14th November UPSC Current Affairs

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Surat sets up first affordable housing for migrant workers

Why in News?
  • Surat became the first city to finalise a project under the affordable rental housing scheme for migrant workers announced by the Centre in May.
Affordable Rental Housing Complexes
  • It will be a sub-scheme of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Urban that is implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • The creation of Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHCs) is as a part of the government’s economic package to address the Covid-19 crisis. The scheme is in line with the vision of AtmaNirbhar Bharat.
Target Beneficiaries: Workers who come from rural areas or towns to work in manufacturing, hospitality, health, construction, etc. Features:
  • Affordable Rental Housing: About 1.03 lakh completed government-funded houses across cities that are yet to be allotted to beneficiaries (Urban poor) under existing schemes would be converted into the rental housing complexes.
  • Concession Agreements: The conversion will be done through concession agreements for 25 years.
  • The States and Union Territories would invite bids to select concessionaires.
  • Concessionaires will make the complexes livable by repair/retrofit and maintenance of rooms and filling up infrastructure gaps like water, sewer/ septage, sanitation, road etc.
  • Complexes will revert to Urban Local Bodies (ULB) after 25 years to run on their own.

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Zoom announces new features for healthcare organizations

Why in News?
  • Zoom has announced new features that will allow healthcare organisations to communicate more effectively using its platform.
Zoom is a US-based video communication and videoconferencing platform.
  • This Silicon Valley-based company appears to own three companies in China through which at least 700 employees were paid to develop Zoom’s software.
  • This arrangement is apparently an effort at labour arbitrage in which Zoom can avoid paying US wages while selling to US customers, thus increasing their profit margin.
  • However, this arrangement may make Zoom responsive to pressure from Chinese authorities.
  • Reportedly, few calls made through the app are routed through servers in China.
Telemedicine: As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), telemedicine is the delivery of health care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all health care professionals using Information Technology (IT) for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, etc, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities. Tele-consultation is one of the applications of telemedicine. It uses IT to facilitate communications between a patient and a doctor who are otherwise geographically separated. Telemedicine Service in India
  • The telemedicine service platforms of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare i.e. ‘eSanjeevani’ and ‘eSanjeevaniOPD’ have completed 1.5 lakh tele-consultations.
  • The top two States which have registered highest consultations through the platforms are Tamil Nadu (32,035 consultations) and Andhra Pradesh (28,960).
  • Since November 2019, tele-consultation by eSanjeevani and eSanjeevaniOPD have been implemented by 23 States.
  • Both the platforms have been developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) Mohali.
  • C-DAC is the premier R&D organization of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for carrying out R&D in IT, Electronics and associated areas.

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WHO to set up centre for traditional medicine in India, PM says matter of pride

Why in News?
  • WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the announcement in a video message at an event in which PM Modi inaugurated two future-ready Ayurveda institutions in Jaipur and Jamnagar
  • The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), Jamnagar (Gujarat) and the National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Jaipur (Rajasthan) are both premier institutions of Ayurveda in the country.
  • The Jamnagar institute has been conferred the status of an Institution of National Importance (INI) by an act of Parliament and the one at Jaipur has been designated an Institution Deemed to be University (De novo Category) by the University Grants Commission (UGC), according to the AYUSH ministry.
  • This new centre will support WHO’s efforts to implement the WHO traditional medicine strategy 2014-2023 which aims to support countries in developing policies and action plans to strengthen the role of traditional medicine as part of their journey to universal health coverage and a healthier, fairer and safer world.

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EU threatens new Belarus sanctions after protest death

Why in News?
  • A 31-year-old Roman Bondarenko, an artist and former soldier, was arrested and died in police custody following a dispute in a Minsk square that has become a regular meeting place for the opposition.
  • The EU sanctions list already includes Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko and several senior officials and state bodies Brussels says are involved in a post-election crackdown.
  • The EU and Canada rejected the results of the August 9 election and have said they do not regard Mr. Lukashenko as the legitimate president.
  • Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest.
  • Its capital is Minsk.
  • After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, Belarus became a sovereign nation, and its first presidential elections were held in 1994.
  • Alexander Lukashenko has served as the country's first president since 1994. Belarus has been labelled "Europe's last dictatorship" by some Western journalists, on account of the country's poor human rights record and Lukashenko's self-described authoritarian style of government.

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CBI conducts searches in bank fraud case

Why in News?
  • The Central Bureau of Investigation has conducted searches in connection with a case against three former senior officials of Syndicate Bank and others for allegedly causing a loss of over ₹12 crore to the exchequer.
What is CBI?
  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the premier investigating police agency in India.
  • It functions under the superintendence of the Deptt. of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances, Government of India - which falls under the prime minister’s office.
  • However, for investigations of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, its superintendence vests with the Central Vigilance Commission.
  • It is also the nodal police agency in India which coordinates investigation on behalf of Interpol Member countries.
  • Its conviction rate is as high as 65 to 70% and it is comparable to the best investigation agencies in the world.




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