Current Affairs – March 2017

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IMD predicts above normal temperature in 2017 summer

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecasted above normal temperature in most parts of the country during 2017 summer season. The predictions were given by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune.

The maximum temperatures in March to May 2017 are likely to be warmer by more than 1°C in north, northwest and parts of central India. In other parts, maximum temperature will be between 0.5 to 1°C more than the normal.

Key Facts
  • Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Telangana will see warmer temperatures along with hill states J&K and Himachal Pradesh.
  • The warmer summer forecast is in line with a generally warmer trend over previous months as the year 2016 was the warmest year in a century.
  • The forecast shows a 47% probability of summer temperatures being above normal. It also mentions that there will increase in the frequency and duration of heat waves across the country.
  • Minimum temperature in the season will also be higher by over a degree celcius in northern plains along with northwest India.
  • Peninsular, northeastern and west central parts of the country will also experience minimum temperatures higher by 0.5°C to 1°C than normal.
  • The rise in temperature can be attributed to increasing trends in the greenhouse gases and the warming of the sea surface temperatures over the equatorial Indian and Pacific Oceans.
  • El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is expected to be in a neutral condition during summer months, thus unlikely to influence the temperatures in India.

About India Meteorological Department (IMD)

  • IMD also referred to as the Met Department is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology in India.
  • It functions under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India. It headquartered in New Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India.

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NFHS 4 shows improved sex ratio, decline in infant mortality rate

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare unveiled last National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4) for 2015-16.

It has shown positive trends in key health indicators, including an decline in infant mortality rate (IMR) and improvement in sex ratio at birth during 2015-16.

The survey was conducted after collecting information from 6 lakh households, 7 lakh women and 1.3 lakh men. For the first time it provides district level estimates.

Key Highlights from NFHS-4 
  • Infant Mortality Rate (IMR): It has declined from 57 to 41 per 1,000 live births between NFHS-3 (2005-06) and NFHS-4.
  • IMR has declined substantially in almost all the states during the last decade. It dropped by more than 20% in Tripura, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha.
  • It reflects that concerted efforts and focussed interventions in the sector can translate to improved outcomes.
  • Sex ratio at birth (number of females per 1,000 males): It has improved from 914 to 919 at the national level over the last decade. It is highest in Kerala (1,047), followed by Meghalaya (1,009) and Chhattisgarh (977). Haryana also witnessed a significant increase from 762 to 836.
  • Institutional births: Increased by 40 percentage points from 38.7% in NFHS-3 to 78.9% in NFHS 4. There was an increase of 34.1% institutional births in public facility, while Assam has experienced more than a 40 percentage point increase.
  • Proportion of women who received at least 4 antenatal care visits for their last birth has increased by 14 percentage points from 37% to 51.2% over the decade (2005-15).
  • Total Fertility Rate (TFR): It also has declined to 2.2 children per woman from 2.7 in NFHS-3. Thus, it is moving closer to target level of 2.1.
  • There was considerable decline in TFR in each of the 30 states/UTS, maximum decline was observed in Uttar Pradesh (1.1 child), Nagaland (1.0 child), Arunachal Pradesh (0.9 child) and Sikkim (0.9 child). Bihar failed to register substantial decline.
  • Full immunization coverage: Children within the age of 12-23 months have been fully immunized (BCG, measles and 3 doses each of polio) and DPT increased by 18 percentage points to 62% in NFHS-4 from 44% in NFHS-3.
  • It has increased in Punjab, Bihar and Meghalaya by 29 percentage point each. In Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh it increased by 28 percentage points each.
  • Underweight children: There was a decline by 7 percentage points, a consequence of improved child feeding practices and focus on nutritional aspects of children.
  • There was “substantial” decline of anaemia from 69% in NFHS-3 to 58% in NFHS-4 among children aged 6-59 months.
  • The maximum decrease was reported in Assam with 34 percentage points followed by Chhattisgarh (30% points), Mizoram (26% points) and Odisha (20% points).
  • Contraceptive prevalence rate among currently married women: It has increased by 7 percentage points from NFHS-1 (41%) to NFHS-2 (48%), 8 percentage points from NFHS-2 to NFHS-3 (56%).
  • However, the rate decreased by 2 percentage points from NFHS-3 (56%) to NFHS-4 (54%), but pills and condom usage have shown increasing trend.

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