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Current Affairs for 27 March 2016
March 27, 2016

The Haryana government on Saturday launched a new scheme under which six months’ pension would be given in advance to persons with disabilities for adapting their homes as per their requirement.

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Kavita Jain here said this amount would be recovered over a period of 42 months under the ‘Adapting homes for the differently-abled’ scheme.

Apart from this, Haryana has been selected by the Centre as a pilot State for universal ID for persons with disability, for which work has already been started.

The Minister said that Gurgaon and Faridabad districts have been selected for the ‘Accessible India’ campaign for persons with disabilities.

All municipal bodies have also been directed to take up the campaign, she said.

Besides, a home for abandoned and mentally-challenged persons has been established at a village in the State in collaboration with an NGO Earth Saviours.

The Minister said the grant for diet money to children with hearing impairment has been increased from Rs 400 to Rs 1,000 per month. Similarly, the grant for the visually-impaired children has been increased from Rs 600 to Rs 1,600 per month.


Asking party workers to reach out to SCs, STs and women, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the government would soon launch a ‘Stand-up India’ scheme to provide loans of up to Rs. 1 crore to help members of these communities become big entrepreneurs.

“In the next few days under ‘Stand Up India’ scheme, every bank branch will provide loans of up to Rs 1 crore to one SC/ST and one woman, to enable them to set up big industries and turn into big entrepreneurs,” Mr. Jaitley said addressing partymen at the executive committee meeting of the BJP’s Delhi unit.

The Minister said though the BJP lost the Assembly polls in Delhi, the party should try and strengthen its base by reaching out more to different sections like SCs/STs and women due to the disillusionment caused by both Congress and AAP.



Ending ten weeks of political uncertainty, the BJP and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders on Saturday approached Governor N. N. Vohra and staked claim to form government.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, also chief ministerial candidate, State BJP president Sat Sharma and Nirmal Singh, also deputy chief ministerial candidate, met Mr. Vohra at the Raj Bhavan in Jammu in the afternoon and extended the letters of support jointly.

PDP MPs Muzaffar Hussain Beigh and Tariq Hamid Karra, accompanied Ms. Mufti. She later thanked the BJP for its “unconditional support” over government formation.



A new milestone towards expanding full immunisation coverage: Nadda

Inching a step closer to universal immunisation, the Health Ministry on Saturday launched the country’s first, indigenous rotavirus vaccine to combat diarrhoeal deaths.

Health Minister J.P. Nadda called it an ‘historic moment’ for the country, adding that the launch of Rotavac was “a new milestone towards expanding the coverage of full immunisation in the country aimed at reducing child mortality”.

Diarrhoea caused by Rotavirus is one of the leading causes of severe diarrhoea and death among children less than five years of age. In India, between 80,000 to one lakh children die due to Rotavirus diarrhoea annually while nearly 9 lakh children are admitted to hospital with severe diarrhoea. Another 32.7 lakh children visit the hospital as out patients due to the disease.

The vaccine was being introduced initially in four States — Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha — and would be expanded to the entire country in a phased manner, Mr. Nadda said. “Adding this life-saving vaccine to our immunisation programme will not only improve the health of our children but also reduce hospitalisation and other conditions associated with diarrhoea due to Rotavirus such as malnutrition, delayed physical and mental development among children. Reduced hospitalisation lower the economic burden on the family and the health cost burden on the country,” the Minister added. The Rotavirus vaccine was developed indigenously, under a public-private partnership between the Ministry of Science Technology and the Health Ministry.

The Rotavac is in addition to three new vaccines that have been introduced in India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) including Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), Measles, Rubella (MR) vaccine, and Adult Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccine.



China is set to unveil another offshoot of its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) connectivity network by investing in a Grand Canal that would link landlocked countries of Central Europe with the sea.

If everything goes according to plans, Chinese President Xi Jinping will push for the construction of the Danube-Oder-Elbe Canal during his visit next week to the Czech Republic. The strategic canal — a pet project of Czech President Milos Zeman — would connect three major European rivers and provide ships an outlet to the sea. The Y-shaped canal would link with the North Sea at Hamburg. The Black Sea would be accessed at the Romanian port of Constanta, and Poland’s Szczecin port would provide an outreach to the Baltic Sea.

The construction of the Grand Canal would see the merger of the land and the maritime hubs of OBOR, which is rapidly advancing in Eurasia.

