- Rs 20,000 crore defence corridor will transform Bundelkhand
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of a defence industrial corridor in Bundelkhand has raised hopes in Madhya Pradesh of transforming this parched region into a land of opportunity.
- Geographically, MP has the larger share of Bundelkhand. If it gets a fair share of the Rs 20,000 crore investment and 2.5 lakh jobs, the defence corridor will prove to be a lifeline in one of the most underdeveloped regions of the country, with the highest migration rate.
- Of the 13 districts that make up Bundelkhand, six and-a-half lie in Madhya Pradesh — Datia, Chhatarpur, Tikamgarh, Panna, Damoh, Sagar and part of Chitrakoot (the other part is in Uttar Pradesh). Agriculture is the predominant occupation in Bundelkhand with low industrialisation and low urbanisation. The majority of rural households rely on income from seasonal migration for work.
- Though agriculture is the mainstay of Bundelkhand’s economy, conditions are unfavourable for growth of cash crops like sugarcane and cotton, which is one of the reasons for its backwardness.
- Productivity is affected by poor water retention ability of the soil, weather fluctuations and large amount of wasteland.
- Rising input costs and frequent droughts are pushing agricultural labourers and small farmers out of farming.
- CSIR signs MoU with IORA: CSIR-CIMAP to host coordinating center on medicinal plants
- Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has entered into a MoU with the Regional Center for Science and Technology Transfer (RCSTT) of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) for designating Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow (CSIR-CIMAP) as Coordinating Center on Medicinal Plants.
- The MoU was signed by Prof. Anil Kumar Tripathi, Director CSIR-CIMAP and Dr. A. Sedrpousan, Director, IORA-RCSTT.
- The Indian delegation was led by Dr. Girish Sahni, DG, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR.
- The delegation also attended the 31st Khwarizmi International Award Ceremony which was addressed by H.E. Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- The IORA Center at CSIR-CIMAP will establish a database on the important medicinal plants, their value added products, related experts and industries of the IORA member states and organize meetings and training programmes to promote trade, commerce and scientific exchanges to complement the strength and limitation of the member states.
· China home to 241 million old people: report
- China is fast turning into an aging society as the number of people aged 60 and above has reached 241 million, accounting for 17.3 per cent of the total population, according to an officials.
- A society with 10 per cent of its population aged 60 or older can be referred to as an “aging society,”
- Since China first became an aging society in 1999, the number of people aged 60 or above has seen a net increase of 110 million. It is estimated that the number of seniors will peak around 2050 to reach 487 million, 34.9 per cent of the total population, Mr. Wu said.
- As the old age population grew, which was largely attributed to the three decades old one child policy, China has permitted couples to have two children since 2016.
- China has stepped up nationwide education on ageing with the aim to raise citizens’ awareness and called on the public to care for the elderly.
- ‘SRIJAN’ has been launched at MyGov portal
- Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) is taking up redevelopment of around 600 major Railway stations across the country.
- In this mega exercise, assistance and involvement of all stakeholders i.e. railway passengers, urban planners, architects, engineers is important.
- Towards this objective of stakeholders’ consultation, an idea competition for development of 635 stations on Indian Railways, ‘SRIJAN’ (Station Rejuvenation Initiative through Joint ActioN) has been launched at MyGov portal since 26.01.2018.
- The last date for submission of entries in this competition is 26.03.2018. The winners will get certificates and worthy ideas will be incorporated in the designs.
- Intermodal Stations to come up in 15 cities
- The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has conducted detailed pre-feasibility studies for setting up Intermodal Stations at Nagpur and Varanasi, and the development of DPRs for this is in final stages of completion.
- Fifteen cities across the country have been prioritized for development of IMS of which Nagpur and Varanasi have been selected as pilot projects.
- Intermodal Stations are terminal infrastructure which integrate various transportation modes like rail, road, mass rapid transit system, bus rapid transit, inland waterways, auto-rickshaws, taxis and private vehicles etc, so that people can move from one mode to another seamlessly, with minimum use of automobiles.
- Bihar is national topper in FY17 growth, with 10.3 pc
- Bihar clocked a growth rate of 10.3 per cent in 2016-2017 as against 7.5 per cent in the corresponding fiscal a year ago, according to the latest Economic Survey tabled in the state Assembly.
- Bihar’s growth rate is higher than that of the national average of 7.0 per cent, the 12th Economic Survey of Bihar said.
- The state has consistently been revenue surplus, which increased from Rs 5,101 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 10,819 crore in 2016-17.
· EPFO Introduces UAN- Aadhar Linking New Facility
- Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)introduced UAN-Aadhaar linking facility for the convenience of members using EPFO Link in UMANG Mobile App.
- The facility on e-KYC Portal has further added a new feature to link UAN with Aadhaar online using biometric credentials.
- RISE Scheme: IITs set to get 25% of Government loans for higher education institutes
- The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)will get the largest chunk of loans on offer under Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE).
- This shifts funding mechanism to CFIs in higher education from grant assistance to loans to assure more funds, greater accountability.
- RISE scheme was announced in Union Budget 2017-18.
- It aims to lend low-cost funds to government higher educational institutions.
· Free viral load testing for people with HIV
- After years of shortage within the national HIV intervention system, the Health Ministry launched ‘Viral load testing for all People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV)’.
- Viral load kits are used to determine the severity of an infection before deciding on the treatment regimen that is appropriate for HIV patients. India is home to the world’s third largest HIV population, with 25 lakh patients. Only 12 lakh of the diagnosed HIV patients are on treatment and the newly-launched scheme will provide viral load testing free of cost, “at least once a year”.
- The viral load test is a big step forward. This initiative was started to ensure that treatment is started early and virus transmission is curtailed both at the individual and the community level. Now, about 12 lakh PLHIV are availing the benefit of free treatment from more than 530 ART (Antiretroviral Theraphy) centres