In a significant decision to fast-track India’s domestic nuclear power program, and give a push to country’s nuclear industry, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR). The total installed capacity of the Plants will be 7000 MW. The 10 PHWR project will result in a significant augmentation of nuclear power generation capacity.
Focus – Cabinet approves construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR)
India has current installed nuclear power capacity of 6780 MW from 22 operational plants.
Another 6700 MWs of nuclear power is expected to come on-stream by 2021-22 through projects presently under construction.
In a first of its kind project for India’s nuclear power sector, the ten new units will come up in the fleet mode as a fully home-grown initiative. It would be one of the flagship “Make in India” projects in this sector.
With likely manufacturing orders of close to 70,000 crores to the domestic industry, the project will help transform Indian nuclear industry by linking our goal of a strong nuclear power sector with our indigenous industrial capacities in high-end technologies.
This Project will bring about substantial economies of scale and maximize cost and time efficiencies by adopting fleet mode for execution. It is expected to generate more than 33,400 jobs in direct and indirect employment. With manufacturing orders to domestic industry, it will be a major step towards strengthening India’s credentials as a major nuclear manufacturing powerhouse.
The ten reactors will be part of India’s latest design of 700 MW PHWR fleet with state-of-art technology meeting the highest standards of safety.
The approval also marks a statement of strong belief in the capability of India’s scientific community to build our technological capacities. The design and development of this project is a testament to the rapid advances achieved by India’s nuclear scientific community and industry. It underscores the mastery our nuclear scientists have attained over all aspects of indigenous PHWR technology. India’s record of building and operating PHWR reactors over the last nearly forty years is globally acclaimed.
The Cabinet’s decision reflects the Government’s commitment to prioritize the use of clean power in India’s energy mix, as part of low-carbon growth strategy and to ensure long-term base load requirement for the nation’s industrialization.
It also supports India’s commitment to sustainable development, energy self-sufficiency and bolsters global efforts to combat climate change.
After being an observer in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) since 2005, India finally gained entry to the multilateral grouping during the Astana Summit 2017 held in June.
Background | Astana Summit 2017
India had applied for the full membership in 2014 after weighing very judicially the opportunities and challenges that might be presented to it after its accession to the SCO.
Significance of SCO | Astana Summit 2017
Undoubtedly, the SCO has evolved over the years as a very significant regional organisation for forging cooperation amongst its members in diverse fields.
With both India and Pakistan becoming members the profile of SCO has been further enhanced as the group now represents close to half the humanity of the globe and 23 percent of the world’s GDP.
Besides the Central Asian Republics (less Turkmenistan) it brings together three major players in Asia- Russia, China and India on a shared platform.
The Russia-India-China trio
Besides Russia-India-China (RIC) forum, Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) and the G-20, the SCO will provide another platform for regular interaction Russia, China, India and other members to discuss mutual concerns, interests and find solutions for moving forward on cooperative endeavours.
India-Pakistan rivalry in SCO | Astana Summit 2017
There is a possibility that major powers like Russia and China might be tempted to mediate between the India and Pakistan. But such a step would not be welcome by India as New Delhi’s policy on the issue has been to resolve the India-Pakistan issues bilaterally i.e. without the intervention of any third party.
Pakistan would be more inclined to bring up the bilateral issues directly or indirectly. This kind of propensity on the part of Pakistan needs to be discouraged by the other SCO members and in any case, the SCO charter does not allow bilateral problems to be aired on the multilateral platform.
The regular top leadership and ministerial meetings around the SCO imply that both Indian and Pakistani officials at a senior level from Prime Minister and head of state meetings to Health Ministers, Foreign Ministers and Interior Minister Meetings would have the opportunity to meet each other at least once a year. This will provide another platform where the two countries would have an opportunity to interact.
India-China cooperation in SCO |Astana Summit 2017
Both leaders discussed economic cooperation, trade, investment and connectivity issues, the establishment of industrial parks, cooperation in railways. Discussions also revolved around security and defence issues including counter-terrorism cooperation, security cooperation and defence exchanges.
Thus, the SCO would become an additional platform between India and China for regular exchange of views on a wide range of issues in the SCO from investment and connectivity to joint counter-terrorism exercises both on the multilateral and bilateral basis.
