UPSC CA: 9 September 2020

40% children not fully vaccinated: NSO report

Context:

  • ‘Health in India’ report has been published by the National Statistical Organisation (NSO).
  • The report is based on the 75th round of the National Sample Survey (July 2017-June 2018) on household social consumption related to health.

Key findings:

  • Across the country, only 59.2% of children under five years are fully immunised.
  • This contradicts the Centre’s Health Management Information System portal data, which claimed that full immunisation coverage for 2017-18 stood at 86.7%.
  • It points out that although almost all children in India are vaccinated against tuberculosis, and receive their birth dose of the polio vaccine, two out of five children do not complete their immunisation programme.
  • Most of these children remain unprotected against measles, and partially protected against a range of other diseases.
  • About 97% of children across the country received at least one vaccination — mostly BCG and/or the first dose of OPV at birth. This remains steady across income groups and geographies.
  • However, only 67% of children are protected against measles.
  • Full immunisation means that a child receives eight vaccine doses in the first year of life.
  • Among the states, Manipur (75%), Andhra Pradesh (73.6%) and Mizoram (73.4%) recorded the highest rates of full immunisation. 
  • At the other end of the spectrum lies Nagaland, where only 12% of children received all vaccinations, followed by Puducherry (34%) and Tripura (39.6%).

Universal Immunisation Programme

  • Immunization Programme in India was introduced in 1978 as ‘Expanded Programme of Immunization’ (EPI) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. In 1985, the programme was modified as ‘Universal Immunization Programme’ (UIP) to be implemented in phased manner to cover all districts in the country by 1989-90 with the one of largest health programme in the world.
  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India provides several vaccines to infants, children and pregnant women through the Universal Immunisation Programme.

About immunization

  • Immunization is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. Vaccines are substances that stimulate the body’s own immune system to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease.

Vaccines provided under UIP:

BCG

  • About-BCG stands for Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine. It is given to infants to protect them from tubercular meningitis and disseminated TB.

OPV

  • OPV stands for Oral Polio Vaccine. It protects children from poliomyelitis.

Hepatitis B vaccine

  • Hepatitis B vaccine protects from Hepatitis B virus infection.

Pentavalent Vaccine

  • About-Pentavalent vaccine is a combined vaccine to protect children from five diseases Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b infection and Hepatitis B.

Rotavirus Vaccine

  • About -RVV stands for Rotavirus vaccine. It gives protection to infants and children against rotavirus diarrhoea. It is given in select states.

PCV

  • PCV stands for Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine. It protects infants and young children against disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. It is given in select states.

fIPV

  • fIPV stands for Fractional Inactivated Poliomyelitis Vaccine. It is used to boost the protection against poliomyelitis.

Measles/ MR vaccine

  • About-Measles vaccine is used to protect children from measles. In few states Measles and Rubella a combined vaccine is given to protect from Measles and Rubella infection.

JE vaccine

  • About- JE stands for Japanese encephalitis vaccine. It gives protection against Japanese Encephalitis disease. The JE vaccine is given in select districts endemic for JE.

DPT booster

  • About-DPT is a combined vaccine; it protects children from Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis.

 TT

  • Tetanus toxoid vaccine is used to provide protection against tetanus. 

 

International Literacy Day

Context: 

  • The United Nations marks International Literacy Day to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies, and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies on September 8.

About the International Literacy Day:

  • The day aims at raising awareness and reminding people of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.
  • Theme 2020 is “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond”.
  • The Literacy Day this year will reflect on the innovative and effective pedagogies that can be used in youth and adult literacy programmes to face the pandemic and beyond.
  • Following the UNESCO General conference, the first International Literacy Day was celebrated on September 8, 1967.
  • The conference stated, “The hundreds of millions of illiterate adults still existing in the world, make it essential to change national education policies.”

Indians and Literacy:

  • In India, as per the last census in 2011, a total of 74.04 per cent are literate, an increase of 9.2 percent from the last decade (2001-11).
  • India will take another 50 years to achieve universal literacy, which is 2060, as per UNESCO.
  • According to the report ‘Household Social Consumption: Education in India of National Statistical Office (NSO) data,
  • Kerala is the most literate state in the country, with 96.2 percent literacy, while Andhra Pradesh features at the bottom with a rate of 66.4 percent.
  • Delhi has 2nd the best literacy rate at 88.7 per cent, followed by Uttarakhand at 87.6 per cent, Himachal Pradesh at 86.6 percent and Assam at 85.9 percent.
  • Rajasthan features as the second-lowest performer with a literacy rate at 69.7 per cent, followed by Bihar at 70.9 per cent, Telangana at 72.8 percent, Uttar Pradesh at 73 percent and Madhya Pradesh at 73.7 per cent.

 

ADB & India Sign $500 Million Loan

Context: 

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $500 million loan to build a modern, high-speed 82-kilometer Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor.

Key points:

  • With a design speed of 180 km per hour and high-frequency operations of every 5–10 minutes, the corridor connecting Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi to Modipuram in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh is expected to reduce the journey time to about 1 hour from the present 3–4 hours.
  • It will improve regional connectivity and mobility in India’s national capital region (NCR).
  • The first tranche financing will be used for constructing electrified tracks, signaling systems, multimodal hubs and stations with design features that are friendly to elderly, women, children and the disabled.
  • It will also support the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) in drafting action plans on Transit-oriented development (TOD), value capture financing (VCF) instruments and public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives, setting up a smart-technology based platform, and formulating a gender-friendly workplace policy.
  • Development of this corridor will have a huge demonstration effect and pave the way for a paradigm shift in mobility and the pattern of urban development within the region.
  • The project is expected to have a transformational impact on the development trajectory of the national capital region by introducing high-level technologies for RRTS, signaling, and station designs.

