Youth Development Current Affairs

Union Health Minister Conferred WHO Director-General’s Special Recognition Award for Global Tobacco Control

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda has been conferred the WHO Director-General’s Special Recognition Award for global tobacco control. The award was presented to him by Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia at the ‘National Consultation on Accelerating Implementation of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) for achievement of SDGs’.

Indian Scenario

India is the second largest tobacco consuming country in the world with 27 crore users.

The government has initiated various measures to reduce tobacco consumption in the country. These include large pack warnings with 85% pictorial health warnings on both the sides, launching of toll-free national tobacco Quitline and mCessation services, carrying out second round of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), increase in investment under the 12th Five Year Plan for expansion of National Tobacco Control Programme, which was recognized by WHO as a best practice in its Global Tobacco Control report, 2015. Apart from the above measures health ministry has also put a ban on smokeless tobacco products and works towards strengthening Tobacco Free film and television policy.

As a result of various measures taken by the government, NGOs and civil society organizations, the tobacco use in the country is estimated to have reduced by 81 lakhs and youth consumption of tobacco has also seen marked decrease. A 54% relative reduction in prevalence of tobacco use among minors (15-17 years) and 28% reduction in the age group of 18-24 years has been reported.

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)

The FCTC is the first international public health treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO. It was adopted by the World Health Assembly on 21 May 2003 and subsequently entered into force on 27 February 2005. It provides a new legal dimension for international cooperation in healthcare in combating the tobacco epidemic. It has successfully helped to co-ordinate and energize the global struggle against tobacco. It is considered as one of the most widely embraced treaties in the history of WHO and UN. It is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health and was developed in response to globalization of tobacco epidemic. Under it, the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products was adopted to address the increasing illegal trade in tobacco products in November 2012.

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India ranks 133rd in 2016 Global Youth Development Index

India has been ranked 133rd out of 183 countries in the 2016 Global Youth Development Index (YDI) compiled by the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The Global Youth Development Index report measures countries’ prospects for young people in employment, education, health, civic and political spheres.

Key Facts

  • Top 10 countries in 2016 YDI: Germany (1), Denmark (2), Australia (3), Switzerland (4), UK (5), Netherlands (6), Austria (7), Luxembourg (8), Portugal (9) and Japan (10)
  • India’s neighbours: Sri Lanka (31), Bhutan (69) and Nepal (77).
  • India related facts: India accounts for nearly 20% of the global youth population, with nearly 345 million young people between the ages of 15 and 30 living in the country.
  • India is currently experiencing the most significant “youth bulge” – with nearly 27% of its total population made up of young people.
  • India’s overall rank in 2016 YDU is relatively low, but it has registered an 11% improvement in scores over last five years (from 2010 and 2015).
  • The report highlights need for greater investment to reap so-called demographic dividend.
  • Youth development levels in India lag particularly in the domains of education, health and employment.

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