Current Affairs - May 2015

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31 May: World No-Tobacco Day

World No-Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed every year across the world on 31 May.

This day highlights the health risks associated with consumption all forms of tobacco and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

WNTD 2015, calls on countries to work together to end the illicit trade of tobacco products which is a major global concern including for health, legal and economic, governance and corruption.

Goals of the WNTD 2015 campaign

  • Raise awareness on the harm to people’s health caused by the illicit trade in tobacco products.
  • Promote: Health care gains and programmes, tobacco control policies like increased tax and prices, pictorial health warnings and other measures to curb illicit trade in tobacco products.
  • Demonstrate: How the tobacco industry has been involved in the illicit trade of tobacco products.
  • Highlight: How the illicit trade of tobacco products finances criminal groups for organised crime activities including drugs, human and arms trafficking as well as terrorism.
  • Ratification of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products by all Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) to curb illicit trade.

Each year, global tobacco epidemic kills nearly around 6 million people of which more than 6 lakh are non-smokers who die from breathing second-hand smoke.

Background

  • In 1988, WHO’s World Health Assembly had passed a resolution calling for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day, every year on May 31.
  • Since then, the WHO has supported World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) every year, linking each year to a different tobacco-related theme.
  • WNTD is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the WHO.

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Case lodged against Nestle India in UP on its product Maggi

A case was lodged in Barabanki court in Uttar Pradesh against Nestle India over inadequate safety standards of its product Maggi.

Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration (UP FDA) had asked Nestle India to withdraw a batch of Maggi noodles from the market after they had found that it contained high level of lead and Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a taste enhancer.

During these routine tests of UP FDA, it was found that packets of instant noodles of 2014 batch contained high lead concentration of 17.2 parts per million (ppm) which is nearly seven times more that the permissible limit of 0.01 ppm to 2.5 ppm.

About Monosodium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate is a kind of amino acid. It occurs naturally in many agricultural products. Monosodium glutamate is added artificially to packaged food to enhance flavour.

Health impact: Large doses of MSG can cause headaches and other feelings of discomfort collectively known as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurates New Bank Note Paper Line unit in Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the New Bank Note Paper Line unit of 6000 metric ton capacity at Security Paper Mill in Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh.

He also flagged off the first consignment of one thousand rupee bank notes made indigenously from this paper mill to the Currency Note Press Nasik.

Key Facts about New Bank Note Paper Line unit

  • State-of-the- art continuous pulp manufacturing plant integrated with paper machine.
  • The bank note paper manufactured here is incorporated with advanced security features.
  • Capable of manufacturing all denominations of bank note paper, including in the higher denomination of 1000 rupees with 3-dimentional toned water mark.
  • Plant project has been completed at a cost of 495 crore rupees.
  • Incorporated with latest technology that uses less power and minimum water consumption.
  • The plant is environment friendly with zero liquid discharge.
  • It will generate both direct and indirect employment.

This plant belongs to Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL), a Miniratna Category-I CPSE, which is a wholly owned by  Union Government.

By commissioning this plant, India will become self-reliant in producing Bank Note Paper for higher denominations. Prior to this, India was considerably dependent on import of bank note paper for currency of big denominations.

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