PIONEER CURRENT AFFAIRS
- Kerala Government constitutes State Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.
The Kerala State Government on 20 July 2016 constituted a State Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (STAGI) on the lines of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI).
The Group will advise the State government on the policies and practices to be adopted and implemented under the National Immunisation Programme.
Highlights of the State Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (STAGI)
• STAGI will provide technical and academic inputs and leadership in the State’s immunisation efforts.
• It will be responsible for timely recommendations on the choice of vaccines to be included and modifications on current guidelines based on surveillance data available in the state.
• It will have the Director of Health Service as the chairman and the Director of Medical Education as co-chairman.
• Apart from the chairman and the co-chairman, it will have eleven members.
• The State Epidemiologist A Sukumaran will provide technical support to the group.
2 .NDMC signs MoU with NEERI to develop sewage treatment plants.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) on 21 July 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to develop 12 sewage treatment plants (STP)
This project will help increase the green cover in NDMC areas and curb dust pollution.
Highlights of the MoU
- In the first phase, 12 STPs will be installed across the NDMC area.
- Each plant will have a capacity of treating sewage water ranging from 50000-1 lakh litres.
- All these plants will be connected to all parks which will help the horticulture department to maintain the parks.
- These plants will be installed at schools also.
- NDMC will bear only pumping cost which is economic and NEERI will bear the cost of the project.
- The barren lands that have no use under NDMC areas will be developed into green areas under the same project.
3.2016 set to be world’s hottest year on record: WMO.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) on 21 July 2016 announced that global temperatures for the first six months of 2016 broke many records. It means that 2016 is on the track to be the world’s hottest year on record.
The WMO stated that Arctic Sea ice melted early and fast, which is another indicator of climate change. In addition, Carbon dioxide levels have also reached new highs.
Key facts announced by WMO
- June 2016 marked the 14th consecutive month of record heat for land and oceans and the 378th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average.
- Carbon dioxide concentrations have passed the symbolic milestone of 400 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere so far in 2016.
- Two separate reports from the U.S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA GISS) highlighted the dramatic and sweeping changes in the state of the climate.
- The average temperature in the first six months of 2016 was 1.3°C (2.4°F) warmer than the pre-industrial era in the late 19th century.
- NOAA said the global land and ocean average temperature for January 2016–June 2016 was 1.05°C (1.89°F) above the 20th century average.
- The El Niño event which developed in 2015 and was one of the most powerful on record contributed to the record temperatures in the first half of 2016.
- The extent of Arctic sea ice at the peak of the summer melt season now typically covers 40 percent less area than it did in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
- Rainfall in June 2016 was notably drier than normal across the western and central contiguous USA, Spain, northern Colombia, northeastern Brazil, Chile, southern Argentina, and parts of central Russia.
- Wetter-than-normal precipitation was observed across northern Argentina, northern and central Europe, Australia and across central and southern Asia.
- Temperatures in the Coral Sea (including the Great Barrier Reef), and the Tasman Sea were highest on record for extended periods since late summer 2016.
- Fox News CEO Roger Ailes resigns.
Roger Ailes on 21 July 2016 resigned as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox News Channel, putting an end to his 20-year reign over America’s powerful cable news channel for conservatives.
He will be succeeded by Rupert Murdoch, Head of parent company 21st Century Fox and Founder of the empire that includes Fox.
However, Ailes will continue to serve as an informal adviser to Rupert Murdoch and will receive a severance package of about 40 million US dollars.
Ailes has created a business that contributes almost 25 percent to the bottom line of 21st Century Fox, the single most profitable asset in the company’s portfolio.
- Ajay Bhushan Pandey appointed as CEO of UIDAI.
The Union Government on 21 July 2016 appointed Ajay Bhushan Pandey as the Chief Executive Officer of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the promotion of Pandey with effect from 12 July 2016.
Under Pandey’s tenure, UIDAI will have to deal with the legal cases involving privacy and parliamentary issues that Aadhaar has been embroiled in.
Who is Ajay Bhushan Pandey?
- Pandey is a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of Maharashtra cadre.
- He has been serving as Director General of the UIDAI since August 2015.
- He holds a doctorate in Computer Science from University of Minnesota Minneapolis of US.
- UIDAI was founded in 2009 under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime with former Infosys CEO Nandan Nilekani as its chairman. Nilekani resigned in 2014.
- It is the organisation behind the Aadhaar, which is a 12 digit unique number, linked with an individual’s demographic and biometric information.
- As of 15 July 2016, about 102 crore Aadhaar IDs have been generated.