Current Affairs 3rd August 2019

Current Affairs 3rd August 2019

Current Affairs 3rd August - Content Table:-

  • Pashmina products receive BIS certification
  • World Breastfeeding Week – 1st to 7th August 2019
  • Institution of Eminence Scheme
  • SANKALP Scheme
  • Ramon Magsaysay Award 2019

Pashmina products receive BIS certification:-

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published an Indian Standard for identification, marking and labeling of Pashmina products to certify its purity. The Standard is released in Leh.

Significance of BIS Certification:-
  • The certification will help curb the adulteration of Pashmina and also protect the interests of local artisans and nomads who are the producers of Pashmina raw material. It will also assure the purity of Pashmina for customers.
  • It will discourage counterfeit or substandard products presently mislabeled and sold as genuine Pashmina in the market.
  • It will ensure better prices for the goat herding community in Ladakh as well as for the local handloom artisans producing genuine Pashmina products.
  • This initiative of hallmarking Pashmina will protect the interests of these families, motivate the younger generation to continue in this profession as well as encourage more families to take up this occupation.

Origin of Pashmina:-
  • The Changthangi or Pashmina goat is a special breed of goat indigenous to the high altitude regions of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • They are raised for ultra-fine cashmere wool, known as Pashmina once woven. The Textiles are handspun and were first woven in Kashmir. 
  • The Changthangi goat grows a thick, warm undercoat which is the source of Kashmir Pashmina wool – the world’s finest cashmere measuring between 12-15 microns in fiber thickness.
  • These goats are generally domesticated and reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh. The Changthangi goats have revitalized the economy of Changthang, Leh and Ladakh region.

World Breastfeeding Week – 1st to 7th August 2019:-

The Food and Nutrition Board, Ministry of Women and Child Development, is organizing a number of activities on the theme “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding” during the World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) being observed from 1st to 7th August 2019. The focus this year is on protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding.

The objectives of World Breastfeeding Week are:
  • To create awareness among the parents about breastfeeding
  • Encourage parents to adopt breastfeeding
  • Creating awareness about the importance of initiation and exclusive breastfeeding, and adequate and appropriate complementary feeding
  • Providing advocacy material about the importance of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is important because:
  • It promotes better health for mothers and children alike.
  • It prevents infections like diarrhea and acute respiratory infections in early infancy and thus reduces infant mortality
  • It decreases the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease and
  • It protects infants from obesity-related illnesses, diabetes and increases IQ.

The correct norms of infant and young child feeding are:
  • Initiation of Breastfeeding within an hour of birth
  • Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life i.e. only breast Milk ‘NO’ other milk, food, drink or water
  • Appropriate and adequate complementary feeding from six months of age while continuing breastfeeding
  • Continued breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond

This important nutrition intervention will help in breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition and aid the Government to achieve National Nutrition Goals and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030. According to WHO, increasing breastfeeding to near-international levels will help in saving more than 800 000 lives every year, the majority being children under 6 months.

Institution of Eminence Scheme:-

The University Grants Commission has nominated 20 institutions for Institutes of Eminence tag (IOE). Nominations have been made on the recommendations of Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) headed by N Gopalaswami.

Empowered Expert Committee constituted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) was entrusted to conduct the appraisal of applications for shortlisting 20 Institutions of Eminence (10 public and 10 private institutions).

  • Excellence and Innovation:
    To provide for higher education leading to excellence and innovations in such branches of knowledge as may be deemed fit at post-graduate, graduate and research degree levels.
  • Specialization:
    To engage in areas of specialization to make distinctive contributions to the objectives of the university education system.
  • Global Rating:
    To aim to be rated internationally for its teaching and research as a top hundred Institution in the world over time.
  • Quality teaching and Research:
    To provide for high-quality teaching and research and for the advancement of knowledge and its dissemination


Global/National Ranking: Only those institutions which have appeared in any of the global/national ranks shall be recommended for the IoE status.
  • Public institutions are assessed on the basis of QS-2020 world rankings, in case of a tie QS- 2019 rankings are used.
  • Private institutions are assessed on the basis of their ranking in the QS India or National Institution Ranking Framework (NIRF), the NIRF ranking being used as a tie-breaker.
  • Any institution that did not appear in any rankings (QS-2019, QS-2020 and NIRF) is excluded completely from the list of IOE tag.