A road to Central Asian Republics | Astana Summit 2017
Insofar as the relationship with CARs is concerned, its potential remains underexploited even while India considers them as part of India’s extended neighbourhood and strategically and economically significant for forging closer ties. These countries also view India as a benign balancer in the ongoing power play in the region.
The SCO will provide a good forum to expand on issues such as the economy, trade, connectivity and counter-terrorism cooperation which are key objectives of India’s policy in this region.
Central Asia’s desire for diversifying hydro-power and energy export routes would correspond with India’s quest for diversifying imports.
The membership of SCO will likely provide greater accessibility to gas and oilfields in the region.
India, Russia and Iran are also founding members of International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) which has been in works for quite some time and which seeks to connect India to Central Asia through Iran and beyond to Russia and Europe.
Moreover, India is in the process of joining Ashgabat Agreement which the Indian government approved last year; the agreement provides for a transit corridor across Central Asia and the Middle East through linkages between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran before reaching the Persian Gulf and into Oman. This will facilitate India’s trade with Central Asia and the Eurasian region and it builds upon the INSTC.
With Russia as a member and Iran as an observer, there is a possibility of cooperation with China and other SCO members to support connectivity projects and the development of INSTC.
Counter-terrorism agenda | Astana Summit 2017
It is expected that engagement with the SCO countries will provide a higher degree of clarity and coordination of policies on this important country which has implications for regional security.
SCO platform would provide an opportunity to the members to coordinate and configure their approaches on the regional security issues including Afghanistan.
India’s participation in SCOs Tashkent-based Regional Counter-terrorism Structure (RCTS) is likely to increase levels of intelligence sharing, as well as help the others develop counter-terrorism strategies based on India’s long experience of it.
The SCO and the UN secretariats have also signed a joint declaration on cooperation in countering international terrorism in 2010 in Tashkent which forms the basis for the interaction between the two organisations. Thus mutual exchanges on counter-terrorism issues would be beneficial for all the stakeholders.
Conclusion | Astana Summit 2017
Overall, India’s membership of SCO is a positive development and New Delhi needs to take advantage of the same by being proactive on the platform. India also needs to enhance its economic relationship with CARs which has been far below the potential. Connectivity woes also need to be addressed through fast implementation of projects and by pushing several existing joint projects. Mutual Complementarities of connectivity projects in the region also need to be explored.
Technology day commemorates India’s success in taking science and technology to the service of the country.
India is now one of the world’s fastest growing centres for S&T entrepreneurship.
India needs technology for Inclusive and Sustainable Development through micro-industry models using local material.
Introduction | Technology Day
India is now one of the world’s fastest growing centres for S&T entrepreneurship, said the Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr.Harshvardhan.
Background | Technology Day
Technology Day commemorates India’s success in using science and technology to address the challenges facing the country. On 11 May 1998, the Pokhran test was conducted. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared India a full-fledged nuclear state after operation ‘Shakti’ and it made India the 6th country to join the Nuclear Club.
Analysis | Technology Day
India is now one of the world’s fastest growing centres for S&T entrepreneurship. Start-ups and entrepreneurship are the key to a nation’s economic growth and employment.
The Ministry of Science & Technology through its various programmes have funded and supported thousands of start-ups, incubators and developed new technologies that have reached the market.
In keeping with the theme of the day on Technology for Inclusive and Sustainable Development, the DST has catalysed the development relevant rural micro-industry models.
Technology under Government Schemes
Make in India – High-tech manufacturing in S&T is extraordinarily demanding. One collaborative effort is the successful operationalizing of India’s largest steerable optical telescope in Devastahl, Uttarakhand.
In Health Technology, the CSIR has developed Saheli the world’s first non-steroidal contraceptive pill which is affordable at 1/10 the cost of conventional pills. The indigenous clot-dissolving drug, Streptokinase saves millions of lives through an affordable alternative to cost drugs in the market. A 1-day Dengue diagnostic test developed by the Department of Biotechnology is fast and effective and has reached millions.
In Vaccines, in partnership with the health ministry DBT has recommended several new vaccines for the Universal Immunization Programme. Notable is the affordable indigenous Rotavirus vaccine now a part of the universal immunisation programme. Vaccine development for Malaria, Dengue is undergoing trials.
