Current Affairs – June, 2019

UN extends sanctions against South Sudan

Despite resistance from Russia, China and African countries, United Nation Security Council (UNSC) has extended an arms embargo and sanctions on South Sudan for a year.

Key Highlights

  • Vote: A US-drafted resolution was adopted by UNSC after a vote of 10 in favour with five abstentions. As per the rule, in the 15-member council, a resolution presented for vote requires a minimum of nine votes for adoption.
  • Outcome: Post adoption of resolution an arms embargo is placed on South Sudan along with an assets freeze and global travel ban put on eight South Sudanese nationals for their role in fuelling the war. The measure adopted will renews until 31 May 2020.

About UNSC Sanction

  • Background: UN Security Council can take action to maintain or restore international peace and security under Chapter VII of United Nations (UN) Charter.
  • Objective: The UNSC places sanctions to constrain terrorism, support peaceful transitions, deter non-constitutional changes, protect human rights and promote non-proliferation.
  • UN Security Council’s Sanctions Committees: the United Nations Charter’s Article 29 sets out that UNSC may establish subsidiary bodies such as committees or working groups as and when needed for performing its functions. One of them is Sanctions Committees which comprises of 15 members of the Council whose mandate is to impose sanctions.

Health Ministry organised National Workshop for Population Research Centres

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) organized a two-day orientation workshop for Population Research Centres (PRCs) to highlight various features of Health Ministry’s flagship schemes and for their concurrent monitoring.

About Population Research Centres

  • Background: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has established the network of 18 PRCs spread over 17 major States and Union Territories (UTs). The scheme started with establishment of 2 PRCs in 1958 at Delhi and Kerala. During 1999 it was and expanded to 18 PRCs with latest inclusion of PRC, Sagar. Out of these, 12 are attached to various Universities and 6 are in research institutions of national repute.
  • Administration: They are autonomous in nature and administratively under the control of their host University/Institutions.
  • Objective: PRCs were established to undertake research projects relating to demographic research and biological studies & qualitative aspect of population control, family planning. The aim of Health Ministry was to gainfully utilize feedback from these research studies and then plan or formulate strategies and policy interventions of ongoing schemes.
  • Mandate: Their mandate is to provide critical research based inputs related to the Health and Family Welfare programs and policies at the national and state levels.
  • Milestone: Since its inception to present date PRCs have completed more than 3600 research studies and have published more than 110 research papers in prestigious international journals.

Key Highlights of Workshop

  • Need: The workshop is important as there is an urgent need for PRCs to reinvent themselves to become more relevant and PRCs should also integrate with institute they are anchored in for more thoughtful insights of local and current issues to enrich their research.
  • At the event, Ms. Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) released Rural Health Statistics (2017-18) and a Compendium of Studies Conducted by PRCS (2017-18).
  • Importance: The flagship program of Health Ministry, Ayushman Bharat has two components- Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) for Comprehensive Primary Health Care and Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojana (PMJAY) for secondary and tertiary Health care, both seeks to deliver Health Care services closer to where people live in rural and urban areas. Thus PRCs can provide critical research based inputs to strengthen these initiatives further.