Water Conservation Programme | PIB Summary

Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Sushri Uma Bharti launched Bundelkhand Water Conservation Programme at Bandri in Sagar District of MP

Water Conservation Programme | About

  • Ministry has prepared a master plan for artificial recharge of ground water in Bundelkhand region.
  • In UP region of Bundelkhand, around 1100 percolation tanks, 14000 small check dams/Nala bunds and 7200 Recharge pits/shafts have been identified.
  • In MP region of Bundelkhand, around 2000 percolation tanks, 55000 small check dams/Nala bunds and 17000 Recharge shafts have been identified.
  • As a part of ground water exploration, 234 wells in UP are proposed to be constructed in five districts of Bundelkhand i.e., Banda, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Chitrakoot and Mahoba. Similarly, 259 wells in MP are proposed to be constructed in the districts of Datia, Sagar, Damoh, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur and Panna in the Bundelkhand region of the State.

Water Conservation Programme | Other initiatives

Ministry of Water Resources has taken up new initiatives under National Ground Water Management Improvement Schemes (NGMIS) with an objective to effectively improve ground water conditions in stressed blocks, ensure sustainability of resource both quantitatively and qualitatively, participatory approach in ground water management and institutional strengthening.

In Bundelkhand region of UP, six districts covering an area of 11851 sq km have been considered under this initiative. In Bundelkhand region of MP, five districts covering an area of 8319 sq km have been considered under this initiative.

Water Conservation Programme | ISBIG

  • The Minister informed that Incentivization Scheme for Bridging Irrigation Gap’ (ISBIG) scheme is being prepared by the Ministry with an objective to complete CADWM works along with correction of system deficiencies in canal network for bridging the gap between Irrigation Potential Created (IPC) and Irrigation Potential Utilised (IPU), improving the water use efficiency in irrigation and providing assured supply of water to every farm field and transfer of control and management of irrigation system to the Water Users’ Associations (WUAs).
  • In Bundelkhand region of UP, Betwa and Gursarai canal, Rajghat canal, Ken canal system, Gunta Nala dam and Upper Rajghat canal with target to bridge 17,1030 hact under this scheme is being proposed. The scheme will benefit Jhansi, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Lalitpur and Banda districts in Bundelkhand region.  In Bundelkhand region of MP Rajghat Canal Project with target to bridge 68007 ha under this scheme is being proposed. The scheme will benefit Tikamgarh and Datia districts.

Water Conservation Programme | Marathwada

Similar programme for Marathwada region of Maharashtra is also being launched. Seven schemes with target to bridge 53365 ha gap between IPC and IPU are being proposed. The scheme will benefit Aurangabad, Latur, Nanded, Prabhani, Nanded, Solapur and Osmanabad districts and involve an expenditure of Rs. 250 crore. An area of 3727 sq.km in Marathwada is proposed to be covered under National Ground Water Management Improvement Schemes involving an expenditure approximate of Rs. 380 crore. Aquifer mapping of 9101 sq. km. of area in Marathwada has been completed. Management Plan of 7775 sq. km has been submitted to Maharashtra government. Under Fast track implementation of water conservation schemes 50 new water bodies with estimated cost of about Rs. 60 crores with tentative potential creation of 5000 ha would be taken up.

e-SOT And e-PRAN Cards | PIB Summary

With a view to digitally empower the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) subscribers and improve the quality of service, the facility of online viewing of the statement of transaction – e-SOT and also the e-PRAN card have been launched.

More than 45 lacs APY subscribers are likely to be benefitted. The APY subscribers can visit the website: www.npscra.nsdl.co.in or www.npstrust.org.in under the Atal Pension Yojana Section to avail these value added facilities.

About E-SOT and E-PRAN Card facility

  • By providing the APY/PRAN Acct details and Savings Bank Account number details, the APY subscriber can view one’s APY Account Statement. Even for the APY subscriber who does not have his APY PRAN number readily available can also avail these facilities by providing one’s Date of Birth and Savings Bank Account number details.
  • This online tool enables the Subscribers to view his complete details of APY account like transaction details, pension amount, pension commencement date, nominee name, associated bank name etc. Even though the feature is a self-servicing tool but the service providers can also access the feature on behalf of their customer to improve the quality of customer service.
  • PY Subscribers can print their e PRAN card and get it laminated for their future reference if needed. In case of any changes in the demographic details in the APY account, the subscribers can re-print their e-PRAN which shows the updated subscriber records.

