Current Affairs,13th February 2020
- February 14, 2020
- Posted By : upliftlife
- 0 Comment
- Draft framework to set up new pan-India New Umbrella Entity (NUE) for retail payment systems
- Two months after proposing to set up an alternative retail payment system in India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released a draft framework for authorisation of a pan-India New Umbrella Entity (NUE).
- The central bank has invited comments on the draft framework from all stakeholders by February 25.
- “The objective is to set up new pan-India umbrella entity focussing on retail payment systems,” saidRBI in the release.
- According to the release, the NUE may be a ‘for-profit’ or a Section 8 Company incorporated in India. It will be governed by the provisions of the PSS Act and other related guidelines.
- The entity eligible to apply as promoter or promoter group for the NUE will be ‘owned and controlled by residents’ (as per FEMA Regulations).
- “The NUE will have a minimum paid-up capital of Rs 500 crore. No single promoter or promoter group will have more than 40% investment in the capital of the NUE,” added the RBI draft.
- RBI, through the move, aims to encourage competition, innovation and reduce concentration risk to achieve financial stability in the retail payment system.
- It plans to end the monopoly of existing umbrella organisation for retail payment system by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
- NPCI processed about 60% of retail electronic payment transactions by volume, as per the last figure, in October 2019.
- Besides, RBI in the past had expressed concern on the lack of NPCI falls back arrangementsin case of a data breach or negative financial event.
- In December last year, the RBI had proposedto set up an alternative digital retail payment system.
- “By offering alternative digital retail payment systems to the consumers, the NUE would help in enhancing the reach of digital payments to a larger number of people and thereby reduce the dependency on cash,” the central bank had said.
- BIMSTEC DMEx-2020
- The “2nd BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise-2020 (BIMSTEC DMEx-2020)” was held at Bhubaneswar/Puri, Odisha from 11-13 February, 2020 with themes “A cultural heritage site that suffers severe damage in the Earthquake”& “Flooding or Storm”. Organized by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), on behalf of the Government of India, BIMSTEC DMEx-2020 was inaugurated by Chief Minister Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik on Feb 11, 2020. While Minister of State (Home), Nityanand Rai launched field training exercise scheduled on 12th February, 2020 at Ramachandi Beach, District-Puri, Odisha. The first similar kind of exercise took place in 2017.
- The objective of this exercise is to test the existing emergency procedures and to enhance the coordination and co-operation involving multi-agency operations in an earthquake, flooding and storm surge.
- It was attended by Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Bhutan and Thailand were not participated in the exercise.
- The three-day long exercise consisted of inaugural session and table top exercise (TTx) on collapsed structure in Bhubaneswar. The field training exercise (FTx) on acquatic disaster response with focus on cultural heritage sites was held at Ramnchandi beach followed by proceeding of disaster management exercise.
- The exercise alsoe attended by International observers like United Nations Development Progran (UNDP), International Search And Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) & The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), National observers like Indian National Trust for Art And Cultural Heritage (INTACH) & Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), representatives from various stakeholders viz. India Metrological Deptt. (IMD), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Centre Water Commission (CWC), Animal Quarantine and Certification Service (AQCS), Civil Defence, Fire Services, BIMSTEC Secretariat etc.
- Farm Mechanisation for Doubling Farmers’ Income
- Improved agricultural implements and machinery are essential inputs for modern agriculture. It enhances productivity besides reducing human drudgery and cost of cultivation. It also helps in improving utilization efficiency of other inputs.
- Taking into consideration the above, to boost the farm mechanization in the country, a special dedicated schemeSub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) has been introduced by Government, under which subsidy is provided for purchase of various types of Agricultural implements and machinery used for tillage, sowing, planting, harvesting, reaping, threshing, plant protection, inter cultivation and residue management.
- A special Scheme to support the efforts of the Governments of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the NCT of Delhi to address air pollution due to stubble burning and to subsidize machinery for the farmers for in-situ management of crop residue, a new Central Sector Scheme on ‘‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi” (CRM) for the period from 2018-19 to 2019-20 has been also launched.
- Some of the State Governments like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh are providing farm machineries to the farmers at a concessional rate through their Agricultural Departments.
