[Newsbits] 02.08.2023

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In recent news, a remarkable event has taken place as the President inaugurated two vibrant festivals - Unmesha and Utkarsh. These festivals hold immense cultural significance, showcasing various folk and tribal performing arts. The highlight of the occasion was the unveiling of the 2nd edition of the International Literature Festival, making it a remarkable celebration of both culture and literary prowess.

President Inaugurates Festivals: Unmesha and Utkarsh

The inauguration of the festivals, Unmesha and Utkarsh, marks a significant cultural milestone in India. These festivals are aimed at celebrating the rich diversity of folk arts and tribal performing arts.

Festival Types

  • Unmesha: A vibrant cultural celebration focusing on folk arts, preserving and highlighting the artistic expressions of different regions.
  • Utkarsh: Showcasing the mesmerizing realm of tribal performing arts, this festival brings forth the captivating traditions of indigenous communities.


The festivals are proudly organized by two prominent entities:

  • Ministry of Culture: Playing a pivotal role in promoting and preserving India's cultural heritage.
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi: Dedicated to nurturing and supporting various forms of performing arts in the country.

Unveiling the 2nd Edition of the International Literature Festival

The inauguration ceremony also featured the unveiling of the 2nd edition of the International Literature Festival, a prominent event with a focus on literary exploration and cultural exchange.


  • Largest Event in Asia: The International Literature Festival stands as the largest event of its kind in Asia, attracting literary enthusiasts from all corners of the continent.
  • Literary Focus: With its core emphasis on literature, the festival serves as a platform for writers, poets, and thinkers to engage in meaningful discussions and showcase their literary creations.

Event Details

  • Duration: Spanning across four days, the festival promises a plethora of enriching experiences for attendees.
  • Participants: The festival boasts the participation of 575 accomplished authors hailing from 14 different countries. These authors represent a diverse array of languages, collectively surpassing 100 in number.

The Organizers

Both the inauguration of Unmesha and Utkarsh festivals and the unveiling of the International Literature Festival were made possible by the dedicated efforts of renowned organizers.

Ministry of Culture

The Ministry of Culture plays a pivotal role in nurturing and promoting the cultural vibrancy of India. Through such events, the ministry showcases the rich artistic heritage that the country boasts.

Sahitya Akademi

  • Establishment Year: Founded in 1954, Sahitya Akademi holds a significant place in India's literary landscape.
  • Autonomy and Registration: Operating as an autonomous organization, Sahitya Akademi is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. This status empowers it to function independently and foster literary excellence.

The Location: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

All these festivities and literary celebrations took place in the picturesque city of Bhopal, located in the heart of Madhya Pradesh.

Location Details

Bhopal serves as an ideal backdrop for such events due to its cultural richness and historical significance. Its welcoming atmosphere and vibrant spirit perfectly complement the essence of the festivals and the literary extravaganza.

WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently released the 9th edition of its report on the global tobacco epidemic, highlighting progress made by countries in their efforts to control tobacco use. This comprehensive report, which tracks developments since 2008, sheds light on the advancements, challenges, and areas requiring urgent attention in the fight against tobacco consumption.

Navigating Progress: 9th Edition Report

Tracking Measures and Progress

  • The 9th edition of the report focuses on evaluating progress in tobacco control measures made by various countries since 2008.

Key Highlights

Successful Implementation of Recommended Measures

  • Several countries, including the Netherlands, Mauritius, Brazil, and Turkey, have successfully implemented all recommended tobacco control measures.

Close to Implementation

  • Ethiopia, Iran, Ireland, Jordan, Madagascar, Mexico, New Zealand, and Spain are only one policy step away from implementing all recommended measures.

Unprotected Population and Inadequate Measures

  • Shockingly, about 2.3 billion people in 44 countries lack any WHO anti-tobacco measures.
  • 53 states do not have complete smoking bans in healthcare facilities.

Positive Impact on Smoking Prevalence

  • The prevalence of smoking has dropped from 22.8% in 2007 to 17% in 2021, preventing an estimated 300 million additional smokers.

Protection from Tobacco Dangers

  • Over 5.6 billion people, more than seven in ten individuals globally, are now protected from the dangers of tobacco smoke.

Alarming Tobacco-Related Deaths

  • Tobacco-related deaths amount to 8.7 million people annually, including 1.3 million due to second-hand smoke exposure.
  • Tobacco remains a leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide.

E-Cigarette Regulations

  • The report highlights inadequate regulation of e-cigarettes globally:
    • 121 countries have adopted some measures.
    • 74 countries lack regulations, allowing use in public places, advertising, and labelling without restrictions.
    • 88 countries, encompassing 2.3 billion people, have no minimum age for purchasing e-cigarettes.

