National Current Affairs May 2017

Rajya Sataha Passed The HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill 2014’

  • The HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014, aimed at ensuring equal rights while seeking treatment, education and job by people living with HIV, was passed by the Rajya Sabha on March 21, 2017.
  • The Bill also assumes significance as it protects such people from specific acts of discrimination by the State, or any other person. It also lays down penal provisions for any discrimination practised against a person with HIV/A1DS and breach of confidentiality.

First-ever Made in India ‘Medha’ Train Flagged-off

  • Country’s first-ever indigenously manufactured Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) for suburban travel ‘Medha’ was flagged-off on March 18, 2017.
  • It manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai, the rake has a special indigenous 3-phase propulsion system and it reportedly saves foreign exchange as well as cuts on production cost.
  • The new rake is powered by Hyderabad-based firm Medha Servo Drives. The rake has in-built systems to minimise breakdowns during travel. The rake has a capacity to travel at the speeds-up to 110 km/h.

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Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) Launched

  • Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) on March 15, 2017.
  • The scheme would provide assistance for setting-up and up-gradation of infrastructure projects with overwhelming export linkages like the Border Haats, Land customs stations, quality testing and certification labs, cold chains, trade promotion centres, dry ports, export warehousing and packaging, SEZs and ports/airports cargo terminuses.
  • The objective of the proposed scheme is to enhance export competitiveness by bridging gaps in export infrastructure, creating focused export infrastructure, first mile and last mile connectivity for export-oriented projects and addressing quality and certification measures.
  • The Central and State Agencies, including Export Promotion Councils, Commodities Boards, SEZ Authorities and Apex Trade Bodies recognised under the EXIM policy of Government of India; are eligible for financial support under this scheme.

National Health Policy 2017 Approved

  • The Union government approved National Health Policy 2017 as a huge milestone in the history of public health in the country, on March 16, 2017.
  • NHP 2017, which is patient r-centric and quality-driven, provides the much needed policy framework for achieving universal health coverage and delivering quality health care services to all at an affordable cost.
  • The policy recommends prioritising the role of the government in shaping health systems in all its dimensions. The roadmap of this new Policy is predicated on public spending and provisioning of a public’ healthcare system that is comprehensive, integrated and accessible to all.
  • NHP 2017 seeks to promote quality of care, focus on emerging diseases and invest in promotive and preventive healthcare. It addresses health security and make in India for.drugs and devices.

Union Government Unveiled Revised Building Code

  • Builders can be made liable for the safety of the structure, as per new national building code proposed by the Centre to be followed by the States on March 15, 2017.
  • The code has been prepared by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) under the aegis of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
  • The code contains provisions on use of new/innovative materials and technologies and on prefabricated construction techniques that can give fillip to speedier construction to meet the objectives of Housing for All by 2022.
  • It is a voluminous code with 34 chapters. It is used by local bodies for framing building bylaws. It is used by government departments in construction activity. It is used by private builders as well as professionals like architect, planners and engineers. It is also used for academic purpose.
  • The code specifies fire and life safety norms for high rise buildings and a proper horizontal evacuation system in high-rise hospitals and public buildings.

Government Approved Policy for Early Monetisation of Coal Bed Methane Gas

  • The Cabinet Committee ort Economic Affairs (CCEA), gave its approval for marketing and pricing freedom to the Coal Bed Methane (CBM) Contractors to sell the CBM at Arm’s Length Price in the domestic market on March 15, 2017.
  • CBM contractors have also been permitted to sell the CBM to its any affiliate, in the event contractor cannot identify any buyer. Royalty and other dues to the government, however, shall be payable on the basis of Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell (PPAC) notified prices or selling prices, whichever is higher.
  • The policy is expected to incentivise the CBM operation in the country to boost gas production and will generate economic activities which in turn will be beneficial for creating more employment opportunities in CBM operations and related activities.
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Mansi Agarwal

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