Current Affairs – July, 2013

Latest Current Affairs July, 2013 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of July, 2013 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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Only 19% countries follow Breastfeeding Code

Screenshot_2As per World Health Organisation (WHO), only 19% countries of 199 countries, subscribing to the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes have passed laws incorporating all Code’s recommendations.

In India 46 % of infants are exclusively breastfed in their first six months and there are stringent laws against marketing of breast milk substitutes.

Mothers are often misled to believe their children are better nourished with commercial substitutesand they are often misguided with incorrect and biased information both directly through advertising, health claims, information packs and sales representatives and indirectly through the public health system

Key statistics(of 199 countries):

  • 69 countries (35 %) fully prohibit advertising of breast-milk substitutes.
  • 62 countries (31 %) completely prohibit free samples or low cost supplies for health services.
  • 64 countries (32 %) completely prohibit gifts of any kind from relevant manufacturers to health workers.
  • 83 countries (42 %) require a message about the superiority of breastfeeding on breast milk substitute labels.
  • Only 45 countries (23%) report having a functioning implementation and monitoring system.
How breast feeding is crucial for both Mother and her baby?
  • Breast milk gives infants all the nutrients they need for a healthy development.
  • The breastfed babies are less likely to be become overweight and they may also be less prone to diabetes.
  • It is safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses.
  • Breastfeeding also benefits mothers as it reduces risks of breast and ovarian cancer.
What is “International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes”?
  • International health policy framework for breastfeeding promotion adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1981.
  • Developed as a global public health strategy and recommends restrictions on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes viz. infant formula.
  • Covers ethical considerations and regulations for the marketing of feeding bottles and teats.
What is covered under International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes?

All breastmilk substitutes. These are products which are marketed in a way which suggests they should replace breastfeeding, even if the product is not suitable for that purpose. They may include:

  • Infant formula
  • Follow-on formula
  • Baby foods
  • Gruels
  • Teas and juices
  • Bottles
  • Teats/nipples and related equipment
What is the aim of  the “International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitute”?
  • To ensure that mothers are not discouraged from breastfeeding and that substitutes are used safely if needed.
  • To shield breastfeeding from commercial promotion that affects mothers, health workers , health care systems and Labelling.
What is the concern over “International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitute” ?
  • The baby food industry has been the subject of pointed criticism from NGOs, international agencies and campaign groups for inability to abide by the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitute.
  • On its own, the International Code is not legally enforceable.
  • Companies are only subject to legal sanctions for failing to abide by the Code where it has been incorporated into the legislature of a nation state.
  • Many countries have fully or partially adopted the Code as law. Other countries have no legislation on baby food marketing at all.
  • Code violations by baby food manufacturers are still widespread, especially (but not exclusively) in countries that have not implemented the Code as a national measure or where monitoring and enforcement is not strong.
How is “International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes” monitored?
  • The WHO, International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), UNICEF, Save the Children and other international organizations perform monitoring of implementation of the Code across the world both independently and with governments.

Jet-Etihad deal approved by FIPB with condition

Screenshot_10The government gave a conditional clearance to Jet Airways to sell 24% stake to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways for Rs. 2,058  crore after Etihad submitted an amended Shareholders Agreement (SHA) and Commercial Co-operation Agreement (CCA). Now, Jet-Etihad will have to submit new articles of association before the deal is put before Finance Minister P. Chidambaram for approval and then brought before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

What are the Terms and Conditions (T&C) in Jet-Etihad deal?

As per the T&C, Jet Airways need to seek prior approval of the government for any changes to be made in the Shareholders’ Agreement (SHA) with Etihad and also for any change in shareholding pattern of the company. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance also came with a rider that  all shareholder disputes and disputes under the SHA would have to be adjudicated under Indian law.

As per the latest clarifications, Etihad will take 2 seats on the 12 member board instead of three as previously proposed. The Indian partner, Naresh Goyal, besides appointing four board members, will have the right to nominate the chairman, whereas Etihad will appoint a vice-chairman. Jet has also dropped a clause from its earlier application of shifting revenue management to Abu Dhabi.

What was the issue with the Jet-Etihad deal?

Screenshot_11Indian carrier Jet Airways had recently announced that it intends to sell its 24% shares to UAE operator Etihad Airways to attract the $379-million investment rising form the deal. But the deal was stuck after the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and stock market regulator SEBI raised questions about ownership and effective control of the Indian airline passing into foreign hands. There were apprehensions from Indian side that the deal would give the key controls of Jet to Etihad. SEBI had highlighted some clauses of the CCA that might give an upper hand to Etihad. In this regard, SEBI had sought clarification from Jet on some matters of the prospective deal including choosing candidates for senior management positions, consolidation of sales office and general sales arrangements to support sales for Jet in the UAE. Also the right of Etihad to appoint a vice-chairman will not have any significant impact on the issue of control. Indian government wanted to ensure that the ownership and major control of the carrier remains with Jet Airways.

Why Jet-Etihad deal is important for Jet?

The deal is important to Jet, which is facing significant financial challenges. The deal will also help the Indian civil aviation industry by enhancing capacity, increasing competition and bringing down airfares.