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Current Affairs 09 May 2023


  1. Government Programme for NCD Renamed
  2. Arab League
  3. Regulations to curtail misleading food ads
  4. Territorial Army
  5. Tungnath Temple

Government Programme for NCD Renamed


The existing National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) programme has been renamed National Programme for Prevention & Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NP-NCD).


GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Details
  2. About NPCDCS/NP-NCD
  3. National Health Mission


  • It has been renamed to subsume all types of NCDs.
  • Purpose: To cover a wider population for screening and management of non-communicable diseases
  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare renamed the  Comprehensive Primary Healthcare Non-Communicable Disease (CPHC NCD IT) system as the National NCD Portal.


  • National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS)
  • Implementation: NPCDCS is being implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM) across India.
  • Launch: The programme was launched in 2010 with a focus on strengthening infrastructure, human resource development, health promotion, early diagnosis, management and referral.
  • Establishment of NCD Cells and Clinics: Under NPCDCS, NCD Cells have been established at National, State, and District levels for programme management, and NCD Clinics are being set up at District and Community Health Centres (CHC) levels.
  • Services provided: The NCD Clinics provide services for early diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up for common NCDs.
  • Healthcare facilities: As part of NPCDCS, several healthcare facilities have been established, including 677 NCD district-level clinics, 187 District Cardiac Care Units, 266 District Day Care Centres, and 5,392 NCD Community Health Centre-level clinics.
  • Goal: The goal of NPCDCS is to prevent and control NCDs by promoting healthy lifestyles, early detection, and management.

National Health Mission

NHM was launched by the government of India in 2013, which subsumed the National Rural Health Mission and the National Urban Health Mission.

  • Programmatic components: The main programmatic components of NHM include Health System Strengthening in rural and urban areas, focusing on Reproductive-Maternal-Neonatal-Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A), and Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases.
  • Universal access: The NHM aims to achieve universal access to equitable, affordable, and quality healthcare services that are accountable and responsive to people’s needs.

NHM aims to achieve several indicators, including reducing the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) to 1/1000 live births, reducing the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) to 25/1000 live births, and reducing the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to 2.1.

Other indicators
  • Prevention and reduction of anemia in women aged 15–49 years,
  • Preventing and reducing mortality & morbidity from communicable and non-communicable diseases,
  • Reducing household out-of-pocket expenditure on total health care expenditure,
  • Reducing annual incidence and mortality from Tuberculosis by half,
  • Reducing the prevalence of Leprosy to <1/10000 population and incidence to zero in all districts,
  • Achieving an annual Malaria Incidence of <1/1000,
  • Less than 1% microfilaria prevalence in all districts,
  • Kala-azar elimination by 2015 with <1 case per 10000 population in all blocks.

-Source: The Hindu

Arab League


Recently, the Arab League has re-admitted Syria into the organization, after a suspension over a decade.


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Suspension of Syria from the Arab League
  2. Readmission of Syria to the Arab League
  3. Arab League

Suspension of Syria from the Arab League

  • Syria was suspended from the Arab League in 2011 due to violent crackdown on anti-government protests.
  • The Arab League had called for a peace plan that included the withdrawal of military forces, release of political prisoners, and dialogue with opposition groups.
  • Despite attempts at peace negotiations, the violence continued and led to Syria’s suspension.
  • The suspension had economic and diplomatic consequences for Syria.

Readmission of Syria to the Arab League

  • The readmission signifies a softening of relations between Syria and other Arab governments.
  • It is viewed as the start of a gradual process to resolve the crisis in Syria.
  • The crisis has led to the displacement of half of the pre-war population and over 300,000 civilian deaths.
  • A committee involving Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq will be established to help Syria achieve these goals.
  • However, the decision does not automatically lead to a resumption of relationships between Arab states and Syria. Each country will decide this individually.
  • The readmission calls for a resolution of the crisis caused by Syria’s civil war, including the flight of refugees to neighboring countries and drug smuggling across the region.

Arab League:

  • Inter-governmental pan-Arab organization of Arab states in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Formed in Cairo, Egypt on 22nd March 1945, following the adoption of the Alexandria Protocol in 1944
  • Currently has 22 Arab countries as members: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen
  • Aims to strengthen and coordinate the political, cultural, economic, and social programs of its members
  • Mediates disputes among its members or between them and third parties
  • Signed an agreement on joint defense and economic cooperation on 13th April 1950, committing signatories to coordination of military defense measures

-Source: Indian Express

Regulations To Curtail Misleading Food Ads


Recently, the Advertisement Monitoring Committee at the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) flagged 32 fresh cases of food business operators (FBOs) making misleading claims and advertisements.


GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Regulations to Combat Misleading Advertisements and Claims
  2. Definition of ‘natural’ and ‘fresh’ for food products
  3. What about ‘pure’ and ‘original’?
  4. What about ‘nutritional claims’?

