Daily Current Affairs for 2nd December 2022

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Maternal mortality ratio

GS PAPER 1: Issues related to the development and management of the social sector/Services relating to Health

Important for

Prelims Exam: About Maternal Mortality Ratio

Mains Exam: Significance of Maternal Mortality Ratio

Why in News?

India has registered a significant decline in Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR).

Key Points

  • Maternal mortality rate during birth during the year 2014-16 was 130 per lakh which has been recorded at 97 in the component year 2018-20.
  • With this, while the maternal mortality rate (MMR) has registered a decline of 26 per cent in the country, 8 states have registered MMR less than 70 per lakh.

What is Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR)?

According to the World Health Organisation, “Maternal mortality is the death rate of women during pregnancy or within 42 days after termination of pregnancy. According to the Office of the Inspector General (RGI) of India, the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) has declined from 130 per lakh in 2014-16 to 97 per lakh live births in 2018-20. This bulletin describes the improvement in the level of maternal mortality for the period 2018-2020.

Target has been set under the National Health Policy

  • At the same time, amidst the changing situation regarding health services in the country, a survey is being issued that under the National Health Policy (NHP), the maternal mortality rate will be reduced from 70 per lakh births by the year 2030.
  • The target has already been fixed for this. Right now, the discussion is on for the 8 states which have recorded MMR less than 70 per lakh. These include Kerala (19), Maharashtra (33), Employment Sector (43), Tamil Nadu (54), Jharkhand (56), Gujarat (57) and Karnataka (69). Earlier the number of such states was 6, which has now increased to 8.

Supreme and Lowest

  • Assam has the highest MMR at 195, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 173 per lakh live births and Uttar Pradesh at 167. The data shows that Rentel has the lowest M.Ed at 19, followed by Maharashtra at 33 and Yogyakarta at 43.
  • Along with the country as a whole, there has been a sharp decline in the maternal mortality rate in Gujarat as well. In the year 2011-13, where MMR was 112, now the factor has been recorded as 57.

What else matters?

  • It is noteworthy that the maternal mortality rate in an area is a measure of the birth health of women in that area. Many women die at birth due to complications during pregnancy, birth or miscarriage. In such a situation, it is very important to get rid of this serious problem, which is possible only through timely and better treatment.
  • Be aware, even in the Sustainable Development Plan set by the United Nations, Goal 3.1 aims to reduce global maternal deaths to less than 70 per million live births.
  • The Inspector General of India (RGI) under the Ministry of Home Affairs administers the Sample Registration System and the Mortality Survey, in addition to conducting a population census and monitoring the implementation of the Birth and Death Registration Act in the country.
  • It is worth mentioning that there has been a significant decline in the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), the birth rate was 130 during the maternal mortality rate in the year 2014-16 which has been recorded at 97 in the component year 2018-20.

Worldwide Cost of Living report

GS PAPER 1: Important International agencies

Important for

Prelims Exam: About Worldwide Cost of Living report

Mains Exam: Significance of Worldwide Cost of Living report

Why in News?

Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living report, has come out with the report, assessing the cost of living in top 172 cities of the globe.

Key Points

  • New York shares the unwanted title of being the most expensive city of the world to live in with Singapore.
  • Tel Aviv of Israel, has emerged after them.
  • Hong Kong and Los Angeles are tied for third place.
  • Then come Zurich (Switzerland), Geneva (Switzerland), San Francisco (California), Paris (France) and Copenhagen (Denmark) in succession.
  • However, several big cities of the world have also dropped down the rankings with London being at 28 from 17th in 2021.

Worldwide Cost of Living report

As per the study, a number of factors have driven the cost up, including the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine for around 10 months, snapping the supply chain. The study suggests the supply chain snarls have also been caused by other factors like Covid 19, giving a surge to the costs.

Asian cities majorly escaped the steep rise

  • Asian cities have escaped the steep rise in prices seen elsewhere in the world.
  • While, the average price rises in Asian cities remained at around 4.5%, prices rocketed an average 8.1% in world’s major cities over the last year.
  • The price rises in a country or a city, are also affected by the government policies and currency moves, means appreciation or depreciation in currencies.

Damascus and Tripoli- world’s cheapest cities

  • Last year, Tel Aviv had topped the list, but this year it has come down to the third position.
  • The Syrian capital Damascus and Libya’s capital Tripoli are the world’s cheapest cities for the obvious reasons as they have long been facing civil war like conditions and people in large number have gone away from these cities.
  • Russian cities are also experiencing the heat of the global price rise, placing Moscow and St Petersburg among costly cities to live in.

Reasons of the rise in costs

  • The global rises in prices are caused by a number of factors.
  • Besides, lingering Russia-Ukraine conflict and Covid 19 lockdown, western sanctions on Russia have also caused supply chain problems.
  • In addition, China’s zero-Covid policies and stringent restrictions have also restricted the supply of required things to the rest of the world who depends on China.
  • Rising interest rates and exchange rate shifts have also resulted in the rise of cost of living across the globe.
  • The research says, the average price rise across the globe, is the steepest that people have experienced in last 20 years for which they have the required digital data.

Energy crisis had deepened it

  • Moreover, food crisis and energy crisis also appear to have made things tougher for the people, especially in cities.
  • Rising energy prices are said to be the biggest propellant to higher inflation.
  • Along with Petrol and Diesel, Gas and electricity prices have also gone up by 29% in several countries, especially in western European cities.
  • Commodity prices have also soared in recent months like never before in last few decades.
  • The kind of inflation confronted by majority of the countries across the globe, was not an usual incident earlier.

Prices may soften in 2023

However, softer demand for recreational goods and services, has subdued increases in their prices, as people prefer spending on essential things amid crisis. If people, having an eye over the development, are to be believed, commodity prices may also fall in 2023 compared with 2022 levels.

China’s zero-Covid policy poses challenges

However, the organization has said that the cost increases will ease next year in 2023, as higher prices and rising interest rates may remove some of the demand pressure. Moreover, supply chain crisis may also start to ease next year. However, China’s zero-Covid policy may continue posing the challenges.

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