Indian Current Affairs - October 2011 | Current Affairs India Notes

National Highway Development Programme
The National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) envisages six-laning of 6,500 kms, four laning of 24,700 kms and upgradaing of 20,000 kms of National Highways, besides development of 1,000 km of expressways. Under this programme, a length of about 15,000 km has already been completed and about 10,000 km is under construction. Over the next three years, it is proposed to take up new sections of about 25,000 km, through a combination of PPP (Public Private Partnership) and EPC (Engineering Procurement and Construction). The National Highways, with a total length of 70934 km, serve as the arterial network of the country. The Government has set an ambitious target of upgrading 20 km of National Highways per day.

Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills. It is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood. Recent estimates have placed the prevalence of autism in the U.S. at approximately 1 in 150 people. At India’s current population, this means there are more than 2 million autistic persons in the country with an assumption of there are no significant variations in this rate worldwide. 

India and Bhutan Renew MoU on Electoral Cooperation
The two Chief Election Commissioners of both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a period of five years to facilitate exchange of knowledge and experience, information, material, expertise and technical knowhow, training of personnel and development of human resources in electoral matters and also for taking up joint initiatives and providing assistance to others. The Chief Election Commissioner of India offered to create a SAARC Resource Centre at the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management for preserving and nurturing election related documentation in relation to SAARC countries.

Joint Press Statement of the Commerce Ministers of India and Pakistan
The Ministers agreed to jointly work to more than double bilateral trade within three years, from current levels of 2.7 Billion US dollars per annum to about 6 Billion dollars. This goal shall also be facilitated through the Memorandum of Understanding signed today between the India and Pakistan. The MoU shall foster better trade promotional activities, for the benefit of business communities of both countries. They agreed that their countries would cooperate for a high ambition of preferential trade relations under the framework of the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA). They noted with satisfaction the joint and collaborative efforts already being made by India and Pakistan to liberalize trade in goods and services under SAFTA. They agreed that all mutual obligations contracted under SAFTA would be implemented with full sincerity. 

Skewed Child Sex Ratio – A National Concern: Azad
The number of girls in the age group of 0-6 years now stands at a mere 914 for every 1000 boys. The Minister said all necessary steps; political, social, economic and scientific, need to be taken to end negative discrimination against the girl child. The role that Information, Education and Communication (IEC) can play in building a positive environment for valuing the girl child can hardly be over-emphasized. The Government is implementing Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC & PNDT) Act, 1994, which bans determination of the sex of the foetus. The PC & PNDT Act is being implemented through the State/UT Governments through the Appropriate Authorities appointed at the State/ District level. Though the PC & PNDT Act is a central legislation, it’s implementation lies entirely with the States.

Janani-Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK)
The new initiative of JSSK would provide completely free and cashless services to pregnant women including normal deliveries and cesarean operations and sick new born (up to 30 days after birth) in Government health institutions in both rural and urban areas. The new JSSK initiative is estimated to benefit more than one crore pregnant women & newborns who access public health institutions every year in both urban & rural areas. It is aimed to meet the out of pocket expenses for the Mother and new born child like user charges for transport, admission, diagnostic tests, medicines and consumables. The Free Entitlements under JSSK would include: Free and Cashless Delivery, Free C-Section, Free treatment of sick-new-born up to 30 days, Exemption from User Charges, Free Drugs and Consumables, Free Diagnostics, Free Diet during stay in the health institutions – 3 days in case of normal delivery and 7 days in case of cesarean section, Free Provision of Blood, Free Transport from Home to Health Institutions etc