- However, to make available costly and bigger advance farm machinery at the door steps of the farmers on rent basis, Government is promoting Custom Hiring Centres (CHC)through a SMAM scheme; under which subsidy is provided @ of 40% of the project cost to individual farmer upto a project cost of Rs.60 lakh and 80% to the group of farmers upto a project cost of Rs. 10 lakh. A special consideration for the farmers of North Eastern Region (NER) is available, 95% subsidy upto a project cost of Rs. 10 lakh is provided to group of NER farmers for establishment of Custom Hiring Centres. For establishment of Hi-tech and Hi-value agricultural machinery CHC, assistance @ of 40% of the project cost to individual farmer upto a project cost of Rs.250 lakh is provided. Under the CRM scheme to establish Custom Hiring of in-situ crop residue management machinery a financial assistance @ 80% of the project cost is provided to the farmers.
- The Government has also developed and launched Multi lingual Mobile App “CHC- Farm Machinery” which helps the farmers for getting rented farm machinery and implements through Custom Hiring Service Centers (CHC) in their area. As on date, 44,607 CHCs with 1,39,319 Agricultural machinery for renting out are registered on this Mobile app. Total 1,14,461 farmers as users are registered on this Mobile App.
- The Government has introduced the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) Scheme, which enables farmers to purchase agricultural inputs and draw cash to satisfy their agricultural and consumption needs. The KCC Scheme has since been simplified and converted into ATM enabled RuPaydebit card with, inter alia, facilities of one-time documentation, built-in cost escalation in the limit, any number of drawals within the limit, etc.
- With a view to ensure availability of agriculture credit at a reduced interest rate of 7% p.a. to the farmers, an interest subvention scheme for short term crop loans upto Rs.3.00 lakh is implemented. The scheme provides interest subvention of 2% per annum to Banks on use of their own resources. Besides, additional 3% incentive is given to the farmers for prompt repayment of the loan, thereby reducing the effective rate of interest to 4%.
- Rear Admiral Puruvir Das, NM assumes charge as the Flag Officer Commanding Gujarat Naval Area (FOGNA)
- Rear Admiral Puruvir Das, Nau Sena Medal took over the reins of the Gujarat, Daman and Diu Naval Area from Rear Admiral Sanjay Roye, Vishisht Seva Medal as its fourth Flag Officer Commanding at a ceremonial parade held at Headquarters Gujarat, Daman and Diu Naval Area on 10 Feb 20.
- In a career spanning 30 years, the Admiral, an alumnus of the NDA has held numerous specialist, staff and operational appointments; both afloat and ashore. The officer has commanded Indian Naval ships Kozhikode, Kora, Shivalik and the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya.
- The Navy gives very high priority to the frontline state of Gujarat; due to its strategic location, vast coastline and economic importance for India. The FOGNA is responsible to the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command for all Naval operations in Gujarat, Daman and Diu Naval Area.
- Loans extended to women under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna
- As on 31.01.2020, over 15 crore loans have been disbursed to women borrowers, since inception of the scheme, amounting to Rs 4.78 lakh crore under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY). This was stated by Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha .
- Giving more details, Shri Thakur said that under PMMY, loans are extended to eligible borrowers for manufacturing, processing, trading, services and activities allied to agriculture, which help in creating income generating activities and employment. However, profession-wise details are not maintained centrally.
- State-wise details are as following:
|State-wise details of number of loan accounts disbursed to women borrowers under PMMY as on 31.01.2020, since inception of the Scheme on 08.04.2015|
|Amount in crore|
|Sr No||State Name||No Of A/Cs||Disbursed Amt.|
|1||Andaman and Nicobar Islands||6,209||94.80|
|8||Dadra and Nagar Haveli||7,700||41.66|
|9||Daman and Diu||940||10.28|
|15||Jammu and Kashmir||104,107||1,646.15|
|Source – Data reported by Member Lending Institution (MLIs) on Mudra Portal|
- Subscribers in Atal Pension Yojana
- As per Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) the number of subscribers in Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has increased during the last three years from 4,883,829 subscribers in FY 2016-17 to 15,418,285 subscribers in FY 2018-19. This was stated by Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
- Shri Thakur said that as informed by PFRDA, the State-wise details of subscribers under APY are available and the number of subscribers enrolled under APY in the State of Rajasthan as on 27th January, 2020, is 9, 47,104.
