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Current Affairs May 12 2019

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According to WHO’s report, India faces severe shortage of healthcare providers, especially in Bihar, Jharkhand, U.P. & Rajasthan
The WHO (World Health Organization) has published a research paper titled ‘Forecasting the future need and gaps in requirements for public health professionals in India upto 2026’ in the ‘WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health‘, in which it states that India faces critical shortage of healthcare professionals, especially in Bihar, Jharkhand, U.P. (Uttar Pradesh) & Rajasthan which have the worst hit ratio as compared to Delhi, Kerala, Punjab and Gujarat which are in a relatively better position.
i. Health workforce includes all those people engaged in actions whose primary intent is to enhance and improve the health of the general public affected with any kind of health issue.
Key Points:
i. In spite of the 5 million workers being employed by the health sector in India, according to WHO’s database, the low density of health providers in India is even lower than nations like Sri Lanka, China, Thailand, United Kingdom and Brazil.
ii. India’s health workforce can be broadly classified into 8 categories which are named as follows:

  • doctors (allopathic, alternative medicine)
  • nursing and midwifery professionals
  • public health professionals (medical, non-medical)
  • pharmacists
  • dentists
  • paramedical workers (allied health professionals)
  • grass-root workers (frontline workers)
  • support staff

iii. WHO notifies that Southeast Asia requires a 50% rise in healthcare employment in order to reach the universal health coverage by 2030.
iv. The immediate action to be taken for improvement are as follows:

  • employment of various categories of non-physician care providers
  • valuation must be given to capability or core competency, and just not qualification.
  • changes to be brought in regulatory structures to incorporate flexibility for innovations

v. The research study by WHO notifies that according to the 2008 Government statistics based on vacancies in sanctioned posts:

  • 18% of primary health centres were without a doctor
  • 38% of primary health centres were without a laboratory technician
  • 16% of primary health centres were without a pharmacist

The Higher Education Department issued new Research norms to teachers
The Higher Education Department has strictly issued new norms for the University Grants Commission- funded scheme which are meant for the faculties of colleges and universities who pursue research. This order is issued after the detection of numerous violations by the beneficiaries of the scheme.
Key Points:
i. The Government has observed that many teachers leave the programme midway or fail to submit their thesis. Some teachers fail to render the compulsory service after they return from the Faculty Improvement Programme(FIP) deputation. It has led to the huge loss of public money.
ii. In order to tackle these problems, the Government has decided to impose penalties on those teachers who fail to follow the rules. Those who fail to render compulsory service after deputation will have to pay a penalty which comprises the pay along with the allowance drawn during their fellowship and the salary paid  to the substitute teacher and the contingency grant with interest.
iii. If the teacher fails to submit the thesis by six months from the date of expiry of the deputation period, then they will be entitled to pay the entire amount drawn by them along with the contingency grant, salary paid to the substitute teacher and a penalty of Rs. 25,000 with interest. The Government will also restrict the research scheme to the teachers who are below 45 years.


The 58th Venice Biennale is held from 11th May to 24th November 2019 at Venice, Italy

  • After a long gap of 8 years, India has again marked its presence at the 58th Venice Biennale, Italy which will be held from 11th May till 24th November 2019 (6 month’s period). The title of the exhibition is “May You Live In Interesting Times”. It is curated by Ralph Rugoff.
  • The theme for Indian Pavillion is titled ‘150 years of Mahatma Gandhi’. It has been laid down by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India………………………….Click here to Read more

2019 Meetings of the COPs to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions held in Switzerland

  • In Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG) Geneva, Switzerland, the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (BC COP-14), the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (RC COP-9) and the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention (SC COP-9) held from April 29 to May 10, 2019.
  • The theme of the meeting was “Clean Planet, Healthy People: Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste”. In the meeting, 187 countries pledge to restrict the global plastic waste but United States has refused to take part in this pledge……………………….Click here to Read more