About Atal Pension Yojana

The Atal Pension Yojana (APY) was launched by the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi on 09th May, 2015 and became operational from 1st June, 2015.

  • APY is available for all citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years. Under the APY, the subscribers would receive a minimum guaranteed pension of Rs. 1000 to Rs. 5000 per month from the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions, which depends on the age of the subscriber at the time of joining the APY.
  • The Same amount of pension is paid to the spouse in case of subscriber’s demise. After the demise of both i.e. Subscriber & Spouse, the nominee would be paid with the pension corpus.
  • There is option for Spouse to continue to contribute for balance period on premature death of subscriber before 60 years, so as to avail pension by Spouse.
  • There are tax benefits at entry, accumulation and pension payment phases. If the actual returns on the pension contributions during the accumulation phase are higher than the assumed returns for the minimum guaranteed pension, such excess returns are passed on to the subscriber, resulting in enhanced scheme benefits.

Clean Water Technology | PIB Summary

The Department of Biotechnology and Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology are collaborating with The India-Canada Centre for Innovation Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS), to promote multidisciplinary research partnerships. Five projects addressing the issue of Clean Water Technology are being implemented by the Departments at the total cost of Rs. 572 lakhs with matched funding from Canada.

Clean Water Technology

  • Biosensors for detection of toxins impedance-based handheld biosensors for assessment of the water quality and a nanoparticle based water treatment system to eliminate toxins and microorganisms in water. Toxins which will be detected are cyanotoxin (microcystins, anatoxins) and microorganisms (Enterococcus, Salmonella, Staphylococcus).
  • Heavy metal detection and removal – Plastic cartridges for colour based test monitoring kit for detection of multiplex heavy metal. Developing fixed bed bio-char columns to remove heavy metals from waste water.
  • Bio-recovery from waste water (waste to wealth) – Integrated pilot-scale 915 MHz MW-AOP for advanced anaerobic digestion system for resource recovery
  • Survey to identify and explore alternatives in domestic water management –technology and financial appropriateness of water and wastewater infrastructure in selected cities of India

These Technologies are currently being developed with the aim that these technologies will be implemented in India.  Prior art is available for the technologies being developed. The technologies are being adapted and modified for Indian conditions. Technologies developed will be taken for feasibility studies and shall be implemented on pilot scale within two years.

Report On Draft Ganga Act | PIB Summary

The committee constituted to prepare draft Ganga Act submitted its report to the Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

Draft Ganga Act | About the Committee

  • The Chairman of the committee Justice Shri Girdhar Malviya (Retd.) said that it was a big challenge for them but they could meet it successfully. He thanked the officials of Union Water Resources Ministry and National Mission for Clean Ganga for their cooperation to the committee.
  • The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation constituted this committee in July last year to prepare draft Ganga Act. Justice Shri Girdhar Malviya (Retd.) was the Chairman of the committee. Other members were: Shri V.K.Bhasin, Ex-Secretary, Legislative Department, Govt. of India, Prof. A.K. Gosain, IIT Delhi and Prof. Nayan Sharma, IIT Roorkee. Shri Sundeep, Director, National Mission for Clean Ganga was the Member Secretary.
  • 79-year-old Justice Malviya who is Chairman of Ganga Mahasabha is associated with Ganga conservation movement. The Mahasabha was founded by his grandfather and founder of BHU Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya.

Draft Ganga Act | Highlights of the report

  • The committee recognized the enormous challenges being faced to maintain the wholesomeness (Nirmalta and Aviralta) of National River Ganga perpetuated due to over stressed water demand from agricultural, domestic and industrial sectors, on one hand and realized pressure on account of sustaining the religious faith, historical and social belief on other hand.
  • The challenges become more complex with no possible increase in availability of water in river course in comparison to the increasing demands but on the contrary apprehension of decreasing flow owing to climate change affects.

