16, March 2018

Ministry of HRD is committed to give full support for completion of Innovation projects under Smart India Hackathon

  • ‘Smart India Hackathon 2017’ was launched to build Digital India of our dreams and to engage our youth directly with nation building. About 30 different Government departments/ministries are involved as partners e.g. Ministry of Railways, External affairs, Steel, Postal Services, ISRO, NCPCR, etc. For the first time, govt. departments were directly engaging with students and challenging them to build digital solutions to improve their efficiency, plug revenue leakages and corruption.
  • A Digital India to bridge the digital divide in our country and further promote digital literacy in order to make development a comprehensive mass movement and put governance within everyone’s reach in India.
  • In order to work towards our PM’s vision, MHRD, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Inter Institutional Inclusive Innovation Center (i4C), and Persistent Systems organized Smart India Hackathon 2017, a unique initiative to identify new and disruptive digital technology innovations for solving the challenges faced by our country. The initiative was a huge success.

Swadhar Greh

  • The scheme envisions a supportive institutional framework for women victims of difficult circumstances so that they could lead their life with dignity and conviction.
  • It envisages that shelter, food, clothing, and health as well as economic and social security are assured for such women.
  • It also envisions that the special needs of these women are properly taken care of and under no circumstances they should be left unattended or abandoned which could lead to their exploitation and desolation.



  • UDYAM SAKHI is a network for nurturing social entrepreneurship creating business models revolving around low-cost products and services to resolve social inequities.
  • Women in India can play a very vital role to support the growth of Indian economy by introducing SME’s in a various sector with the support of Government India.
  • India has record growth in women entrepreneurship and more women are pursuing their career in this direction. In India, there are about 8 million women who have started or are running their businesses. Apart from that, women have 24% share in corporate senior management positions in India.


  • UDYAM SAKHI, a Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises initiative, is a network for nurturing social entrepreneurship creating business models revolving around low-cost products and services to resolve social inequities.


Atal Bhujal Yojana

  • The Government has proposed Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY) aimed at sustainable ground water management with community participation in select over-exploited and ground water stressed areas in seven States (Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh).
  • ABHY is designed as a Central Sector Scheme with a total outlay of Rs. 6,000 Crore and is proposed to be implemented with World Bank assistance.


Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra

  • Government of India has approved a new scheme namely, Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK) for 2017-18 upto 2019-20 to empower rural women through community participation and to create an environment in which they realize their full potential.
  • The new scheme is envisaged to work at various levels. While, National level (domain based knowledge support) and State level (State Resource Centre for Women) structures will provide technical support to the respective government on issues related to women, the District and Block level Centres will provide support to MSK and also give a foothold to BBBP in 640 districts to be covered in a phased manner.
  • Women empowerment is multi-dimensional and the services provided under MSK will build upon by leveraging available resources of variety of schemes/programmes of the government at the district/block level.


  1. LaQshya program will benefit every pregnant woman and newborn delivering in public health institutions

Source: PIB

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has recently announced the launch of program ‘LaQshya’, aimed at improving quality of care in labour room and maternity Operation Theatre (OT).

Key facts:

  • The Program will improve quality of care for pregnant women in labour room, maternity Operation Theatre and Obstetrics Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and High Dependency Units (HDUs).
  • The LaQshya program is being implemented at all Medical College Hospitals, District Hospitals and First Referral Unit (FRU), and Community Health Center (CHCs) and will benefit every pregnant woman and new-born delivering in public health institutions.
  • ‘LaQshya’ will reduce maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality, improve quality of care during delivery and immediate post-partum period and enhance satisfaction of beneficiaries and provide Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) to all pregnant women attending public health facilities.


  • The Program aims at implementing ‘fast-track’ interventions for achieving tangible results within 18 months.
  • Under the initiative, a multi-pronged strategy has been adopted such as improving infrastructure up-gradation, ensuring availability of essential equipment, providing adequate human resources, capacity building of health care workers and improving quality processes in the labour room.
  • The Quality Improvement in labour room and maternity OT will be assessed through NQAS (National Quality Assurance Standards). Every facility achieving 70% score on NQAS will be certified as LaQshya certified facility. Furthermore, branding of LaQshya certified facilities will be done as per the NQAS score.

Way ahead:

  • India has come a long way in improving maternal survival as Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has reduced from 301 maternal deaths in 2001-03 to 167 in year 2011-13, an impressive decline of 45% in a decade. India is further committed to ensuring safe motherhood to every pregnant woman in the country.
  • A transformational improvement in the quality of care around child-birth- relating to intrapartum and immediate postpartum care shall dramatically improve maternal and new-born outcomes.

  1. One Stop Centre Scheme

Source: PIB

Gender Based Violence (GBV) is a global health, human rights and development issue that transcends geography, class, culture, age, race and religion to affect every community and country in every corner of the world.

  • The Article 1 of UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence 1993 provides a definition of gender – based abuse, calling it “any act of gender – based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”.

Key facts:

  • In India, gender based violence has many manifestations; from the more universally prevalent forms of domestic and sexual violence including rape, to harmful practices such as, dowry, honour killings, acid attacks, witch – hunting, sexual harassment, child sexual abuse, trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, child marriage, sex selective abortion, sati etc.
  • Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), has formulated a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for setting up One Stop Centre, a sub – scheme of Umbrella Scheme for National Mission for Empowerment of women including Indira Gandhi Mattritav Sahyaog Yojana.
  • Popularly known as Sakhi, the scheme is being implemented since 1st April 2015.
  • These Centres are being established across the country to provide integrated support and assistance under one roof to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces in phased manner.