- National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination (NSP 2017-25)
- The National Strategic Plan (2017-25) was approved by Hon’ble Minister for Health and Family Welfare on 8thMay 2017 and has been operational since then in the entire country with the goal of Ending TB by 2025.
- Under the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Tuberculosis (2017-2025), 20%, 22% and 24% of the funds have been earmarked for social welfare support in years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively.
|Amount (In crores)||612.60||907.53||1223.94|
|As % of total budget||20%||22%||24%|
|Total NSP proposed budget||3135.61||4115.64||5075.95|
- A new scheme, Nikshay Poshan Yojana has been implemented from 01stApril 2018, wherein 500 rupees per month is being provided to All TB patients towards nutritional support for the duration of their treatment. Tribal patient travel support, wherein 750 rupees is being provided to all TB patients in tribal notified blocks towards travel support is an ongoing scheme since the twelfth plan.
- The Ministry has established an Inter-Ministerial Coordination committee under the chairpersonship of Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) for smooth linkages between linkages between the TB programme and various ministries like Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and Ministry of Labor & Employment.
- Improvement in Sex Ratio
- Central Bureau of Health Intelligence compiles a National Health Profile based on the information received from various Ministries/Departments. The information regarding birth, death, sex rates etc. are based on the data given by the O/o Registrar General of India. As per Census conducted by Registrar General of India, the trend in sex ratio has improved to 943 in 2011 from 926 in 1991.
- As per the National Health Profile, India has declining birth rate (from 20.8 in 2015 to 20.2 in 2017) & death rate (from 6.5 in 2015 to 6.3 in 2017) over the last three years, based on the latest SRS Bulletin published by Registrar General of India. Reports are available at cbhidghs.nic.in.
- The disease burden is based on ICMR India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative study report “India: Health of the Nation’s States” published in November 2017, the estimated proportion of all deaths due to NCDs is 61.8% in 2016 which was 37.9% in 1990. Among the different age groups, the proportion of deaths due to NCDs in 40-69 years is 73.2%. Reports are available at http://www.healthdata.org/policy-report/india-health-nation%E2%80%99s-states.
- Yes, as per the National Health Profile, both birth rate (from 20.8 in 2015 to 20.2 in 2017) & death rate (from 6.5 in 2015 to 6.3 in 2017) have consistently decreased over the years, based on the latest SRS Bulletin published by Registrar General of India.
- Reports are available at cbhidghs.nic.in.
- Yes, as per information published in NHP based on Data from SRS Bulletin published by Registrar General of India there exists gap in both birth and death rates among States/UTs. In 2017, birth rate in Andaman & Nicobar Island was 11.4; in Goa 12.5 whereas it was 26.4 in Bihar and 25.9 in Uttar Pradesh. Similarly in 2017 death rate in Delhi was 3.7; in Mizoram 4 whereas it was 7.5 in Chhattisgarh and 7.3 in Puducherry. Reports are available at cbhidghs.nic.in.
- “State of the World’s Children Report 2019”of UNICEF
- As per UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children Report 2019, the Under 5 Mortality Rate in India is 37 per 1,000 live births against Global average of 39 per 1,000 live births in 2018, which translates to more than 8 lakhs under 5 deaths in India.
As per the Sample Registration System (SRS) 2010-13 report of Registrar General of India, major causes of child mortality in India are: Prematurity & low birth weight (29.8%), Pneumonia (17.1%), Diarrheal diseases (8.6%), Other non-communicable diseases (8.3%), Birth asphyxia & birth trauma (8.2%), Injuries (4.6%), Congenital anomalies (4.4%), Ill-defined or cause unknown (4.4%), Acute bacterial sepsis and severe infections (3.6%), Fever of unknown origin (2.5%), All Other Remaining Causes (8.4%).
As per the UNICEF 2019 report, Globalization, urbanization, inequities, humanitarian crises and climate shocks are driving unprecedented negative changes in the nutrition situation of children around the world.