Agriculture and Farm Technologyis another mission where major success has been achieved. The programme Biotech-KISAN (Krishi Innovation Science Application Network) has been launched in collaboration with ICAR. In each Agro-climatic zone, farmers will benefit of quality technical solutions to problems of Seed, Water, Soil and Market. Indian Farmers now get 21 million agro-advisories that have resulted in over Rs. 50,000 crores contribution to the GDP as per the NCAER report 2015. Arsenic resistance rice has been developed by the CSIR and is now being cultivated in West Bengal, thereby addressing a major problem.
Under the National Monsoon Mission, Climate and Weather forecasting have been improved. The dynamical forecast is a major advance, which allows massive data to be analysed speedily and more reliable predictions made. Errors in cyclone forecast have been greatly reduced and deaths from cyclone have been greatly reduced.
Wealth from Waste and Waste to Energyhas been successfully done. A commercial plant to produce 3000 litres of ethanol from 10 tonnes of agricultural waste has been set up. It is now being scaled- up by major Oil Manufacturing Companies. Applying the latest technology for treating flowing sewage, a pilot project has been installed at Barapullah drain in Delhi under the international collaboration with The Netherlands.
India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09) successfully launched the 2230 kg South Asia Satellite (GSAT-9) into its planned Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). The launch of GSLV was its eleventh and took place from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota, the spaceport of India. This is the fourth consecutive success achieved by GSLV carrying indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage.
About South Asia Satellite
South Asia Satellite is a communication satellite built by ISRO to provide a variety of communication services over the South Asian region. For this, it is equipped with Ku-band transponders.
In the coming days, the satellite orbit will be raised from its present GTO to the final circular Geostationary Orbit (GSO) by firing the satellite’s Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) in stages.
The South Asia Satellite will be commissioned into service after the completion of orbit raising operations and the satellite’s positioning in its designated slot in the GSO following in-orbit testing of its payloads.
Space diplomacy has touched new heights with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unique gift in the sky to South Asian neighbours.
The gift of a communications satellite for use by neighbours at no cost has perhaps no precedent worldwide.
The satellite, which weighs over 2 tonnes, has been fabricated in three years at a cost of over Rs 230 crores.
Its footprint that extends all over South Asia.
The South Asia Satellite has 12 Ku band transponders which India’s neighbours can utilise to increase communications.
Each country will get access to at least one transponder through which they could beam their own programming.
The satellite will facilitate DTH television, VSAT links, tele-education, telemedicine and disaster management support. It will provide critical communication links in times of disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, floods, and tsunamis.
Heads of Government from all the seven South Asian nations who are benefiting from the satellite, connected via video conference, in a unique celebration of the successful launch.
Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification like latitude and longitude to various media such as a photo or video. Geotagging can help users find a wide variety of location-specific information from a device. It provides users the location of the content of a given picture.
What is Geo-mapping?
A visual representation of the geographical location of geotagged assets layered on top of map or satellite imagery
Importance of geotagging
Several assets are created in the states under various schemes of the Ministry of Agriculture. Under RKVY also, states have been utilising substantial amount of funds for creation of infrastructure/assets in agriculture and allied sectors such as soil testing labs, pesticide testing labs, bio fertiliser setting units, custom hiring centres, vaccine production units, veterinary diagnosis labs, dispensaries, milk collection centres, fish production units, godowns, cold storage, shade nets, pandals for vegetable cultivation etc.
Monitoring of such wide spread activities is of paramount importance to states and Government of India to understand flow of funds, inventorising the assets, bringing in transparency, planning of assets for future, and finally informing the farmers about the facilities available.
PM on several occasions emphasised on use of technology for reporting of assets created through geo-tagging. Finance Minister also highlighted monitoring of MGNREGA assets through Geotaggingin his budget speech.
Geotagging for monitoring of assets is already started in Ministry of Rural Development for MGNREGA and Department of Land Resources for monitoring of watershed activitiesin the states. Postal department has also geotagged the post offices using NRSC Bhuvan Platform.
Geotagging | Who does it?
National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), ISRO at Hyderabad: This centre of ISRO has a software platform, Bhuvanthat allows users to explore a 2D/3D representation of the surface of the Earth. It also acts as a platform for hosting government data. Bhuvan Application Services that are diversified and relevant for many ministries were released.
