General Knowledge Current Affairs

Friday, November 23, 2012

Govt. Sanctions Funds for Development of Solar Cities Programme

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is implementing a Scheme on ’Development of Solar Cities’ which provides support for 60 cities to develop as Solar Cities in the country. The Ministry has given sanctions for 41 cities for developing as Solar Cities. Gandhinagar, Nagpur, Chandigarh and Mysore are being developed as Model Solar Cities. The Ministry has approved the Master Plants for the 28 Cities and the project installations have already started in few cities.

In pursuance of the programme, a one day ‘National Meet on Solar Cities’ was inaugurated by Shri Gireesh B Pradhan, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy on 22nd November 2012, at India International Centre, New Delhi. The Secretary asked the Municipal Corporations to enhance the use of renewable energy in their area and save the fossil fuel based energy. They can amend the building bye-laws suitably to promote the solar water heaters, solar SPV rooftop systems, kitchen waste based plants in the various establishments of the city. Smt. Nisha Singh Joint Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, emphasized the need for the concerned Ministries to work in coordination with each other.

About 150 persons actively participated in the one day event including the representatives of Municipal Corporations, Developers, Financial Institutions, International Agencies, Manufactures, Investors, Technology Providers and State Nodal Agencies, banks etc. The aim of this meet was to discuss the “Ways Forward” after Master Plan for execution of renewable energy/energy efficiency related projects in respective solar cities. The Municipal Commissioners of Thane, Mysore and Shimla actively participated in the event.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Janani-Shishu Suraksha Karyakram

In JUNE 2011, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India launched the Janani-Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), a national initiative which entitles all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions to absolutely free and no expense delivery, including caesarean section.

The scheme emphasies utmost importance on “Free Entitlements”. The idea is to eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for both pregnant women and sick neonates. Under this scheme, pregnant women are entitled for free drugs and consumables, free diagnostics, free blood wherever required, and free diet up to 3 days for normal delivery and 7 days for Caesarian section. This initiative also provides for free transport from home to institution, between facilities in case of a referral and drop back home. Similar entitlements have been put in place for all sick newborns accessing public health institutions for treatment till 30 days after birth.

The JSSK initiative is estimated to benefit more than one crore pregnant women and newborns who access public health institutions every year in both urban and rural areas.

Why JSSK?

India has made considerable progress in reduction of Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), but the pace at which these health indications are declining needs acceleration. The number of institutional deliveries has increased significantly, after the launch of Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY) in the year 2005 but many of those who opted for institutional deliveries were not willing to stay for 48 hrs, hampering the provisions of essential services both to the mother and neonate. Moreover, the first 48 hours after delivery are critical as complications like haemorrhage, infection, high blood pressure, etc are more likely to develop during this period and unsafe deliveries may result in maternal and infant morbidity or mortality.

Access to mother and child health care services were also hindered by high out of pocket expenses on user charges for OPD, drugs and consumables, diagnostic tests etc. In some cases such as severe anaemia or haemorrhage requiring blood transfusion can also increase immediate expenses. The same becomes still higher in caseC section is being done. So, JSSK has been launched, to ensure that each and every pregnant woman and sick neonates upto one month gets timely access to health care services free of cost and without any out of pocket expenses.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

India Signs Agreements with World Bank for US$ 320 Million AID

The Loan and Project Agreements for World Bank (IBRD) assistance of US$ 320 million for Assam State Roads Project were signed between Government of India and the Government of Assam respectively and the World Bank in New Delhi today. The Loan Agreement was signed by Shri Prabodh Saxena (Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs) on behalf of Government of India and Mr. Onno Ruhl, Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank. The Project Agreement was signed by Shri Mohan Chandra Boro, Commissioner & Special Secretary, Public Works Road Department on behalf of the Government of Assam.
The Objective of the project is to enhance the road connectivity in Assam by assisting the Public Works Road Department to improve and effectively manage its road network.
Project Component: The project will have three components:
1. Road Improvement: This component will support improvement of priority sections of secondary roads in Assam to improve state connectivity and facilitate regional integration.
2. Road Sector Modernization and Performance: This component will support the implementation of Assam’s Road Sector Modernization Program
3. Road Safety Management: This component will strengthen safety management capacity of related agencies in Assam through developing and implementing a multi-sector road safety strategy.
The IBRD loan has a variable spread over LIBOR and is a US $ denominated loan. The project will be implemented over a period of six years.

President confers Dr Durgabai Deshmukh awards

The President confers Dr. Durgabai Deshmukh Awards for Women’s Development for the years 2005, 2006 and 2007 today (November 5, 2012) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The eighth Award for 2005 was jointly given to Mizoram Hmeithai (Widows) Association and People’s Forum, Bhubaneswar. The Mizoram Hmeithai (Widows) Association has been working to bring succour and relief to thousands of widows and destitute women and hundreds of abandoned orphan children. The People’s Forum, Bhubaneswar was awarded for its landmark services in the rescue and rehabilitation of hundreds of mentally ill women and for its exemplary work with women in distress.

The ninth Award for the year 2006 was awarded to Sumangali Seva Ashram of Bangalore. The main activities of the Sumangali Seva Ashram are care, education and development of deserted, orphan and needy children and socio-economic opportunities for development of women.

Snehalaya of Ahmednagar was awarded the tenth Award for the year 2007 for its landmark work in the rehabilitation of women of red light areas and other destitute women.

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