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One Million Dollar Fund Established for BRICS Media

The Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping has established a one million dollar fund for boosting media cooperation in the five-nation grouping. During the inaugural session of the BRICS Media Forum  held in Beijing, Xinhua News Agency and executive president of the Forum had announced that the Xinhua news agency will invest  one million U.S. dollars for bolstering BRICS media.

Salient Highlights

The BRICS media forum is a joint initiative of Xinhua News Agency, Brazil’s CMA Group, Russia’s Sputnik News Agency and Radio, The Hindu group of publications from India, and South Africa’s Independent Media.

BRICS Media is aimed at promoting six objectives including balanced reporting. It aims to create an alternative media narrative distinct from the media of western nations. The proposal is also aimed at joint development of BRICS digital media, financial information services and promoting people- to-people contacts.

BRICS

BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It was established in 2009. The BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India and China] idea was first conceived by Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs. In 2011, South Africa joined this informal group and BRIC became BRICS.

So far, eight BRICS summits have taken place. The first formal summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The BRICS members are all developing or newly industrialised countries and all five are G-20 members. They are distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs.

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India develops National Action Plan to combat Antimicrobial Resistance

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare announced the finalization of India’s comprehensive and multi-sectoral National Action Plan at the ‘Inter-Ministerial Consultation on AMR containment’ held at New Delhi. The consultation was attended by various ministers including Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, and Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Anil Madhav Dave. The Ministers signed a ‘Delhi Declaration’ to contain Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

The Delhi Declaration calls for the support of all stakeholders including UN, WHO, FAO and other UN agencies, civil society organizations etc., in developing and implementing the national and state action plans on AMR. The National action plan has objectives of enhancing awareness, strengthening surveillance, improving rational use of antibiotics, reducing infections and promoting research

Governmental interventions

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has set up a National Anti-Microbial Resistance Research and Surveillance Network (AMRRSN) to enable compilation of data of AMR at the national level.

Under AMRRSN, ICMR is carrying out surveillance of drug resistance to antibiotics in the following six pathogenic groups:

  • Diarrhoeagenic bacterial organisms
  • Enteric fever pathogens
  • Enterobacteriaceae causing sepsis
  • Gramnegative Non-fermenters
  • Gram positives including MRSA
  • Fungal infections.

In addition, the health ministry enacted regulations to regulate the sale of antibiotics and brought out National Guidelines for the use of antibiotics.

Further, the National Programme for Containment of AMR is under implementation in 12th Five Year Plan with the following objectives:

  • To establish a laboratory-based surveillance system by strengthening laboratories.
  • To generate quality data on AMR for pathogens of public health importance.
  • To generate awareness among healthcare providers and in the community regarding the rational use of antibiotics.
  • To strengthen infection control guidelines and practices and promote rational use of antibiotics.

AMR

Antibiotic drug resistance is developed in the micro-organisms. AMR is the ability of a microorganism such as bacteria, viruses etc., to render the anti-microbial such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials ineffective against them. It results in failure of standard treatments and the spread of infections.

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India ranks 9th in corruption in business: EMEIA Fraud Survey  

According to EY Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) Fraud Survey 2017, India ranks 9th among 41 surveyed countries in bribery and corrupt practices in businesses.

India’s ranking has improved marginally from the survey findings in 2015 when India was at the 6th position. It has improved due to better regulatory scrutiny and emphasis on transparency and governance. 

Key Facts
  • In this edition of the survey, India ranked behind Ukraine, Cyprus, Greece, Slovakia, Croatia, Kenya, South Africa and Hungary,.
  • The survey noted that nearly 78% respondents in the India have mentioned that bribery and corrupt practices happen widely in businesses.
  • The findings in the survey also revealed that nearly 41% of Indian respondents are prepared to act unethically to enhance their own career
  • Over 13% respondents in India are prepared to provide false information to improve their career or pay. 58% stated that loyalty towards company prevents employees from reporting fraud, bribery or corruption.
  • The uncertainties in business environment, augmenting pressure to meet financial targets and aspirations to achieve unprecedented career growth are driving employees to justify unethical workplace behaviour.
  • Organisations should encourage millennials (people born in the 1980s-90s) to strengthen their moral compass, communicate importance of upholding ethical standards and develop programmes to motivate future leaders make right choices in life.
  • Globally, 1 in 5 respondents said they would be prepared to act unethically for their careers. It calls for improved enforcement action to restore confidence in businesses.

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