Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 30 January 2023

India digitize UIP

GS Paper - 2 (Health)

After the success of the Co-WIN platform, the government has now replicated it to set up an electronic registry for routine vaccinations. Named U-WIN, the programme to digitise India's Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) has been launched in a pilot mode in two districts of each state and Union Territory.

More about U-WIN

  1. The platform will be used to register and vaccinate every pregnant woman, record her delivery outcome, register every newborn delivery, administer birth doses and all vaccination events thereafter.
  2. The platform that replicates Co-WIN, which has served as the "digital backbone" for India's COVID-19 vaccination programme, was launched in 65 districts.
  3. The U-WIN is going to be the single source of information for immunisation servicesupdating vaccination statusdelivery outcome, planning of RI sessions and reports like antigen-wise coverage, etc.
  4. There will be digital registrations of all pregnant women and newborns for individualised tracking for vaccination, reminders for upcoming doses and follow-up of dropouts.
  5. Healthcare workers and programme managers will be able to generate real-time data of routine immunisation sessions and vaccination coverage for better planning and vaccine distribution.
  6. For pregnant women and children, vaccine acknowledgement and immunisation card linked to ABHA ID (Ayushman Bharat Heath Account) will be generated and all states and districts can access a common database to track and vaccinate beneficiaries.
  7. Besides, through the platform citizens can check nearby ongoing routine immunisation sessions, and book appointments.
  8. All states and UTs have been sensitised on U-WIN functionalities and objectives for the pilot in 65 districts and staff and healthcare workers have been trained on all modules of U-WIN.
  9. With this the entire vaccination system including records will get digitised, easing the tracking of beneficiaries.
  10. Vaccination records under UIPare being maintained manually as of now. So this will do away with the hassle of keeping a physical record. It will enable the digitisation of session planning, and updating vaccination status on a real-time basis.


Centre sets up panels against online platforms

GS Paper - 2 (Polity)

The Centre has notified the formation of three grievance appellate committees that will address users’ complaints against social media and other internet-based platforms, including being empowered to oversee and revoke content moderation-related decisions taken by these platforms.

Three GACs and their composition

  1. According to the notification, issued late 27 January 2023 night, each of the three grievances appellate committees (GACs) will have a chairperson, two whole-time members from different government entities, and retired senior executives from the industry for a term of three years from the date of assumption of office.
  2. The first panel will be chaired by the chief executive officer of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  3. The second panel will be chaired by the joint secretary in charge of the Policy and Administration Division in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  4. The third panel will be chaired by Kavita Bhatia, a senior scientist at the Ministry of Electronics and IT.

The role of the panels

  1. In October last year, the government notified that it will start the process of selecting GACs amid criticism from civil society activists, who had raised concerns about the government’s involvement in the appeals process.
  2. The government had initially said that it would be open to social media companies setting up a self regulatory body provided that it found the body’s functioning satisfactory.
  3. GACs can also seek assistance from people who may have adequate expertise and experience in a subject matter while dealing with users’ appeals.
  4. The GACs will adopt an “online dispute resolution mechanism” where the entire appeal process, from its filing to the final decision, will be done online.
  5. Social media companies will also have to compile every order passed by the GACs and report them on their respective websites.
  6. Keeping in view the transition period required for the intermediaries as per their requests and technical requirement, the GACs’ online platform will be operational from 1 March 2023.


‘Green comet’ appearing close to Earth

GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

Appearing near Earth after nearly 50,000 years and next estimated to come close to us after as many years, it might be possible to see a recently discovered green comet. The comet is estimated to come closest to Earth around 2 February 2023. Termed the C/2022 E3 (ZTF), the comet was named to refer to those who first spotted it – astronomers using the wide-field survey camera at the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) in the US, in March 2022.

What is the ‘green comet’?

  1. After approaching the sun in the middle of January, it is now moving away from it, along its own orbit.
  2. The orbit indicates it comes from the edge of our solar system, a distant reservoir of comets we call the Oort cloud.”
  3. The Oort cloud is thought to be a big, spherical region of outer space enveloping our sun, consisting of innumerable small objects, such as comets and asteroids.
  4. NASA terms it “the most distant region of our solar system” and “Home of the Comets”.
  5. The green comet could be at a distance of 2.5 light minutes from Earth, meaning a “mere” 27 million miles.

Why is it green in colour?

  1. Comets are frozen rocky or gas-filled objects that are remnants of the formation of the solar system.
  2. Due to their composition, characteristics and the path they move in, they tend to leave a light “behind them”. Here, the comet itself is green (called the head of the comet) and emits a whitish light behind it (often called the tail of the comet).
  3. Just like other bodies in space, comets also have orbits. They are sometimes pulled in close to the sun because of the sun’s gravity acting on them.
  4. As they orbit near the Sun, “They heat up and spew gases and dust into a glowing head that can be larger than a planet”.
  5. The remains of dust following this burning up, from a distance, look like a trail of light to humans on Earth. Comets, therefore, have often been seen giving out blue or whiteish light, or even green.
  6. In this case, the green glow “is thought to arise from the presence of diatomic carbon – pairs of carbon atoms that are bound together – in the head of the comet.
  7. The molecule emits green light when excited by the ultraviolet rays in solar radiation,” The Guardian reported.

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