Current Affairs April 2013

Pioneering Polio Vaccine Developer Hilary Koprowski passes away

image Dr. Hilary Koprowski (96), the Polish-born virologist who developed the first successful oral vaccination for polio.

Albeit not as famous as his companion researchers Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin, Koprowski’s 1950 clinical trial was the first to demonstrate it was feasible to vaccinate against polio, the crippling and sometimes fatal disease that’s now all but wiped out. Hilary Koprowski self-administered the live-virus oral vaccine he developed before the 1950 trial – almost two years before Salk’s injectable version.

Union Govt approves a project National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project

Union Government approved a project for creation of NOFN (National Optical Fibre Network) that will help in connecting all the 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in India via Optical Fibre Cable (OFC).

  • Contribution of Union Govt via Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)
  • Contribution of Union Govts via furnishing of free Right of Way (RoW) for setting OFC.
  • Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) is the SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) for the implementation of NOFN.
  • A tripartite MoU for free Right of Way (RoW) among Central Government, State Government and BBNL.
  • All the 16 States/UTs have given consent for free RoW.

Total 1,40,727 GPs will get covered by Optical Fibre Network in these States and UTs.

S.No:

State Name

No. of

Gram Panchayats

1.

ANDHRA PRADESH

21,693

2.

ARUNACHAL PRADESH

1,756

3.

CHHATTISSGARH

9,770

4.

DADRA AND NAGAR HAVELI

11

5.

DAMAN AND DIU

14

6.

JHARKHAND

4,423

7.

KARNATAKA

5,631

8.

KERALA

977

9.

MADHYA PRADESH

23,024

10.

MANIPUR

2,795

11

MIZORAM

776

12.

PUDUCHERRY

98

13.

RAJASTHAN

9,192

14.

TRIPURA

1,038

15.

UTTAR PRADESH

51,974

16.

UTTARAKHAND

7,555

Total

140,727

With the accessibility of NOFN at 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats a minimal bandwidth of 100 Mbps will be useable at each of GP and will contribute to development of broadband services.

What will be the benefits to States?

  • Empowerment of rural masses by giving them access to information, public services including those of education, health and financial inclusion.
  • Several applications for Panchayats for planning, management, monitoring and payments under various government schemes (e.g. MNREGA, PDS, Land Records, Birth/Death Certificates, Digital Literacy, etc.), e-Governance, education, health, employment, agriculture and commerce may be launched using this network
  • Introduction of local employment, revenue generation and increase of GDP contributing to overall successfulness of the State

IMFrecognizes Somalia’s new government after a 22-year break

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recognized Somalia’s new government after a 22 year break in relations with the once disorderly nation. This move came as a result of a general push by the US, UN and the West toward promoting rehabilitation there.

  • The U.S. officially acknowledged the African nation’s new government in January 2013, the first time the U.S. had acknowledged a Somali government since 1991, when warlords overturned longtime authoritarian Siad Barre and then turned on one another.
  • In 2012, the U.N. Security Council voted nem con to partly freeze an arms embargo on Somalia for 12 months for military equipment intended exclusively to train the nation’s security forces and furnish protection for the Somali people.
  • In early April 2013, President Barack Obama authorized the U.S. to arm and train Somali forces.
  • The IMF declared it was acknowledging the Somali government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who took office in September 2012.

How this move will benefit Somalia?

  • The move will permit the IMF to extend Somalia technical aid and policy advice.
  • But as per the IMF announcement, Somalia will still not be able to borrow IMF funds until it pays back some $352 million behindhand that it owes to IMF.

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