Current Affairs 2017 (August)

National Nutrition Week: 1 to 7th September

The National Nutrition Week will be observed throughout the country from 1st to 7th September. The theme of for year 2017 is “Optimal Infant & Young Child Feeding Practices: Better Child Health“.

The objective of this event is to intensify awareness generation on importance of nutrition for health which has an overall impact on development, productivity, economic growth and ultimately National development.

Key Facts

During this week, Food and Nutrition Board of Ministry of Women & Child Development will coordinate with concerned Department of the State/UT Governments, NGOs, National Institutions and organize State/UT Level Workshops, Functionaries, Orientation Training of Fields Awareness Generation Camps, Community meetings.

Moreover, large numbers of awareness activities were organized at state, district and village levels. One day workshops to sensitize and for capacity building of State/Districts Level officers on importance of nutrition for better health will be also held.

Mini exhibition on nutrition displaying low cost nutritious diets and its importance for different age groups will also be organized at grassroots level. Besides, awareness generation on weight management and its importance through Body Mass Index (MBI) will also be held for adolescent boys and girls.

Importance of Nutrition

Nutrition is important survival, health and development issue for current and succeeding generations. All age groups represent National Economic Asset, so improving nutritional status of population is imperative for National Development.

Concerns

Under nutrition in young children continues to be a major public health problem in India. Child born underweight has impaired immune function and increased risk of diseases in their later life. Malnourished children tend to have lower IQ and impaired cognitive ability, which affects their school performance and productivity in later life. According to the NFHS4, there is no improvement in the nutritional status, especially among women and children even though level of underweight has decreased by 6.8%, stunting by 9.6%, anaemia by 11% as compared to NNHS-3 figures.

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XFEL: World’s biggest and powerful X-ray laser gun unveilded

The world’s largest and powerful X-ray laser- European X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) was unveiled in Hamburg, Germany.

The first beams from XFEL were accelerated in April 2017 and first x-ray beams were produced in May 2017. It will

help scientists penetrate the inner workings of atoms, viruses and chemical reactions.

European X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL)

The XFEL is lodged in series of 3.4-kilometer tunnels up to 38 metres underground near city of Hamburg. It took 8 years to build 1.5-billion-euro ($1.7 billion) facility with funding from 11 countries. It has been hailed as one of largest and most ambitious European research projects ever.

Its centrepiece boasts world’s longest 1.7 kilometres superconducting linear accelerator, designed to provide energy needed to generate X-ray flashes billion times brighter than best conventional radiation sources. It has capacity to generate extremely intense laser flashes, at rate of 27,000 per second generated by Self-Amplified Spontaneous Emission (SASE). It generates high-intensity electromagnetic radiation by accelerating electrons to relativistic speeds and directing them through special magnetic structures.

Applications

XFEL is like a camera and a microscope that will make it possible to observe tiny details and processes in the nano-world than ever before. It will help to reveal and capture in images at the sub-atomic level, promising breakthroughs and revealing secrets in medicine, biology, energy, information technology and chemistry.

It will help scientists to map the atomic details of viruses, take 3-D images of the molecular make-up of cells or film chemical reactions inside them. This will help to understand and treat illnesses. The light beams produced by the XFEL can also be bundled together to create extreme pressure and temperatures to study process inside Earth’s core.

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