Government of India has launched POSHAN (Prime Minister Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment) Abhiyaan, to address malnutrition challenges in India by engaging all the important stakeholders in a convergent approach. The goals of POSHAN Abhiyaan is to prevent and reduce stunting, underweight and low birth weight by 2% per annum and the reduction of anemia by 3% per annum.
The Government of India has also launched several schemes under the aegis of Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) to tackle malnutrition in the country including Anganwadi Services, Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG) and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojna (PMMVY) to improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years. The Anganwadi Services scheme provides a package of six services i.e. Supplementary Nutrition, Pre School Non-formal Education, Nutrition and Health Education, Immunization, Health checkups and referral services.
In order to address child mortality and morbidity, the Government of India is supporting all States/UTs under National Health Mission in implementation of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) strategy, which has following interventions:
- Strengthening essential newborn care at all delivery points, establishment of Sick Newborn Care Units (SNCU), Newborn Stabilization Units (NBSU) and Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) units for care of sick and small babies.
- Home Based Newborn Care (HBNC) and Home-Based Care of Young Children (HBYC) by ASHAs to improve child rearing practices and to identify sick new-born and young children.
- Early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding for first six months and appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices are promoted under Mothers’ Absolute Affection (MAA) in convergence with Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) is being supported to provide vaccination to children against life threatening diseases such as Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, Measles, Rubella, Pneumonia and Meningitis caused by Haemophilus Influenzae B. The Rotavirus vaccination has also been rolled out in the country for prevention of Rota-viral diarrhoea. Mission Indradhanush is targeted to immunize children who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated i.e. those that have not been covered during the rounds of routine immunization for various reasons. Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 2.0 is rolled-out as per road-map for achieving 90% full immunization coverage across the country.
- Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRCs) have been set up at public health facilities to treat and manage the children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) admitted with medical complications.
- Defeat Diarrhoea (D2) initiative has been launched for promoting ORS and Zinc use and eliminating the diarrhoeal deaths by 2025.
- Social Awareness and Actions to Neutralize Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS) initiative for reduction of Childhood morbidity and mortality due to Pneumonia.
- Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) strategy as a part of Poshan Abhiyan aims to strengthen the existing mechanisms and foster newer strategies to tackle anaemia, which include testing & treatment of anaemia in school going adolescents & pregnant women, addressing non nutritional causes of anaemia and a comprehensive communication strategy. National Deworming Day (NDD) is implemented biannually every year for deworming of children (one to nineteen year of age).
- All the children from 0 to 18 years of age are screened for 30 health conditions classified into 4Ds – Diseases, Deficiencies, Defects and Developmental delay under “Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakaram” (RBSK) to improve the quality of survival and to reduce out of pocket expenditure of families. District early intervention centre (DEIC) at district health facility level are established for confirmation and management of the 4D’s.
- Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Days (VHSNDs) are observed for provision of maternal and child health services and awareness on maternal and child Health and nutrition education through mass and social media to improve healthy practices and to generate demand for service uptake.
- Name based tracking of mothers and children till two years of age is done through RCH portal to ensure complete antenatal, intranatal, postnatal care and immunization as per schedule.
- Promotion of Institutional deliveries through cash incentive under Janani SurakshaYojana (JSY) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) which entitles all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions to absolutely free delivery including Caesarean section, post-natal care and treatment of sick infants up to one year of age. Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) is another maternity benefit programme under which cash incentive is provided to pregnant women and lactating mothers.
- Measures to improve Rural Healthcare
- “Public Health & Hospital” being a State subject, the primary responsibility of improving the health facilities across the country including rural areas lies with the State Governments.
- To address the healthcare challenges, particularly in rural areas, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was launched in 2005 to supplement the efforts of the State/UT governments to provide accessible, affordable and quality healthcare to all those who access public health facilities. Currently, NRHM is a sub-mission of National Health Mission (NHM).
- NHM support is provided to States/ UTs for setting up of new facilities as per norms and upgradation of existing facilities for bridging the infrastructure gaps and to fill up the vacancies of Human Resource on contractual basis based on the requirement posed by them.
