(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)
Objective: Bringing on a common table the aggrieved pensioner, the concerned department, the bank or CGHS representative, wherever relevant, so that such cases can be settled across the table within the framework of extant rules
- Awarded the Pensioners for their outstanding contribution towards ‘Anubhav’ – a platform for retiring employees for sharing their experience of working with Government
- Moving ahead from e-governance to m-governance, a Mobile App has been created to avail the services of Pensioners’ Portal
First National Conference on Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition
(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)
Goal: “Malnutrition Free India-2022”
Organized by: Ministry of Women & Child Development in collaboration with Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
Aim: Bringing convergence at District/Block levels of the three key Departments (Health & Family Welfare, ICDS/Social Welfare and Drinking Water and Sanitation) wherein a roadmap would be drawn to evolve an appropriate strategy in tackling the problem of stunting, under-nutrition and wasting comprehensively and conclusively
- Ministry of Women and Child Development has identified 113 districts across the States/UTs based on the composite index of NITI Ayong and prevelance of stunting from NFHS-4 data. At least one district has been selected from each State/UTs so that the action taken in the selected district can be emulated in the other districts
- The District Magistrates/District Collectors/Deputy Commissioners in these 113 high burden districts, through a dashboard, will regularly monitor and review the schemes covering the aspects of nutrition across the line departments within their jurisdiction at least once in a three month period. Such a review and monitoring at district level would be done in an exclusive and dedicated manner (between 1st to 10th of January, April, July and October every year) to address implementation of schemes having a direct bearing on nutrition and Health.
- States being awarded for showing good progress in the area of reduction in stunting as measured between NFHS-3 and NFHS-4 – Chattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat
- Important steps taken by the WCD Ministry for a multipronged strategy to manage malnutrition –
- Training ICDS functionaries
- Developing a curriculum for ECCE
- Food fortification guidelines
- Development of a world class software ‘ICDS-CAS’ for real time monitoring of nutrition related parameters in 8 States – this system is one of its kind in the world and 60,000 Anganwadis have already been given tablets to report growth parameters on a daily basis with the help of this system
Malnutrition: The problem of malnutrition is inter-generational and is dependent on multiple factors which inter-alia, include –
- Proper Infant & Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices
- Institutional Delivery
- Early Childhood Development
- Food Fortification
- Access to safe drinking water & proper sanitation (WASH)
- Dietary diversification
- Full ANC checkup
- Early initiation of breast feeding
- ICT enabled real time monitoring and implementation of Anganwadi Services
- Improving infrastructure of Anganwadi Centres along with training of Anganwadi workers and other related factors
Revamped Khelo India Programme
(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)
Marks a watershed moment in the history of Indian sports, as the Programme aims at mainstreaming sport as a tool for individual development, community development, economic development and national development
The revamped Khelo India Programme would impact the entire sports ecosystem, including infrastructure, community sports, talent identification, coaching for excellence, competition structure and sports economy
- An unprecedented Pan Indian Sports Scholarship scheme, which would cover 1,000 most talented young athletes each year across select sports disciplines.
- Each athlete selected under the scheme shall receive an annual scholarship worth Rs. 5.00 lakh for 8 consecutive years.
- This is the first time ever that a long-term athlete development pathway would be made available to gifted and talented youngsters to excel in competitive sports and will create a pool of highly competitive athletes who can compete to win at the world stage.
- The Programme aims to promote 20 universities across the country as hubs of sporting excellence, which would enable talented sports persons to pursue the dual pathway of education and competitive sports.
- The Programme also aims at creating an active population with healthy life-style.
- The Programme would cover about 200 million children in the age group of 10-18 under a massive national physical fitness drive, which will not only measure the physical fitness of all children in the age group, but also support their fitness related activities.
- The power of sport in promoting gender equity and social inclusiveness is also fully recognized and special measures are provided for to achieve these objectives.
- The programme also aims at engaging youth living in disturbed and deprived areas, in sporting activities, to wean them away from unproductive and disruptive activities and mainstream them in the nation-building process.
- The programme strives to raise the standards of competition, both at school and college level, to have maximum access to organized sports competitions.