Urgent Call for Action

  • The report urges countries to scale up the use of recognized measures to effectively reduce tobacco use.

Milestones and Significance

MPOWER Technical Package

  • The release of this report coincides with the 15-year anniversary of the introduction of the MPOWER technical package.
  • The MPOWER package is designed to assist in implementing demand-reduction measures outlined in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

MPOWER Tobacco Control Measures

  • These measures encompass:
    • Providing tips for quitting smoking.
    • Preventing passive smoking.
    • Disseminating information on tobacco risks.
    • Enforcing restrictions on advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.
    • Raising taxes on tobacco products.

Iberian Wolf

The Iberian Wolf, scientifically known as Canis lupus signatus, is a remarkable species of gray wolf native to the Iberian Peninsula, encompassing both Spain and Portugal. This wolf species holds a unique significance due to its distinctive features and important role within the ecosystem.

Status and Location

Extinct in Andalusia

  • The Iberian Wolf has been declared extinct in the historic region of Andalusia, located in the extreme south of the Iberian Peninsula, according to the Government of Andalucia.

Andalusia: Autonomous Territory

  • Andalusia, an autonomous territory of Spain, comprises eight provinces: Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga, and Seville.

Characteristics of the Iberian Wolf

Physical Features and Behavior

  • The Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus) is a species of gray wolf that lives in packs, exhibiting territorial and hierarchical behaviors.
  • Packs are led by a dominant breeding pair, establishing a social structure within the group.
  • This subspecies of gray wolf differs from the Eurasian wolf with its slighter frame, white marks on upper lips, dark marks on its tail, and a distinctive pair of dark marks on its front legs, which gives it the name signatus (meaning "marked").
  • Habitually, the Iberian Wolf resides in forested and mountainous regions, including areas like the Cantabrian Mountains and Sierra Morena.

Ecological Significance

Largest Wolf Population in Western Europe

  • The Iberian Wolf boasts the largest wolf population in Western Europe.
  • Its presence in the ecosystem plays a crucial role in maintaining balance and biodiversity within the region.

Native Habitat

Originating in the Iberian Peninsula

  • The Iberian Wolf, a subspecies of the gray wolf, is native to the Iberian Peninsula, which encompasses the nations of Spain and Portugal.
  • This unique wolf species thrives within the natural landscapes of these two countries, adapting to various environments.

Conservation and Future

The Iberian Wolf's status as an apex predator highlights its importance within the ecosystem. The efforts of conservationists and organizations dedicated to safeguarding the species and its habitat are critical to maintaining the delicate ecological balance. As one of the largest wolf populations in Western Europe, the Iberian Wolf serves as a symbol of the region's natural heritage, calling for continued preservation and coexistence with humans.

World Breastfeeding Week 2023

World Breastfeeding Week is a global healthcare event that aims to highlight the numerous benefits of breastfeeding for both newborns and mothers. This annual event is a collaborative effort by international and local organizations to promote optimal breastfeeding practices and raise awareness about its importance.

Embracing Breastfeeding Benefits

What is World Breastfeeding Week?

World Breastfeeding Week is a dedicated time to advocate for and celebrate the practice of breastfeeding. It emphasizes the recommendations put forth by prominent health organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), regarding optimal breastfeeding practices.

Recommendations for Optimal Breastfeeding

  • Exclusively Breastfeeding: Newborns should be exclusively breastfed during the first six months of life, receiving only breast milk without any additional food or water (with exceptions for specific medical solutions like oral rehydration solutions, drops, and syrups).
  • Continuing to Breastfeed: After six months, breastfeeding should continue alongside the introduction of supplementary foods, ideally until the child reaches the age of two.

The Significance of World Breastfeeding Week

Importance in Developing Nations

  • Exclusive breastfeeding has the highest potential impact among preventive interventions on child survival, potentially saving around 13% of all deaths in children under the age of five.
  • It plays a critical role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Breast Milk Composition and Benefits

  • Breast milk is composed of 87% water, 7% carbohydrate, 4% lipid, and 1% protein, along with essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and more.
  • The benefits of breastfeeding range from preventing short-term illnesses to reducing the risk of long-term diseases such as respiratory problems, sudden infant death syndrome, diarrhea, necrotizing enterocolitis, otitis media, obesity, and type 1 diabetes.

Theme for 2023: 'Let’s Make Breastfeeding and Work, Work!'

This year's theme underscores the importance of creating supportive environments that enable working mothers to continue breastfeeding while managing their professional responsibilities.

