Current Affairs India October 2011 | Indian Current Affairs Short Notes

Avahan and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation -funded US dollars 338 million project, called Avahan, which was launched in six Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur and Nagaland in 2003. It was launched for the purpose of reducing the spread of HIV in India and developing a model prevention system to encourage others worldwide to adapt and adopt it. With the help of this project, more than 100,000 fresh HIV cases have been averted over the last five years among the general population in India which has some 2.4 million people living with the virus.

India wants contentious issues to be part of Durban climate talks
India has submitted a proposal to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), asking it to include three issues in the agenda. They are: unilateral trade measures, intellectual property rights and equitable access to sustainable development. Developed countries, especially the United States, are of the view that these issues have been settled in Mexico’s Cancun. However, most developing countries are of the view that not all the issues were addressed in Cancun Convention in 2010. UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro from mid-1992. Its objective is to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.

Double fortification of salt
Double fortification of salt with iron and iodine helps for simultaneous prevention of iron deficiency anemia and iodine deficiency disorders. With about 70% children under five years suffering from anemia and nearly 50% affected by malnutrition, the Prime Minister's Office has directed that salt available through government food programmes including ICDS, mid-day meal and public distribution system be fortified with iron and iodine.The technology for double fortification of salt with iodine and iron has been developed by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad.

Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI)
Following the successful global eradication of smallpox in 1975 through effective vaccination programmes and strengthened surveillance, the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) was launched in India in 1978 to control other vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs). Initially, six diseases were selected: diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, typhoid and childhood tuberculosis. The aim was to cover 80% of all infants.  Subsequently, the programme was universalized and renamed as Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) in 1985. Measles vaccine was included in the programme and typhoid vaccine was discontinued.  It is also proposed to include Hepatitis B vaccine in UIP in phased manner. The UIP was introduced in a phased manner from 1985 to cover all districts in the country by 1990, targeting all infants with the primary immunization schedule and all pregnant women with Tetanus Toxoid immunization. In 1992, the UIP became a part of the Child Survival and Safe Motherhood Programme (CSSM), and in 1997, it became an important component of the Reproductive and Child Health Programme (RCH). The Cold-chain system was strengthened and training programmes were launched extensively throughout the country. Intensified polio eradication activities were started in 1995-96 under the Polio Eradication programme, beginning with National Immunization Days (NIDs) and active surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). The Polio Eradication Programme was set up with the assistance of the National Polio Surveillance Project.

Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA)
This Agreement requires both the countries to encourage and create favourable conditions for investors of each other to make investments in their territory and to admit investments in accordance with their laws. Investors are to be provided Most Favoured National Treatment in respect of their investment. It also provides an elaborate dispute resolution mechanism which includes recourse to negotiations, conciliation and international arbitration. India has so far signed BIPA with 79 countries. Of these, 69 have already come into effect. BIPA seeks to promote and protect investments from one country in the other country. BIPAs facilitate bilateral investment flows and grant benefits of National Treatment (NT) and Most Favoured Nation (MFN).