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Dec 2019

Dec 11, 2019

Birth Registrations Doubled in 10 Years: UNICEF

  • Birth registration in India increased from 41% in 2005-2006 to 80% in 2015-2016, according to a new UNICEF report that said one in four of the world's children remains invisible despite significant global progress driven by India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
  • Twenty-two states have attained birth registration levels of more than 75% in the first year of birth in 2015-16, as compared to eight states in 2005-06.
  • Globally, children under five years, whose births were officially recorded, went up from 63% to 75% over the past decade, but 166 million children are unregistered, shows an analysis of data from 174 countries published in the report called Birth Registration for Every Child by 2030: Are we on track?

Obtaining MBBS Degree Could Get Cheaper

  • In what could prove to be a big relief for medical students, a panel tasked with drafting guidelines for fee structure in private medical colleges is mulling slashing fees for half of graduate and post-graduate seats by 70 per cent and 90 per cent respectively.
  • With the process of constitution of National Medical Commission currently on, the Union Health Ministry has asked the Board of Governors (BoG), vested with powers of the MCI, to prepare draft guidelines for the fee structure in private medical colleges and deemed universities from the next academic session.
  • According to sources, with this reduction planned by the BoG, fees for 50 per cent of MBBS seats in private medical colleges will range between Rs. 6 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh.
  • Currently, in a number of states, including Delhi and Maharashtra, MBBS students are charged Rs. 25 lakh annually.
  • The fee for the three-year PG courses in several medical colleges ranges between Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 3 crore.

Dec 10, 2019

India Rises in Human Development Index

  • According to a report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), India climbed one spot to 129 among 189 countries in the 2019 human development index.
  • In 2018, India's human development index (HDI) value of 0.647 had put it at 130 rank.
  • In India, 27.1 crore people were lifted out of poverty from 2005-06 to 2015-16, UNDP India resident representative Shoko Noda said while releasing the UNDP's development report 2019.
  • Noda said that the steady progress of India was due to nearly three decades of rapid development, which had seen a dramatic reduction in absolute poverty, along with gains in life expectancy, education, and access to health care.

Dec 09, 2019

Saudi Arabia Ends Gender Segregation in Restaurants

  • Saudi Arabia will no longer require restaurants to have separate entrances segregated by sex.
  • Previously, it was mandatory to have one entrance for families and women, and another for men on their own.
  • The restrictions had already been quietly eased in practice, with many restaurants, cafes and other meeting places no longer enforcing segregation.
  • A series of sweeping social reforms in Saudi Arabia has been accompanied by an intensified crackdown on dissent.
  • Earlier in 2019, a royal decree allowed Saudi women to travel abroad without a male guardian's permission, and in 2018 the Gulf kingdom ended a decades-long ban on female drivers.

No PhD Students in ISEC for Two Years

  • For two consecutive academic years (2018–19 and 2019–20), there have been no PhD scholars admitted to ISEC — which is funded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research and the government of Karnataka.
  • The classrooms and the hostels are deserted. In 2017–18, only one student was admitted, a marked drop when compared with the year before that when the PhD student intake was 30.
  • The faculty members and students said this was because the institute entered into a memorandum of understanding with the University of Mysore to grant degrees in 2016–17, which they had opposed claiming it snatched the autonomy of the institute.

Malaysia: First Polio Case Since 1992

  • A three-month-old Malaysian infant was diagnosed with polio, the first case reported in the country in nearly three decades. The baby boy from Tuaran in Malaysia's Sabah state on Borneo Island tested positive for polio after being admitted to hospital with a fever and muscle weakness.
  • Malaysia was declared polio-free in 2000, after reporting its last known case of the disease in 1992. Its resurgence comes just months after the Philippines, north of Borneo, reported its first cases of polio since 1993 in September. Noor Hisham said that tests showed the child was infected with a polio strain that shared genetic links with the virus detected in Philippine.

Dec 08, 2019

Mission Buniyaad Improved Students' Reading Levels

  • The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), after a study carried out in 30 government schools, found out that the Mission Buniyaad scheme had led to a marginal improvement in reading and mathematics proficiency levels of students.
  • Launched in April 2018, the scheme aims to improve learning levels of students studying in classes 3 to 9 in government schools. The objective was to ensure that students would be able to learn grade appropriate texts and solve basic mathematics problems.
  • Students had been given tests at the beginning of the session in April 2018 and at the end of the three-month intervention in June 2018. The report analysed these tests of over 2,000 students from 30 government schools in northeast Delhi and found out that there had been a 12% and 20% increase in students studying in Classes 3 to 5 when it came to reading stories in Hindi and solving divisions respectively. For students in Classes 6-9, the increase had been 15% and 25% respectively.

Measles Outbreaks Continue Unabated

  • Even as India successfully carried out the vaccination of over 324 million children between 9 months and 15 years the unprecedented global measles crisis is set to enter the third year. According to a report released by WHO, 4,13,000 measles cases were reported by mid-November in 2019 as against 3,53,236 reported cases in 2018. Measles cases more than doubled in 2018 compared to 2017.
  • India initiated one of the world's largest Measles-Rubella campaign to eliminate measles and control rubella in the country. As of November 5, this year (2019) more than 324 million children and adolescent have been vaccinated with one dose of MR vaccine in 34 states.
  • However, reported measles cases continue to rise for the third straight year globally. Five countries — Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Madagascar, Somalia and Ukraine — accounted for nearly half of all measles cases in 2018.

Dec 07, 2019

Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad Signs Agreement with Japanese Institutions

  • Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) will take up more studies on earthquakes and smart cities in collaboration with Japanese Institutes and companies.
  • In a major boost to Indo-Japanese research ties, the IITH will work with four Japanese Institutes in areas including earthquake engineering, besides joint doctoral programmes.
  • IIT Hyderabad, signed the MoUs with four Institutions. The four institutions are: National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience; Shizuoka University on Doctoral Degree Sandwich Program; Saitama University on Academic Exchange of faculty, students and implementation of cooperative Research Projects and National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) to strengthen Research collaboration.
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