Draft Ganga Act | Details about the report

  • The draft Act addresses the critical issues pertaining to National River Gaga on its Cleanliness (Nirmalta) and uninterrupted e-flow (Aviralta) and provides corresponding provisions thereof.
  • The committee has adopted certain stricter provision to increase accountability and responsibility for use of resources made available by National River Ganga. The option and provision made in suggestive bills available with National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) were also considered and discussed by the committee.

Cab Safety Measures | PIB Summary

Cab Safety Measures, recommended by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, concerning safety of women commuters availing of cab services have been included in the new Taxi Policy Guidelines. These measures have been recommended by the WCD Minister, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping (MoRTH). 

Cab Safety Measures | Background

  • The recommendations come in the background of numerous cases of sexual harassment of women in cabs being reported to Smt. Maneka Gandhi on social media after women took to Twitter and Facebook to flag their ordeal. 
  • Following this, the WCD Minister held a meeting with radio cab service providers to find a solution to the grave problem. Based on this, the WCD Minister wrote to Sh. Nitin Gadkari , Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping to incorporate the necessary safety measures in the regulatory guidelines being prepared by MoRTH. 

Cab Safety Measures | Recommendations of WCD Ministry

  • The taxis should be mandatorily fitted with GPS panic devices. 
  • For the safety of women and child passengers, the central locking system in the taxis should not be allowed.
  • The driver’s identification along with the photo and registration number of the vehicle should also be prominently displayed in the taxi.
  • Violation of the stipulated rules by the taxi operators/drivers should be strictly dealt in accordance with law.
  • Sharing of seat should be subject to willingness of passengers.

Cab Safety Measures | Other measures

Women commuters have been expressing their concern via social media to Smt Maneka Gandhi regarding safety in taxis. The WCD Minister has launched a hashtag, #HelpMeWCD, where any woman or child facing harassment/ violence can directly report their cases by tweeting.

India’s Longest Tunnel | PIB Summary

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, will dedicate to the nation, India’s longest tunnel (road) – the 9-kilometre-long “Chenani – Nashri Tunnel” – on April 2nd, 2017.

India’s Longest Tunnel | About

  • India’s Longest Tunnel on NH-44 which connects Jammu with Srinagar, will reduce travel time between the two cities by up to two hours. It achieves a distance-reduction of 31 kilometres, bypassing snow-bound upper reaches. The estimated daily fuel savings are to the tune of Rs. 27 lakhs.
  • Besides avoiding large scale deforestation and tree-cutting, the tunnel will provide a safe, all-weather route to commuters travelling from Jammu and Udhampur, to Ramban, Banihal and Srinagar.
  • The tunnel is equipped with world-class security systems, and is expected to boost tourism and economic activities in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

India’s Longest Tunnel | Salient features

  • It is a single-tube bi-directional tunnel, with a 9.35 metre carriageway, and a vertical clearance of 5 metres.
  • There is also a parallel escape tunnel, with “Cross Passages” connecting to the main tunnel at intervals of 300 metres.
  • It also has smart features such as an Integrated Traffic Control System; Surveillance, Ventilation and Broadcast Systems; Fire Fighting System; and SOS call-boxes at every 150 metres.
  • The project has been completed at a cost of over Rs. 2500 crore.

Malnutrition among Pre-School Children | PIB Summary

Malnutrition | Introduction

Malnutrition among Pre-School Children is a serious problem. As per the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB) third repeat survey report, 2012 for ten Indian States, 0.5% of children aged 1-5 years suffer from Vitamin-A deficiency manifested as Conjunctival Xerosis; and as per National Family Health Survey- 4 (2015-16) report, 58.4% children below five years suffer from anaemia.

Malnutrition | Causes

The main reasons for these micronutrient deficiencies are poor dietary intake, repeated infections, poor complementary feeding practices, and lack of adequate sanitation and hygiene practices.

