National Current Affairs May 2017
‘Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana’ Launched
- Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana, a scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens belonging to BPL category, has been launched in Nellore (Andhra Pradesh) on April 1, 2017.
- The scheme will be implemented through the sole implementing agency, Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO), (a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment), which will undertake one year free maintenance of the aids & assisted living devices.
- As per die census figures of 2011, the population of senior citizens in India is 10.38 crore.. More than 70% of the population of senior citizens live in rural areas of the country.
- A sizeable percentage (5.2%) of the senior citizens suffers from some sort of disabilities related to old age.
- Projections indicate that the number of elderly population will increase to around 173 million by 2026.
Government Launched PowerTex India Scheme for Powerloom Sector
- The Union government has announced a comprehensive scheme for powerloom sector development, PowerTex India, on April 1, 2017.
- The components of PowefTex India scheme are in-situ upgradation of plain powerlooms; Group Wbrkshed Scheme (GWS); yam bank scheme; Common Facility Centre (CFC); Pradhan Mantri Credit Scheme for powerloom weavers; Solar Energy Scheme for powerlooms; Facilitation, IT, awareness, market development and publicity for powerloom schemes; Tex Venture Capital Fund; and Grant-in-Aid and modernisation and Upgradation of Powerloom Service Centres (PSCs).
- The objective of the first component of in-situ upgradation is to provide financial assistance to economically weaker low-end powerloom units, for upgrading existing plain looms to serai-automatic/shuttleless looms by way of fixing certain additional attachment/kits.
- The objective is also to improve quality and productivity of the fabrics being produced and enable them to face the competition in domestic and international markets.
Green Corridors Announced by Indian Railways
- The Indian Railways has announced certain railway tracks as Green Corridors on March 31, 2017.
- Anamadurai-Rameswaram, Okha-Kanalus, Porbandar-Wasjaliya, Barmer-Munawab and Pipad Road-Bilara are the green corridors.
- Manamadurai-Rameswaram is India’s first green corridor announced by the Ministry of Railways. Railway route on which there shall be zero toilet discharge on railway tracks is called as Green Corridor.
Parliament Passed Finance Bill 2017
- The Lok Sabha has approved the Finance Bill 2017 on March 31, 2017. The budget for 2017-18 will focus on outcomes and include a host of reforms initiatives, including on electoral funding, ease of doing business and discouraging unaccounted wealth generation by limiting cash transactions in the economy.
- Recommendations to delete three proposals in the Finance Bill (clauses 51, 52 and 53) regaridng whistle blower protection by tax officials, saying that the proposal was brought in as a matter of abundant caution. This is not a violation of human rights. There is a larger public interest in this.
FDA Approved First Drug for Aggressive Multiple Sclerosis
- A new multiple sclerosis drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration offers hope to patients with the most severe form of the progressive disease on March 31, 2017.
- The intravenous drug, made by Genentech, is called Ocrelizumab (OcreYus). Given every six months, it worked best for patients with relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (MS)— the most common form of the disease.
- Multiple sclerosis is believed to be an autoimmune disease, meaning the body mistakenly attacks itself. The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation estimates that more than 400000 people in the United States have MS. Roughly 15% have the primary progressive form.
- Multiple sclerosis affects the brain and spinal cord by damaging the myelin sheath, the material that surrounds and protects nerve cells
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Supreme Court Banned the Sale, Registration of Non BS-IV Compliant Vehicles
- The Supreme Court banned the sale and registration of vehicles which are not compliant with BS-IV emission norms from April 1 across the country on March 29, 2017. The BS-IV emission norms will come into force from April 1, 2017.
- The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had earlier submitted data on manufacturing and sale of BS-III vehicles on a monthly basis from January, 2016 and told the court that the companies were holding stock of around 8.24 lakh such vehicles including 96000 commercial vehicles, over six lakh two-wheelers and around 40000 three-wheelers.
- BS-IV is the fourth stage of the emission standard incorporated by the government to regulate the amount of pollutants emitted by vehicles.
Union Government Launched Online Film Certification System
- The Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu launched the Online Film Certification System of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on March 17, 2017.
- Under the new system, for short films, promos or trailers of less than 10 minutes, the producer can submit their creations online. For films longer than 10 minutes, the applicant will have to show the film at the examining theatre, but will not be required to visit CBFC offices, except for collecting certificates.
- The applicants will be informed through text message or e-mail about the status of their applications and any action needed.
- It will also eliminate any possibility of corruption. The implementation of QR code on the certificates will eliminate chances of fraudulent certificates. A new CBFC website has also been developed to facilitate easy access to the services.