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  • Current Affairs 14th November 2017

    Updated : 14-Nov-2017
    Current Affairs 14th November 2017

    Current Affairs 14th November 2017 - Important Points

    • Union Government set to launch BharatNet phase 2 project on - 13th November 2017
    • New material that generates electricity when stretched developed by - Scientists
    • Audrey Azoulay appointed as Director General of UNESCO on - 10th November 2017
    • World Diabetes Day 2017 observed on - 14th November 2017
    •  India’s first-ever ‘Air Dispensary’ to be set up in  - Northeast

    Current Affairs 14th November 2017 - Details

    Union Government set to launch BharatNet phase 2 project on - 13th November 2017

    The Union Government would be releasing its 2nd and final phase of BharatNet project on 13th November 2017 to provide high-speed broadband service in all Gram Panchayats by end of March 2019. It will be established at an outlay of around Rs 34000 crores.
    Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar and Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad would be initiating the project at the National Conference in New Delhi.
    The telecom ministry would also be signing accord with seven states — Maharashtra, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu — which will initiate the project on their own with partial funding from the central government. The conference would look forward participation from IT Ministers, state secretaries and service providers.

    Key Highlights

    • Under 2nd phase, the government objects to provide broadband connectivity in the balance 1.5 lakh Gram Panchayats through 1 million km of extra optical fibre.
    • For this, the government would be supporting bandwidth to telecom companies such as Idea Cellular, Vodafone India, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio at 75% lower rate to set up broadband and Wi-Fi facilities in the rural areas.
    • BSNL will roll out optical fiber in yet to be covered locations of eight states including Assam, J&K, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, UP, West Bengal, Haryana and Sikkim.
    • Power Grid Corporation of India has been given contract for three states including Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha.
    • India currently has 38,000 wifi hotspots. Under 2nd phase of BharatNet , approximately 6-7 lakh wifi hotspots will going to be added extra with 2-5 hotspots in each panchayats.
    • Few of the wifi hotspots may not be commercially available initially. So, in such cases the government will provide viability gap fund of around Rs 3,600 crore to telecom service providers.
    • BharatNet Phase 1, under which 1 lakh Gram Panchayats were connected, will be finished by the end of this year.

    New material that generates electricity when stretched developed by - Scientists

    Scientists have developed a thin, flexible material that produces electricity when stretched.
    This advance in technology in future may cover the way for smart clothing or self-powered pacemakers.

    Key Highlights

    • The specially designed rubber has been elaborated by researchers  for Materials Science and Technology at Swiss Federal Laboratories.
    • The rubber is a complex material build uo of polar nanoparticles and an elastomer - silicone in the prototype.
    • The material is capable to convert mechanical movements into electrical energy.
    • The magic behind the generated electricity is the internal polarization which changes when the rubber sheet is mechanically stressed.
    • The same property is used in sound pick-ups on analogue record players where the pin is guided through the channels in the record in such a way to generate mechanical movements.
    • In a piezoelectric crystal, these movements are converted into electrical impulses, which in turn can be boosted and transformed into sound waves.
    • The piezoelectric effect was earlier known for crystals and because they are heavy and solid, the effect could only be used in certain applications.
    • However, researchers have now succeeded in giving elastomers piezoelectric applications. The material is not much easy to produce.
      Potential uses of the material
    • It could be used to manufacture pressure sensors, for example If the material is stretched, an electrical impulse is generated that can be understood by devices.
    • It can also be used to produce a novel type of control buttons.
    • It can also be used to produce a sensitive skin for robots that can feel touches.
    • It might also be helpful in clothing to either monitor the wearer's activities or to get the electricity  generated from their motions.
    • It also has the power to be used to obtain energy from the human body.
    • It could enhance pacemakers or other implanted devices, removing the need for invasive operations to replace the battery.

    Audrey Azoulay appointed as Director General of UNESCO on - 10th November 2017

    Audrey Azoulay was elected as the Director General of UNESCO on 10th November 2017. Azoulay was elected after Director-General Irina Bokova of Bulgaria.
    Former French Culture Minister, Azoulay was nominated as DG on 14th October 2017 through the voting of UNESCO’s Executive Board. However, her election awaited the verification of UNESCO's 195-member General Assembly. With this verification, Azoulay became the 2nd French leader of the UNESCO after Rene Maheu, who was UNESCO's Director General from 1961-74.

    More about Audrey Azoulay

    • She was born in1972 in Paris to a Moroccan Jewish family from Essaouira.
    • She is the daughter of Andre Azoulay, who worked as an advisor to King Hassan II and now to King Mohammed VI.
    • She was assigned as French Minister of Culture in 2014.
    • Azoulay also worked as French President Francois Hollande’s cultural advisor.

    World Diabetes Day 2017 observed on - 14th November 2017

    The World Diabetes Day was celebrated on 14th November 2017 globally  with the theme 'Women & diabetes - Our right to a healthy future' .
    At present, there are over 199 million women living with diabetes and this total is supposed to increase to 313 million by 2040. Diabetes is the 19th major cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million decreases each year.
    2 out of every 5 women with diabetes are of reproductive age, responsible for over 60 million women worldwide. Women with diabetes have more hurdles for conceiving and may have poor pregnancy results.
    The World Diabetes Day 2017 theme focuses to promote affordable essential diabetes medicines and technologies for all women with diabetes to attain minimum diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to prevent type-2 diabetes

    Important Highlights

    • In 2007, the UNs General Assembly announced 14th November as World Diabetes Day through its resolution A/RES/61/225. The day focuses to pursue multilateral efforts to enhance and improve human health and provide access to health-care treatment and awareness.
    • The decision encouraged Member States to make national policies for the prevention, treatment and care of diabetes.

     India’s first-ever ‘Air Dispensary’ to be set up in  - Northeast

    India’s 1st-ever ‘Air Dispensary’ located in a helicopter is set to come up in the northeast. The Union Ministry of Development of Northeast has already sanctioned Rs 25 crore as part of the initial funding for the initiative.
    The information was given by DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh on 12th November 2017 after a conference with the representatives of Aviation and helicopter service/Pawan Hans.
    explaining more on the occasion, the Minister told that the DoNER Ministry had been exploring the idea of starting a helicopter based Dispensary/OPD service in the remote areas, where no medical facility was available and the patient, in need, also did not have any access to any medical care centre.
    He told that the Ministry had given a proposal in this regard, which was accepted and is now in the final stages of the process in the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.
    The trial once implemented in the Northeast may further be followed in other hill states having difficult terrains such as J&K and Himachal Pradesh.

    Key Highlights

    • The helicopter will be located at two locations -Imphal in Manipur and Meghalaya in Shillong.
    • Both the selected cities have premier postgraduate medical institutes from where specialist doctors, along with the required equipment and paramedical staff, would be able to move into the helicopter and carry a dispensary/OPD in various locations across the 8 States of North Eastern Region.
    • The helicopter would also be able to carry a sick patient, requiring admission, to a city hospital.
      3 twin-engine helicopters will going to be used for initial operation on 6 routes in the region around Imphal,
    • Guwahati and Dibrugarh.
    • Even today, nearly 1/3rd of India’s population does not have access to a good hospital bed care, due to which, poor patients living in remote areas remained underprivileged of basic medical care.

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