Here is the digest of important newspaper articles and quiz!
NITI Aayog to formulate strategy to monitor health
NITI Aayog is working on a strategy to put in place tracking system for monitoring health parameters under the National Nutrition Mission on a real time basis.
The tracking system will be Aadhaar linked. Centre was also working out policy measures and a strategy to converge the various schemes that impacted malnutrition. The outcomes at the grass root levels that should be monitored in the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare would also be finalised.
NITI Aayog Member Bibek Debroy said the challenge was and the target should be to identify individual households or individuals for the purpose of monitoring the outcomes. At present, nutrition data was available on a sample basis rather than by censuses.
What is the National Nutrition Mission? – Mapping nutrition levels and monitoring food distribution through anganwadis in real time is the basic objective of the ‘National Nutrition Mission’. National Nutrition Mission, run by WCD Ministry, focuses on delivery of supplementary nutrition in a targeted manner with real-time IT-based monitoring on the ground level.
The National Nutrition Mission has following two components:-
1) Multi-sectoral Nutrition programme to address Maternal and Child Under-Nutrition in 200 high-burden districts, which aims at prevention and reduction in child under-nutrition (underweight prevalence in children under 3 years of age) and reduction in levels of anaemia among young children, adolescent girls and women has been launched in January 2014.
2) Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign against malnutrition: To create awareness about nutrition challenges and promote home-level feeding practices a Nationwide Information, Education and Communication campaign against malnutrition has been launched during 2012-13.
The government has allocated Rs 360 crore in 2016-17 for the mission, as against Rs 65 crore last year.
Source: TheHindu, PIB, Economic Times
Centre notifies amended RBI Act for MPC
The centre has notified changes to the RBI Act thus bringing the Monetary Policy Committee one step closer to reality. The government has decided to bring the provisions of amended RBI Act regarding constitution of MPC into force on June 27, 2016 so that statutory basis of MPC is made effective.
The rules governing the procedure for selection of members of Monetary Policy Committee and terms and conditions of their appointment and factors constituting failure to meet inflation target under the MPC framework have also been notified on June 27, 2016.
What is the Monetary Policy Committee? – MPC is a six-member Committee — tasked with bringing “value and transparency to monetary policy decisions”.
It will comprise three members from RBI, including the Governor, who will be the ex-officio chairperson, a Deputy Governor and one officer of the central bank. The other three members will be appointed by the Centre on the recommendations of a search-cum-selection committee to be headed by the Cabinet Secretary. These three members of MPC will be experts in the field of economics or banking or finance or monetary policy and will be appointed for a period of four years and shall not be eligible for re-appointment. The Committee is to meet four times a year and make public its decisions following each meeting.
The Genetics of mitochondria
Scientists have claimed to decode the long standing mystery, “Why mitochondria are passed only passed to offspring through a mother’s egg”?
What is the function of mitochondria? – Mitochondria are rod-shaped organelles that can be considered the power generators of the cell, converting oxygen and nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the chemical energy “currency” of the cell that powers the cell’s metabolic activities.
What happens during fertilisation? – Shortly after a sperm penetrates an egg during fertilisation, the sperm’s mitochondria are degraded while the egg’s mitochondria persist. The recent study shows that when paternal mitochondria persist for longer than they should during development, the embryo is at greater risk of lethality.
The paternal mitochondria were found to partially self-destruct before the mitochondria were surrounded by autophagosomes, which target components within a cell and facilitate their degradation.
RNA analysis of paternal mitochondria in early stages of embryonic development hinted that it is the cps-6 gene that facilitates this process, which the team confirmed by studying sperm lacking cps-6; without it, paternal mitochondria remained later into the development stage.
Setting up Bio-Gas Plants
With an objective to provide clean gaseous fuel for cooking and organic bio-manure as a by-product, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has allocated to the States /UTs an annual target of setting up one lakh family size biogas plants (1 m3 to 6 m3capacity) for the current year, 2016-17.
The MNRE is implementing a National Biogas and Manure Management Progamme (NBMMP) for setting up family type biogas plants in the country. The objective of the scheme is to provide clean gaseous fuel for cooking and organic bio-manure as a by-product in the form of biogas plant left over slurry, which contains higher values of Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N, P&K).
NBMMP also helps in mitigating drudgery of women in rural and semi-urban areas by saving in their time both in collection of firewood, making cattle dung cakes and cooking. A biogas plant will facilitate in achieving sanitary in villages by linking sanitary toilets with cattle dung based biogas plants and the slurry bio-manure can be applied for crop production in solid, liquid or dried form.
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