Greenfield Proposals: Only after exhausting the above criterion, if any slot remains vacant, consideration shall be given to yet to be established (Greenfield) proposals.
  • The term greenfield project generally refers to the initiation of a project without the need to consider any prior work.
  • The Greenfield Institutions would get 3 year period to establish and operationalize the institution, and thereafter, EEC will consider giving IoE status to such institutions.
  • Satya Bharti Foundation (telecom major Airtel’s philanthropic arm) became the second greenfield institution to be given IoE status, after Reliance’s Jio Institute.

  • Autonomy: Institutes with IOE tag will be given greater autonomy and freedom to decide fees, course durations and governance structures.
  • Grant: The public institutions under the IOE tag will receive a government grant of ₹1,000 crore, while the private institutions will not get any funding under the scheme.

Accused can be ordered to give Voice samples:-

The Supreme Court has ruled that a judicial magistrate can order an accused to give his voice samples even against his consent in the course of a criminal investigation.
  • The Supreme Court has issued this order under Article 142 of the Constitution of India.
  •  It called upon the Parliament to make requisite changes in the Code of Criminal Procedure to provide for the same and till that happens, the magistrate will have the power to order the same.
  • The court also observed that the fundamental right to privacy (Article 21) cannot be construed as absolute and must bow down to compelling public interest.
  • The court did not give any direct observation on Article 20 (3) of the Constitution which protects an accused from being compelled to be a witness against himself.
However, with this order, a person can be compelled to give his voice sample during the criminal investigation.

SANKALP Scheme:-

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has called for SANKALP Scheme to focus on district-level skilling ecosystem through convergence and coordination.

To enhance the district level ecosystem, the Ministry has taken the following initiatives:
  • Skill India Portal: A system to capture and converge skill data even at the district level.
  • Grants: Nine States namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh were given grants.
  • Aspirational Districts: In addition to these State, grants have also been released to 117 aspirational districts under Aspirational Skilling Abhiyaan.

Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Scheme (SANKALP):-
  • Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood (SANKALP) is an outcome-oriented programme of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) with a special focus on decentralized planning and quality improvement.
  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme which is collaborated with the World Bank.
  • It aims to implement the mandate of the National Skill Development Mission (NSDM).

The main objectives of the scheme are:
  • Convergence: Creating convergence among all skill training activities, both State-led and Government of India funded, at the state level.
  • Quality: Improving the quality of skill development programs through building a pool of quality trainers, developing model curriculum and content, and standardizing assessment and certification.
  • Evaluation System: Establishing a robust monitoring and evaluation system for skill training programs.
  • Inclusiveness & Opportunity: Providing access to skill training opportunities to the disadvantaged sections. Creating industry-led and demand-driven skill training capacity.

Ramon Magsaysay Award 2019:-

Indian journalist Ravish Kumar has been awarded the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award for “harnessing journalism to give voice to the voiceless”.

The other winners of the award are:
  • Myanmar’s Ko Swe Win- Journalist
  • Thailand’s Angkhana Neelapajit- Human Rights Activist
  • Philippines’ Raymundo Pujante Cayabyab- Musician
  • South Korea’s Kim Jong-Ki- Activist working with violence and mental health issues in youth.

Ramon Magsaysay Award:-
  • The Ramon Magsaysay Award was established in 1957 and is considered as Asia’s premier prize and highest honor.
  • It is named after Ramon Magsaysay, the third president of the Republic of the Philippines.
  • Till 2009 awards have traditionally been given in five categories: government service; public service; community leadership; journalism, literature, and creative communication arts; and peace and international understanding.
  • However, post-2009, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation annually selects the awardees for the field of Emergent Leadership. Awardees are presented with a certificate, a medallion with an embossed image of Ramon Magsaysay and cash prize.
  • The award is internationally-recognized as the Nobel Prize counterpart of Asia and is the highest award given to Asian individuals and organizations.

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