Rapid Fire Current Affairs | 21 Apr 2023

India's 100 Food Streets Initiative

The Health Ministry of India, in partnership with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, (MoHUA) has proposed the development of 100 food streets in 100 districts across the country. The initiative aims to promote safe and healthy practices in the food industry, reduce food-borne illnesses, and improve overall health outcomes. The project will be implemented as a pilot scheme to demonstrate best practices for food businesses. This initiative will not only support the "eat right campaign" and food safety but also enhance the credibility of local food businesses. The project's benefits include creating employment opportunities, improving tourism potential, and boosting the economy.

The initiative will be implemented through the National Health Mission (NHM) in convergence with the MoHUA and with technical support from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). States and Union Territories will receive financial assistance of ₹1 crore per food street/district, with assistance under the NHM provided in the ratio of 60:40 or 90:10, subject to standard branding according to FSSAI guidelines.

Read more: National Health Mission, Eat Right Campaign

Civil Services Day

The Vice-President of India addressed a gathering of civil servants at the 16th Civil Services Day (CVD) in New Delhi, the date 21st April is chosen to commemorate the day when the first Home Minister of Independent India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel addressed the probationers of Administrative Services Officers in 1947 at Metcalf House, Delhi and he referred the Civil servants as the ‘Steel Frame of India’.

On this 16th CVD, the crucial role played by civil servants in ensuring the inclusive development of the nation was emphasized. Civil servants were called upon to facilitate uniformity in administration across the Union and the States so that federalism could flourish into cooperative federalism. Highlighted the Mission Karamyogi, a National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building, which is shaping the future-ready civil service aligned to the vision of New India. The importance of technology in complementing the leadership of civil servants for accelerated service delivery and citizen-centric governance is recognized. The Vice-President unveiled an e-book on the ‘National Good Governance Webinar Series’ and inaugurated an exhibition on ‘Good Governance Practices in India- Awarded Initiatives’.

Read more: Civil Services Day

MEF Leaders Discuss Climate Action and Initiatives

Recently, the virtual meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Change was held, chaired by US President and attended by Heads of State and Ministers from 20 major economies worldwide. The International Energy Agency , stressed the urgency for climate action to limit global temperature rise and mentioned Indian Prime Minister’s call for LiFE, a lifestyle for the environment. All MEF leaders recognized climate change as one of the biggest challenges and voiced the need for joint efforts to upscale climate action.

Indian Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, and Labour & Employment emphasized India's leadership in combating climate change, with per capita emissions one-third of the global average. India's initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from various sectors, support for climate finance, and the importance of LiFE in individual behavior change towards combating climate change are highlighted. The meeting also discussed efforts to strengthen the financial capacity of Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) to address global challenges, including poverty reduction and SDGs.

Read more: LiFE

Heat Index

The heat index, which takes into account both air temperature and humidity, is an important indicator of the perceived heat that people experience. In Delhi, the heat index in April 2022 reached dangerous levels, ranging from 44oC to 49oC. The recorded heat index figures in Delhi are in the "danger" category of the US National Weather Service classification, which points to the likelihood of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and possible heat stroke in case of continued activity. The concentration of the slum population, lack of access to amenities, poor housing conditions, and non-availability of healthcare and health insurance, can aggravate the heat-related vulnerabilities in Delhi.

There is direct relationship between the air temperature and relative humidity and the heat index, meaning as the air temperature and relative humidity increase (decrease), the heat index increases (decreases).

Read more: Heat Index, Heatwaves