In comments attributed to Vojtech Filip, vice-chairman of the Czech Parliament, the Hong Kong based South China Morning Post reported that China and the Czech Republic would be involved in joint funding, pooling in €1 billion for the phase-1 of the project.



India and Russia are on track to conclude two helicopter deals together worth over USD two billion by year end for which discussions are in an advanced stage, a senior official of Rostec said. These include the final deal for Kamov utility helicopters and additional Mi-17 medium lift helicopters.

The two countries had signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow in December last year for joint production of the Kamov-226T utility helicopter in India.

Recently there was a big delegation from Russian Helicopters and Rostec in India for technical discussions on how to implement the agreement and modalities of the joint production.

“The delegation signed a protocol fixing the timelines… the final agreement is expected by year end,” Viktor Kladov, Head International Cooperation of Rostec told The Hindu in a telephonic conversation.

Russia has already selected Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as the Indian partner for the deal. HAL has begun constructing a new helicopter manufacturing facility which will cater to the utility helicopters.

Stating that India is good at composite materials, electronics and avionics among others, Mr. Kladov said “the extent of localisation is being discussed.”



With an aim of raising awareness among doctors regarding public health information, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has said that doctors and hospitals need to know that it is obligatory for them to provide copy of the case record or medical record to the patient or his legal representative.

The IMA said that as per law, medical records belong to the medical professionals/entities but patients generally have a right to review them, demand copies of them, and to demand their confidentiality as per the MCI ethics regulations.

The Medical Council of India (MCI) has imposed an obligation on Hospitals as per the regulations notified on March 11, 2002, amended up to December 2010 to maintain the medical record and provide patient access to it.

According to them every physician shall maintain the medical records pertaining to his/her indoor patients for a period of three years from the date of commencement of the treatment in a standard proforma laid down by the MCI.


Late Capt. Shankar Laxman chosen for Lifetime Achievement Award

P.R. Sreejesh and Deepika walked away with the Player of the Year honours at the second Hockey India Annual Awards ceremony for 2015 here on Saturday.

Sreejesh had a memorable time under the bar last year, notably playing a starring role in India’s shoot-out victory over Holland in the bronze-medal match at the HWL Final.

Sreejesh, a firm favourite with supporters as much for his enthusiasm as his heroics in goal, also picked up the Fan’s Choice Award. The 27-year-old even danced on stage, showing admirable grace and vigour, to thunderous applause from the gathering.

The Late Capt. Shankar Laxman was posthumously chosen for the Lifetime Achievement Award, which carried a purse of Rs. 30 lakh and was accepted by his son, Manohar Singh Shekhawat. Capt. Laxman, a goalkeeper, was part of the Olympic medal-winning teams of 1956 (Melbourne, gold), 1960 (Rome, silver), and 1964 (Tokyo, gold).

Harbinder Singh, who played alongside Laxman in Tokyo, recalled his efforts in the final against Pakistan. “We were leading 1-0 and in the dying minutes, Pakistan got a penalty corner. (Munir) Dar’s first shot was stopped; he struck one rebound and then another, both really hard. But Laxman stood like a wall,” he said.

Harjeet Singh and Preeti Dubey were declared the Upcoming Players of the Year (under-21), taking home Rs. 10 lakh. Women claimed three of the four awards for Best Goalkeeper (Savita), Defender (Kothajit Singh), Midfielder (Ritu Rani) and Forward (Rani Rampal).



Sharp Corp. and Taiwan’s Foxconn are set to sign a takeover deal next week after repeated delays, with the two sides set to agree on a smaller bailout than originally planned for the troubled Japanese electronics maker, two sources familiar with the talks said on Saturday.

The two companies will hold board meetings on Wednesday to approve the deal and officially sign a deal the following day, said the two sources with direct knowledge of the talks.

Both of the sources declined to be identified as they are not authorized to speak to the media.

A Sharp spokesman declined to comment, while Foxconn officials were not immediately available for comment.

Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is set to cut its earlier 489 billion yen ($4.3 billion) offer for newly issued Sharp shares by about 100 billion yen, the sources said.

The companies had come close to signing a deal last month but Foxconn hit the pause button following revelations of previously undisclosed liabilities at the Japanese company.

The deal would be the largest acquisition by a foreign company in Japan’s insular technology sector. In choosing to negotiate with Foxconn, Sharp turned down a rival offer by a state-backed fund.