Steps taken by the Government

  1. Promotion of appropriate infant and young child feeding practices that include early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding till 6 months of age through ASHA worker and health care provider at health facilities. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently launched “MAA” programme to provide impetus on capacity building of the health workers on lactation management at both community and facility levels and 360 degree IEC campaign to create awareness regarding breastfeeding.
  2. Management of malnutrition and common neonatal and childhood illnesses at community and facility level by training service providers in IMNCI (Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses) training.
  3. Treatment of sick children with severe acute malnutrition at special units called the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRCs), set up at public health facilities. Presently 965 such centres are functional in 26 States and UTs.
  4. Vitamin A supplementation for children aged 6 months to 5 years. 
  5. Village Health and Nutrition Days and Mother and Child Protection Card are the joint initiative of the Ministries of Health & Family welfare and the Ministry of Woman and Child for addressing the nutrition concerns in children, pregnant women and lactating mothers. Monthly Village Health and Nutrition Days (VHND) are monthly days held at village level in Anganwadi centre to increase the awareness and bring about desired changes in the dietary practices including the promotion of breastfeeding.
  6. ‘National Iron Plus Initiative’ has been launched as an effective strategy for iron folic acid supplementation and treatment of anaemia in children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, in programme mode through life cycle approach.
  7. Promotion for intake of iodised of salt under National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme
  8. Under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) and Rashtriya Kishore Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK), systematic efforts are undertaken to detect nutrition deficiency among children and adolescents respectively.
  9. Supplementary Nutrition in form of hot-cooked meals and take-home ration provided to children aged 6 months to 6 years under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme, Growth monitoring of children aged 0-5 years on a monthly basis at Anganwadi Centres
  10. Mid-day meal for all students under the Government and Government aided schools.

Policy For Domestic Workers | PIB Summary

A draft National Policy for Domestic workers is under consideration of the Government.

Salient features

  • Inclusion of Domestic Workers in the existing legislations
  • Domestic workers will have the right to register as workers with the State Labour Department. Such registration will facilitate their access to rights & benefits accruing to them as workers
  • Right to form their own associations, trade unions.
  • Right to have minimum wages, access to social security, protection from abuse, harassment, violence.
  • Right to enhance their professional skills.
  • Protection of Domestic Workers from abuse and exploitation who are recruited to work abroad.
  • Domestic Workers to have access to courts, tribunals, etc.
  • Establishment of a mechanism for regulation of placement agencies.

Background

  • In order to provide social security benefits to the workers in the unorganised sector including domestic workers, the Government has enacted the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008.
  • The 2008 Act stipulates formulation of suitable welfare schemes for unorganised workers on matters relating to:
  1. life and disability cover,
  2. health and maternity benefits,
  3. old age protection and
  4. any other benefit as may be determined by the Central Government through the National Social Security Board.

Other social sector schemes for unorganised workers

  1. Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (Ministry of Rural Development)
  2. National Family Benefit Scheme (Ministry of Rural Development)
  3. Janani Suraksha Yojana (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare)
  4. Handloom Weavers’ Comprehensive Welfare Scheme (Ministry of Textiles)
  5. Handicraft Artisans’ Comprehensive Welfare Scheme (Ministry of Textiles)
  6. Pension to Master Craft Persons (Ministry of Textiles)
  7. National Scheme for Welfare of Fishermen and Training and Extension (Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries)
  8. Aam Admi Bima Yojana (Department of Financial Services)
  9. Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare).

E-Cinepramaan | PIB Summary

E-Cinepramaan | VERY IMPORTANT

Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has said that E-Cinepramaan – the Online Film Certification System of CBFC would facilitate the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of Ease of Doing Business and Digital India. The complete automation of the Film Certification Process would enable Good Governance making the entire process transparent and efficient.

E-Cinepramaan | Objectives

The objective is to eliminate the need for human interface to the extent possible. The new online certification system would be an important step in making the CBFC Office paper less and would enable effective monitoring & real time progress tracking for both CBFC Officials and the applicant (Producers). More online initiatives would be introduced in the Ministry as part of the roadmap for transparent Governance. The Minister stated this at the launch function of the Online Film Certification System of CBFC here today.

