Editor : Satish Ohri    Edition : Jan - Feb 2019

Senior Bush passes away

Senior Bush passes away

On December 1, George H W Bush Senior, the 41st President of the United States and the father of the 43rd US President George W Bush, who steered the nation through a tumultuous period in world affairs, died on at his home in Houston. He was 94.His death, which was announced by his office, came less than eight months after that of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush. A decorated Navy pilot who was shot down in the Pacific in 1944he was the last of the World War II generation to occupy the Oval Office. Bush was a skilled bureaucratic and diplomatic player who, as president, helped end four decades of Cold War and the threat of nuclear engagement with a nuanced handling of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the liberation of Eastern Europe. The elder Bush entered the White House with one of the most impressive résumés of any president. He had been a two-term congressman from Texas, ambassador to the United Nations, chairman of the Republican National Committee, United States envoy to China, director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Vice-President, under Ronald Reagan.. Yet for all his success in the international arena, Bush lost in 1992 US Presidential election to a relatively little-known Democratic Governor from Arkansas, Bill Clinton.

Guidelines for HIV/AIDS

Guidelines for HIV/AIDS

On December 1, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel, at a function to mark World AIDS Day, declared that the Government is not only fully funding the HIV/AIDS programme but also increasing the resource envelope in accordance with the programme needs. Anupriya Patel also released the Operational Guidelines on HIV/TB Intervention in Prisons and NACO Calendar for 2019. Speaking at the event, Anupriya Patel informed that the HIV/AIDS Programme has focused on more than one million people from high risk group and kept the infection of HIV in control through comprehensive and intense targeted interventions services. “The Programme has also given attention to eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV and Syphilis by 2020. Under the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan complete ante-natal check up facility is provided to all pregnant women across the country, including HIV testing. In 2017-18 more than 2 crore HIV testing among pregnant women was undertaken,” she said. The Union Minister further said that in a historic move, the HIV/AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017 was unanimously passed by the Government and it has also come into force. “This Act provides an enabling environment to HIV affected and infected population where they get a seamless access to services and a comprehensive grievance redressal mechanism with ombudsman at the Centre and Complaints Officer at establishments, she added.

Housing in North-East

Housing in North-East

On December 1, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Sing Puri informed that construction of more than 2.3 lakh houses have been sanctioned for the Urban poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY-Urban) in the North-Eastern States during the last 4 years. About 1.16 lakh houses have already been grounded for construction. Almost 100% of house demand in Tripura has been sanctioned. While reviewing the progress of Urban Missions in the North-Eastern States here today, he informed that this approval needs to be seen in the context of 26,041 houses which were sanctioned during ten years between 2004-14 under JNNURM and Rajiv AwasYojana. Out of the houses sanctioned during 2004-14, only 21,159 houses were constructed and the remaining 4892 houses are under construction. Central Assistance amounting to Rs 3570 crore has been sanctioned and Rs 1520 crore released during the last 4 years as against Rs 683 crore sanctioned and Rs 586 crore released during 2004-2014, he added. Under PMAY (Urban), government provides an assistance in the range of Rs.1.00 lakh to Rs.2.67 lakh to each beneficiary under different verticals. Sh Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary in the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and Senior officials from all the North-Eastern states besides Mission Directors in the Ministry participatedin the 2-day review of the missions.

ISRO launches heaviest satellite

ISRO launches heaviest satellite

On December 5, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) heaviest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite GSAT-11 was successfully launched from the Spaceport in French Guiana during the early hours. The launch vehicle Ariane 5 VA-246 lifted off from Kourou Launch Base, French Guiana at 02:07 am (IST) carrying India’s GSAT-11 and South Korea’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2A satellites, as scheduled. Ariane 5 is one of three launch vehicles operated by Arianespace along with Soyuz and Vega. After a 30-min flight, GSAT-11 separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. The achieved orbit was very close to the intended one. The 5,854-kg GSAT-11 will provide high data rate connectivity to users of Indian mainland and islands through 32 user beams in Ku-band and 8 hub beams in Ka-band. “GSAT-11 will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible Gram Panchayats in the country coming under the Bharat Net Project, which is part of Digital India Programme,” ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan said. The Bharat Net Project aims to enhance the public welfare schemes like e-banking, e-health, e-governance among others. He said GSAT-11 will act as a forerunner to all future high throughput communication satellites. “Today’s successful mission has boosted the confidence of the entire team,” Dr Sivan added. Post-separation, ISRO's Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-11 and found its health parameters normal.