Promoting Breastfeeding Practices

Various Organizations' Efforts

  • International and local organizations collaborate to raise awareness about breastfeeding's benefits for both newborns and mothers.

Role of World Breastfeeding Week

  • World Breastfeeding Week serves as a platform to promote, defend, and support women's rights to breastfeed anytime and anywhere.

Timeline and Global Impact

When is World Breastfeeding Week Observed?

World Breastfeeding Week is observed annually between the 1st and 7th of August.

Addressing Global Challenges

  • A 2015 global report indicated that 5.9 million child deaths occurred, with India accounting for the highest share at 20%.
  • UNICEF's 2015 statistics for India revealed that malnutrition was responsible for over half of under-five mortality and infant mortality rates.

Collaborative Efforts and Progress

WHO and UNICEF Initiatives

  • The global rate of exclusive breastfeeding has increased by 10 percentage points over the past decade.
  • Noteworthy progress has been made in countries such as Ivory Coast, Marshall Islands, Philippines, Somalia, and Vietnam.

Future Steps and Family-Friendly Policies

  • Governments, donors, civil society, and the private sector need to collectively work towards eliminating barriers to breastfeeding.
  • Family-friendly workplace policies, including paid maternity leave, breastfeeding breaks, and designated spaces for breastfeeding or expressing milk, are essential to achieving global breastfeeding targets and fostering healthy working environments.

Ayush Visa

In recent news, a groundbreaking development has emerged in the world of medical tourism—Ayush Visa. This new visa category, introduced after Chapter 11 of the Visa Manual, marks a significant step forward in facilitating medical travel to India. The Chapter 11, previously centered around medical visas, now incorporates the Ayush Visa to accommodate a broader spectrum of health and wellness-related visits.

Ayush Visa: A Gateway to Holistic Wellbeing

What is it?

The Ayush Visa is a specialized visa designed for foreign nationals seeking various forms of medical treatment and wellness experiences in India. It encompasses a range of health-related purposes, including:

  • Medical Treatment: Providing access to advanced medical treatments and procedures.
  • Therapeutic Care: Enabling individuals to receive specialized therapeutic care for specific health conditions.
  • Wellness: Catering to those looking for rejuvenation, relaxation, and holistic wellness experiences.
  • Yoga: Facilitating participation in traditional yoga practices, a key aspect of Indian wellness traditions.

This initiative also aligns with the Heal in India campaign, aiming to create a comprehensive roadmap for enhancing India's position as a global health and wellness destination.

Why was it Introduced?

The introduction of the Ayush Visa is primarily aimed at boosting Medical Value Travel in India. By diversifying the types of healthcare services available to international visitors, the country aims to attract a broader range of medical tourists seeking holistic wellbeing experiences.

How Ayush Visa Works

The Ayush Visa operates as a special visa scheme catering to foreigners who wish to visit India for treatment under the Ayush systems of medicine. These systems include various Indian traditional and alternative healthcare practices that have gained global recognition. The scheme entails:

  • Foreigners Visiting India: Individuals from different countries can apply for the Ayush Visa to receive specialized medical and wellness treatments.
  • Treatment under Ayush Systems: The visa facilitates access to treatment methodologies based on Indian systems of medicine, such as Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy.

The Driving Forces Behind Ayush Visa

Introduced by

The Ayush Visa was introduced by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the year 2022. This ministry has played a pivotal role in shaping policies related to immigration and visas, thereby contributing to the development of the Ayush Visa category.

Collaborating Ministries and One-Stop Portal

To ensure the success of the Ayush Visa initiative, collaboration has been established between multiple government bodies:

  • Ministry of Ayush: This ministry oversees traditional Indian healthcare systems and plays a significant role in promoting their integration with modern medical practices.
  • Ministry of Health & Family Welfare: Through the establishment of the Heal in India portal, these ministries collectively aim to provide a centralized platform for medical tourists. This portal acts as a one-stop destination for information, facilitating a seamless experience for travelers.

The Heal in India portal seeks to promote India as a prime medical tourism destination, showcasing the country's rich heritage of holistic wellness practices combined with advanced medical facilities.

The Future of Ayush Visa and Medical Tourism

The introduction of the Ayush Visa comes at a time when global healthcare priorities have shifted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a report titled 'The Global Wellness Economy: Looking beyond COVID' by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), Ayush-based healthcare and wellness are expected to contribute significantly to the economy. The report predicts an annual growth rate of 9.9% in this sector, with an estimated market value of $70 billion by 2025. This growth is expected to further elevate India's position in the field of Medical Value Travel.

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