Monday, October 27, 2014

18th Oct Newspaper Notes - NPCB, WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Issue, Nirbhay Successful, Vision Ambassadors

1. Health and Family Welfare Union Minister Mr. Hash Vardhan has declared that a review of NPCB would be undertaken – NPCB stands for National Programme for Control of Blindness. 

(a) NPCB was launched in 1976 in order to contain the increasing problem of blindness. 
(b) India has the largest number of blind people in the World (around 35 lakhs) and every year around 30000 people are joining the list. 
(c) In 2006-07 a “Rapid Survey on Avoidable Blindness” was undertaken. Its reports said the occurrence of avoidable blindness has shown some improvement – From 1.1% in 2000 to 1% in 2006.
(d) The NPCB has also set an aim of bringing down the presence of blindness from 1% currently to 0.3% by 2020. 
(e) Mr. Harsh Vardhan has praised the “Vision Ambassadors” concept. He has said that full utilization of funds should be done which have been earmarked for the NPCB in 12th FYP (2012-17)

Note- Who are “Vision Ambassadors”?

These are volunteers who act as link between donors and eye bank- The concept is in use in Bangalore. 

2. Long range sub-sonic cruise missile Nirbhay test fired success fully for over a range of 1000km from the Integrated test range in Chandipur (Odisha). 

It was fired from canister based Mobile launcher. It is a fire and forget missile developed by DRDO’s ADE. ADE stands for Aeronautical development establishment. It is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear war heads for a distance of more than 1000km. This was the second trial of Nirbhay. The first trial in around March 2013 was unsuccessful. 

3. (WTO) World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevedo has expressed concern over India not ratifying the TFA (Trade Facilitation Agreement). 

Indian viewpoint- If India ratifies trade facilitation agreement it would not be able to impose trade barriers in foreign food products thereby increasing the competition in domestic market and then it would be difficult for Govt. to fix MSP (Minimum Support Price) for farmers. 

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