The Rural household toilet coverage has increased from 42% at the start of Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin to 55.34%as of today.
This entailed the construction of 2.4 crore toilets under SBM and 15.04 lakh under MNREGA.
35 districts and about one lakhvillages are targeted to be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF)
In the first year alone, there was an increase of 446% in construction of toilets after the launch of SBM(G) as compared to pre-SBM period of 2014-15.
The ‘Swachh Survekshan’, a nationwide survey in 75 districts, conducted earlier this year, has created a sense of healthy competition among districts to achieve ‘Swachhta’.
Swachh Bharat is becoming a ‘Jan Andolan’:-
This is the biggest mass mobilization in history – the focus is on behavior change rather than on toilet construction because SBM is about the change of mindset.
Cross-benefits of Community mobilization due to SBM: In Sawamahu Gram Panchayat in Punjab, during routine cleaning of villages, women found that a big component of garbage was empty liquor bottles, leading to them starting adaru-bandi(no alcohol) campaign. They also learnt the use of internet and WhatsApp to share their activities with one another.
Shri Chandrakant Kulkarni, a retired government employee from Maharashtra, has donated one-third of his pension to the Swachh Bharat Kosh
A team of brave army personnel, led by Wing Commander Paramvir Singh undertook a ‘Ganga Avahan’ for the cause of Swachh Bharat. The expedition swam 2800 km along the length of River Ganga, from Devprayag (Uttarakhand) to Ganga Sagar (West Bengal), to spread awareness about the Swachh Bharat Mission
Beyond ODF: Focus on Solid and Liquid Waste Management in villages
Mahila mandals of Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh took up the work of weekly cleaning of their villages. This became a good source of income for many as they sold one lakh kg of scrap worth about Rs.5 lakh from February 2015 to August 2016.
In Indore, the famous Khajrana Ganesha temple receives more than 100 kg of green waste in the form of flower offerings every day. These flowers are converted into compost using on-site facilities. The same compost is being purchased by the devotees and locals
In Tamil Nadu, nearly 53056 MGNREGA workers are engaged in solid waste work in 9000 Gram Panchayats. Through sale of compost and recyclable waste, the Panchayats have generated a total income of Rs. 75.41 lakh
Several villages in Nanded district in Maharashtra are “mosquito free” owing to the presence of individual soak pits called “magic pits” in every household. This helps them not only avoid water-borne diseases like diarrhea, cholera and jaundice due to reduced ground and surface water contamination, but also vector borne diseases like dengue, malaria and the dreaded zika virus.
Waste stabilization ponds have not only helped control the problem of safely draining out liquid waste in villages, but many of these ponds have been converted into beautified spots which have now become the pride of their villages
Economic benefits of sanitation and SLWM
Lack of proper sanitation leads to a less healthy and less productive population, leading to economic loss. A World Bank study estimates that the resulting loss to the Indian economy is 6.4% of the GDP because of poor sanitation. According to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, India would save $19 billion worth of health care costs if everyone started washing their hands with soap before meals and after defecation
Bhusrapara village in Malda district, West Bengal has 14 households, without any toilets. The villagers regularly contracted diarrhea in the monsoons, the time when they got employment as agriculture labor. The village became ODF on 15th July 2015, after which there has been only one case of diarrhea in the village. The villagers estimate that they have saved between Rs.1800-Rs.3000 per person per year.
Since becoming ODF, Saragaon village in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh has recorded a reduction in loss of man-days from 83 per year earlier to 11 now. The average yearly health expenditure in the village has reduced by 85%. Increasing demand for toilets leads to increasing demand for masonry services. Nadia, the first ODF district in West Bengal set up two masonry training institutes which trained around 2400 men and women to construct toilets and became a source of livelihood
Importance of sustaining ODF and preventing slip-backs – This is very critical and there needs to be sustained efforts to ensure that once a village turns ODF, it stays ODF. The district administration must focus on continued awareness campaigns and sanitation champions must continue mobilizing people to highlight the importance of toilet usage even after attaining ODF status
Aiming for ODF+ (ODF Plus) : ODF Villagesneed to include SLWM and general cleanliness as the ultimate goal to become truly “Swachh”
‘India will Protect the Interests and Strongly Present the Viewpoint of Developing Countries at Cop 22 in Morocco’
India has said that it will protect the interests and strongly present the viewpoint of the developing countries at the upcoming COP 22 at Marrakech, Morocco.