The OSC will support all women including girls below 18 years of age affected by violence, irrespective of caste, class, religion, region, sexual orientation or marital status.


  • One Stop Centres (OSC) are intended to support women affected by violence, in private and public spaces, within the family, community and at the workplace.
  • Women facing physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economic abuse, irrespective of age, class, caste, education status, marital status, race and culture will be facilitated with support and redressal.
  • Aggrieved women facing any kind of violence due to attempted sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, trafficking, honour related crimes, acid attacks or witch-hunting who have reached out or been referred to the OSC will be provided with specialized services.

The objectives of the Scheme are:

  • To provide integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces under one roof.
  • To facilitate immediate, emergency and non – emergency access to a range of services including medical, legal, psychological and counselling support under one roof to fight against any forms of violence against women.

  1. Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana

Source: PIB

Under – nutrition continues to adversely affect majority of women in India.

 In India, every third woman is undernourished and every second woman is anaemic.

  • An undernourished mother almost inevitably gives birth to a low birth weight baby.
  • When poor nutrition starts in – utero, it extends throughout the life cycle since the changes are largely irreversible. Owing to economic and social distress many women continue to work to earn a living for their family right up to the last days of their pregnancy.
  • Furthermore, they resume working soon after childbirth, even though their bodies might not permit it, thus preventing their bodies from fully recovering on one hand, and also impeding their ability to exclusively breastfeed their young infant in the first six months.

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana  (PMMVY) is a Maternity Benefit Programme that is implemented in all the districts of the country in accordance with the provision of the National Food Security Act, 2013.


  • Providing partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentive s so that the woman can take adequate res t before and after delivery of the first living child.
  • The cash incentive provided would lead to improved health seeking behaviour amongst the Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW& LM).

Target beneficiaries

  • All Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers, excluding PW&LM who are in regular employment with the Central Government or the State Governments or PSUs or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force.
  • All eligible Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers who have their pregnancy on or after 01.01.2017 for first child in family.
  • The date and stage of pregnancy for a beneficiary would be counted with respect to her LMP date as mentioned in the MCP card.

Case of Miscarriage/Still Birth:

  • A beneficiary is eligible to receive benefits under the scheme only once.
  • In case of miscarriage/still birth, the beneficiary would be eligible to claim the remaining instalment(s) in event of any future pregnancy.
  • Thus, after receiving the 1st instalment, if the beneficiary has a miscarriage, she would only be eligible for receiving 2nd and 3rd instalment in event of future pregnancy subject to fulfilment of eligibility criterion and conditionalities of the scheme. Similarly, if the beneficiary has a miscarriage or still birth after receiving 1 st and 2nd instalments, she would only be eligible for receiving 3rd instalment in event of future pregnancy subject to fulfilment of eligibility criterion and conditionalities of the scheme.
  • Case of Infant Mortality: A beneficiary is eligible to receive benefits under the scheme only once. That is, in case of infant mortality, she will not be eligible for claiming benefits under the scheme, if she has already received all the instalments of the maternity benefit under PMMVY earlier.
  • Pregnant and Lactating AWWs/ AWHs/ ASHA may also avail the benefits under the PMMVY subject to fulfilment of scheme conditionalities.

  1. KUSUM Scheme – harnessing solar power for rural India – Ministry of New and Renewable Energy

Source: PIB

Solar water pumps to be installed in remote areas for irrigation needs Farmers can get extra income by selling surplus solar power to DISCOMs

The Government of India is in the process of formulating a Scheme ‘Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM)’ which, inter alia, provides for:

  • installation of grid-connected solar power plants each of capacity up to 2 MW in the rural areas;
  • installation of standalone off-grid solar water pumps to fulfill irrigation needs of farmers not connected to grid;
  • solarization of existing grid-connected agriculture pumps to make farmers independent of grid supply and also enable them to sell surplus solar power generated to DISCOM and get extra income; and
  • solarization of tube-wells and lift irrigation projects of Government sector.

  1. Antibiotic resistance

Source: The Hindu

A study has found that, Escherichia coli, a pathogen seen in over 90% of Egyptian vultures that migrate to northwest India to spend the winter, tend to show significant difference in resistance to antibiotics within a single season.

This is due to the environment that the vultures were exposed to — carcasses, garbage, and domestic animals.

  • The vultures that use human-dominated landscapes as part of their life cycle were likely to act as reservoirs and melting pots of bacterial resistance.


  • Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a bacteria that is surprisingly an important aspect of human intestinal tract health. Most E.coli are harmless bacteria and assist in everyday health. However the E.coli that generally make the headlines are pathogenic, which cause illnesses such as diarrhea, or even things outside the intestinal functions.

How is it transferred?

  • Usually, the E. coli that causes diarrhea is transferred through food, water, or contact with animals/people who already have E.coli.
  • The infection usually occurs if you swallow miniscule amounts of human or animal feces (this amount is often invisible to the naked eye).
  • These tiny traces of feces usually comes from contaminated food such as, raw produce, raw milk, soft cheese, unpasteurized apple cider, or even dealing with a dirty diaper or an employee not thoroughly washing their hands when preparing food.

Antibiotic resistance

  • Antibiotics are medicine used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Antibiotic Resistance refers to resistance developed by bacteria against antibiotics or the ability of bacteria to mutate or change so as to resist the effects of antibiotics. The more we use them, and the more we abuse them, the less effective they become.

Way ahead:

  • Antibiotic resistance is a crisis on the level of climate change. It’s already killing tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands a year. The world needs to be looking more closely at drugmakers and the governments that choose to protect them. Also, the global community needs to urgently address the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in an actionable manner and fast-track research on the next generation of drugs.

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