NRSC(National Remote Sensing Centre) is involved in mapping of resources (Postal, GAIL, Forest etc) as well as monitoring of assets created under various schemes of Ministry of water Resources, Ministry of rural development etc.
The assets created under RKVY could be monitored by Geotagging them using BHUVAN, a geo-platform of National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of ISRO, Hyderabad. In future, the location of the infrastructure created and distances from each other could also be utilised for arriving at distribution of assets and optimum number of that particular asset required in a district or state. The process involves development of a mobile app for mapping the assets through photographs and Geo-tagging (providing geo co-ordinates) before hosting on to DAC –RKVY platform that would be specially created for RKVY monitoring.
Proposal for geotagging of infrastructure /assets created under RKVY
Therefore, it is proposed to prepare inventory of the assets created in the last one decade (2007-2017) under RKVY through Geotagging technique. National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), wing of Indian Space Research Organisation is providing technical support to RKVY division and has come up with a detailed procedure for the same. The institute is involved in preparation of the required app, imparting training to the states etc. The trained officers at the field level will take the photographs (with details of latitude, longitude, year of creation etc.) of the assets and upload on to the Bhuvan-RKVY platform of NRSC.
So far NRSC has developed RKVY app, training manual, imparted training to 17 states regarding use of the app. The organisation will provide technical backstopping till the Geotagging exercise is completed. Pilot work has been initiated in 4 states of Orissa, Maharashtra, Bihar and Karnataka.
Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) conducted a study to determine the impact of Neem Coated Urea that clearly demonstrates the benefits of the of the scheme, as detailed ahead.
Neem Coated Urea | Details
The interim report prepared by Agricultural Development and Rural Transformation Centre (ADRTC), Bengaluru has been submitted by Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DACFW).
Benefits of Neem Coated Urea
The brief findings of the study are as follows:
Improvement in soil health;
Reduction in costs with respect to plant protection chemicals;
Reduction in pest and disease attack;
An increase in yield of paddy, sugarcane, maize, soybean and tur/red gram to an extent of 5.79%, 17.5%, 7.14%, 7.4%and 16.88% respectively;
Diversion of highly subsidized urea towards non-agricultural purposes negligible among farmers after the introduction of the mandatory policy of production and distribution of only Neem coated urea.
Neem Coated Urea | Background
On 2nd June 2008, the Government had notified the policy for encouraging production and availability of fortified and coated fertilizers in the country wherein the indigenous manufacturers/producers of the subsidized fertilizers were allowed to produce fortified/coated subsidized fertilizers up to a maximum of 20%of their total production of respective subsidized fertilizers.
This ceiling of production of Neem Coated Urea(NCU)was increased from the limit of 20% to a maximum of 35% of their total production vide notification dated 11th January, 2011.
Government, on 24th March, 2015 made mandatory for all the indigenous producers of urea to produce 75%of their total production of subsidized urea as Neem Coated Urea. Subsequently, on 25th May 2015, Department of Fertilizers made it mandatory for all the domestic producers of urea to produce 100% as Neem Coated Urea with an extra MRP of 5% (of Rs. 5360/- per MT) to be charged by the fertilizer manufacturing entities from farmers. Entire quantity of indigenously produced urea and imported urea is being neem coated w.e.f 1st September, 2015 and 1st December, 2015 respectively.
ISRO is working on systems to forecast the natural disasters that could be used as input by States/ disaster management agencies.
ISRO is carrying out studies to facilitate best use of the satellite derived information to develop methodologies for forecasting the natural disasters. Some of such methodologies developed include:
Cyclone formation, track and Intensity:ISRO has developed methodologies for forecasting the cyclone formation, it’s track and intensity using satellite based observation. The methodology developed has been transferred to India meteorological Department (IMD) who is mandated for cyclone forecast.
Flood Early Warning System:The North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) of ISRO has developed the Flood Early Warning System (FLEWS) as a Research & Development (R&D) project in Assam State in association with Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA). The FLEWS model is being used in all 25 flood prone districts of Assam. Another model for forecasting floods in Godavari floodplains in Andhra Pradesh is developed by National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of ISRO. The methodology is being used by Central Water Commission (CWC). ISRO is developing similar systems for Krishna, Brahmani-Baitarani, Ghagra, Gandak, and Kosi rivers.