Facebook has selected London as the center to develop WhatsApp’s mobile payment service
CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that it has selected London to be the center to launch WhatsApp Pay. The reason to choose London than US City is  because WhatsApp is widely used in UK and London is considered as a Hub for Fintech.
Key Points:
i. WhatsApp has 1.5 billion users globally, out of which, more than 200 million users are in India.
ii. In the process of launching this new feature, WhatsApp will hire nearly 100 new software engineers in London and additional staff would be hired in Dublin.
iii. In April, the Reserve Bank of India issued a circular with regard to data localization policy for payment system providers. Data localization means the storage of data within India. On May 3, Facebook assured the Supreme Court that it would adhere to the RBI’s data localization norms before the launch of the full payments service in India.
About Facebook:
Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, United States
Founded: February 4, 2004
CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
About WhatsApp:
Headquarters: Mountain View, California, United States
Founded: 2009
Parent Organization: Facebook


Chhaya Sharma, who oversaw Nirbhaya rape case receives McCain Institute Award 2019
On 10th May 2019,  IPS officer Chhaya Sharma, who headed the investigation team of the infamous Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, has been conferred with the 2019 McCain Institute Award for Courage and Leadership.
i. She has guided teams in the detection and investigation of sensitive criminal cases and protection of human rights.
ii. In 2017, Chhaya has performed a crucial role in drafting Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines to Combat Trafficking of Persons in India.
iii. The award is granted to those who manifest courage on behalf of human rights, humanitarian compassion, justice, freedom, and human dignity.
iv. Other famous awardees are-MalalaYousafzai (2015) and DikembeMutombo (2016).
About McCain Institute :
Founded: 2012
Leader: Kurt Volker
Location: Washington, D.C.


Indian actress Dia Mirza and Alibaba Chief Jack Ma are among the new 17 UN advocates for  SDGs
The United Nations SecretaryGeneral Antonio Guterres has appointed 17 new advocates to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These include the Indian actress Dia Mirza and the Chief of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma.

Dia Mirza and Jack MaKey Points:
i. The newly appointed UN advocates are the 17 influential global figures. It is the responsibility of these advocates to raise awareness, inspire greater ambition and strive hard for the faster action on the SDGs, which were adopted by the world leaders on September 25, 2015.
ii. The other newly appointed SDG Advocates are Queen Mathilde of the Belgians, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Founder, Education Above All Foundation (State of Qatar), British screenwriter, producer and film director Richard Curtis, Nobel Laureate Nadia Murad, Director of Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University Jeffrey Sachs, Brazilian footballer and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, Forest Whitaker.
iii. The UN Secretary-General has appointed some members of the previous class of SDG Advocate such as Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Nobel Laureate and Founder of Grameen Bank Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh as SDG Advocate Alumni.
iv. Chief of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma has been an SDG Advocate since 2016.
v. Actress Dia Mirza is also the UN Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador for India.

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World’s first women’s cricket magazine “CRICZONE” launched
Recently, the world’s first exclusive women’s cricket magazine “CRICZONE” released with Indian women’s cricket team vice-captain Smriti Mandhana featured as the cover story. The publisher of the magazine is Yash Lahoti.

CRICZONEKey Highlights
i. The magazine “CRICZONE” was launched in Jaipur, Rajasthan during an event which was conducted on the sidelines of the inaugural women’s T20 challenge. It was attended by international cricketers like Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and overseas players like Danielle Wyatt and Sophie Davine.
ii. The objective of this magazine is to empower young aspiring women cricketers to take the sport as a profession and able to make sustainable living.

Desert Storm Rally 2019
The 17th edition of  India’s most prestigious international motorsport event, Desert Storm Rally 2019 held in Rajasthan from May 7 to 11, 2019. The event saw the participation of 130 candidates with 34 teams in 3 categories namely Xtreme, Moto and Ndure.
Key Highlights
i. The category Moto was won by Adrien Metge from TVS Racing. He was followed by Hero Motorsports CS Santosh and TVS Racing’s Abdul Wahid Tanveer.
ii. The Xtreme category title clinched by Aabhishek Mishra (co-driver Srikanth Gowda) while Ndure Category won by Ankur Chauhan (co-driver Prakash M).