More specialists in ESI Hospitals

More specialists in ESI Hospitals

On December 5, the ESI Corporation, during its 176thmeeting under the Chairmanship of Union Labour & Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar, has taken some very important decisions towards improvements in its service delivery mechanism.To meet the shortage of specialist/super specialist doctors in some of the ESIC Hospitals, the ESIC approved for hiring of full-time contractual specialists/super specialists in the department of Anaesthesia, Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Gyne, Ortho, Cardiology, Nephrology and Medical Oncology after inviting open tender. In the meeting, It was decided to allow Non-IPs (Non-Insured Persons) to avail medical services from underutilized ESIC Hospitals after levying User Charges at a subsidized cost of Rs 10/- for OPD Consultation, at 25 per cent of CGHS package rates for admitted patients and to provide medicines on actual rate initially for one year on pilot basis. It will immensely help common people get the quality medical care at very low cost. Besides, it will ensure full utilization of resources of hospital for people’s cause. Recruitment to the 5200 posts in various categories like Social Security Officer, Insurance Medical Officer Grade-II, Junior Engineers, Teaching Faculty, Paramedical & Nursing Cadre, UDC and Steno etc. in ESIC is under process. Keeping in view the rise in the National Floor Level Minimum Wages to Rs. 176/-, it was decided in the meeting to Enhance the exemption limit for payment of employees’ share of contribution from Rs 137 to Rs 176.

Gadkari confident of Cleaning Ganga

Gadkari confident of Cleaning Ganga

On December 5, Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Nitin Gadkari expressed his satisfaction over the positive feedback being received for Clean Ganga Mission and assured the people of the country that their dream of rejuvenated Ganga will soon be fulfilled. Gandkari said that with the support of all stakeholders, the work on Clean Ganga Mission is going on war footing and the hard work of all stakeholders has started to show visible results on ground. “The government has freed Kanpur from the ill effects of Sisamau drain after 128 years, which was infamous for the pollution it was causing to River Ganga,” Gadkari said, adding, “140 MLD of waste water has been stopped from flowing into River Ganga.” Six reports prepared by Ganga were released on the occasion regarding flow regimes and Ganga River Basin Management Plan of five main stem Ganga basin states. Green Ganga App, developed by Remote Sensing Centre of ISRO was also launched during the occasion. Green Ganga App is used for geo-tagging of saplings and delineation of plantation boundaries under ongoing afforestation activities of Namami Gange programme. The touch-enabled information kiosk about Namami Gange programme, developed jointly by NMCG and ISRO, was also launched. Gadkari also mentioned that the Aviralta of River Ganga has also been given importance and to ensure that required level of ecological flow is always maintained, a notification has already been published in October.

Fertiliser available: Sadananda Gowda

Fertiliser available: Sadananda Gowda

On December 5, Union Chemicals & Fertilizers, Statistics & Programme Implementation, DV Sadananda Gowda, in a statement said, “There is sufficient field stock of fertilizers available in all the States, which is adequate to address any emergent issue.” Gowda said that the Department of Fertilizers (DoF) is in regular touch with State Governments and suppliers of fertilizers. In view of the ensuing Rabi season, monitoring is being done on regular and daily basis to ensure adequate availability across the country. In the weekly video conference, jointly organised by Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), Do Fand Railway son 04.12.2018, all the States have reported adequate availability of all Fertilizers, the Minister said. Gowda said that there is day-to-day coordination with Railways for movement of fertilizers across the country. Both the departments (DoF & Railways) are working in coherence to ensure timely availability of all fertilizers across the country. During Kharif’18 season, due to concerted efforts of Railways and DoF, more than 250 additional rakes were made available for fertilizers as compared to Kharif’17 season, the Minister said. For Rabi’18-19 (October’18 to March’19), the requirement of urea is estimated at 155.84 LMT. The entire quantity required forthe current rabi season, especially during peak consumption months of December’18 & January’19, is expected to be met by domestic production of about 129 LMT and remaining through imports. Further the production of P&K fertilizers is also going on in the country and importers are importing P&K under Open General License (OGL) to fulfil the field requirement.

Startup India Summit in Goa

Startup India Summit in Goa

On December 7,the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Government of Goa, hosted the annual Startup India Venture Capital Summit in Goa. The theme of the Summit was Mobilizing Global Capital for Innovation in India. The event will showcase the Indian startup opportunity for funds from around the world. The summitaims to attract more global capital into the country. The event will enable a dialogue between Government and experienced Venture Capitalfund managers on ways to further promote the startup ecosystem in India. Thefocus of the Summitis on the huge return-generating potential of India’s vast and diverse market monetized through cutting-edge technologies and supported by investor-friendly regulations. The key objectives of the Summit will be to showcase the India opportunity, increase capital flow for Indian startups and further promote ease of doing business. With over 150 participants expected to attend, it will bring together government officials, domestic and international startups, global fund managers and India’s vibrant entrepreneurial community on one platform. Participation is expected from around 100 funds from countries like United States of America, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. India has the world’s third largest startup base with more than 14,000 recognized Startups. More than 8,200 startups were recognized by DIPP in 2018 alone, leading to the creation of more than 89,000 new jobs this year, taking the total job creation contribution of recognized Startups to 1,41,775.

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