India’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement has come after ensuring compliance of domestic legal requirements, internal discussions and after obtaining clarity from UNFCCC with regard to transparency and participation of Parties in the future processes. Countries have been assured by UNFCCC that other Parties will be given sufficient time to ratify the Paris Agreement, at least till 2018, so that future decision-making is as inclusive as possible. India through its participation in the Paris Agreement, under the UNFCCC process, will articulate the interests of the poor and vulnerable groups.
India led from the front at COP 21 last year, to ensure the inclusion of climate justice and sustainable lifestyles in the Paris Agreement and launched the International Solar Alliance. India will continue to champion such action-oriented initiatives and joint ventures.
President Presents ‘Vayoshreshtha Samman’ to Older Persons & Institutions on International Day of Older Persons
National Awards for Senior Citizens “Vayoshreshtha Samman-2016” to eminent senior citizens and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of elderly persons, especially indigent senior citizens at a function organized by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
International Day of Older Persons is observed on 1st of October every year pursuant to the adoption of a resolution by the UN General Assembly to observe the year 1999 as the International Year of Older Persons with the theme, “a society for all ages
Tourism Organizes ‘5th International Buddhist Conclave’ in Varanasi-Sarnath
With a view to showcasing and projecting the Buddhist heritage and pilgrim sites of India, the Ministry of Tourism is organizing the “5thInternational Buddhist Conclave (from 2nd to 6th October 2016)” in Varanasi-Sarnath in collaboration with the State Governments of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar
The International Buddhist Conclave is also one of the initiatives being taken by India as its commitment as the land of origin of Buddhism and to improve the experience of pilgrims as well as tourists wishing to savor the essence of Buddhist heritage, at the Buddhist sites of the country.The Conclave will include presentations, panel discussion, business to business meetings between the international and domestic tour operators, an exhibition highlighting the Buddhist attractions in India, as well as visits to important Buddhist sites in and around Varanasi and Sarnath.
Sustainable Urban Development strategy for next 20 years
Reducing water and electricity use by 50% from that of normal use,
Enabling over 60% of urban travel by public transport,
Generating half of power from renewable sources,
Promoting walking and cycling for last mile connectivity, compact and cluster urban development, promoting natural drainage patterns, reducing waste generation of all kind, promoting greenery and public places etc.
Theme of this year’s Word Habitat Day of ‘Housing at Centre’,
Cabinet approves amendments to the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014
The HIV and AIDS Bill, 2014 has been drafted to safeguard the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV. The provisions of the Bill seek to address HIV-related discrimination, strengthen the existing programme by bringing in legal accountability and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances. The Bill seeks to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS, prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS, provides for informed consent and confidentiality with regard to their treatment, places obligations on establishments to safeguard rights of persons living with HIV arid create mechanisms for redressing complaints. The Bill also aims to enhance access to health care services by ensuring informed consent and confidentiality for HIV-related testing, treatment and clinical research.
The Bill lists various grounds on which discrimination against HIV positive persons and those living with them is prohibited. These include the denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to:
(ii) educational establishments,
(iii) health care services,
(iv) residing or renting property,
(v) standing for public or private office, and
(vi) provision of insurance (unless based on actuarial studies). The requirement for HIV testing as a pre-requisite for obtaining employment or accessing health care or education is also prohibited.
Every HIV infected or affected person below the age of 18 years has the right to reside in a shared household and enjoy the facilities of the household. The Bill also prohibits any individual from publishing information or advocating feelings of hatred against HIV positive persons and those living with them. The Bill also provides for Guardianship for minors. A person between the age of 12 to 18 years who has sufficient maturity in understanding and managing the affairs of his HIV or AIDS affected family shall be competent to act as a guardian of another sibling below 18 years of age to be applicable in the matters relating to admission to educational establishments, operating bank accounts, managing property, care and treatment, amongst others.