Heavy Rainfall/ cloud burst alerts: Space Applications Centre (SAC) of ISRO has developed a model, for heavy rainfall / cloud burst alerts, which is being experimentally carried out for Indian region. The information is made available on ISRO’s MOSDAC (Meteorological & Oceanographic Satellite Data Archival Centre) website.
Rainfall triggered landslide alerts for the Uttarakhand Region: An experimental early warning system for rainfall triggered landslides is developed for use along the pilgrimage route corridors leading to Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath as well as along the Pithoragarh-Malpa route in Uttarakhand. The forewarning is generated based on the statistical relation between the terrain (geological, morphological) and temporal (primarily long term rainfall events) factors.
Extreme weather events: ISRO has developed experimental methodologies for early warning extreme weather events such as heat wave using numerical weather predictions. The information derived is being made available on the MOSDAC website.
ISRO has realised two satellite missions, Viz., MeghaTropiques (launched in Oct 2011) and SARAL (launched in Feb 2013), in collaboration with French National Space Agency (CNES).
Presently, it is working with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA towards joint realisation of a satellite mission, namely, ‘NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR), to be launched by 2020-21 timeframe. The fund allocation for MeghaTropiques is Rs. 81.6 Crores, SARAL is Rs. 73.75 Crores and for NISAR is Rs. 513 Crores.
104 Satellites were launched by ISRO. In its thirty ninth flight (PSLV-C37), ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellitealong with 103 co-passenger satellites today morning (February 15, 2017) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.
104 Satellites | Highlights
This is the thirty eighth consecutively successful mission of PSLV. The total weight of all the 104 satellites carried on-board PSLV-C37 was 1378 kg. The total number of Indian satellites launched by PSLV now stands at 46.
104 Satellites | Cartosat-2 satellites
The imagery from the Cartosat-2 series satellite will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.
The data sets could be used for urban planning of 500 cities under the AMRUT Planning Scheme. The government initiative of 100 smart city programme in which these data sets could be used for master plan preparation and detailed geospatial data preparation for rural roads and infrastructure development.
Of the 103 co-passenger satellites carried by PSLV-C37, two – ISRO Nano Satellite-1 (INS-1) of India.
The remaining 101 co-passenger satellites carried were international customer satellites from USA (96), The Netherlands (1), Switzerland (1), Israel (1), Kazakhstan (1) and UAE (1).
104 Satellites | Significance of the mission
This mission involved many technical challenges like realising the launch of a large number of satellites during a single mission within the time frame sought by the customers from abroad.
Besides, ensuring adequate separation between all the 104 satellites during their orbital injection as well as during their subsequent orbital life was yet another challenge associated with this complex mission.
With today’s successful launch, the total number of customer satellites from abroad launched by India’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV has reached 180.
INS Khanderi, the second indigenously built Scorpene submarine, was launched at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai.
INS Khanderi | Introduction
Khanderi is the second of the six submarines being built at MDL in collaboration with M/s DCNS of France, as part of Project 75 of Indian Navy.
The first one, Kalvari, is completing sea trials and will be commissioned shortly into the Indian Navy.
Khanderi has been launched into the water and after the trails it will be commissioned as INS Khanderi submarine into the Indian Navy for operational duty.
INS Khanderi | Scorpene-class submarine
The Scorpene class submarines are a class of diesel-electric attack submarine jointly being developed by the French DCN and the Spanish company Navantia and now by DCNS.
It features diesel propulsion and an additional air-independent propulsion (AIP) system.
They are 67 meters long, 6.2 meters wide and have 1,550 tonnes displacement.
The state-of-art features of the Scorpene include superior stealth and the ability to launch an attack on the enemy using precision-guided weapons. The attack can be launched with torpedoes, as well as tube launched anti-ship missiles, underwater or on surface.
Designed to operate in all theatres including the tropics, the submarines can undertake multifarious missions including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, operations by special forces and mine laying etc.
INS Khanderi | Air-independent propulsion
Air-independent propulsion (AIP) is any technology which allows a non-nuclear submarine to operate without the need to access atmospheric oxygen (by surfacing or using a snorkel).