Regulations to Combat Misleading Advertisements and Claims

Types of Regulations:
  • Varied regulations exist to combat misleading advertisements and claims, some broad and others specific to certain products
  • Example: FSSAI’s Food Safety and Standards (Advertising & Claims) Regulations, 2018 deals specifically with food and related products, while CCPA’s regulations cover goods, products, and services
Advertising Codes:
  • The Cable Television Network Rules, 1994’s Programme and Advertising Codes prohibit advertisements that imply products have “special or miraculous or supernatural property or quality, which is difficult of being proved”
Truthful and Substantiated Claims:
  • The FSSAI seeks truthful, unambiguous, meaningful, and non-misleading advertisements and claims that help consumers comprehend information provided
  • Claims must be scientifically substantiated by validated methods of characterizing or quantifying the ingredient or substance that is the basis for the claim
Prohibited Claims:

Product claims suggesting prevention, alleviation, treatment, or cure of a disease, disorder, or particular psychological condition are prohibited unless specifically permitted under FSS Act, 2006 regulations.

Definition of ‘natural’ and ‘fresh’ for food products

  • A food product can be called ‘natural’ if:
    • It is a single food derived from a recognized natural source
    • It has nothing added to it
    • It has only been processed to make it suitable for human consumption
    • The packaging is done without the use of chemicals and preservatives
  • Composite foods, which are a mixture of plant and processed constituents, cannot be called ‘natural’; instead, they can use the label ‘made from natural ingredients’.
  • ‘Fresh’ can be used for products that have not been processed except for washing, peeling, chilling, trimming, cutting, or irradiation by ionizing radiation not exceeding 1 kGy, or any other processing that keeps the basic characteristics of the food unaltered.
  • Products with additives that increase shelf life should use labels such as ‘freshly frozen’, ‘fresh frozen’, or ‘frozen from fresh’ to indicate that they were quickly frozen while fresh.

What about ‘pure’ and ‘original’?

  • “Pure” is used for single-ingredient foods that have no additives and avoidable contaminants, while unavoidable contaminants are within prescribed controls.
  • “Original” is used for food products made to a formulation with a traceable origin that has remained unchanged over time. It may also describe a unique process that has remained unchanged over time, although the product may be mass-produced.

What about ‘nutritional claims’?

  • Nutritional claims can be about the specific contents of a product or comparisons with another foodstuff.
  • Equivalence claims can be used if they provide the equivalent nutritional value as the reference food.
  • Misleading ads related to nutrition, benefits, and ingredient mix are common.
  • Nutritional claims need to be based on technical data and evidence to substantiate their validity.
  • Additional claims such as the reduction of fatigue or improvement of stamina require adequate literature to support the claim.

-Source: The Hindu

Territorial Army


Raksha Mantri recently approved posting of Women Officers of the Territorial Army along the Line of Control.


GS II: Security Challenges

About Territorial Army

  • The Territorial Army (TA) was established by the British through the Indian Territorial Act of 1920 and was organized into two wings, ‘The Auxiliary Force’ for Europeans & Anglo-Indians and ‘The Indian Territorial Force’ for Indian Volunteers.
  • The Territorial Army Act was passed in 1948 after India’s Independence, and the TA was officially inaugurated on October 9, 1949, by the first Indian Governor General, C Rajagopalachari.
  • Motto: The motto of the Territorial Army of India is ‘Savdhani Va Shoorta’ (Vigilance and Valour).
  • The TA’s primary role is to relieve the Regular Army from static duties and support civil administration in dealing with natural disasters and maintenance of essential services in situations where life is affected or national security is threatened.
  • The TA also provides units for the Regular Army when required.
  • Any citizen aged between 18-42 is eligible to join the Territorial Army of India.
  • The pensionable age for soldiers below officer’s rank is 15 years.
  • The TA units were actively involved in operations during the 1962, 1965, and 1971 wars.
  • Since 2020, the focus is to recalibrate the TA for better operational and intelligence roles, especially in the Andaman Islands.

-Source: The Hindu

Tungnath Temple


The central government recently issued a notification declaring the ancient temple of Tungnath as a monument of national importance.


GS I: Culture

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Tungnath Temple – Location and Significance
  2. About Panch Kedars

Tungnath Temple – Location and Significance:

  • The Tungnath Temple is situated in the Rudraprayag District of Uttarakhand, India.
  • It is considered the highest Shiva temple globally, located at an elevation of 3680 meters.
  • The temple is part of the Panch Kedars and is believed to date back to almost a thousand years.
Architecture and Surroundings:
  • The temple was built in the North Indian style of architecture.
  • It has several shrines of other gods surrounding the main temple.
  • The temple complex comprises a dozen shrines, each with its unique history and significance.

About Panch Kedars:

  • Panch Kedar is a group of five sacred shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • The shrines are located in the Garhwal Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand, India.
  • The five temples are named Kedarnath Temple (3,583 m or 11,755 ft), Tungnath Temple (3,680 m or 12,070 ft), Rudranath Temple (3,559 m or 11,677 ft), Madhyamaheshwar Temple or Madmaheshwar (3,490 m or 11,450 ft) and Kalpeshwar Temple (2,200 m or 7,200 ft).
  • The temples are considered to be of great religious significance to Hindus.
  • They are believed to have been built by the Pandavas of the Mahabharata fame to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings after the Kurukshetra War.
  • The Panch Kedars form an important part of the Chota Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage in Uttarakhand.

-Source: Indian Express

March 2024