- NHM support is also provided for provision of a host of free services related to maternal health, child health, adolescent health, family planning, universal immunisation programme, and for major diseases such as Tuberculosis, vector borne diseases like Malaria, Dengue and Kala Azar, Leprosy etc.
- Other major initiatives supported under NHM include Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) (under which free drugs, free diagnostics, free blood and diet, free transport from home to institution, between facilities in case of a referral and drop back home is provided), Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) (which provides newborn and child health screening and early interventions services free of cost for birth defects, diseases, deficiencies and developmental delays to improve the quality of survival), implementation of Free Drugs and Free Diagnostics Service Initiatives, PM National Dialysis Programme and implementation of National Quality Assurance Framework in all public health facilities including in rural areas.
- Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) & Telemedicine are also being implemented with NHM support to improve healthcare access particularly in rural areas.
- As part of Ayushman Bharat, the Government is supporting the States for transformation of Sub Health Centres and Primary Health Centres into 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres across the country by December, 2022 for provision of comprehensive primary care that includes preventive healthcare and health promotion at the community level with continuum of care approach.
- As per the latest Rural Health Survey (RHS) 2019, the number of facilities functioning as per Indian Public Health Standards norms is as follows:
|Facilities Functioning as per IPHS Norms||Percentage IPHS compliant of total|
|Sub Health Centres||149590||5076||3.39%|
|Primary Health Centres||16613|
|Community health centres||5335|
- Under the National Health Mission (NHM) support is also provided to States/ UTs for Rogi Kalyan Samitis (RKS)/Patient Welfare Committees (PWC), Village Health Sanitation & Nutrition Committee (VHSNC) and ASHAs.
- ASHAs are trained to work as an interface between the community and the public health system. ASHAs have not only played a critical role in progress on maternal and child health targets, but have also become the key support at community level in rollout of a variety of public health interventions in the area of communicable diseases also.
- RKS/ PWC are envisaged to act as a forum to improve the functioning and service provision in public health facilities, increase participation and enhance accountability for provision of better facilities to the patients in the public health facilities at the level of Primary Health Centres and above.
- VHSNC are envisaged to take leadership in providing a platform for improving health awareness and access of community for health services, address specific local needs and serve as a mechanism for community based planning and monitoring.
- AIIMS in the Country
- Apart from AIIMS at New Delhi, six (6) new AIIMS at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) scheme, also became partially functional before 2014. Each of these six AIIMS has eighteen (18) Specialties and sixteen (16) Super Specialities. MBBS and Nursing admission in these six AIIMS also started since 2012.
During the last five years, fifteen (15) new AIIMS were approved under Phase-II, IV, V, VI and VII of PMSSY; which are being set up in the country. The details are given in Annexure-I. OPD along with Diagnostic and Pathology services have commenced at five (5) places viz. AIIMS Raebareli, AIIMS Mangalagiri, AIIMS Gorakhpur, AIIMS Nagpur and AIIMS Bathinda.
Besides, six AIIMS setup under phase – I (AIIMS Bhopal, AIIMS Bhubaneswar, AIIMS Jodhpur, AIIMS Patna, AIIMS Raipur and AIIMS Rishikesh) have become fully functional and baskets of services in these AIIMS have been expanded. Department such as Emergency, Trauma and Blood Bank have also now become functional. Presently, on an average, more than 15,000 patients cumulatively are visiting OPD daily in these six AIIMS. Also, at an average, equal numbers of patients are getting treatment in IPD every month. More than 4,000 major surgeries cumulatively are getting performed on monthly basis in these six AIIMS. All Specialty Departments and most of the Super-Specialty Departments have become functional. The details are given in Annexure-II.
The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Sh Ashwini Kumar Choubey stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha here today.
