Bachchan, Ratan Tata join fight for a TB-free country – (Health)
- TB is one of the deadliest diseases in India. As per the figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) global TB report 2014, around 2.40 lakh Indians die every year and 61,000 suffer from multidrug-resistant TB.
Indian diplomacy faces a tough test – (International Relation)
- As India sought waiving of immunity for the diplomat accused of raping two Nepalese women in Gurgaon, an agency report said he and his family have shifted to the Saudi Embassy while the two women have left for Nepal earlier in the day.
- The case has put Indian diplomacy in the spotlight as the victim and the accused are of different nationalities.
Many govt. law officers inept: SC – (Indian Polity)
- With the State governments appointing political favourites to the public posts of government pleaders and law officers, the already-beleaguered justice delivery system in the lower courts across the country has been further weakened, the Supreme Court said on Thursday.
Waive immunity, Delhi tells Riyadh – (International Relation)
- Indian Officials concede that while it is highly unlikely the immunity would be waived given the Saudi Embassy’s statement, such a request is necessary to proceed against the diplomat.
- In the next step, the government could declare the diplomat ‘persona non grata’, and withdraw his diplomatic accreditation. This would effectively revoke his visa and protection to his family, and force the Saudi government to repatriate the diplomat or allow him to be expelled from the country.
Militants outsmart Indian agencies with new tech tool – (Security)
- A technological breakthrough prompted by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 in New York area is the latest militant tool baffling the Indian security establishment.
- The technology, of sending mobile communications without using mobile networks, has given another twist to the ongoing cat-and-mouse game between militants and security agencies in recent months. For sometime now, Indian agencies have noticed infiltrating militants from Pakistan carrying smart phones without SIM cards. And they presumed the militants would procure local SIMs in Kashmir for using them.
It is for govt. to decide on manned mission: ISRO chief – (Science and Technology)
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar on Thursday said it was for the government to decide as to when a manned space mission should be undertaken.
- Addressing students at the Ramakrishna Math here, he said the country had to make up its mind on human space programme. “On its part, the ISRO is working on developing certain critical technologies for the proposed mission. We need to wait for the nation to decide as to when we want to put a man in space,” he added.
Over 3 million premature deaths in India in 2013, says study – (Health)
- In 2013, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, household air pollution from solid fuels, unsafe water sources and smoking were the top avoidable risks associated with health loss and a significant amount of disease burden among Indians in both sexes.
- Of the five top risks, high blood pressure, diabetes and household air pollution from solid fuels were estimated to cause 7.8 per cent, 5.2 per cent and 4.7 per cent of the total health loss in India in 2013 respectively. About 3.3 million premature deaths in 2013 were caused by these three risk factors alone.
The devil is in the details – (Security)
- Whether we are at the point of a ‘historic accord’ or a ‘Framework Agreement’ in the Naga peace process, adherence to fundamental principles of the Indian Constitution is vitally important. Therefore, the concept of ‘shared sovereignty’ needs to be examined.
- The NSCN (I-M) leadership has mastered the art of semantics but it has hardly endeared itself to other Naga communities. The NSCN (Khaplang) and the NSCN (Konyak-Kitovi) act independent of it.
Old problems mar a new solution – (Social Issues)
- District Mineral Foundations were set up to protect the interests of Adivasi communities who have borne the costs of mining. But they are flawed in their current form.
- Despite local communities being the hardest hit by mining projects, the institutional framework sidelines public participation, which is crucial to build an effective District Mineral Foundation.
Russia joins combat in Syria – (International Relation)
- Two U.S. officials said Russia has sent two tank landing ships and additional aircraft to Syria in the past day or so.
- Three Lebanese sources familiar with the political and military situation in Syria said on Wednesday that Russian forces have begun participating in military operations in support of government troops.
U.S. to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016 – (International Relation)
- President Barack Obama has ordered his team to admit at least 10,000 Syrian refugees next year, the White House said on Thursday, amid criticism that the United States has not done enough.
- With global public opinion shocked by images of drowning refugees, the United States is under political pressure to act quickly. The United States currently accepts around 70,000 refugees from conflicts and persecution each year, but has been slow to accept Syrians.
U.K. largest G20 investor in India, currently employs 6.91 lakh people – (Economics)
- Since 2000, the U.K. has emerged as the largest G20 investor in India, pumping in $22.2 billion as of March 2015, more than 30 per cent of all investments made by G20 economies in India in that period, according to a report by the Confederation of British Industry released on Thursday.
- British companies currently employ 6.91 lakh people in India, working out to 5.5 per cent of total organised private sector jobs, and have revenues of $54 billion arising out of operations in the country.
Final recommendations on compensation for call drops in October: TRAI Chairman – (Economics)
- With no significant headway made towards resolving the problem of frequent call drop, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in October will come out with its final recommendations on compensation that may be paid to mobile phone users by operators for poor service.
- TRAI has already floated a draft paper on the issue and is awaiting stakeholders’ responses, post which it will issue final recommendations. In the paper, the authority has suggested compensation by the way of not charging customers for dropped calls or providing them with free calling minutes.