GS II Topic- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources


A new chapter in antibiotic resistance

Indian researchers have isolated a strain of E.Coli bacteria, carrying a new gene (mcr -1), described previously as ‘truly pan-drug resistant’. It is resistant to the last mile antibiotic the human race currently has access to —colistin.



  • While colistin resistance had already been detected in India, it existed thus far only as mutations in the chromosomal/genetic path which do not spread from patient to patient. With mcr-1, however, the gene is found in the plasmid medium, a small DNA molecule outside of the chromosomal DNA, meaning the infection can spread in hospitals, and the community.
  • The emergence of plasmid-mediated colistin resistance heralds the breach of the last group of antibiotics, polymyxins.”

NDM1 superbug

 What is superbug NDM-1?

NDM-1 refers to a gene that is carried by some bacteria. A bacterial strain that carries the NDM-1 gene will be resistant to even some of the strongest antibiotics. A bacterium carrying the NDM-1 gene is the most powerful superbug in existence. There are no current antibiotics to combat bacteria that have the NDM-1 gene, and this makes it potentially very dangerous.

NDM-1 stands for New Delhi metallo-ß-lactamase-1. Initially in was found only in some sewerage samples but now-a-days it is found in  most of the patients coming to hospitals. It has been found to be widespread in India, and by 2015, it had been detected in more than 70 countries worldwide.

What is NDM-1?

  • NDM-1 itself does not cause disease, but it has the potential to change the characteristics of bacteria. It makes them resistant to antibiotics. In this way, it can lead to a range of conditions, from a urinary tract or bloodstream infection to a wound infection, or pneumonia.
  • NDM-1 is different from MRSA, another superbug, because MRSA is Gram-positive, while the infections that carry NDM-1 are Gram negative. They are different strains.

Why is NDM-1 dangerous?

  • Bacteria that express NDM-1 cannot be defeated using antibiotics.
  • Carbapenems are the most powerful antibiotics. They are used as a last resort for many bacterial infections, such as E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC).
  • The NDM-1 gene causes bacteria to produce an enzyme called a carbapenemase. Carbapenemase makes nearly every antibiotic ineffective, including carbepenem.
  • NDM-1 raises fears that diseases in the future will not respond to antibiotics. If NDM-1 crosses over into other bacteria, secondary diseases will emerge. As they spread around the world, it could lead to a health crisis.
  • The WHO say that a pregnant woman, for example, could develop a kidney infection that spills over into the bloodstream with a strain containing NDM-1. In this case, there would be no treatment options.

How does NDM-1 spread?

  • The DNA code for NDM-1 can jump from one bacteria strain to another through a process known as horizontal gene transfer (HGT).
  • If NDM-1 jumps to a bacterium that is already antibiotic-resistant, some dangerous infections could emerge, which would spread rapidly between people. These infections might be untreatable.

Has NDM-1 already spread?

  • The NDM-1 gene was named after New Delhi, the Indian capital. The gene is widespread in India and Pakistan, especially in hospitals. It initially occurred mainly in in India and Pakistan, and specifically in New Delhi, where the climate encourages its persistence year round. It has been found in drinking water and the holy rivers of India, such as the Ganges.
  • NDM-1 has surfaced in countries countries around the world, including the United States, Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom, in patients who spent time or travelled in India or have family members there.
  • Some patients carried the disease home after traveling to India or Pakistan for cosmetic surgery, because this type of treatment is cheaper in Asia.

Can NDM-1 be defeated?


  • At the moment, the only way to combat the spread of NDM-1 is through surveillance, quickly identifying and isolating infected patients, disinfecting hospital equipment, and following hand-hygiene procedures in hospitals.
  • So far, patients with NDM-1-related infections have been treated on a case-by-case basis, with a combination of medications, but there is no effective treatment and no oral treatments are available for many of the infections caused by NDM-1. Some strains of bacteria are totally resistant to virtually all kinds of antibiotic.

GS III Topic- Disaster and disaster management.

India, UNISDR sign Statement of Cooperation on Sendai Framework

India and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction signed a Statement of Cooperation (SoC) of the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). It was signed during the second day of the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016 held in New Delhi

Features of the SoC

The cooperation aims to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of the SFDRR through Training and capacity building for Asian countries.

It also seeks at promoting international and regional cooperation to reinforce political commitment.

 It facilitates knowledge sharing and strengthens the capacity of UNISDR for monitoring and review of the Sendai Framework.

Underlines the guiding principles, objectives and areas of cooperation between India and UNISDR towards effective implementation and monitoring of SFDRR.

India will partner with UNISDR to work towards strengthening the capacity of Asian countries in ensuring risk resilient development.

