India lowly 145th among 195 countries in healthcare access, quality: Lancet report

  • India ranks a paltry 145th among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare, according to a Lancet study.
  • India lags behind neighbours China (48), Bangladesh (71), Sri Lanka (133) and Bhutan (134).
  •   But the country is higher up than Nepal (149), Pakistan (154) and Afghanistan (191).
  • Iceland tops the Global Burden of Disease study.

DAC approves measures to simplify Defence Procurement Procedure

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved various measures to simplify the defence procurement procedure.
  • The aim is to streamline defence procurement procedures and to reduce timelines so as to ensure timely delivery of equipment to the Armed Forces.
  • The measures will be incorporated in the DPP-16, which is the manual governing the defence procurement procedure.

Union Cabinet Approvals - May 23rd

  • Apprised: MoU between India and Angola for promoting bilateral cooperation in the field of electronics and information technology
  • Approved: MoU between India and Denmark on food safety cooperation
  • Approved: MoU between India and Turkey on trade in poppy seeds to ensure quick and transparent processing for import of poppy seeds from Turkey
  • Approved: MoU signed between India and France in the field of Renewable Energy
  • Approved: MoU between India and Morocco on India-Morocco cooperation in Renewable Energy
  • Approved: MoU between India and Singapore on Cooperation in the field of Personnel Management and Public Administration
  • Approved: Cabinet approves Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) scheme for provision of mobile services in Meghalaya

Finance Ministry ties up with 40 entities to extend funding under Mudra scheme

  • The finance ministry has tied up with 40 entities to extend loans to small entrepreneurs under the Mudra scheme - Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY).
  • The entities are big job creators and include Flipkart, Swiggy, Patanjali and Amul. Other companies include Make My Trip, Zomato, Meru Cab, Muthoot, Edelweiss, Amazon, Ola and Big Basket.
  • In the last fiscal, the government extended Rs.2.53 lakh crore credit under the Mudra Yojana scheme.
  • In the last 3 years, that figure is Rs.5.73 lakh crore.

HD Kumaraswamy takes oath as new Karnataka CM

  • JD(S)-Congress coalition government head HD Kumaraswamy has been sworn-in as the new Chief Minister of Karnataka.
  • Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy to Kumaraswamy.
  • Congress leader G. Parameshwara was sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister.

Nepal first country in south-east Asia to eliminate trachoma: WHO

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has validated Nepal for having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem.
  • Nepal becomes the first in WHO’s South-East Asia Region to defeat the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness.
  • Trachoma was the second leading cause of preventable blindness in Nepal in the 1980s.
  • From 2002 to 2005, following the implementation of sustained control activities, the prevalence of active (inflammatory) trachoma fell by 40%.
  • Approximately 30,000 operations were provided to manage trichiasis, and almost 15 million doses of azithromycin were distributed. Azithromycin is donated by Pfizer.

NITI Aayog, ABB India sign pact to help India benefit from AI, robotics

  • ABB India and Niti Aayog have inked an agreement to help India reap the benefits of latest technologies including robotics and artificial intelligence.
  • The organisations will work together in preparing key sectors of the economy for digitalisation, artificial intelligence (AI) robotics, and industrial automation.