21, February 2017

1.MoU signed for welfare of Handicraft Artisans belonging to Scheduled Castes

Source: PIB

The Union Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment have signed MoU to step up interventions for the welfare and economic development of scheduled caste artisans.

The MoU was signed between Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles and National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC), a CPSU under Ministry of Social Justice.

The MoU aims

  • Continuous and extensive collaboration between NSFDC and Office of DC (Handicrafts).
  • Assessment and gap identification through popularising various schemes by holding awareness camps.
  • Extensive skill upgradation in the identified clusters having dominant presence of SC artisans, in the field of innovative and market-friendly designs and adoption of modern tools and techniques
  • Enhancing participation of SC artisans and their producer groups in domestic and international marketing events.
  • Providing working capital credit for SC artisans at concessional rates, by combining benefits provided by both ministers.
  • Working capital credit for Scheduled Caste artisans at concessional rates, by combining the benefits provided by Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

2.Government launches SAATHIYA Resource Kit and SAATHIYA SALAH mobile app for adolescents

Source: PIB

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched SAATHIYA Resource Kit and SAATHIYA SALAH mobile app for adolescents as part of the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) programme.

  • The kit and app will help Peer Educators (Saathiyas) who are introduced under the RKSK programme.
  • The Saathiyas act as catalyst for generating demand for adolescent health services and also impart age appropriate knowledge on key adolescent health issues to their peer groups.

India is home to 253 million adolescents which is largest in the world in terms of absolute numbers.  Their health and wellness is utmost priority as they are the critical mass of asset which in future will be the biggest demographic dividends to the country’s economy.

Key Facts

The Resource Kit has been developed by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Population Foundation of India (PFI).

The kit comprises

  1. i) Activity Book, ii) Bhranti-Kranti Game iii) Question-Answer Book and iv) Peer Educator Diary.
  • It has been designed to present the Peer Educators with key information on adolescent health, which would then enable them to communicate the same and help the adolescents at the grass root/village level’.
  • In addition, the mobile app ‘Saathiya Salah’ acts as cost-effective information platform for the adolescents.
  • It also has feature of toll-free Saathiya Helpline which will act as an e-counselor.

Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) programme

  • RKSK programme was launched by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in January 2014 with an aim to cater and address health and development needs of the country’s adolescents.
  • It introduces community-based interventions through peer educators (Saathiyas), and is underpinned by collaborations with other ministries and state governments.

RKSK identifies six strategic priorities for adolescents:

(i) nutrition, (ii) sexual and reproductive health (SRH), (iii) non-communicable diseases (NCDs), (iv) substance misuse, (v) injuries and violence (including gender-based violence) and (vi) mental health.

  • To guide the implementation of this programme, the ministry in collaboration with UNFPA has developed a National Adolescent Health Strategy.
  • Target Groups: The strategy focuses on age groups 10-14 years and 15-19 years with universal coverage. It covers males and females in school and out of school, in urban and rural, married and unmarried and vulnerable and under-served.

3.India, Rwanda sign MoUs in innovation, aviation and visa requirements

Source: The Hindu

India and Rwanda have inked three agreements in the fields of innovation, aviation and visa requirements to boost bilateral relations.

  • These agreements were signed in Kigali in the presence of Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari and Rwandan Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi during a business forum meet.
  • Vice President is the first Indian leader to officially visit Rwanda. He launched India-Rwanda innovation growth programme.

Three important agreements signed are

  • Bilateral air service agreement between two countries.
  • Agreement for exemption of visa requirements for diplomatic and service passports.
  • Agreement for establishment of an Entrepreneurship Development Centre in Rwanda duly financed by India,

Background

  • Vice President Hamid Ansari visited Rwanda on the first leg of his 2-nation visit to East Africa. Later he will travel to Uganda, the second leg of his tour to another East African country.
  • Both Rwanda and Uganda are important from India’s viewpoint of trade, especially in the pharmaceuticals, automobiles, mechanical appliances and machinery sectors.
  • Since 2012, India’s trade with Rwanda has doubled and it is one of Uganda’s largest trading partners and largest investors.

India-Africa Relations

  • India is key partner of African nations in the 1950s and 1960s. However, in the past decade, India lost influence in Africa to China and other Asian nations.
  • In recent years, India is seeking to broaden its general outreach to resource-rich Africa and establish its footprint in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • India has positioned itself as a partner of choice to African countries in areas such as education, healthcare, investment and trade.
  • In 2014-15, India-Africa trade was almost $70 billion and Indian investments in Africa in the past decade was amounted to $30-35 billion.
  • The figures, however, are low in comparison with the Africa’s trade and investment ties with China which is around $200 billion.
  • China has built large infrastructure projects like roads, railways, airports and government buildings in Africa.
  • Together, President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice President Ansari have visited 12 African nations in 2016.
  • This was in keeping with PM Modi’s promise to maintain the tempo of interaction with Africa, made to leaders to 54 African nations during the 3rd India-Africa summit in New Delhi in October 2015.

4.Gujarat Assembly passes Aadhaar Bill, 2017

Source: Indian Express

The Gujarat Assembly has passed Gujarat Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2017.

  • The bill seeks to empower the state government to use Aadhaar number as the sole identifier for the delivery of various subsidies and benefits in an effective and targeted manner.

Key Facts

  • By linking the Aadhhaar number with various schemes will help the state government create a credible system to authenticate the identity of actual beneficiaries.
  • As of now, Gujarat government provides various subsidies and financial assistance to the citizens under 119 schemes using RTGS or through cheques.
  • This bill will ensure more accurate, targeted and efficient delivery of such disbursements using Aadhaar number.
  • All the residents of Gujarat above 18 years have been issued Aadhaar cards, moreover 85% citizens in the age group of 5 to 18 have been issued such cards having unique identification number.

Background

The Bill has been framed as per the Central Aadhaar Act, passed by the Parliament in 2016. The central act empowers the state governments to introduce similar laws for targeted delivery of subsidies and benefits by linking Aadhaar number of each beneficiary.

 



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