- Glycemic Index in Rice
- Bureaucrats cannot be State Election Commissioners
- No reason to stop using AstraZeneca vaccine says WHO
- Ayushman Bharat campaign picks up pace
- Sahitya Akademi Award
Glycemic Index in Rice
Context: The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has provided some useful information about some indigenous varieties of rice.
- Lalat and Improved Lalat (GI value: 54) as Low GI
- Swarna, Sambha Mahsuri and Shaktiman (GI value <60) as intermediate GI have been identified
There is no certification for GI (Glycemic Index) in rice in India.
Glycemic Index (GI)
- GI is a number from 0 to 100 assigned to food, with pure glucose arbitrarily given the value of 100, which represents the relative rise in the blood glucose level two hours after consuming that food.
- The GI of a specific food depends primarily on the quantity and type of carbohydrate it contains.
- But it is also affected by the amount of entrapment of the carbohydrate molecules within the food, the fat and protein content of the food, the number of organic acids (or their salts) in the food, and whether it is cooked and, if so, how it is cooked.
- A food is considered to have a low GI if it is 55 or less; high GI if 70 or more, and mid-range GI if 56 to 69.
Bureaucrats cannot be State Election Commissioners
Context: Recently, The Supreme Court held that independent persons and not bureaucrats should be appointed State Election Commissioners.
- Government employees holding the post of State Election Commissioners as additional charge should give up the post.
- The Supreme Court said its direction should be followed strictly.
- The independence of Election Commissions cannot be compromised at any cost, the Bench said, adding that it was “disturbing” to see government employees manning State Election Commissions as an add-on job.
- The judgment criticised the Goa government for giving its Law Secretary the additional charge of State Election Commissioner.
- Under the constitutional mandate, it is the duty of the State to not interfere with the functioning of the State Election Commission.
- The judgment came on an appeal against an order of the Bombay High Court which had set aside the election notification issued by the Goa State Election Commission in the municipalities of Margao, Mapusa, Mormugao, Sanguem and Quepem.
- The Supreme Court ordered the Goa State Election Commission to issue a notification for panchayat polls within 10 days and complete the election process by April 30.
No reason to stop using AstraZeneca vaccine says WHO
Context: The World Health Organization said there was no reason to stop using AstraZeneca‟s COVID-19 vaccine after several countries suspended the rollout over blood clot fears.
- The WHO stressed that no causal link had been established between the vaccine and clotting.
- The UN agency also said that after the injection of more than 260 million vaccine doses so far around the world, no deaths had yet been attributed to a COVID-19 jab.
Paused the use of the AstraZeneca jab
- Denmark, Norway and Iceland paused the use of the AstraZeneca jab as a precaution after isolated reports of recipients developing blood clots.
- Italy and Austria have banned the use of shots from separate batches of AstraZeneca, and Thailand and Bulgaria said they would delay the rollout of the shot.
- A range of health authorities around the world have insisted the jab is safe, including the European Medicines Agency and the WHO.
No causal link found
- There had been 30 cases of so-called thromboembolic events among five million people who had received the jab in Europe.
- But European countries could still keep using the vaccine, the EU‟s drug regulator said.
- While a few countries had, as a precaution, suspended the use of a specific batch of AstraZeneca vaccine distributed in Europe, based on reports of blood coagulation disorders, “a causal relationship has not been shown”.
Ayushman Bharat campaign picks up pace
Context: The “Aap Ke Dwar Ayushman” campaign of the National Health Authority (NHA) recorded more than 4.7 lakh beneficiary verifications in a single day on March 10 for free healthcare services under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) scheme
“Aap Ke Dwar Ayushman” campaign
- Aleast 4,77,105 beneficiary records were created in the ongoing “Aap Ke Dwar Ayushman” campaign which was launched on February 1.
- Bihar was the first State to activate the verification process in mission mode.
- The aim is to create large-scale awareness about the AB PM-JAY health insurance scheme, especially in rural and interior parts, which provides cashless healthcare benefits of up to Rs.5 lakh per family per year.
- The drive is being implemented in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Haryana and J&K, among other States.
- So far, about 1,16,83,808 Ayushman cards have been issued in this calendar year.
- The aim of the campaign is to verify beneficiaries residing in the remotest areas.
Ayushman Bharat Yojana
- Launched as recommended by the National Health Policy 2017, to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
- This initiative has been designed on the lines as to meet SDG and its underlining commitment, which is “leave no one behind”.
- Aim: to undertake path breaking interventions to holistically address health (covering prevention, promotion and ambulatory care), at primary, secondary and tertiary level.
- Includes the on-going centrally sponsored schemes – Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS) and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY).
- Ayushman Bharat adopts a continuum of care approach, comprising of two inter-related components, which are: ● Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs). ● Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY).
Sahitya Akademi Award
Context: Recently, Marathi writer Nanda Khare refused to accept the Sahitya Akademi award for his novel “Udya”, published in 2014.
Sahitya Akademi Award
- Sahitya Akademi award established in 1954, is a literary honour that is conferred annually by Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of letters.
- Akademi gives 24 awards annually to literary works in the languages it has recognized and an equal number of awards to literary translations from and into the languages of India.
- Besides the 22 languages enumerated in the Constitution of India, the Sahitya Akademi has recognised English and Rajasthani as languages in which its programme may be implemented.
- The Sahitya Akademi award is the second-highest literary honour by the Government of India, after the Jnanpith award.
Criteria for Choosing Awardee:
- The author must be of Indian Nationality. Book/work eligible for the award must be an outstanding contribution to the language and literature to which it belongs.
- When equal merit for books of two or more are found, certain criteria like total literary contribution and standing of authors shall be taken into consideration for declaring award.
About the Marathi Novel ‘Udya’:
- It is a futuristic account of the possible scenarios emerging as consequences of the current capitalistic and machine-driven human life.
- It nuances how humans have been enslaved by machines, particularly by the ones that are susceptible to surveillance of one’s personal life.