E-Cinepramaan | Salient features

  • In the e-cinepramaan, the status of each application would be visible online in the dashboard of the producer/concerned CBFC official.
  • In case of short films/promos/trailers less than 10 minutes, even for Examination purposes also, the producer need not visit the Office/Theatre. They can merely submit their creations online.
  • For films longer than 10 minutes, the applicant will only have to show the film at the Examining theatre and will not have to visit the CBFC Offices at all except to collect their certificates.
  • The producer/applicant would be informed by SMS/e-mail of the status of their application and any action needed, beginning from the receipt of application to the certificate collection.
  • The transparency in the system and elimination of middle men would mitigate chances of any corruption and would also avoid allegations of jumping the queue or rigging up of Examination committees.
  • The implementation of QR code on the certificates would eliminate chances of fraudulent certificates.
  • The system envisages a robust MIS system for performance tracking and efficient reporting.
  • The system has inbuilt alerts depending on the pendency of the application to ensure that time limits prescribed by the Rules are not violated.
  • Simultaneously, a new CBFC Website has also been developed bringing in new user friendly features and important information at the click of a button.

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana | PIB Summary

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana, a ‘Scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens belonging to BPL category’ will be launched in District Nellore, Andhra Pradesh on 1st April, 2017.

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana | Highlights

  • Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment said that the Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens will be distributed in Camp mode and the Scheme will be implemented through the sole implementing agency, ‘Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO)’, (a PSU under M/o SJ&E), which will undertake one-year free maintenance of the aids & assisted living devices.
  • The devices will help the Senior Citizens to overcome their age related physical impairment and to lead a dignified and productive life with minimal dependence on care givers or other members of the family. The ambitious Scheme, first of its kind in the country is expected to benefit 5,20,000 Senior Citizens over a period of the 3 years, he added.

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana | Background

  • The proposal for formulation of a Scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-Living Devices for Senior Citizens belonging to BPL Category was announced in the Budget 2015-16. Pursuant to this, the “Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana” has been formulated.
  • The Scheme aims at providing Senior Citizens, belonging to BPL category and suffering from any of the age related disability/infirmity viz. Low vision, Hearing impairment, Loss of teeth and Locomotor disability, with such assisted-living devices which can restore near normalcy in their bodily functions, overcoming the disability/infirmity manifested.
  • The assistive devices shall be of high quality and conforming to the standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards, wherever applicable.
  • This is a Central Sector Scheme, fully funded by the Central Government. The expenditure for implementation of the scheme will be met from the “Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund”.
  • Under the Scheme, the following Aids and Assisted-Living Devices will be provided to eligible elderly beneficiary senior citizens, depending upon their physical impairment: –
  1. Walking sticks
  2. Elbow crutches
  3. Walkers / Crutches
  4. Tripods / Quadpods
  5. Hearing Aids
  6. Wheelchair
  7. Artificial Dentures
  8. Spectacles

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana | Salient features

  • Free of cost distribution of the devices, commensurate with the extent of disability/infirmity that is manifested among the eligible senior citizens.
  • In case of multiple disabilities/infirmities manifested in the same person, the assistive devices will be given in respect of each disability/impairment.
  • The devices will help the Senior Citizens to overcome their age related physical impairment and to lead a dignified and productive life with minimal dependence on care givers or other members of the family.
  • The Scheme will be implemented through the sole implementing agency, ‘Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO)’, (a PSU under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment)
  • ALIMCO will undertake one year free maintenance of the aids & assisted living devices.
  • Beneficiaries in each district will be identified by the State Governments/UT Administrations through a Committee chaired by the Deputy Commissioner/District Collector.
  • As far as possible, 30% of the beneficiaries in each district shall be women.
  • The State Government/UT Administration/District Level Committee can also utilize the data of BPL beneficiaries receiving Old Age Pension under the NSAP or any other Scheme of the State/UT for identification of senior citizens belonging to BPL category.
  • The devices will be distributed in Camp mode.
  • The expected financial outlay over the next three years (i.e. upto 2019-20) is Rs. 483.6 Crores.