
Impact of climate change on India –
- On Himalayas – The IITM experts have calculated that the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) experienced a temperature rise of about 1.3 degrees between 1951 and 2014. Several areas of HKH have experienced a declining trend in snowfall and also retreat of glaciers in recent decades, though some glaciers in the high-elevation Karakoram range has escaped this retreat due to more winter snowfall. By the end of the twenty-first century, the annual mean surface temperature over HKH is projected to increase by about 5.2 degrees Celsius under the RCP8.5 scenario.
- On Monsoon – Sea surface temperature (SST) of the tropical Indian Ocean has risen by 1 degrees Celsius on average during 1951–2015, markedly higher than the global average SST warming of 0.7 degrees Celsius, over the same period. The summer monsoon precipitation (June to September) over India has declined by around 6% from 1951 to 2015, with notable decreases over the Indo-Gangetic Plains and the Western Ghats. There has been a shift in the recent period toward more frequent dry spells (27% higher during 1981–2011 relative to 1951–1980) and more intense wet spells during the summer monsoon season. Over central India, the frequency of daily precipitation extremes with rainfall intensities exceeding 150 mm per day increased by about 75% during 1950–2015.” The report predicts an increase in this variability.
- On Land and Sea – The report records that around India, the sea has risen 3.3 mm per year between 1993 and 2017. The scientists forecast that even in an RCP4.5 scenario, by the end of the century the seas around India will rise by 300 mm from the average level between 1986 and 2005. This means a larger area along the coast will be affected by storms and saltwater intrusion.
What should be done?
As per the report, the points of action include “passive reduction of indoor temperatures, water conservation and rainwater harvesting, groundwater regulation, reversing land degradation, reduction in food and water wastage, waste segregation and recycling, low impact urban development, expansion of urban green spaces and urban farming, pollution control, increasing the area under irrigation and improving the efficiency of agricultural water use, forest conservation and proactive afforestation, construction of coastal embankments and mangrove restoration, improvement in disaster response, phasing out fossil fuels and transition to renewables, electrification, expansion of walking, bicycling and public transport infrastructure, and carbon taxation.”
Overall, climate change has already made India hotter and drier since the middle of the twentieth century, with more droughts, cloudbursts, floods, rising seas, stronger cyclones and a change in the monsoon pattern.
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is being observed on June 17, 2020 with the theme “Food. Feed. Fibre – the links between consumption and land”.
What is desertification?
- Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations.
- Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one third of the world’s land area, are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use.
- Goal 15 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states our resolve to halt and reverse land degradation.
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought –
- The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed every year to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. The day is a unique moment to remind everyone that land degradation neutrality is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels.
- This day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly resolution in 1995, after the day when United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification was drafted.
Theme of 2020 –
- This year’s observance is focused on changing public attitudes to the leading driver of desertification and land degradation: humanity’s relentless production and consumption.
- World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, under the slogan “Food. Feed. Fibre.” seeks to educate individuals on how to reduce their personal impact.
- Food, feed, and fibre is also contributing to climate change, with around a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions coming from agriculture, forestry and other land use. Clothing and footwear production causes 8 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, a figure predicted to rise almost 50 per cent by 2030.
About UNCCD –
- Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.
- The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.
- It is the only convention stemming from a direct recommendation of the Rio Conference’s Agenda 21.
- In India, The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is the nodal Ministry for this Convention.