Asian Development Bank:

  • ADB is a regional development bank established in December 1966.
  • It is headquartered in Manila, Philippines and aims at reducing poverty in Asia and Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration.
  • The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and non-regional developed countries.
  • ADB was modelled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with member’s capital subscriptions.
  • ADB is an official United Nations Observer and offers both Hard Loans and Soft loans.
  • The ADB offers “hard” loans from ordinary capital resources (OCR) on commercial terms, and the Asian Development Fund (ADF) affiliated with the ADB extends “soft” loans from special fund resources with concessional conditions.
  • Currently, ADB has 68 members– of which 49 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 from outside the region.
  • India is the founding member of ADB.
  • Funding
    • ADB raises funds through bond issues on the world’s capital markets.
    • ADB also relies on its members’ contributions, retained earnings from its lending operations, and the repayment of loans.
    • Japan holds the largest proportions of shares at 15.67%.
    • The United States holds 15.56%, China holds 6.47%, India holds 6.36%, and Australia holds 5.81%.
  • Functions of ADB
    • Provides loans and equity investments to its Developing Member Countries (DMCs).
    • Provides technical assistance for the planning and execution of development projects and programs and for advisory services.
    • Promotes and facilitates investment of public and private capital for development.
    • Assists in coordinating development policies and plans of its DMCs.

 

RBI constituted KV Kamath Committee recommends 26 sectors for loan restructuring

Context: 

  • Reserve Bank of India released the K V Kamath-led Committee report, on Resolution Framework for Covid-19-related stress along with sector specific benchmark ranges for such parameters.

Key points:

  • The committee has recommended financial parameters including aspects related to leverage, liquidity and debt serviceability.
  • It has suggested financial ratios for 26 sectors, which can be factored by lenders while finalising a resolution plan for a certain borrower.
  • The identified sectors include auto components, auto manufacturing, aviation, cement, construction, pharma manufacturing, power, real estate, consumer durables, hotels, restaurants and tourism among others.
  • The committee selected five parameters based on their relevance while considering the resolution plan.
  • These include ratios:
    • Total Outside Liability/Adjusted Tangible Net Worth (TOL/Adjusted TNW)
    • Total Debt/EBIDTA
    • Current Ratio
    • Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR)
    • Average Debt Service Coverage Ratio (ADSCR)
  • In addition to above five mandatory parameters, lenders can also consider other financial parameters and adopt a graded approach depending on the severity of the impact on the borrowers.
  • In respect of sectors where ratios have not been specified, lenders can make their own assessment towards the resolution plan.
  • The panel has recommended that the resolution framework should be invoked by December 31, 2020.
  • The resolution process should be treated as invoked once lenders representing 75 per cent by value and 60 percent of lenders agree to do so.
  • The residual tenor of the loan may be extended by maximum two years, with or without payment moratorium. The moratorium period shall come into force immediately upon implementation of the resolution plan.
  • The asset classification may be maintained as standard or upgraded to standard subject to the resolution panel being implemented as per the framework.
  • Banks may restructure loans of more than ₹10 lakh crore largely attributed to 5-6 critical sectors, including aviation, commercial real estate and hospitality, that have been severely hit by the Covid-19 outbreak.

KV Kamath Committee

  • The RBI had formed a five-member committee under the chairmanship of Kamath to make recommendations on the financial parameters to be considered for the one-time restructuring of loans impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic.
  • The committee had asked to recommend a list of financial parameters, including leverage, liquidity, and debt serviceability, to decide on the resolution plan.
  • The committee will also vet the resolution plans for all the accounts where the exposure is more than ₹1,500 crores.

 

 

Indira Gandhi Peace Prize for 2019

Context: 

  • In a virtual award ceremony, the renowned author and natural historian David Attenborough was conferred the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize.

Key points:

  • David is well known through his prodigious creativity in educating the humankind with brilliant films and books about the natural world.
  • And he has been the most sensible voice warning that more than anything else, humankind is responsible for the accelerating threat to the environment on our planet.

Indira Gandhi Peace Prize

  • The Indira Gandhi Peace Prize which is named after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is a prestigious prize awarded annually by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust since 1986.
  • It consists of a monetary award of Rs 25 lakh along with a citation
  • The Indira Gandhi Peace Prize is given to individuals or organizations who are working towards ensuring international peace and development, ensuring that scientific discoveries are used to further the scope of freedom and better humanity, and creating new international economic order.

 

Development Finance Institution (DFI)

Context: 

  • The Union government is planning to set up a new Development Finance Institution (DFI) essentially to fill the gap in long-term finance for infrastructure sectors.

Key points:

  • DFIs provide long-term credit for capital-intensive investments spread over a long period and yielding low rates of return, such as urban infrastructure, mining and heavy industry, and irrigation systems.
  • DFIs often lend at low and stable rates of interest to promote long-term investments with considerable social benefits.
  • DFIs are also known as Development banks.
  • They are different from commercial banks which mobilize short- to medium-term deposits and lend for similar maturities to avoid a maturity mismatch-a potential cause for a bank’s liquidity and solvency.

The DFI can have two types of character:

  • Either it should be promoted by the government.
  • Or it should be given a private sector character with the government restricting its holding to 49%.
  • There are clear advantages if the DFI is fully held by the government, the most important being fund-raising.
  • The securities from the DFI could be made Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) eligible.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) requires banks to set aside 18% of their net demand and time liabilities towards SLR.
  • Any issue involved in the senior management of the DFI may be hounded by
    • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI),
    • Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)
    • Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).