LIST OF new AIIMS (15) BEING SET UP under PMSSY
|Phase||AIIMS||Date of Cabinet Approval||Approved Cost|
|Phase-II||1||AIIMS, Raebareli||05.02.2009 [Revised Cost Estimates was approved by EFC on 22.06.2017]||823.00||March, 2020|
|3||AIIMS, Nagpur (Maharashtra)||07.10.2015||1577.00||60 Months|
|4||AIIMS, Kalyani (West Bengal)||07.10.2015||1754.00||60 Months|
|Phase-V||6||AIIMS, Bathinda (Punjab)||27.07.2016||925.00||48 Months|
|7||AIIMS, Guwahati (Assam)||24.05.2017||1123.00||48 Months|
|8||AIIMS, Bilaspur (H.P)||03.01.2018||1471.04||48 Months|
|9||AIIMS, Tamil Nadu||17.12.2018||1264.00||45 Months|
|10||AIIMS Jammu||10.01.2019||1661.00||48 Months|
|11||AIIMS Kashmir||10.01.2019||1828.00||72 Months|
|Phase-VI||12||AIIMS, Jharkhand||16.05.2018||1103.00||45 Months|
|13||AIIMS, Gujarat||10.01.2019||1195.00||45 Months,|
|14||AIIMS, Telangana||17.12.2018||1028.00||45 Months|
|Phase-VII||15||AIIMS, Manethi (Haryana)||28.02.2019||1295.00||48 Months,|
FUNCTIONAL STATUS OF SIX AIIMS UNDER PHASE – I
- Hospital Status :
|Sl.||AIIMS||No. of Beds functional|
(Out of 960)
|No. of Modular OT||No. of Speciality Functional|
(Out of 18)
|No. of Super- Speciality Functional|
(Out of 17)
- Important Medical Facilities :
|Sl.||AIIMS||Emergency||Trauma Care||Blood Bank||OPD , IPD & ICU||Diagnostics||Pathology|
FUNCTIONAL STATUS OF NEW AIIMS
|Sl.||AIIMS||OPD Facility||No. of OPD Departments||Diagnostic Facilities|
- Two teachers in every school to be Health and Wellness Ambassadors: Dr Harsh Vardhan
- Two teachers in every school will be made Health and wellness Ambassador to spread awareness about health issues.
- Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey today launched the School Health and Wellness Ambassador initiative under Ayushman Bharat in New Delhi.
- The programme will be initially initiated in 200 districts.
- Iran denies military dimension in satellite programme
- Iran’s government today rejected US allegations that Tehran’s satellite programme has a military dimension, days after the failed launch of its latest satellite.
- Quoting Defence Minister Amir Hatami, State news agency IRNA said, the subject of satellite launch vehicles and satellites is a civilian matter.
- He said, satellite can be used for defence purposes, but the satellite launcher is a completely non-defensive subject and it is the definite and absolute right of the Iranian nation. He added that there is no prohibition in the world against this satellite programme.
- Iran attempted on Sunday to launch a satellite dubbed as the Zafar which means Victory in Farsi but it failed to reach orbit.
- Following the launch, Washington yesterday accused Tehran of using satellites as a cover to develop its missile programme.
- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, the technology involved to launch satellites was virtually identical to the know-how for long-range ballistic missiles.
- NASA says it wants next generation of astronauts to walk on Moon, journey to Mars
- NASA says it wants the next generation of astronauts to walk on the Moon and journey to Mars. The US Space Agency announced yesterday that it is seeking to add its astronaut corps as part of plans to dramatically expand its crewed space missions in the coming years. The corps currently stands at 48 active personnel.
- NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the agency is celebrating its 20th year of continuous presence aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in low-Earth orbit this year. NASA plans to send the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024.
- Among the qualifications required for new astronauts would be a relevant Master’s degree, be prepared to live and work 400 kilometers above Earth on the International Space Station, and be a US citizen. From March 2, people can apply it.
- ICC ODI rankings: Kohli retains top spot; Ravindra Jadeja grabs seventh position
- In Cricket, India skipper Virat Kohli continues to hold on to the top spot in the batting chart of the latest ICC ODI rankings released in Dubai today. His deputy Rohit Sharma also maintains the second position.
- All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja climbed three rungs to grab the seventh position. Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi emerged as the new world number one all-rounder. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal jumped to the 13th spot.
- However, speedster Jasprit Bumrah lost the top spot and was placed at the second position in bowling chart. His place has been taken over by Kiwi pacer Trent Boult. Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav slipped to the 16th place.