- It also includes the use of latest user-friendly technology in all aspects of sports promotion such as, use of mobile apps for dissemination of sports training; National Sports Talent Search portal for talent identification; interactive website for indigenous sports; GIS based information system for locating and using sports infrastructure, etc.
- This programme strives to promote “Sports for All” as well as “Sports for Excellence.”
New PPP Policy to promote private investments in affordable housing
(Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment)
- Allows extending central assistance of up to Rs.2.50 lakh per each house to be built by private builders even on private lands besides opening up immense potential for private investments in affordable housing projects on government lands in urban areas
- Gives eight PPP (Public Private Partnership) options for private sector to invest in affordable housing segment
- Seeks to assign risks among the government, developers and financial institutions, to those who can manage them the best besides leveraging under-utilized and un-utilized private and public lands towards meeting the Housing for All target by 2022
The six models using government lands are:
DBT Model: Under this option, private builders can design, build and transfer houses built on government lands to public authorities. Government land is to be allocated based on the least cost of construction. Payments to builders will be made by the public authority based on progress of project as per agreed upon milestones and buyers will pay to the Government.
Mixed Development Cross –subsidized Housing: Government land to be allotted based on number of affordable houses to be built on the plot offered to private builders, cross subsidizing this segment from revenues from high end house building or commercial development.
Annuity Based Subsidized Housing: Builders will invest against deferred annuity payments by the Government. Land allocation to builders is based on unit cost of construction.
Annuity-cum-Capital Grant Based Affordable Housing: Besides annuity payments, builders could be paid a share of project cost as upfront payment.
Direct Relationship Ownership Housing: As against government mediated payments to builders and transfer of houses to beneficiaries in the above four models, under this option, promoters will directly deal with buyers and recover costs. Allocation of public land is based on unit cost of construction.
Direct Relationship Rental Housing: Recovery of the costs by builders is through rental incomes from the houses built on government lands.
Under these six Government land based PPP models, beneficiaries can avail central assistance of Rs.1.00 to Rs.2.50 lakh per house as provisioned under different components of PMAY (Urban). Beneficiaries will be identified as per the norms of PMAY (Urban).
NITI Aayog and IRF Geneva signs Statement of Intent (SoI) to cooperate in the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
(Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.)
Objective of the SoI: Create a national platform, involving all relevant Government of India stakeholders, Indian and foreign companies active in the sector, and relevant technical experts for the purpose of developing a National ITS Policy covering:
- Traffic Management,
- Parking Management,
- Electronic Enforcement of Traffic Rules and Regulations,
- Fleet Management and Monitoring,
- Innovation in the field of ITS, and
- Education in the field of ITS
Objectives of this national ITS Policy:
- Contribute to reducing urban traffic congestion
- Improving the situation around parking of vehicles in cities, improving road safety, and improving the security of passenger and goods traffic
DBT announces three High-investment, High Outcome Thrusts for the North East Region
(Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights)
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science & Technology, has taken many steps to brings about a paradigm shift in biotechnology in the country’s North-East Region (NER). Eyeing an inclusive growth, DBT has announced a series of new programs and missions to turn this into a reality. DBT has established a dedicated ‘North Eastern Region Biotechnology Programme Management Cell (NER-BPMC)’, with an annual investment of Rs. 180 crores, to evolve, implement and foster biotechnology research in the north east states.
Phyto-Pharma Plant Mission:
- Aimed at conservation and cultivation of endangered and threatened endemic medicinal plants
- Discovery of new botanical drugs for unmet medical needs using the rich traditional ethno-botanical knowledge and biodiversity of these states
- Improve availability of authentic and quality botanical raw material on sustainable basis for a boom in the phyto-pharmaceutical industry
- Enable farmers from NE states and phyto-pharmaceutical industry to become global leaders in production and export of some quality botanical drugs for unmet medical needs.
Brahmaputra Biodiversity and Biology Boat (B4)
Location: On the Brahmaputra River, a major ecology hotspot, in NER
- Establish a large barge on the river with a well-equipped laboratory for analysis of all components of the entire ecosystem of the river and surroundings and link to all the local research institutions along the river, as well as national and international laboratories.
- B4 will have capability to analyse soil, water, environment, plant and animal life, human health and agriculture and an equal component that involves local citizens in the experimental process of science in data generation and management.