The Bill requires that “No person shall be compelled to disclose his HIV status except with his informed consent, and if required by a court order”. Establishments keeping records of information of HIV positive persons shall adopt data protection measures. According to the Bill, the Central and State governments shall take measures to:
(i) prevent the spread of HIV or AIDS,
(ii) provide anti-retroviral therapy and infection management for persons with HIV or AIDS,
(iii) facilitate their access to welfare schemes especially for women and children,
(iv) formulate HIV or AIDS education communication programmes that are age appropriate, gender sensitive, and non-stigmatizing, and
(v) lay guidelines for the care and treatment of children with HIV or AIDS. Every person in the care and custody of the state shall have right to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and counseling services. The Bill suggest that cases relating to HIV positive persons shall be disposed’ off by the court on a priority basis and duly ensuring the confidentiality.
There are no financial implications of the Bill. Most of the activities are being already undertaken or can be integrated within the existing systems of various Ministries under training, communication and data management, etc. The Bill makes provision for appointment of an ombudsman by State Governments to inquire into complaints related to the violation of the Act and penal actions in case of non-compliance. The Ombudsman need not be a separate entity, but any existing State Government functionary can be deputed or given additional charge.
There are approximately 21 lakh persons estimated to be living with HIV in India. Even though the prevalence of HIV is decreasing over the last decade, the Bill would provide essential support to National AIDS Control Programme in arresting new infections and thereby achieving the target of “Ending the epidemic by 2030” according to Sustainable Development Goals.
World Sustainable Development Summit Organized By The Energy And Resources Institute
The statements below can come in handy while writing answers or essays.use as you see fit.
Excerpt from the address:-
The threat of climate change is real and immediate. It concerns the whole world as its ill-effects are all-pervasive. Developing economies are more vulnerable to climate change as these economies are closely tied to climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture and forestry. As a developing country with shared concerns on climate vulnerability, India has a vital stake in an equitable and multi-lateral approach towards climate change
India is home to almost 18 percent of the world’s population. However, we possess only four percent of the world’s renewable water resources. Our energy consumption constitutes six percent of the global energy consumption. Resource constraints notwithstanding, we have worked hard to become the fastest growing economy amongst the major economies of the world. We have the capacity to clock sustained high growth. But growth is dependent on resource availability, especially energy. Factors such as demography, development and urbanization exert tremendous pressure on availability of resources. Large-scale utilization of resources leads to their depletion and also impacts adversely on the environment. This results in reduced availability of resources for future growth putting a question mark on the sustainable development of an economy.
The world is facing challenges in all the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. On the one hand, over a billion-and-a-quarter people are still living in poverty. On the other, patterns of unsustainable production and consumption are endangering our planet’s eco-systems. This threat presents us with an opportunity to work together. Global action built on partnerships is required to achieve sustainable economic and social progress, inclusive growth and protection of the earth’s eco-systems. Both the Nationally Determined Contributions and the Sustainable Development Goals impel us to look beyond national boundaries and act in solidarity rather than in silos. Collective action, indeed, is necessary to address the shared concerns of our world.
Indo-Russian military exercise ‘INDRA-2016′
Jharkhand becomes first state to launch Direct Benefit Transfer in Kerosene
PETROTECH-2016, the 12th International Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition will be organised at New Delhi
INS Eksila- Eksila, located at Gajuwaka, Visakhapatnam, is the only naval establishment in South East Asia where “Men in Uniform” undertake major overhaul of Marine Gas Turbines powering Naval Ships. The Unit has witnessed an exciting phase of transformation in the last two and a half decades since her inception as Marine Gas Turbine Overhaul Centre (MGTOC) on 22 October 1991. Significant strides have been made by the Unit in embracing contemporary cutting edge technologies in the field of Marine Gas Turbine maintenance, keeping in line with the Indian Navy’s commitment to ‘Self Reliance through Indigenisation’.
First BRICS U – 17 Football Tournament kicked off in Goa