It can augment or replace the diesel-electric propulsion system of non-nuclear vessels.
It is based on the combustion of stored oxygen and ethanol to augment battery-powered propulsion.
INS Khanderi | Significance of AIP
Notably, a submarine is about stealth. It is a weapons platform not visible to the naked eye. AIP significantly improves stealth because it enables a submarine to generate electricity for services and battery charging and propulsion while completely submerged.
AIP systems also generate electricity, powering a submarine to operate and also generate oxygen, lighting and amenities for crew.
They enable conventional diesel-electric submarines to remain submerged for two to three weeks at a time. This significantly increases the risk of detection.
Another advantage is that the Non-nuclear submarines running on battery power or AIP can be virtually silent.
AIP submarine can stay under water for longer time compared to Diesel electric submarine.
INS Khanderi is a diesel electric submarine. Diesel electric submarine works on a diesel engine when submarine is on the surface, the minute it goes under water it works on electricity generated by the batteries. When the battery power is completed, the submarine need to come up to the surface and go back on diesel and it is vulnerable while reaching the surface.
The AIP need not reach the surface at all and can run the diesel engine inside with independent air and charge the batteries and need not come up on surface. So the submarine is not easily detected which is a great advantage. AIP submarine can stay under water for longer time compared to Diesel electric submarine.
As long as the submarine is under water it poses a big threat to the enemy and it is the biggest asset when it is under water. Nuclear submarines can remain under water till human endurance can last. America has a series of nuclear submarines; China has built 6 to 7 of them and promises to build more. China at the moment has 60 submarines as per US Department of Defence report.
INS Khanderi | Highlights of INS Khanderi
Khanderi uses precision-guided weapons including torpedoes as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles, which can be launched underwater or on surface.
It can undertake multifarious types of missions typically undertaken by any modern submarine, i.e anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance, etc.
The submarine is designed to operate in all theatres, including the tropics.
All means and communications are provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a naval task force.
INS Khanderi | Conclusion
In 1999 the government had approved a 30-year submarine building plan for induction of 24 submarines in a phased manner. Unfortunately for various reasons it got delayed and India is lacking in the conventional submarines. The Indian Navy’s submarine arm will complete 50 years on December 8 this year.
The Indian Navy is aiming to have a 200-ship fleet by 2027 as per a maritime capability perspective plan in order to guard interests and assets of the nation in waters around them. Today we have 137 ships and submarines, our aspiration is to become a 200-ship Navy (by 2027).The nation and the government has accepted that the 21st century will be a maritime century.
The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee launched the Pulse Polio programme for 2017 by administering polio drops to children less than five years old, at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Pulse Polio | Highlights
Tomorrow, on the National Immunization Day, around 17 crore children of less than five years across the country will be given polio drops as part of the drive of Government of India to sustain polio eradication from the country.
Pulse Polio | Initiatives taken post-Polio Virus free status
Although polio virus has been eradicated from India, the risk of importation still persists from remaining three countries (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria) where poliovirus is still circulating.
The need still persists for the country to maintain the population immunity and sensitive surveillance till global polio eradication happens. This is maintained through National and Sub National Polio rounds along with sustained high quality polio surveillance.
India is conducting continuous polio vaccination at the international borders with India. A travel advisory has also been issued to vaccinate all travelers who are travelling between India and eight other countries.
An Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP) is in place under which Rapid Response Teams (RRT) have been formed in all States/UTs to respond urgently to any importations of poliovirus.
To provide double protection to our children, Government of India has also introduced the injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) into its routine immunization program.
Pulse Polio | Key facts on immunisation
Due to high penetration of immunisation programmes, India has reduced under-5 mortality rate from 75 per 1000 live births in 2005 to 45 per 1000 in 2014 as per recent SRS estimates.
Rotavirus virus vaccine has been introduced as part of the UIP (Universal Immunisation Programme) last year and the Ministry is soon to introduce Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine that will help to reduce the burden of diarrhea, pneumonia and meningitis, and a countrywide campaign with Measles-Rubella vaccine in phased manner.
The innovative initiative of the Government, Mission Indradhanush, launched in 2014 has strengthened our immunization coverage and ensured that all vaccines reach our targeted beneficiaries even in remotest areas.