World Press Freedom Index 2020
•It is published annually by Reporters Without Borders since 2002, the World Press Freedom Index measures the level of media freedom in 180 countries.
•It is based on an evaluation of media freedom that measures pluralism, media independence, the quality of the legal framework and the safety of journalists.
[It also includes indicators of the level of media freedom violations in each region]
•Norway ranks first for the fourth consecutive year and Finland and Denmark in second and third place
•India has dropped two places to be ranked 142nd.[ Last year was 140th]
•With no murders of journalists in India in 2019, as against six in 2018, the security situation for the country’s media might seem, on the face of it, to have improved
Bio-medical waste disposal become matter of concern
•National Green Tribunal (NGT) has urged the State Pollution Control Board and Pollution Control Committee to put in serious efforts to mitigate possible risk of unscientific disposal of the bio-medical waste arising out of the handling of the COVID-19 disease.
•Only 1.1 lakh out of 2.7 lakh healthcare facilities are authorised under the Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 so far.
•There are gaps in compliance of the Bio Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 which are applicable to the disposal of the bio-medical waste generated out of handling a viral disease
•As per the rules, State Government shall provide land for setting up common bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facility
•All aspects of scientific disposal of liquid and solid waste management should be taken care of not only at institution level but also at individual levels
Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan:
•It was launched in 2018[Gujarat], With aims to deepen water bodies in the state to increase storage of rainwater to be used during times of scarcity.
•It involves cleaning and desilting of riverfronts, sprucing up of Irrigation canals. [It also involves deepening of lakes, tanks and reservoirs.]
•The drive runs on a Public Private Partnership mode and contribution from the government shall remain 60% of the expenditure of the work while 40% share will be from people’s contribution.
•Amid the lockdown for the coronavirus outbreak, Gujarat government has given its the green signal for the third edition ”Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan’‘, a conservation plan to deepen water bodies in the state before monsoon.
•The scheme, which will continue till June 10, will see the deepening of lakes, check dams and rivers by removing silt, and it will be done with people”s participation as well as under MNREGA
Sepsivac test to treat critical patients of Covid-19.
•The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has decided to test its new drug against Sepsis, named Sepsivac to treat critical patients of Covid-19
•Sepsis is a life-threatening syndrome usually caused by bacterial infection. [Sepsis is a serious illness]
•Sepsis occurs when chemicals released in the bloodstream to fight an infection trigger inflammation throughout the body. •This can cause a cascade of changes that damage multiple organ systems, leading them to fail, sometimes even resulting in death.
•Symptoms include fever, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, fast heart rate and mental confusion
•According to scientists, there are some clinical similarities between patients suffering from gram-negative Sepsis and Covid-19
•It is a comprehensive IT solution to standardize and streamline the standard operating procedures, guidelines and workflow of blood banks across the nation.
•It was inaugurated on 7th April 2016 by then Minister of Health and Family Welfare (MoHWFW)
•It enforces Drug & Cosmetic Act, National blood policy standards and guidelines ensuring proper management of blood.
•Recently, the Union Health minister urged the use of the e-Raktkosh portal as a single point for maintaining real-time information on the status of stocks of each blood group.
[The Health Minister has termed the availability of blood in blood banks as ‘essential]