Actor Clement von Franckenstein dies at 74
On 9th April 2019, Urbane British actor, Clement von Franckenstein died in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles due to hypoxia at the age of 74. He has portrayed the president of France opposite Michael Douglas and Annette Bening in The American President. Von Franckenstein was born on May 28, 1944, Sunninghill, United Kingdom.

Clement von Franckensteini. He had acted in Lionheart (1990),Death Becomes Her (1992),The Evening Star (1996),Hail, Caesar! (2016).
ii. He had appeared in Take Me Home Tonight (2011), The Five-Year Engagement (2012) and Angels on Tap (2018).

Bhojpuri Vocal artist, Padma Shri awardee Hiralal Yadav passes away at 93 in Varanasi
On May 12, Bhojpuri singer, Padma Shri awardee Hiralal Yadav passed away in a private hospital in Varanasi, Uttar pradesh after a prolonged illness. He was 93. He was a renowned Bhojpuri folk singer from ‘Birha’ genre, which revolves around the separation of a lover from his beloved.

Hiralal Yadavi. He received the Padma Shri award, the fourth highest civilian award of our nation, in January 2019.
ii. For his contribution in the field of music, he was awarded the Yash Bharti Award from the Government of Uttar Pradesh in the year 2015.
iii. He has done numerous albums with T-series which include Devar Bhabhi Ki Holi, Ram Bhakt Ghurhu Kisan, Chabda Chatti Peeta, Gadhavat Swami Sadguru Bhajan and others.
About Uttar Pradesh:
Capital: Lucknow
Chief Minister: Yogi Adityanath
Governor: Ram Naik
Wildlife Sanctuary: Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary
National Parks: Dudhwa National Park


International Nurses Day 2019 observed on May 12
On 12th May 2019, The International Nurses Day was celebrated globally to commemorate the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale also known as ‘The Lady with the Lamp’, was famous as manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War. The theme for the International Nurses Day 2019 is –‘Nurses – A Voice to Lead –Health for All’.

International Nurses Day 2019i. In 1860, Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of “Nightingale School of Nursing” at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. It was the first secular nursing school in the world and is now part of King’s College London.
ii. The Florence Nightingale Medal is the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve.
The day was first observed in 1965 by International Council of Nurses (ICN), after an officer with the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare Dorothy Sutherland proposed Nurses Day in 1953 and was first declared by President Dwight D Eisenhower. In January 1974, 12 May was chosen to celebrate the day.


Ajoy Mehta has been appointed as the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra
Ajoy Mehta (1984-batch I.A.S- Indian Administrative Officer), the municipal commissioner of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) also known as Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has been appointed as the new Chief Secretary (CS) of Maharashtra.

Ajoy MehtaKey points:
i. He holds the distinction of being the longest-serving BMC commissioner.
ii. Mehta’s predecessor UPS Madan (1983 batch IAS officer), who has opted for voluntary retirement (under V.R.S.- voluntary retirement scheme) after serving the post of CS for just 44 days makes him the shortest-serving CS of Maharashtra. He still had five months of service left and for that period he has been appointed as the chairman of SICOM (State Industrial Investment Corporation Of Maharashtra) and also as special advisor to Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis.
iii. 1985-batch I.A.S officer- Praveen Pardeshi (the additional chief secretary to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis) has been appointed as the new municipal commissioner chief of Mumbai, succeeding Ajoy Mehta.
iv. Mehta will retire in September 2019.
v. One of the notable works of Mehta as the principal secretary, department of energy under Maharashtra government include the transition of the state-owned Maharashtra State Electricity Board into 3 independent companies which were dedicated to generation, transmission, and distribution.

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