- B4 will also have a teaching laboratory for school/college children, and have mobile satellite boat labs which will run along the tributaries of Brahmaputra to feed in data to the main B4.
Read more: Link
India to conduct the First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017
(Topic: Disaster and disaster management)
The First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency from October 10-13, 2017 in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
- Testing the region’s preparedness and resilience towards effective activation of inter-Governmental interaction/dialogue/agreements for immediate deployment of regional resources for disaster response
- Create synergy and synchronize efforts to institutionalize regional cooperation among the member countries
- Strengthen the effective utilization of the Search & Rescue Teams for Disaster Relief & Emergency Response, including Emergency Rapid Assessment Teams and Management of mass casualties especially in situations involving breakdown of infrastructure and communication.
‘Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation’ (BIMSTEC) –Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand
- Home to around 1.5 billion people
- Constitutes around 22% of the global population with a combined GDP of US $2.7 trillion economy
- Majority of the BIMSTEC countries are situated in the South Asian Region (SAR), prone to natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, avalanches and drought.
New Intelligence Set-up of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)
(Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism)
SSB – Declared as the Lead Intelligence Agency (LIA) for both the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders
Well-knit intelligence network of the highest capabilities: Prime requirement of comprehensive Border Management as the operations of SSB have to be Intelligence based so as to prevent criminals and smugglers from taking advantage of the friendly borders with Nepal and Bhutan.
Badminton Player P.V. Sindhu won Korea Open Super Series title.
In Gujarat –
- Sardar Sarovar Dam
- Statue of Unity, an iconic structure dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, at Sadhu Bet
- National Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museum (upcoming)
“Izzat Ghar” – Initiative of naming the toilet to mark its importance
Sweet Revolution – Denotes honey production
First woman to head any CAPF – Smt. Archana Ramasundaram
The highest battlefield in the world – Siachen
Operation Sadbhavana – The Sadbhavana tour is organised by the 109 Infantry Brigade of the Indian Army with an aim to develop trust among and reignite the minds of youth towards national integration.
Project Yash Vidya: The University will award Diploma in Self-Empowerment and a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts or Commerce under the project enabling the soldier with academic qualifications for better future.
Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana: Will experiment and endeavor to formulate and implement appropriate S&T Interventions for Sustainable Development through cluster approach in Uttarakhand
- Strategically located between Europe and Asia
- Rich in mineral resources, such as uranium, oil and natural gas
- Largest partner of India in the region – one of the first countries with which India launched civil nuclear cooperation through a uranium purchase contract
- India-Kazakhstan Inter-governmental Commission established in 1993 is the apex bilateral institutional mechanism for developing trade, economic, scientific, technical, industrial and cultural cooperation between the two countries
Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi
- First musician to be awarded Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour
- First Indian musician to have performed at the United Nations General Assembly
- First Indian musician to be conferred with the Ramon Magsaysay award for public service
- She was called the ‘Nightingale of India’ by Sarojini Naidu and “Tapaswini” by Lata Mangeshkar
- She performed at the Edinburg International Festival and for Queen Elizabeth-II at the Royal Albert Hall, London
Deendayal Hastkala Sankul: The Finance Minister in the Budget 2014-15 had announced setting up of a Trade Facilitation Centre and a Crafts Museum to develop and promote handlooms, handicrafts and silk products of Varanasi and to provide necessary help to weavers, artisans and entrepreneurs of Varanasi in strengthening their marketing activities in domestic as well as international markets and in carrying forward the rich tradition of handlooms at Varanasi.
TRIFED – Promotes tribal art and craft for the benefit of tribal artisans of the country under the scheme “Institutional Support for Development & Marketing of tribal products/produce” – The tribal population of the country, as per 2011 census, is around 10.43 crore, constituting 8.6% of the total population, 89.97% of them live in rural areas and 10.03% in urban areas. Thus, there exists a vast potential for harnessing the supply of tribal handicraft products from the 705 Scheduled Tribes ethnic groups of 30 States/UTs in 590 districts across the country.
SATH- Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital – Joint initiative of Government of Assam and NITI Aayog, which aims to provide structured support to Assam in identifying key health priorities and implement the solutions towards transforming the health and improving the well-being of people of Assam.
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