It facilitates sharing of knowledge and experiences and collaborative efforts towards addressing critical regional challenges.


The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), created in December 1999, is the successor to the secretariat of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.

  • It was established to ensure the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
  • It is part of the United Nations Secretariat and its functions span the social, economic, environmental as well as humanitarian fields.
  • UNISDR supports the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted by the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction on 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan.

GS II Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Union Government launches Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan

The Union Government launched Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) to provide free health check-ups to pregnant women at government health centres and hospitals. The national programme aims to provide pregnant ladies free ante-natal services (ANC) and required treatment for free on 9th of every month.

Objectives of the scheme are

  • Provide healthy life to the pregnant women.
  • Lowering the maternity mortality rate.
  • Making pregnant women aware of their health issues and diseases.
  • Making sure safe delivery and healthy life of the baby.

Other features

  • The scheme is applicable only for the pregnant women in their pregnancy period of 3 to 6 months.
  • Under the scheme, pregnant women will be provided special antenatal check-up in their second or third trimester at government health care facilities. It also invites the private sector to provide free ante-natal services (ANC) on the 9th of every month on a voluntary basis to pregnant women, especially those living in under-served, semi-urban, poor and rural areas.
  • Women will be marked differently using different colour stickers based on their health problems so that doctors can easily detect the problem. Different colour stickers will be Red Sticker for Serious patients, Blue Sticker for High blood pressure and Yellow Sticker for Other diseases.

 Statistics of India

In India, one pregnant woman dies every 12 minutes, with 45,000 dying each year. Of them, less than one in five (19.7%) undergo pre-natal health checks.

  • India’s MMR of 167 (167 maternal deaths per 100,000 births) failed to meet its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of bringing down maternal deaths to under 140 by 2015.
  • India’s IMR stands at 40 deaths per 1,000 live births, against an MDG target of 29. Only 15 states and UTs — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Manipur, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim and Punjab — have achieved an IMR of 29 and under.

Important Facts for Prelims


Google ties up with ASI for virtual tour of monuments

Technology giant Google has tied up with Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) for 360 degree virtual tour of 280-odd monuments across the country. Some of the major monuments are Taj Mahal, Victoria Memorial and the ruins of Hampi. Of the total 280 monuments 30 are in West Bengal and eight are from Kolkata.

About Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

The ASI is the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the country. The prime objection of ASI is to maintain the archaeological sites, ancient monuments and remains of national importance.

Headquarters: New Delhi.

Established: 1861 by Alexander Cunningham.

It regulates all archaeological activities as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. It functions under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Culture. It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.

 World Tsunami Day

The First World Tsunami Awareness Day was observed across the world on 5 November 2016 to spread awareness among people across the world about Tsunami. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had constituted the day by adopting a resolution in December 2015.

2016 Theme: “Effective Education and Evacuation Drills”.


  • Spread awareness among people across the world in matters related to the dangers of tsunami.
  • Stress on the importance of early warning systems in order to mitigate damage from the devastating natural calamity.


November 5 was designated as World Tsunami Awareness Day by UNGA to coincide with the annual anniversary of the 1854 Inamura-no-hi (Fire of Inamura) event. On this day in 1854, a villager in Wakayama Prefecture in Japan through his quick action had saved countless lives after he had set fire to sheaves of rice on the top of a hill, thus warning people of the imminent danger of a tsunami. This was the first documented instance of a tsunami early warning.

Andhra Pradesh tops World Bank’s energy-saving rankings

The ranking of the states were released in the World Bank’s study report titled: ‘India’s State Level Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness’.

  • Andhra Pradesh topped with overall score of 42.01 followed by Rajasthan (41.89), Karnataka (39.34) and Maharashtra (39.29). Kerala, Gujarat, Delhi (UT), Punjab, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh are the other states in the top ten ranking in that order.
  • Andhra Pradesh topped the list by achieving an energy saving of 1,500 million units (MU) i.e. around 650 MW in two years through use of LED lighting.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently inaugurated India’s flagship biennial international oil and gas conference and exhibition, PETROTECH-2016.
  • Petrotech is Asia’s largest oil and gas event.
  • The theme for this event is “Hydrocarbons to fuel the future – Choices and Challenges”.
  • This global event aims at bringing Energy Ministers, industry leaders, professionals, academicians and domain experts from the energy sector on a common platform.
  • The Conference showcases the strengths & potential of Indian Hydrocarbon industry to the world besides providing a vibrant platform for exchange of ideas, sharing of experience, knowledge and technological development across various segments of hydrocarbon industry.
  • Petrotech will also include a BRICS Roundtable of Energy Ministers and a Roundtable discussion involving select CELAC countries of Latin America.


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