Current affairs (1ST FEBRUARY)
2020 WORST YEAR ON RECORD: UNWTO
- The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) emphasized that 2020 is the worst year on record.
- The United Nations World Tourism Organization issued this statement because the international travel ban implemented to curb the COVID-19 outbreak has dealt a heavy blow to the global tourism industry.
- According to the report, the number of international arrivals fell by 74%. In addition, compared with 2019, the number of international arrivals allowed to global destinations has decreased by 1 billion.
- The report further emphasized that the restrictions on international travel caused a loss of US$1.3 trillion in export revenue. The loss of export income is more than 11 times the loss during the global economic crisis in 2009.
- According to the report, the COVID-19 crisis has affected 10-120 million direct tourism jobs. Many of them are small and medium enterprises.
- The report emphasizes that the nature of the pandemic is changing, so many countries are reintroducing stricter travel restrictions, such as changes to quarantine rules, mandatory testing, and complete closure of borders in some countries.
- The report of the United Nations World Tourism Organization pointed out that these countries are gradually introducing the COVID-19 vaccine. The organization hopes this will help restore consumer confidence and help ease travel restrictions. Therefore, travel will slowly return to normal in 2021.
LUCKNOW METRO 1ST TO USE UV RAYS FOR SANITISATION
- Lucknow Metro has become the 1st metro in the country to use ultraviolet rays to sanitise train coaches. For this, the LMRC has procured UV sanitization apparatus from M/s FB TECH, an Indian firm in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
- The Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) has taken inspiration from the New York Metro’s experiment to sanitise trains with UV lamp rays.
- The apparatus, which was certified by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in October 2020, sanitizes the entire coach in just seven minutes. However, in order to keep the train bacteria-free, the LMRC is sanitising each coach for 15 minutes.
- This is the same apparatus which was also used by the medical industry to sanitise cinema halls and medical equipment at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in India.
- This apparatus is operated through a remote and has a switch on/off button. The radiation starts after a minute of pressing the on button. In addition, the initiative is economically cheaper than sanitization through manual mode.
MAHARASHTRA TOPS INDIA JUSTICE REPORT 2020
- The second edition of the India Justice Report, India’s only ranking of states on delivery of Justice to people, announced.
- Maharashtra once again at the top of the 18 Large and Mid-sized states (with a population of over one crore each) in the 2nd Edition of the India Justice Report, an initiative of Tata Trusts, followed by Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Punjab, and Kerala.
- Through a rigorous 14-month quantitative research, the India Justice Report 2020 once again tracks the progress states have made incapacitating their justice delivery structures to effectively deliver services to all.
- It takes account of latest statistics and situations as they existed prior to March 2020. It brings together otherwise siloed statistics from authoritative government sources, on the four pillars of Justice delivery–Police, Judiciary, Prisons and Legal Aid.
- The India Justice Report (IJR) is an initiative of Tata Trusts in collaboration with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, DAKSH, TISS–Prayas, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy and How India Lives. The maiden IJR was announced in 2019.
RS SHARMA AS NEW CEO OF AYUSHMAN BHARAT
- The National Health Authority (NHA) has appointed RS Sharma as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of country’s flagship public health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat, also called Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
- He would replace Indu Bhushan, who is serving as the Chief Executive of the Ayushman scheme since its inception in 2018.
- RS Sharma, a former chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), who would take charge of the NHA from February 1.
- Ayushman Bharat, a flagship scheme of Government of India, was launched as recommended by the National Health Policy 2017, to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
- This initiative has been designed to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its underlining commitment, which is to “leave no one behind.”
- Ayushman Bharat is an attempt to move from sectoral and segmented approach of health service delivery to a comprehensive need-based health care service.
- This scheme aims to undertake path-breaking interventions to holistically address the healthcare system (covering prevention, promotion and ambulatory care) at the primary, secondary and tertiary level. Ayushman Bharat adopts a continuum of care approach.
JAY SHAH APPOINTED AS PRESIDENT OF ACC
- Jay Shah, the incumbent Secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been appointed as the new President of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).
- He is the youngest person ever to be appointed to the office. He replaces Nazmul Hussain, Chief of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) who was the previous chief of the ACC.
- The ACC is Asia’s regional administrative body and it currently consists of 24 member associations. ACC is responsible for organizing the Asia Cup tournaments.
- The 2020 edition of the Asia Cup was postponed to June this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pakistan was to originally host the tournament but the tournament is now expected to be held in either Sri Lanka or Bangladesh.
- Asian Cricket Council Headquarters: Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- Asian Cricket Council Chairman: Amitabh Choudhary.
- Asian Cricket Council Founded: 19 September 1983.
BCCI CANCELS RANJI TROPHY FOR THE FIRST TIME
- The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided not to conduct the Ranji Trophy in 2020-21.
- This will be the first time in 87 years since its inception in 1934-35, that India’s premier first-class cricket national championship will not be held in 2020-21 domestic season.
- Instead on Ranji Trophy, BCCI has decided to conduct the Vijay Hazare Trophy 50-over tournament and Senior Women’s One Day tournament after the completion of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament.
WORLD LEPROSY DAY: 31ST JANUARY
- World Leprosy Day is observed around the world on the last Sunday of January every year. This year World Leprosy Day held on 31 January.
- The day is celebrated to raise global awareness of this deadly ancient disease and call attention to the fact that it can be prevented, treated and cured.
- This year theme of World Leprosy Day 2021 is “Beat Leprosy, End Stigma and advocate for Mental Wellbeing ”.
- The day was initiated in 1954 by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau, as a tribute to the life of the Mahatma Gandhi who had compassion for people afflicted with leprosy.
- Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by a bacillus, Mycobacterium leprae (M. laprae). The symptoms of the disease occur generally after a long period of getting an infection on average 5 years, as M. leprae multiplies very slowly.
- The disease mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract, and the eyes.